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
1940 - 2016

TDX Construction

WBC is honored to celebrate the life and achievements of James  “Jimmy” Jones at our 13th Annual Champion Awards Dinner.

Jimmy Jones was admired for his “hands-on” approach to construction. As a co-founder of TDX Construction Corporation, he built the organization into one of the most accomplished firms in New York City. Above all, he was a generous and committed leader in the industry who was well-respected and admired by his friends, colleagues and the building industry as a whole.

In addition to managing more than $5 billion in public and private construction projects, TDX has been mentoring MWBE firms for more than 20 years. Jimmy once said, “Mentoring is not an add-on at TDX.  It drives our building approach.”  WBC is pleased to honor Jimmy’s commitment to mentorship and to increasing diversity and the role of women in the construction industry.


     Accepted By

Jimmy R. Jones
TDX Construction


Joe Fitzpatrick
TDX Construction

Deborah Bradley
Founder & President
Deborah Bradley Construction & Management Services Inc.

Cynthia Germanotta

President and Founder, Born This Way Foundation

Cynthia Germanotta is the Co-founder and President of Born This Way Foundation, a non-profit founded with the goal of creating a kinder and braver world. Through the foundation, Germanotta has worked to create a world where young women are inspired to pursue career paths, not usual to girls and women. The Born This Way Foundation addresses self-confidence, well-being, anti-bullying, mentoring and career development, all of which will further encourage young women to pursue careers in the Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics (STEAM) education and career paths.

Stephanie Burns

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.



Renee Sacks, Ph.D.
Executive Director
Women Builders Council

Larry Sitbon

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.



Michael J. Garner, MBA
Chief Diversity Officer
Transportation Authority


Judith Bergtraum

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.



William Thompson
City University of New York


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.



Rodneyse Bichotte
Assembly District 42


Palmina Whelan

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.



Alex Perotti
Project Executive
Holt Construction


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.



Thomas F. Prendergast
Executive Vice President and Chief Strategic Officer
STV Group Inc.


Michael Horodniceanu

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.





Alphonso B. David

Counsel to the Governor, Office of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo

Alphonso B. David currently services as the counsel to Governor Andrew Cuomo. As counsel, David’s role includes all significant policy deliberations within the executive department –– in evaluating proposed legislation, implementing existing law, and formulating the state’s posture in litigation, either as plaintiff or defendant.

Prior to being appointed as counsel, Alphonso B. David was Deputy Secretary for Civil Rights, the first position of its kind in the state, in January 2011. In this role, he is responsible for a full range of legal, policy, legislative and operational matters affecting civil rights and labor state-wide.

Prior to joining the Governor's Office, David served as Special Deputy Attorney General for Civil Rights for the Office of the New York State Attorney General, where he supervised Assistant Attorneys General and managed strategic planning, case development, and policy analysis. He also served previously as Deputy Commissioner and Special Counselor at the New York State Division of Human Rights, a litigation associate at the law firm Blank Rome LLP, and a staff attorney at the Lambda Legal Defense and Educational Fund.

At Lambda, David prosecuted and defended precedent-setting civil rights cases across the country affecting lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender individuals and those living with HIV including marriage, parenting rights, discrimination in schools and access to health care. He is also an Adjunct Professor of Law at Cardozo Law School and Fordham University Law School, where he teaches ''Constitutional Law: Sexuality and the Law.'' David is a graduate of the University of Maryland and Temple University School of Law and served as a judicial clerk to the Honorable Clifford Scott Green in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania.

  WeforShe Honorees:

Chris Asaro

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.

He had strong relationships with trade contractors and has always been a collaborative thinker. He is known for representing the best interest of Holt’s client and the overall project. He has extensive experience in projects requiring critical advance planning, staging, logistics and maintenance of uninterrupted ongoing daily operations. He had strong relationships with trade contractors and has always been a collaborative thinker. He is known for representing the best interest of Holt’s client and the overall project.

Jay Badame

President & Chief Operating Officer, Tishman, an AECOM Company

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.

He has more than 30 years of diversified construction industry experience, including 19 years with Tishman Construction Corporation. He joined Tishman Construction Corporation in 1985 as a Project Engineer on the South Street Seaport project in Manhattan. He quickly rose through the ranks of the Tishman Construction Corporation organization by continuously demonstrating a thorough understanding of how to manage work effectively on a wide range of projects. In 1993, Mr. Badame was put in charge of Tishman Construction Corporation's New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Delaware operations. In this role, Mr. Badame led Tishman Construction Corporation's efforts on several major, multi-million-dollar projects, such as the JFK International Airport Redevelopment Program, the Continental Airlines Global Gateway Program at Newark Liberty International Airport, Rutgers University RUNet Program, New Jersey Transit's Hoboken Terminal and Rail Yard Complex Redevelopment, the FBI headquarters in Newark, the new Atlantic City Convention Center, and the Borgata Hotel, Casino & Spa in Atlantic City. In 2002, he oversaw the opening of Tishman Construction Corporation's regional office in Philadelphia. Mr. Badame holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Civil Engineering with a structural major from Pennsylvania State University.

David T. Gockel, PE, PP, LEED, AP

President/CEO, Langan

With more than 25 years of experience on major real estate developments here and abroad, Gockel specializes in complex urban and brownfield redevelopment projects, community planning and redevelopment, stadium/arena development, and waterfront restoration.

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 has received a number of industry accolades, including being named one of the “Managing Partner Elite” by Accounting Today Magazine. His CPA peers also voted him to be among the “Most Admired Peers,” as awarded by INSIDE Public Accounting (IPA). Lou was also recognized as an “Outstanding CEO” by a major NY publication and was recently recognized as one of the “Kings of Long Island” by Queens Courier. Lou’s leadership, drive for success, and dedication to providing clients with high quality services has grown Grassi & Co. from a zero base firm to being ranked among the Top 77th largest Firms in the country by Accounting Today, among the top 17 Largest Firms in the New York area by Crain’s New York Business and the 70th largest and one of the 100 Fastest Growing Firms by INSIDE Public Accounting. IPA has also recognized Grassi & Co. as a “Best of the Best Firms” for nine consecutive years. The firm was also recognized by Crain’s New York Business as one the 50 Fastest Growing Businesses in New York City. Grassi & Co. was ranked among the top 40 fastest growing companies in the New York Metropolitan Area. Grassi & Co. has also been ranked as the Best Place to Work by several publications.

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.

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.

Bill has also had the executive responsibility for developing and fostering employee development through Gilbane University, an immersive training platform recognized by Training Magazine as one of the top learning organizations in the construction industry. An active member of the Incident & Injury Free CEO Forum, Bill is a champion of Gilbane Cares, a program that encapsulates the company’s values and steadfast commitment to safety. He is a member of the Irish Famine Memorial Committee and the President’s Roundtable for the Rochester Institute of Technology and serves on the board for the Rhode Island Reds Heritage Society. Bill holds a bachelor’s degree in Political Science from Brown University.

Steve McInnis

President, New York City District Council of Carpenters

Stephen McInnis is a third-generation Carpenter, twenty-two year Union Member, and President of the New York City District Council of Carpenters. As President, Stephen oversees various campaigns and operations of the Union, and Chairs both the Executive Committee and Delegate Body.

Born in the Bronx and raised in Valley Stream, NY, he began his career in Local 608, now Local 157, where he was elected as a Delegate to both the District Council and the UBC General Convention. In 1998 he became the first Political Director of the District Council, a role he used to raise the profile of the Union, work on a variety of successful initiatives, and help pass a number of pieces of pro-worker State legislation.

One of his proudest accomplishments was being an integral part of the campaign for an agency-wide Project Labor Agreement (PLA) for the School Construction Authority in 2005. This success was followed by agency wide PLA’s for all Mayoral agencies in 2009, for the State Dormitory Authority in 2011, and most recently the New York City Housing Authority in 2014. These agreements will ensure that thousands of Union construction workers can be guaranteed work opportunities on billions of dollars of public projects.

Recently re-elected President in December 2014 Stephen serves on a number of Boards within the city, including the Executive Board of the New York City Building Trades, the Executive Board of the New York State Democratic Party, the New York City Carpenter Labor Management Corporation, and on the Board of Trustees of the New York City Carpenters Benefit Funds.

Stephen firmly believes that the hard-working Members of the Union deserve quality healthcare, middle class wages, and dignity in retirement through a defined benefit pension, and treats his position not as a job, but as a cause. Stephen lives in Floral Park, NY with his wife of fourteen years Peggy and his two daughters Kathleen and Molly.

Frank Schettino

Managing Partner, Anchin, Block & Anchin

Frank Schettino, CPA, is the Managing Partner at Anchin and a member of the Firm’s Executive Committee. Frank has worked for more than 30 years 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.

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.

Please join us in celebrating these outstanding individuals at the dinner on May 16, 2017 at Guastavino's