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40 Under 40

March 01, 2006 |

What do a juggling unicyclist, a Celtic rock musician, a Yoda impressionist, and a certified hand-to-hand sword fighter have in common?

They're among the 40 brightest stars in the AEC universe—and they're all under age 40.

They and 36 others have been chosen by the editors of Building Design & Construction from among 448 outstanding entrants in our first annual "40 Under 40" competition.

All 40 excel in their professional roles as architects, engineers, contractors, designers, and AEC business developers, while giving back to their communities and professional societies.

And somehow these remarkable young professionals still find time off the clock to expand their horizons.

To meet the next generation of leadership in the AEC industry, please turn the page.

Derek Cunz, 38

Director of project development
M.A. Mortenson Co., Denver

BS ME, California State University


Focused on technology required to build complex structures. About 20% of his work involves virtual modeling and digitally enabled fabrication.
Lead role in landing the $62.5 million Fredric C. Hamilton project at the Denver Art Museum, designed by Daniel Libeskind.Produced record-setting revenues of $285 million in '04 for the firm's Colorado Operating Group; growth continued through '05.

Project manager on the Frank Gehry-designed Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles.

Helped create the firm's new project delivery method, which uses virtual modeling.

Speaks to university and industry audiences about virtual design and construction.

Working with the University of Denver's Construction Management Department to create a "Center of Excellence" on technology trends in the construction industry.

Built and raced cars in college.

Enjoys camping, gardening, DIY projects around the house, and hiking—including a vacation to China where he hiked unmaintained parts of the Great Wall.
Secret life: Loves peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and cake decorating.


John K. McFarland, PE, LEED, 35

Director of engineered systems
WorkingBuildings LLC, Atlanta

MBA, Georgia State University

MS ME, Georgia Institute of Technology

BS ME, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute

Leads the firm's building commissioning and sustainability consulting services. Handles the technical, commissioning, and LEED aspects for all projects.

Authority on commissioning laboratories and process facilities; specializes in bio-informatics, laboratory equipment, safety cabinets, and fume hoods.

Performed due diligence and property assessment surveys for 53 buildings totaling more than 19 million sf.

Oak Ridge (Tenn.) National Laboratory

Centers for Disease Control Building 21, Atlanta

Sandia National Laboratory, Albuquerque

Georgia Cancer Center of Excellence at Grady Memorial, Atlanta

Sports: running, especially trail running and orienteering; recently completed a marathon.

Spent a week backpacking through the Grand Canyon.
Secret life: Met his wife Elizabeth while planting trees with Trees Atlanta, a nonprofit group dedicated to protecting and improving Atlanta's tree canopy.


Brian S. Kriz, 35

Vice president
HITT Contracting Inc., Fairfax, Va.

BS civil engineering, Brown University

Promoted to VP, Interiors Division, in December 2005, making him one of the firm's youngest VPs. Responsible for design review, budgeting, estimating, and project management.

Delivered $265 million and three million sf of work.

Oversees major projects that generate repeat business.

Developed a two-tiered project team organization the firm now uses for all large-scale projects.

Guides corporate interiors project teams.

BAE Systems, Reston, Va.

Sunrise Senior Living international headquarters, McLean, Va.

Raytheon Reflections Building, Reston, Va.

Played football for the Brown University Bears.

Favorite flick: "Animal House." As the rush chairman for his fraternity, he says he found this "educational" film invaluable.

Loves country music and watching NFL and college football. Plays golf and volleyball.
Secret life: Likes crossword puzzles but puts those aside to do Sudoku puzzles.


Peter DiMaggio, 35

Weidlinger Associates, New York

BA, BS CE, MS SE, Columbia University

Expert in blast-resistant design engineering, security engineering, and conventional structural engineering.

Lead design and project manager on more than 30 projects, including U.S. embassy buildings, office buildings, educational facilities, museums, hotels, and stadiums.

Has a leadership role in expanding the firm's client base and scope of work; landed projects the firm was previously unavailable to perform.

U.S. Embassy, Baghdad

U.S. Embassy, Berlin

Authored Security Planning and Design, A Guide for Architects and Building Design Professionals. Co-authored Analysis of Masonry Bearing Walls to Blast Threats.

Board member, Structural Engineers Association of New York.

Involved with the Penny Harvest Program for Common Cents New York, a program that asks students to collect pennies at schools, which are then donated to homeless causes.

Sports: rock climbing, golf, tennis, and soccer.
Secret life: He was an All-American soccer player at Columbia.


Scott E. Mickle, 30

AEC Marketing Solutions, Charlotte, N.C.

MBA, Wake Forest University

BS, University of North Carolina, Wilmington

Founded consulting firm in 2004 that specializing in marketing and business strategies for AEC clients. Formerly served as marketing manager at FN Thompson Construction Co., and as director of marketing and business development at SCN-Architects.

Created first full-service marketing and communications department for FN Thompson, a Charlotte firm with $180 million in revenues.

Established SCN-Architects' first marketing and sales department, which grew the Gastonia, N.C., firm's annual revenues from $1.4 million to $3.5 million within three years. Expanded the firm's geographic coverage from one state to 13 states.

Board member, Society for Marketing Professional Services; Carolina chapter president 2001–2003

Favorite read: Your Marketing Sucks, by Mark Stevens, which he considers a must-read for anyone running a company.
Secret life: Has played hoops with several NBA players, including Grant Hill, Christian Laettner, and Jerry Stackhouse.


Matt Brady, 39

Ware Malcomb, San Diego

BArch, University of California, Berkeley

Successfully reopened the firm's San Diego office in 2000, almost a decade after the troubled office was closed. Made the office a key player within San Diego's commercial real estate market, producing annual revenues of $3 million in 2005, and expanding the office to 13 employees.

Growing the office's market reach beyond industrial work. Currently designing office, retail, medical office, and full-service interior projects.

Actively pursuing projects in Mexico to further expand the firm's territory.

Volunteers for the Baja Challenge, a group of San Diego real estate professionals who travel to Tijuana one day every fall to build homes for the poor. In 2005, they built 40 homes in one day.

Starting surfing at the age of five. Enjoys taking tropical and off-the-beaten-path vacations in search of the perfect wave.

Favorite flick: "Big Wednesday," a surfing and buddy picture.

Favorite read: Men to Match My Mountains: The Opening of the Far West, by Irving Stone.
Secret life: Plays the jew's-harp, a small lyre-shaped instrument held against the teeth and plucked with the fingers.


Natalie R. Petzoldt, AIA, LEED, 32

Associate vice president
Cannon Design, St. Louis

BArch, Kansas State University

One of the firm's youngest officers.

Healthcare design specialist. One of the firm's two healthcare planning fellows, an elite in-house position that carries with it increased leadership responsibilities.

Responsible for the master planning, programming, and design development for the firm's major healthcare projects.

$320 million BJC Healthcare/Washington University Medical Center, St. Louis

$200 million Union Hospital, Terre Haute, Ind.

$100 million Clarian Cancer Hospital, Indianapolis

Guest lecturer and instructor at the University of Illinois School of Architecture Healthcare Design Studio.

Graduate of the Disney Institute, completing the Disney Approach to Quality Service program.

Loves NASCAR racing. Has been to Talladega Superspeedway in Alabama and Daytona International Speedway in Florida, as well as tracks in Kansas City, Atlanta, Phoenix, Michigan, and California.
Secret life: Loves to go freshwater fishing for bass, crappie, and bluegill.


Gregory M. Hoss, 38

Director of sports design
David M. Schwarz/Architectural Services Inc., Washington, D.C.

BArch, BS CE, Catholic University

At 30, elected firm associate; promoted to director of sports design in 2005.

Designs and manages some of the firm's largest projects. Has a leadership role in setting the firm's strategic goals and running its daily operations.

Lead airport designer while employed at E/A firm HNTB.

Arts of Greater Spartanburg (S.C.)

Cultural Center

Vanderbilt University Master Plan, Nashville, Tenn.

The 12,000-seat AA Dr. Pepper/7Up Ballpark, Frisco, Texas

The American Airlines Center, home of the NBA Dallas Mavericks

Board member, Washington, D.C., American Institute of Architects; chairman of the Young Architects Committee

Teaches classes presented by the AIA to interns preparing for the Architectural Registration Exam.

Restoring his 100-year-old home.

Grew up on a farm in Iowa. Spent a lot of time working in the dirt—"excellent training for much of life," he says.
Secret life: Plays the piano and sings with several music groups.


Jon D. Niemuth, AIA, LEED AP, 35

Principal and design director
Ellerbe Becket, Kansas City, Mo.

BArch, MArch, MUP, University of Wisconsin

Leads design and planning of the firm's collegiate and professional stadium work.

Pushes the boundaries of sports facility design: The FedExForum, home of the NBA Memphis Grizzlies, is based on his "juke joint" concept.

Advocate of multiple-sport seating bowl design. His concept for Quest Field (Seattle Seahawks) makes it the only NFL stadium designed to accommodate both football and soccer. The University of Connecticut's Rentschler Field has a seating bowl that accommodates NCAA football and soccer.

University of Toronto Varsity Center

Beijing 2008 Olympics: Stadium Design Study

University of Oregon, Arena Mac2, Eugene

West Virginia University, Olympic Wrestling Training Center, Morgantown, W.Va.

Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, is the most exciting place he's traveled.

Favorite reads: The Devil and the White City, by Erik Larson, and Sam Walton: The Inside story of America's Richest Man, by Vance H. Trimble.
Secret life: Does vocal impressions of cartoon character Scooby Doo and Star Wars character Yoda.


David Dean, 35

VP, Southeast Region
Gray Construction, Birmingham, Ala.

BS, Eastern Kentucky University

Promoted to VP in 2004.

Relocated to Alabama in 2002 to start and lead new regional office targeting the area's growing automotive market. Responsible for marketing, financial, operating, technology, and risk management strategy.

Landed significant projects for Nissan and Hyundai facilities. The office has generated $92.7 million in revenue after three years.

Hyundai Main Plant and Mobis Bumper Plant, both in Montgomery, Ala.

KIA North American Design Center, Anaheim, Calif.

Nissan Logistics Center, Madison, Miss.

GY Stamping (Guyoung Tech), Eastaboga, Ala.

Associated Builders and Contractors of Alabama board member

Greatest non-work-related achievement: surviving cancer.

Enjoys skiing, camping, fishing, hunting, and relaxing on the beach.

The family cabin in North Ontario, Canada, has hosted five generations of Dean family fishing trips.
Secret life: Enjoys the music group Jane's Addiction.

Emily Lally, 28

Senior associate, acoustics engineer
Cerami & Associates, New York

MS ME, Pennsylvania State University


BS, State University of New York, Stony Brook

Employs computer modeling to analyze interiors and materials to determine optimal acoustic environments.

Manages firm's work on the World Trade Center Memorial and PATH Station project. Responsible for creating virtual acoustic models for the project's interior spaces.

U.S. Capitol Visitor's Center. Focused on acoustical requirements for a large auditorium and two orientation theaters.

Baltimore's Basilica of the Assumption, the country's oldest cathedral. Responsible for full noise control system.

Evaluated sound reverberation within the Capitol Rotunda.

Selected by Mayor Bloomberg to participate in the New York City Environmental Control Board; consults on acoustical issues.

Enjoys painting, drawing, snowboarding, surfing, and camping.

Top getaways: motorcycling through the Pyrenees and surfing off the southwest coast of France.

Favorite flick: "When Harry Met Sally."
Secret life: Has a tattoo, but isn't saying where.


David L. Richter, 39

President, COO
Hill International Inc., Marlton, N.J.

BS, BSE, JD, University of Pennsylvania

President and COO. Company reports annual revenues of more than $100 million.

Previously served as president of Hill's project management group and as the firm's SVP and general counsel.

Taking the company public by acquiring a special purpose acquisition company, avoiding the IPO process. Capital raised will be used to expand the company globally.

Served three years as a lawyer at the New York City law firm of Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP.

$12 billion Iraq Reconstruction Program

World Trade Center transportation hub, New York, N.Y.

U.S. Supreme Court building renovation, Washington, D.C.

Sits on the boards of the Construction Management Association of America and Stanley Baker Hill LLC, a company that provides CM services to the U.S. Army.

His hero is his father Irvin, who founded Hill International in 1976.

Enjoys golfing, tennis, basketball, running, skiing, and scuba diving.

Favorite flick: "The Matrix" (but not the sequels, he insists).
Secret life: listens to rock music.


Patrick J. Tighe, AIA, 39

Founder, principal, and lead designer
Tighe Architecture, Santa Monica, Calif.


BFA, University of Massachusetts

Founded his firm in 2000, after seven years with Morphosis Architects and two years with Frank O. Gehry & Associates.

Focuses on contemporary designs for the retail, commercial, mixed-use, and residential markets; significant public works and outside installations.

Champions sustainable design and adaptive reuse projects.

Has won three National AIA Honor Awards since 2001.

Recipient, 2006 AIA Young Architects Award.

25 Central Park West, New York

Linda Loudermilk Showroom, Los Angeles

Mount Olive Preschool, Santa Monica, Calif.

Performs significant pro-bono work, including the Academy of Business Leadership's Los Angeles headquarters.

Studio instructor at the University of Southern California, 2000–2002.

Enjoys reading The New York Times, working in the yard, and having friends over for barbeque.
Secret life: Grew up in a house with a urinal—he is one of five boys raised by his father.


Mary K. Hart, 39

Project manager, associate
Corgan Associates Inc, Dallas

MArch, University of Texas

BBA, Texas Christian University

Responsible for design and client coordination, overall project management, business development, project financial management, and staff human resources management.

Commissioned officer and 17-year member of the Texas Army National Guard. Currently holds the rank of major. Awarded the Bronze Star for service in Iraq.

Holds "secret" clearance that allowed her access to restricted areas necessary for the completion of the EDS Navy and Marine Corps Internet project.

EDS Microserver Farms, U.S. Naval bases throughout the U.S.

Halliburton Field Camp, Irving, Texas

Frito-Lay North American corporate hangar, Addison, Texas

Completed a half-marathon with the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society's Team in Training organization in 2003. Currently training for the San Diego Rock and Roll Marathon.

Volunteers for Hearts and Hammers, a nonprofit organization that helps low-income homeowners repair their houses.
Secret life: Hopes to open a bed & breakfast somewhere on the Pacific Northwest coastline.


Blaine Brownell, 35

Lead design architect, associate
NBBJ Architects, Seattle

MArch, Rice University

BArch, Princeton University

Materials and sustainable architecture specialist.

Authored Transmaterial: A Catalog of Materials that Redefine our Physical Environment (February 2006), which showcases innovative design and construction materials.

Writes a weekly products e-newsletter with 3,000 subscribers.

Alley24 mixed-use project, Seattle

Wards Cove Marina + Townhouses, Seattle

University of San Francisco hospital expansion

NBBJ liaison to Rice University School of Architecture preceptorship program. Twice nominated for Mentor of the Year honors.

Lectures to university and industry audiences about his materials research.

Formed partnership with Princeton Architectural Press to develop research tools and online communications focused on materials innovation and sustainable design.

Enjoys playing the guitar, photography, bicycling, hiking, and camping.

Favorite reads: Salman Rushdie's Haroun and Sea of Stories.
Secret life: He and his family create and make their own gifts for family and friends.


Jay H. Reichgott, PE, 39

Marine division chief
McLaren Engineering Group, West Nyack, N.Y.

BS, Rutgers University

BA, Bates College

Responsible for the firm's Marine Division; specializes in waterfront and underwater structures. Oversees the division's engineer divers, technicians, and coastal engineering specialists.

Project manager for the design and technical oversight of the Battery Park ferry terminal in New York City; managing structural, foundation, and accessibility design of the Weehawken Intermodal ferry terminal in New Jersey.

Project coordinator and structural engineer for stage equipment for Cirque du Soleil's show "KÀ" at the MGM Grand, Las Vegas. Designed machinery for two platforms totaling 150 tons. The platforms move 70 feet vertically, pivot vertically 100 degrees, and rotate in all directions.

Mystic Seaport Museum and Shipyard, Mystic, Conn.

Canary Wharf, London

Manhattan Plaza, New York

Rolling Stones "40 Licks" World Tour

Avocation: relaxing with a good book.

His great uncles were members of Dutch Shultz's gang of mobsters in the '20s.
Secret life: He's a gourmet chef.


Angela Feddersen Heinze, 35

Principal partner
Mackey Mitchell Associates
St. Louis

BArch, University of Iowa

Promoted to partner at 31; only female among the eight partners at the 40-person firm.

Serves as project manager, architect, and design team leader.

LEED 2.0 Accredited Professional.

$41 million school renovation for the Ladue School District in Missouri 66,000-sf St. Louis FBI headquarters $20.85 million Alberici corporate headquarters, St. Louis

Member, St. Louis Forum, an organization of professional women who have distinguished themselves through career and community achievements.

Leads the design and construction component of the United Way Women's Leadership Giving Initiative.

Placed eighth in her division in the 2004 Spirit of St. Louis Marathon.

Sits on a commercial real estate board; leads the CREW Careers component, which teaches underprivileged women about real estate careers.
Secret life: Sits on the board of the Circus Arts Foundation for Missouri, which produces a national traveling one-ring circus, Circus Flora.


L. Darryl Harris, 35

Area manager
Flintco Inc., Springdale, Ark.

Led the re-branding, repositioning, and expansion of Flintco operations throughout Arkansas.

Increased the Arkansas operation's annual revenues 24% since joining the firm. Significantly increased the firm's client and project portfolio.

Changed the service delivery method under contract from 100% hard bid work to 84% negotiated work.

Managed several projects, including the First Western Bank Regional Headquarters in Rogers, Ark., and the Elza R. Tucker school in Lowell, Ark., that went on to win construction excellence awards.

Started his own construction company as a teenager.

District Coordinator for Arkansas, Design-Build Institute of America

Member of the Dean's Circle, University of Arkansas School of Architecture

Enjoys working out, hunting, and football.

Sits on the advisory board for Lifestyles Inc., an organization that helps mentally disabled adults. Also on the advisory board of Healing Horses Inc., a therapeutic horseback riding center for special needs children.
Secret life: Served in the U.S. Air Force and fought in Operation Desert Shield.


Roderick N. Hagen, PE, LEED, 39

Director of engineering and construction
Quantum Technology Services
Cape Canaveral, Fla.

BS ME, MBA, University of Florida

Program manager for the $30 million Technical Engineering and Spacelift Services Contract for the 45th Space Wing of the U.S. Air Force at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station.

Manages design, engineering, and construction management services valued at more than $200 million at Cape Canaveral and Patrick Air Force Base.

Directly subcontracted $10 million in construction services.

Authored paper on the applicability of the U.S. Green Building Council's LEED building rating system to Air Force construction projects.

Instructor for the 2006 Air Force Environmental Training Symposium.

In 2004, received the 41st Space Congress "Technical Achievement Award" for demonstrating unwavering loyalty to the U.S. Air Force, the space program, and the advancement of engineering in Florida.

Volunteers as the vocal coach/music director at his 16-year-old daughter Sarah's high school.
Secret life: Played Daddy Warbucks in his local community theater's production of "Annie."


Jordan Goldstein, AIA, 33

Principal and design director
Gensler, Washington, D.C.

MArch, University of Pennsylvania

BA, University of Maryland

Promoted to principal in 2003, making him one of Gensler's youngest partners. Expanding the firm's presence in the Southeast by overseeing design at Gensler's new Tampa, Fla., office.

Recognized for his modernist architecture, workplace design, and innovative product design, which won five NeoCon awards and two International Interior Design Association awards.

Collaborates with national manufacturers—including Tuohy Furniture, Armstrong Worldwide Industries, and Geiger/Herman Miller—on the design of chairs, tables, workstations, private office furniture, glass textures, and ceiling systems.

Guest lecturer, University of Maryland and Marymount University of Virginia

Studied architecture in Japan.

Favorite read: The Immense Journey, by Loren Eiseley.

Favorite musicians: the Rippingtons (jazz) and Sting.
Secret life: Met his wife in preschool; they shared a sandbox, she played nicely and so he married her a few decades later, he says.


Ryan Hutchins, 29

Director of special projects
Gilbane, Boston

MBA candidate, Babson College

BS CM, Wentworth Institute of Technology

Leads the special projects group. Developed a delivery method to capture projects under $5 million, which allowed Gilbane to capture new markets. The group is exceeding profit expectations, and the business model is being expanded companywide.

Implemented a knowledge management database for the New England region, which collects project information that can be searched company-wide by project teams looking for "lessons learned."

Teaches classes through Gilbane University, the company's in-house development program.

Founding president of the Young Contactors Forum of the state chapter of the Associated General Contractors of America.

Organized a golf tournament to establish a scholarship in the name of a colleague's daughter who died on 9/11.

Sports: played hockey at Wentworth; now enjoys golf.

Board member for the volunteer organization Rebuilding Together, which helps revitalize houses for low-income families.
Secret life: Loves chili and cooks it himself, changing the recipe every time.


Joseph M. Ales, Jr., PE, PhD, 39

Walter P. Moore, Tampa, Fla.

PhD, University of Texas

BS, MS, University of Wisconsin

One of Walter P. Moore's youngest principals and senior project manager in the firm's Tampa office.

Primary structural project manager on some of the firm's most important and complex projects, including the retractable roof for the $350 million NFL Cardinals Stadium in Glendale, Ariz.

Specializes in long-span roof design; designed the exhibit hall roof for the Boston Exhibition and Convention Center and the fabric roof replacement for arenas at the University of Florida and the University of South Florida.

Chaired the firm's Secure Design Task Force, which solidified Walter P. Moore's growing Secure Design practice.

Chair of the firm's Building Information Modeling task force.

Member of the firm's Technical Oversight Committee and Technology Steering Committee.

Enjoys photography, reading, Web design, golf, basketball, and weightlifting.

Renovating his 25-year-old colonial DIY-style for the past three years with his wife, Stephanie.
Secret life: Can't live without Entenmann's chocolate-frosted donuts.


Emlyn G. Altman, 35

Director of lighting and visualization
ForrestPerkins, Washington, D.C.

MDesS, Harvard University

MArch, University of Pennsylvania

BA, Mount Holyoke College

Manages and designs large interior and exterior lighting projects from schematic design to construction administration.

Creates 3-D visualizations that explore spatial issues and experiment with different finishes and lighting.

JW Marriott, Washington, D.C.

BB King Museum and Delta Interpretive Center, Indianola, Miss.

Agganis Arena and Recreation Center, Boston University

Westin Harbour Castle Hotel, Toronto

Columnist for Lighting Design & Application, a publication of the Illuminating Engineering Society of North America.

Capital section president, IESNA, 2004—Regional awards chair, East Central Region, IESNA, 2005—

Beta-tests CAD software for software developers.

Relaxes with hot river stone massages.

Top scribblers: novelists Stephen King and Michael Palmer (Company of Moths).

Sports: hiking, skiing, and fishing in the Chesapeake Bay.
Secret life: She's an accomplished sculptor using mixed media.


Jon Couch, 37

Rand Construction Corp., Arlington, Va.

BBA, George Washington University

Promoted to president of Rand Construction in 2005; started at the firm in 1996 as a project manager.

Responsible for overall operations. Firm specializes in tenant renovations and build-outs; 2005 revenues: $150 million.

Joined Rand at a tumultuous time and helped the firm regain stability. Personally overhauled the firm's computer systems and marketing materials while balancing PM responsibilities.

Member of the Washington Building Congress, which represents Washington's commercial real estate, design, and construction industries.

President-elect of the Real Estate Group, an organization of real estate professionals under 40 in the greater Washington area.

Comes from a family of boat builders; currently restoring an antique wooden motor yacht.

Enjoys downhill and water skiing, as well as wakeboard riding.

Owns an antique Harley-Davidson motorcycle and a decommissioned Army combat vehicle.
Secret life: Has a commercial pilot's license and is currently in the market for a T-6 Texan, a WWII bomber training aircraft.


Anthony Consigli, 38

Consigli Construction Co.
Milford, Mass.

BS, Harvard University

Fourth-generation Consigli family member to run the firm, which his great-grandfather founded in 1905.

Transformed the firm from a small general contractor into a 250-person firm offering CM, general contracting, design-build, and pre-construction planning services. Opened an office in Portland, Maine, in 2004.

Grew annual revenues from $4 million in 1994 to $152 million in 2005.

Bowdoin College Chapel, Brunswick, Maine

Cambridge City Hall Annex, Cambridge, Mass.

Established Consigli Foundation, which contributed approximately $170,000 to charity over the last five years.

Involved in preservation efforts. Currently dismantling, relocating, and rebuilding the 1896 Granite Building, a former school scheduled for demolition. It will be Consigli's new Milford headquarters.

Member of the board of the Associated General Contractors of Massachusetts.

Member of Crimson squad that won the Ivy League football title in 1989.
Secret life: Renewed his wedding vows with wife Susan in Las Vegas; an Elvis impersonator performed the ceremony.


Eddie Abeyta, AIA, 38

Senior vice president
HKS, Dallas

BEnvDes, MArch, Texas A&M University

Promoted to SVP in 2005, becoming HKS's youngest associate principal/SVP.

Responsible for designing projects valued at more than $3 billion while managing a 25-person team.

Hospitality design expert, also designs for the commercial, corporate, healthcare, retail, and mixed-use markets.

W Hollywood Hotel and Residences, Los Angeles

W Dallas Victory Hotel and Residences, Dallas

Grand Hyatt Hotel @ DFW International Terminal

RadioShack's StoreOne, a showcase retail facility on the company's Fort Worth, Texas, campus.

Involved in guest lecture series at Texas A&M University's College of Architecture.

Member of Art by Architects, a nonprofit organization showcasing architects' artwork to raise money for local charities.

Sports: golf and long-distance running. Completed the Dallas White Rock Marathon in December 2003.

Best Italian cooking he's ever had is his grandmother's—complete with her secret ingredients.

Favorite flick: "Touching the Void."
Secret life: He's a pen & ink artist.


Kristin Lynn Kautz, 36

Partner, director of marketing
P&W Architects, Houston

MA, University of Houston

BA, Trinity University

Specialist in AEC marketing. Directs media, public relations, communications, marketing, advertising, and graphics business.

Promoted to partner within two years of joining P&W.

Implemented marketing strategy that changed the firm's reputation as a narrowly focused niche firm to that of Houston's "hot" firm competing for large commissions.

Promoted P&W's expertise in the healthcare and science/technology field, raising awareness that attracted new business with Texas A&M University and Memorial Hermann Hospital.

Can't live without her horse, Geronimo, a nine-year-old Appaloosa she adopted from the South Florida SPCA Rescue Program three years ago.

Favorite musician: solo artist Cary Pierce, formerly of the band Jackopierce.

Fave flick: "The Princess Bride"—the only movie she says is better than the book on which it's based.
Secret life: Obsessed with pop culture, purses, and Diet Cherry Coke.



David J. O'Hearn, 35
Deputy commissioner
Connecticut Department of Public Works, Hartford, Conn.

MS, MBA, University of Hartford

MS, BS, University of Connecticut

Manages Connecticut's Division of Design and Construction, oversees annual construction budget of about $400 million.

Chaired the construction contracting subcommittee for the Governor's contracting reform initiative.

Led Hartford's $700 million, mixed-use Adriaen's Landing project.

Founded the Industry Advisory Council, a group of AEC professionals who meet monthly to promote better industry-government relations.

Ran the Construction and Facilities Management Office while director of engineering and environment with the Connecticut Army National Guard.

Member of the Army National Guard's Business Redesign task force, which reviewed facilities management, design, and construction processes; recommendations were instituted at the national level.

Served 12 years in the Army National Guard, rising to the rank of captain.

Spends almost every summer weekend on his boat sailing around Long Island Sound, Block Island, and Martha's Vine-yard.
Secret life: Built an 800-bottle wine cellar himself.


Gregory J. Lakota, SE, PE, 36

Halvorson and Partners Structural Engineers, Chicago

BS CE, MS SE, University of Illinois

Expert in structural design and construction phasing for office, residential, hotel, retail, and industrial markets.

Worked at Skidmore, Owings & Merrill for four years before joining Halvorson as one of its six original employees. Named partner at 33.

Engineered significant national projects before establishing a leadership role on international projects.

80-story Index Building, Dubai, United Arab Emirates

35-story Chandler residential tower, Chicago

40-story Torre Repsol corporate headquarters, Madrid, Spain

Museum of Science and Industry, U-505 submarine relocation, Chicago

Regenstein African Journey—rehabilitation of Lincoln Park Zoo's large-mammal house, Chicago

Restoring and modernizing his 100-year old house.

Avocations: woodworking and back-country camping.

Sports: running, biking, weight lifting. Active in softball and flag football leagues.
Secret life: Belonged to the unicycle and juggling club in college.


Tracy Nicholas, 39

Vice president
Alter Construction Group, Chicago

MS candidate, Northwestern University

BA, Columbia College

Guides the firm's construction process, from preconstruction to completion.

Managed two significant Chicago projects: the 1.7-million-sf Hyatt Center and the 850-room Hotel Intercontinental.

Production manager for construction of the Skyline Stage and Shakespeare Theater at Chicago's Navy Pier.

Managing the $22 million renovation of the Chicago Historical Society museum.

Managing the $11 million renovation of Chicago's Biograph Theater, where gangster John Dillinger was mowed down by the FBI in 1934.

Board member of the Women's Global Education Project, a nonprofit organization that provides education opportunities to women and girls in developing countries.

Senior examiner for the Lincoln Award for Business Excellence, a nonprofit organization dedicated to improving Illinois businesses and institutions.

Avocations: photography and collecting antique cameras.
Secret life: Certified with the American Society of Fight Directors in small sword, broadsword, rapier, and dagger, and hand-to-hand choreographed combat. Mom was a Playboy bunny, dad a professional boxer.


Bret Emerson, 35

CommTech Design, Rockford, Mich.

BS, Ohio University

Founded CommTech Design in 2005. Designs integrated communication and technology systems, including drawings and CSI-based specifications for cabling, telephone, audio/visual networks, and security systems.

Previously served as director of communications engineering at Progressive AE in Grand Rapids, Mich. Responsible the Grand Rapids Convention Center and Lake Michigan College projects.

Served as VP of engineering for Total Systems Integration in Galion, Ohio, designing fiber backbones, CAT-5 and CAT-5e cabling infrastructures.

Reeths-Puffer Schools, Muskegon, Mich.

Laingsburg Community Schools, Laingsburg, Mich.

Hillsdale (Mich.) College

Regular contributor to Sound & Communications, Security, and Cabling Business magazines.

Ran for Plainfield (Mich.) Township Trustee in 2004. Lost the race, but is considering another run.

Hopes to move back to the family dairy farm in Apple Creek, Ohio, one day.

Collects scale-version replicas of farm tractors, wagons, and combines.
Secret life: Can talk in "auction speak," the rapid-fire patter of an auctioneer.


Jason F. McLennan, 32

BNIM, Kansas City, Mo.

MArch, University of Kansas

BA, University of Oregon

Founded and directs BNIM's sustainable design and consulting division, called Elements. Promoted to full partner in 2003.

CEO of Ecotone Publishing, which he founded in 2004 to focus on green building books; 10% of profits are donated to environmental NGOs.

Authored three books on green building: The Ecological Engineer (2005), The Dumb Architect's Guide to Glazing (2004), and The Philosophy of Sustainable Design (2004). The latter is used as a textbook at more than 30 design schools.

Adjunct professor at the University of Kansas.

Member of the U.S. Green Building Council committee exploring LEED 3.0.

Frequent guest lecturer and recognized sustainable design expect.

Believes that the next few generations will face a huge ecological crisis.

Enjoys playing tennis, writing, designing houses, and reading.

Hails from Ontario, Canada; the only member of his family living in the U.S.
Secret life: Former lead singer in the Celtic rock band Thistle. Hates flying.


David Manica, AIA, 36

HOK, Kansas City, Mo.

BArch, University of Kansas

Promoted to director of design for HOK Sport Venue Event division in Kansas City in 2004.

Named managing principal of design for the Kansas City office in 2005, the first person to hold that title.

Lead designer on projects valued at more than $1.9 billion. Specialist in NFL, NBA, NHL, and soccer stadium projects; design leader for convention center projects.

Lead designer of the retractable roof on Houston's Reliant Stadium. The roof design was cited as one of the reasons Houston won the 32nd NFL franchise.

Designed a platform that allows London's new Wembley National Stadium to convert from a soccer field to an Olympic track and field venue.

Expansion of Philip Johnson-designed Peoria (Ill.) Civic Center

Phoenix Convention Center

Houston Toyota Center

American Airlines Arena, Miami

Enjoys renovating houses, architectural photography, cooking, and traveling—including a visit to Venice during the Carnevale.

Donates his photography to charity.

Favorite composer: Beethoven.
Secret life: Claims to love mowing his lawn.


Tania Van Herle, AIA, 36

Principal, K-12 Studio
Harley Ellis Devereaux, Los Angeles


Established the firm's "small studio" approach to K-12 design. Led the K-12 practice for the past eight years, growing it into one of the region's top design studios. Over the past five years, the practice has doubled in size and annual revenues grew to $10 million.

Youngest and only female member of the firm's board of directors; provides strategic input on projects and firm practices.

Oaks Christian School, Thousand Oaks, Calif., won AIA, CEFPI, and Society of American Registered Architects awards.

Cahuenga Elementary School, Los Angeles, which was cited as a model high-performance school.

Member of the Coalition for Adequate School Housing, a California association of school administrators, construction managers, and architects.

She's the first American-born citizen in her extended family, which hails from Belgium. She's fluent in Flemish.

Favorite CD: "Broken Hill," by her husband, Stephen Rowe.
Secret life: Loves baking desserts—the more complicated and structurally daring the better.


Thomas Dube, 32

Senior project manager
Cutler Associates, Worcester, Mass.

BS CE, Worcester Polytechnic Institute

Plans and supervises on-site and construction administration activities for various design-build projects. Responsible for the company's scholastic market practice.

Skilled in numerous construction techniques, including masonry and steel, block and plank, reinforced concrete, and tilt-up.

Managed two of the company's most important and complex projects within an 18-month timeframe—one a gamma irradiation sterilization plant, the other a high-end spa. He jumped in and worked alongside his team members to get the jobs done on schedule.

Member and trustee, Associated Buildings and Contractors; chairman of its Young Leaders Council

President-elect of the board of Dynamy Inc., a nonprofit educational organization.

Guest lecturer at Worcester Polytechnic Institute and Fitchburg State College.

Sports: golfing, skiing, and working out.

Loves his Boston terrier and pug. He says people are always surprised to discover he's a small-breed dog owner.
Secret life: Prepares a great filet mignon.


Scott T. Luckiesh, 37

Senior structural engineer
Arnold and O'Sheridan, Madison, Wis.

MS SE, University of Texas

BS AE, Oklahoma State University

Specializes in commercial projects using steel, masonry, and site-cast and precast concrete.

Lead engineering role on the University of Wisconsin's Camp Randall Stadium renovation, designing long-span truss systems with hollow steel tubes.

Structural engineer on the Milwaukee School of Engineering project, creating a system with two major building masses arranged on each side of a straight-line division wall; the set-up allows for two types of occupancy codes. The project was a 2005 finalist from the Wisconsin chapter of the American Council of Engineering Companies.

Chairperson of the firm's structural engineering software review committee.

Co-authored the American Institute of Steel Construction hollow structural sections manual.

Approaching his 18th wedding anniversary.

Enjoys mountain biking, rock climbing, downhill skiing, and golf.

Favorite reads: Atlas Shrugged, by Ayn Rand, and The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, by Douglas Adams.
Secret life: Hunts with bow and arrow.


Tom Sieckhaus, 39

Vice president
Clayco, St. Louis

BE CE, MBA, University of Missouri

Promoted to VP in 2003.

Oversees 8–10 jobs at any given time; considered the company's most creative and aggressive project manager, often spearheading its most demanding projects.

Expert in conceptual estimating.

Leadership role in the company's corporate facilities business unit.

Successful at landing repeat business from clients; managed more than 3.2 million sf of construction from repeat clients alone.

Procter & Gamble distribution center, Edwardsville, Ill.

CitiMortgage Regional Headquarters, O'Fallon, Mo.

St. Louis Rams (NFL) corporate headquarters and training center

Sysco Food Services of Central Florida, Palm Beach, Fla.

Graduate of the Southern Illinois University Construction Leadership Forum.

Member, Carpenters Labor Committee for the St. Louis chapter of the Associated General Contractors of America

Sports: Fishing, golf, and duck hunting.

Volunteers as a baseball and hockey coach.
Secret life: He's a huge Bruce Springsteen fan.


Jeff Nielsen, 39

BNBuilders Inc., Seattle

BS, University of Washington

Co-founded BNBuilders in 2000, after having worked at firms Bayley Construction, Lease Crutcher Lewis, and DPR. The company has offices in Seattle and San Francisco, and expects 2006 revenues of $90 million.

Expanded company into markets outside life science/biotech in 2005; 70% of current projects are from markets new to the company.

Pursued alternative delivery methods to enable the firm to compete for public projects. This resulted in the firm capturing a $15 million public library project.

Started BNBuilders' Community Involvement Team, in which employees and architectural and subcontracting partners participate in fundraising and philanthropic endeavors, such as remodeling a Seattle food bank.

Coaches Little League.

Favorite food: his mother's homemade chicken and noodles on mashed potatoes.

Says he can't live without a good bottle of wine.
Secret life: A killer impression of Yoda, he does.


Deborah Sheehan, LEED, 37

Director of healthcare practice
OWP/P, Chicago

BArch, Miami University

Leads the firm's healthcare practice. Elected to the firm's board of directors in early 2006.

Under her direction, OWP/P completed or broke ground on more than four million sf of construction totaling $700 million in 2005.

Responsible for some of the firm's most significant clients, including Advocate Health Care, Northwest Community Healthcare, and Banner Health.

Member of SG2, a think tank focused on healthcare research, consulting, and education.

Working with the University of Illinois at Chicago to develop its new post-graduate curriculum in healthcare design. The program will be only the third of its kind in the country.

Committee chair for the Chicago Health Executives Forum.

Sports: Downhill skiing, but her 10-year-old son Connor wants to get her snowboarding.

Her idea of relaxing: Reading a good book on the beaches of North Carolina's Outer Banks.

Favorite book: The Cloud Sketcher, by Richard Rayner.
Secret life: Enjoys a good cigar and a glass of port.


Jason T. Adolff, AIA, LEED, 32

Associate principal
Westlake Reed Leskosky
Washington, D.C.

BArch, BS Kent State University

Founding director and manager of the firm's Washington, D.C., studio, which is being used as a model for the firm's future expansion.

Specializes in the design of media and broadcast facilities. Assists the firm's national practice in designing performing and cultural arts projects.

Strengthened relations with General Services Administration, leading to major commissions.

Idea Center at Playhouse Square, Cleveland

GSA, Dirksen Federal Buildings, Chicago

Keswick Theater, Philadelphia

Research team member analyzing and chronicling 1950s-era New Jersey shore motels. The research and publication won an AIA Honor Award.

Avocation: The architecture of everyday America and how regional and cultural influences are communicated through ordinary buildings.

Sports: mountain biking. Never lets his bike sit around long enough to collect dust, he says.
Secret life: Creates new recipes in his kitchen "laboratory."

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