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VJS Celebrates Three “Newsmakers of the Year” Award Recipients

Updated: Sep 21, 2022

The Daily Reporter honored the 2021 Newsmakers of the Year last week from across the industry, including estimators, educators, innovators, project managers, builders, unsung heroes, and many more.


Mark Barnhart brings over 15 years of industry experience to the VJS estimating team. Mark’s responsibilities focus on conceptual estimates and budget, hard-bid estimates, and value engineering alternatives for multi-million dollar projects. Not only is Mark a great estimator, he also helps with project management, company initiatives, and employee training.

Over the last year, he has led the effort to convert VJS to new estimating software. He spent countless hours developing assemblies and writing formulas to make sure VJS would be successful once the software was implemented. With attention to detail and problem-solving ability, he cares deeply about the work he produces and the work produced by VJS


In the early spring of 2021, Joe Forster began a renovation project that required removing the entire roof structure, demolishing the interior buildout of a building, adding an elevator, and designing multiple aspects that required real-time decisions – all while maintaining historical features of the building. Joe assessed every one of those decisions, waying the ramifications.

In the construction industry, making changes or decisions is a daily expectation; however, the sheer volume and speed of decisions for this project required Joe to go above and beyond to keep the project on track. The schedule was intense, and as the end date neared, Joes’ positive and respectful attitude was one of the best-utilized leadership tools.


Chris Coggins serves as the VJS education market lead and has spent the last seven years focusing on working with school districts to achieve their facility goals. Particularly adept at managing complex construction projects, his expertise also includes long-range planning, community engagement, and preconstruction, and he has helped numerous districts develop the right options for their community.

His thoughtful leadership brings about consensus and creative problem solving to ensure successful outcomes for clients. Chis has spent the last three years as Project Executive for the Wauwatosa School District Referendum Projects, replacing its four elementary schools and addressing prioritized needs at all of its schools. 

See the full list of honorees on The Daily Reporter website 

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