Devin Gates, Walker School MBA student and Project Manager for Paric Corporation.

Devin Gates has many exceptional traits, one being a vision for success. He is a veteran, father of two, and current Walker School MBA Student.  Devin also helped build Browning Hall while simultaneously pursuing a Master of Business Administration degree at the Walker School.  Recently, he received the “40 Under 40” award by the St. Louis Business Journal.  This prestigious award, granted to 40 awardees under the age of 40 each year, recognizes outstanding professional success and exceptional contributions to the community.

A career in construction came naturally to Devin.  He grew up around the industry with his father, who owned a small residency construction business. He eventually joined the army as a combat engineer, where he gained knowledge in a new type of construction, working mainly on explosives.

Devin’s plans for the future were not specific, but his skills and inclinations formed a clear path.  While studying at Southern Illinois University, Edwardsville, he was on the fence about majoring in civil engineering or construction.  He ultimately earned an undergraduate degree in construction in order to have more versatility in his career than a traditional desk job would offer. Today, he combines his vision and ability to create into a job that has allowed him to play a significant role on over 10 major construction projects in multiple states.

In 2016, Devin started working for PARIC Corporation, a top St. Louis general contractor, as a Senior Project Engineer until he was promoted to Project Manager in 2017.  Devin’s transformation of a 100-year-old Missouri theater into a hotel, in addition to his numerous other accomplishments at PARIC, led to his nomination for the 40 Under 40 award.

It was a new challenge for Devin; up until that assignment, he had only built buildings from scratch. Since construction standards and methods change over time, the renovation was “full of surprises” that required serious problem solving skills and a strong vision.  The building is now successfully operational as a hotel and Devin’s outstanding leadership set him apart from over 500 nominations and led to his induction into the respected class of 2018’s 40 Under 40.

Devin also played an instrumental role in completing a $44 million dollar project, and the newest addition to Webster University’s home campus, Browning Hall. He had been considering furthering his education, especially at Webster University, and describes the moment when he was assigned to the job that was footsteps away from potential night classes as “destiny.”

Browning Hall at the Webster University home campus.

Browning Hall under construction.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The decision to pursue a master’s degree while also juggling work projects and a family is an accomplishment soon to be solidified by his December 2018 graduation.  Devin’s desire to expand his business knowledge directed him to pursue an all-encompassing MBA program.  His studies have allowed him to cover subjects like economics and finance, information that has given him a better understanding of new aspects of his work and will be beneficial to his career.

Devin signed the final beam as a Webster University student and Paric project manager.

“I thought it was cool because I’m getting to give to the University and take away from the University at the same time.  I’m able to contribute to a very long-lasting landmark on the campus.  But at the same time, I’m taking away an education, so I learned a lot of life lessons as well.  It’s a nice relationship.” Devin had the honor of signing the structure’s final beam at Webster’s “Topping Out” ceremony as both a PARIC project manager and a Webster University student.

With a natural talent for creating, leadership skills, and a big heart, Devin has excelled not only at Webster University but also in his community. Devin is involved with several community organizations including Habitat for Humanity, the AGC Construction Leadership Council, Engineers without Borders, and Team River Runner. Because of his work in the military, Devin is very passionate about helping veterans through rehabilitation.

“Team River Runner is a really cool program where we help disabled veterans with rehabilitation through kayaking.  We start out by helping these disabled vets kayak in a medical pool at the VA hospital, and as they become more comfortable we take them out on lakes, rivers and eventually, the ones who are ready and interested, we work them up to big white-water trips.  We’ve got guys that are amputees, deaf, blind, people with unseen injuries, etc., and we all just work together.  We make it work.  We fabricate the boats if we need them to be different to account for their disability or we’ll send people down the river in groups so that we can help each other out. It’s great stuff.”

Finally, when asked what advice he would give to current students, he said, “Don’t hesitate to reach out to the people at Webster. They’re small classes and teachers are always eager to build personal relationships.  I’ve never not had a professor that was not only willing but happy to help out after hours and give additional help as needed.”

On behalf of the Walker School, we congratulate Devin for his success so far, and for the success that we know will fill his future.

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