Ericka Keller truly has a heart for community development and revitalization. Attending school on full academic scholarships and graduating Magna Cum Laude, Ericka earned her Bachelors of Arts, Master of Science and Professional Certification degrees from New York University, Brooklyn College, and the College of St. Rose, respectively. Ericka commenced her career as a junior high school teacher and served 10 years as NYC Department of Education Principal before taking over the family business of construction and development in 2012.
Ericka built upon Brisa Builders Corporation’s history as a HUD 202 General Contractor building senior housing for faith-based sponsors and in 2016 opened her own company Brisa Builders Development LLC, an organization focused on the development of affordable housing with faith-based organizations and church partners. Since the company’s inception, they currently have 436 units of affordable housing under construction and another 958 units in the pipeline, all with faith-based partners. The company was also the selected developer for the NYC Department of Housing Preservation and Development’s Brownsville RFP- Site B in 2018. Ericka has received several awards and citations during the course of both of her careers including, the 2009 Queens Rotary Club “Unsung Hero Award” 2010 NYS Senate “Constituent of the Month Citation ”, 2012 National Association of Professional Women (NAPW) “Woman of the Year Award” the 2015 Mayor Hall -Village of Hempstead “Woman of the Year Award ”, and several recognitions and awards from non- profit and for profit affordable housing colleagues.
In Memory of Our Founder
Thomas B. Keller was one of New York’s premier general contractors, construction managers, and real estate development consultants. Over the course of five decades, Mr. Keller became one of the foremost minority builders and construction managers in the Borough of Brooklyn and the City of New York. Beginning in 1967, Mr. Keller was employed by the Bedford Stuyvesant Restoration Corporation- the nation’s first community development corporation created by the joint venture efforts of Senators Robert Kennedy and Jacob Javits. At Restoration Corporation, Mr. Keller quickly rose to the ranks of Vice President/General Manager of its for-profit subsidiary construction corporation and was responsible for the construction of Restoration’s 300,000 sq. ft. corporate headquarters, shopping mall with national retail outlets, Pathmark Supermarket, The Billie Holiday Theater and 800 units of affordable housing. After Restoration Corporation, Mr. Keller launched his own general construction companies most recently serving as the Senior Advisor for Brisa Builders Corporation and partner of Brisa Builders Development Group LLC.
Mr. Keller was a true “community builder” for both faith-based and community- based organizations, he has served as an invaluable liaison between architects, lawyers, owners and other general contractors. Mr. Keller also distinguished himself as a human resource engine in the minority community, employing numerous sub-contractors and providing training in the construction industry. He was a facilitator who participated in writing proposals, responding to requests for qualifications, cost and feasibility analysis, contract negotiations, policy decision making, budget preparation, and all other aspects of project administration and management.
Mr. Keller made a deep commitment to working closely with various religious, not for profit and governmental organizations in the construction of churches, senior citizens and nursing homes, special needs housing, retail space and all other community facilities, all of which have greatly improved the aesthetics of local neighborhoods and provided decent and affordable housing for community residents of all socio- economic levels.
A small indication of his ability was the $500 million in combined budgets of completed projects for local sponsors including but not limited to:
Association of Brooklyn Clergy for Community Development
Malcolm Housing Development Fund Corporation
Bethany Baptist Church, Bridge Street AWME Church
Brownsville Multi- Service Center
Church of St. Mark- Episcopal
Consortium for Central Harlem Development
BEC New Communities
Calvary Baptist Church
Canaan Baptist Church
First Baptist Church
Janes United Methodist Church
Episcopal Health Services
Evening Star Baptist Church
Harlem Congregation for Community Improvement
House of the Lord Church
Local Development Corporation of Crown Heights
Mid- Bronx Senior Citizens Council
Northeast Brooklyn Housing
St Paul Community Baptist Church
Up to the 83rd year of his life – Mr. Keller had a substantive influence on the development of the communities of Brooklyn, New York and the five boroughs, working tirelessly to ensure housing and employment opportunities for the next generation. He will be remembered fondly as a champion for the community he loved.