Skip to main content

Principals & Officers

John M. DiDonato, P.E.


John M. DiDonato, P.E. is a Principal and President of the firm he has been with since 1983.

He obtained a Bachelor of Science degree in Civil Engineering from SUNY at Buffalo and holds a professional engineering license in New York, as well as several other states. Mr. DiDonato oversees engineering design and construction projects in the Western New York Area for the firm’s 40+ person staff.

He is a member of the New York State Society of Professional Engineers – Erie/Niagara Chapter, National Society of Professional Engineers, the American Public Works Association, the American Society of Civil Engineers, the Association for Bridge Construction and Design, and the NYS Association of Transportation Engineers.

Project Experience Highlights

  • Public Facilities Design and Renovation (Buffalo Bills Stadium Improvements, Olean Recreation Facility Improvements, Cheektowaga Ice Rink Upgrade, Hyde Park Ice Complex Improvements)
  • Aviation Related Facilities (Buffalo Niagara International Airport and Niagara Falls International Airport – Runways, Aprons, Taxiways, Signage, Roofing, Glycol Storage, Drainage, Obstruction Studies)
  • Highway Reconstruction (Main Street Revitalization-Cars Sharing Main, Middle Main Street Reconstruction, East Spring Street Green Infrastructure, Eden-Evans Road Reconstruction)
  • Wastewater/Water Improvements (Erie County Water Authority Waterline Replacements, Erie County Department of Environment & Planning – Division of Sewerage Management, Town of Amherst – Water and Sewer Line Replacement)
Email John

James A. Frick, P.E.

Sr. Vice President – Structural Engineering

James A. Frick, P.E. began his engineering career at DiDonato Associates in 1984. In his years at DiDonato, he has been an active design engineer and manager for a wide range of structural and civil projects. Mr. Frick has provided structural designs for more than 50 highway and bridge rehabilitation and replacement projects and more than 200 commercial/industrial buildings located in the northeast and mid-west United States. He also specializes in the structural design of scoreboard/LED displays for sporting facilities throughout the Country.

He received his Bachelor of Science degree in Civil Engineering from SUNY at Buffalo and holds a Professional Engineering license in the State of New York. As the Sr. Vice President of Structural Engineering, Mr. Frick coordinates all structural design projects and oversees additional highway, site and utility design projects.

Project Experience Highlights

  • Bridge Design and Inspection (Town of Lancaster-Aurora Street Bridge Re-Decking, Erie County DPW-Jamison Road Bridge Replacement, Cattaraugus County DPW-Freedom Road Bridge, NYS Thruway Authority and NYS Department of Transportation Biennial Bridge Inspection Programs, Town of Lancaster Culvert Replacements)
  • Public Facilities Design and Rehabilitation (Buffalo State College, HSBC Parking Ramp, Hatch Restaurant Renovations, Roswell Park Parking Garage Repairs, Town of Amherst Bassett Park Bandshell)
  • Highway Reconstruction and Rehabilitation (City of Buffalo DPW-Main Street Revitalization, Erie County DPW-Maple Road Reconstruction)
  • Recreation Facilities (Scoreboard Foundations for Pro and College Athletic Stadiums throughout U.S., Buffalo Bills Stadium Capital Improvements, Olean Recreational Facility Improvements)
  • Educational (SUNY at Buffalo A/E Term Contract, SUNY at Buffalo Center for the Arts Exterior Rehabilitation, Niagara University Dwyer Arena Improvements)
  • Private Retail, Warehouse and Light Industrial Building Design
Email Jim

Peter A. Ringo, P.E.

Sr. Vice President – Civil Engineering

Peter A. Ringo, P.E. has been an employee of DiDonato Associates since 1992. He has extensive experience in both civil and structural projects, including: multi-modal transportation projects, highways, airfield facilities, sewers, drainage, waterlines, site development, lift stations, retaining structures, and one- and two-story commercial/industrial buildings. Through his design experience, he has developed a broad knowledge of regulations and construction standards on the local, state and federal levels. Mr. Ringo’s attention to detail and commitment given to each of his projects makes him highly regarded and sought after by many of our Clients.

He received his Bachelor of Science degree in Civil Engineering from Valparaiso University and holds Professional Engineering licenses in New York and Indiana. Mr. Ringo is a Sr. Vice President of the firm and responsible for overseeing all civil engineering projects.

Project Experience Highlights

  • Highway Design and Reconstruction (City of Buffalo DPW-Main Street Revitalization-Cars Sharing Main and Middle Main Street Reconstruction, Village of Hamburg – Sunset Drive Rehabilitation, Erie County DPW – North and South Main Street Reconstruction)
  • Aviation Related Services (Buffalo Niagara International Airport  and Niagara Falls International Airport – Runways, Aprons, Taxiways, Signage, Roofing, Glycol Storage, Drainage, Obstruction Studies)
  • Public Facilities (Erie County Harbor Development Corporation – Water/Bike Ferry, Hatch Restaurant Renovations, City of Buffalo DPW – Community Center ADA Rehabilitation)
  • Water/Wastewater (ECWA Waterline Replacements, EC Department of Environment & Planning – Division of Sewerage Management, Town of Amherst-Water and Sewer Line Replacement)
  • Private Retail, Warehouse and Light Industrial Building Design
Email Pete

Michael Banks, AIA, LEED AP

Vice President – Architecture

Michael Banks, AIA, LEED AP has been with DiDonato since 2001. Over the years, Mike has been an integral part of DiDonato’s architectural design team for a variety of projects including educational facilities, residential housing, recreational facilities, healthcare and commercial complexes. He has assumed the role as project liaison for the client and drafting personnel to ensure compliance with all applicable codes and project parameters. Mike is the Vice President – Architecture and oversees all architectural projects and coordinates architectural resources.

He received his Bachelors of Professional Services in Architecture from SUNY at Buffalo in 1997. He became a Registered Architect in 2014 and is a certified LEED Accredited Professional.

Project Experience Highlights

  • BMHA Residential Facilities (Stuyvesant Apartment Exterior Rehabilitation, Fire Restoration Projects – Stuyvesant, Kenfield Homes) Commodore Perry Interior Renovations, Monsignor Geary Apartments Elevator Rehabilitation, Marine Drive Apartments Trash Compactor Replacement, Deficiency Reports, and various other BMHA improvement projects)
  • Recreational Facilities (River Fest Park Wharf Pavilion, Buffalo Bills Stadium Capital Improvements, Buffalo Bills Stadium Condition Surveys, Coca-Cola Field Roof Replacement, City of Buffalo DPW Parks Renovations – Davey Park and JFK Park Renovations, Hyde Park Ice Complex improvements)
  • Municipal Projects (Buffalo Police Broadway Market Substation, NY Power Authority Fishing Pier Elevator Rehabilitation, Emery Park Shelter Rehabilitation, Crotty Casino Condition Study, ECMC Exterior Envelope Study)
  • Education Facilities (SUNY at Buffalo A/E Term Contract, Buffalo School #95 Elevator Rehabilitation, Maryvale Schools Renovation/Addition project, North Park Academy – PS #66, Rehabilitation)
  • Emergency Services Facilities (Buffalo Police Broadway Market Sub-station, Amherst Police Station Space Re-allocation, Erie County Emergency Services Building, Getzville Fire Hall Feasibility Study and Improvements)
Email Mike

Jeffrey Blank, PE

Vice President – Structural-Bridges

Jeffrey Blank, PE is a Vice President – Structural-Bridges and has been with the firm since 1999.

He obtained his Bachelor of Science degree in Civil Engineering from Tri-State University (now Trine University) in 1993 and holds professional engineering licenses in New York and Ohio. Through his extensive experience in bridge rehabilitation/replacement, he has a thorough knowledge of the various codes such as AASHTO, AISC, ACI, and the NYSDOT Standard Specifications for Highway Bridges.

Mr. Blank manages all bridge projects, supervising project and junior engineers.

Project Experience Highlights

  • Bridge Inspection Programs (Biennial Bridge Inspection Programs for NYS Department of Transportation, NYS Thruway Authority, and New York Power Authority )
  • Bridge Repair/Replacement Projects (Town of Lancaster-Aurora Street Bridge Re-decking, Erie County DPW Jamison Road Bridge Replacement, Cattaraugus County DPW Bridge Replacements – Freedom Road Bridge No. 10 and Ashford Bridge No. 24, and the City of Buffalo-Hopkins Street Bridge Replacement)
  • Bridge Maintenance Programs (City of Buffalo)
  • Culvert Inspection/Replacement Projects (Town of Lancaster-Erie Street, Holland Avenue, and Brunck Road; Erie County DPW Culvert Inspection/Replacement)
Email Jeffrey

Daniel Schneider, PE, SE

Vice President – Structural-Buildings

Daniel Schneider, PE, SE is Vice President – Structural-Buildings. He was with DiDonato as an Intern while finishing college and stayed on as a full-time employee from 2010- 2015. After a brief move to Boston, Dan came back to DiDonato in 2018.

He obtained his Bachelor of Science degree in Civil/Structural Engineering in 2010, and holds a professional engineering license in New York. He also obtained his Professional Structural Engineering license, a difficult 16-hour exam using separate vertical and lateral components to test the ability to safely design buildings, especially in areas of high seismicity and high wind.

Mr. Schneider manages all building structural projects, supervising project and junior engineers.

Project Experience Highlights

  • Recreation Facilities (Scoreboard Foundations for Pro and College Athletic Stadiums throughout U.S., Buffalo Bills Stadium Capital Improvements, Hyde Park Ice Complex Improvements)
  • Educational (SUNY at Buffalo A/E Term Contract, Pioneer Schools RTU, SUNY at Buffalo Center for the Arts Exterior Rehabilitation, Canisius College Bagen Hall)
  • Municipal Buildings (VA Batavia Home, City of Buffalo Pool Facilities Improvements, Amherst Community Center Improvements, Elma Highway Garage)
  • Health Care Facilities (Buffalo General, Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center, Millard Fillmore Surgery Center)
  • Commercial/Retail Facilities (Sonic Restaurant, Hatch Restaurant, Verizon Wireless, Tops Supermarkets, AutoZone)
Email Dan

Christopher Gardner, PE

Aviation Manager

Christopher Gardner has been with DiDonato Associates since 1997 with experience in the planning, design and construction inspection of multiple airfield projects, including runway, taxiway, and apron pavement projects at the Buffalo Niagara International Airport (BNIA) and the Niagara Falls International Airport (NFIA). He has special expertise and knowledge in performing materials testing, including Marshall Mix Designs, P-401 and P-501 Laboratory Quality Control Testing, and in-place asphalt density monitoring. For the past two years, he has presented at the NEC/AAAE Airports Conference in Hershey PA on “P-401 – A Resident Engineer’s Perspective.”

Mr. Gardner is a 1993 graduate of the State University of New York, College of Environmental Science and Forestry, and holds a B.S. degree in Forest Engineering.

Project Experience Highlights

  • Airport Projects (BNIA and NFIA – Runway, Taxiway and Apron Reconstruction & Extensions; Pavement Rehabilitation; Safety Area Improvements; Obstruction Studies/Removals; Signage and Pavement Markings; Perimeter Roadways; Passenger Boarding Bridges; Security Fencing; Deicing Containment Facilities)
  • Emergency Services Facilities (Getzville Fire Hall Study; River Road Volunteer Fire Department Design; Town of Tonawanda Emergency Training Facilities; Erie County Communication Systems Upgrades)
  • Highway/Roadway (Main Street Revitalization-Cars Sharing Main; Audubon Parkway Sinkhole Study/Repairs; Weyand Avenue Pavement Evaluation/Repairs; Old Falls Street Reconstruction; South Park Improvements)
  • Recreational Facilities (Buffalo Bills Stadium Improvements; Hyde Park Ice Complex Renovation; Johnnie B. Wiley Sports Complex Renovation; Buffalo River Fest Park; Paradise Park Soccer Fields)
Email Chris

Stephen Aureli

Assistant Business Manager

Stephen Aureli started with DiDonato Associates in June of 2019 and will be taking over as Business Manager after the retirement of Susan Berninger in 2021. Stephen’s previous employment was as the General Manager and Event Coordinator for Bacchus Wine Bar and Restaurant where he was responsible for human resources, payroll, accounts payable/receivable, daily banking, and staff scheduling and coordination.  Stephen brings that experience to DiDonato where he is currently training to do those same tasks for the firm under the direction of Susan.

Stephen has an Associates’ degree in General Studies; Sociology and Psychology from Erie Community College.

Email Steve

Julie Stearns

Director of Marketing

Julie Stearns has been with DiDonato Associates since 2004. She has been in the A/E field since 1988. As the Director of Marketing, she prepares all qualification packages, proposals, and ads, and maintains and updates the firm’s marketing files, such as resumes and projects. She manages the website, as well as social media marketing for DiDonato. In addition, Julie attends conferences, political events, and industry outings for the company.

She attended Bryant & Stratton Business Institute and received an Executive Assistant diploma, and has taken additional classes in Business at SUNY at Buffalo.

Julie is currently the President of the Buffalo Engineering Awareness for Minorities (BEAM) organization and a Member of the NYS County Highway Superintendent’s Association Membership and Outreach Committee.

Email Julie

Norman DiDonato, P.E.


Norman DiDonato founded the company in 1965 as Weber, DiDonato and Renaldo, a well-respected architectural and engineering firm completing such high profile projects as the Erie Basin Marina and the Convention Center. Norman passed away on March 5, 2018. He will always be in our hearts.