As summer draws to a close, it has been a busy month here at Gramercy with plenty of special employee stories to highlight and team members to meet. This month saw us wrap up our intern celebration while giving thanks to some of our veteran staffers. Let’s meet some of our August All Stars.
Mario Almonte, Mechanic
Mario is a seasoned mechanic and has been with Gramercy for 13 years. Originally hailing from the Dominican Republic, Mario moved to the U.S. 23 years ago and has been enjoying life here ever since. He shares his life with a woman he met in his homeland and together they are the proud parents of an 11 year-old boy and a 10 year-old girl.
Mario’s home is nestled in Queens, where he finds immense joy in spending quality time with his children. Having dedicated the majority of his life to the art of mechanics, Mario’s passion for fixing things runs deep. His expertise primarily revolves around mending hoses and alternators, tasks that occupy much of his daily routine. What Mario treasures most about his profession is the opportunity to work on intricate machines.
His dedication has been invaluable in ensuring the smooth operation of our machinery over the years. We extend our heartfelt gratitude for Mario’s unwavering commitment, which has contributed to the seamless functioning of our operations over the years.
Bonnie Porzio, General Counsel
Bonnie’s professional journey has provided her with substantial experience. Prior to joining Gramercy, she contributed her expertise to another construction company for 13 years, alongside a decade of litigation practice within a prominent firm.
Bonnie’s passion for law was ignited at a young age. At just 8 years old, she found herself captivated by the legal world, thanks to her father’s friend, a judge, who generously allowed her to observe court proceedings. This early exposure laid the foundation for her lifelong commitment to the legal field.
A distinguished graduate of Hofstra Law, Bonnie now balances her legal career with her role as a mother of two. Beyond her professional and familial commitments, she generously invests her time as a board member of Pet Peeves, a non-profit organization dedicated to fundraising for animal rescues. Her affinity for animals is not only a personal passion but also a testament to her dedication to making a positive impact on the lives of those in need.
Bonnie’s enthusiasm for her work at Gramercy is fueled by her belief in the significance of empowering women in fields traditionally dominated by men, such as law and construction. Her aspiration to serve as a role model for her daughter and the next generation underscores her commitment to breaking down barriers through unwavering diligence and perseverance.
In extending our gratitude to Bonnie, we recognize the invaluable contribution she makes as an integral member of our team.
Michael Stecz, Local 15
Michael joined Gramercy just last year and has been actively involved in our Hart Island project. Prior to joining Gramercy, he worked as an 825 operator. With over 11 years of experience as a mechanic and welder, Michael brings valuable skills to our team.
Construction runs in Michael’s family, with his father specializing in demolition. Inspired by his family background, Michael was the only one of his siblings to pursue a career in the construction industry.
He considers himself fortunate to have a loving wife and four children, two girls, and two boys. During his leisure time, Michael indulges in his passions for the shore, boating, and fishing. Although he enjoys working in New Jersey, he always longed to be involved in projects in New York.
Michael expresses sincere gratitude towards Gramercy for the warm welcome and camaraderie he has experienced within the team. His positive attitude and dedication to his work make him an invaluable asset to our organization. We extend our heartfelt thanks to Michael for being an essential part of our team.
Chris Schwab, Manager
A legendary figure in the demolition industry, Chris has been managing projects for Gramercy since 2003 and his expertise is unmatched. He initially joined us through the recommendation of his older brother, Mark Schwab, who is also a renowned figure in demolition.
Chris’s passion for the field stems from his early exposure to his father’s large-scale demolition company. He began accompanying his father to work at the age of 12. Despite having 15 siblings, only three of them developed an interest in carrying on the family business, and Chris is one of them.
What Chris says he loves most about his work is the unique challenges posed by each building. He believes there is always a solution waiting to be discovered and he finds great fulfillment in mentoring aspiring professionals in the industry. This he promises to continue doing even when he decides to retire, although he’s firm that retirement is not on his agenda. He approaches his work with a combination of fearlessness and respect, ensuring that every project is executed safely, within the designated timeline, and according to the allocated budget.
During his leisure time, Chris indulges in his passion for classic cars and boating. We extend our heartfelt appreciation to Chris for his invaluable contributions to Gramercy over the years. His wealth of knowledge and unwavering work ethic are always cherished and highly regarded by our team.
Meet the Gramercy Interns: Part Two
This month concludes our celebration of the contributions our summer interns have brought to the company. We’d like to say thank you to Briana, Hannah, and Andrew for their dedication to learning and wish them great success in their chosen career paths. Let’s find out what they learned during their time with Gramercy.
Briana Florent, Drexel University, Engineering, 2026
“I have learned the behind the scenes details of what it takes to run a successful construction business. Working in an environment which is mainly collaborative has allowed me to enhance my creativity and be a better support to my coworkers; which will translate back to the classroom.”
Hannah Monahan, Architectural & Civil Engineering, Drexel University 2024
“As this is my second internship at Gramercy, I’ve learned a lot more about what it takes to complete a long-term project. This is my first time being on a joint venture project team, and it truly takes a village to coordinate such a large scope project. Coordinating material procurement, managing subcontractors, and task scheduling has proven vital in making this project possible and efficient.”
Andrew Pultz, Civil Engineering, Bucknell University, 2026
“Through this internship, I was introduced to many of the different aspects of demolition. With it being my first year with the company, I was unsure of the thought process and work that went into this line of work. Over this summer however, Gramercy Group was able to show me how they run things very quickly. I was mainly based in estimating so I got to learn how to write up bids for different jobs. This gave me further insight on how many moving parts there are to a demolition job and how much money and machinery must go into certain projects. They also left me with the responsibility of takeoffs and how to measure and read site plans on programs like Bluebeam. One of my favorite parts of the job was being able to visit the in-progress jobs and getting to see what I was working on come to life.”
*Please note, Andrew doesn’t operate machines, he was just seated here for a photograph.