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ST. LOUIS-Russ Burns has been named the new president of Clayco Inc., a development, design and construction firm based here that is working on multimillion-dollar industrial and office projects throughout the state, including the $500-million mixed-use NorthPark development in St. Louis County. The company, which had about $871 million in revenue last year, also develops outside the state, and has projects in 30 markets, including industrial buildings in Pennsylvania, Illinois and South Carolina.

Burns has been interim president since September. Former president John Wilson resigned in January. Burns, who reportedly joined Clayco as a consultant right after Wilson, had formerly been an EVP with New York City-based Turner Construction Co. Burns had 20 years with Turner, and also served as an Air Force pilot. “What I saw at Clayco is a very innovative, energetic and ambitious culture,” Burns tells GlobeSt.com. “It’s all about trying to be better every day, and figuring out what the clients need and staying ahead of the market.”

He says there will be some additions under his watch, including a move into the healthcare and government building markets. “In addition to our current segments, such as financial, industrial, institutional, corporate and residential, we’re going to be branching out into these new segments. They are both extremely large markets, where clients are looking for firms not just to build them, but also to design, develop and lease it back to them.”

Mostly, however, there is no major expansion planned this year for the company, other than to make sure everyone is on board with the same concepts. “We want to make sure we’re not just a one-trick pony,” Burns says. “We want to continue to offer clients a full range of services with numerous types of buildings.” However, he admits this year will be harder to sustain the profits of 2007. “Last year we grew about 40%, and this year we’re projecting about 20%,” he says. “We’ll focus on growing our people.”

Burns will continue to serve on the company’s board of directors. Four more employees are also joining the board: Paul Giacoletto, VP of business development and residential business unit leader; Kevin McKenna, regional VP in the Chicago office; P. Kirk Warden, VP and institutional business unit leader; and Tom Sieckhaus, VP and corporate facilities business unit leader.

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