team bios

Julie Kelley is one of the founding principals of Aerial Design and Build.  She brings 15 years of New York City construction experience and 15 years of owning her own accounting firm in Florida to Aerial.  She manages the corporate operations as well as oversees the project management.  Julie also has international experience which accommodates Aerial for all their multi-national New York City clientele, servicing them locally and abroad.  Besides her appreciation for Architecture and Construction from a very young age, she is a passionate animal advocate and in her personal time she is involved with fitness, tennis and natural health awareness which she holds a Bachelor of Science in Alternative Medicine. 
Rupila Sethi is one of the founding principals of Aerial Design and Build.  Rupila graduated from a prestigious Architectural School in India and then went on to complete her Masters in Lighting Design from Parsons School of Design, New York After graduating from Parsons she practiced with Cooley Monato Studio, a SOHO based Design Studio and was associated with prestigious projects such as Tiffany, HBO, Lesportsac and high-end residences in Kuwait and Santa Barbara, California She further gained extensive Design and Construction experience working on residential projects in prominant locations such as Trump Towers, Museum Towers, Central Park South and West buildings, and other great buildings throughout New York City.  Rupila enjoys her personal time with her family and two children.
Lisa Lee holds a Bachelor of Arts in Architecture degree from the University of California – Berkeley. After graduating she worked for a mid-sized woman owned architecture firm before returning to New York City. Lisa’s experience in architecture range from programing to final construction administration. Having worked on several ground up projects she is adept at seeing projects as whole while not losing sight of the details. As a LEED accredited professional, Lisa hopes to bring sustainable practices into every project.   
Jessica Maktalis a Project Manager with Aerial.  Jessica holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Barnard College and a Master of Architecture degree from The City College of New York.  During her tenure at Aerial she has managed a wide variety of projects.  A born problem solver and adept communicator, she has successfully completed a number of projects within tight time constraints. When Jessica is not working, she can often be found singing at her favorite Karaoke bar.   
Renee Lewisis a Project Manager with Aerial.  Renee holds a Bachelor of Architecture from the University of Florida.  After she graduated she began her career onsite for a resort development company focusing on interior construction. Renee finds it exciting and challenging to be a part of the project from the early planning stages through design and feasibility, and on to the construction.  Each project has unique details that give them a life of their own and she must assess them and create a path to completion.  She is a problem solver by nature and brings a lively presence to projects since 2005. Renee enjoys being outdoors and with her dog, Roxie.  She spent most of her life in Florida and after traveling quite often to the Northeast, she decided to settle here.

Brian Purdy is a Project Manager with Aerial. Brian received his Bachelor of Arts in Architecture from Lehigh University and went on to procure his Master of Architecture degree from University of Washington in 2002. During his time in Seattle Brian was able to work side by side with some of the founders of the design/build movement, Steve Badanes and Jim Adamson of Jersey Devil. After returning to NYC, Brian worked as a designer and junior architect for residential, retail, commercial and hospitality architecture studios. Seeking an opportunity to apply his hands-on approach to design & construction, Brian joined a small Manhattan Design Build firm. 

Brian’s practical training  in design/build endeavors throughout Seattle, New Jersey, New York City, Montana, & India have allowed the valuable lessons in the influences of construction in design and vice versa to inform his current professional work.  He specializes in sustainable design and building practices, materials, and methodology. He enjoys exploring the uses of alternative and affordable materials & detailing for the solutions to every day design problems. Brian is a licensed architect registered in New York and New Jersey, and is also LEED Accredited professional.


Eleni Panagiotopoulou is an Associate Project Manager with Aerial.  She received her undergraduate degree from Athens, Greece, where she was raised and her MBA in Finance from Pace University in New York City.  After working several years in the Food and Hospitality Industry, including the creation and ownership of a boutique style restaurant, she has recently been employed as a real estate paralegal in a New York law office and is a licensed real estate person.

Eleni speaks Greek, English, French and Polish.  On her free time she enjoys jogging, yoga and dancing and weather permitting long bike rides. 

Marly Cruikshank is the Office Manager at Aerial.  Marly holds a law and accounting degree from Brazil as well as a Management certificate from Cornell University.  Marly is an experienced expense managment professional with proven success in providing greater financial transparency and establishing measurable and effective controls resulting in substantial cost savings, process improvements, efficiencies and increased revenue.  Marly has 15 years of experience in the financial industry.  Marly was born and raised in Brazil and came to the U.S. in 1987 and decided to stay in New York City.  She is fluent in Portugese and proficient in speaking and reading Spanish.  She enjoys spending time with her family, pets and friends. 
Verena Schnurr is an Office Assistant/Purchasing with Aerial.  Verena holds a Bachelors of Sociology from Hunter College.  After graduating she worked in the fashion industry doing Public Relations.  She is now persuing her Masters Degree at Nyack College’s Alliance Graduate School of Counseling.   Verena enjoys reading, jogging, attending church and spending time with her friends.  She is very excited to assist such a talented and unique team of architects and managers and looks forward to facilitating the growth and expansion of the company in the next few years.