2019 AIA Pennsylvania Board of Directors, Leadership, and Team
Chip Desmone, AIA| AIA Pittsburgh
Principal/President, Desmone Architects
As the President of Desmone Architects, Chip Desmone is responsible for running all facets of the business. Charles L. “Chip” Desmone II, a third-generation architect, joined the family firm in 1987 upon graduating from Carnegie Mellon University. Since then, and especially over the past 15 years, the company has grown immensely, taking on new partners and expanding from mostly regional residential and commercial offerings to a wide array of multi-family developments, office, corporate, higher educational, religious institution and industrial projects throughout several states. Collectively, Chip has managed over 3,600 projects during his time at Desmone Architects.
From the moment you meet Chip, you know how passionate he is about his staff and the company he and his father have built. Not a day goes by where Chip doesn’t greet each one of his employees with a ‘Good Morning’. Chip’s infectious love-for-life attitude is embedded in Desmone’s company culture, which is something that is not taught, but felt. Which is why Desmone Architects has been named Best Places to Work for over 15 years. Chip is truly committed to making Desmone Architects a fun environment and place where his employees want to be.
Chip gives back to his profession and others by serving as a President and in many leadership and advocacy roles, working towards furthering the establishment of historic preservation and use of green energy both regionally and throughout the US. In fact, Chip played a large part in the revitalizing historic structures in Lawrenceville, starting with his own office the Pennsylvania National Bank Building, the Engine House 25, the Bath House, and Stable House, just to name a few. Since 1993 with Chip’s vision, he and the Desmone team have been changing the landscape of Lawrenceville and the Pittsburgh region.
Aside from all the wonderful things he does at Desmone, Chip is extremely active in American Institute of Architects (AIA) nationally, regionally and locally, some positions include President of the State and Pittsburgh Chapter, Regional Representative, Design Health Leadership Group, Federal Architecture Task Group, AIA MBA and Committee Chair member for the AIA PAPAC, Member of Gov’t Affairs and Chapter Relations Committees and AIA Pittsburgh P.A.L.M., NAIOP, and SMPS. Other professional affiliations Chip is involved in are Strip District Neighbors Board, it’s Community Development Committee, I Have a Dream Foundation and Pittsburgh Film Makers & Pittsburgh Center for the Arts.
Marc Mondor, AIA, LEED Fellow, WELL AP| AIA Pittsburgh
Managing Principal and Cofounder, evolveEA
Marc takes pride in seeing the potential for design and sustainability innovation where others do not. He has been a licensed architect for over a decade and has been an influential voice in sustainability since the early 1990s. As Managing Principal and Cofounder of evolveEA, Marc works with greening design and construction projects in order to leverage organizational and operational sustainability while raising awareness within all who will listen. Marc works closely with university, retail, healthcare, K-12, historic, non-profit and institutional clients on an ongoing basis and understands the process and pressure points for the leveraged and successful implementation of sustainable design strategies. His consulting work has led to many notable and innovative firsts, including the first LEED certified project in Africa, the oldest LEED EB certified project (1869) and the first LEED certified supermarket.
In 2015, Marc was selected as a LEED Fellow for his service, commitment and contributions to the green building and sustainability field. Marc has lectured nationally, is one of several dozen international professionals to be named US Green Building Council LEED Faculty and is a trained facilitator. Since 2006, he has taught nearly one hundred workshops nationally to thousands of attendees. He is also helping to change his region by serving as Chair of AIA Pennsylvania’s Committee on the Environment (COTE), as well as the Pennsylvania Climate Change Action Committee and the Board of AIA Pittsburgh. Marc’s consulting is backed by his career as an architect with experience in commercial, office, residential, and institutional projects.
Michael Metzger, AIA, LEED AP| AIA Eastern Pennsylvania
Michael is a registered architect in the state of Pennsylvania and is a founding member of Alloy5. He has 25 years of experience in the profession and previously worked as an associate at Spillman Farmer Architects, where he helped design the iconic ArtsQuest Center at SteelStacks. Michael is a past president of the Eastern PA Chapter of the American Institute of Architects and currently serves as a state director. He is an advocate for green buildings and earned accreditation in Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design. Michael also serves on the facilities committee for his alma mater Bethlehem Catholic High School, where he was recently on the board of directors and previously coached volleyball.
Strategic Council Representative
Michael Skolnick, AIA| AIA Philadelphia
Partner, PZS Architects
A partner in PZS Architects since 1998, Michael guides the firm’s design philosophy. He quietly and efficiently encourages the office and its projects with his critical thinking and penchant for organization. His keen understanding of programming and planning gets every project off to a strong start. Whether working to further refine a design to meet a client’s needs or steering a project to proceed as planned, he is committed to high levels of client service and architectural excellence. No matter how big or small a design challenge, Michael recognizes the need to understand the details, and he instills the same careful thought in the entire staff. His 25+ years of professional experience have included pharmaceutical, institutional, and corporate projects, as well as designs for high-end multi-family residential projects. Michael earned a Bachelor of Architecture degree from Temple University and is a member of the Urban Land Institute and the Preservation Alliance of Greater Philadelphia.
Immediate Past President
Scott J. Compton, AIA, NCARB, LEED AP| AIA Philadelphia
Principal, Compton Insights
Scott is a Principal with Compton Insights, an architecture and planning firm focused on sustainable solutions to extend the lifecycle of existing buildings and campuses. Scott holds a five-year Bachelor of Architecture degree from Temple University's School of Architecture. He is an NCARB Certificate Holder, a LEED Accredited Professional, and is registered in Pennsylvania, Maryland, and the District of Columbia. As 2019 Chair of AIA National's Corporate Architects and Facility Managers Advisory Group (CAFM), he works to develop content for the knowledge community. Locally, Scott served as the 2018 President of AIA Pennsylvania and regularly advocates for legislation impacting the built environment.
AIA Central Pennsylvania Representative
Chris Dawson, AIA
Principal, Chris Dawson Architect
Chris Dawson founded Chris Dawson Architect in 2009 on the heels of 15 years of experience in Central Pennsylvania. He is a Syracuse University graduate with work that is consistently recognized by the AIA with design awards. He is passionate about architecture and holds a deep seeded belief that architecture is art.
AIA Eastern Pennsylvania Representative
Stewart Gouck, AIA
Principal, Gouck Architects
AIA Middle Pennsylvania Representative
Richard L. Karcher, AIA
President and CEO,, Rikar Designs
Over the course of Mr. Karcher's 42 year career, he has been responsible for the business development, planning and design of nearly $3 billion worth of new and renovated K-12, higher-ed, corporate, health care, hospitality and institutional building projects throughout Pennsylvania, Ohio, Maryland, North Carolina, New York, Connecticut and Virginia.
Mr. Karcher received his BFA in Industrial Design from Carnegie Mellon in 1975 and in 1978 he received his MArch from Yale University. Immediately after graduation Mr. Karcher joined the Connecticut firm of Stecker LaBau which is now known as The S/L/A/M Collaborative.
In 1980 he returned home to Pennsylvania and joined the Altoona firm of Hayes Large Architects where he was a Partner for 13 years before moving on to becoming a Principal with Burt Hill - now known as Stantec. In 2012 he re-united with with his former Hayes Large Partner, Vern McKissick, where he remained until leaving in 2017 to spend more time with his family, grandchildren, fly fishing, skiing and growing his design consulting firm - Rikar Designs..
In addition to our State AIA Board of Directors, Mr. Karcher also contributes much of his personal time to other community organizations and institutions where he serves as Chairman of the Blair County Convention Authority and is a board member on the Penn State Altoona and Garvey Manor Board of Directors.
AIA Northeastern Pennsylvania Representative
Roger M. Williams, AIA
Director of Architecture/Engineering, Geisinger Health System
AIA Philadelphia Representative
Alesa Rubendall, AIA, LEED AP BD+C
Principal, Design Moxie Architecture + Planning
AIA Pittsburgh Representative
Richard L. Beattie Jr., AIA
Principal, Richard L. Beattie, Jr. Architect
Rick Beattie began his practice as Richard L. Beattie Jr., Architect, after seven years work in a number of Pittsburgh firms. Throughout his career his interest has always been in the breadth of architecture and its interconnection with other disciplines. His solo practice has resulted in an eclectic resume’ of projects and experience that includes baseball fields, vacation homes, pump storage reservoirs, restaurants, sewage treatment plants and retail shops.
Mr. Beattie received both his degrees from Virginia Tech: a BS in Civil Engineering followed by a Master of Architecture (M.Arch). He is registered in Pennsylvania and Maryland and spends some time as a contributing editor to SportsCar magazine.
AIA Pittsburgh Representative
Eric Booth, AIA
Principal, Desmone Architects
As a Principal and Director of Operations, Eric’s role with the firm is extensive. His management of our day-to-day operations involves him with nearly every aspect of the business, from strategic planning to resource management. He is the firm’s hiring manager and coordinates our staffing needs. Eric also oversees many of the firm’s larger projects and provides office-wide quality control.
Eric studied architecture at Cornell University and graduated 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. Since relocating to Pittsburgh and joining Desmone in 2008, he became one of the first two Associates in our firm’s 50+ year history, and is now a Principal.
State Associate Director (SAD)
Betty Bluvshtein, Assoc. AIA| AIA Philadelphia
Creative Director, M. Cohen and Sons
Betty's academic and professional architecture background has led her to pursuing marketing and branding within the AEC industry. With over 10 years of experience, she brings an invaluable skill set and institutional knowledge of the AEC vertical to her current role as Creative Director of M. Cohen and Sons. Betty also serves as an Adjunct Professor who teaches digital representation courses and design studio, while sitting on the AIA Pennsylvania Board in addition to being the Chair of the AIA Pennsylvania Outreach Committee. She earned a Bachelor of Architecture from Temple University and a Master of Architecture II from the Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art.
Young Architects Regional Director (YARD)
Monica Blasko, AIA| AIA Pittsburgh
Project Architect, qkArchitecture
As the Pennsylvania Young Architect Regional Director (PA YARD), Monica Blasko is excited to work with her fellow young architects to continue to mold the future of our profession— building upon its strengths, while continually identifying and creatively attacking its shortcomings.
v Through her involvement with AIA Pittsburgh, YAF Pittsburgh, and range of work experience, Monica has proven herself to be an adept designer, a collaborative leader, and an accomplished advocate. Currently a Project Architect at qkArchitecture, she leads a range of project types and scales in a fast-paced, small firm setting. She began her professional career with internships at Perkins Eastman’s Pittsburgh office and Tsao & McKown in New York City, followed by an Intern Architect position at Designstream in Pittsburgh that lead to a Project Manager role. She strives to channel her experiences as young female architect by mentoring aspiring architects and championing issues that affect the entire architectural community.
With an undergraduate architecture education from the University of Cincinnati and a Master of Architecture degree from Pratt Institute— including study abroad experiences in Scandinavia and Turkey— Monica finds great importance in continually expanding her worldview and understanding the history of culture and place. When out of the office, she seeks inspiration and adventure through travel— splitting time between cities and nature— with her civil engineer husband, Matt, and dotes over her constant companion (and office dog) Axel.
NCARB Licensing Advisor
Kathryn Doyle, Assoc. AIA| AIA Northeastern Pennsylvania
Architectural Designer, HUNT Engineers, Architects & Surveyors
Kathryn is a graduate of Penn State University’s Stuckeman School where she obtained her Professional Masters of Architecture degree. This was following her undergraduate degree at the Boston Architectural College where she participated in a cooperative learning environment and gained valuable on the job training while pursuing her degree. Her studies allowed her to find a position with HUNT Engineers Architects and Land Surveyors, where she had been a project designer for the past two years. Kathryn is currently pursuing licensure to be completed Spring 2019.
Stephen Swarney, JD
717.236.4055 x 101
Director of Legislative Affairs
717.236.4055 x 105
Anthony S. Potter
Principal, Offit Kurman
Mr. Potter is a Principal attorney in the Offit Kurman Construction Law Practice Group and is a resident of the firm’s Harrisburg, Pennsylvania Office. Mr. Potter focuses his practice on counseling architects, engineers, design-build entities, owners and other businesses involved in construction contracting, commercial and construction litigation, administrative law, and professional licensing matters.
Mr. Potter serves as general counsel to AIA Pennsylvania, special counsel to the American Council of Engineering Companies of Pennsylvania and is a member of the Penn State Harrisburg Advisory Board for the Structural Design & Construction Engineering Technology and Civil Engineering Programs. He frequently provides seminars and lecturers at national, regional and statewide forums on topics including construction contract documents, construction delivery methods, design and construction errors and omissions, risk management, construction and project management, construction litigation and design professional ethics.
Director of Communications
717.236.4055 x 103