Our Management Team
President and Chief Executive Officer
Mel leads the development and execution of the strategic direction of the firm. He also plays a significant role in the area of business development (sales). He has 25 years of experience in business strategy and a background in corporate business-to-business sales.
Mel Gravely is the majority shareholder of TriVersity Construction Company and was named president and CEO in 2011. Under his leadership, the commercial construction firm has established itself as one of the leading companies of its kind in the Greater Cincinnati region. TriVersity has consistently grown its construction capacity by 20% per year and doubled their sales since 2009. Gravely’s success and attention is focused on building a strong executive team, developing a solid strategic business platform and paying close attention to the customer experience.
Mel Gravely has more than 27 years of business management, sales and strategy experience including Fortune 500 positions with the Timken Company and IBM. He has served as CEO of a variety of businesses in different industries including a civil and structural engineering firm, a management consulting practice and a human resources services company. He spent 15 years as an advisor to major corporations and entrepreneurs on strategy and minority business development. Gravely believes in empowering individuals to perform at their best. He has a personal passion for supporting the growth and development of women and minorities in business.
Gravely is also the founder of the Institute for Entrepreneurial Thinking, Ltd. The Institute is a think-tank focused on getting the best results from minority business development initiatives. He is seen as one of the leading national thinkers on the topic of minority business development. Gravely is the author of eight books on business success, leadership and minority entrepreneurship.
He is an active civic leader and past board chair for the Cincinnati USA Regional Chamber. He is currently the board chair of Gwen Mooney Funeral Homes, board member of the SMPS (Society for Marketing Professionals Services) Foundation and is on the executive committees of REDI Cincinnati and ArtsWave which supports more than 100 arts organizations in Cincinnati.
Gravely graduated from the University of Mount Union with a degree in computer science. He holds a master of business administration degree from Kent State University and a doctorate degree from Union Institute and University.
Gravely leads one of the largest commercial builders in the Ohio-Kentucky-Indiana tri-state region. TriVersity offers construction management, general contracting and design build services. The company portfolio spans the industry and is fueled by a diverse and empowered team of professionals who strive to create vibrant communities.
James “Jim” Watkins
Chief Operating Officer
Jim leads the firm’s day-to-day construction operations. He manages all field operations staff and is responsible for effective and profitable construction outcomes. He has 28 years of construction operations experience including significant responsibilities in medium and large construction environments.
Jim Watkins serves as TriVersity’s chief operating officer with more than 28 years experience leading all phases of construction management, general contracting, design build and real estate development.
Watkins has exceptional knowledge of project management and cost control. He is an expert in corporate construction operations and leading major construction organizations with a thorough knowledge of estimating, purchasing, accounting, cost engineering, self-performance trade work and field supervision. He also has expertise in LEED and Green initiatives.
Known for his interpersonal communication skills, Watkins develops and maintains effective relationships with all project stakeholders including owners, architects, subcontractors and civic leaders. He has a broad background in multiple market sectors including healthcare, aviation, retail and higher education.
Watkins is an organizational leader and corporate representative in both the public and private sector. He has been personally responsible for delivery of projects ranging from $500,000 to 85 million. Watkins is also TriVersity’s executive lead for teaming projects with past experience leading projects upwards of $120,000,000.
Prior to TriVersity, Watkins served in project management, purchasing and business development for Turner Construction. He had a business partnership with Detroit’s largest minority construction firm with work in both Detroit and Chicago. Watkins has a B.S. in construction management and engineering technology and an A.A.S. in architectural engineering from Purdue University as well as an A.A.S. in construction management from Triton College.
Watkins played a major role in several corporate construction management training programs and was a co-founding member and past board member of Michigan’s affiliate of the ACE Mentor program. He has been named “Who’s Who in Detroit” and is a past NOMA Board Member. Jim is also a past graduate of the Cincinnati Chamber of Commerce’s Leadership Cincinnati, class 37. Currently, Watkins serves as a board member for ACI (Allied Construction Industries), HCDC (formerly know as Hamilton County Development Corporation) and Crayons to Computers.
Chief Financial Officer
Ann is responsible for the overall financial excellence for TriVersity. She provides financial leadership, execution, and experience necessary to support the company’s growth and works closely with the executive team and the finance and accounting staff. Ann has 20 years of financial leadership experience.
Ann Allen is the chief financial officer of TriVersity Construction Company. She brings 20 years’ experience as a CFO/controller with 13 of those years in the construction industry. She leads the overall finance and accounting function of the company and works closely with the executive team providing financial leadership to support TriVersity’s long-term growth.
Allen excels at developing and implementing organizational strategy, developing metrics to align with corporate strategy, evaluating acquisitions, financial management, cash flow planning and management, managing banking relationships, risk management, and compliance.
Prior to joining TriVersity, Allen served as CFO and COO for Cavalier Distributing Co., Inc., a national craft beer distributor, where she led the company through five years of significant growth while increasing efficiency and profitability. Her construction background includes an independent consulting practice providing CFO and controller services to the construction general contractors and subcontractors. Before launching her consulting practice, Allen was the controller for the D.C. Byers Company and was responsible for all financial aspects of the company: cash flow and forecasts, evaluation of ongoing projects, and software implementation. She has also held high-level accountant roles in public accounting and with a merchant banking group.
Allen holds an M.B.A. from Thomas More College, a B.S. in business management from St. Cloud University, St. Cloud, Minnesota and is a C.P.A. in Ohio and Minnesota. She focuses her continuing professional education (CPE) on keeping current with tax and accounting changes, honing her leadership skills, strategic planning, and conflict management.
Active in the community, Allen has served as trustee, secretary, vice president, and treasurer for the Mount Washington Presbyterian Church. Through her church, she also volunteers as a junior high school youth group leader and participates in other church, community and school activities. In her spare time, Allen is a member of the musical group Chapel Folk providing entertainment for community events, retirement centers, and nursing homes.
VP of Administration and Human Resources
Arlene leads the human resource management, corporate operations, and facilities management for the firm. She also serves as the firm’s corporate secretary. Arlene has 15 years of human resources, project management and organizational operations experience. She is responsible for leading the strategic talent management functions, including recruiting and hiring, compensation and benefits, and training and development.
Arlene Koth, vice president of administration and human resources, has more than 15 years of experience in human resource development and strategic planning. She is instrumental in shaping TriVersity’s business strategy working in tandem with the executive leadership to determine how to best use the company’s diverse talent-base to provide exceptional and consistent customer experiences.
In her talent management role with TriVersity she plans, develops, implements and administers the talent management function including staffing, employee orientation, education and training, management development, benefits administration, organizational development and more. Additionally, she leads the corporate operations and is the corporate secretary.
Prior to TriVersity, Koth was the executive vice president and COO for Downtown Cincinnati Inc. (DCI). She created and implemented operational infrastructure (including human resource functions, supplier diversity initiatives, and board/organizational governance processes), and oversaw DCI’s contractual agreements and operating budget. She also served as director of community relations at Cincinnati Works where she created the infrastructure for community engagement and doubled membership.
Koth received her B.A. in communications from Union Institute and University. She is a graduate of Leadership Cincinnati, Women Excel, and the African American Leadership Development Program. She has been recognized by the Business Courier as a “Forty Under 40” award recipient, by the YWCA as a “Rising Star” and as a WE Celebrate “Mentor of the Year” finalist. She currently serves as the Chair of the Governance Committee on the DCI Board of Directors and is a member of the Good Samaritan Hospital Foundation Board of Directors, the UC Economics Center Board of Trustees, and the Women’s Fund Grant Review Committee. Koth has also served on the board of the Over-the-Rhine Chamber of Commerce and as board chair of the African American Chamber of Commerce.
Koth’s passion for community driven initiatives is demonstrated through her contributions and engagement with organizations such as the YWCA, Cincinnati Works, ArtsWave and the United Way.
April E. Eldridge
April is responsible for corporate financial management and provides leadership to all project level accounting personnel. She also leads the development and implementation of best practices that maximizes efficiencies of all areas of accounting and finance. April has 17 years of practical accounting and finance experience in the construction industry. She has developed programs to drive financial accountability to the field level and to improve company-wide reporting.
April Eldridge is the Finance Manager responsible for preparing financial statements, maintaining cash controls, establishing corporate budgets, and managing the project accounting personnel.
Eldridge researches, evaluates, develops and recommends general financial policies and procedures and modifies existing methods to improve the company’s effectiveness and efficiency while supervising the quality of accounting and financial reporting.
Prior to joining TriVersity, Eldridge was controller for Atlantic Builders, Ltd., a residential building company, in Fredericksburg, Virginia. There she directed all aspects of the company’s financial infrastructure encompassing analysis, planning, reporting, treasury tax functions and overall accounting operations ensuring compliance to all company policies and governing regulations. She also served as an Auditor for Ernst & Young’s Real Estate group in both McLean, Virginia and New York City.
Eldridge earned a master’s degree in accounting from the University of Notre Dame and bachelor of science in business economics with a minor in international business from Miami University in Ohio. She is a graduate of Leadership Fredericksburg, Class of 2013, in Fredericksburg, Virginia and Rapport Leadership International’s Leadership I & II programs. Eldridge brings an international perspective to her work.
She studied abroad in Luxembourg at the John E. Dolibois European Center while interning in the marketing department of the European Formula Driver’s Administration S.A. in Luxembourg City and served as the Service Chairperson for the Student Faculty Council.
Her community interests are wide and varied. Eldridge has served as a soccer coach and Girl Scout Brownie troop leader as well as a Junior Achievement consultant. Her current position at TriVersity is a natural segue from her work long-standing with Habitat for Humanity.