PROACTIVE & EXPERIENCED

EmpireCore manages over $80M in construction projects annually

Dedicated to delivering the highest quality at every step

Florim Lajqi

Principal / Chief Executive Officer

Justin Kerker

Chief Financial Officer

Veton Boga

Director of Development

Amber Hewko

Chief of Staff

Fran Ula

Risk Manager

Joy Ligon

Senior Project Manager

Mandy Deng

Accounting Manager

Florim Lajqi

Florim Lajqi

Principal / Chief Executive Officer

For more than 20 years, Florim Lajqi has been leading New York City construction projects across multiple asset classes. He is an expert in construction management and oversees an array of projects including major capital improvements, new developments, utility projects, roadwork and renovations.

Mr. Lajqi founded his general contracting business in 2010, and in 2014 he rebranded the company EmpireCore, to a provide a new level of service integrating construction management to the company profile.

As Founder and CEO of EmpireCore, Mr. Lajqi ensures client needs are exceeded on each project. Mr. Lajqi partners closely with new and existing clients, making sure their projects are executed as promised. Under his leadership, EmpireCore has experienced tremendous growth and has been awarded notable contracts, including Blackstone and Greystar, the largest real estate investment firm and the largest property management company in the world, respectively. Further, Mr. Lajqi opened EmpireCore to new markets in public works as well as operation into the States of Connecticut, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Florida.

Prior to this role, Mr. Lajqi served as Director of Capital Projects at The Dermot Company, managing the redevelopment of multiple residential portfolios throughout the NYC area. Before that, he was at Dafna Construction, where he was the sole project manager for the development of 32 multifamily housing projects in Brooklyn and Queens, valued at over $40 million. Prior, Mr. Lajqi worked with Artimus Construction as Construction Manager overseeing operations of two multi-story ground-up developments, one residential and the other student housing for Barnard College.

Mr. Lajqi attended the Elliot School at George Washington University, where he pursued a graduate degree in International Affairs. He also holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Criminal Justice from John Jay College and earned a certificate in Project Management from New York University’s School of Continuing and Professional Studies.

Justin Kerker

Justin Kerker

Chief Financial Officer

As CFO of EmpireCore, Justin Kerker manages all financial activities of the organization. Mr. Kerker has streamlined accounting processes and implemented updated financial reporting internally and externally.

Mr. Kerker manages and prepares financial forecasting, budgeting, cash flow projections, and oversees the preparation of client financial reporting and billings. He also manages the accounting department consisting of project accountants and accounting managers. Mr. Kerker’s uncanny problem-solving abilities and grasp of macro-level processes, has resulted in enhanced standards of practice with a view to maximizing profitability.

Prior to joining Empire Core, Mr. Kerker was the Controller and CCO of BMDC Construction developing a comprehensive plan for future growth and new market ventures. Prior to BMDC, he was the COO/CFO/CCO of a $3B Hedge Fund at Seminole Capital, where he managed everything from monthly financial reporting to daily trade reconciliations as well as launching new funds. These experiences provide him with an in-depth understanding and management of company financials.

Mr. Kerker holds a Bachelor of Business Administration from the Stephen M. Ross School of Business at the University of Michigan.

Veton Boga

Veton Boga

Director of Development

Veton Boga has over 10 years of experience in the construction industry with extensive Institutional and Healthcare project portfolios as well as experience managing large, complex multi-use development projects. He began his career as an Assistant Project Manager and evolved into positions including Head of Procurement, Project Executive, and notably Director of Development.

Mr. Boga has a vast understanding of construction projects with a proven track-record to bring projects to completion ahead of schedule, by way of efficient and streamlined project management.

In his prior role as Project Executive, Mr. Boga developed an environment of teamwork and ensured that strategy is clearly defined while overseeing performance and maintaining client expectations. His strong communication and client service skills enhance Empire Core’s process-driven management approach. Recently, as Director of Development, Mr. Boga has expanded EmpireCore’s portfolio, successfully finalizing a public works project with the Chappaqua Central School District as well as setting the groundwork for operations in Florida.

Mr. Boga, has worked as Senior Project Manager at large scale residential redevelopment projects in the NYC area such as Peter Cooper Village & Stuyvesant Town, Kips Bay Court, Riverton Square, and Spring Creek.

Mr. Boga graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in International Business from Berkeley College, USF Deans List 2011. He has continued his education in the industry at NYC College of Technology, having been certified in Cost Estimating/Advanced Blueprint Reading as well as a minoring in Building Materials and Methods.

Amber Hewko

Amber Hewko

Chief of Staff

As EmpireCore’s Chief of Staff, Ms. Amber Hewko directs all administrative and inter-operational activities. With over 5 years of experience in sales and management, and 8 years of administrative experience, Ms. Hewko’s ability to prioritize critical issues is paramount to improving the coordination and production between departments.

During her past 4 years at EmpireCore, Ms. Hewko has taken the lead to set up EmpireCore’s operations in new markets outside of New York State. She has successfully expanded the company’s ability to operate in the States of New Jersey, Connecticut, Pennsylvania and Florida. Ms. Hewko has also worked diligently over the past few years to ensure EmpireCore is qualified and setup to pursue Public Works projects both within multiple NYC & NYS agencies and other municipalities in NY.

Ms. Hewko works hand in hand with all third-party vendors, whereby she has enhanced past relationships and built new ones to further company objectives. Some of her major highlights include the complete transition of the Information Technology Department, revamping the company website, and reducing company overhead expenses by over 22%.

Ms. Hewko attended Kean University and holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Mathematical Sciences.

Fran Ula

Fran Ula

Risk Manager

Fran Ula brings to EmpireCore an effective, integrative approach to risk management and assessment. His understanding of company goals and on-site project work results in improved processes and standards of insurance and contract reviews, thus ensuring a high level of risk control with due consideration to project timelines.

As Risk Manager, Mr. Ula operates from a multi-faceted platform of risk mitigation coordinating with the executive team, project teams, and insurance professionals. He has also successfully handled an array of operational and compliance aspects related to

EmpireCore’s diversified portfolio including prevailing wage procedures, staff restructuring, subcontractor assessment & quality control, and new market expansion. Notably, Mr. Ula worked closely with the CEO in outlining a dynamic plan of action to navigate the 2020 Covid pandemic. As part of an expanded role into human resource management, he has also revamped internal human resource practices to increase company efficiency and transparency.

Mr. Ula holds a Bachelor of Arts in Romance Languages & Literatures from The University of Chicago, a Master of Arts in Italian from University of Virginia and a Master of Arts in American & English Literature from The University of the South. He is a certified Construction Risk and Insurance Specialist (CRIS).

Joy Ligon

Joy Ligon

Senior Project Manager

Joy Ligon is a seasoned professional with over 20 years of general construction, construction management experience.  As a Senior Project Manager with EmpireCore, Ms. Ligon has proven vital to project operations, particularly in overseeing the renovation of tenant occupied spaces on a major project for EmpireCore on the Upper East Side.

She started her construction career in 1999 with ACC Construction, where her professionalism and drive earned her a role as Assistant Project Manager within 6 months of hire.  She has worked with clients from SL Green, Trinity Real Estate, Long Island College Hospital, MTV Networks, Stony Brook University, and Tiffany’s, just to name a few.  In 2013, Ms. Ligon moved onto Tekton Builders with her resourcefulness and adept organizational skills proving instrumental to the conversion of the William J. Syms Operating Theater of Roosevelt Hospital landmark into the Speyer Legacy School for gifted children.  Further, Ms. Ligon gained a great deal of knowledge on ground-up work in subsequent roles with Pizzarotti-IBC and Real Builders.

Ms. Ligon is particularly passionate about construction projects that benefit the living conditions for the underprivileged, as highlighted by her work on projects such as a ground up renovation in Mott Haven, Bronx of a 176,000 sq ft 167 unit affordable housing complex featuring recreation, and community rooms, and a 189 unit affordable housing development in Fordham Manor, Bronx, NY. 

Mandy Deng

Mandy Deng

Accounting Manager

With over 6 years of accounting experience, Ms. Mandy Deng serves as EmpireCore’s Accounting Manager overseeing general accounting for the company as well as managing financials for several projects. Ms. Deng works closely with the CEO and CFO on financial reporting, financial forecasting, and cash management. Ms. Deng leverages her knowledge of project management and budgeting skills to assist executive level management in reaching company goals, including the successful reduction of company overhead costs.

Her prior professional experience includes providing full accounting and tax services to clients in various industries, as well as the comprehensive preparation of financial analysis reports for litigation and business valuation purposes.

Ms. Deng holds a Bachelor of Science in Accounting with a minor in Chinese literature from Hunter College. She is in the process of obtaining her CPA license.