AIA Seattle Announces 2017 Honorees

Each year, AIA Seattle recognizes leadership and achievement in design and the built environment through its honors program.

Honorees are nominated by their peers and selected by the Fellows & Honors committee each spring. AIA Seattle is delighted to recognize these recipients for their exceptional contributions to the profession and our community.

Please join us in congratulating the 2017 Honorees! We will celebrate their achievements at the 2017 President’s Dinner on Saturday June 3rd, 2017 at Palace Ballroom in Seattle.


AIA Seattle Gold Medal

bert-gregory-faia-aia-seattle-4x4-photoBert Gregory FAIA has advanced architecture and urban design as a force in environmental stewardship.  Realized in highly visible projects at Seattle-based Mithun, his work anticipates the future of public policy and the design professions.  By consistently pushing design to the edges of knowledge, Gregory’s projects have become nationwide references for high performance, resilient design. His design leadership has resulted in four AIA COTE Top 10 Green Project awards, including REI’s Seattle Flagship and IslandWood, the AIA National Honor Award for Regional & Urban Design, two American Society of Landscape Architects National Honor Awards, the National Trust for Historic Preservation Honor Award, and the Urban Land Institute Award of Excellence. He has served as Board Chair of Forterra, AIA Seattle’s President, and in numerous local and national leadership roles. Under his 15 year leadership as Mithun’s CEO, the interdisciplinary firm was honored with over 165 design awards and was named to the top 15 of all design firms in the United States by Architect Magazine.

Young Architect Award

mc-squareMarijana Cvenček AIA  moved from Bosnia to Seattle in 2001 to become an architect. She earned BA in Architectural Studies from the UW in 2005. During 11 years at Baylis Architects, she progressed from an Intern Architect to an Associate. Cvenček is an active member of the AIA Diversity Roundtable (DRT), where she leads the Architects in Schools Program. The program expands awareness of architectural profession to children of diverse ethnic/racial backgrounds through the collaboration among DRT, St. Edward Elementary, and UW. Cvenček coordinates vendor-held courses, manages the firm’s AIA provider account, and creates in-office learning sessions. Cvenček serves as a vice-chair on the Wellspring Family Services’ inaugural Associate Board, helping with agency’s efforts to alleviate Seattle’s family homelessness crisis. As a member of Drina Folklore Group, Cvenček maintains a connection with her roots while sharing her background with the local community. Cvenček’s career continues at Schemata Workshop.

Honorary AIA Seattle Membership

rodger-benson-headshotRodger Benson has been active in the Pacific Northwest construction industry for over 40 years and has held various roles in project management, project development, and leadership with leading local building contractors. For the past 19 years Benson has been responsible for leading commercial construction projects throughout the Pacific Northwest for Mortenson Construction. The focal point of his efforts has involved building and nurturing strategic design partner, subcontractor and customer relationships to the mutual personal and professional benefit of all parties involved. He also works closely with Mortenson Development in identifying strategic partnerships and development opportunities in the Pacific Northwest. Benson received his Bachelor of Science degree in Building Construction from the University of Washington in 1975. He was the first chairman and 8 year member of the Washington State Project Review Committee, is a 16 year member of the NAIOP Community Enhancement Committee, and has served multiple years on the DBIA Legislative Committee. As an AIA Seattle board member for two terms he also served as chairman of the chapter’s Development Committee and as a member of the “in-kind” fund raising committee for the chapter’s new Center for Architecture and Design.

headshot-from-websiteSeattle City Councilmember Mike O’Brien Born and raised in the Seattle area, Mike has a deep appreciation for the beauty of the Puget Sound region and a deep respect for the progressive values and spirit of independence of the people who live in Seattle and make it such a great city. In his seven years on city council, Mike has been a champion for environmental and social justice causes including work to: ban plastic bags, create a public financing system for local elections, give Uber drivers the right to collective bargain, create stable living options for people living in vehicles and without shelter, find alternatives to incarcerating our kids, and prevent Shell Oil from establishing their Arctic drilling fleet in Seattle. Mike earned an economics degree from Duke University and an MBA from the University of Washington and then served for 10 years as the chief financial officer at the local law firm of Stokes Lawrence. Mike originally got involved in local politics through the Sierra Club, where he has been a volunteer for 15 years and is currently serving on the Board of Directors. Mike lives with his wife and two sons in Fremont.

Community Service Award

as_headshotAdam Stoeckle Assoc. AIA is a designer at Schacht Aslani Architects. His passion for community service was instilled at a young age, as he volunteered at a Pittsburgh food bank for his synagogue’s Mitzvah Day. Before graduate school, he volunteered with the Fuller Center Disaster Rebuilders in Mississippi and served as an AmeriCorps volunteer with Habitat for Humanity in East King County. After completing the University of Washington’s M.Arch program, he joined the board of Architects Without Borders-Seattle (AWB-S) and served as co-chair of the AIA Seattle Young Architects Forum (YAF). While co-chair of the YAF, he worked with emerging professionals to expand resources for licensure, education, and mentorship. During his time on the board of AWB-S, he championed the organization’s involvement in the Seattle Design Festival by helping facilitate design competitions centered around little free libraries, mobile urban gardens, and earthquake preparedness. His current work at Schacht Aslani Architects is focused on creating meaningful spaces for education and community gathering.

Allied Organization Award

tk-dusk-exterior-willam-wright4Culture As the cultural funding agency for King County, 4Culture works to make our region vibrant. Using Lodging Tax and 1% for Art funds, their team of grant-makers, cultural advocates, advisory committees, and volunteer review panelists support a diverse array of cultural endeavors. Their four program areas—arts, heritage, historic preservation, and public art—put public resources to use all over King County. They work to ensure access to cultural experiences for all, from museum collections to theater productions to renovating Historic buildings.



Emerging Professionals Travel Scholarship

nelli_headshot_squarejpgGarrett Nelli Assoc. AIA, LEED AP BD+C, is a designer at NAC Architecture in the process of completing licensure. His professional work includes medical facilities, K-12 educational facilities, residential and student housing. Nelli’s work focuses on articulating spaces that promote sustainability while encouraging rich community interaction. He believes architects have the potential and responsibility to address the broader issues of a global society through thoughtful design solutions. This passion and core ethos have manifested in the designs of an Infant Rescue Center in Burkina Faso, in collaboration with Architects Without Borders – Seattle, as well as a design-build led by the University of Tennessee addressing the lack of clean drinking water in rural Appalachia. During his studies, Nelli spent time abroad at the University of Arkansas Rome Center broadening his appreciation for the history and culture, which laid the foundation for his profession. He is currently working on Wing Luke Elementary, a new elementary school located in the diverse Beacon Hill neighborhood of Seattle.

Please click to view the 2017 Travel Scholarship for more information about Garrett’s proposal. 


2016 Regional Medal of Honor

dsc_4216Dave E. Miller, FAIA served in the Peace Corps after graduating from Washington State University in 1968.  His focus on self-help housing in Brazil laid the foundation for his award-winning housing designs.  Upon returning from the Peace Corps, Miller earned a Master’s degree from the University of Illinois in 1972.  From 1972-1976, he worked with SOM, Arthur Erickson in Vancouver, B.C. and Rhone Iredale in Vancouver, B.C.  In 1977, Miller and Robert Hull established The Miller Hull Partnership in Seattle, which went on to receive the AIA National Firm Award in 2003. Miller authored ‘Toward a New Regionalism’ (2005) which promotes environmental architecture. Miller has served on multiple design juries; lectured at universities throughout the U.S., as well as in Canada, Japan and Italy; and taught design studio as a visiting professor at the Tokyo Institute of Technology, University of Michigan, and University of Oregon.  In 2002, he was the KEA Distinguished Visiting Professor at the University of Maryland. Miller is a past chair of the University of Washington Department of Architecture, where he continues to teach as a tenured professor.

Regional Emerging Firm Award

mw|works is a small, collaborative design studio based in Washington State. Their work is rooted in the region, informed by the unique character of this landscape and expressive of our region’s strong legacy of craft.  mw|works commits themselves to finding innovative solutions to every project and providing the highest level of service to the people they work with, developing strong relationships with clients, builders and craftspeople. Formed during the recession, a collaborative approach that began as a necessary process to elevate even the smallest budget has become a cornerstone of how they approach innovation and flexibility on every project to carry out a strong design vision. Their work today remains committed to that standard, providing thoughtful and compelling design solutions to projects of all scopes and budgets.

AIA Associates Award

Mona ZellersMona Zellers Assoc. AIA is a passionate leader within the Seattle design community who has advocated for the role that design can play in solving the complex issues facing our communities and cities. She is an Associate and Designer at LMN Architects in Seattle. Since joining the firm in 2012, Zellers has worked on a diverse range of commercial, academic and cultural projects. Zellers serves on the Board of Directors of both AIA Seattle and Design in Public. She co-chaired the Seattle AIA Honor Awards Committee in 2013-2014 and helped found the design collaborative Frankenstein Inc., which, along with LMN, won two AIA Seattle Honor Awards for their Seattle Design Festival projects. Zellers completed her masters in Architecture at the UW College of Built Environments, where she is now frequently a guest judge. She has a deep interest in digital fabrication and the potential it holds for the profession and has created a number of pieces and installations that explore this potential. She holds a Master of Architecture from the University of Washington’s College of Built Environments and a Bachelor of Arts from Colorado College and also studied architecture at the Royal Danish Academy in Copenhagen.