Strategic Executive Team

Ken Colao

President and CEO

Ken Colao is a recognized leader in the construction industry with over 40 years of experience as a principal. He is responsible for building many significant construction projects, and has founded several major construction firms. During his career, Ken has completed more than $3.3 billion worth of construction; including projects in the hospitality, commercial, residential, interiors, institutional, science, government and cultural sectors, in both domestic and international markets.

As a founding principal and president of CNY, Ken provides executive leadership of the firm’s core functions while providing hands on guidance and expertise to CNY’s clients.

Prior to the formation of CNY, Ken was a founding partner of York Hunter Companies, a New York City-based construction management firm that completed more than $2.4 billion of construction throughout the United States during its 18 year history. York Hunter provided services to many Fortune 500 companies, cultural institutions, government agencies and prominent real estate developers throughout the country. Ken’s early career included posts as a resident engineer on civil and infrastructure projects. Later joining Morse Diesel (Amec) as a project superintendent/project manager and subsequently Lehrer McGovern (Lend Lease), he advanced from being Lehrer McGovern’s first employee to eventually becoming a principal-in-charge in London.

Ken Colao holds a B.S.C.E. degree from the New Jersey Institute of Technology’s where he serves on the Board for the College of Architecture and Design. He has also served on the Governors Business Council and Board of Directors of the Newark Regional Business Partnership. He also currently serves as a member and Board member, of the World Presidents’ Organization YPO-WPO Big Apple and Metro chapter.

Steven Colao

Founding Principal and Chief Operating Officer

As Chief Operating Officer and Founding Principal of CNY, Steve Colao oversees and directs the firm’s project operations. His responsibilities include pre-construction, overseeing the CNY Technical Services Group, contract procurement and management of project teams.

Steve’s more than 30 years of project experience in the construction industry encompasses a wide range of construction and building types, including new construction, as well as complex renovations of hospitality, residential, office interiors, health and science, institutional and higher education school facilities.

As Chief Operating Officer, Steve is responsible for direct project oversight and leadership, cost and schedule management, bidding and procurement strategies, technical services including value engineering, constructability reviews, design assist, sourcing and contract negotiations, and client reporting.

Steve graduated from Rutgers University’s School of Engineering, and holds a degree in civil engineering, with an emphasis in construction engineering. He is an active supporter of the ACE Mentor Program of America, the design and construction industry’s fastest growing high school mentoring program, and serves as an ACE Mentor and frequent lecturer providing high school students with insights into the theory and practice of construction management.


Dennis Prude

Principal and Director of Field Operations

Dennis Prude, a leader in New York City’s construction industry, has a career in building that spans 50 years. As Director of Field Operations for CNY, Dennis is responsible for overseeing all ongoing construction project field activities. Dennis’ area of expertise includes hospitality and residential construction, office interiors, cultural, education and healthcare facilities throughout the New York metropolitan area.

Dennis’ daily activities include supervising the hiring, training and developing of CNY’s construction and field operations personnel as well as coordinating project staffing assignments with management operations. He interfaces regularly with CNY clients during pre-construction activities, creating and reviewing project site logistic plans, reviewing general-conditions budgets and providing input for project schedules and proposed value engineering studies. During the construction phase he focuses on ensuring quality control, monitoring the project safety program, reviewing project task and schedule adherence, and closely monitors overall manpower productivity and performance. Dennis also oversees the firm’s labor relations with New York City building trades unions and trade contractors.

Prior to joining CNY, Dennis was Senior Vice President/Director of Field Operations at Bovis/Lend Lease and Executive Vice President/Director of Field Operations at York Hunter. Major projects that he has directed include the construction of the Marriott at 1717 Broadway, a 70-story hotel currently the tallest stand alone hotel in the Western Hemisphere, the World Trade Center Memorial Project, Trump SOHO Hotel, Avery Fisher Hall at Lincoln Center, 199 Water Street, 127 John Street, the Marriott Hotel, Bronx Criminal Courthouse, NY Mets Citifield Baseball Stadium, and the Visy Waste Paper Recycling Facility where he led negotiations for the first New York City Project Labor Agreement.

Dennis’ industry contributions include his being elected to serve as an officer and on board member positions for several industry associations. He served as President of the Buildings Contractors Association (BCA) from 1997 to 2001. He was a board member of the Building Trades Employers’ Association (BTEA) from 1997 to 2009 and was a member of the Contractors Association of Greater NY from 2005 to 2009.

Dennis holds an associates degree in Construction Technology from New York City Community College.

Executive Officers

AnaTracey Hawkins

Senior Vice President of Strategic Growth, SPACES

AnaTracey Hawkins is a change agent recognized throughout the architecture, engineering, and construction (AEC), corporate real estate (CRE), fashion, and travel industries as an authority on brand awareness, strategic initiatives and business growth.

Over her nearly 20-year career, AnaTracey has served as a bridge between executive strategy and corporate achievement, leading teams that improve organizational health and profitability through relationship management, competitive intelligence research, cross-channel marketing, and brand refinement. Known first and foremost as a connector of people, her interpersonal skills and unyielding drive to succeed led her to establish her own non-profit peer advisory group to the AEC and CRE industries, allowing her to further influence her industry and develop deeper personal and professional associations.

Working as part of – or as a consultant to – public and private institutions, architectural and fashion designers, at-risk construction management organizations, and Fortune 500 brands, AnaTracey has gained a global awareness of market research and penetration, foreign capital investment, and enterprise operations. A native of New Zealand, her personal and professional travels have taken her to Australia, Asia, North America, South America, and Europe. A present and past list of clientele and global brand influence includes Blackrock, Bloomberg, Ford Motor Company, Vogue, Chloe, Morgans Hotel Group, Samsung, CBRE, Colliers International, BMW and Rolls-Royce North America, and PepsiCo.

David Brown

Vice President of Operations, SPACES

David Brown has more than 25 years of experience in the construction industry as a project manager, project executive and director of operations. His experience spans both new construction and interior renovation of existing spaces and spans a wide variety of markets, including hospitality, retail, and restaurants, cultural, commercial, education, historic restoration, healthcare, life sciences and pharmaceutical. In addition to successfully leading projects from inception through completion, Mr. Brown has experience in estimating and preconstruction, staffing and human resources, office operations and logistics and has played an executive management role in overseeing company change management. Mr. Brown is responsible for providing overall direction to the individual project teams, delivering projects that are fully consistent with the owner’s expectations. Specifically, while working with Project Managers, he oversees project budget development and value engineering analyses, conducts design review meetings, leads design document review, coordinates value engineering studies, and helps develop site logistics plans. In addition to reviewing work scopes, budgets, and schedules, Mr. Brown is responsible for guiding vendor evaluation and selection and managing the bidder prequalification/bidding/ purchasing/contract preparation processes.

Katie Urtnowski

Vice President of People & Culture