Building Design+Construction names 40 young superstars of U.S. design and construction

January 19, 2009 |

What do a tenor who raises orchids, a one-time rug weaver, and a custom motorcycle builder have in common?

They are three of the 40 brightest stars of America’s $538 billion commercial design and construction industry—and they're all under age 40.

These 40 have been chosen by the editors of Building Design+Construction magazine from among 208 finalists in the publication’s fourth annual “40 under 40” competition.

All 40 excel in their professional roles as architects, engineers, contractors, and real estate executives. They contribute time to their communities and professional societies. And they all have “secret lives.”

The orchid-raising tenor? That’s Sanford E. Garner, 39, COO of A2SO4, Indianapolis, president-elect of the Indianapolis chapter of the American Institute of Architects, and vice president-elect of the National Organization of Minority Architects board of directors.

The former rug weaver? Claire Bonham-Carter, 38, director of sustainable development with AECOM, Los Angeles. The chopper builder? Nicholas D. Kasik, 39, a senior project manager with P1 Group, Las Vegas, who manages $20 million a year in mechanical construction projects.

They and their 37 counterparts are active in their professions and in their communities. As a volunteer with Habitat for Humanity in Newport News, Va., architect Holly Williams Leppo, 34, a VP with SMB&R, Camp Hill, Pa., redesigned the organization’s home floor plans. Paul Edward Kouri, 34, an architect with PSA-Dewberry, Peoria, Ill., has been mayor of his village, Metamora, Ill., since 2005, when he was swept into office with 74% of the vote.

Jamie Blosser, 39, an architect with Atkin Olshin Schade Architects, Santa Fe, N.M., founded a community garden and educates Native American builders on sustainable design. (Her secret life? She played in an all-girl punk band in high school.)

And the youngest member of this elite group, electrical engineer Carlton A. Getz, 31, with Spectrum Engineers, Salt Lake City, has awarded scholarships to seven architectural engineering students at his alma mater, Kansas State University.

Learn more about these 40 dynamic professionals – and 120 previous winners – at:

“40 under 40” is sponsored by Georgia-Pacific (

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