The team at Avant Construction Group adds value to every project they come across. As an architect, I appreciate Alan’s solution – oriented approach to problem solving and his ability to manage costs without compromising quality. Further, his respect for design and intuitive understanding of projects from an operational perspective are attributes rarely found amongst otherwise capable peers. Not to mention – he’s a pleasure to work with!
– Noah Marks, AIA, NCARB


Alan Cottrill

Alan grew up in the construction industry, in the Jacksonville area. After obtaining his BS and BA (MIS and Business) from a private university in Texas he returned to Jacksonville to begin his career.


Being an entrepreneur and drawn to construction and design, he started the company in 1997. Beginning with local government contracts, his expertise and experience grew to include commercial, retail, historic renovation, and adaptive reuse projects.  Alan’s passion for great design and function touches every project and has grown Avant Construction Group into the successful business it is today.


In 2019 Alan returned to school and earned his International MBA from Purdue University. He lives outside of the San Marco area of Jacksonville, in Empire Point, with his wife Ellen, who works with him in the business. They have a large blended family of 6 grown children and seven grandchildren between them

Barry Underwood
Vice President of Operations

Mr. Barry Underwood oversees the project management team while playing a vital role in the development and growth of the organization. Prior to joining the River City Contractors team, Barry worked for many years with William and Rowe in various roles such as VP of Arc Services Group and VP of Pre-Construction Services.  Barry began his career in 1997 graduating from the University of North Florida with a focus in commercial construction.​

Education: BA in Building Construction Management​

Achievements: City of Jacksonville – Chairman of the Jacksonville Historic Preservation


Derek Cece
Vice President of Construction

With over 12 years in the construction business, Derek has focused his knowledge on Trade Management.  With an M.S. in Construction Management, Derek specializes in green construction and building science.  Serving on the design development team and having worked on LEED, Passive House and Living Building Challenge projects, Derek brings a fresh twist to the design/build team.​

Jeff Mallone
Senior Project Manager

Jeff joined the Avant team with over 25 years of experience in construction management, focusing on multi-family residential and commercial development projects. This experience, coupled with his degree from University of Tennessee, makes Jeff an invaluable resource to the team.

Lawrence Prince
Project Manager

Lawrence comes to Avant Construction Group with over 10 years of experience and specific expertise in defining and implementing operational direction with core focus on P&L, project management, expanding staff capabilities, and resolving critical company obstacles.
Lawrence moved to Jacksonville this month to take the position, and we are thrilled to have him part of our company’s future and a new resident of our wonderful city!

Kyle Ramsey
Project Manager

Kyle brings 12 years of management, leadership, and supervisory experience with a background that spans project management and quality control. He possesses a well-rounded understanding of each role and how they coordinate on the job site. His portfolio includes managing government, healthcare and military projects totaling $75 million.

Scott Callaway
Project Manager​

Scott is a retired Senior Chief from the US Navy.  His time in the military has given him extensive experience in leading teams, working with various forms of technology, and working within changing environments. 

Scott is currently working on his continuing education and will become a certified Project Manager with a focus on construction.

Jeremy Anderson
Project Manager

With over 11 years in various roles in the field and office within the construction trade, Jeremy is working with Avant to provide more concise and efficient estimates for projects as a whole. Additionally, he focuses on Value Engineering. Jeremy has led Avant’s recent historical renovation projects in Downtown Jacksonville, giving him insight to difficult permitting obstacles and unforeseen challenges on projects.

Fresnel Hernandez, JR.
Chief Estimator

Fresnel brings a wealth of architectural expertise to the Avant team, specifically in CADD software. By seamlessly integrating designs and ideas into plans before they reach the architect’s desk, he crafts a unique design-build experience, blending innovation with standard construction practices for our clients’ benefit. Fresnel also works with our bidding department to ensure we’re giving our clients the most accurate estimates.

Robin Barnes
Project Manager​

With over 11 years in the construction trade, Robin has worked in a variety of roles gathering knowledge from each making her a diverse Project Manager with a specific focus on residential and small business interior renovation. Robin’s specific expertise lies in the management interior renovations.

Peter Rexroth
Project Manager

Joining our team from Texas, Peter is a welcome addition to our Project Management Team.  Having experience on projects upwards of $5M, he brings a wealth of knowledge on overall projects relating to commercial work.  From managing budgets and schedules to negotiating with subcontractors, Peter is seasoned in all facets of the job.  His experience and work results can be seen in such projects as McInyre’s Bar, Fry Road Retail Center, Heights Water Works, and Long Point Urban Office Complex all located in the Houston / San Antonio areas.

Ellen Cottrill
Director of HR and Communication

Ellen has worked alongside her husband, Alan, since 2006.  Having recently completed her master’s in communication management, she now fills the role of HR and Marketing manager.  Always conscious of current events, community needs, and business development, Ellen strives to ensure the passions and talents of each team member are highlighted to provide the best for our clients. Originally from Philadelphia, she has lived in Jacksonville since 1999. She and Alan have a large, blended family of six-grown children and seven grandchildren, to date.

Tori Collins
Human Resources|Project Analyst

Having worked in the sign industry as well as the nonprofit industry, Tori’s experience includes work with such national organizations as 7-Eleven and Girl Scouts. Tori brings with her expertise in time-management, vendor coordination and excellent organization skills. Tori has called Jacksonville home for over 20 years. Her ties to the community and her knowledge of service, and national experience needs brings in a well-rounded sense of urgency coupled with excellent customer service to our local clients. Tori spends her personal time with her family and enjoys the outdoors.


Trisha Myers
Executive Assistant

Trisha brings to our team her knowledge from an administrative perspective, supporting Alan and the senior leadership team, in addition to working with project managers as a construction administrator.

Trisha has worked in an administrative role in various industries for over 10 years. Her knowledge of various software programs, the need for excellent customer service, and her attention to detail is a great asset.

Trisha has been in the Jacksonville area for many years. She and her husband are excited as they build their new home in Clay County and raise their two small children.

Gauddy Santo
Senior Project Analyst & Government Liaison

Bringing over 15 years of experience to Avant’s team, Gauddy has worked in building and construction, design, development, and property management roles. She has a thorough understanding of regulatory compliance and will assist our team in developing an execution plan for managing funding and incentive obligations and permit requirements.

Andrea Little
Marketing Manager

Andrea brings five years of experience working in the Architecture, Engineering and Construction (AEC) industry, most recently for clients in the public sector focusing on municipal, state and federal entities. Her responsibilities have included proposal management, competitor and market analysis, CIP research, documentation and presentation preparation.