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Meet the 40 Under 40 class of 2021

40 Under 40

Meet the 40 Under 40 class of 2021

These AEC stars are making their mark in business, philanthropy, and in their communities.


By BD+C Editors | December 13, 2021
Olivia Graf Doyle
2021 BD+C 40 Under 40 winner Olivia Graf Doyle

 

See Also: Call for entries: BD+C's 2022 40 Under 40 competition
 

MEET THE 40 UNDER 40 CLASS OF 2021 
Troy Macbeth Abromaitis
Zack Aders
Asia Allen
Briana Allen
Abigail Brown
Adrienne Cali Magners
Shara Castillo
Brandon Chasen
Lauren Coles
Eric Cutler
Molly Dee-Ramasamy
Olivia Graf Doyle
Heather Greene
April Guymon
Colley Hodges
Jessica Jadue
Alex Jonovski
Tiffany Kalloor
Katrina Kelly-Pitou
Jeff Kemp
Robert Kudenchak
Jill Kurtz
Kevin Laut
Jeff Lusin
Yehia Madkour
Alex Morales
Camilla Moretti
Maxim Nasab
Andrew Pearl
Juliette Peyroux
Kelly Roberts
Matt Sayre
Ryan Searles
Drew Shula
Patrick Stone
Justin Taplet
Jennifer Todd
Michael Tortorici
Stephanie Vito
Daniel Whitmire
Brittany Williams

 

 

INDIGENOUS DEVELOPER

Troy Abromaitis

Troy Macbeth Abromaitis, RI

Director of Developments

Bucci Developments, Vancouver, B.C.

AGE: 37

EDUCATION

Diploma in Urban Land Economics and Post-graduate Certificate in Real Property Valuation, University of British Columbia

ACCOMPLISHMENTS

Licensed builder, Managing Realty Broker, Realtor, property manager, and mortgage broker.

Registered Professional Member and first Indigenous President, Real Estate Institute of British Columbia.

National Excellence Award for Philanthropy and Community Service, Canadian Mortgage Brokers Association.

EXTRACURRICULARS

Founding member, National Indigenous Affordable Housing Corporation.

Board member, Built Green Canada.

Board member, Canadian Home Builders Association–Fraser Valley.

President-elect, Rotary Club of West Vancouver.

Board member, West Point Grey Community Center Association and the Stó:lo Business Association.

OFF THE CLOCK

Member, Nlaka’pamux Nation, with ties to the Secwepemc and Stó:lo Nations.

SECRET LIFE

Indigenous artist; Member, Federation of Canadian Artists.

WHAT IS THE BEST CAREER OR BUSINESS ADVICE YOU HAVE EVER RECEIVED?

"If you are fortunate enough to find success, send the ladder down and lift others up. Giving back is the right thing to do. It is important to help tomorrow’s leaders get started on their dreams today.”

HOW HAVE YOU ADJUSTED TO THE ONGOING PANDEMIC?

"Rural Indigenous communities across B.C. have been deeply impacted by Covid-19 due to shortages of personal protective equipment to protect elders, children, and front-line medical professionals. I personally delivered hundreds of medical masks to impacted remote communities throughout British Columbia.

 

NYC PRES

Zack Aders

Zack Aders, Architect

Assistant Vice President

Economic Development Corporation, New York, NY

AGE: 39

EDUCATION

Master of Architecture, Columbia University

Bachelor of Science in Environmental Design, Arizona State University

ACCOMPLISHMENTS

Currently manages design and construction of public projects in New York City totaling over $600 million

Founder and Manager of NYCEDC 80x50 program

Passed ARE, LEED GA, and LEED AP BD+C exams in less than one year

Managed the design of over 40 favela upgrading projects in Brazil

EXTRACURRICULAR

Serves on New York City’s Local Law 97 Advisory Board, AIA New York - Public Architecture Committee, and New York Building Congress Energy & Sustainability Committee

OFF THE CLOCK

Loves skateboarding, snowboarding, and rock climbing

Favorite thing to do is explore new places with wife, Dani, and son, Nico (2)

SECRET LIFE

Sponsored rider and beta tester for Summerboard (electric skateboard company)

I took time off during college to work at a mountain and snowboard every day

WHAT IS THE BEST CAREER OR BUSINESS ADVICE YOU HAVE EVER RECEIVED?

“Some advice that really stuck with me was that people don't remember what you say or even what you do, they remember how you made them feel.”

HOW HAVE YOU ADJUSTED TO THE ONGOING PANDEMIC?

I have had to put much more focus on anticipating risk, with constant material and labor shortages affecting all of my projects.

 

TENNESSEE TRAILBLAZER 

Asia Allen

Asia Allen, AIA, NOMA, CDT, Lean
Architect
Gresham Smith, Nashville, Tenn.

AGE: 34

EDUCATION

Bachelor of Architecture, University of Tennessee

ACCOMPLISHMENTS

Designed more than $250 million in healthcare construction while at Gresham Smith

Key projects: Mount Carmel Grove City, a 186-bed, 504,000-sf full-service hospital and a five-story, 125,000-sf medical office building in Grove City, Ohio; WellStar Cherokee Health Park, a four-story, 112,000-sf medical office in Holly Springs, Ga. 

Fourth African American female architect in the state of Tennessee and one of the first 400 in the U.S. to become a licensed architect

EXTRACURRICULARS

Founding Member, Treasurer, National Organization of Minority Architects (NOMA) Nashville chapter 

Board Member, Civic Design Center (educates youth on the architecture profession) 

Past Mentor,  Architecture Construction Engineering (ACE)

OFF THE CLOCK

Fave hobby: floral design (“I love flowers in general and even have two tattoos of roses and lilies.”)

Launched her own blog in 2020, www.asianatasha.com, as a creative outlet outside of work

Most memorable trip: Haiti with 12 college classmates and the dean to visit the site and community for which they were designing a secondary school. “We flew into Port-au-Prince and had a two-hour drive to our final destination, Fond-des-Blancs. That two-hour trip turned into an eight-hour-long nightmare [between floods, treacherous river crossings, bugs, and an unruly driver].” 

SECRET LIFE

Without looking, she can identify which co-worker is approaching her desk based on the sound of their footsteps

WHAT IS THE BEST CAREER OR BUSINESS ADVICE YOU HAVE EVER RECEIVED?

Take action to create the life and career that you want. I know I’ve heard this more than once, but the last time I heard it, just a few weeks ago, it really stuck with me. During a virtual meeting, a local architect was telling his story about his journey as an architect. He described his struggles, challenges, and successes along the way. He emphasized the importance of not being passive in your career journey, but to instead take time to truly understand what your passions are and take action to create a life and career around that. I love this advice because I believe it really is the best way to lead a life of genuine happiness, fulfillment, and overall success.”

HOW HAVE YOU ADJUSTED TO THE ONGOING PANDEMIC?

“Working from home full time with a school-aged child and a toddler required major adjustments in my work and home life. Between me and my husband, we were able to quickly figure out what worked for us and settled into a new normal. Over a year later, I am still working from home most of the time and have really seen improvements in my productivity, as well as my physical and mental health. One of the biggest perks of working from home is it allows me to make my own schedule and achieve a better work-life balance.”

 

VDC Savant

Briana Allen

Briana Allen
Design Manager 
Clark Construction Group, Bethesda, Md.

AGE: 32

EDUCATION

Bachelor of Architecture, Howard University

ACCOMPLISHMENTS

Ensures all project stakeholders are aligned throughout the design phase for some of Clark’s most complex healthcare projects in the Mid-Atlantic

Develops best practices for implementing virtual design and construction on design-build projects, including involving VDC in the pursuit and design phases to deploy key processes early

Leads Clark’s Prevention Through Design Initiative to develop a process for identifying and eliminating potential environmental, health, and safety risks on projects during the design process

Developed a case study template to document VDC lessons learned and best practices

EXTRACURRICULARS

Founder, Dream | Design | Activate, a group of designers who aim to activate underutilized spaces in the community through creative design

Co-owner, The Power Suite, which provides brand management and visual consulting services to 200+ small businesses that cannot afford full-time marketing staff

Coach, Baltimore Elite Volleyball Club, Maryland Juniors Volleyball Club

OFF THE CLOCK

Active member, Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, which works with communities through service initiatives and progressive programs relating to education, family, health, and business

Hobbies: coaches and plays competitive volleyball; sings at church   

SECRET LIFE

Her grandparents, Lemual and Sylvia Stallworth, worked as teachers in Sanford, Fla., and were among those who integrated the public schools in that county 

WHAT IS THE BEST CAREER OR BUSINESS ADVICE YOU HAVE EVER RECEIVED?

“After graduating from Howard University, a place where being a black woman was a celebrated norm, I struggled to find my place in the industry, because the lack of representation often made my work environments very uncomfortable for me. There were many days that I wanted to give up because I felt that I did not belong. I quickly learned that in order to succeed, I couldn’t rely on someone else to advocate or speak up for me. I needed to be bold about using my uniqueness to my advantage. I embraced the notion that if I was in a room, it was for a reason, and my contributions were valuable.”

HOW HAVE YOU ADJUSTED TO THE ONGOING PANDEMIC?

“I started my current job in the summer of 2020. All of my interactions were virtual. I went from working at an architecture firm to completely flipping the script by crossing over to the “dark side” (a joke, lol) and working for a general contractor. Learning a new work culture, tackling new job responsibilities, and starting from scratch on a new career path were all things I had to adjust to mentally and emotionally, all while being remote. I’m such a people person and thrive on the day-to-day interactions I have with my colleagues at work, so for the first couple of months I had to be extremely intentional about networking. I set up so many virtual morning coffee chats with different people within Clark to get to know people and learn about the many different career paths that they were on. As a result, I quickly gained a solid foundation of contacts to rely on with anything I need. I don’t think I would have ever had the inclination to do this had I not been forced into a virtual working environment by the pandemic.”

 

ASTOUNDING ARCHITECT

Abigail Brown

Abigail Brown, AIA

Senior Associate

Hickok Cole, Washington, D.C.

AGE: 37

EDUCATION

Master of Architecture, University of Cincinnati

Bachelor of Science in Architecture, University of Cincinnati

ACCOMPLISHMENTS

Young Architects Award, AIA National (2020)

Became a LEED AP BD+C at age 26

Promoted to Associate at Hickok Cole at age 33

Considers working on the Pierce at the Highlands condo tower project to be her biggest personal accomplishment. Spent four years shepherding the condo tower through design, permitting, and construction phases.

EXTRACURRICULAR

Chair of the AIA National Young Architects Forum (2021)

Chair of the AIA DC Emerging Architects Committee (2016)

Chair and Past Chair, Hickok Cole Staff Operations Committee, (2020-present)

Chair, Hickok Cole JUST Label Task Force (2020-present

OFF THE CLOCK

Loves to travel “The largest group trip I planned was a one-day bus tour from Washington, D.C., to Frank Lloyd Wright’s Fallingwater for 50 people from the AIA DC Emerging Architects Committee. The longest trip I planned was a two-week road trip around Ireland for my parents.”

Avid reader (averages about 35 books per year)

SECRET LIFE

On a mission to visit all 30 MLB stadiums at eat ice cream out of a souvenir mini batting helmet at each one (has been to 10 stadiums so far).

Has seen Bon Jovi in concert three times

Walked to the top of the Willis Tower and the John Hancock Tower for charity

WHAT IS THE BEST CAREER OR BUSINESS ADVICE YOU HAVE EVER RECEIVED?

"There’s a firm leader here in DC, Shannon Kraus, who often speaks to emerging professionals about leadership. Something he says that has stuck with me is that growth is not linear. Every time you learn something new or start a new role, it feels daunting and overwhelming. But over time, it becomes easier and easier until the point where you plateau, get bored, and grow complacent. His theory is that you can the same thing/role/job for about five years before you reach the plateau. That doesn’t mean you have to switch jobs every five years, but it does mean you should keep reinventing yourself and making changes on a regular basis. Each time you do this feels scary and uncomfortable, but it also represents the largest moments of growth on your career path."

HOW HAVE YOU ADJUSTED TO THE ONGOING PANDEMIC?

"The switch to remote work and now a hybrid schedule was a major change at the office, but the pandemic may have had an even larger impact on my work as a volunteer leader with the American Institute of Architects. As the 2020 vice chair and 2021 chair of the AIA Young Architects Forum, I was largely responsible for the pivot to an entirely remote committee. Pre-COVID, our group held several multi-day in-person meetings each year, which gave us a chance to spend dedicated time away from the office focused on AIA. I planned the first two fully remote meetings which leaned heavily on technology and semi-organized team building activities like trivia games. While the pivot has been as successful as could be expected, dealing with time zones, work distractions, and Zoom fatigue has been a challenge."

 

PRESERVATION PRO

Adrienne Cali Magners

Adrienne Cali Magners, AIA

Associate

Bruner/Cott Architects, Boston, Mass.

AGE: 36

EDUCATION

BArch, Philadelphia University; Master of Arts (historic preservation), Savannah College of Art & Design

ACCOMPLISHMENTS

Historic preservation specialist, including work at Independence Hall, Philadelphia; Arlington Street Church, Boston; Edison power plant, South Boston, Mass.; Baker Library bell tower, Dartmouth College; and Harvard Hall (1767), Harvard University, which won the Preservation Award from the Cambridge (Mass.) Historical Commission and the Robert H. Kuehn Preservation from Preservation Massachusetts (2020)

AIA Young Architects Award (2021).

Next Generation Leader in Historic Preservation, Preservation Massachusetts.

EXTRACURRICULARS

Board member, tour leader, Association for Preservation Technology Northeast.

Member, USGBC Massachusetts Emerging Professionals Committee and National Trust for Historic Preservation.

Community design charrette leader, Boston Preservation Alliance.

Historic Resources Committee Member and Presenter, Boston Society of Architects.

OFF THE CLOCK

Avid collector of old bottles, shells, feathers, teacups. “I’m a Victorian at heart.”

Repurposes old windows into chalkboards, cork boards, and photo boards.

SECRET LIFE

Her father’s cousin, Todd Senofonte, was Jean-Claude Van Damme’s stunt double.

She and her husband have fraternal twin four-year-old girls who are “more like genetic copies of my husband and myself than they are twins to each other.”

WHAT IS THE BEST CAREER OR BUSINESS ADVICE YOU HAVE EVER RECEIVED?

"I am my own best advocate. Early in my career I was not able to see my career and family life coinciding. With the help of my principals, I was able to talk about my experiences, make changes to my schedule, and adjust my own expectations. Speaking openly was necessary to feel happy and balanced in a demanding profession.”

HOW HAVE YOU ADJUSTED TO THE ONGOING PANDEMIC?

"I found that constant communication, sketching over drawings, working things out on screen shares, and chatting on Teams and video calls were the biggest adjustments.”

 

GREEN TEAM LEADER

Shara Castillo

Shara Castillo, AIA, NCARB, LEED AP BD+C
Principal
ZGF, Los Angeles

AGE: 39

EDUCATION

Bachelor of Architecture, University of Texas, Austin

ACCOMPLISHMENTS

Responsible for the technical design and/or project management for some of ZGF’s most significant sustainable building projects

Led the design-build team (ZGF's team plus design consultants) for the world’s largest net-zero energy facility: the 403,306-sf headquarters for the California Air Resources Board (CARB). Beyond Net Zero certification, the project team is seeking LEED Platinum, CalGreen Tier 2, and Living Building Challenge ratings. 

Other key projects: the University of Texas at Dallas’ 223,000-sf LEED Gold Bioengineering and Science Building (Project Manager); Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago (Senior Project Architect, sustainability lead); and The Bechtel Residence LEED Platinum student residence building at Caltech (Project Manager, Project Architect)

EXTRACURRICULARS

Board of Directors, USGBC Los Angeles Chapter

Advisory Board Member, College of the Canyons Architecture and Interior Design

OFF THE CLOCK

Ran four full and eight half marathons, including one just six weeks after giving birth

Enjoys attending concerts and renovating her 1912 Craftsman house

SECRET LIFE

Competitive gymnast, ages 3 to 13 (she can still do a backflip!)  

Her sister, Selinda, also a competitive gymnast, was Simone Biles' first coach 

WHAT IS THE BEST CAREER OR BUSINESS ADVICE YOU HAVE EVER RECEIVED?

“When I was 14 years old, my mother looked me in the eye and told me, ‘If you don’t know the difference between right or wrong by now, you never will.’ Her lesson was that some people either never learn the difference, or they simply choose to make bad decisions. This has been a significant guiding principle in my career. No matter how small the task may be, I either stand up for the work I do, or I stand aside defeated. It is my choice and no one else’s to better myself, my career, and those around me by the decisions I make.”

HOW HAVE YOU ADJUSTED TO THE ONGOING PANDEMIC?

“The biggest challenge has been maintaining the same open dialog present before the pandemic among my teams, project partners, and mentees while working from home. Leveraging technology to ensure the level of care, interest, and communication was upheld and maintaining the same level of human connection—something I see as vital to performing my job as a project manager on complex projects—was an important obstacle to overcome. Furthermore, when we were working in the office, maintaining the integrity of my mentor-mentee relationships happened organically as I would see the people I was mentoring throughout the work week and could leverage those natural collisions for moments of mentorship. Working virtually makes those spontaneous run-ins nearly impossible, so setting time aside to connect has been something I’ve had to intentionally prioritize and integrate into my workflow.”

 

DETERMINED DEVELOPER

Brandon Chasen

Brandon Chasen

CEO and Founder

Chasen Companies, Baltimore

AGE: 35

EDUCATION

B.S., Franklin & Marshall College, Lancaster, Pa.

ACCOMPLISHMENTS

Launched and leads one of the fastest-growing businesses in the Washington D.C. Region, ranking 18th on the national Inc 5000 list

His company’s portfolio doubled during the pandemic and now comprises 32 buildings with 500-plus units

Champions diversity and prioritizes hiring team members with different backgrounds and experiences

EXTRACURRICULARS

Supports 33 Align Spine, which through fund raising provides free consultation and surgeries to people in Africa suffering from severe spinal deformity

OFF THE CLOCK

Car racing, golf, skiing, and wake surfing

SECRET LIFE

Both of Brandon’s grandfathers were adopted, and one of them started a soap company in his garage

Played collegiate basketball at Franklin & Marshall

Started real estate career by flipping foreclosed single-family homes and opening fitness centers.

WHAT IS THE BEST CAREER OR BUSINESS ADVICE YOU HAVE EVER RECEIVED?

“You don’t learn to walk by following rules. You learn by doing, and by falling over.” -- Richard Branson

"Essentially, there’s no better way to learn than by doing. This is how I got to where I am today, and how I inspire my team to continue to evolve in their career and their role within Chasen Companies."

HOW HAVE YOU ADJUSTED TO THE ONGOING PANDEMIC?

"Evolving our process has been the biggest adjustment, especially our leasing process and our hybrid work process.

Leasing:

When COVID hit, our in-person property tours came to a screeching halt. We quickly evolved our process to leverage technology that enabled us to offer guided virtual tours and virtual reality experiences. These solutions have helped us to facilitate exponentially more tours because they are so accessible to tenants. We went from roughly five in-person tours per day to today’s average of 50 to 100 virtual tours per day.

Hybrid working environment:

We recently formalized a hybrid remote work environment option for our team. Much of what we do requires team members to be onsite and collaborating in our new Headquarters. However, the success we experienced during COVID with hybrid work options paired with the high standard of accountability we hold each other to, made us realize that a hybrid work environment, when done right, is successful for us."

 

INSTITUTIONAL CRACKERJACK

Lauren Coles

Lauren Coles, AIA, LEED AP BD+C, CDT

Senior Associate

CO Architects, Los Angeles, Calif.

AGE: 39

EDUCATION

BS Architecture, Northeastern University

ACCOMPLISHMENTS

Project manager for top-tier institutional projects–hospital campuses, medical office complexes, health education buildings, student unions and residence halls, and life science/biotech labs.

Mentor to NCARB licensure candidates.

Lean Six Sigma Green Belt.

Autodesk Revit Certified Associate and Professional.

Projects have won the AIA California Honor Award, the AIA Western Mountain Region Honor Award, and the American Architecture Award.

EXTRACURRICULARS

Vice Chair, AIA|LA Professional Practice Committee.

Mentor, USC Architectural Guild and Member, USC Undergraduate Architecture Student Council panel.

Volunteer, Project Pipeline Architecture Summer Camp, SoCal NOMA.

Committee member and fundraiser, 2019-2021 AIA|LAWomen in Architecture POWERFUL conferences.

OFF THE CLOCK

Long-distance runner and weight lifter.

Glass tile mosaics and paper collage artist.

Volunteer, Habitat for Humanity

SECRET LIFE

Hiked the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu: 28 miles in four days, at 14,000 feet elevation.

Ran first marathon at age 35; 15 more long-distance races since then.

WHAT IS THE BEST CAREER OR BUSINESS ADVICE YOU HAVE EVER RECEIVED?

"Early in my career I learned the importance of speaking up and providing your design input at meetings. When you’re just starting your career, it’s not always easy to put your ideas out there in a roomful of senior professionals, but design is best when all team members’ perspectives are examined.”

HOW HAVE YOU ADJUSTED TO THE ONGOING PANDEMIC?

"Working from home has allowed me more time for the AIA|LA Professional Practice and Women in Architecture Committees, and to organize several events, including ones in collaboration with the AIA|LA Justice, Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Committee.”

 

Jack of All (Engineering) Trades

Eric Cutler

Eric Cutler, LEED AP BD+C and IDC, BCxP, WELL AP

Mechanical and Fire Protection Engineer

Morrissey Engineering, Omaha, Neb.

AGE: 35

EDUCATION

M.S. and B.S. Mechanical Engineering, University of Nebraska-Lincoln

ACCOMPLISHMENTS

Varied responsibilities at Morrissey have included mechanical design, mechanical commissioning, fire protection consulting, mission critical design, energy modeling, LEED and WELL certification and indoor air quality consulting

Career highlights include mechanical commissioning at a pair of mega data centers in Omaha

 EXTRACURRICULARS

Currently serving on LEED Water Efficiency Technical Advisory Group

Vice Chairman of Building Enclosure Council-Nebraska

OFF THE CLOCK

Troop leader, Boy Scouts of America

He and wife Stephanie have four sons (Jonah, James, Gabriel, and Henry), all under eight years old

Volunteer pollster for local and national elections

Volunteer youth soccer and basketball coach for Greater Omaha YMCA

SECRET LIFE

An Eagle Scout

His bocce team was Omaha state champions in 2016

Big horror movie fan

Grandfather, Donald I. Cutler, published an early computer programming textbook in 1964

His mother’s family was homesteaders in northeastern Nebraska

WHAT IS THE BEST CAREER OR BUSINESS ADVICE YOU HAVE EVER RECEIVED?

"I had a grad school advisor, Dr. Stergiou, who was always talking about “adding tools to your tool belt.” He constantly urged his students to develop new skills and areas of expertise. That approach has guided my career ever since. Honing a range of complementary skills is a great way to stand out and excel in your field. Exchanging your time for knowledge is usually a great trade."

HOW HAVE YOU ADJUSTED TO THE ONGOING PANDEMIC?

"I’ve spent most of the pandemic working at hyperscale data center construction sites, so my experience has been unique. No working from home or remotely. The biggest challenge was complying with strict COVID-19 measures on top of preexisting construction safety procedures. The pandemic required HVAC professionals to step up and help slow the spread of COVID-19. Morrissey Engineering was able to assist several local schools and colleges in mitigating virus transmittance in their facilities. This work was incredibly rewarding and had positive impact in our community."

 

DECARBONIZATION CHAMPION

Molly Dee-Ramasamy

Molly Dee-Ramasamy, PE, CEA

Associate | Head of Deep Carbon Reduction

Jaros, Baum & Bolles, New York, N.Y.

AGE: 30

EDUCATION

BS, Mechanical Engineering and Applied Mechanics, University of Pennsylvania

ACCOMPLISHMENTS

Heads a team focused on decarbonization of the built environment.

Has conducted nearly 40 decarbonization and electrification feasibility studies buildings in the commercial, healthcare, life science, and residential sectors.

Has given >60 presentations to clients and civic groups on deep carbon reduction in response to NYC Local Law 97.

Next Generation of Women Builders Award (2017); Women Builders Council

Emerging Leaders of New York Award (2019); CTBUH New York Young Professional of the Year Award (2021), American Council of Engineering Companies.

Lead commissioning agent for NY Stem Cell Foundation Research Institute, the Whitney Museum of American Art, the Brooklyn Museum, and Habitat for Humanity Sydney House.

JB&B Women Build team, which raised funds for Habitat for Humanity.

EXTRACURRICULARS

Advisory panel member, Energy Efficiency & Housing Committee

Member, NYC Carbon Trading Stakeholder Committee, Mayor’s Office of Sustainability Industrial Council, NYC Decarbonizing NYC Offices Advisory Group, NYC Department of Buildings Building Sustainability Board, and New York State’s Energy Efficiency & Housing Advisory Panel.

OFF THE CLOCK

Remodeling a 120-year-old house in Jersey City, N.J., with her husband (and college sweetheart), Dinesh.

SECRET LIFE

Makes her own hard cider; specialty: mango-dry hopped.

Married Dinesh three times: in NYC, Tamil Nadu (Dinesh’s home town in India), and New Jersey.

New Cavapoo puppy, “Bear.”

WHAT IS THE BEST CAREER OR BUSINESS ADVICE YOU HAVE EVER RECEIVED?

"At times, I’ve questioned my ability to successfully build and grow the newly formed Deep Carbon Reduction Group at JB&B. Self-doubt and anxiety can be difficult to keep at bay. A friend and mentor told me, ‘Don’t be afraid to make your own way and pursue opportunities that are off the beaten path. If you can bring value by doing something new, then step up and make it happen.’ I’ve taken that advice to heart in my approach to decarbonizing the built environment and in the development of my team.”

HOW HAVE YOU ADJUSTED TO THE ONGOING PANDEMIC?

"Team engagement. To keep my team feeling engaged, I started organizing monthly coffee chats, where we get online a little early with our coffee just to chat about nonwork things. It’s been valuable in keeping everyone close and bringing new people into our community.”

 

Design Whiz

Olivia Graf Doyle

Olivia Graf Doyle

Partner, Design Principal

A4E, Pasadena, Calif.

AGE: 38

EDUCATION

Bachelor of Architecture, University of Southern California

ACCOMPLISHMENTS

Leads A4E in planning, programming, and the overall design direction of the firm

Serves as Principal-in-charge, Client Point-of-Contact, and Team Leader

Creative Director for A4E’s marketing, brand, website, and collateral

EXTRACURRICULAR

One the Leadership Group of the AIA-CAE

Frequent speaker at education-focused conferences such as  the California STEAM Symposium, CASBO, EDspaces, NSTA, A4LE, and AIA-CAE

OFF THE CLOCK

Does archery to relax “I enjoy traditional Swiss crossbow shooting and once took 3rd place in a contest.”

Enjoys spending time with husband, Kevin, and Boston Terriers, Quincy (12), and Walter (7 months)

SECRET LIFE

Born in Germany and moved to America at age 17

Published author - one of three writers for Greenwood Encyclopedia of Homes Through American History, an architecture textbook

Swiss citizen (American dual citizenship) and speaks fluent German

WHAT IS THE BEST CAREER OR BUSINESS ADVICE YOU HAVE EVER RECEIVED?

“Lucy Padilla is someone I admire and has been my mentor for many years. She has given me countless pieces of great advice and encouragement, however, what has always stuck with me the most, is that she mentors and leads by example and through passion. She has shown me that you should always continue to grow and improve, that it’s never too late to learn something new, and that as a designer I should strive to excel in technical skills as well as design.”

HOW HAVE YOU ADJUSTED TO THE ONGOING PANDEMIC?“Greatest challenge has been learning how to pivot to virtual teamwork when I was so used to in-person collaboration. As a visual person who has relied on sketching to communicate, this was a great lesson in how to collaborate and design using more verbal communication.”

 

Biophilic bastion

Heather Greene

Heather Greene

Principal

Stantec, Berkley, Mich.

AGE: 37

EDUCATION

Bachelor of Science, Eastern Michigan University

ACCOMPLISHMENTS

Recognized as Stance’s leading biophilic design expert across North America

Led Stantec’s partnership with Harvard University as the organization’s look at how biophilia impacts workplace design

Stantec’s Commercial Studio lead

One of Stantec’s youngest female principals

Led the diversification of the Detroit studio

EXTRACURRICULAR

Chaired Stantec’s Getting Back to Business research

Founding Committee Member, Diversity Equity and Inclusion, CREW Detroit

Active member, Urban Land Institute Michigan

Active member, Women at Stantec

OFF THE CLOCK

Amateur gardener and landscape designer

Loves hiking

Learned a love of antiquing from her grandmother

Lives for Michigan’s summers

Embraces personal time with eight-year-old son Max with Lego building, art, and cooking

SECRET LIFE

Can write upside down

Can portage a canoe

Designed and flipped three houses in ten years

WHAT IS THE BEST CAREER OR BUSINESS ADVICE YOU HAVE EVER RECEIVED?

“One of my CREW mentors once told me that, ‘Everything you want is on the other side of fear.’ We’re so afraid of failure, the imposter syndrome, or getting it wrong. But it’s when we take those risks, we truly grow.”

HOW HAVE YOU ADJUSTED TO THE ONGOING PANDEMIC?

“As a single mom the lines of work and home were very clear prior to the pandemic. Then both sides of life collided, and I found myself in a complex role of trying to do it all at once. I discovered that meeting some of the chaos with humor – and the realization that perfection is not attainable -- I was greeted with kindness and support from my team, my clients, my son, and my community.”

 

MBCx leader

April Guymon BD+C 40 Under 40 winner for 2021

April Guymon, PE
MBCx Director
ETC Group, Salt Lake City

AGE: 38

EDUCATION

BS, Mechanical Engineering, University of Utah

ACCOMPLISHMENTS

Licensed Professional Engineer in Utah

Named as Director of the newly formed Monitoring-based Commissioning group in 2019

Leads a team ranging from new graduates to seasoned energy-efficiency professionals

Technical lead for recommissioning projects in healthcare, higher education, and government owned facilities

EXTRACURRICULAR

AEE Member

ASHE Member

Invited to speak at AEE World and NFMT

Actively involved with the Turtle Shelter Project to help save the lives of homeless youth

OFF THE CLOCK

Loves to snowboard, “I grew up skiing with my dad. When I was in 9th grade I went to an after-school winter sports program and chose to take snowboarding lessons. I instantly fell in love and never went back to skiing. My dad frequently jokes about disowning me because of my decision to become a ‘knuckle-dragger.’”

Loves to play board games, camp, hike, mountain bike, and paddle board with husband, Nate, and children Soren (10), and Taos (8).

SECRET LIFE

Fluent in Mandarin

Won a high school national racquetball tournament in doublesCross country skis to a yurt in the Utah wilderness every year

WHAT IS THE BEST CAREER OR BUSINESS ADVICE YOU HAVE EVER RECEIVED?

“My mentor taught me that work is about so much more than financial gain or recognition. She taught me to be conscious of what work means to me, and to shape it in ways that keep it meaningful. My current work values are centered on growing a business that protects the environment, takes care of my amazing coworkers and their families, and allows me to tackle challenging engineering problems.”

HOW HAVE YOU ADJUSTED TO THE ONGOING PANDEMIC?

“I’m lucky to be the director of a department that focuses on using remote software to analyze energy consuming systems with teammates spread across three states. Professionally, it was a simple transition to work from home!”

 

SUSTAINABILITY SAVANT

Colley Hodges

Colley Hodges, AIA, NCARB, LEED AP BD+C, WELL AP, SITES AP

Sustainability Manager

Houston Zoo, Houston, Texas

AGE: 39

EDUCATION

BA, MArch, University of Houston

ACCOMPLISHMENTS

Joined Houston Zoo, the second-most-visited zoo in the U.S., in September 2021.

Leads sustainability efforts for zoo: zero waste and net zero carbon goals, energy and water efficiency, staff and guest outreach and education, LEED certification of multiple new buildings on the 55-acre campus.

At Kirksey Architecture for 9 years: Responsible for >10 million sf of LEED-certified space in Texas, saving >7.5 million kWh of electricity and 30 million gal of water per year.

Advocate for green building bills in the Texas legislature, leading to the passage of the Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) program to implement solar panels and water-efficient landscaping.

Led Kirksey’s LEED Green Associate prep class, training >2,000 LEED GAs.

EXTRACURRICULARS

Member, U.S Green Building Council LEED Materials & Resources Technical Advisory Group.

Member, Core User Advisory Panel of the Health Product Declaration Collaborative.

Board member, AIA Houston; Citizens’ Environmental Coalition; Texas Coastal Exchange, which has preserved 6,800 acres of natural landscapes.

Founding member, Texas Materials Initiative.

Past chair, Gulf Coast Green Conference, raising $20,000 a year for AIA Houston.

OFF THE CLOCK

Big fan of Texas Hold’Em poker.

SECRET LIFE

Related to two-time NBA Hall of Famer Bill Sharman.

Boxed competitively in his 20s.

WHAT IS THE BEST CAREER OR BUSINESS ADVICE YOU HAVE EVER RECEIVED?

"One of my best clients was an oil and gas company CEO who was totally skeptical of LEED certification and sustainability when we first met, but after many conversations, deep down, she turned out to be an environmentalist. We ended up designing multiple LEED Silver buildings for her company. She’s an example of how you may have to change your rhetorical approach to reach areas of agreement and common interest.”

HOW HAVE YOU ADJUSTED TO THE ONGOING PANDEMIC?

"As an architect, I felt compelled to focus on indoor air quality and building systems, so I teamed with a couple of colleagues to co-author a guide for heathier environments, ‘Designing for the New Future: Surfaces, Spaces, and Systems.’ My section focused on how building systems and technologies can respond to the pandemic.”

 

ESTIMATOR EXTRAORDINAIRE

Jessica Jadue

Jessica Jadue, ASSOC. DBIA

Estimating Executive | Preconstruction

Gilbane Building Company, Newark, N.J.

AGE: 37

EDUCATION

BSME, The College of New Jersey

ACCOMPLISHMENTS

Design-build manager on a wide variety of projects ranging from $100 million to $300 million.

Named to ROI-NJ Influencers: People of Color 2020, 2021.

New Jersey Chair/Co-chair, Gilbane’s empower ERG (Employee Resource Group).

Member, HOL@Gilbane (Gilbane’s Hispanic Organizing Leaders ERG).

President, Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers student chapter in college.

EXTRACURRICULARS

Volunteer, ACE Mentor Program.

Member, CREW NJ and Professional Women in Construction, NJ chapter.

OFF THE CLOCK

Starting violin lessons.

International travel and hiking: Chile, Colombia, Greece, Jamaica, Nicaragua, Turkey, and Snæfellsjökull National Park, Iceland.

SECRET LIFE

“My great-grandfather was a toymaker in Chile in the early 1900s, specializing in wooden dolls.”

Was a shot putter in high school, despite being 5-1, “with no upper body strength.”

WHAT IS THE BEST CAREER OR BUSINESS ADVICE YOU HAVE EVER RECEIVED?

"’Fight like a man.’ That’s the advice I got from a mentor and friend who was also my manager at the time. Her point was that, as women, we let things fester, which can hold us back, while guys will scream at each other and then have lunch a few hours later. Don’t be afraid to speak up or share your idea. If it gets turned down, who cares? You learn and move on. I know it’s not fair to stereotype gender norms, but this advice helped me visualize and understand the point.”

HOW HAVE YOU ADJUSTED TO THE ONGOING PANDEMIC?

"I thrive off people’s energy and like to read the room. I also express myself using my hands and whiteboards to communicate. To be restricted to a small square with faces on Zoom or Teams was different. I adapted by learning different cues in body language, facial expression, and tone. When words weren’t enough, sharing a screen, chats, and even emojies (“thumbs up,” “shocked face,” “winky face”) were helpful.”

 

ENTREPRENEURIAL ENGINEER

Alex Jonovski

Alex Jonovski, PE
Principal, Vice President of Strategic Growth
Kohrs Lonnemann Heil Engineers, Fort Thomas, Ky.

AGE: 33

EDUCATION

BA, Mechanical Engineering, University of Cincinnati

ACCOMPLISHMENTS

Promoted in 2021 to newly created role of VP of Strategic Growth, focused on nurturing the firm’s innovations into new services, products, and entities

Has worked on 1,500+ projects designing HVAC, plumbing, and/or fire protection systems for a broad range of building types: healthcare facilities, hotels, multifamily housing developments, retail centers, and workplaces

Founding Member, Demain, a national AEC consortium focused on pushing innovation in the design, manufacture, and installation of MEP systems

Managing Principal, Levcon Analytics, an AEC data analytics firm that offers “data as a discipline”

Led the development of Convergit, Levcon Analytics’ cloud-based data integration platform

EXTRACURRICULARS

Coach, KLH’s catalytic coaching program, which helps employees develop a plan to achieve their personal and career goals

Currently hosting a free webinar series on data as a discipline

Volunteer, Paint the Town, Freestore Foodbank

OFF THE CLOCK

Customizes motorcycles (most recent project: a 2015 Harley Davidson Dyna) 

Enjoys attending sporting events; season ticket holder for University of Cincinnati basketball and football teams

Hobbies: plays guitar, concerts 

SECRET LIFE

Is a master at trivia on athletes with food names  

WHAT IS THE BEST CAREER OR BUSINESS ADVICE YOU HAVE EVER RECEIVED?

“Several years ago, a mentor of mine pulled me aside one afternoon for a brief chat which started with the question, ‘What are you waiting for?’ I struggled with the question for a couple months and even wondered if he had any idea how hard I was working. It was frustrating as I grappled with it, but I slowly came to realize he wasn’t questioning my work ethic. It was his way of pushing me to not just participate, but to lead, to drive, to take control. And regardless of whether you fail or succeed, you can at least take pride that you did it on your own terms.” 

HOW HAVE YOU ADJUSTED TO THE ONGOING PANDEMIC?

“I’m grateful to have had relatively minor and manageable adjustments throughout the pandemic. In the initial weeks, my wife and I shared a one-bedroom apartment. Trying to find enough space for her to teach her classes and for me to take my meetings over video conference was challenging. We had to repurpose a dresser and the kitchen table into office spaces, but we embraced the moment and made the best of it.” 

 

INTERIOR DESIGN LEADER

Tiffany Kalloor

Tiffany Kalloor, NCIQD, IIDA, LEED Green Associate

Vice President and Director of Interior Design

Hoefer Welker, Dallas

AGE: 39

EDUCATION
B.S. Interior Design, Baylor University, Waco, Texas

ACCOMPLISHMENTS

Interior designer for award-winning 2-million-sf $1.2 billion UT Southwestern Medical Center’s Clements University Hospital in Dallas. Her work included guiding more than 600 project participants and 13 committees

Founding hire for Hoefer Welker’s Dallas office, which in six years has gone from zero to $400 million in projects

Has published articles on design for offices, healthcare, lobbies, and education buildings

EXTRACURRICULAR

Bolsters corporate culture by spearheading health and wellness initiatives and by launching Design30, which brings the firm’s young designers together every six weeks to collaborate

For 12 years has contributed to the IIDA Mentorship program

For two years has been a guest lecturer at the University of Texas at Arlington. In 2021, was also a guest lecturer at Texas A&M’s College of Architecture

OFF THE CLOCK

Musician (singing and piano)

Snow skiing (favorite place: Whistler-Blackcomb Mountain in Canada)

For 17 years has served families in Dallas through ministry work, which she calls her second full-time job

She and husband Ken are raising a four-year-old daughter named Clover

SECRET LIFE

Thanks to receiving her first Nintendo in 1988, is “unusually good” at Tetris

Her mother and her mom’s seven siblings (children of an Exxon engineer and concert pianist) were minor celebrities in the 1970s as a band called The Rhodes Kids that performed in Las Vegas, Disneyland, concert venues, and on TV.

WHAT IS THE BEST CAREER OR BUSINESS ADVICE YOU HAVE EVER RECEIVED?

"It is hard to pick one thing! One of the partners at my firm (John Castorina, Hoefer Welker) has been incredibly intentional in mentoring me over the 14 years we’ve worked together. From architecture, studio leadership, business development, client management, and even parenting – he has shared so much advice that I implement almost every day."

HOW HAVE YOU ADJUSTED TO THE ONGOING PANDEMIC?

"Learning how to navigate team building, design collaboration, project visioning, and decision-making has been particularly difficult in a virtual meeting format. While we have come up with some very creative solutions for remote gatherings, there is no comparison to the energy that comes from in-person connections and exchanges."

 

STRATEGIC SAVANT

Katrina Kelly-Pitou

Katrina Kelly-Pitou, PHD

Principal | Systems Strategist

SmithGroup, Pittsburgh, Pa.

AGE: 34

EDUCATION
BA/BSc, Duquesne University

MS, International Relations, Hult International Business School (London)

PhD, Energy Economics and Politics, University of Nottingham

ACCOMPLISHMENTS

Led the UN World Energy Council’s project on resilience, working with 42 national governments to define resilience measures and show the impact of climate change on communities.

Lead policy researcher for University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh District Energy Project, defining next-gen grid infrastructure.

Winner (with City of Pittsburgh), Bloomberg Philanthropies American Cities Climate Challenge.

Recent projects: Guangshun University and Laboratories, Guiyang, China; City of Las Vegas 2080 master plan; Duquesne Light all-electric district, Pittsburgh.

EXTRACURRICULARS

Member, Pennsylvania Advisory Council for Environmental Education, which successfully recommended inclusive standards for STEM education to the Legislature.

Adjunct Professor, Energy Science, Technology & Policy, College of Engineering, Carnegie Mellon University.

OFF THE CLOCK

Redesigning their Pittsburgh rowhouse with husband Paul and their dog, Lemon.

Co-host, “Calm + ALARMED” climate podcast (www.calmalarmed.com)

SECRET LIFE

Her grandfather, a geographer, helped map Normandy for the D-Day invasion; her great-grandfather was a carpenter on the U.S. Steel Building, in Pittsburgh.

Green fashion geek; grows her own herbs, vegetables, and orchids.

Trained in ballet for 20 years: “I can still turn a double-pirouette in a pointe shoe.”

Fluent in French and German; took eight years of Latin.

WHAT IS THE BEST CAREER OR BUSINESS ADVICE YOU HAVE EVER RECEIVED?

"I’ve worked with Philippe Joubert [founder/CEO of Earth on Board] for 10 years. He once told me, ‘People struggle to be round pegs and square holes, but why bother when you can design the system you want to fit into.’ It’s a motto I repeat every day.”

HOW HAVE YOU ADJUSTED TO THE ONGOING PANDEMIC?

"I’ve spent years trudging through messy streets, areas stricken by disaster, and overall nasty environmental conditions in some 40 countries, yet have found myself behind a computer in one country for over a year and a half—the longest I’ve been in one place since high school.”

 

Innovative Engineer

Jeff Kemp

Jeff Kemp, PE, CDT

Project Engineer|Automation

ESD, Chicago

AGE: 30

EDUCATION

B.S. Mechanical Engineering, University of Wisconsin-Madison

ACCOMPLISHMENTS

Captured ESD’s first Innovation of the Year award for creating a tool that allows engineers to select controls design for the equipment specified in their project

Among his many projects, served as lead engineer on the building automation system design for an 80-megawatt data center

EXTRACURRICULARS

Co-chair’s ESD’s Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Council

Affiliated with ASHRAE’s Illinois chapter

Volunteers with Rebuilding Together, a nonprofit that rebuilds neighborhoods recovering from natural disasters

Participates in Engineering Fest, an annual event run by the Chicago Architecture Center to inspire potential future engineers

OFF THE CLOCK

Restores cast-iron skillets he finds thrifting

Has brewed an estimated 30 different types of beer

Long-distance running

Cooking

SECRET LIFE

Grandfather served in two world wars, when the U.S. Armed Forces were still racially segregated

Married his wife Laura during a vacation to New Zealand

During pandemic, created a stricter division between work and life by limiting his work from home

WHAT IS THE BEST CAREER OR BUSINESS ADVICE YOU HAVE EVER RECEIVED?

"Some of the best career advice I received many years ago during an internship. Only you are in charge of your career. Others will guide and train you to fit how they see your career going, but it is up to you to determine where you want to go."

HOW HAVE YOU ADJUSTED TO THE ONGOING PANDEMIC?

"The biggest change I’ve implemented is to create a stricter division between work and life. Working from home made it difficult to separate the two at first. I started to limit the times I work from home, as well as the locations at home where I work. I found having a dedicated work time and location helps prevent me from working all the time and helping me stay focused when I do."

 

STUDENT MENTOR

Robert Kudenchak

Robert Kudenchak, MBA, LEED AP BD+C, CHST, STSC

Superintendent

Turner Construction, Philadelphia

AGE: 33

EDUCATION

MBA, Drexel University, Philadelphia

B.S. Civil and Environmental Engineering, Rutgers University, New Brunswick, N.J.

Has taken more than 250 construction-related courses totaling over 600 hours

ACCOMPLISHMENTS

Earned MBA via Drexel University’s accelerated program while working full time

Named to Drexel University’s Top 40 under 40 list for 2021

Has worked on $1 billion worth of projects for Turner. Currently, he’s a super on the 458,000-sf Wexford Drexel Academic Tower, which when completed will be the largest structure in West Philadelphia’s uCity Square innovation district.

EXTRACURRICULAR

Lead mentor within ACE Mentoring of Greater Philadelphia

For the past three years, has been a lecturer for Turner’s New Hire Onboarding program; and for the past seven years has led a team at Turner that reaches out and recruits students

Has volunteered with several local community organizations, including most recently Philadelphia’s Metropolitan Area Neighborhood Nutrition Alliance (MANNA)

OFF THE CLOCK

Fitness enthusiast. Starts his day at 3:30 a.m. to get a workout. At one point was running 90 miles per week, and 10 miles in under 60 minutes. Now, focuses on weightlifting and cardio

He and wife Lindsey, a pediatrician, are raising one-year-old daughter Kylie, and expect their second child next April. Also part of the family is Lincoln, a 130-lb Greater Swiss Mountain dog

SECRET LIFE

Can juggle just about any three items. Picked up the skill in middle school, where he learned it for extra credit

Born seven weeks premature at 3 lbs, 3 oz. First name after mother’s twin brother, who died as a baby.

Great grandfather painted the rock band Kiss’s first van in 1974 when they were in Scranton, Pa., for one of their first headlining gigs

WHAT IS THE BEST CAREER OR BUSINESS ADVICE YOU HAVE EVER RECEIVED?

"The best career advise I have received comes from my Dad (who also is in the construction industry). He gave me the advice that one of the most sincere forms of respect is actually listening to what another person has to say. And the most successful people in life are the ones that do more listening than talking."

HOW HAVE YOU ADJUSTED TO THE ONGOING PANDEMIC?

"One of the biggest changes or adjustments I have had to make in relation to my work as a superintendent due to the ongoing pandemic is making sure to plan ahead of time more than usual due to labor and material shortages. Something that might be an 8 week material lead time might now be 16 week lead time. I need to be thinking outside the box and always updating and reevaluating the work plan more than ever."

 

Building Science Bigwig

Jill Kurtz

Jill Kurtz, AIA, LEED AP

Director of Building Sciences

Page, Houston, Texas

AGE: 39

EDUCATION

Master of Environmental Building Design, University of Pennsylvania

Master of Art in Intercultural Studies, Union University, San Francisco

Bachelors of Architecture, Kansas Statue University

ACCOMPLISHMENTS

Certified 5.5 million sf and oversees 40 active LEED and green building projects

Grew the number of firm projects supported by building sciences practice area by 300%

Increased number of projects reported for AIA 2030 by 850% and energy savings by 10%

Became Principal in September 2021

EXTRACURRICULAR

Co-founder of Women in Leadership Development program

Adjunct Professor, Philadelphia University (2014-2018)

Research Fellow, University of Philadelphia TC Chan Center for Building and Energy Studies (2014-2015)

Board President and Project Lead, Rebuild South Sudan(2009-2014)

OFF THE CLOCK

Loves and weekend house project that includes power tools

Loves weekend adventuring with her husband, Preston, and kids Elodie (5) and Soren (3).

SECRET LIFE

Didn’t see the ocean or leave the U.S. until 20 years old. Has now been to over 25 countries

Broke six bones when she was 13, didn’t break any before and hasn’t since

Went whitewater rafting on the Nile with visible crocodiles and hippos nearby

WHAT IS THE BEST CAREER OR BUSINESS ADVICE YOU HAVE EVER RECEIVED?

“When I first started in sustainability in 2007, I was often in rooms where I was facilitating a conversation as the youngest one there and felt completely intimidated by others seniority and expertise. I remember someone telling me, ‘Other people in the room are always going to know more than you are about certain things. But you know more than they do about this thing… own it.’”

HOW HAVE YOU ADJUSTED TO THE ONGOING PANDEMIC?

“My husband and I have had to quickly create complicated schedules to balance conference calls and childcare, often taking calls in the closet or moving our desk to the porch to try to keep things moving.”

 

Construction Guru

Kevin Laut

Kevin Laut

Director of Construction Management

California State University | Office of the Chancellor, Long Beach, Calif.

AGE: 33

EDUCATION

BSAE, Missouri University of Science and Technology

MBA, California State University, Long Beach

ACCOMPLISHMENTS

Promoted from intern to project engineer to senior project engineer to acting project manager over six years at McCarthy Building Companies.

Joined CSU in 2017 as Systemwide Construction Manager for 23 campuses, 500,000 students, 90 million sf of facilities, $2 billion in annual construction.

Promoted to Systemwide Director of CM in 2020 at age 31, supporting systemwide contracts, procedures, policy, training, and other campus support.

EXTRACURRICULARS

SoCal Chapter, CMAA: secretary, vice chair of the Owners’ Committee; chair, Education Committee.

Community service: Salvation Army, Special Olympics, Habitat for Humanity.

OFF THE CLOCK

Enjoys running, mountain/road biking, guitar, and home improvement projects.

SECRET LIFE

Won a Gold Award in a State Olympics paintball tournament in high school.

WHAT IS THE BEST CAREER OR BUSINESS ADVICE YOU HAVE EVER RECEIVED?

"From the late Steve Jobs: ‘Life can be much broader once you discover that everything around you that you call life was made up by people who were no smarter than you.’ Once you wrap your head around the fact that success is just a result of persistence and action, I quit making excuses for my own circumstances and pushed myself to improve them.”

HOW HAVE YOU ADJUSTED TO THE ONGOING PANDEMIC?

"My role involves systemwide training to construction management staff across 23 campuses stretching from San Diego to Humboldt County, Calif. We have quickly adapted to Zoom meetings, but what did take some time to get used to was presenting to hundreds of people through just a tiny camera. You lose the human element, but the silver lining is that our training sessions can now reach hundreds of people at a time.”

 

FAST LEARNER

Jeff Lusin

Jeff Lusin, MBA, AIA, LEED AP

Principal and Owner

45 Architecture, Bozeman, Montana

AGE: 38

EDUCATION

M.Arch, Montana State University

B.S., Washington State University

ACCOMPLISHMENTS

Made Partner at 32 years old

Completed all seven architecture licensure exams in one year (2010)

Managed the largest temporary structure in Montana’s history

Earned MBA from Louisiana State University’s E.J. Ourso College of Business in under two years (March 2019 to December 2020) while running a business full time

EXTRACURRICULAR

Guest speaker and architecture student project critique, Montana State University

Volunteer at 1+, which challenges designers to dedicate 1% or more of working hours to pro bono service

OFF THE CLOCK

For the past 6½ years has served on the board of a local nonprofit

Bozeman Chamber of Commerce Chairman and Leadership participant

Building out his home’s backyard with a boardwalk deck, large boulder gas fire pit, and elevated playhouse

Wife of 12 years, Sandral, an illustrator, and he are raising a daughter, Gray, and son, Nox

Running and hiking

SECRET LIFE

Was the “Hottie Next Door” in Teen People’s March 2004 issue

Five years ago, reconnected with his birth mother and learned he has a sister who’s 15 years younger

Office ping pong champ

Took jazz and ballet classes as a youth

At 14 years old, ranked fourth in National 3-on-3 basketball tournament

Red and green color blind

WHAT IS THE BEST CAREER OR BUSINESS ADVICE YOU HAVE EVER RECEIVED?

"An individual I admire very much once told me that if you surround yourself with people that challenge you personally and professionally you will rise to meet those expectations, bettering yourself along the way.  That person was my wife and she’s made me a better man since the day I met her. One piece of advice I have to share is that if you are able to understand the why behind what you do then what you do will always be fulfilling. Once I figured that out it was easy to project out into the world which type of work was going to be most fulfilling for our firm and myself."

HOW HAVE YOU ADJUSTED TO THE ONGOING PANDEMIC?

"The majority of the adjustments our company has made in relation to the pandemic have been in operations management. An overall increase in the amount of work our office has won coupled with a sharp decrease in the employee pool has greatly impacted our ability to build our team effectively prompting us to get a little more creative when it comes to searching out new hires. We also had to adapt to a more remote work environment in addition to opening a new office location in Nashville, Tenn."

 

Innovation Director

Yehia Madkour

Yehia Madkour, MRAIC, Architect AIBC, LEED AP BD+C

Director of Innovation, Associate Principal

Perkins&Will, Vancouver, B.C.

AGE: 39

EDUCATION

Masters of Advanced Studies in Architecture, University of British Columbia

Bachelor of Architectural Engineering, AIN Shams University

ACCOMPLISHMENTS

Founded Perkins&Will’s Computational Design Studio

Promoted to Associate Principal in 2020

Firm’s first Director of Innovation

EXTRACURRICULAR

Directs an internal Researcher in Residence program

Serves on Perkins&Will’s Research and Technology boards

Volunteer critic at UBC and SFU

Mentored 12 architecture graduates

OFF THE CLOCK

Enjoys playing electric guitar

Enjoys skiing with his two daughters, Tara (11), and Lilah (7)

Loves to exercise (cycling, hiking, running, skiing)

SECRET LIFE

Learned to ski at 35

Arrived in Canada alone at the age of 22 and worked to build his current life in a new city thousands of miles from home

WHAT IS THE BEST CAREER OR BUSINESS ADVICE YOU HAVE EVER RECEIVED?

“Knowing when to say ‘No.’ I am person with many interests, energy and an entrepreneurial drive. This single advice brought so much focus and clarity to my work, being able to prioritize, work on the things that have the highest value and impact.”

HOW HAVE YOU ADJUSTED TO THE ONGOING PANDEMIC?

“Working from home was a huge change for us. Before the pandemic, my wife and I often joked about how we never spend time at home given all the responsibilities around work, kid’s activities, etc. It’s been great to have the time to spend at home and connect more with family. Working from home, I found that I am able to create more ‘white space’ and dive into deeper thinking. The biggest challenge though was missing the inspiration that comes from bouncing ideas with colleagues in the studio, and the spiral effect that elevates ideas to their highest and most significant potential. I am excited that these aspects of in-person collaborations are coming back as we step into hybrid modes of working.”

 

STEEL MASTER

Alex Morales

Alex Morales, Assoc. AIA, EDAC, LEED Green Associate

Market Developer (Construction)

American Institute of Steel Construction, Houston, Texas

AGE: 35

EDUCATION

MBA: Real Estate, University of Arizona

Bachelor of Architecture, Texas A&M University College of Architecture

ACCOMPLISHMENTS

Crafted successful construction and feasibility deliverables by working with design and construction teams, increasing project viability by 85% on average

Produced a net +250% increase in regional client accounts in a two-year window

Department lead in Evidence Based Design and Construction administered by Environments for Health

EXTRACURRICULAR

Authored department’s junior career mentoring program

Has appeared in national podcasts, industry panel discussions, and trade magazines to deliver subject matter expert content

OFF THE CLOCK

Has a passion for art, painting, in particular

SECRET LIFE

Is a second tenor (mostly only sings in the shower)

Is a certified ESL (English as a Second Language) instructor. Uses this skill to teach English to people who have left their home countries due to socio-political instability and now call the United State their home.

WHAT IS THE BEST CAREER OR BUSINESS ADVICE YOU HAVE EVER RECEIVED?

“Half the job is showing up. The other half is speaking up. In my early career, I committed myself to producing the best work for which I was responsible. I was the guy that was fighting with the plotter at 2 in the morning to get ready for a client meeting the next day. I wanted the perfect set of drawings. In the actual meetings however, I would always defer my opinions and ideas to folks who had seniority or were older. One of my team leads advised that I was only doing half the job by showing up, and that my hard work could not really shine if I didn’t speak up to contribute. This person became one of my many career mentors, and I now understand that keeping our hard work to ourselves is actually a disservice to the teams in which we work.”

HOW HAVE YOU ADJUSTED TO THE ONGOING PANDEMIC?

“Like so many folks, doing business virtually was one of the biggest adjustments I had to make. But this almost forced us to execute on innovation and remain agile, productive, and successful. Our perception of the work environment changed from a cubicle, commuting, and a water cooler, to the realization that business can function outside of those confines. It also brought about cross-generational dialogue to reimagine what the future of “work” looks like, and it has been amazing to see that companies are already adopting very dynamic approaches to business operations.”

 

HEALTHCARE MASTERMIND

Camilla Moretti

Camilla Moretti, AIA, ACHA, LSS GB, LEED AP BD+C

Principal | Detroit Office Health Studio Design Leader

HKS, Inc., Detroit, Mich.

AGE: 39

EDUCATION

BS Architecture, MArch, University of Michigan

ACCOMPLISHMENTS

Responsible for >10 million sf and >$4 billion in domestic and international healthcare projects.

Chair & Co-founder, HKS Detroit Design Fellowship (three-day collaborative design exercise).

HKS Idea Fellowship awardee, leading to yearlong research on outpatient centers.

Invented and patented a custom plumbing fixture, the Continuous Renal Replacement Therapy disposal, for use by cardiovascular ICU nurses.

Conducted field research that led to a new inpatient unit configuration that cut nurses’ walking distance in half despite a larger building footprint.

Platinum Touchstone Award, Center for Health Design.

Was on the HKS team on a Covid-19 rapid-fire alternative care site in 2020.

Lean Six Sigma Green Belt.

EXTRACURRICULARS

AIA Detroit Christopher Kelley Leadership Program (2017)

Volunteer, Detroit AIA Celebration

We Care, Boys & Girls Clubs of America (Detroit)

OFF THE CLOCK

She and her husband have been together since they were 19 years old.

Keep busy with their two boys, 10 and 4.

Enjoys DIY decking, carpentry, and plumbing projects.

SECRET LIFE

Did “capoeira” (Brazilian martial arts) in high school; can still play the “berimbau” (musical bow used in capoeira).

Her great-grandfather’s real name, Pietro Murer, was changed by a Brazilian immigration office to Pedro Moretti, which has remained the family’s name.

WHAT IS THE BEST CAREER OR BUSINESS ADVICE YOU HAVE EVER RECEIVED?

"My mentor, Rick Franz, told me that you don’t have to have one mentor. Find the qualities you deem important in people and surround yourself with them. The more mentors and coaches you have, the better.”

HOW HAVE YOU ADJUSTED TO THE ONGOING PANDEMIC?

"HKS has been leading the charge not only in investments in technology and infrastructure to allow us to have a hybrid work environment, but also research into the future of the workplace. The reduction in travel and the advances with virtual and hybrid technology have made us even more efficient. The HKS Detroit office is a living lab, and I have been part of the research team that is testing ways to improve our work.”

 

ARCHITECT ADVOCATE

Maxim Nasab

Maxim Nasab, AIA, NCARB

Founder and Principal

Apexx Architecture, Tallahassee, Fla.

AGE: 33

EDUCATION

M.Arch, Savannah (Ga.) College of Art and Design

BFA, Savannah (Ga.) College of Art and Design

ACCOMPLISHMENTS

Opened his own architectural firm at age 28

Published in more than a dozen journals

Apexx named NCARB’s IDP Firm of the Year for 2014-17

EXTRACURRICULAR

Active in five architectural organizations including AIA Tallahassee and NCARB’s ARE 5.0 Item Development Subcommittee

Teaches at three colleges: Tallahassee Community College. Florida State University, and Florida A&M

Panelist for Leon County’s Council on Culture and Arts’ Cultural Facilities Matching Grant Program

Board member and Director, Goodwood Museum & Gardens

OFF THE CLOCK

Volunteer graphic designer for Shark Angels, a nonprofit focused on shark preservation and stopping the shark fin trade

Avid diver, specifically shark diving

SECRET LIFE

Watch collecting, with a preference for asymmetrical dial designs. Current favorites include an Aquastar Deepstar reissue in black and a 1950s-era LaCoultre Futurematic with a caliber 497 (bumper) movement

WHAT IS THE BEST CAREER OR BUSINESS ADVICE YOU HAVE EVER RECEIVED?

"Best career advice I received was to pursue the work you want to do and focus on your future rather than thinking you owe something to your current employer. Remain professional and courteous but always be open to better opportunities. I learned that from an employer I devoted my career to and when times got tough, I was let go in an instant without question. This event sparked me to start my own firm.

HOW HAVE YOU ADJUSTED TO THE ONGOING PANDEMIC?

"As a work from home business, it did not affect much in terms of location, but it did change the way I contacted potential new clients as most were out of the office and I had no way of reaching out. This allowed me to change my strategy in communication for the better."

 

Bicoastal Builder

Andrew Pearl

Andrew Pearl, LEED AP

Vice President, Division Manager-Northeast Region

Swinerton, New York, N.Y.

AGE: 37

EDUCATION

M.S. Construction Management, Viterbi School of Engineering, University of Southern California

B.S. Architecture, Keene State College, Keene, N.H.

ACCOMPLISHMENTS

Helped open Swinerton’s first New York office, five years earlier than the company had originally planned (Andrew is a native of Mountain Lakes, N.J.)

DBIA and OSHA 10 certified

EXTRACURRICULARS

Member, Young Presidents’ Organization, N.Y. Liberty Chapter

Active participant in The Swinerton Foundation, a 501(c) entity that partners with nonprofits to build sustainable neighborhoods

Sat on board of Habitat for Humanity San Francisco, raising $400,000 from a “Framing the Future” event in 2020 alone

OFF THE CLOCK

Island hopping around the world as part of a catamaran crew

Snowboarding in the western U.S., particularly Park City, Utah

Woodworking and furniture building

Hiking, biking, fishing, golfing

SECRET LIFE

Was a drummer in several rock and country-pop garage bands

During a vacation in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico, initiated an arm-wrestling tournament with the restaurant staff and other hotel guests. (He lost.)

WHAT IS THE BEST CAREER OR BUSINESS ADVICE YOU HAVE EVER RECEIVED?

"Shortly after accepting to take over one of the San Francisco business units at Swinerton, I was struggling with how to manage all the opinions, advice, concerns, etc. with my approach. A long-time mentor of mine, stopped in on a particularly difficult afternoon and said…

'Listen & absorb suggested ideas from those around you, but remember, in the final analysis the only opinion that matters, is YOURS. You were placed in this position because we believe in your abilities, so trust in them. And remember that you will be held accountable for decisions made, not them.'

It was almost immediately an impactful discussion that calmed my thoughts to take action, even if it may not be the preferred direction of others."

HOW HAVE YOU ADJUSTED TO THE ONGOING PANDEMIC?

"Expand my limits of empathy and understanding towards staff and/or external partners in dealing with their own day-to-day challenges."

 

Seismic Star

Juliette Peyroux

Juliette Peyroux, PE, SE

Associate

Magnusson Klemencic Associates, Seattle, Wash.

AGE: 32

EDUCATION

BSCE, Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of Washington

MS, Structural Engineering, Mechanics and Materials, University of California, Berkeley

ACCOMPLISHMENTS

Leads MKA’s Earthquake Technical Specialist Team, researching the latest developments in earthquake engineering and developing in-house training on the engineering and design of seismically safe and resilient airport terminals, concourses, and inspection stations in regions of high seismic activity.

Board of Directors, Magnusson Klemencic Associates Foundation; successfully advocated for three new seismic engineering research initiatives in her first three months on the board.

EXTRACURRICULARS

WAsafe Program Certified Instructor and State Coordinator.

Member, Earthquake Engineering and Disaster Preparedness & Response Committees, Structural Engineering Association of Washington.

Volunteer, Bellevue College’s Expanding Your Horizons Network, which encourages women to enter STEM careers.

Volunteer, ACE Mentor Program.

OFF THE CLOCK

Snowboarding, downhill mountain biking, bungee jumping, golf, and scuba diving (“Sometimes with sharks!”).

Manages an Instagram account for her dogs: Fenrir (a Samoyed) and Jax (a Pomeranian), who has done some paid modeling for pet products.

SECRET LIFE

HGTV junkie.

English is her second language: French is her first.

Has a big collection of French comic books.

WHAT IS THE BEST CAREER OR BUSINESS ADVICE YOU HAVE EVER RECEIVED?

"One of my mentors, John Hooper [Senior Principal, Director of Earthquake Engineering, MKA], once told me, ‘Do what you are passionate about.’ I interpreted this as doing what you want to do, not what you’re are expected to do. Early in my career, my employer asked staff to become in-house experts on project-related things like metal studs. I didn’t feel passionate about anything on the list, so I broadened my horizons and got involved with the SEAW Disaster Preparedness and Response Committee, with which I have been involved ever since.”

HOW HAVE YOU ADJUSTED TO THE ONGOING PANDEMIC?

"At the very beginning of the pandemic, one of the largest aviation terminal projects I have managed was about to start construction, but the airport put it on hold. I took a step back in my career progression to help out in a design engineer capacity. It was a big change to go from managing a project team from the office and traveling weekly to California, to being managed, working from my kitchen table, and not traveling. Now that the aviation industry has picked up again, I feel very grateful to be back in the position I was pre-pandemic, with an amazing new terminal project and a great, enthusiastic team.”

 

Sustainability Steward

Kelly Roberts

Kelly Roberts, PE, SE, LEED AP BD+C

Principal and Project Manager-Structures Group

Walter P Moore, Atlanta

AGE: 38

EDUCATION

M.S. Structural Engineering, Auburn University

B.S. Civil Engineering, Auburn University

ACCOMPLISHMENTS

Promoted to Principal at age 33

Leads the firm’s Sustainable Design Community of Practice, specializing in whole-house LCA

Engineering Georgia magazine’s 100 Most Influential Women, 2021 and 2019

EXTRACURRICULAR

Lead author of firm’s stewardship report Embodied Carbon, A Clearer View of Carbon Emissions

Market Leadership Advisory Board Member, USGBC Georgia

Founder and chair of numerous sustainable construction groups, including co-chair of the Atlanta Carbon Leadership Forum Hub

Immediate past president of American Concrete Institute-Georgia chapter

OFF THE CLOCK

Since its inception a decade ago, involved with a nonprofit materials reuse center, Lifecycle Building Center of Greater Atlanta. Currently providing pro-bono SE services for the renovation of the 100-year-old building that Lifecycle Building Center occupies

Has three sons. The oldest, five-year-old Tristan, is obsessed with saving sea turtles

SECRET LIFE

Met husband in a concrete lab at Auburn University while both were studying structural engineering

Won a salsa dance contest during bachelorette party in New Orleans

First thing Kelly ever built was a bar for her sorority house

Grandfather was an architect in Cuba, and father is a structural engineer

Grandmother was Miss Cuba in 1962 and represented that country in the Miss Universe pageant

WHAT IS THE BEST CAREER OR BUSINESS ADVICE YOU HAVE EVER RECEIVED?

"One of the best pieces of advice I have ever received: We’re all juggling a lot of balls in our lives between work, kids, family, and friends. What’s important is to know which balls are plastic and which are glass. You can’t drop the glass balls because they’ll shatter, but it’s ok to drop the plastic balls sometimes—they’ll bounce, and you can pick them back up again when you have a free hand."

HOW HAVE YOU ADJUSTED TO THE ONGOING PANDEMIC?

"I find it's more important than ever to try to not bring work 'home,' to have some separation. It’s even harder for me because my husband is also in the BD+C industry. But we all need mental breaks and it’s important to be able to recharge and come back fresh."

 

Construction Wizard

Matt Sayre

Matt Sayre

Vice President of construction, Senior living

Ryan Companies, Minneapolis, Minn.

AGE: 35

EDUCATION

BS in construction management, Minnesota State University

ACCOMPLISHMENTS

Helped grow Ryan’s total development from $325 million from 2008 to 2015 to $2.3 billion in 2021

Provided leadership on over 4.5 million sf of senior living construction projects, including approximately 3,500 units over the past few years

EXTRACURRICULAR

Treasurer and Executive Committee Member, Urban Boatbuilders

Involved with The National Investment Center for Senior Housing & Care, Urban Land Institute, Argentum, and American Seniors Housing Association

OFF THE CLOCK

Enjoys golfing and spending time at the lake

Spending time with wife, Megan, 3.5-year old daughter, Landon, and 1.5-year-old son, Lee.

SECRET LIFE

Got his start as a laborer and carpenter working for his dad and uncle’s company

WHAT IS THE BEST CAREER OR BUSINESS ADVICE YOU HAVE EVER RECEIVED?

“My parents always told me, ‘There is no substitute for a positive attitude and hard work.’ I continually come back to this as one of the largest drivers to success. You can learn and be trained on technical competencies, but an appropriate outlook and ambition must come from within.”

HOW HAVE YOU ADJUSTED TO THE ONGOING PANDEMIC?

“Being in a national role, I travel a lot for work to tour sites, engage with teams and support our clients. The last year was tough with flying being so limited. We had to get creative – technology is a beautiful thing. I’ve Facetimed more colleagues and partners than I ever thought I would – from superintendents to capital partners.”

 

SECURITY EXPERT

Ryan Searles

Ryan Searles

Senior Consultant-Security Assessment and Protective Services

IMEG Corp.

AGE: 38

EDUCATION

B.S. Terrorism and Counterterrorism studies, Henley-Putnam School of Strategic Security, National American University

Accepted into Harvard Business School’s Leadership and Development certification program

Georgia Military Colleges (various locations), for active shooter training and vulnerability assessments

ACCOMPLISHMENTS

Developed standards for active shooter response in K-12 schools, and offers active-shooter preparation, response, and recovery training to IMEG clients

Has earned nearly 40 certifications in such areas as law enforcement, cybersecurity, risk and resilience of water and wastewater systems, and—from FEMA—protecting critical infrastructure

EXTRACURRICULAR

Active in several professional organizations, including the Society for Human Resources Management and ASIS International.

Teaches courses on crisis management, safety designing workspaces, and active shooter response for the Iowa chapter of APPA and AIA.

OFF THE CLOCK

Cooking, especially wild game

Teaches firearms and tactics courses for hunting

Board member for The Woods, a retreat center in Maine for active-duty military, veterans, and their families

Board member, RallyPoint, a nonprofit that helps military vets connect with the outdoors via hunting and fishing trips

He and wife Roxanne raise six children, ranging in age from 2 to 18

SECRET LIFE

Recipient of two Purple Heart medals

Taking a break from combating Somali pirates in the Indian Ocean, went deep-sea fishing off the island of Maritius and on first trip caught a massive black marlin

Great-great uncle, a world-renowned gem miner, has a gemstone collection in the Smithsonian Museum

Father was once on the TV program Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood

WHAT IS THE BEST CAREER OR BUSINESS ADVICE YOU HAVE EVER RECEIVED?

"A wise man once told me, 'If you are too lazy to return the shopping cart to where it belongs, then you are doomed to fail in life.' I think of this every time I go shopping, and always return my cart because it reminds me that if you are too lazy to do the little things in life, then you aren’t going to succeed at the larger tasks."

HOW HAVE YOU ADJUSTED TO THE ONGOING PANDEMIC?

"We’ve made a lot of changes with how we handle security design of buildings. There has been a lot of adjustments with technologies that are now in place to make buildings more intelligent so individuals can get from point A to B without having to touch anything. It has also brought on a new level of consulting with IMEG’s clients in crisis management and designing and training clients in how to respond to this type of crisis."

 

Green Giant

Drew Shula

Drew Shula, LEED Fellow, Living Future Hero

Founder & CEO

Verdical Group, Los Angeles, Calif.

AGE: 39

EDUCATION

Five-year professional degree in Architecture, University of Notre Dame

ACCOMPLISHMENTS

Founded Verdical Group in his garage in 2012, which has grown to manage some of the highest profile LEED and green building projects in California

Employed and mentored 30 staff and interns as project managers and sustainability ambassadors over the firm’s nine-year history

One of six individuals who has been honored as a LEED Fellow and Living Future Hero

EXTRACURRICULAR

Instituted a continuing education program that reimburses employees for credentials

Founder and host of the Net Zero Conference

USGBC-LA Board of Directors

Municipal Green Building Conference & Expo Co-Chair

OFF THE CLOCK

Loves music, especially hip-hop/rap and has attended the Coachella Music Festival multiple times

Enjoys hiking and camping and is an avid runner

Has three children with wife, Elizabeth

SECRET LIFE

In high school, earned varsity letters in football, soccer, track, and diving. His senior year, his football, track, and swim teams won Maine State Championships

Named an Honorary Chief in the Volta Region of Ghana by the local community, with the ceremonial name “Togbe Dagbe,” meaning “Chief Peace,” while completing education and ecotourism projects there in 2004

Great uncle, Don Shula, in the winningest football coach in NFL history

WHAT IS THE BEST CAREER OR BUSINESS ADVICE YOU HAVE EVER RECEIVED?

The Steve Jobs quote, “Stay hungry, stay foolish,” reminds him to shun complacency, and dive into new things to make a positive change every day.

HOW HAVE YOU ADJUSTED TO THE ONGOING PANDEMIC?

Managing the Verdical Group team and company entirely remotely. “This was a big challenge at first, but now that we’ve settled in, it’s a welcome change - we’ve reduced our company’s carbon footprint by 85% by eliminating commute emissions, and I get to spend the time saved from driving with my kids.”

 

FIRE SERVICE SUPERSTAR

Patrick Stone

Patrick Stone, RA, LEED AP BD+C
Associate, Senior Project Architect, Emergency Services Market Specialist
H2M Architects + Engineers, Melville, N.Y.

AGE: 34

EDUCATION

Master of Construction Management, New York University

Bachelor of Architectural Technology, New York Institute of Technology

ACCOMPLISHMENTS

A 15-year veteran firefighter, Patrick specializes in the design and construction of fire stations and emergency services buildings. 

Co-manages firm’s Emergency Services Market ($50+ million of construction annually)

Led firm’s adoption of building information modeling tools and processes

Managed construction of the firm’s first LEED Gold project

Promoted to Associate in 2019; one of the youngest (31) in firm history

EXTRACURRICULARS

Annual Presenter, Fire Industry Education Resource Organization (FIERO)

Board Member, Town of Oyster Bay Landmark Preservation Commission

OFF THE CLOCK

Most memorable vacation: honeymoon in St. Lucia. “My wife and I went small boat sailing and got stuck out in a horrible rain storm. Our relationship was tested and we passed!” 

Avid New York Jets fan and fantasy football player

Gutted and rebuilt the majority of his house

SECRET LIFE

Earned the ranks of Jujutsu Black Belt and Eagle Scout before the age of 17  

WHAT IS THE BEST CAREER OR BUSINESS ADVICE YOU HAVE EVER RECEIVED?

“One of the senior partners in my firm has always preached for us to follow ‘kindergarten rules.’ Treating each other as we would like to be treated, showing empathy, and simply being nice will go further than any other action in your career. People will respond better and be more willing to work as a team. I love this advice because it is simple and relatable and helps us remember simpler times.” 

HOW HAVE YOU ADJUSTED TO THE ONGOING PANDEMIC?

“The biggest change to my work life due to the pandemic has been struggling to work from home while having my children with me. Finding ways to help our boys continue to learn at home and stay entertained, while executing day-to-day responsibilities has been unbelievably difficult. Our children joining our remote meetings has become a regular occurrence. And receiving the support from our colleagues and an understanding of how difficult this is for everyone has been humbling. Like most people, we look forward to a day where these issues are nonexistent.”

 

DIVERSITY AND INCLUSION CHAMPION

Justin Taplet

Justin Taplet, AIA, NCARB, NOMA
Associate, Architect
Gensler, Houston

AGE: 37

EDUCATION

Bachelor of Architecture, University of Houston

Bachelor of Environmental Design, University of Houston

ACCOMPLISHMENTS

A former public high school teacher, Taplet designs school and university buildings, in addition to retail, office, and faith-based projects and campus master plans. 

Key projects: 245,000-sf Del Mar College South Campus Phase 1A, Corpus Christi, Texas; 73,500-sf Meadows Elementary School, Meadows Place, Texas; and the 155,000-sf KIPP Southwest Campus Sugar Land, Sugar Land, Texas

EXTRACURRICULARS

President, National Organization of Minority Architects (NOMA) Houston chapter 

Leads NOMA Houston’s Project Pipeline program, which encourages equality within the architecture profession and introduces young students to architecture and design

Board of Directors, Vice Chair of the Governance Committee, University of Houston College of Architecture

Co-Chair, Gensler Houston’s Diversity and Inclusion committee 

Regional Diversity and Inclusion Liaison, Gensler

OFF THE CLOCK

Hobbies: videography, photography, landscaping, DIY projects (latest project: building an outdoor patio furniture set. “I’m the ‘Oh, I can do that!’ type of guy”)

Freelance photographer focused on portraits, weddings, and family shoots 

SECRET LIFE

Raised in a military family. His mother, Dolores Thomas, served in the U.S. Army as a combat medic, retiring after 21 years. 

Attended 11 different schools between the ages of 5 and 18, and graduated high school in Germany

WHAT IS THE BEST CAREER OR BUSINESS ADVICE YOU HAVE EVER RECEIVED?

“Be proactive in connecting with people. I’ve found that you may not exactly know where you want to be in the next one to five years, or specifically what position or role you are trying grow into in general, but something that we all can do is recognize people that are doing things that we identify with to some degree. Many times, we will see someone’s work and we think, ‘Wow, that would be awesome to do or be a part of.’ Those are the clues to pay attention to and not disqualify yourself with any limiting beliefs. Take some action and do not wait for those people to invite you to come along for their ride. Know that you have the liberty to reach out and make connections. Once you give yourself that permission then you will find a way to connect with those people.” 

HOW HAVE YOU ADJUSTED TO THE ONGOING PANDEMIC?

“A practical adjustment I made during the summer of 2020 after working from home for about three months was to force myself to actually stop working. I’ve heard people refer to the shift as ‘living at work’ instead of ‘working from home.’ It was a busy time with project work and all of my other responsibilities outside of my primary employment, so stress was high and work never was actually done. I had to simply start a new habit of stopping between 5 pm and 6 pm and leaving the house with my seven-year-old daughter to take a simple 15-20 minute walk. This was a great dual benefit to both clear my mind from the loads of work and dedicate some quality time with my daughter. When the walk was over, work was behind me and I could move on to family and other evening activities.”

 

HIGH-PERFORMANCE ARCHITECT

Jennifer Todd

Jennifer Todd, AIA, NCARB, CPHC
Director of the Center for Building Performance
Little Diversified Architectural Consulting, Charlotte, N.C.

AGE: 36

EDUCATION

Master of Architecture, University of North Carolina at Charlotte

Bachelor of Architecture, Ohio State University

ACCOMPLISHMENTS

Leads the Center for Building Performance team, which provides energy modeling, design consultation, and research to optimize envelope design and system efficiency. The center is also focused on sustainability, wellness, and meeting the AIA 2030 Challenge.

Certified Passive House Consultant (one of nine people in North Carolina to achieve certification) 

Recently completed research on a Passive House affordable housing concept that could lead to a housing prototype for the city of Charlotte 

Recent work includes a renovation project for a charitable environmental organization’s world headquarters. Jennifer helped the client achieve the desired 50 percent reduction in energy consumption by analyzing various strategies for performance and ROI. 

EXTRACURRICULARS

Steering Committee Member, Sustain@Little sustainability initiative

Co-Chair, AIA Charlotte Climate Action Committee

North Carolina Climate Ambassador

Member, Association of Energy Engineers 

Piedmont Chapter Liaison, Council on Women in Energy & Environmental Leadership

OFF THE CLOCK

Enjoys camping with her family (husband, Alan, and daughters Ava, 7, and Amelia, 5)

Avid DIYer: “Our first home was a fixer-upper, and as soon as we fixed ’er up we sold it and bought another fixer-upper.” 

SECRET LIFE

Designed and helped build her parents’ house

Grandmother taught her how to make an origami crane when she was little. “The smallest one I made was less than a centimeter. She tried entering me into the Guinness World Records.” 

WHAT IS THE BEST CAREER OR BUSINESS ADVICE YOU HAVE EVER RECEIVED?

“Never give up. I remember my dad telling me that when I was in architecture school. After having a rough week at school, I was home visiting for the weekend and he gave me a picture of a crane eating a frog, but the frog was choking the crane. So that’s something that has always stuck with me: no matter how hard things get, never give up.” 

HOW HAVE YOU ADJUSTED TO THE ONGOING PANDEMIC?

“The biggest adjustment was balancing schedules with my husband, virtual school classes for the kids, the never-ending pile of dishes in the sink. It didn’t take long to realize the necessity of letting things go that weren’t important.”

 

AEROSPACE ACE

Michael Tortorici

Michael Tortorici, PE
Vice President, Division Manager
Brasfield & Gorrie, Nashville, Tenn.

AGE: 39

EDUCATION

Bachelor of Mechanical Engineering, University of Alabama

ACCOMPLISHMENTS

Oversees the Birmingham, Ala., office’s Industrial/Aerospace division. Clients include Airbus, Amazon, Coca-Cola, Raytheon, and Royal Canin 

Managed 73 projects worth a combined $844.8 million

Proficient in self-perform capabilities, such as site work, concrete, structural steel, and mechanical systems

Key projects: $112.7 million Airbus A220 Final Assembly Line and Logistics Center Expansion, Mobile, Ala.; $40.8 million Amazon Last Mile Distribution Center - Century Plaza, Birmingham, Ala.; and $34.5 million Airbus A320 Dual Bay Assembly Hangar, Mobile, Ala.   

EXTRACURRICULARS

Certifications: OSHA HAZWOPER 40-Hour Certification, Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) training, OSHA 30-hour Construction Certification  

Emeritus Member, Board of Directors, University of Alabama Capstone Engineering Society

Member, American Society of Mechanical Engineers, United Way Young Leaders Society 

Young Engineer of the Year, 2017, Engineering Council of Birmingham

OFF THE CLOCK

Most memorable vacation: honeymoon in Vegas, where he rode the New York-New York Big Apple Coaster and lost his camera that contained half of his personal wedding photos  

Lifelong Alabama Crimson Tide fan

Enjoys grilling on his Big Green Egg

Den Leader, Boy Scouts of America

SECRET LIFE

Had a stroke at 26 years old that affected his mind and body. “I overcame that setback and passed the Professional Engineer License exam a little over a year later.”

Grandfather fought in WWII in the Army (“He was in England and his platoon missed the boat that would have taken them to the beaches of Normandy, and he ended up being sent to Iceland instead.”)

WHAT IS THE BEST CAREER OR BUSINESS ADVICE YOU HAVE EVER RECEIVED?

“If you are not nervous about what you are doing, you are not challenging yourself or learning. One of my mentors, Kevin White, told me that piece of advice when I was a young, super-nervous project manager leading my first very technically challenging project. He was correct, and it has been easy to keep challenging myself in the construction industry and at Brasfield & Gorrie.”  

HOW HAVE YOU ADJUSTED TO THE ONGOING PANDEMIC?

“It was the most challenging when our offices were closed but our jobsites remained open. That created a perceived imbalance for a short while, but luckily that was only for a few months. Also, at Brasfield & Gorrie, we pride ourselves on team building activities outside of work, and the absence of those events for a while and the slow return of those has been tough.”

 

BEHAVIORAL HEALTH MAVEN  

Stephanie Vito

Stephanie Vito, AIA
Vice President, Psychiatric Care Programmer/Planner
CannonDesign, Buffalo, N.Y.

AGE: 36

EDUCATION

Master of Architecture, Cornell University

Bachelor of Architecture, State University of New York at Buffalo

ACCOMPLISHMENTS

Specializes in the design and planning of behavioral health facilities 

Key projects: 110,000-sf University of Kansas Health System Strawberry Hill Behavioral Health Hospital, Kansas City, Kan.; 83,000-sf, 65-bed Prisma Health Grove Point Replacement Behavioral Health Hospital, Greenville, S.C.; and 171,490-sf Sheppard Pratt Health System New Behavioral Health Hospital, Elkridge, Md. 
   
Graduate, CannonDesign Healthcare Fellowship program, an 18-month mentoring and development program that fast-tracks the careers of top employees

EXTRACURRICULARS

Emerging Leader, CannonDesign’s Behavioral Health Subject Matter Expert Group

Buffalo Office Ambassador, Women’s Forum at CannonDesign

Former Board Member, Parkside Community Association, Buffalo

Volunteer, Buffalo Architecture Foundation’s Architecture + Education program

OFF THE CLOCK
 
Most memorable vacation: 17 Italian cities in 14 days (“I need a nap just writing that!”)

Loves cycling; favorite ride is a 44-mile trek from Buffalo to Niagara Falls, Canada

Third-degree black belt in martial arts. “At the higher belt levels, the sport was largely male dominated back when I trained. That didn’t stop me from breaking boards and sparring with the best and biggest of them. Upon beginning my architectural career, there was a strange familiarity as I was often the only female in the room at meetings.”

SECRET LIFE

Was an avid Super Mario World player growing up and beat the game from start to finish several times. “A few years ago, I gave it a go on the Wii and my husband was surprised at my intricate knowledge of the game.”

Paternal grandmother, at age 27, and aunt, 7, came over from Italy through Ellis Island in 1946. 

WHAT IS THE BEST CAREER OR BUSINESS ADVICE YOU HAVE EVER RECEIVED?

“Not really a single piece of advice, but more a significant learning opportunity. At my first internship after graduate school, I was seated across from several experienced architects’ workstations who often engaged directly with clients. In school, there aren’t really classes about how to talk to clients. It was incredibly valuable to sit adjacent to them all summer long to listen to their presentations, learn the vocabulary, and see their demeanor when talking with clients. Originally, I felt a little guilty for eavesdropping, but I knew the lessons would stick with me and help my career.”  

HOW HAVE YOU ADJUSTED TO THE ONGOING PANDEMIC?

“Since joining CannonDesign, I have worked in the behavioral/mental health design studio. The work often requires partnering with our other offices and working with clients across the country. Before the pandemic, I traveled frequently to collaborate with internal teams and engage with our clients in person. With the pandemic putting a stop on travel we immediately had to find new ways to connect and engage with our clients, some of whom we had never met in person. We have embraced new, interactive technologies and have found creative ways to start meetings, like asking everyone to name their worst job or talk about their first car. When only meeting on a digital platform, we found it helpful to incorporate some ‘water cooler chats’ to break the ice and learn about each other.”

 

THE LEAD DESIGNER 

Daniel Whitmire

Daniel Whitmire, AIA, NCARB, LEED AP BD+C
Lead Designer, Senior Associate
Moseley Architects, Harrisonburg, Va.

AGE: 35

EDUCATION

Bachelor of Architecture, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University

ACCOMPLISHMENTS

Advanced from architectural intern to Lead Designer across all six sectors at Moseley in just 11 years

Co-designed and led more than 150 designs for new projects, pursuits, and feasibility studies in 10 years, worth some $670 million in gross construction value

Key projects: Housing and Dining Master Plan, Clemson (S.C.) University; 10-Year Academic Master Plan, James Madison University, Harrisonburg, Va.; Gibbons Dining Hall - D-Hall, James Madison University; Broderick Dining Commons, Old Dominion University, Norfolk, Va.; and McGee Recreation Center, Wingate (N.C.) University

EXTRACURRICULARS

Established and hosts monthly sketching sessions at the firm to bring back the basics of the art

Guest Lecturer, James Madison University

Contributor, Promoter, Hokie Club and Annual Scholarship Fund

Volunteer, Interior Home Painting

Fundraising Host, Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals

OFF THE CLOCK

Hobbies: cooking, reading nonfiction books, creating art, hiking, playing sports, working out, watching Virginia Tech football

Teaches weekly self-defense classes to friends and family members in a home gym

2021 Irish Road Bowling Champion, representing Staunton, Va. (In case you are wondering, Irish road bowling involves competitors propelling a metal ball along a predetermined course of country roads. The goal: the fewest throws to reach the end of the road.)   

SECRET LIFE

Great-uncle knew Truett Cathy growing up before Chick-Fil-A was founded. “He was offered a summer job during his college years to do drafting work for their first potential restaurant and was eventually hired full-time as their corporate architect. He was the third employee in their history and went on to become the director of real estate, design, and construction for decades.”

WHAT IS THE BEST CAREER OR BUSINESS ADVICE YOU HAVE EVER RECEIVED?
 
“A college professor once told me that ‘an architect’s knowledge is a mile wide and an inch deep.’ Over the years, I have found that an architect is a hybrid consisting of a designer, philosopher, artist, innovator, collaborator, teacher, and student. There are so many facets within architecture that you can’t possibly be the most knowledgeable on all subjects. However, a basic understanding of each aspect of design, engineering, and construction is paramount to be truly successful in our field. If you don’t know something, seek out someone who does, but continue learning every day if possible.”

HOW HAVE YOU ADJUSTED TO THE ONGOING PANDEMIC?

“My workflow transition has been surprisingly seamless despite the several challenges over the last two years. I recently relocated from Virginia Beach to our Harrisonburg office pre-Covid-19, and the ongoing pandemic arrived quickly after we settled into our new home. After several months of implementing a work-from-home policy, we as a firm decided to pursue a much smaller, transient office option. This has allowed us to split time between our home offices and a more collaborative space, if preferred. Like many families, my wife and I have juggled working full-time while dealing with closed daycare facilities and schools. Despite the many obstacles, however, the pandemic has shown me that all I really need for work is a laptop, table, a quiet place, and a sketch pad.”

 

Design Champion

Brittany Williams

Brittany Williams

Senior Design Manager

Webcor, San Francisco, Calif.

AGE: 38

EDUCATION

Bachelor of Architecture, Kansas State University

ACCOMPLISHMENTS

Responsible for all Webcor projects, including those in Southern California

Recent landmark projects include the $1.2 billion San Francisco Biosolids Digester project

Creative processes have been implemented across Webcor on active projects

Was the only black female student in her graduating architecture class in 2006

EXTRACURRICULAR

Co-chairs the Collective, a Black Employee Resource Group at Webcor

On the steering committee for Women of Webcor

Involved in the beautification city group Shine on SF

Active member of the Coalition SF Leadership Council

OFF THE CLOCK

Loves to cook - “I challenged myself in 2020 by never making the same thing twice the entire year.”

SECRET LIFE

First black prom queen in her high school’s history

Learned her father had a petroleum engineering degree 12 years after his death (was the only black student enrolled in the engineering program at the University of Rolla in the 1970s)

WHAT IS THE BEST CAREER OR BUSINESS ADVICE YOU HAVE EVER RECEIVED?

“When I was deciding where to go to college, I had a one-on- one conversation with the Dean of Architecture, Planning and Design from Kansas State University, Dennis Law. We sat on the couch and he asked me point blank, “Are you willing to be the only one in a room?” When I looked at him perplexed, he went on to explain, “This career is amazing and Kansas State is building something incredible, but you will likely be the only woman, or person of color in the room. A lot of times you will be the first in those spaces and it won’t be easy. Are you willing to shoulder that burden? Are you willing to fight to be heard? I will support you but I need to ask, are you willing to be a fighter alongside me?” My answer was a resounding yes and I was headed to Kansas state knowing in my corner was someone willing to be transparent and honest with me about what I was walking into. I try to be as transparent and honest as Dean Law was to me, every day. That question posed to me on a couch 20 years ago, has continued to light the fire in me to break down and at times simply crack open as many doors as possible for the next wave behind me.”

HOW HAVE YOU ADJUSTED TO THE ONGOING PANDEMIC?

“As Sr. Design Manager of Strategic Innovation, I am required to have a finger on the pulse of every project within Webcor. The pandemic greatly hindered our ability to visit jobsites and collaborate with our teams face to face. Since my responsibility is to strategize and coordinate information flow between design teams, owners, and builders, this presented quite a challenge, and in my first year in this new role! This is where my superpower, so I’ve been told, came in handy. My ability to connect with people has been invaluable during this time.”

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