News Post

Shari Bryant, Drafter – Women in Construction Week

Shari Bryant is one of Todd & Sargent’s drafters based in the Ames office. As a drafter, she creates structural and spouting drawings and has the opportunity to work on the slips as an inspector to ensure the rebar is placed correctly and the concrete is curing as expected. Read on to learn about her path into construction:


How and when did you decide to go into construction?

I had been with the same valve company working in a variety of roles for about 15 years and wanted to get into something completely different. Not only did T&S give me an opportunity to learn a new discipline in the construction industry, but I also love that what we do is so connected to agriculture.


What did your path into construction look like?

I have an applied associated degree in mechanical design from Marshalltown Community College. My dad suggested I look into drafting since the company he worked for was looking for more drafters, so I took an intro class at MCC and it just clicked. I started as a drafting co-op with a valve company at the end of the semester, then moved to tech support and teaching of the CAD software. My last couple of years with that company, I was a designer for HIPPS (High Integrity Pressure Protection System used in oil and gas facilities) then to specials, which are customized parts per customer requirements. I then came to Todd & Sargent after 15 years of being a mechanical drafter.

Both my dad and granddad worked at Fisher as machinists, so I became 3rd generation along with my sister who is a civil engineer. It just runs in the family.


What do you enjoy most about your job/working in construction?

As a drafter, it is so fun to watch the drawings you created come to life, whether you’re witnessing it firsthand on a slip or just seeing update photos.


What do you think are some hurdles – real or perceived – that women face in construction?

Some women may assume that they won’t be accepted. Honestly, as long as you work hard and keep trying to improve, no one cares what gender you are.

As for being a woman in a male-dominated field, that’s something I’ve always done. I was on football and wrestling teams as a kid, joined the Air Force, and worked security on and off until I started college. One thing I’ve noticed is that the guys I’ve worked with or trained with didn’t just tolerate me, they actively had my back.


What is your favorite thing you’ve done during your time in construction?

I love doing inspection on slips. It is one thing to have an idea, but seeing how the structures are actually built is essential. It lets you see what works and what it takes the crews to put it all together.


Brian Watson

Director of Project Management

Brian Watson is responsible for project management at Todd & Sargent, bringing consistent project delivery to our clients. He works closely with our project management teams and clients to ensure project quality, schedules, and budgets are met. Brian is a member of the Grain Elevator and Processing Society and International Association of Operative Millers. Brian graduated from Iowa State University with a degree in Construction Engineering and has been with Todd & Sargent since 2014.


Christie Mohlke

Vice President – People

Christie Mohlke leads all HR functions at Todd & Sargent, such as culture, recruiting, training, compliance, employee onboarding and orientation, employee relations, benefits, and more. She has over 10 years of experience in human resources focusing on operations management. Christie graduated with a B.B.A. in Marketing from Austin Peay State University and a Master’s in Business Administration from Cumberland University. She is a member of the National Society of Human Resource Management and is designated as a Professional of Human Resources.

Lesley Whitten

Operations Manager – Canada

Lesley Whitten oversees all aspects of our Canadian operations, from project management and engineering to field operations to ensure each facility meets client expectations. She has more than 15 years of experience in the construction industry, and she has worked on many new grain elevator builds, large scale elevator and facility upgrades, fertilizer facilities, and canola crushing plants while serving in roles from project coordinator up to project management manager. Lesley holds a CET (Certified Engineering Technologist) and PMP (Project Management Professional) accreditation.

James Bucher

Chief Financial Officer

James Bucher is responsible for Todd & Sargent’s finance, accounting, and information technology functions. He manages the T&S accounting team, banking and insurance relationships, and oversees the annual audits of the company’s financial statements, benefits plans, and insurance programs. James graduated from Iowa State University with a B.A. in Accounting and holds his Certified Public Accountant designation. James has been with Todd & Sargent since 2017.

Pat Taggart

Vice President – Field Operations

Pat Taggart is responsible for field operations at Todd & Sargent. His duties include overseeing safety, field construction teams, construction scheduling, and project quality assurance. He also oversees Todd & Sargent’s warehouse team. Pat graduated from Iowa State University with a B.S. in Agriculture Studies. Pat has been with Todd & Sargent since 1983.

Bryan Coussens, P.E.

Vice President – Engineering

Bryan Coussens is responsible for all aspects of Todd & Sargent’s engineering function. Bryan manages Todd & Sargent’s team of engineers and drafters to meet our clients’ complex engineering needs. He provides structural, process, and value engineering for projects in the grain, feed, flour, biofuels, and specialty industries. Bryan also reviews projects for code requirements and compliance. Bryan is a member of the American Concrete Institute and the American Institute of Steel Construction. He graduated from Iowa State University with a B.A. in Civil Engineering. Bryan has been with Todd & Sargent since 1996.

Scott Sylvester

Vice President – Business Development

Scott Sylvester is responsible for developing and maintaining strong client and partner relationships as well as identifying new market opportunities at Todd & Sargent. He has over 20 years serving clients and partners in the Ag and Industrial construction markets. He is an active member with the Iowa Association of Business and Industry and past member of Food Processing Suppliers Association and Iowa Lean Consortium. Scott graduated from the University of Northern Iowa with a General Studies degree, with an emphasis on communications and psychology.

Alex Kerrigan

Vice President – Project Development

Alex Kerrigan is responsible for project development at Todd & Sargent, bringing ag and industrial projects from concept to reality. Alex works closely with each client’s team to develop successful facility designs and compile comprehensive and competitive cost estimates. Alex is a member of the American Feed Industry Association, Grain Elevator and Processing Society, International Association of Operative Millers, and National Grain and Feed Association. Alex graduated from the University of Notre Dame. Alex has been with Todd & Sargent since 2002.

Rori Bouchard

President – Canada

Rori Bouchard leads our Canada team to fulfilling the company mission and vision and ensures our company lives its values every day. He has more than 15 years of industry experience, with specialized knowledge in all facets of the construction of ag-industrial facilities with experience as a project manager, business development director, and managing director, among other roles. Rori is a member of the Association of Professional Engineers & Geoscientists of Manitoba and Grain Elevator and Processing Society. He graduated from the University of Manitoba with a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering and a minor in Management.

Jon Sargent

President & CEO

Jon Sargent provides overall strategic and corporate direction to Todd & Sargent. In his role as President & CEO, he focuses on setting the company’s vision, leading the company’s leadership team, and ensuring the company lives its values every day. Jon is a member of the Grain Elevator and Processing Society (GEAPS), Construction Management Association, and former board member of Associated Builders & Contractors of Iowa. Jon graduated from the University of Iowa with a B.B.A. in Finance and from the University of Chicago with an M.B.A. in Economics. He is also a member of The Sargent Group, Inc. Board of Directors. Jon has been with Todd & Sargent since 2010.