2023 Honor Awards and Acknowledgements Announced!

Photo Credit ©️ Victoria V

On Oct. 18, members and guests of the AIA Northern Virginia Chapter gathered to hear the 2023 Honor Awards and other acknowledgements at our annual Autumn Social. The event was hosted by Sonia R. Jarboe, AIA, Chair, Honors & Nominations Committee. 

Award of Honor:

Manoj V. Dalaya, FAIA

The Award of Honor is the Chapter’s highest award and is intended to recognize a member whose multi-faceted and wide-ranging contributions over many years have been integral not only to the success of local chapter programs, but also more broadly to advancing our profession and the impact we have in the communities we serve. Manoj served as the President of the AIA Northern Virginia Chapter in 2021, prior to which he was an executive committee member and Director-at-large. He was elevated to Fellow by the AIA College of Fellows in 2019, and he received the AIA Virginia Distinguished Achievement Award in 2018. He served on our chapter’s Design Awards Committee for two cycles before becoming a Chair of that committee from 2016 to 2019. In 2022, Manoj began serving on National’s AIA Documents Committee for a 10-year term. 

A speaker and presenter, Manoj has spoken at the AIA Grassroots National conference in 2021 and will soon present for a fourth time at AIA Virginia’s Architectural Exchange East. He has co-presented at the National Organization of Minority Architects Annual Convention in 2018 and has presented internationally at the Annual Low Carbon Earth Summit International Conference in China. Locally, Manoj has served on the Rosslyn Urban Design Committee of Arlington, Virginia, and as an architect member of the Development Process Advisory Committee of Fairfax County, Virginia. 

As a designer, he leads the creation of projects that foster connections between people and their environment, enhancing a sense of relationship to and membership in a meaningful community. 

Outstanding Achievement:

Charles J. Todd, AIA

This award recognizes an architect member’s achievement of a significant contribution to the built environment that transcends the scope of normal professional activities. The Outstanding Achievement award this year is presented to Charles J. Todd, AIA. A Partner and Chief Operating Officer of Little Diversified Architectural Consulting, Charles is responsible for practice management and overall operations for Little’s six offices across the United States. Graduating from UNC – Charlotte in 1995, he became a licensed architect within 4 years of his graduation and immediately began climbing the ranks within Little. Starting as an Intern in Charlotte, he rose to become the firm’s COO in 2018. 

Charles has been a dedicated Director on the AIA Northern Virginia Board since 2019, and his sketching and graphic note-taking abilities are revered. His leadership and work charted a course for the chapter in unprecedented times during the pandemic, as he led the task group effort of visioning and implementing the COVID-19 Policy and Guidelines for the Chapter. 

Co-Chair of the Design Award Committee when the pandemic hit, Charles pivoted to take the Design Awards Gala virtual in 2020 & 2021, requiring a total event reimagining. Unrelenting in his quest to deliver unmatched customer service and to create functional designs that meet the operational and business needs of every client and with over 27 years of experience at Little, Charles has helped to develop new market sectors as he continues to mentor talent. 

Distinguished Leadership:

April C. Drake, AIA

The award for Distinguished Leadership is given to recognize an individual for their superior leadership in the representation of the chapter and membership. It is imperative for a good leader to hold this position as they set the tone and focus for the chapter’s year, and our current president has certainly fulfilled this description, all while balancing the new duties of Managing Principal of HDR’s Arlington office. 

April is a former Chair and committee member of Women in Architecture. She has provided encouragement and streamlined the dedication of chapter resources to committees involved in organizing and executing chapter programs while seeking new funding streams to extend the Chapter’s capabilities. She has spear-headed planning and development, including leading a member task group to create a new chapter website anticipated to launch in early 2024. April has set the foundation and began implementing the Chapter’s new strategic plan this past year. She has continued to share ownership of larger visionary Chapter topics with others on the leadership ladder to help lessen the ramp-up time of Executive Committee leadership changes. This work to build consensus and share knowledge & ownership of major initiatives ensures our Chapter’s future continued success. 

April has outwardly represented the Chapter in her official capacity as well as spent countless hours developing, assisting and participating in programs behind the scenes, while still refining the vital resources for financial planning, non-dues revenue and chapter governance. She has worked to strengthen the link between the Executive Committee and each individual Chapter committee and we look forward to her continued involvement with our chapter. 

Service to the Chapter:

Rebecca Pantschyschak, AIA

This award is given to a member to recognize exemplary and meritorious conduct in service to the AIA Northern Virginia Chapter and was awarded to Rebecca Pantschyschak, AIA. Rebecca rose to our attention as a participant in the NoVA 2018-2019 360 Mentoring Program. At the beginning of the pandemic, the 360 Program took a sabbatical and Rebecca used the time to develop a new mentorship program within the Women in Architecture (WIA) committee. Continuing to pursue her passion for mentorship, she rebooted the 360 Mentoring program while adding AIA’s DC and Potomac Valley components, creating a tri-chapter 360 Mentoring initiative, rapidly reaching many more AIA members throughout the larger DMV area.  

As WIA Co-Chair from 2019-2021, she refocused the committee’s priorities while graphically revamping the Committee’s monthly planning document. Still active within the WIA committee, she leads the chapter’s involvement in the current 360 mentoring program and serves as a Director on the Chapter Board. An essential part of the chapter’s new website task group, she was a panelist on diverse career opportunities at the Chapter’s Spring Social. For these many reasons, we acknowledge the outstanding work and influence of Rebecca Pantschyschak, AIA.  

AIA Northern Virginia Chapter Award:

National Building Museum & National Council of Architectural Registration Boards (NCARB) 

The National Building Museum (NBM) has been the home of the Interschool Student Design Competition (ISDC) since its inception over 20 years ago, and the National Council of Architectural Registration Boards (NCARB) has been its primary sponsor since 2017. If it were not for the generous support of these two institutions, it would be difficult to achieve such a high caliber student competition. 

While we foster and support the ISDC’s mission and vision to assist the region’s student architects in our regional architecture schools, we must also applaud and celebrate NCARB and NBM for their willing involvement to keep this competitive tradition alive and viable.

Due to these reasons, we recognize the National Building Museum and NCARB for their contributions to this extraordinary competition.

2024 ARE® Scholarship Recipient 

Bronwyn Redd, Assoc. AIA

AIA NoVA’s ARE® Scholarship is intended to recognize an Associate AIA member who has made significant contributions to the profession at an early stage of their career and to encourage their pursuit of licensure. This scholarship in the amount of $1410, covers the cost of all six tests plus, for the first time, will also include free registration for all sessions of NoVA’s award-winning 2024 ARE® Prep series.  

Bronwyn is an active member of the AIA, having participated in various events on the local, regional, and national levels, including the 2023 AIA Northern Virginia Canstruction competition and the Torpedo Factory Scrap-City volunteer events; the 2022 AIA Virginia Emerging Leaders in Architecture Program, and attended both 2022’s Architecture Exchange East Conference & AIA’s National Conference on Architecture. We hope this assistance will speed Bronwyn’s path to professional licensure.

AIA NoVA Emerging Leaders in Architecture (ELA) Nominee 

Niki Pardakhti, Assoc. AIA

It is the annual privilege of the Chapter to nominate a deserving Emerging Architect to AIA Virginia’s ELA program. A 2011 graduate of the University of Maryland School of Architecture, Niki has focused on the increased demand for affordable housing by pursuing her interest in topics such as pocket neighborhoods and walkable communities to promote healthier communities with smaller carbon footprints. 

Niki believes by gaining the leadership skills ELA teaches, she intends to lead by example in the field, hoping to create affordable housing and improving neighborhoods which she serves. We look forward to supporting her path forward into leadership. 

AIA Northern Virginia’s Newly Licensed Members 

Rounding out our recognition of the next generation of architects, within the preceding year the Chapter has had 14 individuals pass their ARE®s and fulfill their AXP requirements, leading to professional licensure. With our congratulations, we’d like to announce AIA NoVA’s newly licensed as:

  • Fletcher C. Bruegger, AIA
  • Heather Casey, AIA
  • Gaston Dietz, AIA
  • Adam C. Hale, AIA
  • Lizhe Han, AIA
  • Sarah E. Herzog, AIA
  • Ravine Kiese Kassam, AIA
  • Nupur S. Khadilkar, AIA
  • Arnold I. Lee, AIA
  • Saanika S. Lokre, AIA
  • Jessica (Jess) Somgynari, AIA
  • Gina A. Robinson, AIA
  • Michael Spory, AIA
  • Alex Zuniga Vega, AIA

AIA Northern Virginia wishes to thank all of our sponsors for helping to make our Autumn Social possible, especially our Monument Sponsor, Azzurri Casa, and our Mount Vernon Sponsor, the Brick Industry Association. We’d also like to thank our annual Chapter sponsors, without whose support much of what we do would not be possible: Potomac Valley Brick; Krieger Specialty Products; Arch Resources; CADD Microsystems; E.E. Reed Construction – East Coast LLC; MarinoWare; Marvin; Pella Mid-Atlantic; T.W. Perry; Actalent; Ames & Gough Business Insurance and Risk Management; C.M. Kling + Associates; ECS Mid-Atlantic; Lee/Shoemaker PLLC; Loewen Windows of Mid-Atlantic; Moseley Architects; and The Sherwin-Williams Company. 

Published: 02/13/2024
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