About

The Construction Exchange of Buffalo & WNY is a not-for-profit organization that has served the local construction industry since 1981.

Our mission is to enhance the growth and prosperity of member companies by providing information, education, and communication for the construction industry. As the largest construction association in Western New York, Construction Exchange is an influential advocate and steward for the promotion and advancement of our industry.

If you are looking for information on bidding and planning stage residential, commercial, industrial, and municipal construction projects, or low-cost safety training and consulting, construction education, industry events, a competitive workers’ compensation plan, or to save money on the things you use every day, you have come to the right place – the Construction Exchange of Buffalo & WNY.

Become a Member

Our Team

...

Joe Benedict

Executive Director

Joe joined the Construction Exchange in November 2009. He is responsible for day-to-day operations and working with the staff to ensure the association lives up to its mission of providing information, advocacy, education, and communication for the construction industry.

...

Darcy Baroudi

Finance Manager

Darcy joined the Construction Exchange in May 2013. Her position as finance manager includes responsibilities for maintaining the financial records for the Construction Exchange and all of its affiliations. She is also a notary public.

...

Cyndie Buske

Office Assistant

Cyndie joined the staff of the Construction Exchange in December of 2006. Her duties include customer service, safety training registration as well as assisting in all office-related activities.

...

AmyRae Nessa

Director of Sales & Membership

AmyRae is the newest team member to the Construction Exchange, she joined the team in July 2022. She is responsible for recruiting new members and improving member engagement and retainment. Her daily activities include meeting with existing and potential members, overseeing marketing and events, crafting member/industry communications and promoting member benefits and service.

...

Melissa Kowalczyk

Plan Room Coordinator

Melissa joined the Construction Exchange in 2019 and is responsible for maintaining plans and bid documents; including pertinent information on projects such as bid date, valuation, and addendum. Melissa’s daily activities include interfacing with architects, engineers, general contractors, municipalities, sub-contractors, and construction managers.

...

Kristie Michael

Construction Relationship & Plan Room Manager

Kristie joined the Construction Exchange in May 2017. She oversees the plan room and is responsible for building and maintaining relationships with the owners, architects, and contractors that use the Construction Exchange to distribute project documents and information.

...

Jennifer Dougherty

Office Assistant

Jennifer joined the Construction Exchange in 2018. She is the administrative assistant for the Buffalo Niagara Builders’ Association and the Home Improvement Council. Her responsibilities include meeting preparation with timely task follow-through after. She also assists in organizing events and oversees membership reports and the status of members. She is also a notary public.

...

Jennifer Starr

Online Plan Room Tech

Jen joined the Construction Exchange in 2005. Her duties include maintaining the Online Plan Room and assisting in all office-related functions as required.

...

Jennifer Van Dusen

Workforce & Education Director

Jenn started with the Construction Exchange in 2021. Jenn is responsible for planning and managing the Construction University classes, developing and growing the CONEX Careers App, and educating the youth and public on careers within the construction industry.

...

Julie Rayner

Executive Assistant

Julie Joined The Construction Exchange in October of 2021. Her position as Executive Assistant includes responsibilities of being Secretary to the Executive Director and assisting several other associations by organizing meetings and planning their major events. Julie also helps with any miscellaneous office needs.

Board of Governors

Chairwoman - Nicole Savage

NW Contracting

Vice Chairman - Dan Sarzynski

Rupp Baase Pfalzgraf Cunningham

Secretary/Treasurer - Doug Elia

Montante Construction

Executive Director - Joe Benedict

Construction Exchange

Omar Abdallah

DV Brown and Associates

Michelle Ashby

Tipping Point Communications

Kevin Biddle

Mader Construction

Lynne Bona

Iroquois Bar

Joseph Brennan

Northwest Bank

Brad Buyers

County Line Stone

Mercedes Calway

RP Oak Hill Building Company

Lauren Chmielowiec

Upstate Rebar/Upstate Steel

George Churakos

Mark Cerrone, Inc.

Rob Coppola

Lawley Insurance

Kirk Fitscher

Gilbane Building Company

Carley Hill

CaHill Resources

Susanne Kelley

Sienna Environmental Technologies

Vince Kirsch

Arc Building Partners

Joe Mannarino

Buffalo Construction Consultants

Dave Muskopf

MLP Plumbing & Mechanical

Jim Panepinto

Pinto Construction

Luis Rodriguez

Rodriguez Construction Group

Peter Romano

Romano Associates

Sal Sciandra

Frey Electric

Committees

Committee

Investment Committee

Mission

The Investment Committee reports to the Finance Committee and oversees the Construction Exchange and Construction Industry Education Foundation investment accounts.

Meeting Frequency

As needed

Members

  • (Chair) Scott Hoffman – Hoffman Hanafin
  • Kelly Besaw – Chiampou, Travis, Besaw & Kershner
  • Lauren Chmielowiec – Upstate Steel/Rebar
  • Mark Collard – Landmark Wealth Advisors
  • Jim Logan – Construction Industry Education Foundation
Committee

Annual Outing Committee

Mission

Plan Annual Outing and assist staff the day of.

Meeting Frequency

2 to 3 times a year as needed

Members

  • (Chair) Jason Colby – Admar
  • David Allan – Trinity Construction Management
  • Carolyn Batt – Hurwitz Fine
  • Tom Christopher – Admar
  • Jack Dumpert – Bondedge
  • Jim Ginnane – Planned Futures Financial
  • Dave Shanley – Retired
  • Pat Sullivan – Retired
  • Michael Welch – Evans Bank
Committee

Auction Committee

Mission

Plan the Construction Industry Education Foundation 12 Days of Christmas and fundraise for event.

Meeting Frequency

3 to 4 times per year as needed.

Members

  • (Chair) Chris Tryjankowski – PCS Plumbing
  • David Allan – Trinity Construction Management
  • Carolyn Batt – Hurwitz Fine
  • Lynne Bona – Mallare Enterprises
  • Tom Christopher – Admar
  • Bill Diehl – Lafarge
  • Mindy Elniski – LVBW
  • Jen Kinney – Montante Construction
  • Aly Luccari – Bright Organizing Solutions
  • Dina Marinaro – Vanner
  • Lisa Palladino – The Bonadio Group
  • Patt Rozler – Turner
  • Michael Welch – Evans Bank
Committee

Education Committee

Mission

Schedule educational and training programs to be offered to the membership.

Meeting Frequency

As needed (September thru May)

Members

  • (Chair) Drew Miller – Webster Szanyi
  • Karen Antonelli – Chiampou Travis Besaw & Kershner
  • Gary Bichler – R&P Oak Hill Development
  • Susanne Kelley – Sienna Environmental
  • Joe Mannarino – Buffalo Construction Consultants
  • Byron Nakagawa – United Rentals
  • Greg Schober – Huber Construction
  • Andrew Malcolm – Campus Construction Management Group
  • Amber Storr – Hurwitz & Fine
  • Erin Borek – Phillips Lytle
  • Eric Wilczak – D.V. Brown
  • Reginald Alls – Montante
  • Ryan Pitman – Goldberg Segalla
  • Ryan Vondell – Redi-Mix
  • William Vail – PaintCraft
  • Sarah Viksjo – M&T Bank
Committee

Executive Committee (Officers of the Board)

Mission

The Executive Committee shall have the authority and power to act on behalf of the Board during the intervals between meetings of the Board.

Meeting Frequency:

Quarterly

Members

  • (Chair) Nicole Savage – NW Contracting
  • Dan Sarzynski – Rupp Baase Palzgraf Cunningham
  • Doug Elia – Montante Construction
  • Joe Benedict – Construction Exchange
Committee

Legislative Committee

Mission:

Discuss legislative topics that may affect the Western NY construction industry and when necessary, determine appropriate corresponding courses of action. Typical courses of action may include membership training and/or notifications.

Meeting Frequency:

2 to 3 times per year (March and September) or as needed

Members:

  • (Chair) Robert Michalak – Michalak & Dobson
  • Diane Burger – CTS Contracting
  • David Farinacci – Tradesmen International
  • Steve Federico – Calspan Corp.
  • Andy McLellan – UNYSE
  • Adam Mollenberg – Mollenberg-Betz
  • Chris Picone – Picone Construction Corporation
  • Curt Resetarits – Buffalo Crushed Stone
  • Tom Saia – Iroquois Bar Corp
  • John Urso – Gypsum Systems
  • Chris Wopperer – Thermal Foams Inc
Committee

Finance Committee (Committee of the Board)

Mission

1. Review the annual budget prepared by Management, 2. Review investment accounts and meet with investment advisors, 3. Interact with and provide oversight of the association’s CPA firm, and 4. Study major capital expenditure requests

Meeting Frequency

4 times per year or as needed

Members

  • (Chair) Nicole Savage – NW Contracting
  • Joe Brennan – M&T Bank
  • Doug Elia – Montante Construction
  • Joe Mannarino – Buffalo Construction Consultants
  • Dan Sarzynski – Rupp Baase Palzgraf Cunningham
Committee

Marketing and Events Committee

Mission

Develop and oversee a marketing plan that increases awareness of the Construction Exchange and its membership benefits among the Western NY construction community. Discuss new programs that may be beneficial to the membership and oversee existing programs. Plan social events.

Meeting Frequency

Quarterly (February, May, August, November) or as needed.

Members

  • (Chair) Chris Wopperer – Thermal Foams Inc.
  • David Allan – Trinity Building & Construction Management
  • Michelle Ashby – Tipping Point Communications
  • Michelle Barber – Votorantim Cimentos/United Materials
  • Carolyn Batt – Hurwitz & Fine
  • Melissa Brinson – Millington Lockwood
  • Joseph Brennan – M&T Bank
  • Joyce Delong – Allegra Marketing
  • Grace Dettelis – Ideal Concrete
  • Henry Fischer – United Business Systems
  • Mindy Elniski – LVBW/Lougen Valenti Bookbinder & Weintraub
  • Jim Ginnane – Planned Futures Financial
  • Aly Luccari – Bright Organizing Solutions
  • Caryn Martin – United Rentals
  • Craig Mahoney – Holcim
  • Joseph Manzella – Paychex
  • Amanda Newton – Calspan
  • Joseph Peresan – The Bonadio Group
  • Michael Ross – Lawley Insurance
  • Jill Sawyer – LaBella PC
  • Sean Umlauft – EBC HR & Payroll
  • Beth Vosseller – Ace Flag
  • Jim Waddell – Frey Electric
  • Robert Warrington – New Enterprise Stone & Lime
  • Michael Welch – Evans Bank
  • Lori White – Greenlight Networks
  • David Will – LPL Financial
Committee

Plan Room Committee

Mission:

Evaluate new plan room technology or functionalities. Determine the direction the Exchange takes with new plan room technology and systems.

Meeting Frequency:

3 to 4 times a year (February, May, October) or as needed.

Plan Room Committee Members:

  • (Chair) John Embow – Groove Roofing
  • Jeff Jones – CRH Cement
  • Matthew McGuire – Danforth
  • Dave Muskopf Jr. – MLP Plumbing
Committee

Safety Committee

Mission

Discuss topics related to safety in the Western NY construction industry and when necessary, determine appropriate corresponding courses of action. Typical courses of action may include membership training and/or notifications.

Meeting Frequency

Quarterly (January, April, July, November) or as needed.

Members

  • (Chair) Van Mollenberg – Mollenberg-Betz
  • Jeff Danahy – Vanner Insurance Agency
  • Gordon DeLeys – OSHA
  • Eric Frandsen – Frey Electric
  • Anne Gaspar – Ciredon Group LLC
  • Mike Jandzinski – Lovell Safety Management Co
  • Dale Keller – Mader Construction
  • Ryan Knoph – John W. Danforth
  • Rocco Lueck – HR Benefit Advisors
  • John Monson – Quality Risk Solutions
  • John O’Hare, Bob Overhoff – LP Ciminelli
  • Tony Picone – Picone Construction Corp
  • Nicole Savage-Seaman – NW Contracting
  • Mike Scime – OSHA
  • Len Sommers – Lawley Insurance
  • Ken Stephan – Mandon Building Systems
  • Camille Waters – Datz Dat Construction