At the PWC Gala: (L-R) Fanny Gong, Manhattanville Development, Columbia University; Barbara Armand, Armand Corp.; and Steven Plate, PANYNJ, WTCC presented awards to Clarelle DeGraffe, PANYNJ, WTCC and Jill Lerner, Kohn Pedersen Fox. Photo by Pearl Perkins
On Friday, December 6, Professional Women in Construction (PWC) celebrated its 33rd anniversary at its annual Black Tie Holiday Dinner Dance gala at The Yale Club Ballroom, 50 Vanderbilt Avenue, in New York City. The event honored Clarelle DeGraffe, Port Authority of NY & NJ, program director, World Trade Center Construction (WTCC) site, and Jill Lerner, FAIA, principal at Kohn Pedersen Fox Associates (KPF) and president of the NYC chapter of the American Institute of Architects (AIANY). It featured a fashion show of the “construction-inspired” luxury brand of Anthony Manfredonia: Fashion Engineer, former head designer for Isaac Mizrahi’s Haute Couture collection and the legendary crown prince of swing, Stan Rubin and his Orchestra. PWC Vice President and Armand Construction CEO Barbara Armand presided over the event and delivered the opening remarks. Dorothy Wasiak, vice president of PCGNY Corp. and PWC board member, chaired the gala.
Steven Plate, PANYNJ director of the World Trade Center Construction, introduced Degraffe, a civil engineer and 24-year PANYNJ veteran. DeGraffe manages the design and construction and directs a team of project managers and professionals for the $1.2 billion WTC Vehicle Security Center (VSC).
Fanny Gong, AIA, LEED AP, AVP, Design Management, Manhattanville Development, Columbia University, introduced Lerner as “a very accomplished architect who has designed and managed numerous projects globally.” Gong was presented by PWC board member and AECOM Education Director Maria Wilpon, AIA Associate.
Lerner noted the “gigantic shift in the architectural profession” where women now comprise half of most architectural schools. She thanked her mentors at KPF and spoke of the honor of being president of the AIA’s NYC chapter, the oldest and largest chapter of AIA National.
Jill has led the design of such award-winning academic, medical, and research projects for KPF as the University of Michigan’s Ross School of Business, CUNY’s Advanced Science Research Center, Peking University’s School of Transnational Law in Shenzhen and NYU Shanghai.
Parsons School of Design graduate Anthony Manfredonia, raised in a construction environment and trained in general contracting, dubbed himself “fashion engineer” because “a true craftsman understands the art in construction …for a building or a garment.” He has worked on the Donna Karan Collection and for fashion designer Tracy Reese.
The Holiday Dinner Dance Committee members were: Nicole Hunter, senior cost engineer, Louis Berger Group; Kay Lee, general sales manager, SimplexGrinnell; William Fife, principal, The Fife Group.
For information on PWC call 212.486.7745, visit www.pwcusa.org/ny or email firstname.lastname@example.org. PWC is a nonprofit, 501(c )3 organization founded in 1980.