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Ali Schaal and Angela McDonnell Join Partner as Directors of Funds Control

Market-leading construction risk management firm continues to expand its funds control and disbursement specialties

TORRANCE—January 18, 2019—Partner Engineering and Science, Inc. (Partner), a California-based engineering, environmental and energy consulting firm, has hired five senior funds control professionals for their growing Construction Risk Management practice, including Ali Schaal and Angela McDonnell as Directors of Funds Control. Funds control ensures that loan proceeds are being distributed to the correct vendor while tracking lien waivers and invoices. With these hires, Partner further bolsters their specialty in funds control and disbursement, budget management, document and cost review and other crucial services to ensure that construction projects are completed on time, on budget and lien free.

Ms. Schaal and Ms. McDonnell each bring several decades of industry experience in various areas of construction accounting and risk management practices, for clients such as SBA lenders, commercial banks, credit unions, EB5 investors, and many others. They have worked on thousands of construction projects in a funds control capacity and will serve as valuable anchors of knowledge and industry expertise at Partner. In addition to Ms. Schaal and Ms. McDonnell, Partner's Construction Risk Management Practice is also adding Senior Disbursement Agents Tracey Benson and Trish Culp and Disbursement Agent Kelly Trendler. They will provide critical administrative and technical support to the funds disbursement team. Partner is positioned to provide market-leading construction risk management services to stakeholders across the commercial real estate spectrum.

Construction is an area of commercial real estate that is facing many opportunities and challenges going forward. Equity portfolios continue to see robust development and opportunity for deals, with a continued infusion of international investment in US commercial real estate properties. Nevertheless, there are also some headwinds on the horizon, including the possibility of an industry downturn in the near future. Employing sound construction risk management practices and fundamental tools throughout the course of a project is more critical than ever.

“Partner will continue to leverage top industry talent like Angela and Ali to help provide the very best risk management solutions so that our customers can succeed in their ultimate business objectives, no matter where the market is going,” says company founder and CEO Joe Derhake.

Ms. Schaal has 30 years of experience in construction accounting and 15 years in construction risk management. She specializes in communication with lenders, borrowers and general contractors to keep projects moving to completion. She also has expertise working with documentation required for SBA loans. Prior to joining Partner, Ms. Schaal served as the Finance Manager for the construction risk management division of a large engineering firm, where she managed project budgets, deadlines and profitability, as well as lender interfacing through the bidding process and project funding.

“One of the things I particularly enjoyed when working on bids and proposals was helping clients access their information in a web-based portal as reports were updated,” says Ms. Schaal. “It’s very inspiring to come to a company like Partner that is continually striving to merge core services in our industry with technological innovation, such as their cloud-based platform for accessing documentation and report data, as well as a tablet app that aggregates historical disbursement data across project parameters to catch errors and discrepancies faster in real time.”

Ms. McDonnell has over 26 years of experience in the construction risk management industry, where she oversaw funds control and due diligence services for a variety of national and local lending clients, developers, CDC’s and individual/commercial property owners. Ms. McDonnell has 15+ years as a client liaison on construction projects ranging from $50K tenant improvements to $30M ground up developments. Prior to joining Partner, Ms. McDonnell was the Operations Director for the construction risk management division of a large engineering firm, overseeing and managing the risk management team and disbursement agents. Ms. McDonnell has various education in Business Development and Accounting from Highline College, and studies in accounting and human resources from Clackamas College.

“I am incredibly excited to come to Partner and embrace the challenge of growing and adding to an already-impressive construction risk management practice,” says Ms. McDonnell. “Coming over from a large company where 80-90% of our division consisted of funds control projects, I am particularly thrilled to apply my knowledge and expertise in a collaborative fashion with the broader spectrum of construction inspection and risk management services, as well as other due diligence, engineering, and environmental services offered at Partner.”

Some of the recent construction developments that Ms. Schaal and Ms. McDonnell have managed recently include a FedEx Ground distribution warehouse, an $11.4 Million Dollar renovation of a trendy boutique hotel in North Carolina, an $8.5 Million Dollar HUD LEED-certified 30-unit Los Angeles apartment complex, and a 22-acre aquatic and meeting facility with mixed-use amenities and event space. As Senior Project Managers, they oversaw funds control and completion commitment for these projects.