A Message from Franco Balassone, President & CEO
Welcome to ATANE. Since joining the firm in 2009, I have had the opportunity to observe a relatively small engineering consulting firm grow into a mid-size, full-service architectural and engineering company. I am very proud to have been able to expand the firm’s presence in the New England region and now embrace my role as President and CEO.
Our growth over 3 decades has been through a combination of dedication and passion to deliver excellence in construction management and inspection, environmental, engineering design, architecture/facilities design, land surveying, special inspections and material testing services. Fundamental to this success has been our outstanding people and the unique culture we have fostered.
Our re-branding in 2018 resulted in a contemporary, future-focused organization able to move into new markets and territories, attract a newer generation of professionals, and continue our long-standing relationships with client partners and stakeholders.
ATANE works with public agencies and authorities as well as private entities to deliver a diversity of project types and purposes. We are large enough to respond quickly to any client request, yet small enough to bring a personalized approach to every assignment.
We hope you will visit our website often and accompany us on our journey. We look forward to serving you.
– Franco Balassone, President & CEO
Meet our experienced and talented leadership team.
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Franco Balassone,PE, CCM
Franco Balassone, President/CEO of ATANE, is highly experienced in the management and marketing of services for facility, school and transportation projects. Franco has been instrumental in increasing ATANE’s presence in the New England region and adding area work to our portfolio. He has led award-winning Connecticut bridge inspection programs and oversaw our critical construction engineering and inspection services on the New Haven Main Line. Prior to joining the firm, he reviewed major highway and bridge projects for the FHWA and managed projects for NYSDOT, CTDOT, and Metro-North, among others. Franco is a Certified Construction Manager and a Professional Engineer in 24 states.
Richard A. Bernardo, P.E.
Senior Vice President
New England Region
Richard A. Bernardo, Senior Vice President and New England Regional Manager, joined ATANE in 2017 with many years’ experience in the civil engineering field, specializing in civil, transportation, and environmental engineering. His experience includes numerous civil design and construction projects, roadway reconstruction and highway relocation design, traffic impact studies, and construction inspection.
Prior to joining the firm, he was Senior Vice President/Regional Manager for New England operations, responsible for overall supervision of all four offices in Rhode Island, Massachusetts, and Connecticut, including operation budgets, project quality control, and marketing. He also served as Rhode Island office manager, controlling the operation and function of the Providence office.
Richard holds a BS in Civil Engineering from Roger Williams University and is a Professional Engineer in Rhode Island, Connecticut, Massachusetts, and Maine.
Senior Vice President
South Mid-Atlantic Region
Christine Karg-Palreiro is responsible for ATANE’s operations and business development in Maryland, Washington, DC, and Virginia. A seasoned industry pursuit strategist and client relationship manager, Christine brings over 25 years of leadership in marketing and managing construction, design and program management services for large-scale, complex infrastructure projects. She has successfully managed and actively supported the growth of business units serving public- and private-sector clients for national and international engineering consulting firms in the ENR Top 100. Christine is a licensed Professional Engineer and actively involved with industry organizations, including WTS, ACEC, CMAA and SAME.
Raja Sekhar Nelapati
Raja Sekhar Nelapati has extensive experience in planning and execution, design, construction, maintenance, construction materials investigation, and supervision of road and highway projects, including review of road safety management plans and implementation of remedial safety measures. He also has experience coordinating teams of consultants and engineers from executing agencies, monitoring project progress, coordinating with governmental agencies to resolve worksite issues, addressing contract-related issues, and implementing resettlement and relocation action plan/land acquisition-related issues. Prior to joining ATANE, Rajah spent 15 years with the National Highways Authority of India in roles of increasing responsibility.
Executive Vice President, Construction Inspection/Board Member
Hesham Kotby, Executive Vice President of the Construction Inspection Department, manages and supervises ATANE’s large-scale infrastructure projects. As a veteran Project Manager and Resident Engineer, he has been responsible for on-site, day-to-day operation of projects and interface with utility companies and governmental agencies. Since joining ATANE in 1999, Hesham has managed some of the firm's largest New York City Department of Design and Construction projects, including the Grand Street Trunk Water Main, recipient of the ACEC New York 2018 Platinum Award for Engineering Excellence and the CMAA Metro NY/NJ 2017 Project of the Year Award.
Hesham holds a B.S. in Civil Engineering from Alexandria University and is a Professional Engineer in New York and Delaware.
Executive Vice President of Engineering Design/Board Member
Paul Nietzschmann, Executive Vice President of Engineering Design, joined ATANE after serving for 14 years as Vice President and Senior Vice President of a global engineering consulting firm, most recently leading the Bridge Design practice across New York and New Jersey. His distinguished career encompasses project management, design, inspection and seismic and structural analysis for major bridges, highways and transit structures in complex urban areas. He is a Professional Engineer in New York; New Jersey; Washington, DC; Pennsylvania; Connecticut; Florida; Rhode Island; and Maryland and recipient of the ASCE Met Section 2013 Civil Engineer of the Year and 2017 Roebling awards.
Executive Vice President/Board Member
Structural Inspection and Evaluation
Mahmood Mohammed heads the Structural Inspection and Evaluation Department, which comprises over 30 inspection teams conducting more than 1,000 bridge and 700 ancillary inspections annually. His expertise has been instrumental in making ATANE one of the Northeast region’s premier bridge inspection and analysis firms. Mahmood has managed the inspection and evaluation of over 4,000 bridges and 3,500 ancillary structures, including major bridges like the Pearl Harbor Memorial Bridge, the first extradosed bridge in the U.S. He also led the first-of-its-kind investigation/monitoring of the Gold Star Bridge, which received an ACEC NY Platinum Award. Mahmood is a Professional Engineer in 10 states.
Senior Vice President
Jeff Terzakis, a Certified Construction Manager, oversees a distinctive range of CM services, including program management, CM/design-build and overall project management under a CM as Advisor capacity. Jeff has led many of the firm’s most prominent CM undertakings, offering our clients his wide-ranging experience in the construction management of housing, healthcare, educational, transportation, aviation, municipal and commercial facilities. His comprehensive project management experience focuses on complex capital programs and developments in both the private and public sectors. Jeff anticipates issues from the outset and manages outcomes through preparedness, consensus and accountability.
Executive Vice President
New England Region
Richard Hallahan, Senior Vice President, heads ATANE’s Special Inspection Department and its state-of-the-art material testing laboratories. He is adept at construction, materials inspection, special and controlled inspections, inspection monitoring, progress inspections, building assessments, and quality control. Projects under his purview have included batch plant inspections for all MTA Capital Construction and NYCT projects under construction; post-Superstorm Sandy inspections in hard-hit areas of New York City; SCA special inspections at more than 300 facilities citywide; special and forensic inspections at NYCHA housing developments; and special inspections for a platform over active LIRR tracks that will support two high-rise towers at Hudson Yards. Rich is a Professional Engineer in New York and New Jersey.
Alfred D. Barcenilla,Sr., PE, P.L.S.
Senior Vice President
Land Surveying and Mapping
Alfred Barcenilla directs ATANE’s Land Surveying and Mapping Department, which performs major topographical, property line, right-of-way, utility, construction, design and control surveys employing state-of-the-art high-definition 3D laser scanning and subsurface utility ground penetrating radar equipment as well as Mobile LiDAR. As Chief of Survey, he has overseen survey and mapping services for NYCT, Metro-North, LIRR and PANYNJ. During his tenure, he managed and coordinated the Ground Zero survey monitoring and mapping for the 9/11 rescue, recovery and demolition phases. Al is a Professional Engineer in New York and a Professional Land Surveyor in New York, Connecticut and Pennsylvania.
Senior Vice President, Water/Wastewater/Board Member
Al Lopez, Senior Vice President for ATANE’s Water/Wastewater practice, has held positions of responsibility throughout his career. As NYCDEP Deputy Commissioner for the Bureau of Engineering Design and Construction, he managed a $2 billion annual capital improvement program; as Deputy Commissioner for the Bureau of Wastewater Treatment, he was responsible for operations and maintenance of New York City’s wastewater treatment system and management of the 1,900-person agency. Immediately prior to joining the firm, he was NE Regional Manager, Water/Wastewater, for a major design and consulting firm.
Al has served as principal-in-charge on major firm undertakings, including the ATANE-led joint venture for the Gilboa Dam Reconstruction. Phase 3, the rehabilitation of the dam, was completed two years ahead of schedule, receiving a 2015 ACEC New York Gold Award for Engineering Excellence and a 2014 CIB New York Award of Merit.
Al is a Professional Engineer in New York.
Yusuf Poonawala,PE, F.ASCE
Senior Vice President
Yusuf Poonawala, Senior Vice President of the Marketing Department, is responsible for developing strategic business and marketing plans and managing operations for ATANE’s ongoing work in India. His proven leadership capabilities and wealth of diversified experience have resulted in annual sales of over $150 million. As Senior Engineer, Yusuf reviews technical scopes of work for all infrastructure and facility construction and rehabilitation projects and prepares project engineering technical approach reports and labor and cost estimates for governmental agencies throughout the eastern US. Yusuf is a Professional Engineer in ten states and an ASCE Fellow.
Meryle A. Kaleda
Vice President and General Counsel
As General Counsel, Meryle Kaleda advises senior management on all corporate legal matters pertaining to contracts, procurement, risk management, regulatory compliance, finance, human resources and employment, and safety. She reviews, drafts and negotiates contracts and other business agreements and provides insurance defense litigation oversight and insurance contract compliance supervision. Prior to joining ATANE, she served as Associate General Counsel and Vice President of a New York City-based women/minority-owned professional design and construction firm. Meryle is admitted to practice law in New York State and the Second District Court for the Southern and Eastern Districts of New York.
Lori Littlejohn, ATANE Compliance Officer, is highly experienced in the development, implementation, and management of corporate compliance and ethics programs. Her expertise includes anti-corruption, data privacy, data protection, Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, cybersecurity, anti-money laundering, terrorist financing, economic sanctions, customs compliance, commercial export controls, sexual harassment, and diversity and inclusion. As such, she oversees ATANE’s code of business ethics and standards of conduct, including anti-corruption policies, and develops training initiatives for its continued improvement.
Lori received her Juris Doctor from Emory University School of Law and an MBA and BS from Florida A&M University. She is admitted to practice law in New York and Florida.
Anish Deshpande,PE, PG
Assistant Vice President/Senior Project Manager
Anish Deshpande is a leading member of our Environmental practice, which serves developers, real estate property owners, asset investors, and facility managers as well as public agencies. His in-depth experience encompasses employment with A/E/C consulting firms and environmental specialty organizations. He has led a task order contract for USEPA-compliant environmental site assessments and investigations of brownfield sites for the NYC Mayor’s Office of Environmental Remediation. As Project Manager for the Chelsea Piers Redevelopment, Anish led environmental engineering services for a proposed private redevelopment that required remediation of VOC and SVOC contamination via Best Management Practices. Anish is a Professional Engineer in New Jersey and a Professional Geologist in New Hampshire.
At ATANE we understand that business is local, and that our clients' success depends on us being right there with them in the communities they serve.
To view the contact details for offices near you, click on the link nearest to your location.
Corporate HQ, NY
Mount Laurel, NJ
Fax:(914) 945-9012 or (914) 945-9017
Phone:+91 80 3192 9797