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Architects Recognized for Public Service to Des Moines Metro Area

Monday, April 3, 2017  

Des Moines, Iowa (April 3, 2017) – Thirty-seven local architects and members of the American Institute of Architects, Iowa Chapter (AIA Iowa) have been recognized for their service to the communities of Des Moines, West Des Moines, Winterset, Ames, Waukee, and Johnston.  They are participants in the AIA Iowa Citizen Architect Program sponsored by AIA Iowa:

 

Janna Alampi, AIA, of Shive-Hattery in West Des Moines serves as Chair of The Building Enclosure Council of Iowa (BEC-Iowa). BEC-Iowa offers industry professionals an opportunity to exchange valuable information relating to successful building enclosure design through meetings and sharing of resources.  The mission is to create an interdisciplinary and objective place to share knowledge and resources impacting building enclosures in the unique climatic conditions of the Midwest. Janna’s responsibilities include serving as a liaison to BEC-National and AIA Iowa, and as an ex-officio member of BEC-National and Board of BETEC.  Janna manages and provides leadership to the Board of Directors and facilitates meetings, among other duties. Janna is the founder of BEC-Iowa.

 

Bob Bisenius, AIA, of Shive-Hattery in West Des Moines serves as a Walking Tour Docent for the Iowa Architectural Foundation (IAF). IAF is the only charitable organization in the state to promote awareness and appreciation of architecture and design and engages the public through youth education, community design charrettes, and public awareness programs. As a Walking Tour Docent, Bob prepares and leads walking tours of Downtown Des Moines. Bob specializes in the North Route - visiting American Enterprise and the Principal Campus as well as 16 other significant buildings. He leads five walking tours a season, each taking 90 minutes plus.

 

Tim Bungert, AIA, of Brooks Borg Skiles Architecture Engineering in Des Moines serves as Board Chair of the Iowa Architectural Foundation (IAF). IAF is the only charitable organization in the state to promote awareness and appreciation of architecture and design and engages the public through youth education, community design charrettes, and public awareness programs. As Board Chair, Tim helps to manage and supervise the operations of the foundation. As a program volunteer, he helps create and lead many of IAF's educational and outreach programs for youth and adults. In the last year, he have been involved with planning and leading walking tours, adult education classes (architectural photography), and IAF's annual Eat.Drink.Architecture fundraising event. Tim has been a volunteer for IAF for 7 years.

 

Natalie Carran, AIA, of Benjamin Design Collaborative, P.C. in Ames serves as Cabinet member of the City of Ames Public Art Commission and a Board member of the Ames Community Preschool Center. The City of Ames Public Art Commission is committed to keeping the public in public art and is comprised of community members and leaders dedicated to enhancing the cultural experience of residents and visitors to Ames through the installation and commissioning of public art displays. Natalie serves as a community liaison for commissioning, displaying and maintaining the City of Ames public art collection.  The Ames Community Preschool Center is a community non-profit organization that strives to provide safe and affordable care to children ages 18 months through school age. Natalie serves as a facilities committee member dedicated to upgrading outdated building systems to improve learning environments.

 

Tom Clause, FAIA, of Clause Architects in Winterset serves at the Madison County Covered Bridge Festival Annual festival by teaching “Build a Bridge.” This event attracts 20,000 visitors over two days. Tom’s program invites families to participate in building models of Cedar Bridge and help construct a bridge made entirely of 4'  -2 x 4's demonstrating how triangles are used to make a truss . He spends two days on site teaching and sharing covered bridge history and construction methods.     

 

Megan Drake, Assoc. AIA, of Shiffler Associates Architects in Des Moines serves as IAS Committee Member in the Iowa Architectural Foundation (IAF). IAF is the only charitable organization in the state to promote awareness and appreciation of architecture and design and engages the public through youth education, community design charrettes, and public awareness programs. Megan serves on the Iowa Architectural Foundation Schools Committee, organizing contests and giving tours and presentations to school age people to promote awareness of architecture and design.

 

Curtis Ehler, AIA, of Studio MELEE in Des Moines was elected President of Central Iowa Architects Section (CIAS). CIAS is led by architects and helps to connect design professionals from different firms to better advocate for the profession. While the AIA Iowa convention and other AIA chapter events help bring architects together within the state, the sections help bond members of the AIA who are regionally close to each other and who would otherwise not meet on a more regular/monthly schedule. Curtis works to organize socials, tours, annual events, and fundraisers. He has been involved with CIAS in several different positions since 2006.

 

Ryan Ellsworth, Assoc. AIA, of OPN Architects in Des Moines serves as a Walking Tour Docent for the Iowa Architectural Foundation (IAF). IAF is the only charitable organization in the state to promote awareness and appreciation of architecture and design and engages the public through youth education, community design charrettes, and public awareness programs. As a Walking Tour Docent, Ryan prepares and leads walking tours of Downtown Des Moines. Ryan specializes in the West Route - visiting the Polk County Courthouse and the Wells Fargo Campus as well as 16 other significant buildings. Ryan usually co-leads four tours a season; lasting 90 minutes plus.

 

Scotney Fenton, AIA, of RDG Planning & Design in Des Moines serves as Commissioner of the Des Moines Historic Preservation Commission. The Des Moines Historic Preservation Commission members are appointed by the City Council. The Des Moines Historic Preservation Commission reviews and acts upon all applications for certificates of appropriateness; reviews and makes recommendations to the City Council on proposals for designation of historic districts, amendments to boundaries of existing historic districts, and repeal of existing historic districts; cooperates with property owners and City agencies and departments to develop preservation solutions and plans; furthers the historic preservation efforts in the city; and makes recommendations for the listing of a historical district or site in the National Register of Historic Places. Scotney has served as a commissioner since 2002.

 

Martha Green, AIA, of Des Moines was appointed Commissioner of Historic Preservation Commission. The Commission works to maintain the historic character of local historic districts within the City of Des Moines. Martha reviews and approves or denies applications for changes to landscaping and exterior appearance of structures within local historic districts.  She also reviews proposed changes to designated local landmarks within the City of Des Moines. This commission helps maintain the quality of the built environment and livable communities by preserving distinctive historic characteristics of several neighborhoods.

 

Scott Hatfield, AIA, of SVPA Architects Inc. in West Des Moines was appointed the Commissioner of West Des Moines Plan & Zoning Commission. Scott was appointed by Mayor and City council to the Plan & Zoning Commission in 1986 and currently the longest running member.  He participates in Land Use and Zoning review; Site Plan; and Architectural review for projects in the City of West Des Moines. He attends meetings every two weeks.

 

Danielle Hermann, AIA, of OPN Architects in Des Moines serves as Vice President of The "I Have a Dream" Foundation. The Des Moines I Have a Dream Foundation motivates and empowers children to reach their education and career goals by providing a long-term program of mentoring, tutoring and enrichment as well as tuition assistance for higher education. Danielle is involved in fiduciary and fundraising leadership and directives, as well as general organizational leadership.  She works to set programmatic goals, targets and assessments, as well as build, maintain and manage relationships within the community with partners and donors.  She manages the staff for the foundation at all levels, from hiring through operations.  Danielle’s position on the board allows her to set an example for the Dreamers and expose them to the design and construction industry - opening their perspective to careers they might not otherwise get exposure to.  Danielle has been involved with the organization for 7 years.

 

Tonia Householder, AIA, of INVISION in Des Moines serves as a volunteer of Joppa Outreach. Joppa is a volunteer-driven, interdenominational, nonprofit organization in Iowa that helps homeless people survive, get housing and rebuild their lives.  Tonya volunteers for various events throughout the year including delivering food and heat to the homeless as well as advocating and attending events in an effort to move the Tiny Home Villages forward. The Tiny Home Village effort includes potential meetings with City/State/Community representatives and participating in the ACE mentor program which is working on designing/building home prototypes.  Joppa’s goal is to make this engagement with ACE a curriculum course throughout area schools with architecture/construction programs.

 

Jeanne Huntsman, AIA, of The Weidt Group in Des Moines serves as Market Leadership Advisory Board Member of the United States Green Building Council (USGBC). The USGBC is a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting sustainable building design and construction. The organization works to promote buildings that are environmentally responsible, financially sustainable and healthy places to live and work.  USGBC local Market Leadership Advisory Boards represent diverse, locally based leaders who advise on strategic and tactical activities implemented as part of USGBC’s global work plan. This leadership group works collaboratively within a regional network of Market Leadership Advisory Boards to develop and implement integrative, consistent and effective local work plans in all markets. Jeanne also serves as a Committee Member for the Architecture In the Community Committee of Iowa Architectural Foundation where she assists with public walking tours.

 

Karl Kaufman, AIA, of the Weidt Group in Des Moines serves as Architecture in the Community Committee Member, Lecturer and Docent of the Iowa Architecture Foundation (IAF). IAF is the only charitable organization in the state to promote awareness and appreciation of architecture and design and engages the public through youth education, community design charrettes, and public awareness programs. Karl leads walking tour routes and teaches Community Education Classes for the general public to improve their awareness of architecture and design. Karl also supports the public awareness campaign for the Foundation by being the local organizer for the IAF contribution to the Blank Hospital Festival of Tree and Lights entry. Karl attends monthly planning meetings, leads three or more walking tours, and teaches a class on Tall Buildings.

 

Liana LaMastra, Assoc. AIA, of RDG Planning and Design in Des Moines serves as Architecture in the Schools Committee Member and Volunteer of the Iowa Architectural Foundation (IAF). IAF is the only charitable organization in the state to promote awareness and appreciation of architecture and design and engages the public through youth education, community design charrettes, and public awareness programs. Liana attends meetings, volunteers and helps implement programming, and maintains the AIS portion of the IAF website. The goal of the AIS Committee is to help implement architecture-based programing for all Iowa students, opening the eyes of young students to the role good design plays in everyday lives.

 

Paul Mankins, AIA, of substance architecture in Des Moines, serves as Emeritus Board Member and Past President of the Greater Des Moines Public Art Foundation. The Greater Des Moines Public Art Foundation is dedicated to commissioning and placing artwork in public places, as well as developing educational programs to advance public art issues to the general public.  The Foundation also serves an advisory role for the City Council for the City of Des Moines in determining the appropriateness of public art proposals which come before that body. Paul works to evaluate and develop public artworks and programs in Central Iowa - primarily Des Moines. The Board meets monthly.  In addition, Paul’s firm provides pro-bono design assistance for many of the artworks.

 

Shannon McGee, Assoc. AIA, of INVISION in Des Moines serves as a mentor for the ACE Mentor Program. The mission of the ACE Mentor Program is to engage, excite and enlighten high school students to pursue careers in the integrated construction industry through mentoring.  As a mentor, Shannon attends weekly meetings and helps with final presentation graphics for the students.

 

Diane Munch, Assoc. AIA, of Story Construction in Des Moines serve as an Architecture in the Community Committee Member and Docent for the Iowa Architectural Foundation (IAF). IAF is the only charitable organization in the state to promote awareness and appreciation of architecture and design and engages the public through youth education, community design charrettes, and public awareness programs. Diane assists with walking tour routes for the general public to improve their awareness of architecture and design. She attends monthly planning meetings and assists with four or more walking tours.

 

Holly Pohlmeier, Assoc. AIA, of INVISION in Des Moines serves as Co-Team Leader of the ACE Mentor Program. The ACE Mentor Program of America, Inc. The mission of the ACE Mentor Program is to engage, excite and enlighten high school students to pursue careers in the integrated construction industry through mentoring. Holly serves as a mentor to a team of high school students working on a national design competition.  She became involved as a mentor after having been involved as a student.

 

Jerry Purdy, AIA, of Design Alliance Inc. in Waukee was appointed Vice President of the Iowa Architectural Examining Board. He was appointed by Governor Terry Branstad to a 4 year term.  The board enforces the provisions of the State of Iowa Code Chapter 544A and maintains a roster of all registered architects authorized to practice architecture in the State of Iowa. As a board member, Jerry attends all scheduled board meetings (typically quarterly) and addresses issues that have been brought to the board.  Jerry is also involved with the National Council of Architectural Registration Board which provides a multitude of services to the licensed architect and the State Licensing organizations across the nation.

 

Jason Reis, AIA, of JLRD in West Des Moines serves as a mentor of the ACE Mentor Program. The mission of the ACE Mentor Program is to engage, excite and enlighten high school students to pursue careers in the integrated construction industry through mentoring. Students work with local architects, engineers and contractors from top firms who serve as mentors to guide them through team design projects. As a mentor, Jason spends 2 hours each week for 16 weeks meeting with high school students after school. He helps students develop a mock project and prepare to present their ideas to a group of 400+ other students, parents, teachers and other mentors.

 

Tina Rhodes, Assoc. AIA, of FRK Architects + Engineers in West Des Moines serve as Architecture in the Community; Committee Member, Walking Tour Champion and Docent of the Iowa Architectural Foundation. Tina is the champion of the "Architecture on the Move" of Downtown Des Moines. She recruits, schedules and trains docents for the tours, as well as leading tours. She has contributed to IAF classes as an instructor and given the opening remarks for the lecture series. She also support the public awareness campaign for the Foundation by being the local organizer for the IAF contribution to the Blank Hospital Festival of Tree and Lights entry. Tina was also appointed to the Warren County Historic Preservation Commission. The Historic Preservation Commission promotes recognition, enhancement, and perpetuation of historic and culturally significant sites and districts with in rural Warren Count. As a member, Tina attends quarterly meetings, organizes fundraising activities, and promotes conservation of historic properties in rural Warren County.  Finally, Tina served as an advisor for the Historic Palmyra Church Restoration Project.

 

Josh Ridgely, AIA, of SVPA Architects in West Des Moines serves Board Chair of the ACE Mentor Program of Central Iowa. The mission of the ACE Mentor Program is to engage, excite and enlighten high school students to pursue careers in the integrated construction industry through mentoring. Students work with local architects, engineers and contractors from top firms who serve as mentors to guide them through team design projects. As Board Chair, Josh oversees Board of Directors and meets periodically with Board Members to discuss all facets of the program and to set goals to continue to grow the organization.

 

Michelle Sacco, AIA, of RDG Planning and Design in Des Moines was elected Past Chair of the Iowa Architectural Foundation (IAF) where she also serves as Architecture in the Schools Co-Chair. IAF is the only charitable organization in the state to promote awareness and appreciation of architecture and design and engages the public through youth education, community design charrettes, and public awareness programs. Michelle serves as Past Chair for the Iowa Architectural Foundation's Board of Trustees, on the Executive Committee and Audit Committee. She attends meetings, helps recruit volunteers and follows up with fundraising goals.  She also implements programming for various Foundation events by volunteering and marketing the events. Michelle also serves as the Co-Chair for the Architecture in the Schools Committee where she runs the meetings, develops new programming, implements programming and recruit volunteers. Michelle has been a part of the IAF for nearly 14 years.

 

Brian Schwartz, AIA, of Baker Group in Des Moines serves as a Project Mentor of the Greater Des Moines Leadership Institute. The Greater Des Moines Leadership Institute is a premier leadership organization, guiding leaders to greater public awareness, commitment and involvement - improving the overall quality of life in our community. As a Project Mentor, Brian works with a project team of 10-12 students in the Greater Des Moines Leadership Institute Community Leadership Program. The team assists a non-profit organization on a specific project. Brian participates in team meetings to provide guidance as the team works through the process of researching, identifying, and executing the project.  All project mentors also get together to discuss team progress and overall questions for the group.

 

Edward Shannon, AIA, of GTG Architects in Johnston serves as a Walking Tour Docent for the Iowa Architectural Foundation (IAF). IAF is the only charitable organization in the state to promote awareness and appreciation of architecture and design and engages the public through youth education, community design charrettes, and public awareness programs. As a Walking Tour Docent, Edward prepares and leads walking tours of Downtown Des Moines. Edward specializes in the West Route - visiting the Polk County Courthouse and the Wells Fargo Campus as well as 16 other significant buildings. He leads five walking tours through the season lasting 90 minutes plus.

 

Evan Shaw, AIA, of INVISION in Des Moines, serves as Chair of the Grays Lake Neighborhood Association. Representing a significant and important portion of the Southside of Des Moines, the Association’s mission is to educate, empower, and develop community for the people who live, work or attend schools in the Gray’s Lake neighborhood, by adopting sustainable principles to enhance its health and vitality. Evan runs meetings and networks with city officials and neighborhood stakeholders. He was a founding board member and has served on the board and as chairperson since 2008.

 

Ann Sobiech Munson, AIA, of substance architecture in Des Moines was elected Council Member of City Council, Slater IA. Slater’s City Council consists of five at-large members, elected for overlapping 4-year terms. As a member of the Council, Ann attends Council meetings, occasionally attends meetings of other city boards or commissions, and serves as a contact for citizens with a range of issues that required Council or city attention. In the last year, the Council, in collaboration with city staff, has: developed a plan for sewer treatment upgrades in response to mandatory EPA requirements; annexed a major agribusiness site to the west of the town's current boundaries; planned a sewer extension as part of annexation and future development; developed a plan to re-pave city streets, to begin in 2017; supported ongoing development of Main Street through grants and property sales; and created a set of design guidelines for the Main Street district to guide future development and construction.

 

Edward Soenke, AIA, of The Design Partnership in West Des Moines was appointed the National Chairman of the Low Vision Design Committee of the National Institute of Building Science (NIBS). Established by the U. S. Congress in 1974, NIBS is an authoritative source for innovative solutions for the built environment, focusing on national priorities, emerging issues in housing, buildings and infrastructure, construction technology, processes and practice. With Edward as the chair of the 25-member Low Vision Design Committee, the committee has published DESIGN GUIDELINES FOR THE VISUAL ENVIRONMENT, a handbook for architects, interior designers, engineers and building owners to properly design facilities for the more than 17 million Americans that have low vision.  Thus far, three-person teams from the committee have presented at six national conventions of the American Institute of Architects, Environments for Aging, and Lions International. Edward coordinates the work of this large, nationally dispersed committee with staff at NIBS.

 

Rod Stevens, AIA, of Knowledge Consulting in Johnston was appointed to the Board of Directors of Iowa Interfaith Power and Light (Iowa IPL). Iowa IPL exists to inspire and equip people of faith to become leaders in finding solutions to climate change. The Board of Directors is responsible for overall policy and direction of the Corporation, and it delegates responsibility of day-to-day operations to the various staff, Officers, and committees it oversees. Rod has been a member of the organization for almost 10 years and has worked with them to advocate sustainable living, design and policies.

 

Steve Stimmel, AIA, of Des Moines serves as a member of the State National Register Review Committee of the Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs, State Historic Preservation Office. The State Historic Preservation Office, a division of the Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs, identifies, preserves, and protects Iowa’s historic and prehistoric resources. It also administers state and federal historic preservation programs, and maintains a survey and inventory collection of historic properties in Iowa. As a committee member, Steve reads and evaluates National Register of Historic Places nominations for historic resources and works with the committee to approve, defer, or reject nominations. He also reviews and approves grants for the State Certified Local Governments program and serves on the historic preservation awards panel.

 

David Unick, AIA, of Brooks Borg Skiles Architecture Engineering in Des Moines serves as a Scholarship Committee Member of the ACE Mentor Program of Central Iowa. The mission of the ACE Mentor Program is to engage, excite and enlighten high school students to pursue careers in the integrated construction industry through mentoring. David serves on the Board of Directors for part of year, and continues as member of the scholarship selection committee. He has been a volunteer with ACE in a variety of roles for 11 years.

 

Joe Wallace, AIA, of OPN Architects, Inc. in Des Moines serves as Executive Campaign Chair of United Way of Central Iowa (UWCI). The UWCI aims to advocate and unite the community around improving the health, education, and financial stability of Central Iowans. Since 2012, Joe has represented OPN Architects as an Executive Campaign Chair.  Along with two other volunteers in his office, he is responsible for attending training seminars and recruiting new members each year.  He also plans and executes OPN’s UW Campaign. A successful campaign consists of increased participation and funds from the year before, something that occurred every year Joe has served as chair.  Joe has also represented OPN as an Executive Campaign Chair and won "Best United Way Organization to work with" from UWCI in 2015. 

 

Todd Wehr, AIA, of Shive-Hattery in West Des Moines serves as the 2017 Chairman of the Board of the Ankeny Area Chamber of Commerce. Ankeny Area Chamber of Commerce provides resources for small businesses, economic development opportunities, enhances quality of life and is an advocate for businesses. As Chairman, Todd reviews and sets policies for the chamber organization, establishes and maintains budgets, serves on committees for events. Has been involved with the chamber as either an ambassador or board member for over 10 years.

 

Heidi Willis, Assoc. AIA of INVISION in Des Moines serve as a mentor for the ACE Mentor Program. The mission of the ACE Mentor Program is to engage, excite and enlighten high school students to pursue careers in the integrated construction industry through mentoring. Not only does the program provide guidance to students pursuing a design and construction field, but also provides students with financial help to attend college for a degree in a design or construction program. As a mentor, Heidi provides the students with guidance on developing a succinct design while exposing them to all stages of design and construction.  She provides one-on-one attention as well as group setting mentorship to help students realize their design potential. Heidi guides students through developing and navigating a set of succinct construction documents.

 

Tom Wollan, AIA, of FRK Architecture Engineering in West Des Moines serves as an Architecture in the Community Chair, Lecturer and Docent for the Iowa Architectural Foundation (IAF). IAF is the only charitable organization in the state to promote awareness and appreciation of architecture and design and engages the public through youth education, community design charrettes, and public awareness programs. Tom chairs the Architecture in the Community Committee, leads walking tour routes and teaches Community Education Classes for the general public to improve their awareness of Architecture and design. He attends monthly planning meetings and quarterly board meeting, leads six or more walking tours, and teaches a classes on Downtown Des Moines Architecture, Double Houses, Home styles and the City Beautiful Movement in Des Moines.

 

The Citizen Architect Program recognizes AIA Iowa members who represent AIA's values in their community through public service. To find out more about this program please visit AIAIowa.org.

 

Since 1857, the American Institute of Architects has represented the professional interests of America's architects. AIA Iowa, headquartered in Des Moines, is a statewide affiliate of the national AIA. AIA members express their commitment to excellence in design and are proactive in the design of livable communities. Members adhere to a code of ethics and professional conduct that assures the client, the public, and colleagues of an AIA member architect's dedication to the highest standards in professional practice. For more information, go to www.aiaiowa.org or call 515.244.7502.

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For interviews or pictures, please contact Jessica Reinert at AIA Iowa, (515) 244-7502, or e-mail jreinert@aiaiowa.org.

 


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