Jeanne LeFever, AIA, and John Mott, FAIA, will be recognized with the Award for Distinguished Achievement this year by AIA Virginia. The award recognizes either a singular achievement by an architect or the work of an entire career in any of the following areas: design, practice, education, service as a “citizen architect,” service to the profession, or initiatives to advance social justice, equity, diversity, or inclusion.
Jeanne LeFever, AIA, has dedicated much of her career to leadership and mentorship within the profession. During her 35-years in practice, LeFever promoted inclusive professional development, strong values and policies, and thoughtful engagement throughout architecture and among architects. This cohesive and forward-thinking approach was demonstrated at her firm, Glavé & Holmes Architecture (G&HA), which transformed the culture, staff retention, and talent acquisition. When LeFever became a principal at G&HA in 2004, she had already forged a successful career as a strong architect, manager and leader. As a principal, LeFever understood the importance of sharing her experiences with young architects and being a role model to others hoping to make a difference in her footsteps.
LeFever’s leadership within the AIA began with the AIA Richmond Board of Directors where she served seven years in various roles. She helped to establish the Richmond Women in Design and the group continues to flourish eight years later. Volunteering on behalf of AIA Richmond over the years, and serving as its President from 2013-2014, LeFever strengthened the strategic position of both the chapter and AIA Virginia to enrich their membership, advocacy, professional development, and governance efforts.
LeFever’s experience led her to create a network of like-minded firms who discuss issues or draw from each other’s experiences. This mindset built bridges and connections between firms allowing more collaboration and openness to help each other. LeFever feels that connecting people and working together only makes firms and the profession stronger and more able to achieve goals that will strengthen our membership, communities, firms, and the future of the profession.
Through his 50-year career, John Mott, FAIA, shares a deep knowledge of architecture, preservation, and culture with clients, colleagues, young architects, and the public through mentoring and serving on numerous boards. Mott began his career in Arkansas where his professional interests evolved toward historic buildings and preservation. He moved to Washington, D.C. for George Notter in 1993, and later joined John Milner Associates (now MTFA Design + Preservation) to establish a successful office in Alexandria. Mott’s commitment to preserving our nation’s history and some of the most iconic American buildings spans 19 states, and he has led teams on over 200 preservation projects around the nation. More than 85 of them have been National Landmark or National Register buildings, including the Washington Monument, Stratford Hall, Ford’s Theater, Jefferson Memorial, and Lincoln Memorial.
Approximately 50 of his projects have been completed across 11 states, including Sage Chapel at Cornell University, Weiss Pavilion at the University of Pennsylvania, and Varsity Hall Rehabilitation at the University of Virginia. His projects have received 40 local, state, regional and national design awards. Yet, as a seasoned and accomplished architect, Mott’s extensive experience and knowledge never impeded his curiosity and eagerness to listen to new ideas and alternate possibilities. He believes that finding ways to make existing buildings useful in today’s marketplace is one of the most important ways the architecture and preservation community can contribute to the overall goal of sustainability for our shared planet.