New Jersey Leaders
President, PWCNJ Board of Directors
Lisa E. Chowansky
President, HC Constructors, Inc.
Vice President, Membership Chair, PWCNJ Board of Directors
Tricia A. Vohden, LEED AP
Executive Vice President, Vericon Construction Co.
Vice President, Almasi Contractors
Partner, CohnReznick LLP
Chairman of the Board
Anne Marie Almasi
President & CFO, Almasi Companies
Senior Account Executive, True & Associates
Chrissie Rufolo, PE
Lead Engineer & Sr. Project Manager, Jingoli-DCO
Erin Allen, LEED AP
Project Manager – Torcon, Inc.
Senior Account Manager, Zack Painting
Catherine J. Bick, Esq.
Partner, Giordano, Halleran & Ciesla, PC
President, PWCNJ Board of Directors
After graduating from Penn State University with a Bachelor of Science degree, Lisa spent the first 10 years of her professional career working as an Account Executive throughout New Jersey for the Johnson & Johnson Family of Companies. During that time, Lisa was the recipient of the Johnson & Johnson Achievement Award in recognition of her outstanding contributions to the company. In 1997, Lisa left the corporate world to pursue the growth and development of H.C. Constructors, Inc., a union civil construction company based in Whitehouse, NJ. For almost 20 years, Lisa has been leading HC Constructors, Inc. as President and Owner. H.C. Constructors, Inc. is a General Contractor specializing in Sitework, Underground Utilities, and Concrete.
In 2017, Lisa was awarded the PWC-NJ Woman of Achievement Award for her contributions to the Construction industry. In 2018, Lisa was included in the class of Top 25 Leading Women Entrepreneurs by LWE, a networking organization that recognizes outstanding women in business and strives for their overall advancement. In 2019, she was recognized among NJBIZ’s Best 50 Women in Business. In addition to serving on the Board of Directors for the NJPWC, Lisa is a board member for the NJ Chamber of Commerce and the NJBPU Supplier Diversity Development Council as well as an active member of the NJ Utility and Transportation Contractors Association (UTCA) and the Associated Construction Contractors of NJ (ACCNJ).
Lisa resides in Long Valley NJ with her husband Harry and their four amazing daughters.
Vice President, Membership Chair, PWCNJ Board of Directors
In 2005 Tricia co-founded Vericon Construction Company, a full-service General Contracting & Construction Management firm based out of Mountainside NJ with regional offices along the East Coast. With more than 20 years of experience, Tricia is extremely driven, hardworking and passionate about construction in her role as Executive Vice President.
Tricia received the 2016 Woman of Achievement Award from the PWCNJ and was named one of the Top 25 Leading Women Entrepreneurs in NJ. In 2018, Tricia was recognized as one of NJBIZ Best Fifty Women in Business. Tricia balances her success with numerous charitable endeavors including starting the Vericon Foundation in 2015. Tricia is a certified LEED AP and holds a Bachelor of Architecture degree from the University of Miami as well as a Master of Science in Construction Management from Florida International University. Tricia lives with her husband in Oceanport, NJ and in her free time, she enjoys spending time on the water fishing, watching Supercross and rooting for her Miami Hurricanes Football team.
Laura is the Vice President and Director of Projects for Almasi Contractors, a multigenerational construction company specializing in site work, utility installation and soil remediation Over the past two decades she has been instrumental in the growth and success of the firm. Her areas of expertise include supervision, estimating, marketing, sales, and training. As an active member of the PWCNJ, Ms. Bianchini has helped the organization to gain professional recognition through her efforts and was instrumental in establishing the chapters scholarship program. Breaking into the world of construction as a young graduate of Rutgers University she has helped pave the way for many women in the field.
In 2016, Laura was named one of Leading Women Intrapreneurs Top 25 in NJ and received the Women of Achievement award from the PWCNJ Chapter. Laura is an active board member the Raritan Bay Medical Center Foundation, National Association of Female Executives, National Association of Safety Professionals, and member of several industry organizations. She is an OSHA Outreach and Hazardous Waste Operations trainer. Laura also holds the Homeland Security-Terrorism Authorization Certificate.
Amy Benbrook is a founding Member of the PWCNJ Chapter. Amy is a partner with CohnReznick and a member of the Firm’s Construction and Commercial Real Estate Industry Practices. With more than 25 years of diversified public accounting experience, she provides audit, review, compilation, consulting, and tax planning services to clients in the construction and real estate industries. Her experience includes breakeven analyses, compensation programs, corporate restructuring, and estate and succession planning.
Ms. Benbrook graduated with a Bachelor of Science Degree from Monmouth University and is an active member of a number of industry associations, including the Utility Transportation and Contractors Association (UTCA), the Associated General Contractors of New Jersey (AGC), and the Surety Association of New Jersey (SANJ). She is a member in good standing with the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants and the New Jersey State Society of Certified Public Accountants. In 2017, Amy was awarded the PWCNJ Women of Achievement award.
Chairman of the Board
Anne Marie Almasi started working for John Almasi Trucking Co. at the age of twenty. She helped the company grow from a material hauling company into a full-service underground utility contractor. Under her leadership, the company expanded their client base to include commercial sites, pharmaceutical companies, oil and gas providers, government and educational institutions, and sports facilities. In 2002, she created her own site work company that provides earthwork, utility installation, electrical and mechanical trenching services, soil remediation, and the trucking of stone, sand, certified fill and clay. As President and CFO of Almasi Companies, a Women’s Business Enterprise (WBE), she has achieved great success in generating opportunity for the firm. In addition to overseeing all financial decisions and negotiating bonding she is active in many aspects of the day-to-day business operations. Her responsibilities include marketing, customer service, sales, purchasing equipment and supplies, and managing employee relations.
As an advocate for women in a non-traditional workforce, Anne Marie is the Chairman of the Board for The Professional Women in Construction, Board Member and Women’s Leadership Connection chair for the Woodbridge Chamber of Commerce, Vice President for New Jersey Subcontractors Association, past chair and member of the St. James Pastoral Council, and member of the LWE Advisory Board. She received the distinguished honor of being named one of the NJBIZ 50 Best Women in Business, Top 25 Leading Women Entrepreneurs and proud recipient of the 2019 PWC Women of Achievement Award.
Anne Marie is married to Bill for over 44 years and together are the parents of Maura and William III. They have three grandchildren, William IV, Avery and Jackson. Her business mantra is one of, “Built on Integrity” and her personal philosophy is a quote from Aesop, “No act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted”.
Carissa started her career in the insurance industry in 2003 and is a Senior Account Executive with True & Associates based in Westfield, NJ. She specializes in design and implementation of comprehensive, cost effective insurance and risk management solutions for businesses of all sizes and surety program development.
In addition to being a member of PWCNJ since the chapter’s inception, she is also an active member of the New Jersey Subcontractors Association, the Utility & Transportation Contractors Association and The Girls Scouts of Eastern Pennsylvania.
Carissa graduated from West Virginia University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Journalism. She resides in Yardley, PA with her two daughters.
Christine Rufolo, P.E. – Mentorship Co-Chair. For over 25 years, Christine has been a valued, key member of the Jingoli-DCO Organization. She started out as an intern during college when Jingoli was under 50 employees and has been integral as the Right-Hand Person to Upper Level Management ever since then. Her main goal on any project she manages or participates in is to be Forthright, Direct, Hardworking and Exceed Owner’s Expectations. Her astute Attention to Detail, Jack of all Trades background, and ability to take on any type of project or task makes her a key Go-To Person at the company. She is also responsible for managing the designs for Jingoli-DCO’s Design/Build projects.
Christine’s well-rounded experiences throughout her career is not matched by her willingness and passion to take the time to share her knowledge with young interns, engineers and managers. Her most important role in Jingoli-DCO is as Mentor to many. Christine leveraged this passion for mentorship in creating PWC-NJ’s Mentorship Program. Through Jingoli-DCO’s Outreach Program, Christine also teaches her own Construction Math curriculum to High School students and young adults in the Boys and Girls Club of Newark and Camden, as well as in other programs to help inspire younger generations towards a career in construction or engineering.
Christine earned a Bachelor of Science degree from Trenton State College, Trenton, New Jersey and is a Licensed Professional Engineer in New Jersey. Christine was appointed by the Governor of New Jersey in 2019 to be the resident Professional Engineer on a legislative NJ Advanced Autonomous Vehicles Task Force. Christine was a recipient of Forty Under 40 Award for 2013, presented by NJBIZ which selected 40 of the top business men and woman under the age of 40 in New Jersey. Christine will also be receiving the 2020 Women of Achievement Award presented by the Professional Women in Construction-NJ Chapter.
Ms. Erin Allen is a Project Manager with Torcon, Inc., one of the leading Construction Management firms in the Northeast. She received her Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree in Architecture from Miami University (OH) and is a LEED Accredited Professional. Ms. Allen began her career with an Architecture firm working on historic renovations for Princeton University. She transitioned to Torcon and changed careers to Construction Management in 2005. Erin’s optimistic team approach, exceptional leadership and organizational abilities, has successfully led her to an impressive array of multimillion-dollar projects throughout NJ, CT, MD, and NY. These include Columbia University Geochemistry Building, Mannkind Pharmaceutical, US Army Research Institute for Infectious Diseases, and the American Dream Entertainment Mall / Parks.
Ms. Allen is a passionate professional in the field of construction while she has worn many hats obtaining a broad range of skills required to earn the respect by all colleagues, subcontractors, and especially clients. She is very goal orientated coupled with meticulous attention to detail managing a small staff yet overseeing the hundreds in the field. She is always up for a good challenge and determined to break boundaries in the Industry.
Her confidence and energy keep those around her smiling as she wears her heart on her sleeve and enjoys assisting those to success. She is the Co-Chair of the Mentorship Program for PWC-NJ and looking forward the next decade of victories. Ms. Allen goes well beyond her job responsibilities, as she’s known in the community for outreach from pushing her friend Conor in his jogger at NJ Half Marathon or serving breakfast at LunchBreak. Ms. Allen loves making her Dash count. She’s lives in Red Bank with her two best friends: Husband, Tim and Silver Lab, Willow.
Sue Maddalena is a uniquely qualified professional with broad business experience in sales, real estate, fund raising and philanthropic leadership. Her educational degree in Science does not limit her ability to transform and refocus her career given a proven ability to execute and exceed goals in both corporate and philanthropic efforts that benefit her business and her community.
Sue began her role with Zack Painting in January 2015 as an Account Manager and was recognized for her competence and given greater accountability and responsibility resulting in a promotion to a Senior Management level in April of 2019. She successfully manages complex sales goals and objectives and has led consistently high unit performance and sales gains. She is a master of relationships, project management and is highly regarded by her clients and her management at Zack Painting. Sue serves on the Board of Professional Women in Construction and has been a member of the Board of NJAPPA as a business partner for NJ Higher Education Facilities Management.
While Sue’s business background has allowed her to build and align with corporate strategies to achieve dramatic bottom-line results; that same drive has also inspired her philanthropic efforts. Sue has organized fund raising activities and inspired volunteerism in her community. The causes closest to her heart are grass roots, such as Ocean of Love for children with cancer in Ocean/Monmouth counties and Joan Dancy and PALS for people and families affected by ALS. Sue was a recognized leader in her dedication after Hurricane Sandy paralyzed Ocean County and her personal hometown. She and her children contributed their energies to their neighbors and community to stabilize and rebuild her community. Sue is a supporter of many non-profit activities and may be seen raising monies or participating at walk-a-thons on weekends or lending thought leadership to many different causes.
Catherine Bick is a partner and shareholder with Giordano, Halleran & Ciesla, PC, a multi-specialty law firm with offices in New Jersey and New York City. Cathy devotes her practice to complex commercial and business litigation matters. She is a principal member of the Construction Law & Litigation practice group. Her practice includes representing and counseling developers, contractors and other members of the construction and real estate communities in strategies and business-minded solutions for dispute resolution, arbitration claims and in litigation. Cathy’s full range of services includes negotiation of construction contracts, representation relating to construction defect claims, contract and delay claims, payment disputes, transition disputes, liens and pursuit of insurance benefits, as well as the defense of developers and sponsors in litigation brought by community associations.