a message from our president

Who is Kerry Smith Buck?

My journey with this longstanding, beloved and respected industry publication began in 2015 as a contributing writer. Having just sold a business journal I’d launched and grown for 13 years, I received a call from then-CNR editor Peter Downs who was searching for a freelance writer who specialized in construction coverage. I jumped at the opportunity, having long been fascinated – and delightfully distracted by – any dirt digging, tower crane moving, concrete pouring and rebar tying anywhere.

My freelance reporting for CNR continued for about a year when Peter Downs prepared to step down. He and then-CNR publisher and owner Mike Chollet asked to meet me them on a cold January evening in the midst of what later turned out to be one of St. Louis’ most severe ice storms on record.

As I drove from Edwardsville, Illinois to the Soulard district of St. Louis to meet these two gentlemen face to face for the very first time, I feared I was being summoned due to an error I’d made in a story, a source who didn’t take kindly to me or some other potential blunder. Such was not the case. Sitting at a table in a nearly vacant St. Louis Bread Co. location, just after they treated me to supper, Mike and Peter launched into the purpose of our visit: To offer me the chance to work as editor of St. Louis Construction News and Review Magazine. I said yes (one of the best decisions I’ve ever made) and marveled at the surreptitiousness of the opportunity given to me that wintry evening. I also slid my car slowly across downtown St. Louis to the nearest available hotel, soon realizing that there would be no driving across icy river bridges and interstates back to Edwardsville that night.

Serving as editor of a small-staffed publication quickly morphed into also serving as the writing staff, each year writing 30 long-version project and issue stories for the print edition and 52 weekly e-newsletter pieces. A few years later, my role expanded once again when I was asked to also take on a portion of the advertising sales. When Covid hit, I was incredibly thankful to count CNR as my largest client, my others temporarily waning.

Fast forward to just a few months ago, when Mike Chollet once again phoned me with an opportunity I couldn’t pass up: Acquiring CNR Magazine and taking the reins of a family-owned business that began on the streets of St. Louis nearly 55 years ago. Little could I have I known at that time – in 1969 when CNR took root and I was five years old, living in a Milwaukee suburb – that one day I’d have the honor and privilege of owning this publication. It’s truly a dream come true. And just as it has always been, I can’t get enough of construction. I still pull my car over (even if I’m off the clock and far away on vacation!) to watch tilt-up concrete panels hoisted into position, steel beams lifted into place, bridge spans and decks being rehabilitated and hundreds of prefabricated restroom pods magically dropped from above into a healthcare facility. Construction is in my veins, I guess you could say.

After serving in a number of diverse journalistic roles and covering an array of topics for more than 30 years, construction remains my hands-down favorite kind of story to tell. I look forward to continuing to learn from each of you and telling the story of the projects you build, the people you hire and the issues you face for many years to come.

Welcome to CNR 2.0. Let’s continue this journey together.

Kerry

Kerry Smith Buck

President & CEO

Construction News and Review Magazine
Your Construction Voice

Our Team

Kerry Smith

President & CEO

Kerry Smith Buck possesses more than 30 years of published writing experience in construction, architecture, engineering, commercial real estate, IT, economic development and more. Prior to acquiring CNR as its new owner in November 2023, Kerry served as CNR’s editor for six years. She founded the Illinois Business Journal in 2000.

Barbara Horwitz-Bennett

Contributing Writer

Barbara Horwitz-Bennett is a veteran architectural journalist and regular contributor to Architectural Products, Architectural Record, Engineering News-Record and i+s (Interiors+Sources) magazine. She also writes content for AEC firms, building product manufacturers and industry associations.

Kate Gawlik

Contributing Writer

Kate Gawlik is a freelance journalist focused in the construction community. She writes about design, construction practices, business cultures, sustainable trends and more. She can be reached at www.freelancebykate.com.

Luanne Jorewicz

Contributing Writer

Luanne Jorewicz is a professional writer and editor with experience in medicine, healthcare, aerospace and oil & gas.

https://www.clippings.me/luannejorewicz

Mike Ragogna

Contributing Writer

New York-born Mike Ragogna has been a jingle writer and singer and also became the content
editor and instructor for more than 2000 online school courses. Currently, Ragogna writes for
Engineering News-Record and continues to contribute liner notes and articles to multiple online
outlets and newspaper outlets.

Tiffanie Reynolds

Contributing Writer

Tiffanie Reynolds, owner of MarCom Consultants, Inc., is a 20-plus-year marketing and communications veteran in the architecture, engineering, construction and business management consulting industries. She has written for nationally recognized magazines like Power Magazine, Green Building and Design, Parks and Rec Business, Engineering News-Record, Roads and Bridges and Civil and Structural Engineering. For more information about Tiffanie, see www.marcomconsultants.com.

CNR Advisory Council

Desiree Bennyhoff

President & CEO, Edwardsville/Glen Carbon Chamber of Commerce

Marie Casey

President/Founder, Casey Communications, Inc.

Michael Chollet

Former Owner/Publisher, Construction News and Review Magazine

Barbara Pierce

President, M2Pierce, LLC

Brian Turmail

VP of Public Affairs & Workforce, Associated General Contractors of America

Who Is CNR?

As the publication widely known for more than half a century as “The Voice For the St. Louis Construction Industry” celebrates 55 years of continuous journalism, we’re delighted to remain the construction industry’s go-to source of intelligently written, detailed, compelling stories of projects and the people who build them.

We recognize those who have built the framework for the very stuff we proudly cover – high-profile construction projects, persisting industry issues and the emerging legacies of construction leaders of all kinds. We have the honor of faithfully writing and publishing a longstanding, quality magazine that’s respected for its gritty, brick-by-brick coverage of significant construction projects and industry realities. Since 1969, our publication has been respected as the legitimate source of detailed, compelling narrative on projects, people and issues.

You’ve been a part of our story from the beginning. Our founder, a serial entrepreneur, journalist, husband and father of seven, had your story in mind when he launched CNR on July 15, 1969 during an era when labor and management relations were stretched thin, and when the nation had been at war in Vietnam for 13 years. Much closer to home, there existed another conflict: The Ironworkers’ strike. This publication was born of the creativity, solid work ethic and sheer guts of a founder who volunteered on his high school newspaper staff, served as a U.S. Navy Lieutenant, worked in advertising agencies, sold construction products door-to-door, served as a labor-management mediator and showed his kids how journalism has the power of giving people a voice and facilitating positive change.

A half century later, CNR is dedicated to these same ideals. As we recognize and respect our deep St. Louis roots, we also know that the world has become less geographically centric. Today’s digital footprint allows us to follow our longstanding St. Louis-based supporters to wherever their next construction project leads them. We remain steadfast in our love and regard for projects and issues across the St. Louis region, but we also know that the geographical boundaries that once defined our scope of work have largely disappeared and that CNR’s supporters are designing, engineering and building projects – while confronting very real issues – across the nation, and sometimes beyond that. What may once have been geographical barriers have morphed into open doors to new markets and new clients.

Join with CNR as we continue telling your story, the narrative our founder knew as compelling 55 years ago, and a story we still find more than intriguing. Join us on the journey as our pledge to equip you with intelligent, gritty, brick-by-brick storytelling continues. Let’s build the future together.

Why is CNR Unique?

In this age of artificially intelligent, robotic communication, what sets a genuine news publication apart?

We believe it is these three ingredients:

  • A deep, proven understanding of the industry
  • The ability to conduct substantive, live conversations with living, breathing experts
  • Skilled, industry-savvy storytelling

At CNR, we listen intently to well-known, respected industry experts as they communicate the passion of what they’re designing and building.
We ask intelligent questions, the answers to which form the basis for intelligent, detailed narrative.
We want to know every detail they can quantify as to materials, technologies, processes and outcomes.
Spending quality time with these subject matter experts and taking our time to weave a comprehensive story makes CNR worth reading.
We’re humbled and gratified by the compliments we receive about the value others find in our publication.
Here are just a few:

“I’ve been an avid reader of CNR for the past few years, and I can confidently say that it has been an invaluable resource for me in the construction industry. This publication consistently delivers comprehensive content that keeps me informed about all the amazing projects happening around the St. Louis metro area. We are always excited when CNR wants to cover our projects because we can always count on a thoroughly researched and well-written story.”


TIMOTHY STRICKFADEN
Marketing Director
Keeley Companies

“Few cities have the legacy of pioneering construction firms and skilled union labor like St. Louis. For more than 50 years, CNR has chronicled this heritage and its continuous adaptation to the nation’s needs and new technology. You want to know what we are building, why we are building and how we will build in the future?  Read CNR.”

STEVE HOUSTON
Compass Communications, LLC

“I appreciate St. Louis CNR because the magazine’s cover stories and featured interviews are in-depth, informative and really brings the people, perspectives and projects behind the area’s AEC businesses to life. CNR is truly professional and invested in the topics and stories it covers, which makes the storytelling process fun and enjoyable for those the publication interviews.”

LAUREN FREINBERG
Partner
Black Twig Marketing + Communications

YOUR CONSTRUCTION VOICE IN ST. LOUIS AND BEYOND

Join CNR Magazine today as a Content Partner

As a CNR Content Partner, CNR Magazine promises to support you as you build, design and engineer projects not only in and around St. Louis, but also across the U.S. CNR is equipped and ready to deliver a dynamic digital experience paired with the top-notch, robust print coverage for which you’ve always known and respected the magazine.