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AIA Pennsylvania honors leaders and champions of a better built environment with 2023 Special Awards

November 23, 2023
The Moto Designshop team celebrates their Firm Award honor at the Philadelphia Viewing Party including Founding Partners Roman Torres and Adam Montalbano, AIA as well as Partner, Eric Oskey, AIA.

Architectural Excellence Special Awards recognize nine individuals and teams from across the state

HARRISBURG – November 28, 2023

AIA Pennsylvania, the Pennsylvania Chapter of The American Institute of Architects, is proud to announce the 2023 Architectural Excellence Special Awards, first revealed on November 16, with the premiere of the annual Architectural Excellence Awards broadcast and five accompanying viewing parties hosted across the state. The broadcast premiere showcased honorees in five programs, including the Design AwardsCommittee on the Environment (COTE) AwardsSpecial AwardsStudent Awards, and EPiC Firm Recognition.

Annually, the Architectural Excellence Special Awards recognize significant contributions by architecture and allied industry professionals, civic and government leaders, firms, and organizations contributing to the built environment and the profession’s advancement in Pennsylvania.

Special Awards Nomination Task Force Chair Nancy Rogo Trainer, FAIA, shares a common theme among the recipients, “They have made an indelible mark on the communities they serve by championing and activating architecture’s transformative capacity for better social, environmental, and economic outcomes.”

The 2023 recipient of the chapter’s most prestigious honor, the Medal of Distinction, is Alan Greenberger, FAIA. Mr. Greenberger, Drexel University’s Vice President of Real Estate and Facilities, is recognized for his contributions to the profession and society over a career spanning private architecture practice with the Philadelphia office of Mitchell/Giurgola Architects and MGA Partners, public service leading the City of Philadelphia’s Planning Commission and serving as Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development Director of Commerce, and academia leading Drexel University’s Department of Architecture, Design & Urbanism.

Moto Designshop is the 2023 Architecture Firm Award honoree. The Philadelphia-based small firm prides itself on designing with intention and building with meaning, fostering connections to spaces that promote greater longevity and value for the built world.

As the 50 Year/Timeless Architecture Award recipient, the Fisher Fine Arts Library at the University of Pennsylvania is celebrated for its innovative function and form courtesy of Victorian-era Philadelphia architect Frank Furness’ user-optimized design that set an enduring standard for destination libraries.

Impact Designer Award honoree Robert Tuñón, AIA, an Associate with Rothschild Doyno Collaborative in Pittsburgh, is recognized for his commitment to the profession and his community in his community-serving architectural work and as a co-founder of the Minority Architects of Pittsburgh Scholarship and the Etna Community Organization, a nonprofit dedicated to sustainable redevelopment of the former mill town.

Anastasia Markiw, AIA, project manager and architect at DesignGroup in Pittsburgh, is the recipient of the Emerging Professional Award. Anastasia is recognized for her leadership with the emerging professional and young architect groups at the local, state, and national tiers of the American Institute of Architects, her commitment to advocacy, and the promotion of the profession to the next generation. 

The recipient of the Associate AwardBenita Nartey, Assoc. AIA, an emerging architectural and interior designer at GBBN in Pittsburgh, is celebrated for her professional and volunteer dedication to equity in architecture, including her leadership of various initiatives with the Pittsburgh Chapter of the National Organization of Minority Architects (NOMA).

Neighborhood Allies, the Raymond J. Sinagra, AIA, Allied Trades Award recipient, is recognized for dedication to placemaking, place-keeping, and community-driven real estate development in the Pittsburgh Region through Social Impact Design (SID) and Real Estate Programs.

Sharpsburg Borough Mayor Brittany Reno, Executive Director of the Sharpsburg Neighborhood Organization, receives the Contribution to the Profession by a Non-Architect Award for her consistent use of design as a platform to empower Sharpsburgh’s residents in planning for a vibrant, equitable, and sustainable future.

Senator Dave ArgallGovernment Award honoree, represents Pennsylvania’s 29th District, including Schuylkill and Carbon Counties, and parts of Luzerne County, including Hazleton. He is recognized for championing historic preservation and blight remediation and ensuring architects’ expertise is part of community and economic development conversations around construction and housing. 

Annually, the Special Awards Nomination Task Force as well as members of the Emerging Professionals Committee – EPiC (Emerging Professional Award, Associate Award) and Government Affairs Committee/COTE (Government Award, COTE Government Award) are tasked with both putting forth nominees in their respective categories and deliberating on all nominees put forth in their respective categories to put forth a final slate of recommended Special Award recipients to the AIA Pennsylvania board for approval.

2023’s Special Awards Nomination Task Force included:

Nancy Rogo Trainer, FAIA | Chair
Lehigh University | Associate Vice President for Facilities and Campus Planning

Christine Mondor, FAIA | Past Chair
evolve environment :: architecture | Principal

Catherine (Katie) Broh, AIA | Committee on Design Representative
MGA Partners | Partner

Roger Williams, AIA | AIA Pennsylvania President
Larson Design Group | Technical Manager (Industrial Studio)

Joseph (Joe) Biondo, FAIA
BIONDO + Projects | Founder/Sole Practitioner
Northampton Community College | Professor of Architecture

Antonio Fiol-Silva, FAIA
SITIO architecture + urbanism | Founding Principal

Rob Fleming, AIA
University of Pennsylvania, Stuart Weitzman School of Design | Director of Online Innovation/Director, Executive Program in Design Leadership

Dario McPhee, AIA
Indovina Associates Architects | Associate

Emily Pierson-Brown, AIA
Perkins Eastman | Senior Associate/People Culture Manager

Soha St. Juste, AIA
FIFTEEN | Principal

Gary Weaver, AIA
TIPPETTS/WEAVER architects | Principal/Senior Partner

Pictured above: The Moto Designshop team celebrates their Firm Award honor at the Philadelphia Viewing Party

The 2023 Special Awards are supported by sponsor Langan, providing engineering and environmental services in support of land development projects, corporate real estate portfolios, and the energy industry.

About AIA Pennsylvania
The Pennsylvania chapter of the American Institute of Architects (AIA), AIA Pennsylvania, represents nearly 3,000 members across the Commonwealth working at the forefront of a nearly $17 billion construction industry. AIA Pennsylvania advocates for the value of architecture and policies that promote economic prosperity and the health, safety, and welfare of the public. As a membership organization, the chapter provides architecture professionals with the statewide community, advocacy, and knowledge to affect positive outcomes through the power of design.