Born and raised in New York City, Ruben Rodriguez decided early on, that he wanted to study, understand, and contribute to the built environment around him. Once acquiring his Bachelor of Architecture from City College he entered the market he valued most. In the public housing sector, he has worked with Habitat for Humanity to rehab existing and designs new single-family homes. But his focus has been on medium to large-scale developments.
From the New Brooklyn Manor in Bedford-Stuyvesant to his most recent ambition, the improvement of 1,700 NYCHA units throughout New York City. Ruben understands the importance of relationships. He has been a member of the SLM Architecture family from early in its growth. And through his journey, he has established strong relationships, with the people that live in these homes, as well as the city agencies including HPD, Landmarks, and National Park Services.
For over 17 years Ruben has applied his knowledge, creativity, and managerial skills to contribute to the development of nearly a hundred buildings and several thousand units. With SLM he has also helped design and manage building types from commercial spaces to office environments to religious establishments like St. Stephen St. Martin’s Church.
Director of Human Resources
Santressa is a self-motivated and goal-oriented HR Professional. She has mastered the art of effective communication, has the ability to interact with all levels of the public, and takes charge of situations to execute profitable results. She holds a Bachelor of Science from St. John’s University and has had a vital role in the Human Resource community for over 15 years.
Her HR career has afforded her opportunities to work in the areas of Learning and Development, Total Rewards, Talent Planning and Acquisition, Employee and Labor Relations, Business Management and Strategy, and Labor Law. Santressa’s learning is far from over; she continues to educate herself on Trends in the industry, and HR policies and procedures. She is currently studying for SHRM-SCP.
Giovanni Rabusin, RA, LEED AP
Design Associate Director
Project Architect – BIM Manager
Tyheem’s experience with various building typologies at various scales has given him the foresight into understanding a building’s complexity. His experience along with his expertise in architectural technology has furthered his interest in utilizing present and emerging technologies against inherit project constraints to make outstanding designs reasonably feasible.
His perpetual search of knowledge informs a continual effort to support the development of the built environment. Tyheem has a degree in architecture and technology from the New York City College of Technology, where he has also held a teaching position. Over the past 10 years, he has worked to provide assistance, knowledge, and leadership where needed to pursue the understanding that well-thought-out architecture can advance societal, economic, and environmental progress.
Tyheem is currently working towards becoming a registered architect.
Senior Project Manager
Warren Anderson’s path to SLM Architecture was paved with a sense of play and service, born out of a love of making little houses in the backyard of his childhood home. These artisan notions eventually grew into an insatiable need to seek out a variety of experiences in several building types. Projects like the 1,000,000 square foot Orange County Courthouse, New Hempstead Ambulance Corps, Gucci stores, and University of Central Florida Student Hall not only allowed him to explore his youthful notions but also made him realize the importance of simultaneously servicing the clients’ needs. Not just fulfilling the minimum requirements of an architect, but the satisfaction of surpassing them.
A few years ago, Mr. Anderson had a visceral experience working on a low-cost housing project for the elderly. For the first time, he was able to see the immediate impact of his work, in the eyes of appreciative clients and its end-users. Unlike his previous experiences, he was able to see how a well-appointed home, no matter how modest, can illuminate a resident’s hope and belief in a positive future.
Andre recently joined SLM as a Project Architect after many years in the field. He has worked in multiple practices within Architecture, including retail, solar design, commercial buildings, workplace, and many years in the residential sector. His residential experience spans from high-end residential to multiple dwelling units, along with some experience in housing rehabilitation and re-development.
Andre graduated from the design-focused Catholic University of America. Over the years Andre has developed a keen eye for detail and has a great aesthetic that he applies to his projects. Driven by a desire to continue to become the most well-rounded Architect, Andre is currently studying for the A.R.E. (Architectural Registration Exam) with the intention of becoming a registered Architect – which would be the realization of a dream.
Jennifer Watts, AIA, RA
Senior Project Manager
Jennifer joins our team as a Senior Project Manager. Her goal is to enhance the built environment for users of these spaces through purposeful, resilient, and efficient planning and design. She brings a diverse background enriched by HUD expertise, volunteer work, and global exploration.
As a Licensed Architect, AIA member, and LEED AP, Jennifer has been privileged to learn from skilled designers across various firms, engaging in the complete project lifecycle from pre-design to project closure. People lie at the heart of her work, especially in the affordable housing sector. She’s well-versed in sustainable design, having co-founded the EGB National Capital Chapter in DC, been a part of the US Green Builders Council, and conducted LEED training. Her extensive design portfolio spans from residential gems to commercial marvels, including LEED-certified projects, historic preservations, and government initiatives.
Jennifer graduated from The Catholic University of America with a master’s in architecture and a bachelor’s with a distinguished thesis. She enjoys spending time with her husband and three children, going to the beach, playing volleyball, and camping.
Sakeenah is a visual storyteller with a passion for expressing and humanizing layered ideas.
Her formal education in architecture along with her life experiences, provide her with an adept photographic eye, that spills over into her work. Sakeenah graduated from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute with a Bachelor of Architecture degree and went on to pursue varying roles within the design industry, with a focus in marketing and photography. At Arenson, the then-largest Knoll dealer, she served as the Photographer and Content Marketing Manager, bringing innovative and comprehensive approaches to presenting for prospective projects and documenting completed work. She went on to further hone and develop her skills as a photographer at Perkins Eastman where she worked alongside a talented team of Architectural photographers.
Throughout her career, there is an overarching theme of acute sensitivity to how she approaches her work and the people she serves, whether it be the client, and ensuring that our message is clear and representative of their needs, her SLM teammates, or anyone else in between.
As a New York Institute of Technology graduate, Brandon has explored and experienced architecture in both the inner and outer city of Manhattan, Brooklyn, The Bronx and Eastern Long Island. Over the Years, he has gained the bulk of his architectural experience in residential rehabilitation and restoration under the resourceful guidance of Partners, Andrew, and Shaneekua.
Brandon has helped over 2000+ families obtain a better living experience through active living practices while being environmentally conscious and aware.
Brandon hopes to fulfill his dream of being a licensed Architect, as well as being LEED certified, so that he may be able to one day contribute to the need for sustainable structures within the built environment.
From affordable housing developments in New York to mixed-use office and residential developments in Shenzhen, Grace has wide-ranging experience in housing design. As a New York native, Grace believes that every residential building holds a story of community within a community. She enjoys designing with community in mind and creating spaces that meet the social needs of the inhabitants while adding a sense of splendor.
Grace’s interests are diverse and speak to her multifaceted journey to architecture. She initially studied health science and was involved in psychiatric research. Her budding curiosity in spatial design produced a desire to also study architecture. She aspires to integrate public health and design, believing that intentional design can positively impact one’s health. She also spends her time writing poetry and songs and volunteering in the community.
Grace holds a Master of Architecture degree from the City College of New York and has spent a summer studying in Barcelona. She has assisted in managing and designing affordable housing projects. She is in pursuit of obtaining her architecture license.
Kiamesha joined SLM after working as a Site Safety Design Coordinator at Construction Realty Safety Group (CRSG). She received her Master of Architecture degree from the Bernard and Anne Spitzer School of Architecture, where she also completed her thesis “Modernizing the NYCHA Housing Complex: Lincoln Houses for Non-nuclear Families and Intergenerational Spaces.”
Kiamesha was awarded the Castagna Architectural Scholarship to study abroad in Barcelona, Spain, and the Microdesk scholarship. She is also an associate member of the AIA and a member of NYCOBA NOMA. Kiamesha holds a Bachelor of Architecture degree in Studio Art from the City College of New York, CUNY. In the future she is aspiring to become a licensed Architect in New York.
Humairah Syed, RA
Humairah has over 8 years of experience working in metropolitan cities like Mumbai and New York. Her work includes new construction and renovation in residential, commercial, and institutional projects. Humairah holds a Master of Urban Environmental System Management from Pratt Institute, where she was awarded a scholarship, as well as a Bachelor of Architecture from Mumbai University in India.
She believes that every project has an opportunity to contribute to the well-being of people and its surrounding environment. She is passionate about integrating sustainable design strategies with architectural design for a resilient, equitable, and healthy environment.
Her broad range of experience compliments her pragmatic and detail-oriented approach to design and client interaction. At SLM Architects, she is currently working on Affordable Housing to achieve a passive house. Her role includes site visits, zoning, and building code analysis, design development, and construction drawings.
Humairah is working to become a licensed Architect in New York. In her spare time, she enjoys traveling, reading, and cooking for her family.
Bruce graduated from the New York Institute of Technology with a bachelor’s degree in architectural technology science and a concentration in construction management. While in school he worked for Thomas D. Blore Architects, where he gained experience in residential projects such as house elevations, additions, new construction, and expediting. After graduation, he joined H2M architects + Engineers as a staff designer and worked in the public market sector, focusing on educational projects.
With experience in residential and public market disciplines, he comes to SLM with a wide range of knowledge. He is skilled in building information modeling, rendering, and detailing. He has completed three of his architectural license exams and aspires to be a registered Architect. He believes in improving communities with a well-thought-out design and sustainable practices. He is excited to contribute and learn from the community-driven projects at SLM.
Daniel is a visual and hands-on person using many different specialties to express his passion for design.
He graduated from the New York Institute of Technology with his Bachelor’s degree in architecture. After graduation, he attended Columbia University’s MSAAD program and graduated with a Master’s in Advanced Architectural Design.
Committed to the profession, Daniel has been a Professor at the New York Institute of Technology at the Undergraduate level teaching interior design courses and supporting the development of syllabuses and courses. While at Columbia University, his architectural designs were showcased at the New Museum and the Queens Museum. He is also an active member of the AIA’s Emerging Professionals Committee, supporting and serving the growth of architectural professionals.
With experience in various disciplines in the AEC sector, he comes to SLM with a wide range of knowledge. He is proficient in building information modeling, rendering, and managing. He is excited to further his experience and develop in architecture and design from not only a variety of roles but also his peers and design professionals at SLM.
Joenette Cobb is an alumna of the Dual M.Arch/ MUP program at the University at Buffalo and has a background in ecological practices and urban design.
She believes in using sustainable practices and emerging architectural technologies to create more equitable communities, as seen by her involvement in the Monteverde Institutes Sustainable Futures program, where she helped design a school building and build a children’s playground.
In 2018, she was Vice President of the team that won the N.O.M.A.S. Barbara G. Laurie Student Design Competition for a transit-oriented development that promoted urban farming within a low-income community in Chicago.
Aspiring towards licensure, she has developed an aptitude for learning and utilizing different drafting, design, modeling, and GIS software. She spent three years as an Associate Mapping & Spatial Record Specialist within the NYC Department of City Planning, where she assisted with the preparation of over 185 sketch maps for proposed changes to the NYC zoning map. She has also assisted with the City’s efforts to digitize the paper zoning map and formerly worked at Perez Architecture, rehabilitating homes that were negatively affected by Hurricane Sandy in 2012.
Field Verifying Inspector
Kemone Martin, a recipient of the Kaplan Education Foundation Scholarship, holds a Bachelor of Science in Clinical Social Work from New York University and a Master’s in Special Education from Fordham University.
Kemone, who was afforded the CCTOP Scholarship at NYU, spent a semester in Buenos Aires, Argentina, where she recognized that instability and poor conditions in public housing were an intercontinental issue. Furthermore, as an educator, she recognized that the conditions in public housing had a direct impact on student performance and wanted to improve housing conditions for families in underserved communities.
Since then, Kemone has conducted site evaluations on NYCHA housing through the PACT Program initiative with the Arker Companies. Kemone experience in both Social Work and Education has been instrumental in delivering results for clients in NYCHA housing.
Kemone is currently pursuing a Master’s in Construction Management and Engineering at Fordham University.
Louise is an Interior Designer with a degree from Nassau Community College and an undergraduate in architecture from Queensborough. She was awarded a SUNY award for a commercial interiors project at Nassau, as well as second place in a competition for the HGTV Property Brothers.
Her background is primarily in luxury interior design, working for Ballard Designs and Safavieh. Her past residential project experience has been rooted in merging the client’s needs with functional design. While working in interiors, she volunteered at Local Design Construction, drafting and field surveying for public places of worship. Now working as an architectural drafter at SLM, she hopes to bring thoughtful and attractive interior design to affordable housing.
Sidnie recently joined SLM architecture after acquiring her master’s from the Spitzer School of Architecture in New York. While in school, she worked for a Harlem-based studio Brandt:Haferd, where she focused on built projects from domestic to urban spaces, such as visual representations for galleries and office renovations.
Sidnie was granted the 2022 Graduate Research Symposium Award for her goal of creating an Equitable Development that aims to ensure the future of affordable housing in New York City.
Sidnie’s goal is to work on more projects focused on community engagement that can impact not only the city she grew up in but hopefully nationwide.
What inspired Joseph’s interest in architecture started as a hobby of putting model buildings together and constantly questioning how everything works together in the model’s design. Joseph enjoys creative problem-solving and presenting ideas to clients and the final users.
As the eldest child and the first grandchild in his family to graduate from both Wilson Tech in 2017 and, most recently SUNY Farmingdale State College, Joseph credits his passion to the support of his family.
When he is not working, he spends his time with his family, either at home watching a Yankees game or on a family vacation, such as their yearly trip to Lake George.
Karlee Greco is a recent graduate of the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth, where she gained a bachelor’s degree in Interior Architecture and Design. As an Architectural Designer at SLM, Karlee brings creative thinking and a well-versed knowledge of material selections and is working towards LEED and WELL certification.
She started her design career at the Design Republic in New York City as a Junior Architect, working in sectors such as Media + Entertainment, Commercial Design, and Sustainable Buildings.
In her free time, Karlee enjoys reading novels and spending time with family and friends.
Kenneth Gray Jr.
Since he was a child, it has been his goal to become an Architect. Kenneth’s love of architecture grew from a curiosity about design intents and how buildings are constructed. He is passionate about sustainable architecture and the role the built environment has on humanity.
After graduating From the State University of New York at Delhi with a Bachelor of Technology in Architectural Design and Building, he worked as a freelance architectural designer on new construction, additions, and renovation projects for residential housing. Kenneth’s current goal is to acquire his licensure and LEED certification.
Field Survey Inspector
Born and raised in the Brownsville section of Brooklyn, Donavan recognized the need for improvement in public housing and wanted to make a direct impact. After Graduating from Kingsborough Community College with an Associate’s in Business Management and Administration, Donavan transitioned into the construction field, as a trade craftsman, where he developed a passion for the construction process.
Donovan’s experience in minor to major renovation projects in multi-family housing gives him a strong understanding of the pride and nuanced services we provide at SLM. Previous projects include Warren Houses, and Armstrong houses in Brooklyn, New York, where Donavan served as a skilled craftsman – performing various roles in carpentry, masonry, and plumbing.
At SLM, Donavan serves as a Field Survey Inspector, for the modernization of NYCHA housing through the PACT initiative. Donavan plans to pursue a Bachelor’s Degree in Project management in the future.
Serena is a 4th-year architecture student at the New York Institute of Technology.
From a young age, she has been invested in the arts, working closely with resident artists and museums. She realized the importance of spatial experience while working behind the scenes in these environments. She began work with a startup company to develop business aesthetics for other small startups on social media. Organizing and graphically representing information led her to SLM.
On campus, she joined the National Honors society, the National Organization of Minority Architecture Students, and the American Institute of Architectural Students. She has been a part of the leadership boards in all three organizations.
Her goal is to learn more about how AI can improve interpersonal communication and growth in both her aesthetic and architectural skills.
Sydney is a recent graduate from the Fashion Institute of Technology with a bachelor’s degree in interior design. While attending FIT, she worked for TPG Architecture and the Switzer Group designing large scale luxury retail and commercial projects for well-known clients such as Louis Vuitton and Dell Technologies. After graduation, she obtained experience in residential and workplace design as a Junior Interior Designer and gained experience in construction documentation, modeling, FFF&E specifications and detailing.
As an Architectural Designer at SLM, Sydney brings her expertise in space planning, rendering, sustainable design approaches and material selections. A passion of hers is to create aesthetically pleasing spaces that enhance the users’ experiences and well-being. Her current career goal is to acquire the NCIDQ and LEED certification.
Aside from her interest in architecture and design she enjoys traveling, styling and staying on top of fashion trends.
Joy Okafor has a passion for providing functional, yet beautiful design for all people. As a recent graduate from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Joy has undergone challenging projects that have pushed her to think with a problem-solving mindset. Throughout her years as a student, she took pleasure in absorbing knowledge from her professors and peers. Joy worked alongside her professors as an Undergraduate Student Researcher in the Lucid Van Alen West Hill Alleyway Project. Upon graduation, Joy received an award of excellence for her efforts in assisting the faculty and staff of RPI’s School of Architecture.
Joy’s interests also expand to the area of filmmaking. Her role as a Stage Crew Member for RPI’s Experimental Media and Performing Arts Center allowed her contribution to the “behind the scenes” of what goes into film production. Her personal work with filming and editing has helped her see the architectural process through a different lens.
As an Architectural Designer at SLM, Joy is excited to be part of a team that prioritizes beautiful, yet affordable design for all people!