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’s Annual Q1 Curling Party at Buffalo Riverworks brings over 200 people to mix, mingle and learn more making a difference in the Western NY construction industry.

Steering Committee Members

Danielle Bickel (Chair), Upstate Rebar

Michelle Barber (Co-chair), United Materials

Kelly Maloney (Chair of Workforce Development Committee), Gilbane

Mary Szustak (Co-chair MWBE Committee), NW Contracting

Arnie Collier (Co-chair MWBE Committee), Iroquois Bar

Karen Antonelli (Immediate Past Chair), Chiampou Travis Besaw & Kershner

Mike Anderson, Abstract Architecture

Caryn Ciotti, Will Scot

Grace Dettelis, Ideal Concrete

Gail Ettaro, Arc Building Partners

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

Madonna Hostuttler, Northern Dreams Construction

Minesh Patel, Buffalo & Erie County Workforce Development Consortium

Cathy Pera, Bison Scaffold & Mason’s Supply

Luis Rodriguez, Rodriguez Construction

Tom Saia, Iroquois Bar Corp

Nicole Savage, NW Contracting

Committee Advisors

Janique Curry, ECMC, MWBE Compliance Office

Geraldine Ford, Empire State Development

Rebecca Gandour, City of Buffalo, Office of Strategic Planning

Susan A. McCartney, PhD, MBA, SUNY Buffalo State 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