Marcy Giannunzio, AIA is the founding Principal of DIAG Studios, PLLC, an architectural firm that delivers innovative and creative architectural solutions and specializes in institutional, commercial, and residential projects. Her professional work, spanning over 15 years, includes numerous award-winning projects in the Washington, DC metro area. Ms. Giannunzio is a firm believer in utilizing her architectural skills to support the community through serving on local committees as well as being actively involved in the American Institute of Architects (AIA). Ms. Giannunzio is also a recipient of the 2013 AIA|DC Emerging Architect of the Year Award and the 2020 Alexandria Chamber of Commerce 40 under 40 Award.
Nick Cooper, Principal and Design Director for HKS Richmond, has spent his 20-year career designing and leading projects of various scales locally and internationally. He specializes in Mixed Use, Commercial, Adaptive Re-use, Healthcare, and Urban Design projects emphasizing a cross-sector influence where he believes the most innovative solutions emerge. Nick has collaborated on projects located in eight countries and 30 cities over the course of his career, which has fueled his passion for travel and his interest in studying cultures throughout the world.
Nick has been recognized for his thought leadership and design excellence, but is most proud of his community-based work and service to the city of Richmond. He has spent the last 10 years with a local non profit called Storefront for Community Design mentoring and influencing various projects such as transforming an old greenhouse into an outdoor classroom, converting shipping containers into a bike storage/repair shop, and designing a cultural hub in historic Jackson Ward for a local entrepreneur.
Nick also serves as a Steering Committee member of Citizen HKS, the firms’ public interest design and community engagement initiative. In 2018, Nick saw an opportunity to impact his city in a profound way by combining the two organizations in the form of a project that support’s Storefront’s Highland Park Center: 6PIC. The project, “Re-imagining Benefield” will be a unique cowork/colive adaptive re-use project that will act as a catalyst for building equity in the entire neighborhood.
Nick is most passionate about mentoring and empowering the next generation of critical thinkers at HKS and throughout Richmond as he serves as the Chair for AIA Richmond’s Young Architects Forum (YAF) and as the Vice Chair for AIA Virginia’s ELA Program for 2020. Under Nick’s leadership, the YAF Committee has been transformed into a dynamic group of individuals focused on empowering each other to create opportunity for Richmond’s emerging professionals. The committee has been successful in implementing new programs such as the Design Challenge, ARE Series, Storytelling for Community and the YAIS Mentorship Series, fulfilling their mission of investing in AIA’s future and strengthening our local communities.
Above all else, Nick is grateful for his family’s continued support in his career and enjoys sharing his love of architecture and community service with his wife Erin and their two children, Colin and Emalyn.
Nick Serfass is the Executive Director of the Richmond Technology Council, a trade association representing over 150 companies, that works to support, grow, and celebrate the thriving technology ecosystem throughout Greater Richmond. Nick blends a technical background as an architect with a professional background in association management to design and drive programming at RVATECH that continues to position Richmond as the city of choice for technology practitioners, technology business owners, and technology leaders.
John Dorlini embodies the holistic design approach by holding Virginia licenses in Interior Design, Architecture, and Contracting (Class A). He co-owns CIRCLE Design Studio with his wife Theresa, founded in 2005 as a private development company in Staunton, but now operates in Roanoke as a six-person design-build firm and generalist practice serving as prime or consultant in many sectors: residential, multi-family, hospitality, retail, healthcare, higher ed, ecclesiastic, and corporate.
With a specialty in clean-lined modern aesthetics, CIRCLE is the recipient of 37 Interior Design Excellence Awards (IDEAS), and four-time winner of Brightest IDEAS, for the Virginia/ West Virginia chapters of ASID and IIDA. In 2020, John was named to the Sun Devil 100, awarded to the fastest-growing businesses owned by Arizona State University alumni.
John received his MArch at ASU and a B.S. in Art and Interior Design at James Madison University. John is currently Visiting Professor at Virginia Tech teaching third-year interior design studio. Prior work stints include RRMM Architects, VMDO Architects, Andrea Clark Brown Architects (Naples, FL), and a summer internship with Daniel Libeskind in Berlin. John was LEED administrator for the first LEED Gold school in Southwest Virginia, Masons Cove Elementary School (Roanoke County).
Susan Reed, AIA, NCARB is the Director of Historic Preservation at Glavé & Holmes Architecture in Richmond, Virginia. A graduate of the University of Virginia with undergraduate studies in Art History and Architectural History and a Master of Architecture with a Certificate of Historic Preservation, she has worked exclusively on historic properties for two decades.
Her work in support of the rehabilitation of historic buildings and new work in historic settings has included condition assessments, feasibility studies, surveys, Historic Structure Reports, National Register Nominations, and State and Federal Historic Rehabilitation Tax Credits, as well as consultation, design, specifications, project management and construction administration for the restoration and rehabilitation of historic resources in the Mid-Atlantic.
An active community volunteer, Susan serves on the Board of AIA Richmond and is the Chair of the Public Relations Committee, which produces The Pedestal quarterly newsletter; is a Board Member and Secretary of the Byrd Theatre Foundation, and is on the Advisory Council for the Branch Museum of Architecture and Design.
Barbara Gehrung is one of the pioneer Passive House designers in the United States and has won several awards for her Passive consulting projects, including affordable multi-family buildings for Habitat for Humanity in Washington D.C. and the ecoMOD South prefabricated passive house project for the University of Virginia.
Growing up in Germany, Barbara developed a passion for architecture, energy, and sustainability while the green building movement there grew from exotic to the mainstream. First as an architecture student, then as faculty at Technische Universität Darmstadt (TUD), she focused on energy-efficient building design. Following an internship at the Center for Building Performance and Diagnostics at Carnegie Mellon University, she initiated and led Germany’s first participation in the U.S. Department of Energy’s Solar Decathlon competition in 2007. Both of TU Darmstadt’s winning Solar Decathlon entries of 2007 and 2009 are certified Passive Houses. These two vanguard projects demonstrate an aesthetic and functional integration of renewable energy technologies while drastically reducing energy consumption.
Barbara has guest lectured internationally both at universities and professional events, such as USGBC Greenbuild and the German-American Chamber of Commerce. She has authored and co-authored several publications and served as a guest critic at the University of Virginia and the University of Kentucky on sustainable building design projects.
Upon moving to the United States, Barbara worked for Hays-Ewing Design Studio, before founding bg design & consulting llc in 2010. In 2016 she and Mark Graham of Liminal Architecture joined forces as Gehrung + Graham Energy Positive Architecture. Together with their team, they design net-zero projects for clients in Central Virginia and beyond.
Barbara lives in Belmont, a historic neighborhood within the City of Charlottesville, Virginia, with her husband, children & Airedale terrier.
Jomellie “Joy” Salonga is an architectural designer with Saunders + Crouse Architects in Virginia Beach, VA., designing multifamily housing, managing construction administration and gaining a better understanding of master planning. She currently works in the City she was born in but shortly after high school she moved to Los Angeles, CA to pursue her passion in the arts and started teaching art at the local Charter School. Joy knew from an early age she wanted to give back through her artful talents and teaching art with only a few college credits she had the opportunity to study all areas of art from contemporary, classical, modern dance, sculptural and painting as well as architecture which she found very intriguing. Joy was eager to be inspired and traveled to many global cites visiting works of art- Rome, Paris, Amsterdam, Toronto, and Alaska inspired her the most. She realized all these different places have one common thread- people are exhilarated with art. From preserving their history in museums, accentuating their culture, and celebrating the environment by creating works of sculpture and architecture accompanied by gathering spaces for everyone to enjoy as art can only be expressed when shared. This would influence Joy’s ideology as her passion for the arts and philanthropic values would have a common direction. Instead of encouraging an entire classroom she wanted to inspire the world through leading by example and architecture would be that platform. Joy started working as a designer, after teaching art for almost three years. She would then graduate in 2016 with a Bachelor of Architecture from NewSchool of Architecture + Design, in San Diego, CA. Joy studied urban master planning and environmental design with a minor study in neuroscience- she was fascinated with how spaces of all types can affect one’s behavior. Her work in California ranged from high-end residential to commercial work of offices and restaurants. Joy continues to find meaning in her work by creating aspiring spaces and being involved in the architectural and design community- she is driven to show the world art can be inspiring and enriching to the mind, heart, and soul.
As VMDO’s Director of Digital Design, Sidney supports efficient and streamlined project delivery by reinforcing standards, refining Building Information Modeling (BIM) deliverables, enhancing reporting and design review, and facilitating model handover from the design team to the general contractor. In addition, Sidney develops the requirements and standards for integrating submittals, shop drawings, RFI tracking, manufacturer’s data, and as-built information into the BIM model.
Sidney collaborates with the design team and general contractor to facilitate the early release of prefabricated components, workflow systems, model utilization through construction, and integration into the commissioning process. He contributes significantly to the efficiency and success of all VMDO projects, from pre-design through final completion. Sidney has helped codify VMDO’s BIM standards into a 1,000-page open-source BIM manual page and leads VMDO’s Building Technology and Documentation forum with numerous presentations, lunch and learns, and trainings that help advance VMDO’s practice and mission as a teaching firm. In addition to his role at VMDO, Sidney teaches at James Madison University and volunteers his expertise with the Charlottesville Revit User Group, in addition to other mentoring opportunities.
Bridget Gaddis has had her own practice in Alexandria, VA since 2011. Gaddis Architect specializes in all phases of commercial and commercial retail design, design management and construction. We work to maximize the success of a business by optimizing the performance of their space. Many common, and some not so common, design challenges are analyzed. Solutions aimed at creating a visual presence in various environments, and expressing a brand, are presented. We think that, on some level, all design is retail and we are sure that no project is too small to be great.
As an architect and leader, Allison Ewing has advanced sustainability through design, implementation and advocacy – both within and beyond the architectural profession — by modeling change in the building industry with solutions both visionary and practicable. Working on commercial, institutional, residential, and mixed-use projects at both large- and small-scale, Allison Ewing’s architectural experience spans twenty-five years and three continents. Ms. Ewing’s work seeks transformation – of site, of workplace, of living environment. She pursues design excellence at all scales, from site to building to detail – an approach which encompasses meeting client’s goals while arriving at elegant solutions that embody sustainable best practices.