Team BIOS

  • Julie Kelley
    Principal

    As principal of Aerial Design, Julie brings over 30 years of business experience to the table. Her early years as the proprietor of both a successful Florida accounting firm and a Professional Employer Organization led her into real estate investing, and she discovered a love for design and construction. She designed and built her own home in Florida, and that ultimately became the catalyst for co-founding her own company in NYC in 1997. Her first company completed multiple projects for the Department of Public Works, as well as high-end commercial and residential.

    Aerial Design is one of New York City’s premier design and construction firms, with the distinction of being women owned and operated. Aerial’s main focus is high end residential, commercial and hospitality projects. Julie manages Aerial’s day to day operations, working closely with project managers and handling contracts. Her ends-on approach ensures that Aerial’s clientele is assured of a carefully curated experience. She maintains an active Florida contractor’s license and stays on the cutting edge of developments in her field.

    Julie’s most recent passion is as founder and manager of a non-profit international animal welfare organization Let’s be S.M.A.R.T. supporting a rescue shelter in Greece, and organizing educational events for children, coupling animal welfare education with sporting/creative activities. These works have also inspired the development of an animal welfare APP that will connect both locally and globally as well as a new Aerial project featuring pet friendly designs.

    Julie is an avid tennis player and fitness enthusiast, and holds a BS in Alternative Medicine. She loves karaoke and creative pursuits. When asked what her Superhero personality might be, she answered with The Defender. Her current favorite work of non-fiction is The Power Principle: Influence With Honor.

  • Rupila Sethi
    Principal

    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. Rupila enjoys her personal time with her family and two children.

  • Jessica Maktal
    Design/Build Director

    Jessica Maktal 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.

  • Lisa Lee
    Senior Project Manager

    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.

  • Kashminder Singh
    Business Development Director

    Kashminder Singh has a Bachelors in Electrical and Electronic Engineering and MS in Management and Technology with a major in Leadership from New York University. Kash has over 20 years experience in the Wireless Telecommunication industry and 15 years as a Lead Project Manager for Nextel, Sprint and Ericsson. His role in Aerial is to develop new and existing business opportunities. Additionally he is also responsible for managing social media communication and public relations. Lastly Kash is an avid soccer fan and his favorite team is Manchester United.

  • Marly Cruikshank
    Office Manager

    Marly Cruikshank 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.

  • Bhumi Shah
    Senior Project Manager

    Bhumi Shah has a Master’s Degree in Architecture from Texas A & M. In her career span of 10+ years, she has acquired experience working on variety of projects ranging from small apartments to complex projects such as judicial facilities and convention center. Bhumi has a keen sense of design coupled with insightful knowledge of the New York City Building Code and Zoning regulations. In addition to working as an architect & designer; she enjoys photography and traveling. She hopes to cross the Altiplano en route from Bolivia to Chile in her near future.

  • Tri Nguyen
    Project Manager

    Tri Nguyen holds a Bachelor of Science in Architecture degree from the University at Buffalo. Upon graduating, he was a Project Manager on high-end residential projects for almost 5 years. Aside from work, he likes to travel and explore new food scenes. Before starting at Aerial Design and Build, he traveled for 2 months across Europe and Asia where he experienced new cultures and customs.

  • Marco Valente
    Project Manager

    Marco has a Bachelors degree in Civil Engineering from The University of Connecticut, as well as a Masters Degree in International Business from Manhattanville College. He has a vast knowledge of both residential and commercial design and project management; At the age of 19, Marco designed, owned and operated his first Italian restaurant. Subsequently following, Marco has designed and managed an international full service restaurant in NYC, as well as a juice bar/cafe. Marco also worked as project manager in residential and commercial construction for a number of years. His dedication, drive, and desire to see a project through to completion, are a few of his many assets. In his free time, Marco enjoys traveling, cycling, competing in triathlons, and spending time with his family and friends.

  • Samara Mahendru
    Project Manager

    Samara holds a Bachelor’s degree in Architecture and a Master of Science degree in ‘Communication design’. She is a LEED accredited professional and passionate about sustainable practices in construction. Her work experience in diverse design environments from small architecture firms to bigger urban design offices has helped her complete many projects at Aerial, successfully. Samara’s other passion is textiles and she brings with her the experience of founding, creatively running and growing a small textile’s brand single handedly. In her free time, she loves to watch travel and food documentaries with her family.

  • Jevaun Chambers
    Project Manager

    Jevaun brings over 6 years of experience in Carpentry and Plumbing during which he lead a variety of projects for NYC Precision Construction. From there he went on to Work as a Junior Designer at Marvel Architects where he created architectural models which aided in securing many projects for Marvel such as the first YMCA to be built in the Bronx. He has also worked as an Outdoor Educator and ran a Conservation Program at the NYBG for a non-profit called Christodora. He is currently pursuing a Bachelors of Architecture at City College of New York. In his spare time, he enjoys hiking and spending time outdoors.

  • Pius Danquah

    Pius Danquah
    Project Manager

    Pius Danquah holds a Master’s Degree in Architecture and a Master’s Degree in Construction Administration from Columbia University. He has years of experience designing residential and commercial buildings and also as a Project Manager for new construction and renovation projects. In his spare time Pius enjoys spending time with his family and an avid fan of soccer, tennis and Formula 1.

  • Kelly Yu
    Designer

    Kelly holds a Bachelor degree in interior design from Shanghai Institution of Technology, Master of project administration from Columbia University, and Master of global business management from Kedge Business School. She has also obtained American interior design qualification, and Energy Save Design certificate. Kelly has more than 10 years hospitality, commercial and residential interior design experience, and 3 years residential project management experience in Asia and North America. In her spare time she’s enjoying explore new things and having fun with families, her doggy girl and friends.

  • Shayenna Telles
    Assistant Project Manager

    Shayenna Telles, is OSHA certified professional. She has taken also three classes from NYU – Preconstruction Project Planning, Construction Field Management and Obtaining New York City Building Permits, Approvals and Certificates of Occupancy. Before joining Aerial Shayenna served as a vital member of the Management team at La Paz Community Health Care Center, located in San Antonio, TX. As Administrative Project Manager, she was responsible for the development and implementation of multiple projects designed to enhance the quality of client care. She has outstanding knowledge of computers, and is able to utilize this knowledge to enhance program operations and develop timelines designed to increase productivity.

  • Shakina Sumi
    Purchasing Manager

    Shakina Sumi is a junior at York College CUNY working towards her bachelor degree in Psychology. Education has been a great passion for Sumi. While in college, she also enjoys being involved in student government, event planning, leadership, being club president, performing in cultural events and other volunteer activities. She is excited about learning different cultures, history, cuisine and customs. Her fluency in English, Bangla, Hindi and Urdu while learning Spanish and Arabic is a great asset. Sumi’s positive ethics and dedication to her role is crucial to Aerial Design and Build daily operations.

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