At Vanguard, we believe in excellence. We achieve this by delivering a quality space, fulfilling our Client’s budgetary and scheduling expectations, and maintaining daily communications with the Project Team to let everyone know how the job is proceeding. Construction is a challenging business; it is noisy, expensive and inconvenient, and quite occasionally, nerve-wracking. For thirty years, Vanguard has built projects in the New York City/Metropolitan area. We know how to make construction go smoothly by creating informed schedules, detailed logistics and always thinking one step ahead.


By partnering with our Client to encourage teamwork in a collegial atmosphere, we anticipate the process and help minimize any potential conflicts. We are committed to being professional and to getting it right.


Founded in 1986 by Michael Strauss, Vanguard Construction & Development Co. Inc. is a 70 person strong General Construction and Construction Management firm building commercial, institutional, hospitality, residential, retail, and out-of-the-ground projects. The strength of our firm is based upon a commitment to longtime, repeat customers while also servicing first-time clients as valued friends.


Everyone at Vanguard is dedicated to one purpose–the Client’s satisfaction is our primary goal. We stand by our work long after the job is complete. We wish to provide you the best experience, from our very first introduction where we’ll share some ideas, to the day we turn over your project.


At Vanguard, we offer the following services:


General Construction

Vanguard will estimate the cost of a project utilizing our wide base of experienced subcontractors who also share our culture of service and commitment. By giving Clients the most competitive pricing available, we not only provide them with the best value, we also guarantee a quality performance built in a timely manner. The Vanguard job team, led by our Project Manager and on-site Superintendent, offers our customers constant guidance and feedback. Our Estimators, Account Executives and Principals are available as needed to step in to assist at any time during the project. We professionally and pro-actively keep our Clients informed each step of the way. By the job’s conclusion, Vanguard turns over a completed space our customers can move into. Our mission is to support and enable our Client’s continued success.


Construction Management

When invited to be part of the Project Team during the all-important Pre-Construction stage, Vanguard will roll up its sleeves to contribute our vast knowledge and resources. We provide an initial Budget based on preliminary schematic drawings, an updated Budget upon completion of design development drawings, and a Long Lead Item Purchasing Schedule naming critical vendors whose materials or equipment require early approval and release, to maintain the job within schedule. Vanguard also provides a Project Construction Schedule that establishes milestone delivery dates for the information and necessary filings by the Architect, Engineer and consultants, develops strategies and timetables for the expeditor to file with the NYC Department of Buildings, determines when the scope packages should be bid out to subcontractors, and reminds the Client when to release their approvals. This way, Vanguard keeps the job on track. In becoming an integral advocate for the Client, we help maintain focus on the process and guarantee the project’s success. By sharing thirty plus years of construction experience, everyone benefits from our know-how.


As Construction Manager during the building stage, Vanguard offers the same courteous, dedicated service from our Project Manager, Superintendent and support staff. Our strategies in problem solving are transparent; all questions and solutions are appreciated. While leading our jobs toward a timely completion, we rely upon everyone on the Project Team to become equal partners. At Vanguard, building is teamwork.


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    Buddakan NY Times


  • Daniel NY Times

    Daniel NY Times


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  • New School Oculus

    New School Oculus


  • 317 W 13th Residence

    317 W 13th Residence

    Interior Design 9/1999

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    Mclnerney Roof Garden

    Interior Design 2/2002

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    Interior Design 4/2006

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    Global Crossing

    Interior Architecture Award 12/2001

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    Grosse Jewels

    Interior Design 9/1995

  • Architects Newspaper Vitra 2006

    Architects Newspaper Vitra 2006


  • Contract Prime Capital 2003

    Contract Prime Capital 2003


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    FSM Charles Tyrwhitt 2005

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    Contract EDAW


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    Interior Design Leftfield Pictures


  • AIA American Girl 2003

    AIA American Girl 2003


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    ID - DKNY


  • ID Judith Lieber

    ID Judith Lieber


  • Interior Design - Zambetti Residence

    Interior Design - Zambetti Residence


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    The New York Times - Vitra


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    New York Living The Oxford

  • New York Stores of The Year

    New York Stores of The Year


  • Vitra New York - Carlos Miele

    Vitra New York - Carlos Miele


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    Real Estate Weekly - Buddakan




Michael J. Strauss
Michael J. Strauss

Michael Strauss founded Vanguard Construction & Development Co. Inc. in 1986. Prior to this, he was a Senior Project Manager and Construction Manager at Ambassador Construction. There he supervised all construction at Mendik Realty’s downtown properties and for other Wall Street firms such as Kidder Peabody and American Bond Buyer. Michael also worked as a designer for the architectural firm of Lee Harris Pomeroy. Previous to this, his construction experience was as a freelance General Contractor performing residential, retail and restaurant projects.

By combining his architectural and building knowledge, Michael has formed a company unique in its sensitivity to realizing the construction needs of its clients. His philosophy of total responsibility for all phases of construction and tailored services for individual projects allows Vanguard Construction to consistently produce jobs to the highest professional standards of excellence as advocate for the client. More recently, Michael has specialized in high-end retail, residential and design/development projects, in addition to working for corporate, hospitality and institutional clients.

Mr. Strauss graduated Cum Laude from CUNY Hunter College with a BA degree in Fine Arts. Michael also holds a BS degree in Architecture from City College of New York. Michael served as President of the Center for Architecture Foundation, is a Senior Advisor to openhousenewyork and a Patron of the GVSHP.

Jeffery A. Koffler
Jeffery A. Koffler
Executive Vice President / Director of Construction

Jeffrey Koffler joined Vanguard Construction & Development Co. Inc. in 1994. Prior to that, he worked for fifteen years at Construction Management Associates and Nucor Construction in the capacity of Senior Project Manager and Construction Manager.

At CMA, Jeffrey managed and directed all phases of operations including estimating, budget development, scheduling and planning and construction administration. Among his clients were firms such as NBC, Chemical Bank, Equitable Life Assurance Society, Showtime, Young & Rubicam and Gitano.
Jeffrey’s wealth of experience affords him the ability to provide project budget analysis, value engineering, direct course of action and the ability to implement cost efficiencies. He has extensive experience in estimating, conceptual budgeting, administration, negotiations and purchasing. Since 1999, Jeffrey has acted as Director of Construction, supervising Quality Control on all of Vanguard’s projects. He is responsible for the day-to-day operations of the company from accounts payable to accounts receivable, management of field operations, supervision of project staffing and on-site progress.

Jeffrey holds a BA degree from Miami University.

Dorothy Hom
Dorothy Hom
Director of Marketing / Senior Project Manager

Dorothy has worked with Vanguard since 1997. Her experience in programming, space planning and interior design offers clients a personal approach in meeting their aesthetic and practical needs. Formerly a designer with Gensler, Naomi Leff & Associates and TPG Architecture & Design, she has designed or built retail, residential, restaurant, hospitality, corporate and healthcare work, and contributes the benefit of a design-build perspective toward the construction of all her projects.

In addition, Dorothy contributes logistics when a job requires complex coordination to enable construction to commence safely and efficiently, with the least inconvenience to occupants, staff or neighboring tenants. She possesses excellent interpersonal and supervisory skills, and will go the extra mile for her clients as required.

Dorothy holds a BS in Interior Design from Cornell and is pursuing an MFA in Creative Writing and Literature at Stony Brook University. She represents Vanguard in their commitments to the AIA New York Chapter, Interior Design Hall of Fame, Center for Architecture Foundation, the ongoing internship program with Cornell University and openhousenewyork.

Richard A. Laskowski
Richard A. Laskowski
VIce President / Account Executive

Richard Laskowski joined Vanguard Construction & Development Co., Inc. in 2002 contributing over thirty years of construction experience in New York City. Richard was previously Principal of his own firm Compusite Turnkey Construction Inc., which performed a diverse range of interiors projects from 1970 to 2002.

Initially, Compusite Turnkey Construction provided construction expertise in building and supporting telecommunications, computer and LAN facilities. As work expanded to include interior renovation of office and retail projects, Richard acquired longstanding clients such as LBS Bank, Duane Reade, Avrett, Free & Ginsberg and the Girl Scouts of the U.S.A.

Richard has gained expertise in all areas of construction administration including marketing, estimating and project management. He enjoys the challenge of building diverse project types such as corporate, healthcare, non-profit and retail projects and provides his clients with the utmost care and professional service.

Richard has an AAS from Queensboro Community College and a BBA from Baruch School of Business Administration.

Joseph Candella
Joseph Candella
Business Development / Account Executive

Joseph Candella joins Vanguard in 2010 as a Business Development Executive/Senior Account Executive focusing on corporate relationships via end-users, architects, consultants and landlords. Joseph has over twenty years of experience in transactional real estate and corporate interiors and has a full understanding of the corporate relocation process from inception to completion and from base building renovations to infrastructure upgrades. He has been involved in many varied construction projects including retail, office interiors, institutional, medical, educational facilities and new construction.
Prior to this, Joseph was a Director of New Business Development at JRM Construction Management, a Senior Vice President at NCI Construction Inc., an Account Executive at MDA Contracting and Lehr Construction and a Vice President at Tri-Star Construction. He was also a Partner at Jennings Lucas Group, a full service real estate firm specializing in building sales, leasing and development.

Joseph is familiar with the entire construction process from receipt of construction documents to distribution of drawings to appropriate sub contractors, basic takeoffs, reviewing bids and proposals, scheduling, purchasing and project administration through closeouts.

Joseph has a BS degree in Business Administration with a concentration in Finance and Marketing from Northeastern University. He is a board member of Concrete Safaris, USGBC, REBNY and CORENET and is Co-Chair of the St. Jude Golf Outing.

George Molina
George Molina
Director of Estimating

George Molina joined Vanguard Construction in 2002 bringing expertise in architecture and construction management. George was previously a project manager at Compusite Turnkey Construction. He also worked in the design studio of Juan Pablo Molyneux. His dual experience allows George a more thorough understanding of estimating, an advantage he relays to his many clients. Now a Senior Estimator with Vanguard, George oversees a staff of estimators and assistant administrators. On each incoming bid, George carefully examines the project in detail to ensure no scope–stemming from phasing, logistics or means and methods–is overlooked. He applies his tenacious rigor toward obtaining the most competitive pricing, along with high quality craftsmanship and professional service, from our broad subcontractor base. Clients benefit from George’s hard work by receiving the best possible value.

George was a Bachelor of Architecture candidate at the University of Cuenca, Ecuador. George also has a degree in Construction Technology from the Institute of Design and Construction in Brooklyn, NY and holds a BS degree of Architecture from New York City College.

John Palino
John Palino
Senior Project Manager

John Palino joined Vanguard in 2013 contributing over twenty-five years of construction experience.

Previous to Vanguard, John worked at Americon Construction Inc. as an Associate Senior Project Manager providing all levels of Project Management for such clients as ING, Avon, News Corp, Fox Sports and TV Guide. His experience includes the construction of Accenture NYC, a Silver LEED project. In addition, he was Owner of G.K.L. General Contracting Co. Inc., delivering high end residential and commercial general contracting. John is a thorough, no-stone-unturned professional who leads all his jobs with authority, an attention to detail and a commitment to servicing the client.

John attended S.U.N.Y. at Farmingdale for college coursework and Dale Carnegie School.

Patrick Skahill
Patrick Skahill
Project Manager

Patrick contributes his experience as a Naval Aviation Maintenance Officer toward the organization and management of his jobs. Prior to joining Vanguard in 2013, he worked at Lehr, Interior Construction Corp., Aragon LLC and Artisan Construction as a Senior Project Manager. He is familiar with fast track schedules, maintains consistent quality control throughout the course of construction, and steers the project as a pro-active leader at all times. Patrick is a personable, diligent professional who delivers on consistent service and attention providing the utmost quality product for his clients.

Patrick holds a Bachelors in Business Admisnistration from Northwood University, possesses a 10 hour OSHA Safety Course and has completed the Navy Leadership and Development Course with Honors.

Nes Ataselim
Nes Ataselim
Project Manager

Nes Ataselim joined Vanguard in 2008. In her previous experience, Nes worked at Fountainhead Construction and FB International in a series of progressively more challenging positions introducing her to both the operational and project management aspects of Construction Management. Born in Turkey, Nes graduated from Dokuz Eylul University in Izmir with a BA in Business Administration before moving to New York in 1998 for her graduate studies at Pace. She delivers her projects with minimum conflict, while earning maximum results. Her diligent, thorough and service-oriented management has earned her great appreciation from all her clients, and loyalty among the subcontractors and consultants who perform under her steady leadership.

Nes received an MBA in Financial Management from Pace in 2002. While working in her last position, she completed the Certificate Program in Project Management at New York University in 2008.

Frank Fiorello
Frank Fiorello
Project Manager

Frank joined Vanguard in 2014, contributing a wealth of construction experience. He served as a Project Manager for Franklin Development Group, SPK Lewis Inc. and Nucor Construction Corp. performing a wide range of projects for clients such as Estee Lauder, New York University and Walgreens. At the MBI Group as Project Director, Frank managed jobs for Yeshiva University. As Senior Project Director at Exclusive Properties, LLC, he constructed multiple residential and commercial out-of-the-ground buildings. A disciplined and rigorous professional, Frank prides himself on his steady, effective leadership in the field, his timely responsiveness to any challenge, and enjoys providing his clients with the highest standards of service and execution

Frank received his bachelor degree from Texas A&M University. He also has certifications with the National Association of Certified Home Inspectors and the National Association of Purchasing Management.

Edward J. Tostanoski
Edward J. Tostanoski
Project Manager

Edward Tostanoski joined Vanguard in 2004 bringing a commitment and dedication to construction management from his thirty years of experience.

Previously, Ed worked at Signature Construction Group, Inc. in a variety of capacities from Project Manager to Vice President. He spearheaded numerous prestigious projects such as the restack for AIG, offices for Paramount Group, facilities for the Staten Island Womens Healthcare Center, and renovations and expansions of the Churchill School. Prior to this, while at Robert A. Keasbey Company, Ed managed mechanical installations at the Shoreham Nuclear Power Station, Battery Park City Buildings A, B and C and Merrill Lynch. In addition, Ed has extensive experience with contract review, quantity surveys, scheduling and purchasing, field supervision and maintenance of site safety and security. He prides himself on executing all phases of construction project management to the highest professional standards and client satisfaction.

Ed received a BS in Construction and Facilities Management from Iona College.

Mark Ekwall
Mark Ekwall
Senior Estimator

Mark Ekwall re-joined the Vanguard Construction team in 2013, contributing over thirty years of experience in the construction industry. Prior to re-joining Vanguard, Mark worked for Structure Tone providing schematic budgets, and client and architect interface in developing project scope thru pre-construction, schematic design and design development. He estimated on municipal infrastructures, public and private sector work and many ground-ups. His project experience includes Shisheido, the NYPD Joint Op Command Center, Hermes Flagship and Proskauer Rose. Mark contributes a rigorous, almost intellectual project budget analysis, inventive value engineering, conceptual budgeting, and scrupulous negotiations and purchasing skills to all of the jobs he works on.

Mark holds a BA from City University of New York and is a New York State registered architect with LEED and BD&C accreditation.

Arti K. Shah
Arti K. Shah
Senior Estimator

Arti Shah joined Vanguard Construction in 2004, contributing over twenty years of construction experience.

Arti has performed as a Project Manager and Senior Estimator in such well respected New York firms as Nico Construction Corp., Theodore Williams Construction and Interior Construction Corp. She has estimated and managed projects for the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, the NYC Housing Authority, Beth Israel Medical Center and New York Eye and Ear Hospital. She also served as President of Boulder Construction, a firm specializing in drywall and ceiling work, and performed work at Chelsea Piers and Columbia University. More recently Arti managed high-profile projects such as the Alexander McQueen store, Pincus & Co., LLC, facilities at Long Island University, SUNY Health & Science Center and Throgsneck Houses. Arti utilizes her combined construction experience to not only produce the best value available on her estimates, but also examine each job creatively and thoroughly to ensure its utmost potential.

Arti received a BS from Maharaj Sayajirao University in Gujarat, India and attended New York University for Estimating in Interior Construction. She also trained in Construction Supervision at the Regional Alliance of New York.

Sinan Cinar
Sinan Cinar

Sinan Cinar joined Vanguard Construction in 2013. Previous to this he was a Senior Estimator at Weltmann Lighting in Hicksville, L.I. for four years working for such projects as Canon Headquarters, the Goldman Sachs Conrad Hotel and the Bank of New York Mellon. Sinan is a remarkably creative, energetic and through professional who utilizes his combined experience in business and estimating. Not only does Sinan work hard to understand the job, he communicates this knowledge–along with scheduling, logistics and phasing, as well as scope—so that it is clearly understood by our subcontractors and consultants. In this manner, he ensures his clients receive the best and most competitive value for their project.

Sinan received a degree in industrial engineering from 9 Eylul University, Izmir, Turkey and a MBA from Stony Brook University specializing in Finance.


307 West 38th Street
New York, NY 10018
(212) 594-7477
(212) 279-2419

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