Wendel Names New Associate Principals

12/02/2020 | Back to News

We are pleased to announce that the following employees have been appointed to the position of Associate Principal: Dezirae M. Behnke, Kurt R. Blemel, EIT, CEM, CEA, CDSM, Ruslan Belous, Thomas A. Garigen, Robert W. Krzyzanowski , Caroline Patrick, CID, LEED AP ID+C, Richard J. Polak, CCP, CEM, LEED AP and K. Grace Viger. This appointment recognizes these professionals for their exemplary leadership and commitment to excellence.


Dezirae is Director of Business Administration with 18 years of experience. She manages the Human Resources/Organizational Development and Administrative Services teams, as well as overall administrative services including internal communications, operational purchases, office space management, facilities maintenance, printing/mailing/shipping services, document control, and other support services. Additionally, she oversees corporate compliance and is a Certified Lead ISO Auditor responsible for internal audits and maintaining ISO compliance for Wendel. Dezirae is the recipient of the 2016 Buffalo Business First Women of Influence award. She studied Pre-law/Legal Studies at the University at Buffalo.





Ruslan is an Electrical Engineer with 15 years of experience. His design experience includes lighting, power, fire alarm and system for new and existing buildings. His numerous projects include school renovations, new building utilities, primary and secondary power distribution and emergency generator installations both for private and public installations. Ruslan received his Bachelor of Technology, Electrical Engineering (Electronics) from SUNY Buffalo State College.





Kurt is an Energy Engineer with 24 years of experience. He is a Certified Energy Manager and Auditor and a Project Manager for clients including the New York Power Authority (NYPA), New York State Department of Corrections and Community Supervision and New York State Energy Research and Development Authority. His experience includes energy efficiency, benchmarking and retro-commissioning projects, as well as providing energy analysis and program management. Kurt specializes in the design and preparation of HVAC systems, central systems and specialty equipment, as well as energy calculations.

Kurt serves as a Capital District Region Future City Competition Judge. He received his BS, Mechanical Engineering, University at Buffalo, The State University of New York.




Tom is Director of Business Development with 20 years of experience in management and business development. He leads strategic business development activities across the company, builds cross-functional teams and guides relationships with clients. He received his BA in Business Management, University at Buffalo and MS in Counseling and Educational Psychology, Canisius College.





Robert is Director of Emergency Services and part of Wendel’s award winning Five Bugles Design team. With 20 years of public project experience, Robert oversees all emergency services construction projects throughout the Midwest, from groundbreaking to ribbon cutting, and assists with design for Wendel’s projects nationwide. Robert has been involved in over 60 fire station projects throughout his career. He received his AS, Drafting and Design Technology from Winona Technical College.





Caroline is an Interior Designer with 13 years of experience in corporate planning and design. Caroline’s deep knowledge of workplace design promotes a level of planning that reimagines and enhances clients’ workspaces. She focuses on the design process to assess the client’s functionality requirements and aesthetic vision and creates fresh, new designs that enliven a client’s workplace. Caroline balances leading interiors projects up to 80,000 sf and managing the workload for the Interiors staff in Richmond. She received her Bachelor of Arts, Geology/French from Bucknell University and her Master of Arts, Interior Design, from Savannah College of Art & Design.




Rich is an Energy Engineer with 26 years of experience. His experience includes energy efficiency analysis and evaluation, on-site commissioning and retro-commissioning services, as well as design and preparation of construction documents and specifications for plumbing, HVAC and fire protection systems. In addition, he has provided heating and cooling load calculations, duct static pressure calculations, project cost estimates and system equipment selection. Richard is one of the key members of Wendel’s commissioning and retro-commissioning services group and performs project management for these services. Richard received his AAS, Mechanical Drafting, Erie Community College and Bachelor of Technology, Mechanical Engineering, SUNY Buffalo State College.





Grace is a Mechanical Engineer with 12 years of experience. Grace is an Equipment Specialist for Public Transit facilities including vehicle washing systems, vehicle lift systems, compressed air systems, gasoline and diesel fueling systems, fluid lubrication distribution systems, general maintenance shop tools and equipment. She also specializes in plumbing and fire protection system design and engineering where she performs system layouts, calculations and product selections for educational, commercial, institutional and healthcare facilities. Grace serves as Vice President, Technical of the Buffalo Niagara Chapter for the American Society of Plumbing Engineers. She received her AAS, Computer Aided Drafting and Design, Erie Community College and BS, Industrial Technology, Buffalo State College.