bios-rich-hilerRich Hiler, LEED®AP


Rich has worked for Essential Design + Build and has been a member of the ATCO Organization since 1999. His commercial and residential interior work spans projects both large scale and intimate from warehouse-to-office conversions, corporate interiors and elaborately designed residential homes. Rising through the ranks of the organization his experience and leadership now steers the ed+b team- a position he has held since 2013.

Rich holds a BS in Construction Management from Roger Williams University, and is an active fundraiser for several charities throughout the NYC community. Passionate about interior design and sustainability, he is a LEED Accredited Professional, a NYC Home Improvement Salesperson and a Certified Passive House Tradesperson. He is President of his condominium board of directors and resides in Brooklyn with his wife and two children.

Chris Pettusbios-chris-pettus

Senior Project Manager

Chris brings to Essential Design + Construction 21 years of experience with Atco Construction and over 38 years of experience overall, having worked as a laborer, carpenter, foreman, field supervisor and project manager.  He has extensive knowledge of new construction and commercial and medical facilities renovations, and has overseen the lobby renovations of 630 3rd Avenue and 20 West 57th Street, the gut renovation of Atlas Cafe on Central Park South, and high-end residential renovations and commercial build-outs in properties throughout the city.

Gwenaël Kerlidou

Project Manager

Born and educated in France, Gwenaël Kerlidou came into the construction world via sculpture fabrication. His trajectory started with work as a finish carpenter, then as a site super and finally, after a project management degree from NYU, as a Project Manager. For the last 18 years he has been honing his skills on high-end residential interior renovations, coordinating teams of architects, designers and engineers. He has also developed close relationships with the trades and is equally comfortable on traditional and modern designs. His past projects range from loft renovations in Tribeca, Soho or Chelsea to luxury apartments and townhouses on the upper east and west side.

Peter Cruz


Peter has 17 years of experience working for Atco, and 19 years of overall knowledge of the construction accounting industry.  He handles accounts payable, accounts receivable and collections for the department.  He insures that all subcontractors are properly licensed, insured, and paid on a timely basis.  He oversees the preparation and processing of purchase orders and change orders and helps ensure that all projects remain within budget.   His project management experience allows him to support the construction team in the field and in the office whenever the need arises.

Peter has an AA in Business Administration from BMCC and is a licensed New York real estate agent and notary public.

Ava Gromadzka, LEED®GA 

Project Managerava

Born in Poland and educated in Denmark, Ava graduated from Copenhagen School of Design and Technology with a Bachelor degree in Architectural Technology and Construction Management.  She began her career in the industry remodeling homes and fabricating modular summer homes in Denmark.   With a passion for sustainability, Ava wrote her thesis on green skyscrapers based on her internship with Silverstein Properties at the World Trade Center.  During this time, Ava participated with real estate industry leaders in the creation of the Sustainable Standard Lease Clause for commercial properties owners which encourages the implementation of energy efficient improvements in NYC office buildings.

Ava has worked for general contractors and building owners on a number of commercial and high-end residential projects.  Additionally, she continues to assist investors with underwriting large-scale real estate transactions.  She is currently a Project Manager with the ed+b team and resides in New York City.

bios-paddy-loPaddy Lo

Cost Estimator

Paddy has worked as a senior cost estimator / quantity surveyor for more than 30 years for a variety of establishments. These establishments include cost consultant firms, general contractors and developer in U.S., UK and Hong Kong and have a wide experience in both building and civil engineering. During the period of his employment he has been involved in offices, residences, hospitals, schools, hotels, churches, retails, marine work and BP oilfield development.Paddy has a bachelor’s degree in Quantity Surveying from the University of Westminster in the U.K.

Esther Torres


Esther has 17 years of experience working for Atco and 26 years of overall administrative experience.   She supports our entire office staff and field crew.  Esther handles all administrative duties on all jobs including payroll, correspondence, filing, Submittal Logs, scheduling appointments and more. Esther is the glue that keeps our team together.