President & CEO Cheryl McKissack Daniel leads the firm with more than 25 years of experience in all phases of the construction industry and provides executive leadership for project implementation. She serves as Principal-in-Charge and Project Executive on numerous high-profile projects, including major work in the commercial, healthcare, education and transportation sectors and is actively involved in project oversight and management, ensuring that diversity is implemented during each phase of a project or program.
Cheryl serves on various boards, including the New York Building Congress, New York Women’s Forum, Greater New York ACE Mentor Program and Women’s Builders Council. Under the leadership of Mayor Bill de’Blasio she serves the OneNYC Advisory Board, Jobs for New Yorkers Task Force and the MWBE Advisory Council. She also served on the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee for NYS Governor elect Andrew Cuomo’s Transition Team. In Philadelphia, she served as Chair of the MWBE Committee for Mayor elect John Street’s Transition Team. Pervious Boards included, the National Women’s History Museum, Fisk University and the National Liberty Museum Board, where she was honored as a “Hero of Liberty” for her support of humanitarian initiatives and for promoting the responsibilities of a free and diverse America. Cheryl is an active member in Women in Transportation (WTS).
Cheryl earned both a bachelor and master’s degree in civil engineering from Howard University. Born in Nashville to architect William DeBerry and teacher, Leatrice McKissack, Cheryl represents the fifth generation of the McKissack family’s century-old business, McKissack & McKissack, the oldest minority and woman-owned professional design and construction firm in the nation.
Joe is Senior Vice President of Rail & Infrastructure and serves as Program Director on the MTA Independent Engineering Consultant contract McKissack holds as a prime for its second consecutive term. He reports directly to the MTA Board of Directors Capital Program Oversight Committee. The MTA Capital Program is valued at approximately $32B. Joe manages McKissack’s project team assigned to oversee this program and active elements of earlier Capital Programs.
Currently, Joe oversees an expert staff of more than 25 full-time professionals, which includes project managers, analysts, subject matter experts, professional engineers, architects and others experienced in project controls. Many of this staff have been on the contract since 2009.
Joe’s exceptional railroad career began in 1972 where he worked in the engineering field for the old Penn Central Railroad. Prior to joining McKissack in 2005, he spent 29 years with Amtrak working on numerous projects, including Penn Station with LIRR, Grand Central Terminal with Metro-North, and Sunnyside Yard during the period high-speed rail service was instituted throughout the Northeast Corridor. Joe’s many accomplishments include serving as part of the team that led the high-speed vehicle procurement, building the high-speed maintenance facility in New York, leading the mechanical department and culminating with his tenure as the General Manager for Customer Service and Special Projects where he served as liaison to the MTA on the East Side Access project.
Dean is Senior Vice President of Strategic Development at McKissack. In this role, he is responsible for the strategic growth and development of the firm while investigating value propositions associated with expanding into new market sectors. He proposes and participates in defining objectives to gain market share and maximize profitability, and executes plans to make those objectives achievable.
He possesses over 25 years of experience in construction management and general contracting involving extensive academic building renovations and rehabilitation throughout the Northeast region. He has provided project management for interior and exterior renovations and new construction projects valued in the hundreds of millions of dollars. His projects have included high-end boutique hotels, restaurants, financial institutions, and retail centers.
Dean has served as Project Principal for many of McKissack’s most important projects including the new Lincoln University Science Center and the International Cultural Center, the Tyler School of Art at Temple University, the University of Pennsylvania Center for Advanced Medicine, the Philadelphia School District Capital Improvement Plan, the Philadelphia International Airport Terminals D & E Expansion, and providing CM services for multiple projects for Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission and the Southeastern PA Transportation Authority (SEPTA).
He has also worked for the NYC School Construction Authority, the NYC Department of Design and Construction, DASNY, the New Jersey Schools Corporation, the American Water Company, the City of Camden, the Cooper’s Ferry Partnership and Delaware River Port Authority.
Dean currently provides operational oversite on McKissack’s PA and NJ projects, and leads McKissack business development efforts firm-wide.
Robert A. McDermott, known as RAM, is Vice President of Rail & Infrastructure and has more than 35 years of experience in the rail industry serving in senior management positions for both the Long Island Rail Road and the New York Metropolitan Transportation Authority.
RAM’s career began in 1974 as a tower operator with the LIRR. He went on to become a Train Dispatcher, Training Instructor, Transportation Manager and ultimately Superintendent – Train Movement overseeing the LIRR’s rail operations control center. His career culminated in him being chosen to be the first Director of Railroad Operations for the East Side Access Project in 1999.
During the course of his career, RAM has been involved in authoring more than 300 operational edicts, and publishing the first complete revision to the original LIRR SOP written in 1994. His achievements include developing and chairing the first company-wide tabletop drill in 1997 which was attended by more than 200 operational and outside agency employees. RAM also served on the Federal Railroad Administration’s (FRA) Rail Safety and Advisory Committee in Washington D.C.; a two-year project which resulted in the publication of 49 CFR Part 220 in 1998.
RAM currently serves as McKissack’s project head for the Pacific Park Development project (formerly known as Atlantic Yards) in downtown Brooklyn. He has been instrumental in coordinating efforts between the developer and the LIRR to accommodate the construction of the Barclay Center and renegotiating the Pacific Park contract beyond moving the LIRR Yards to now lowering the massive rail yard below grade so McKissack’s client, Greenland Forest City Partners, can build new structures above the yard. RAM leads an incredibly talented team of employees at Pacific Park.
Albert serves as Vice President. He has been with McKissack since 2006 and brings more than 25 years of experience in the construction industry.
Albert began his career at McKissack serving as Senior Project Manager for DASNY’s $185M new 194,000 SF School of Science, Health and Technology Building at Medgar Evers College, which won the 2012 Brooklyn Building Award by Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce. His experience is comprised of a variety of complex project types for healthcare, higher education and institutional clients. He is well versed in interfacing with owners and prime contractors and directing the project team managing the total budget, schedule, and construction process from the conceptual stage to owner occupancy.
Albert currently serves as Project Executive on McKissack’s NYCEDC CM Retainer contract. Valued at $150M and continuing through 2019, current projects includes Hunts Point Cooperative Market in the Bronx, Mart 125 in Harlem and Pier 42 in Lower Manhattan.
Julie Harris serves as Vice President of McKissack & McKissack. Since joining McKissack in September 2015, her role is to provide strategic and operational oversight for the resilience and compliance business units. She currently provides executive leadership in this area on iconic projects including the LaGuardia Airport Redevelopment, the rebuilding of Coney Island Hospital and the Storm Recovery and Resiliency efforts for The Port Authority of New York & New Jersey. Julie is a subject matter expert in federal, state and local regulatory and statutory compliance matters, as well as in the development of diversity and inclusion strategy, contract compliance monitoring and reporting, workforce goals, Davis-Bacon wage compliance, outreach and administration of minority-owned and women-owned business enterprise programs (MWBE).
Before joining McKissack, Julie served as a policy technical advisor to the New York State Governor’s Office of Storm Recovery. In this role, she advised the program executive and senior leadership in the management and execution of the state’s long-term recovery process from Hurricanes Irene and Lee, and Superstorm Sandy. Prior to that, Julie was an executive with the nation’s largest African American 3rd Party Administration firm. She also has experience as a former non-profit executive with INROADS, Inc., and as a director of Louisiana State University’s (LSU) Engineering Diversity Program.
Julie received a Bachelor of Science Degree from LSU and a Master of Science Degree from Syracuse University. While at LSU, Julie was a NCAA National Champion and earned All-American honors. She holds the world record for the 60-yard-shuttle hurdle relay. Julie served as the Coach of the Belize Athletic Federation at the 1996 Olympic Games in Atlanta, GA.
Julie is currently a member of the External Advisory Board for the NYC Department of Design and Construction (DDC) and sits on the Board of Directors of the Women’s Builders Council.
Alan DeSantola is Vice President of Construction Management services. He joined McKissack in 2008, and serves as Project Executive on the Atlantic Yards/Pacific Park project for Greenland/Forest City Ratner in downtown Brooklyn where McKissack is responsible for the overall program management and integration of the project.
In addition to this role, Alan is responsible for overseeing CM projects at McKissack. These projects include: NYC DDC On-Call CM Services, Lehman College Leonard Lief Library Renovation, Farley Post Office/Penn Station Redevelopment, SCA Mentor Program, SCA Professional Services, NYS OGS On-Call CM Services, Baruch College Lawrence & Eris Field Building Renovation, New Delta Terminal at LaGuardia Airport, and Columbia University Manhattanville Campus.
Alan is adept at organizing complex multi discipline project development efforts, preparation of management plans, and monitoring the cost, budget, schedule and quality expectations behind them. He will apply his unique knowledge and expertise in supervising the design and construction of public and private sector projects to his day-to-day responsibility for managing the overall performance of McKissack’s large multi-site projects.
Alan’s experience is comprised of projects in transportation, commercial development, academic, healthcare and infrastructure. He first served as Senior Project Manager on McKissack’s SCA Emergency Response Project. He led a 24/7 project team that responded to school construction projects and emergencies throughout NYC’s five boroughs. In addition, he had led construction teams on Thompson Library at Vassar College, Duchess Community College Academic Building, NYS OMH psychiatric and development centers, and infrastructure projects for the NYS DOT.
Alan’s 30 years of construction experience will ensure that proper strategies are implemented to provide client satisfaction by safely and efficiently delivering high quality services. He is a proven leader and brings innovation and enthusiasm to the CM division at McKissack.
Steven is a construction professional with more than 25 years of industry experience on a broad range of projects. Throughout his extensive career, he has lent his expertise to a variety of project types, including healthcare (new and modernization), office and corporate facilities, residential high rise, universities and K-12 schools, aviation, laboratory, research, and pharmaceutical facilities, and convention and hospitality buildings.
Steve currently serves as Director of Preconstruction and leads McKissack’s team of estimators and schedules, and manages the process and resources to provide quality preconstruction services to McKissack’s clients and project teams.