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Our Team

Our people make the difference. With more than 100 years of collective experience, CI's dynamic team is a diverse group of specialists dedicated to providing creative problem-solving, expert project execution, clear and honest communication, and first-class service at every level. We’re driven by a commitment to professional integrity, uncovering new possibilities, innovating in the fields of design and construction using the latest technology, and approaching the most challenging projects with positivity and enthusiasm.

Our unified team is here to manage every detail in the multifaceted process of creating exhilarating interiors that transcend trends and turn heads.

Michael Miller

Principal
mmiller@cidesignbuild.com
312.279.2776 x700

It begins with passion. Michael Miller founded CI Design + Build in 2009 with a relentless desire to create a residential renovation firm unlike any Chicago has seen. Merging his multifaceted experience in the fields of architecture, design, engineering and construction with his personal passion for the art of building, Michael envisioned an innovative company that offers the highest quality, customized turnkey interiors to high-end clients by providing every service from concept to completion.

Since its inception, Michael has drawn on his entrepreneurial and organizational skills, technical education, and jobsite experience to guide all stages of CI’s projects from conceptual design through construction. Michael entered the industry in 1994 after graduating from the Universal Technical Institute with a specialization in electrical application. He had a decade-long career designing and installing mechanical systems while getting to know all of the trades at construction sites before making the move into high-end renovation projects. Under his leadership, CIDB has garnered numerous international design awards and grown into a world-class team capable of completing a broad range of projects—from 10,000-square-foot single-family homes to 1,500-square-foot luxury condos in Chicago, Dallas, Miami and beyond—with the same meticulous attention to quality and detail.

In his spare time Michael most enjoys traveling the world to experience different cultures’ art, architecture and design—passions that all feed into his commitment to keeping CIDB at the cutting edge of the industry.

Kelly takes ownership of projects to independently push them forward with oversight from the design director, helps with new business initiatives, and manages junior design staff. Her daily tasks as senior designer include surveying existing conditions for projects and creating construction documentation, plans, detailed elevations, section drawings, and material schedules. Kelly holds a BFA degree from Harrington College of Design and NCIDQ certification. With almost a decade of experience, her background includes interior architecture and finish selection, space planning, furniture sourcing, palette creation, and construction drawing documentation. She loves the outdoors, good food and beer, and planning her next dream vacation to her favorite destination: anywhere and everywhere.

Kelly Somrek

Senior Designer
ksomrek@cidesignbuild.com
312.279.2776 x702

Daniel brings a refined eye and a deep understanding of interior architecture to his role as senior designer. No detail is too small as Daniel manages concepts from ideation to completion. A day in the life may include site surveying, personalized home customization, specifying finishes and equipment, collaborating with local artisans, and detailed construction documentation. Daniel holds a BFA degree from The Illinois Institute of Art in Chicago and has nearly a decade of experience in high-end residential interior architecture. He specializes in construction documentation in AutoCAD, architectural detailing, project management and sourcing local craftsmen. In his free time, Daniel can be found at his piano, in the kitchen, or enjoying his latest travel destination.

Daniel Bapst

Senior Designer
dbapst@cidesignbuild.com
312.279.2776 x701

A forward-thinking designer and a deft collaborator, Elena assists the Interior Architecture and Furnishings teams in the design of high-end, interior residential spaces. Surveying existing conditions and space, doing construction documentation in AutoCAD including specifications, assisting in FF&E sourcing, and creating presentation assets are all in a day’s work. But what makes Elena a particularly stellar member of our team is her high standards for form and function. She goes out of her way to parlay with our architects on best practices for optimizing livability and flow. That collaborative spirit extends to our PM team, by ensuring all drawings, schedules, and specifications are accurate and up to code. In her free time, Elena loves to travel, try new workouts, cook, and spend time with family & friends.

ELENA PELLEGRINO

Design Associate
epellegrino@cidesignbuild.com
312.279.2776 x704

Megan joins CI after working on high-end residential projects at a top Chicago architecture firm for several years. She works closely with the design team on design development, construction documentation, space planning, material sourcing and specifications, guiding clients through the design process, and identifying new trends and opportunities in the design industry. Currently working toward her architecture license, Megan earned her bachelor’s degree in architectural studies from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and a master’s in luxury management from the ESSEC Business School in Paris and SDA Bocconi School of Management in Milan. She is passionate about travel and finding design inspiration all around the world.

Megan Alshuker

Design Associate
malshuker@cidesignbuild.com
312.279.2776 x711

Greg is a licensed architect who oversees the execution of projects by managing schedules, budgets and site teams to ensure the highest quality of construction. In a hybrid role, he also serves as a project architect, collaborating with the design team on the full scope of projects and helping to create an efficient design process that turns limitations into opportunities. Greg has a degree in environmental design from the University of Colorado at Boulder and an M.Arch degree from the University of Michigan. He has practiced architecture at various firms in New York, Colorado and Chicago, giving him vast knowledge of construction from the architect’s point of view. Greg is also an avid golfer who loves to snowboard, travel all over the world and hone his skills in the kitchen.

Greg Horen, AIA

Project Manager
ghoren@cidesignbuild.com
312.279.2776 x708

Joseph assists the project management team with the overall construction of CI’s customized residential remodeling projects. In his role, Joseph coordinates directly with clients, designers and consultants while helping to direct the site superintendent, field labor and other construction personnel in planning, coordinating and safely executing top-quality work in accordance with the building rules and regulations, contract documents, schedule and budget. He earned his bachelor of science degree in mechanical engineering from the Illinois Institute of Technology. A Chicago architecture enthusiast, Joseph also enjoys swimming in Lake Michigan, cycling, visiting museums and trying cuisines from around the world.

Joseph Prager

Assistant Project Manager
jprager@cidesignbuild.com
312.279.2776 x706

A team player with a strong work ethic, Anthony assists the Project Management team with the overall construction of CI’s customized, residential remodeling projects. Solution-oriented and professional, Anthony quarterbacks with clients, designers and consultants, helping to direct the site superintendent, field laborers and other construction personnel in project planning and coordination. His role also includes ensuring that our teams are communicating on all levels to execute work that’s in accordance with building rules and regulations. When he’s not on the clock, Anthony enjoys stretching his legs along the lakefront, playing golf, rugby, cooking, and dining his way through Chicago’s restaurants. Fun fact: He’s also a skilled residential carpenter.

ANTHONY AIELLO

Assistant Project Manager
aaiello@cidesignbuild.com
312.279.2776 x712

Pepe Telles serves as CI’s superintendent and senior carpenter. His duties include constructing, installing, and repairing structures and fixtures of wood, plywood, and wallboard, using carpenter’s hand tools and power tools. He takes on the task of ordering the correct amount of materials needed on the job site and makes sure all the equipment, shop area and work site are orderly and safe. Pepe is a hands-on leader, managing in-house field labor and subcontractors to complete tasks where the project manager is not required. He has the ability to troubleshoot and problem-solve any design issues that are presented during construction. A great asset to the CI team, he is always present to assist other team members when needed.

PEPE TELLES

Superintendent / Senior Carpenter
jtelles@cidesignbuild.com
312.279.2776

Veronica oversees all financial, accounting and reporting activities for CI. She applies her business acumen and accounting expertise to ensure a project’s financial data conforms to the standards and procedures of the company. She is responsible for preparing the various financial reports required for each project, job cost accounting, accounts payable/receivable, monthly financial statements, accounting reviews and annual audits. In conjunction with the president, Veronica has enhanced the accuracy of CI’s reported financial results and strives to maintain a streamlined process to support the company’s financial success. In her spare time, Veronica enjoys cooking healthy meals and spending time with her family.

VERONICA VELEZ

Controller
vvelez@cidesignbuild.com
312.279.2776 x703

Mercedes rounds out CI’s concept-to-completion interior services by working with the design team to curate fine art for completed homes. She assists with art placement and staging and acts as a liaison between artists, designers and clients. As art director, Mercedes will grow CI’s in-house contemporary fine art gallery, sourcing and signing new artists, and hosting events and exhibitions. She is also a member of the team at the cutting-edge digital art platform Apollo. A graduate of Illinois State University with a degree in fashion merchandising and design, Mercedes comes to CI with a background in luxury fashion that includes roles with Tom Ford, David Yurman and Intermix. Her hobbies include cooking, travel, integrative nutrition, and health and wellness.

Mercedes Alonzo

Art Director
malonzo@theapollo.com
312.279.2776 x710

Christina manages marketing and communications at CI. She uses her creativity and diverse skill set to oversee the creative for advertising, proposals and other marketing materials; administer the website, keeping it up to date with current company projects, information and photos; and manage CI’s online marketing through social media. After graduating from Columbia College with a bachelor’s degree in advertising, Christina worked for a digital design company. She has experience being in an innovative environment, managing an office and administering online marketing tools. Keeping CI up to date with all media and marketing networks is her ongoing goal. Christina is a family girl and loves watching football.

Christina Pascente

Marketing and Communications
cpascente@cidesignbuild.com
312.279.2776 x705

Christina manages marketing and communications at CI. She uses her creativity and diverse skill set to oversee the creative for advertising, proposals and other marketing materials; administer the website, keeping it up to date with current company projects, information and photos; and manage CI’s online marketing through social media. After graduating from Columbia College with a bachelor’s degree in advertising, Christina worked for a digital design company. She has experience being in an innovative environment, managing an office and administering online marketing tools. Keeping CI up to date with all media and marketing networks is her ongoing goal. Christina is a family girl and loves watching football.

Grace Sweeney

Marketing and New Business
gsweeney@cidesignbuild.com
312.279.2776 x705

"I am so thankful my architect recommended CI Design + Build to me. Mike Miller, the owner, has a unique combination of interior designer taste, and the knowledge/background as a general contractor. As a result, CI is able to pull off projects that others couldn't dream of implementing. They pay attention to every detail, and they put so much pride in their work from start to finish."

- Brad S., Owner, Art Home

"I have enjoyed the pleasure and honor of working with the team at CI Design + Build for the past five years. In my 34 years as a broker in the Chicago real estate market I have worked with many of the city's top interior designers and luxury builders; Centaur Interiors is best of the best. Execution is exquisite."

- Debra Dobbs, Broker, Quartzite Home

"It has been a true honor partnering with CI on their extraordinary projects. Their style, quality, service and attention to detail sets them apart. They create luxury spaces that are thoughtfully designed and perfectly executed. Simply stunning. They consistently go above and beyond to exceed their clients expectations."

- David Kotowsky, Owner, Hydrology

"Excellent experience with CI Design + Build on an extensive remodel of my condo in Chicago. New kitchen, master bath, flooring throughout and paint. CI very carefully chose the best flooring after early samples were rejected. Touch-up and punch list items were dealt with on a timely basis. Overall very satisfied, would recommend highly."

- David C., Owner, Gallery Home