RISE UP stands for “Resources, Inclusion, Support, Educate and Unite People”.

In 2019, RISE UP was formed as an evolution of the Women in Construction group which was started in 2015 by leaders in the construction industry who recognized that there was an interest and an energy from women who felt that they were uniquely positioned to have a positive impact on the industry.

Now as RISE UP, the group is designed to empower and stand with diversity in the construction industry. This means supporting women, minority and veteran owned subcontractors, prime contractors and being an instrumental force in supporting workforce development within the local construction industry.

RISE UP is committed to assisting Construction Exchange members and visitors who are already certified or looking to be a certified as a WBE, MBE, and/or SDVOB. 

Please message Construction Exchange Membership Director, Adam Guglielmi at aguglielmi@conexbuff.com and you will be directed to one of our advisory partners to assist you with maintaining or obtaining your certification.

To request more information on or to join RISE UP, please message Danielle Bickel at dbickel@upstaterebar.com.

RISE UP launched officially at our February 2019 Annual Curling Party which brought over 200 people to Buffalo Riverworks.

Steering Committee Members

Karen Antonelli (Chair), Chiampou, Travis, Besaw & Kershner, LLP

Danielle Bickel (Vice-chair), Upstate Rebar

Mike Anderson, Abstract Architecture

Bill Bauer, Edbauer Construction

Mercedes Calway, R&P Oak Hill Development

Grace Dettelis, Ideal Concrete

Gail Ettaro, Arc Building Partners

Kathleen Farinacci, SmartEdge

Kristie Gerace, Construction Exchange

Adam Guglielmi, Construction Exchange

Lisa Hobba, Weydman Electric

Elizabeth Kraengel, Duke, Holzman, Photiadis & Gresens, LLP

Christina Lopes (Guest), Erie County Workforce Development

Moira Moldenhauer (Past Chair), Dwight Moldenhauer

Eileen Osborn, Spur Line Construction

Cathy Pera, Bison Scaffold & Mason’s Supply

Peter Romano, United Materials LLC

Tom Saia, Iroquois Bar Corp

Nicole Savage, Nature’s Way Environmental

Sal Sciandra, Frey Electric

Camille Shepard, Datz Dat


Click here for a list of participants on our Workforce Development Subcommittee.

Click here for a list of participants on our MWBE Subcommittee.

Committee Advisors

Janique Curry, ECMC, MWBE Compliance Office

Geraldine Ford, Empire State Development

Rebecca Gandour, City of Buffalo, Office of Strategic Planning

Dhannayia Johnson, Buffalo State University Small Business Development Center

Jillian Johnson, Veterans One-Stop Center of WNY

Stephanie Pennington, LeChase Construction 

Dolly Randle, CASNY

Sara Veschio, Women’s Business Center at Canisius College


Supporting Advisory Organizations