In our fast-paced world, it is important to take the time to step back and honor those who have helped shape and advance diversity and equal opportunities in our industry. We will be celebrating the following honorees at the 13th Annual Awards Dinner.
James “Jimmy” Jones
President and Founder, Born This Way Foundation
Cynthia Bissett Germanotta is President and Co-founder of Born This Way Foundation, which was launched alongside her daughter, Stefani (Lady Gaga), in 2012 with the passionate intent to “empower youth” and “inspire kindness and bravery.” Under her leadership, Born This Way Foundation has established connections with over 150,000 young people and partners, conducted cutting edge research and been the recipient of numerous honors, including the Family Online Safety Institute’s award for Outstanding Achievement in 2012,the National Association of School Psychologists Special Friend to Children Award for 2013, and the Anti-Defamation League’s 2015 No Place for HateMaking a Difference Award. She was most recently honored by Dancing Classrooms and Greater Boston PFLAG for her advocacy for youth in the mental health space. Germanotta is a former telecommunications executive whose career in sales & management spanned twenty-five years.
Vice President, Community & Citizenship, Turner Construction Company
As Turner’s Vice President of Community & Citizenship, Stephanie’s core responsibility is to implement programming that will assist in the development of New York’s construction Minority/Women Business Enterprise community that will better position them for opportunity and growth. Additionally, Stephanie is responsible for strategic planning to develop the pipeline of students that enter the STEM fields of study and ultimately become an integral part of the construction and engineering industry.
To achieve this, Stephanie leads almost 1,000 staff members by navigating where they can be most effective with the New York landscape to support Turner’s commitment to the community. Some of the initiatives to develop the pipeline of students where Stephanie has most effectively engaged her staff are Turner’s YouthForce 2020 Educational Program K-12, Young Women on the Horizon, Adopt A school and YF Scholarship programs. Additionally, Stephanie has created various Corporate Educational Partnerships inclusive of ACE, Eagle Academy Foundation, the Turner+Pratt Collaboration and numerous other initiatives. Knowing the importance of keeping employees active in the communities where Turner builds Operation Giveback volunteerism program was created under her tutelage. The program serves over 1,000 employees which embodies altruism and all employees participate in a wide variety of unified, outreach events.
Additionally, Stephanie engages the Turner subject matter experts to provide training to the MWBE community as a part of Turner’s nationally renowned Turner School of Construction Management (TSCM). For over 20 years, Stephanie has been instrumental in organizing and leading the effort to provide training to New York’s MWBE community through its TSCM with core subject areas such as: Estimating & Bidding, Marketing, Scheduling, Project Management, Safety, Field Operations, Project Financing, Accounting and others.
With over 20 years at Turner Construction Company, Stephanie V. Burns has been a mentor, an advocate and most importantly a role model for many young women and encouraging them to seek positions in the construction industry. That passion and commitment led Stephanie to start and lead Turner’s “Mark Your Mark” Employee Resource Group that focuses on recruiting, retention and the professional development of women within the company.
Stephanie represents Turner at all minority and small business conferences addressing issues and concerns relating to contract procurement opportunities and workforce participation. Through her efforts Turners awards over 20% of its contract work annually to minority and women-owned businesses. She is an active member of the BTEA MWBE Leadership Council, Women’s Builders Council, Vice Chair, YMCA Board Member and New York Women Chamber of Commerce, Board Member. Stephanie has received numerous awards and honors for her work in the industry.
Founder and Co-Owner, Citnalta Construction Corp.
Larry Sitbon, together with his former partner Nick Gargiulo founded Citnalta Construction Corp. in 1974. Today, together with his partner, Michael Gargiulo, Larry continues to lead Citnalta in its' efforts to deliver high quality projects and performance on public agency projects. Larry's commitment to honesty, integrity and inclusion in the construction industry together with his emphasis on both employee and client satisfaction make him an inspirational leader.
Since the beginning, Larry has been committed to mentoring and fostering diversity in the construction industry. Larry regularly shares his experience on "How to be a Prime Contractor" with the MTA's mentor program, always encouraging the participants to reach out to him, annually visits his intermediate school in Queens to speak with and motivate the students on Career Day and consistently reaches out to the next generation.
Vice Chancellor for Facilities Planning, Construction and Management, The City University of New York
Since 2007, Judith Bergtraum has been directly involved with the management of CUNY’s multibillion dollar capital program,” said Chancellor James B. Milliken, who recommended the appointment of Bergtraum to the Board. “She has a firm grasp of both the intricacies and the creative aspects of administering a comprehensive construction and renovation program of importance to every campus.”
Bergtraum has served as deputy to Vice Chancellor Iris Weinshall, who is leaving to become the chief operating officer of the New York Public Library. She also served as Weinshall’s first deputy commissioner at the New York City Department of Transportation and, before that, as deputy commissioner, performance and management accountability. As first deputy, Bergtraum managed 4,500 staffers and a $450 million expense and $1.5 billion capital budget.
She held management posts with the city’s Department of Citywide Administrative Services: deputy commissioner, Division of Municipal Supply Services; first assistant commissioner, Division of Municipal Supply Services; and assistant commissioner, strategic planning. In the Mayor’s Office of Operations, she was assistant director, project management and productivity; and assistant director, citywide services.
She also was deeply involved with the city’s public education system, starting as an elementary and special education teacher before moving into administrative posts in special education with the former Board of Education. She also was an elected member of Community School Board 25 in Queens and president of Community Education Council District 25. She has also served on the Mayor’s Panel for Education Policy and is a member of the Board of Trustees of the Queens Library.
Her parents were Murry Bergtraum, a well-regarded president of the New York City Board of Education, and Edith Katz Bergtraum, a public school teacher and longtime local school board member.
Among the new University buildings that have risen during Bergtraum’s tenure at the Office of Facilities, Planning and Construction Management are: Fiterman Hall at Borough of Manhattan Community College, to replace a building destroyed on 9/11; the new library and academic building at Bronx Community College; and the Bernard and Anne Spitzer School of Architecture at City College. Major renovations have taken place across the University, particularly in science facilities such as Powdermaker Hall at Queens College. The University launched a major maintenance campaign to keep buildings watertight and in good condition.
Bergtraum has a bachelor’s degree from the State University of New York at Cortland, a master’s in special education from Boston University and a JD degree from Brooklyn Law School.
Maggie Hardy Magerko
President, 84 Lumber Company
Serving as owner and president of the 84 Lumber Company since 1992, Maggie Hardy Magerko oversees day-to-day operations of 84 Lumber and its more than 250 stores, component manufacturing plants, custom door shops, custom millwork shops, and engineered wood product (EWP) centers nationwide.
Maggie’s energetic approach and aggressive goals have been critical success factors in 84 Lumber’s operation and growth. Under her leadership, 84 Lumber refocused concentration on its original niche – the professional market – helping the company top $1 billion in sales for the first time in 1994 and $2 billion in 2004.
A $2.86 billion company in 2016, Maggie has made a number of strategic moves for 84 Lumber, navigating through difficult times to strengthen the company’s position as the leader in professional contractor sales. She strikes a delicate balance between maintaining 84 Lumber’s traditional approach to doing business, and adapting to meet the ever-changing needs of the customer.
Under Maggie’s leadership, 84 Lumber is a nationally certified Women’s Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC) company and was named on Forbes’ 2016 List of America’s 250 Best Mid-Size Employers.
Managing Director, Real Estate & Facilities, Corporate Real Estate Division, American Airlines
Palmina is the Managing Director of Real Estate & Facilities for American Airlines, Corporate Real Estate division and is responsible for managing major airport capital improvement projects in Dallas, the Northeast and Central Regions of the U.S. She is an accomplished leader with over 15 years’ experience in design, construction, construction management, and program management for both private and public sectors of the aviation and construction industries. Ms. Whelan’s dedication to construction and the build environment is evident in her involvement with distinct industry associations. She was honored at the Top Women in Business Awards & Networking Event as one of the “Top Influential Women in Business" in the Borough of Queens, NY; Certificate of Achievement – U.S. House of Representatives, Citation of Honor - Office of the President, Borough of Queens; City Council Citation – The Council of the City of New York.
Veronique "Ronnie" Hakim
Interim Executive Director, Metropolitan Transportation Authority
Ms. Veronique Hakim, also known as Ronnie is the Interim Executive Director of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA). Prior to being named Interim Executive Director, Ms. Hakim served as President of MTA New York City Transit. She also served as Executive Vice President and General Counsel for Capital Construction at MTA Capital Construction, where she provided senior management with policy and legal advice on numerous large-scale projects, including the Second Avenue Subway, the LIRR East Side Access Project, and the No. 7 Subway Extension Project. Ms. Hakim led the New Jersey Turnpike Authority (NJTA) for nearly four years, and has over 27 years of experience in the transportation industry.
President, MTA Capital Construction
Dr. Michael Horodniceanu has served as President of MTA Capital Construction Company since 2008, overseeing some of the largest transportation projects in the country, including the Second Avenue Subway, East Side Access, and 7 train station on West 34th Street. Prior to the MTA, Dr. Horodniceanu was CEO of The Urbitran Group, where he extended the firm’s portfolio beyond its core expertise of transportation planning, into a premier architectural, engineering, planning and construction management services firm.
President, Holt Construction Corporation
Mr. Asaro is the President of Holt Construction Corporation and is responsible for leading Holt in the Construction Industry. Additionally, he is responsible for establishing and maintaining the high level and hands-on service Holt offers our clients. Through his leadership the Holt team culture is one of flexibility, out of the box thinking and thoroughly engaged.
Mr. Asaro has over two decades of experience in construction management and general construction which includes, commercial fit-outs, new buildings, mixed use facilities, airport facilities for all major airlines, dormitories, garages, food service facilities, restaurants and Class A airport lounges. He has extensive experience in projects requiring critical advance planning, staging, logistics and maintenance of uninterrupted ongoing daily operations.
President & Chief Operating Officer, AECOM Tishman
Mr. Jay Badame serves as Regional President of Tishman Construction Corporation of New York, Regional President of Tishman Construction Corporation of New Jersey, Regional President of Tishman Construction Corporation of Pennsylvania, Chief Operating Officer of Tishman Construction Corporation of New York, Chief Operating Officer of Tishman Construction Corporation of New Jersey, and Chief Operating Officer of Tishman Construction Corporation of Pennsylvania at Tishman Construction Corporation. Mr. Badame is responsible for projects, operations, administration, personnel, and business development in those regions. He served as Executive Vice President at Tishman Construction Corporation and also served as Chief Operating Officer at Tishman Construction Corporation of New York. Mr. Badame served as the Chief Operating Officer for Eastern Region at Tishman Construction Corporation since May 2004.
Kevin M. Barrett
Executive Vice President, Hunter Roberts Construction Group, LLC.
As Executive Vice President and General Manager, Kevin Barrett will ensure that the efforts and actions of Hunter Roberts’ staff are aligned with and are representing the Client’s best interests and those of the overall project. He will guide and prepare the team to thoughtfully monitor the budget, schedule, and safety considerations as well as focus on the quality of construction. Kevin is responsible for the successful execution and completion of all construction projects in New York City. He is a trained engineer with over 30 years of experience in the construction industry, where he is well known for his expertise as a builder. Kevin has led pre-construction services for many Hunter Roberts projects, and has managed budgeting, scheduling, value engineering and constructability reviews. He has years of close relationships with trade contractors and has successfully guided Hunter Roberts project teams during the procurement phase. In addition, Kevin has led the construction of many high profile and extremely complex construction projects.
Pat A. Di Filippo
Executive Vice President, Turner Construction Company
Pat Di Filippo is an executive vice president of Turner Construction Company with responsibility for Turner’s offices in New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Connecticut and the New England states. Additionally, Pat is responsible for managing Turner's partial ownership of E.E. Cruz, a New York City based heavy construction company. Pat began his career with Turner in New York in 1984 and progressed through a variety of assignments and in 1998 he was promoted to vice president. In 2003, Pat was promoted to senior vice president with responsibility for Texas, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Arkansas and Louisiana. In 2005, Pat returned to New York as executive vice president of Turner’s New York, New York Interiors, Albany and New Jersey operations.
David T. Gockel, PE, PP, LEED, AP
David T. Gockel is the President /CEO of Langan, a premier consulting firm with 23 offices throughout the United States and seven international offices. Langan provides a unique, integrated mix of geotechnical, environmental, and site/civil engineering services, as well as traffic, natural resource/permitting, 3D laser scanning/modeling, and landscape architecture services to private developers, corporate clients, energy companies, healthcare and educational institutions, and a variety of public agencies. With the advent of domestic shale gas and shale oil production, Gockel positioned the firm through strategic expansions into Texas, West Virginia, and Ohio. Under Gockel’s leadership, Langan quadrupled in size from 200 people to 1,000 since 2003.
In 2015, Gockel directed the formation of the Women@Langan, a highly regarded firm-wide program that promotes an atmosphere of mentorship and support to empower the firm’s women to achieve career and personal success.
Louis C. Grassi, CPA, CFE
Chief Executive Officer, Grassi & Co.
Louis C. Grassi, CPA, CFE is the Chief Executive Officer, Managing Partner, and driving force behind the firm’s growth. He began his career in 1977 and has extensive experience in tax, accounting and consulting. Lou takes a proactive role with clients, performing such value-added services as profit-enhancement studies, operational reviews, performance benchmarking, forensic accounting, cost analysis, incentive compensation programs, estate and succession planning, corporate restructuring, and corporate retreat facilitation. Lou’s counsel has proven instrumental to the success of many companies in a variety of industries.
Lou currently serves as Chair of Moore Stephens North America, part of an international association of more than 300 independent accounting and consulting firms. As a nationally recognized expert, Lou is also frequently called upon as a lecturer and business advisor for companies and industry trade organizations. He has authored numerous local and national articles, also serving as a contributing editor to the Corporate Controller’s Manual and was the Editor of the Journal of Construction Accounting & Taxation. Lou was also an adjunct professor at Columbia University teaching a graduate level course in finance and accounting.
Executive Vice President, Columbia University Facilities and Operations
David Greenberg is the Executive Vice President for University Facilities and Operations, where he leads a team responsible for new building design and construction, campus public safety, campus services for students, building and grounds maintenance for academic and administrative departments, oversight of Manhattanville construction and the University's residential portfolio. With over 1,900 employees, Facilities and Operations manages more than 240 buildings and 15 million gross square feet and has an operating and capital budget in excess of $800 million per year.
Greenberg, formerly vice president of finance and administration and chief administrative officer at Columbia Facilities, has worked at the University since 2006.
Before coming to Columbia, Greenberg worked as associate vice president and chief financial officer at the Georgetown University Law Center and served in several senior posts in New York City government, including the Department of Citywide Administrative Services and the Office of Management and Budget.
Greenberg holds a bachelor's degree from the University of Rochester; a master's of public administration from the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs at Syracuse University; and a master's of Construction Administration from Columbia University.
William J. Gilbane, Jr.
Vice chairman , Gilbane Building Company
William J. Gilbane, Jr. is vice chairman of Gilbane Building Company and vice president of Gilbane Inc. and leads the company’s focus on exceeding client expectations and achieving operational excellence. He also serves as principal on major projects and champions Gilbane’s diversity efforts and Lean construction initiatives. Bill has served in numerous roles and leadership capacities during his 46-year tenure and currently has the executive responsibility for overseeing Gilbane’s Florida operations. As president and COO, he was a driving force behind the company’s international growth plans resulting in the expansion of operations in more than 50 offices worldwide. Bill provided leadership and direction to implement the company’s strategic plans allowing the firm to develop the next generation of leaders that have contributed to the organization’s continued growth.
President & CEO, Skanska USA Building
Richard Kennedy leads Skanska USA Building’s senior management team and its more than 3,200 construction professionals nationwide to deliver world-class construction services within the building sector across the United States.
As USA Building’s leader, Richard is committed to collaborating with customers and to promoting an ethical, transparent and inclusive culture that allows all USA Building employees to do what they do best in service of Skanska’s customers, each and every day.
A 21-year veteran of the construction industry, Richard joined Skanska in 2004 as the company’s General Counsel and in that role led the development of the legal and risk management functions. He serves as one of the company’s Ethics Champions and is a strong supporter of the Skanska Women’s Network and the Skanska Mentoring Program, both of which are committed to developing tomorrow’s talent from across the company.
In addition to his day-to-day operational duties, Richard is an active construction industry participant and currently serves as Co-Chair for the Building Trades Employers’ Association of New York City (BTEA), Director of the New York Building Contractors Association and Board Member of the New York ACE Mentor Program. He has been the recipient of various industry awards and devotes his time to various charitable organizations.
Milo E. Riverso, Ph.D., P.E., CCM
President & Chief Executive Officer, STV Group, Inc.
Milo E. Riverso, Ph.D., P.E., CCM, is president and chief executive officer of STV Group, Inc. He has more than 30 years of experience in the fields of program management, construction management and general construction. Mr. Riverso joined STV in 2005 as senior vice president of STV Construction Inc. and was subsequently named an executive vice president of STV and director and chief operating officer of the firm's national Construction Management Division. Under his leadership, STV's Construction Management practice doubled in size, expanded its range of services and took on larger projects. He was appointed president of STV Group, Inc. in February 2009 and chief executive officer in September 2011. He was elected to the Board Of Directors in 2011.
Mr. Riverso earned his bachelor's degree in Civil Engineering from Manhattan College, and his master's and doctorate degrees from Purdue University. He is an executive member of the Society of American Military Engineers, Vice Chairman of the New York Building Congress, Chair of the Manhattan College Mentoring Program Board, Chairman of the Board of the New York Chapter of the ACE Mentor Program, and Chairman of the Construction Management Association of America.
Managing Partner, Anchin, Block & Anchin
Frank A. Schettino, CPA, is the Managing Partner at Anchin, Block & Anchin LLP and a member of the Firm’s Executive Committee. Frank began at Anchin in 1979 and has spent his entire professional career at the Firm. In 2000, Frank was selected to the Executive Committee and in 2007, Frank was named Managing Partner. Since his elevation to the management team, Anchin has tripled in size and significantly expanded its reach and capabilities.
Frank has spent more than three decades fulfilling the accounting, business, and financial needs of closely held businesses. His clients range from aggressively growing companies to well-established entrepreneurs. Frank assists clients in matters of mergers and acquisitions, sales of companies, and securing financing. He works face-to-face with clients and provides business advice on cash flow management, budgeting for business expansion, and lines of business analysis.
Under Frank’s direction, Anchin launched the CARE Committee, promoting employees to be good corporate citizens by volunteering in the community and developed Anchin Women’s Initiative Network (AWIN), which helps our female professionals advance their careers by offering additional mentoring, business development training and networking.
Frank is a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) and the New York State Society of Certified Public Accountants (NYSSCPA). He is also on the Executive Board of the Westchester County Association and serves on the board of ArtsWestchester.
Along with being honored as a supporter of Women Builders Council’s “WeforShe,” Frank is also being recognized by the Big Brothers/Big Sisters Bankers and Accountants Division at their Awards Dinner in 2017.