Big firm experience
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Ascent is a diverse team of professionals that specializes in developing owner driven solutions for the repair and improvement of existing buildings.

As third-party professionals, we are committed to our clients’ goals, interests, and budget. Our close-knit team allows us to build trust with our clients on a more personal level.

meet the team

Joel W. Darras President & CEO

As the founder and president of Ascent, Joel is responsible for overseeing all aspects of the business and strategic planning. His results-driven and personal approach to every project have earned him the respect and trust of his clients. These relationships allow Ascent the opportunity to provide Owner Representation services and work directly with Owners through all phases of restoration project planning. When he’s not at the office, you can usually find Joel working on projects at home or fishing dry flies to wild trout in Pennsylvania and Colorado, with his dogs Avery and Arlo.

Becky Sell Vice President

Becky is a founding member of Ascent and currently oversees the firm’s daily operations while leading the Historic Consulting group. Building on years of project management experience, Becky manages each project schedule and communication on projects from kick-off, through progress milestones to completion. She is also responsible for staffing each project and coordinates in-house deadlines for quality control review of deliverables. Her professional historic preservation experience was gained as an architectural historian, architectural technician, and historic preservation planner at the federal, state, and local levels of government. Becky is also a member of Ascent’s industrial rope access team, where she is a SPRAT Level 2 Lead Technician. When not in the office or working with the rope team, Becky enjoys hiking, weightlifting, and traveling with her husband and daughter.

Andrew Emmets, PE Vice President

Andrew is a founding member of Ascent and leader of the Restoration Design and Facade Investigation teams. He performs facade inspections and oversees all safety and equipment inspections to insure a safe working environment for the team. Andrew feels most at home performing facade investigations and visiting active restoration sites. Prior to beginning his career, Andrew traveled to the west coast and completed a 2,000 mile bicycle ride from Vancouver, Canada to Tijuana, Mexico.

Allison Lock Project Manager

Allison joined Ascent following her graduation from Drexel University’s College of Engineering. She was awarded a Dean’s Scholarship and graduated from the accelerated Masters/Bachelors program with a Masters in Civil Engineering (Structural concentration) and Bachelor of Science in Architectural Engineering. Allison also gained valuable experience in façade inspection, forensic engineering, and quality control through Drexel’s co-op program. As a project manager, her range of responsibilities will consist of façade survey and investigation, developing repair documentation, and assisting in the preparation of façade reports. Allison greatly enjoys her time in the field and having a hand in the restoration and preservation of the region’s architecture. During her free time, Allison can be found spending time with friends and family or painting.

Tony Kmush Project Manager

Tony joined Ascent as a Project Manager bringing more than 6 years of experience in the restoration design and construction industries. His education at Drexel's college of engineering and previous experience compliment his natural problem solving abilities. Tony feels most at home investigating and developing solutions to the complex building enclosure challenges that our clients present us with. He manages all phases of his projects from the initial inspection to design development, bid administration and through the construction phase to closeout. Outside the office Tony enjoys endurance sports and maintaining an active lifestyle. He has completed several marathons and triathlons, and you'll typically find him training for a new race each year.

want to work with us?

Passionate about historic architecture and restoration? We’re looking for talented, driven individuals who aren’t afraid of heights to join our team. Please send your resume and cover letter to info@ascentresto.com and we will get back to you soon.

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