AIA Pittsburgh Nominates New Leaders

A look at the new Board of Directors' nominations

By Posted on August 28, 2013

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The AIA Pittsburgh Board of Directors is a vital group of architects who help to focus the goals of the organization and provide the leadership to help make those goals happen. As board members’ terms expire, architects who have demonstrated exemplary leadership skills and active involvement in the profession are nominated to the Board of Directors and are voted upon at the Annual Membership Meeting each September by the members. Take a moment to learn more about this year’s nominees and then come support them with your vote on September 10th at the Annual Membership Meeting, held at the SOTA Construction Services’ headquarters.

Jen Bee, AIA

Jen Bee is principal of Pittsburgh-based architecture firm Jen Bee Design LLC. Deeply rooted in the Greater Pittsburgh Area, Bee’s firm focuses on the revitalization of existing buildings for commercial and residential use.  She provides the full range of architecture services as well as interior design services through the work of her business. Her firm’s projects include local restaurants, collaborative workspaces, and single- and multi-family residential projects.

Before working as a sole practitioner, Bee spent about 10 years at Edge Studio and a year at Seattle-based residential firm Balance Associates. She received a Bachelor’s Degree in Art with Interior Design concentration from James Madison University in 1993. She worked as a graphic artist in southwestern Virginia for 3 years before continuing to graduate school in pursuit of an architecture degree. Upon completing a 3½ year graduate architecture program at Virginia Tech, she received a Master of Architecture degree in 2000.

Bee has been an active member of the American Institute of Architects (AIA) for nine years, and currently serves as 1st Vice President on the Board of Directors for AIA Pittsburgh. She recently completed the Leadership Pittsburgh program, a nonprofit organization dedicated to developing a diverse group of leaders to serve Southwestern PA. Bee has served as assistant instructor and guest critic for the Carnegie Mellon University Architecture Program. Since the inception of her business, she has attended the nonprofit Leadership Institute Boarding School at Duquesne University and MWDBE Accelerator Training at the Riverside Center for Innovation. She unwinds by hiking, trail biking, and camping with her husband and 5 year old son.

Eric Booth, AIA

As a Principal and Director of Operations at Desmone & Associates Architects, Eric Booth’s role with the firm is extensive. His management of the day-to-day operations involves him in nearly every aspect of the business, from strategic planning to resource management, while also overseeing many of the firm’s larger projects and providing office-wide quality control.

Booth studied architecture at Cornell University, graduating in the top 5% of his class. In less than 6 years, he became a Partner of an architecture and engineering firm in Salisbury. He was a leader in several organizations on the Eastern Shore, including the American Red Cross and Chesapeake Bay Chapter of the American Institute of Architects. Booth has extensive experience in a wide variety of project types, from small commercial additions to oceanfront hotels. His favorite projects often involve existing structures. Eric cites his experience of studying abroad in Italy and the work of Carlo Scarpa as inspirations.

Outside of the office, Eric’s current activities include Leadership Pittsburgh (Class of XXIX – best class ever), the La Roche Interior Design Advisory Board (Chair), and the City of Pittsburgh Contextual Design Advisory Board. Eric, his wife Rachel, and his son Mason happily reside in Pittsburgh’s East Allegheny/Deutschtown neighborhood on the Northside. He enjoys city living and loves to explore Pittsburgh and its countryside by bicycle and his black M3.

Michael Gwin, AIA

Mike Gwin is a Principal and Director of Design at Rothschild Doyno Collaborative. In his 15 years of experience, Gwin has been involved with a diverse range of award-winning projects consistently receiving architectural merits for design innovation, sustainability, and architectural resolution. Throughout his career, these honors have included local, state, and national design awards and publications.

In his role as director of design, Gwin not only leads projects that deliver innovative design solutions that create meaningful places, but also encourages staff to advance design considerations from initial concept through technical detailing and construction. As a mentor, he enjoys working alongside project team members to advance a holistic design approach that speaks to individual client needs and circumstances of the site and surrounding environments.

Gwin received a Bachelor of Architecture from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University in 1998. He has been an Adjunct Assistant Professor at Carnegie Mellon University School of Architecture since 2007 and continues to serve on juries for student design projects at several local universities. Additionally, Gwin’s long history in construction has underscored his approach to design and his appreciation for construction. A continued integration of his architectural, academic, and construction experiences provide a balance in his development of design sensibilities and a lifelong commitment to learning.

F. Jeffery Murray, AIA

Jeff Murray was born and raised in Pittsburgh, went to college in the Midwest (Notre Dame and Ohio State Universities) and practiced for two firms (Lohan Associates and ZGF) in four different cities (Dallas, Chicago, Los Angeles, and Washington DC) before returning to Pittsburgh 10 years ago. The first two decades of his career he was involved in the design of a wide range of work including urban planning, high rise office buildings, libraries, museums, corporate headquarters, and academic and research facilities. He was recruited by CH2M HILL to build an east coast-based practice for IDC Architects in Pittsburgh, where it already had a strong engineering-led practice. CH2M HILL is an employee owned, global project delivery firm. The Pittsburgh practice typically leads work for the eastern half of North America, Europe, and the Middle East.

Since returning to Pittsburgh, Murray’s focus has been on the design of research, academic, public, and corporate facilities. As a CH2M HILL Fellow he has led research and training efforts on the use of digital modeling to enhance the collaborative design process. His expertise includes the design of mixed-use research facilities, high performance building envelopes, human centered workplace environments, and the integration of new construction into existing contexts. He has presented at a number of national and international conferences on the human and technical aspects of architectural design and has led the design of several award-winning projects. In addition to his design leadership duties, Murray currently leads IDC Architect’s global science and technology business.

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