40 Under 40: Meet the 'specialists'

From an engineer turned lawyer to a charter school development expert, these five individuals bring a unique skillset to the AEC industry.

May 28, 2013

From an engineer turned lawyer to a charter school development expert, these five individuals bring a unique skillset to the AEC industry. All were recently named 40 Under 40 winners by the editors of Building Design+Construction magazine.

To view the entire 40 Under 40 Class of 2013, see our landing page.

This year’s winners will be invited to join their 40 Under 40 peers—as well as up-and-coming professionals nominated by their firms—for three days of career development at our Third Annual BD+C “U40 Leadership Summit” in San Francisco, October 9-11, 2013. For more information, contact BD+C's Events Manager, Judy Brociek, at 847.954.7943 or jbrociek@sgcmail.com.

We'd like to thank our 40 Under 40 sponsors for their support of the awards program and U40 Leadership Summit:

           
 
           

 

 

 

1. ILLUMINATOR

SARA J. SCHONOUR, LC, ASSOC. IALD, IES, EIT, LEED AP, CDT

Senior Associate
Cannon Design, Boston

AGE: 29
BArchEng, The Pennsylvania State University

ACCOMPLISHMENTS
Started companywide lighting design studio with help of a Cannon Design colleague.
Supports Cannon teams in New York, St. Louis, Washington, D.C., Chicago, Phoenix, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Vancouver, Victoria, and Mumbai; directly manages lighting designers in Boston.
Projects have won six lighting industry awards, including IALD Award of Excellence for the MD Anderson Banner Cancer Center, Phoenix.

EXTRACURRICULAR
Contributing author/editor, “ASHRAE GreenGuide.”
Board Member, Designers Lighting Forum of New England; Co-chair for events and programming for Boston Lights trade show.
Active in Illuminating Engineering Society, USGBC, National Council on Qualifications for the Lighting Professions, and PSU Architectural Engineering Alumni Association.
Volunteer service: Horizons for Homeless Children; ACE mentor.
Spent a month in Nepal with nonprofit Light Up the World.
Liaison to Boston office for Cannon’s pro bono Open Hand Studio.

OFF THE CLOCK
Activities: skiing, sailing, singing, hiking, puzzles, playing music.
Lighting designer/board operator for The Footlight Club, America’s oldest community theatre.

SECRET LIFE
Reached the International Championship of Collegiate A Capella competition with her award-winning college music group.

 

 

2. SHIPSHAPE STRATEGIST

PAUL DONHAUSER, CEM, CPMM

Global Facilities Operations, Construction & Real Estate Director
Boston Scientific Corp., Natick, Mass.

AGE: 39
BS, MS, Massachusetts Maritime Academy

ACCOMPLISHMENTS
Before joining BSC, developed a renovation program for the Pentagon as HVAC designer and design-build manager with Sebesta Blomberg & Associates.
At BSC, works on new acquisitions, facilities, and projects over $500,000.
Recent projects: BSC Global Headquarters consolidation; first Far East manufacturing plant, Pudong, China; first FDA-approved robotic distribution center, Quincy, Mass.; first LEED Silver manufacturing facility in Central America (Costa Rica).
Selected for BSC Top Gun leadership program (100 employees out of 25,000).

EXTRACURRICULAR
Runs in charity races to raise money for cancer research and women’s health causes.
Organizes sponsorship teams for events to benefit the American Heart Association and Joslin Clinic for Diabetes.

OFF THE CLOCK
Hobbies: tuna fishing, lobster diving, hunting, snowmobiles, softball.
Favorite films: “Gladiator,” “Troy,” “Zero Dark Thirty.”

SECRET LIFE
Paternal grandfather served in the German army against his maternal grandfather (in World War I) and maternal uncles (in World War II).

 

3. CREATIVITY NAVIGATOR

DAVID GRANDY, FACHE

Associate Vice President, Director of Innovation, Senior Healthcare Consultant
HDR Architecture, Omaha, Neb.

AGE: 38
BA, Western Michigan University

ACCOMPLISHMENTS
As head of HDR’s Innovation Consulting Group, helps clients like Google, Kaiser Permanente, GE, and USG Corp. discover novel ways to achieve goals.
Created a system called SYNAPSE to analyze complex problems using nontraditional thinking.
As Senior Healthcare Consultant, helps designers understand how health system executives think.
Recent work: modernization projects in Trinidad and Tobago; addition/renovation for Community Hospital, McCook, Neb.; conceptual design of King Hussein Medical City, Amman, Jordan.
Fellow, American College of Healthcare Executives; Certified Medical Practice Executive, American College of Medical Practice Executives; Lean Healthcare certification, University of Michigan Department of Engineering.
ACHE Distinguished Service Award; Regent’s Young Executive Award.

EXTRACURRICULAR
Worked with an HDR team, Ohio State University, and the International Poverty Solutions Collaborative to examine community healthcare issues, leading to a 2012 colloquium.

OFF THE CLOCK
Can’t live without: quad-ruled Moleskine notebook, Wrigley’s 5 gum, Monocle magazine, and a good watch.
Plays piano and guitar.
Favorite food: Whatever’s fresh at Hog Island Oysters, San Francisco.

SECRET LIFE
Intrigued by origami: “I’m fascinated with how those artisans envisioned three-dimensional form and the sequences to create them.”

 

 

4. CHARTER SCHOOL PIONEER

BRIANNA GARCÍA, LEED AP BD+C, Assoc. DBIA

Facilities Development Manager, Charter Development
Los Angeles Unified School District

AGE: 38
BArch, Master of Real Estate Development, Master of Planning, University of Southern California

ACCOMPLISHMENTS
Joined LAUSD in 2005. Responsible for planning, design, funding, management, and development of major public facilities, notably charter schools.
Handles preconstruction activities for school construction and modernization projects in the $6 million to $80 million range.
Has overseen acquisition of >70 acres of property valued at  >$209 million and relocation of 318 commercial/residential tenants.
Coordinates with independent charter operators for the development of long-term charter facilities.
Spearheaded creation of an augmentation grant program to provide gap financing to charters that want to build their own facilities.
Global Holcim Awards Finalist, 2012 (net-zero energy school prototype, with Swift Lee Office).

EXTRACURRICULAR
Committee member, ULI UrbanPlan program; presenter for the Culver City Redevelopment Agency.

OFF THE CLOCK
Activities: tennis (spectator and player), knitting, yoga.
Favorite cuisines: Puerto Rican, Cuban, and Dominican.

SECRET LIFE
Won national championship as a member of JROTC Belles of the Blue Knights Drill Team in high school. “We wore cravats, thigh-high bell skirts, and patent leather go-go boots, and carried rifles.”

 

 

5. EXPERT INVESTIGATOR

BASIL ALEXANDER, PE, Esq., CCE, CPE, PSP, LEED AP

Managing Consultant
Hill International, Washington, D.C.

AGE: 32
JD, University of San Diego School of Law
BEng, Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art

ACCOMPLISHMENTS
Attorney and civil engineer for one of the world’s largest construction risk management firms
Advises clients on projects in the $50 million to $1 billion range.
Certified Professional Estimator, ASPE.
Expert witness in a case involving a $100 million project in the Dominican Republic.
Lead negotiator in a case involving $9.8 million in change order requests on a fitout project.
Auditing a $27 million claim on a Canadian pipeline project.

EXTRACURRICULAR
Organized a professional development workshop for the American Society of Civil Engineers’ D.C. chapter.
Committee member, Washington Business Congress.
Led an ACE Mentors team at D.C.’s Wilson High School.
Volunteer with local nonprofit Martha’s Table, driving a volunteer-staffed mobile soup kitchen and feeding up to 100 homeless adults per trip.

OFF THE CLOCK
Hobbies: biking, jogging, kayaking, fly fishing, and backcountry camping.
Studying Mandarin Chinese (he is first-generation American: parents hail from Finland and Greece).
Favorite vacation spot: Lendas, on the southern coast of Crete.

SECRET LIFE
Has run the Tough Mudder, a nine-mile race with 20 military-style obstacles, including an ice bath and 10,000-volt electrical wires.

         
 

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