Real Estate Weekly
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Construction & Design

WHO’S NEWS: Construction and design appointments and promotions

Francis Cauffman has promoted five members of its staff.

The new senior associates are Charles Hemphill, Denise Thompson, and Bin Weng. Denis Kovalich is a new associate. Craig Barbieri is the new Director of Design Technology.

Charles (Chip) Hemphill, AIA, CDT, NCARB, is an architect who joined Francis Cauffman in 2006. He has become a leader within the firm in developing and incorporating current BIM processes into project design and construction.

He brings a mix of strong digital modeling and rendering skills and the technical knowledge to ensure that the built work is true to the original design intent. Notable projects include the Atlantic Sports Health Institute, Geisinger Wyoming Valley Medical Center, and Saint Barnabas Medical Center.

Denise Thompson, AIA, LEED AP BD+C, joined Francis Cauffman in 2003 and was promoted to associate in 2010. She has a focus on healthcare design and sustainability, and has been a champion of Francis Cauffman’s integration of sustainability initiatives since joining the firm.

Denise is the 2016 President of AIA Philadelphia, and was the 2013 recipient of AIA Philadelphia’s Young Architect Award. Her notable projects include the Critical Care Building at the Geisinger Wyoming Valley Medical Center, which won the American Society for Healthcare Engineering’s 2010 Vista Award.

Bin Weng, AIA, LEED AP, EDAC, is a multi-faceted architect with more than 14 years of experience leading design teams to program, design, and execute complex, program-intensive buildings.

Throughout his career, he has developed a focus in healthcare, science and technology, and higher education projects, which include Mount Sinai Heart Hospital, New York University Langone Medical Center, and New York Hotel Trades Council’s Brooklyn Health Center.

Denis Kovalich, NCIDQ, LEED AP, IIDA, joined Francis Cauffman in 2015. He is an interior designer and project manager who has experience in corporate, government, healthcare, and residential projects. Denis is focused on providing client satisfaction on projects of any size, delivering visually appealing work spaces that are comfortable, functional, and delivered on time and on budget.

Craig Barbieri, who joined Francis Cauffman in 2015, has been promoted to Director of Design Technology. He has broad expertise in BIM/VDC and identifies, directs, and implements Francis Cauffman’s use of technologies to enhance its design practice.

With 15 years of experience with BIM in practice, management, and leadership, he has managed substantial advancements in the use of design technology, as well as the cultural and process related changes that followed the adoption of a wide array of digital design technologies.


NYCAN Builders announced the formation of the company, offering general contracting and construction management services in the Tri-State region.

The firm was founded by Nancy Erardi. The firm will be managed and operated by Nancy Erardi, President & CEO and Nicholas DeSarno, Chief Operating Officer.

The team has over 55 years of experience within the construction and real estate industry.
Most recently, Erardi served as the Vice President of Richter + Ratner, overseeing company operations.
She has 21 years of experience in all aspects of the construction management process.

Nicholas DeSarno was previously the founder and owner of O+D Builders for 16 years and Senior Vice President of James G. Kennedy & Co. for 14 years.

DeSarno has extensive design build experience and managed more than $3 billion in construction projects throughout all construction sectors. Both Erardi and DeSarno are associate members of the AIA.


The American Institute of Architects – New Jersey (AIA-NJ) has announced Ben Lee, AIA, as the organization’s 2017 president.

Lee has been an active board member of AIA-NJ for the past five years, serving as president elect in 2016, first vice president in 2015 and treasurer in 2014. Lee was also the 2011 president of the Architects League of Northern New Jersey, one of AIA-NJ’s six local sections.

With over 35 years of experience in architecture, Lee is managing principal and chief financial officer of Morristown-based NK Architects, a national architectural, structural engineering, planning and interior design firm.

A board-certified healthcare architect, he has applied his design and management skills to advance NK’s Healthcare Design Group.

Last year, Lee was awarded the 2016 Kindred Spirit Award by Carrier Clinic for his assistance in the non-profit behavioral healthcare system providing a safe, restorative, and respectful environment for adolescents and adults receiving mental health and addiction treatment services.

He is also a member of several other professional groups such as the American Society of Hospital Engineers, the American Hospital Association, the Healthcare Facilities Management Society of New Jersey, the USGBC, a LEED accredited professional and a member of the New Jersey Chapter of the American Planning Association.


Full Stack Modular, LLC, announced that Boris Fridkin has been hired as Controller and Shameka Grinage has been hired as Sr. Human Resources Manager.

Boris Fridkin joins from First New York Partners, a subsidiary of Forest City Ratner Companies, where he served for ten years as the Sr. Accounting Manager.

He played a key role in many aspects of the company, from 404 compliance, to implementing SAP and transitioning data from MRI.

Prior to joining FNYP, he spent 3.5 years working for H.J. Behrman and Co., LLP (a CPA firm) performing audit and tax work for Real Estate clients. He received his BA degree from Baruch College.

Shameka Grinage has 20 years of experience as an HR professional for small and large firms with both union and nonunion populations.

Her expertise spans from employee benefits, policies & procedures, compliance to employee relations.

Prior to joining Full Stack Modular LLC, Shameka held benefits roles at Forest City Ratner Companies and Monster Worldwide/TMP Worldwide.

She received her BBA in Human Resource Management from Baruch College and her designation as a Certified Employee Benefits Specialist from the International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans.


EW Howell Construction Group announced that Jack Hagen has risen to Vice President of the firm’s Education Division. Additionally, Daniel Navarro has been promoted to Project Executive within the division.

Jack Hagen has more than 42 years of experience in the construction industry, in both the public and private sectors.

He joined EW Howell’s Plainview, Long Island office in 2014 as Project Executive.

Prior to his career at EW Howell he was Director of Construction for the New York State University Construction Fund. Over the course of his career, Hagen has worked on projects for Iona College, Stony Brook University, Buffalo State College, Cornell University, and the New York City School Construction Authority.

He is a Licensed Professional Engineer in New York and holds a Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering from Valparaiso University and a Master of Professional Studies (Industrial & Labor Relations) from Cornell University.

Daniel Navarro joined EW Howell’s Plainview, Long Island office in 2004 as a Project Manager, and has nearly 15 years’ experience in the industry, with projects ranging from residence halls at Iona College and New York Institute of Technology, to the Hofstra University School of Medicine.
Navarro’s new role includes overseeing all aspects of a project, from general administration and liaising with owner/architect, and coordinating the efforts of all members of the project team. He holds a bachelor’s degree in construction management from SUNY Farmingdale, and is LEED AP certified professional.


Dyer Brown announced a number of executive promotions.

Heather Stanley. Elevated to Senior Manager, Building Services, Stanley will co-lead the Building Services studio with director Deniz Ferendeci. Since joining Dyer Brown in 2006, Heather has led ongoing relationships with varied high-profile clients, managing hundreds of thousands of square feet of properties.

Elizabeth Spatola. Now a Project Manager in the Workplace and Retail/Hospitality studios at Dyer Brown, Spatola is highly proficient in design and programming, a critical asset. Her role as project manager includes day-to-day management for projects and internal coordination.

Charisse Smith. Known for her work with corporate and workplace clients, Smith has been elevated to the role of a Project Manager for Corporate Services. Notably, she recently received received Boston Emerging Leader honors from the International Facility Management Association. (IFMA)

Maureen Lyne. With technical know-how and experience with workplace renovations, Lyne takes on the role of Assistant Project Manager, Building Services, to serve the firm’s growing clientele in building ownership and management.

In addition, the firm has strengthened its business development team, promoting Kelly Conover to Marketing Manager and her colleague Natalia Gilio to the role of Marketing Assistant.


Thornton Tomasetti announced the appointment of Stephanie Kelly tas chief human resources officer.
As Thornton Tomasetti implements growth plans over the next several years, Kelly will play a key role in advancing programs to meet the rapidly evolving needs of the firm’s multi-generational talent around the globe.

Kelly has more than 30 years of experience in human resourcess. She was previously vice president at Healthfirst. She also served as chief human resources officer at online marketing firm Yodle, Inc. and Founder and Managing Partner of Apt Talent Partner, Inc. Other employers include Cognizant Technology Solutions, Accenture, Bank of New York and Macy’s.

She holds a bachelor’s degree in psychology and sociology from Skidmore College in Saratoga Springs, N.Y.

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