Two states, 100 entries and 20 winners.
ENR New York is pleased to share the stories of its 2018 Top Young Professionals hailing from New Jersey and the Empire State. ENR’s regional publications invite people each year to nominate deserving, up-and-coming leaders under the age of 40 in construction and design. Contestants are judged on their industry experience, education, leadership skills and community service.
This year’s judges were Jennifer Marcy, a certified floodplain manager with Atkins who was selected as one of 2017’s ENR New York regional winners and also earned a spot on ENR’s inaugural national Top 20 Under 40; and Christopher Albero, president of Bravo Builders LLC.
This year’s honorees proved themselves to be innovative and eager to share their knowledge with others.Some, like Margo K. Cargill, CEO at Titanium Linx Consulting Inc., focus on helping the communities where they build, while others, like mechanical engineer William Curran of Gannett Fleming Inc., work to save the planet from the impacts of climate change. Many are committed to educating their colleagues or teaching the next generation how to develop careers in engineering, design and construction. The group handled with aplomb projects worth hundreds of millions—even billions—of dollars while helping clients save money and resources.
For the honorees, work is not just a job, but a mission to make the world better. Says architect Sandra Yencho, a project manager at Mace North America Ltd., “Architecture is less about iconic, untouchable design and more about activating space for people to pursue their best version of life.”
This year’s winners are eager to help others overcome the same hurdles that once challenged them, even if, says Dewberry engineer and land surveyor Lisa Peterson, “it did not dawn on me that I was a woman interested in a male-dominated profession until others pointed it out.”
ENR New York congratulates the class of 2018. Read on to find out more about these up-and-coming leaders.
ENR New York's 2017 Top Young Professionals
Exec works well beyond his mechanical engineering degree
37, Account Executive
“Any project, anywhere.” That sums up Adams’ career to date. His work in locations from New Jersey to Texas span new construction; renovations; complex mechanical, engineering and plumbing (MEP) system installations; and commissioning programs.
Locally, Adams has made a significant contribution to Newark’s downtown rebirth, managing the seven-story, Courtyard Marriott Hotel and the interior fit-out for 733,000 sq ft of office space at the Prudential Tower complex. Several of his projects have been honored with the Governor’s Occupational Safety and Health Award.
Adams is also committed to his community. Drawing on his experience with real estate and development processes, he works closely with Save Robbinsville Open Space, a nonprofit civic organization dedicated to preserving open space and conscientious development.
“I plan my personal commitments in advance, put them in my calendar and don’t change or move them. That’s the key.”
—DAVID ADAMS, Account Executive, Structure Tone
Margo K. Cargill
Chief exec specializes in projects that benefit the community
Titanium Linx Consulting Inc.
Cargill ensures the integrity of all projects with which she’s involved—whether for Titanium Linx or for the Long Island community. Her background as a manager at both Fortune 500 companies and startups gave her insight into what’s critical to launching and completing successful projects and how to control information, maintain interactions and manage crises.
As president of Uniondale’s Chamber of Commerce, Cargill makes sure a project’s social, economic and environmental impacts are highly scrutinized, especially because of Long Island’s limited availability of land and government constraints. The public-private partnership (P3) strategist tries to ensure that local residents benefit, too. For example, she works with developers of multimillion-dollar design-build projects to encourage participation of local suppliers, vendors and subcontractors.
The CEO endeavors for the greater good. Cargill advocates for infrastructure investment and improvements to spur economic growth and the revitalization of downtowns—such as the Long Island Rail Road third track project, of which she’s part of the final MTA recommended bid team.
“We must uplift all as we rise to ensure the foundation of our work is solid and sustainable.”
—MARGO K. CARGILL, CEO, Titanium Linx Consulting Inc.
Architect brings efficiency to health care projects
31, Project Architect
New York City
Cesario’s portfolio spans a wide variety of project types, but all are products of superior organization, efficient utilization of resources and interdisciplinary collaboration, from concept through construction.
She played an integral role in the reconstruction and expansion of New York University’s Langone Medical Center’s network of health care sites, some of which were devastated by Hurricane Sandy. She’s also contributed to 60,000 sq ft of revitalized space and three outpatient facilities.
Cesario’s zeal for helping junior staff members advance their careers is matched by her active advocacy for diversity and inclusivity. She’s a leader in the New York City chapters of AIA and the National Organization of Minority Architects, the Beverly Willis Architecture Foundation and Women in Architecture.
“(It’s) vital for my daughters to grow up seeing a mother who is fulfilled and passionate about all of the areas of her life so they can be encouraged to strive for the same.”
—DANEI CESARIO, Project Architect, Francis Cauffman
Team leader ensures special projects finish on time
30, Senior Project Manager, Team Leader, New York Region
Clune Construction Co.
New York City
In three years, Crowley has shaped Clune’s New York service division into a team of special project experts that’s now among the state’s most sought-after construction services organizations. Division revenue topped $27 million in 2017, thanks to an ever-expanding range of projects that have cemented a reputation for high quality and on-time delivery.
Crowley leads by example when it comes to continuing education, having completed advanced training in both project and contract management at New York University. He’s also making a difference in his adopted city through extensive volunteer work that includes the iMentor organization. In 2016, Crowley cycled 500 miles through southern Europe to raise money for the Make-a-Wish Foundation.
William C. Curran
Refrigeration leads to engineer’s work combating global warming
34, Senior Mechanical Engineer
Gannett Fleming Inc.
Curran’s experience in refrigeration design means he understands thermodynamics in a way many mechanical engineers don’t. This prior work shapes his approach to creating sustainable design for building systems and controls. Curran, who supervises two other engineers, now leads mechanical designs and energy audits for the New Jersey Dept. of the Treasury’s Division of Property Management and Construction. A notable accomplishment was recommending a $95-million investment for a client’s psychiatric center and two correctional facilities that included replacing lighting, optimizing hot water systems and improving temperature controls; it will pay the client back in 15 years in money saved.
Curran teaches his own small children the importance of reducing water and energy usage—reaffirming that engineers, kids and everyone else can contribute to a sustainable future.
“It’s one thing to select equipment, but another to look deeper at the situation and ensure the design is the best it can be.”
—WILLIAM C. CURRAN, Mechanical Engineer, Gannett Fleming Inc.
Project manager learns all aspects of the industry in record time
33, Assistant Project Manager
New York City
Faquih has worked on a wide range of projects, including the LaGuardia Airport redevelopment, the New York Transit Authority system, a shale gas processing plant, an airplane museum, new rail and bridge construction for Long Island Rail Road and affordable housing. She has also been an estimator, construction supervisor, building information modeling specialist and office manager.
She earned a master’s degree in construction management from Texas A&M University and is an accredited construction manager in training (CMIT). Faquih also teaches what she’s learned: After training in BIM, she presented at a conference for early adopters in aviation.
Faquih also has time to help those in need. She took on the education expenses for one young girl and volunteers for organizations that help build family homes.
Attorney manages the microdetails of NYC’s macro projects
36, Senior Counsel
New York City
Gellman has represented AECOM Tishman on some of the firm’s most iconic New York projects, including One Vanderbilt, the New York Public Library, the World Trade Center, Hudson Yards and Manhattan West. Despite the complexity and prominence of these and other projects, Gellman ensures that even the smallest risk and contractual issues are fully addressed.
Gellman strives to foster a better understanding of the law and the legal profession among her colleagues—and in her community. She is currently a mentor at Legal Outreach, an organization that uses intensive legal and educational programs to help urban youth develop skills and enhance their confidence as they prepare for college.
Construction legacy carves out her own niche in law
30, Assistant General Counsel
New York City
Construction is part of Klebanoff’s DNA, literally. Her parents met on a jobsite, and both of her grandfathers were in the industry. After college, she worked on multibillion-dollar projects, including the East Side Access bored tunnel in New York City and the Maryland State Highway Administration’s award-winning Intercounty Connector highway. During the latter, she noticed a marketplace gap: the need for qualified legal counsel with direct field construction experience. So she earned a degree from St. John’s University’s School of Law and eventually joined Vidaris, a building envelope, energy and code advisory consulting company.
Klebanoff drives Vidaris’ process for contract and project management, dispute avoidance and resolution, claims and risk management. She also supports the firm’s expert witness business unit. Her familiarity with construction organizations and her field experience give her a unique perspective—standing in the shoes of those she’s advising.
Ryan S. Lean
Engineer is dedicated to colleagues’ development
38, Associate Partner
Jaros Baum & Bolles
New York City
Lean knows that no matter how strong his co-workers are, they must keep developing their skills and smarts. He is one of the co-founders of “JB&B U,” the firm’s in-house training program. Lean spearheaded the program’s expansion from informal seminars to college-like classes, and some of the courses have even achieved professional development hours (PDH) accreditation.
Lean is also a leader in the professional community. He is vice president of the northeast chapter of the Building Commissioning Association and president of the group’s Building Commissioning Certification; he also manages to book speaking engagements every year, such as a presentation entitled “Preserving the World’s Art and Artifacts through Existing Building Commissioning” at CxEnergy last April.
Engineer who’s a designer at heart helps to improve commutes
33, Project Engineer, Rail Transportation
CHA Consulting Inc.
If your commute or leisure travel in Greater Albany is faster, easier or safer, you may have Moldoff to thank. She was involved in making improvements to the Albany-Rensselaer Amtrak track and station, the rail system’s ninth-busiest station in the U.S.—a project valued at $141 million. Her work eliminated nearly all station delays attributed to track capacity and provided a vital second dedicated main track.
Moldoff has taken dozens of specialized training classes on topics ranging from contractor safety and roadway worker protection to thermal forces, continuous welded rail and analysis and assessments of roundabouts. She is also a member of the American Railway Engineer and Maintenance-of-Way Association.
The engineer also applies her technical skills as an expert woodworker who designs furniture, signs and one-of-a-kind pieces.
Professor teaches big firms about growth and markets
39, Founding Director, Global Leaders in Construction Management
New York City
A unique combination of strategist, academic, innovator and entrepreneur, Odeh gives leading firms unique market insights and growth strategies. His analyses have spanned diverse topics like sustainable infrastructure, local steel and cement markets, and structuring consulting initiatives. He also serves on a World Economic Forum advisory committee conducting a multiyear study on the industry’s future.
As leader of Columbia University’s Global Leaders in Construction Management initiative, Odeh has created a multinational network of more than 100 alumni. The group evaluates construction management practices and methods and uses the results to improve practices nationwide.
Embraces construction tech for projects as far afield as Eurasia
Enovate Engineering, LLC
Less than 10 years after joining the Conti Group as a field engineer, O’Dwyer was tapped to lead an engineering affiliate company that is now Enovate Engineering LLC. She continues to combine her technical and management skills to advance complex projects, such as a $2-billion, 2,470-acre Black Sea port complex for the Republic of Georgia.
To ensure colleagues and clients benefit from the latest construction technologies, O’Dwyer created an R&D team charged with pursuing advancements in concepts such as smart IoT technology, drone services, virtual design and construction, and building information modeling. The effort has already paid off: Automated equipment for an infrastructure project resulted in material savings, increased accuracy and faster inspections.
Engineer and land surveyor breaks gender and age barriers
38, Department Manager, Transportation Services
Mount Laurel, N.J.
Peterson is the first woman to hold dual professional engineer and professional land surveyor licenses in southern New Jersey—earning her second degree and gaining the required field experience while working full time. She’s also the youngest female department manager at Dewberry. Armed with bachelor’s degrees in civil engineering and survey engineering technology, Peterson was involved in the award-winning widening of the New Jersey Turnpike Interchange 6-9. One current project is designing a bridge replacement over Crosswicks Creek in New Jersey.
Peterson’s management style is to share skills and encourage others’ growth. She’s a trustee on the Foundation Committee for the Burlington County Institute of Technology and mentored highway engineering students at Rowan University. She’s passionate about getting students interested in STEM subjects, giving back after mentors supported her ambitions while she was in elementary and high school.
“Frankly, it did not dawn on me that I was a woman interested in a male-dominated profession until others pointed it out.”
—LISA PETERSON, Department Manager, Transportation Services, Dewberry
Engineer’s global work ranges from embassies to stormwater
34, Senior Associate
Langan Engineering & Environmental Services
Roche’s entrepreneurial spirt has enabled him to cultivate new opportunities across numerous markets. After temporarily relocating to Washington, D.C., he managed embassy projects across three continents. As leader of a land development engineering group in the firm’s Lawrenceville office, he’s headed more than 50 projects for Rutgers University, The College of New Jersey and Rowan University.
He’s also a co-adjunct for Rutgers’ Civil Engineering Department. Roche’s success as an educator recently took him to Beijing, where he gave a presentation on low-impact stormwater management techniques in campus environments.
Engineer builds bridges to teaching and cooperation
34, Supervising Engineer
Among her many achievements, Steib is a “personal friend” of Roxy the Fox, the fictional character who promotes STEM by leading fellow animals to build a bridge to better berries—she’s a board member and adviser to the New Jersey Institute of Technology students who created the children’s book. She’s also co-chair for the mentoring program of the Greater New York chapter of Women in Transportation. The designer of complex bridges and structures is well qualified to mentor and teach. Notably, she managed a critical phase of the $480-million Wittpenn Bridge replacement in New Jersey.
Like Roxy, Steib also is a role model for cooperation: Her work has required extensive coordination with the Army Corps of Engineers, the U.S. Coast Guard and the New Jersey Dept. of Environmental Protection, among others.
Engineer builds seawall damaged by Sandy
30, Principal Engineer
An ability to tackle the intricate needs of new and existing transportation systems make Strafaci qualified to help the region’s local governments address complex infrastructure challenges. He’s currently leading T&M’s engineering services for the repair and reconstruction of nearly 10,000 ft of Superstorm Sandy-damaged seawall in New Jersey, from Sea Bright to Monmouth Beach. The $40-million project requires him to facilitate understanding among localities, state agencies and the federal government.
As vice president of education for T&M’s Toastmasters chapter, Strafaci mentors junior staff in building skills to excel in leadership roles and client interaction. He also works with the firm’s Project Lead the Way to support STEM education through classroom presentations and hosting students at jobsites.
Engineer crawls through tunnels to ensure splendid renovations
28, Senior Design Engineer
Leslie E. Robertson Associates
New York City
Tretiakova’s passion for historic preservation has been instrumental in raising LERA’s profile in the market for renovation and conservation services. To facilitate the adaptive reuse of a former New York City women’s prison into a community center, Tretiakova led survey and structural assessments of deteriorating spaces and developed strategies to return them to their original splendor. Crawling through more than 500 ft of an underground service hatchway to examine and photograph building foundations, she found new access points and an abandoned brick storage area.
Tretiakova is a leader in multiple industry organizations, including the Structural Engineers Association of New York and Professional Women in Construction. And thanks partly to her, LERA has won several top awards in the Canstruction New York charitable design competition.
Joeann E. Walker
Attorney helps construction companies and in-need individuals
Zetlin & De Chiara LLP
New York City
Joeann Walker works with design professionals and contractors on complex litigation matters including defects, delays and professional malpractice. She has also become a resource for clients seeking certification as minority- or women-owned business enterprises.
Walker also provides pro bono assistance to clients ranging from a refugee fleeing persecution in Guyana to an individual making racial profiling claims against law enforcement. She also offers pro bono corporate help to the Queens Foundation for Architecture Inc., a nonprofit that advances learning and understanding of architecture among students from kindergarten to 12th grade.
Driving change globally and in-house
New York City
Ward’s engineering work has redefined project sites and neighborhoods worldwide—from Brooklyn Navy Yard to Basrah, Iraq. Though he holds a master’s degree in civil engineering, he still seeks advice from peers and mentors, then guides his team on complex projects. These include Lighthouse Point, a complete renovation of Staten Island’s St. George neighborhood; the Rockefeller University expansion; and Basrah Sports City, a 360-acre complex of stadiums.
Ward has also changed the way business gets done at his firm. He’s part of a team that was tasked with streamlining Langan’s project identification and tracking system, helping to save colleagues hours of searching for information.
Architect makes clients’ employees want to go to work
38, Senior Project Manager
Mace North America Ltd.
New York City
In an age when open offices reign but can translate into feedlot-like conditions, Yencho’s space designs have had big impacts: Clients worldwide have experienced increases in workplace performance, employee retention and profitability as well as reductions in real estate expenses. Since recently joining Mace, she’s already been selected for the 2018 Mace International Women of the Future Program and is leading the firm’s new service: the incorporation of workplace strategy consultancy.
Yencho knows that beauty and design are important. For four years, she helped organize Junior League members and other volunteers to improve 115 acres of New York City parks for underserved communities.
“Architecture is less about iconic, untouchable design and more about activating space for people to pursue their best version of life.”
—SANDRA YENCHO, Senior Project Manager, Mace North America Ltd.