AIA NJ Highlights Two DMR Leaders in Women In Architecture Showcase

AIA NJ Highlights Two DMR Leaders in Women In Architecture Showcase 2000 1125 DMR Architects

Thanks to AIA NJ for honoring two of our women leaders and AIA members this month as part of their Women in Architecture Month highlight. These posts originally appeared on the AIA NJ blog. Please click here for Donna Coen O’Gorman and here for Janet Pini.

Donna Coen O’Gorman, AIA, Delivers Educational Design Excellence With Experience As A Client And An Architect

Donna Coen O’Gorman graduated from NJIT with a Bachelor of Architecture in 1981, when less than 8% of the School of Architecture’s graduating class were women.

Her career trajectory soon led her to educational work, a sector she has dedicated her professional life to for more than 25 years. She has been employed by the Newark Public Schools, Rutgers University, Kean University and the New Jersey Schools Development Authority.

In 2015, she retired from public service and joined DMR Architects. As a senior project manager, she brings the unique perspective of the client, as she spent the previous 25 years of her career working for the clients the DMR team services. Today her vision is mostly focused on educating her clients on how to support today’s learners in advanced, sophisticated and effective learning environments, while also helping to implement these projects in a cost-effective way.

During her six years at DMR, in addition to managing hundreds of projects, she organically expanded her role to client advocacy, business development and understanding evolving educational programming needs. Through a commitment to continuing education, conference involvement and thought leadership, she is a published author and a frequent lecturer on topics such as school security, new project delivery methods, and design trends. Her enthusiasm and skill earned her the position of DMR’s educational sector’s first Director of Business Development in 2021.

A licensed architect, Donna is also an empowering advocate for professional licensure, having achieved her professional registration when the percentage of women starting the licensure process hovered around 10% of all applicants, with even less completing the process, as reported by The National Council of Architectural Registration Board.

Consistency and Strong Relationships Push Janet Pini, AIA, To The Top

In 2002, shortly after graduating from NJIT with a Bachelor of Architecture degree, Janet Pini joined the production department at DMR Architects. Now a senior project manager and associate of the firm, she rose through the ranks of DMR, advancing from a graduate architect to her current role as one of DMR’s most senior project managers and the first woman member of DMR’s management team.

Having spent her entire career at DMR, Janet distinguished herself at every level of the firm, consistently taking on new responsibilities, mastering her understanding and ability to communicate complex codes and procedures, and forming meaningful and lasting relationships with clients, some of which have worked with her consistently for more than 10 years.

In every role, Janet has been assigned to some of DMR’s most complex projects, helping to bring to life projects such as a new 350,000 SF educational campus, four new college academic buildings, a specialty emergency operations center, sophisticated healthcare environments and more than 300 architect of record projects for DMR’s preK-12 clients.

Now a licensed architect, today Janet leads entire project teams, in addition to management responsibilities as an associate of the firm. Drawing on her own path of growth at DMR, Janet has committed herself to staff development and mentorship, leading efforts at DMR to engage DMR’s multi-generational workforce, counsel early-career architects, communicate and emulate DMR’s values to new staff, and provide professional guidance and learning opportunities.

DMR Names Pradeep Kapoor Its First COO and Promotes Five Others; Continues Recruiting to Address Rapid Growth

DMR Names Pradeep Kapoor Its First COO and Promotes Five Others; Continues Recruiting to Address Rapid Growth 2000 1125 DMR Architects

DMR has named Pradeep Kapoor, AIA, LEED AP BD+C its new Chief Operating Officer and promoted five others in response to the firm’s continued growth and expansion into new practice areas, which includes doubling its staff to more than 40 over the past five years.

“Supporting the scope and volume of our new projects and absorbing and directing new staff members is made all the more complex by the layers of practice areas and services we have added in recent years,” said Lloyd Rosenberg, President & CEO.  “Pradeep has been managing the firm’s operations and I am pleased to be able to recognize his success at this role by naming him DMR’s first Chief Operating Officer.”

Pradeep’s 21-year tenure at DMR has included several roles through which he has managed many of the firm’s most complex design and construction projects, primarily focusing on the municipal, healthcare, and education practices.  In 2017 he was named a partner in the firm while serving as Director of Sustainability.  A passionate sustainable designer, he was among the first architects in New Jersey to achieve LEED accreditation, and helped build DMR’s esteemed sustainable design program, which today includes certified, silver and gold level projects, notably the Frank J. Gargiulo Campus for the Hudson County Schools of Technology, a LEED Gold recipient, and the Carlstadt Elementary School, the first LEED Silver public school in New Jersey.

While still managing day to day responsibilities for significant firm projects, as Chief Operating Officer, Pradeep provides managerial support for all ongoing projects, offering guidance on contracts, project management, budget, schedule adherence and staff development.

“It has been a privilege to take on a leadership role during a time when the firm has literally created a new practice format that bridges traditional architecture with planning, design, construction management and other services that provides clients with exceptional skill, efficiency and value,” he said. “As we lift the standards for architects, we have been able to lift the careers of our people.  I am a prime example of DMR’s culture of nurturing staff, fostering professional achievement, and recognizing talent and hard work, and I am proud to recognize five other staff members whose achievements also warrant promotions.”

DMR’s other recent promotions include five new positions for existing staff with tenures that range from 2 to 27 years.

Maria Perez, Director of Human Resources

Maria Perez has managed DMR’s office and staff since 1994, guiding the firm’s organizational development, creating a diverse staff and performance management structure, as well as managing benefits, compensation and training. She implemented a streamlined onboarding process to facilitate DMR’s growth from 10 to a team of more than 40 including continued rapid staff growth year over year since 2016.  She’s also coordinated communication throughout the pandemic which continues to be instrumental in keeping clients informed and projects on schedule.

Donna Coen O’Gorman, Director of Business Development – Education 

A registered architect whose 35-year career included roles at clients of DMR, Donna Coen O’Gorman has dedicated her entire professional life to the education sector, bringing the unique perspective of the customer to her managerial role.  Through a commitment to continuing education, conference involvement and thought leadership, her project management work in the educational sector has naturally expanded to client advocacy, business development and thought leadership, having been published and a frequent lecturer on topics such as school security, new project delivery methods, and design trends.

Megan Apostol, Director of Marketing

During her decade at DMR, Megan Apostol has raised DMR Architects’ reputation through publicity initiatives, print and digital communications, and marketing initiatives highlighting its talented team and diverse practice capabilities.   She is responsible for securing architectural and real estate industry awards for DMR including NJBiz Best Places to Work, and prestigious awards for team members including the ICON award and inclusion in influencer lists in ROI-NJ and NJBiz.

Kevin Johnson, Project Manager

Kevin Johnson joined the DMR production staff in 2012, quickly establishing himself as an integral member of DMR’s New York City School Construction Authority (NYCSCA) team, helping complete more than 200 projects valued at $500 million over his nearly 10 years with firm.

Pierre Talisse, Project Manager

Pierre Talisse joined the DMR team in 2019, bringing with him worldwide experiences ranging from a 550,000 SF development in India to capital improvements across New Jersey preK-12 school districts. At DMR, he fit perfectly into its educational design team, supporting capital improvement projects for many of DMR’s school district clients, including Bayonne, Hackensack, Edison, and New Brunswick, as well as supporting the new construction of schools in Plainfield and Jersey City. As a project manager at DMR, he will support the education and public sectors, which currently accounts for more than $500 million of DMR’s pipeline.

DMR Promotes Two Long-Term Practice Leaders

DMR Promotes Two Long-Term Practice Leaders 2000 1125 DMR Architects

DMR has promoted long-term team members Janet Pini, AIA and Fernando Robledo, AIA to Associates. They have been with the firm for 19 and 14 years respectively, working on some of the firm’s most significant projects, including the Frank J. Gargiulo Campus and Middlesex College’s West Hall.

Janet began her architectural career at DMR, consistently taking on greater responsibilities as she mastered her understanding of and ability to communicate with clients about New Jersey’s complicated codes and procedures. Her work on education and municipal projects also includes the Blanquita B. Valenti Community School and the Ridgefield Municipal Complex. She has a Bachelor of Architecture from New Jersey Institute of Technology.

Fernando has applied his design experience to projects including the Joseph A. Taub School in Paterson, a design-build contract with the New Jersey Schools Development Authority that serves 1,000 junior high school students. He also designed Joseph M. Sanzari’s headquarters in Hackensack. He has a Bachelor of Arts, Urban Design and Architecture, from the University of Puebla in Mexico.

“Janet and Fernando have been invaluable members to their practice areas, loaning their expertise to manifest feasible plans that incorporate our clients’ needs and ideas,” said Lloyd A. Rosenberg, AIA, President and CEO. “They have also played crucial roles in growing DMR into the multifaceted architectural firm that it is today, and we are honored that they have both made their professional homes here for well over a decade.”

Charles H. Sarlo Reappointed Vice Chairman of the New Jersey Economic Development Authority

Charles H. Sarlo Reappointed Vice Chairman of the New Jersey Economic Development Authority 2000 1125 DMR Architects

On Sept. 22 the board of directors of the New Jersey Economic Development Authority reappointed Charles H.  Sarlo, Esq. vice chairman of the board, upon the recommendation of Chairman Kevin Quinn and the unanimous approval of board members. The board of directors also reappointed Charles chairman of the Real Estate Committee, member of the Audit Committee, and member of the Policy Committee.

Now in his 16th year on the board, Charles has been appointed and/or reappointed five times by four governors: Gov. Richard J. Codey in 2005, Gov. Jon Corzine in 2010, Gov. Chris Christie 2014 and 2017, and Gov. Phil Murphy in 2020.

Charles joined DMR Architects in 2001, and is a valued resource on the DMR team, resulting in honors including being named one of the firm’s first partners and a finalist in the NJBiz General Counsel of the Year awards. Charles brings a diverse set of skills to the firm, which stems from a unique set of academic credentials with includes degrees in law, finance and engineering.

Real Estate Publications Honor DMR Experts – Twice

Real Estate Publications Honor DMR Experts – Twice 2000 1125 DMR Architects

Our team of real estate thought leaders, including our President & CEO Lloyd Rosenberg and partner Francis Reiner, continue to be recognized for their influence on the landscape of New Jersey.

Most recently, NJBIZ named Lloyd among the Real Estate Power 50, for the second consecutive year. Lloyd also joins Francis on the ROI-NJ 2020 Influencers list.

Henry Ossi Achieves Cost Estimating Certification

Henry Ossi Achieves Cost Estimating Certification 2000 1125 DMR Architects

We are proud to congratulate our Director of Construction Administration and firm Associate Henry Ossi, CPE, ICS, LEED AP on recently becoming a Certified Professional Estimator (CPE) from the American Society of Professional Estimators (ASPE).

The CPE certification process measures proficiency in general construction estimating and ethical awareness through a detailed process that included workshop attendance, a technical paper and a written examination.

Henry’s certification will greatly expand DMR’s services and credentials and strengthens our in-house services, while also improving estimating accuracy and helping to greater protect our client’s project budgets.

Lloyd Rosenberg Listed Among the “Real Estate Power 50” by NJBIZ

Lloyd Rosenberg Listed Among the “Real Estate Power 50” by NJBIZ 150 150 DMR Architects

We are proud to congratulate our President & CEO Lloyd A. Rosenberg, AIA on being named on the NJBIZ Commercial Real Estate Power 50 list.

An accomplished architect who has designed projects around the world, Lloyd enjoyed a storied architectural career prior to founding DMR in 1991. Today, he oversees our team of 40, who collectively have designed countless projects that have transformed the landscape and real estate environment of New Jersey.

You can find the entire list of honorees here.

Lloyd A. Rosenberg, AIA Honored with 2019 NJBIZ ICON Award

Lloyd A. Rosenberg, AIA Honored with 2019 NJBIZ ICON Award 789 444 DMR Architects

We are excited to share that our President & CEO, Lloyd Rosenberg, was among the honorees this week at the 2019 ICON Awards presented by NJBiz.

Lloyd is the driving force behind the phenomenal growth and success of DMR Architects, a firm with New Jersey roots, strong relationships with the business community and a passion for advancing the facilities and communities where we live. Lloyd founded the firm in 1991, and continues to lead the firm today as President & CEO.

When Lloyd founded DMR Architects, it was a three-person operation with no office, no staff and no clients. Originally committed to designing exclusively educational facilities, over the years, Lloyd steadily added expert talent and responsibly diversified the firm’s capabilities, resulting in a firm today that employs a staff of 40, consistently ranks among the top architectural firms in the state, provides a diverse range of services and completes an average of 100 projects a year across all market sectors. For its entire history, DMR has called northern New Jersey home, with all employees working from the office’s sole northern New Jersey location and the majority of the firm’s projects being located within the state.

Lloyd was a leading architect who enjoyed a more than 25-year, award-winning career with plenty of professional highlights prior to the founding of DMR. The physical environment of his professional work ranged from projects close to home to around the globe.

Despite a storied career prior to the firm’s founding, Lloyd’s greatest career accomplishments have come during the last 28 years, where he has grown DMR Architects into the team it is today, a thriving professional service firm that employs a uniquely qualified staff; architecturally serves all market sectors; and has also positioned itself as a leader in pioneering redevelopment planning and sophisticated sustainable design services. As part of a strategic and responsible diversification program, today the DMR team also includes professionals with backgrounds in economic development and community outreach, municipal government, real estate, project finance, engineering, and land use, as well as in-house general counsel, positioning the firm as a team that provides unparalleled services to its clients.

Lloyd has played a role in overseeing thousands of design and construction projects while leading DMR, a volume of work that represents hundreds of millions of dollars in construction. Among these projects are many that have had a great impact on the landscape of New Jersey, including the State’s first nature museum; the first school for the blind and the first LEED certified public school; Bergen County’s first brewery; the rail station that first brought train service to the Meadowlands; and the new Frank J. Gargiulo Campus, the $150 million vocational/technical high school in Hudson County, one of the most technologically-advanced schools in the country. The thousands of other projects completed under Lloyd’s direction include sophisticated healthcare facilities, elementary schools, luxury lofts, downtown master plans, police stations, parks, modern offices, academic facilities, sports complexes, renovations to an elementary school forced to close following Superstorm Sandy and construction oversight of the much-anticipated American Dream project.

Lloyd is involved and hands-on, with an everyday presence and involvement in the functions of the firm. He is a supportive leader dedicated to the professional growth of employees, empowering them to take on new responsibilities, expand their capabilities and immerse themselves in the business community, without fear of failure.

Charles Sarlo set to join ExploreNJ event

Charles Sarlo set to join ExploreNJ event 150 150 DMR Architects

DMR is proud to announce that Charles H. Sarlo, Esq. is set to join a panel at this week’s ExploreNJ, a special event designed to attract foreign investors to the state. More than 30 foreign entities looking to expand operations in the United States are expected to attend.

Co-sponsored by the Commerce and Industry Association of New Jersey and Choose New Jersey, the two-day event will take place on Thursday, June 13 and Friday, June 14. Events on Thursday will be focused on finance and commerce and will take place at New Jersey City University’s School of Business in Jersey City. Friday’s events, which will focus on innovation, technology, and entrepreneurship, will be hosted at the New Jersey Institute of Technology in Newark.

Charles is set to join the “Real Estate: Finding the Right Location” panel during Thursday’s finance and commerce portion. A 30-year veteran in New Jersey’s corporate and real estate landscpe, he brings a unique perspective and professional background to the panel.

ExploreNJ is a spin-off event of the annual SelectUSA Investment Summit, an event hosted by the United States Department of Commerce that is already underway this week in Washington D.C. Other spinoff events are being hosted in dozens of locations across the country by local economic development organizations.

Health care case study has real estate experts talking at conference

Health care case study has real estate experts talking at conference 2000 1125 DMR Architects

Ted Zangari, one of the panel’s moderators: “In the final analysis, it all comes down to real estate.” – (AARON HOUSTON)

All told, 20 panelists turned out last week for the Rutgers Center for Real Estate’s Future of Healthcare Real Estate Symposium in New Brunswick, from health care executives and consultants to developers and public officials.

They were asked to offer insights on a case study involving a potential acquisition by a fictional entity known as Halstead Healthcare System, a dominant provider that was weighing its growth options and considering the acquisition of an urban hospital and its real estate assets.

Below is a sampling of comments from speakers as they went through the case study and discussed broader trends in the health care and real estate industries:

Sills Cummis & Gross attorney Ted Zangari, who co-moderated the panel with George Jacobs, on the important ties between the two industries:

“We know that real estate is not the driving force behind the consolidation of health care systems or the unpackaging of health care services out into to the neighborhoods. But make no mistake: In the final analysis, it all comes down to real estate… This is one of the few areas, one of the few industries, where brick and mortar still will matter.”

Jeff LeBenger, chairman and CEO of Summit Health Management, on the decisions that hospitals face about where to locate their ancillary services and how that impacts their real estate footprint:

“With consumerism, people are now going to start looking at where to spend their health care dollar. And it’s going to be moving into the ambulatory setting. So in terms of the real estate, you’re going to have to (ask) ‘Do we put it into brick-and-mortar hospital space or do we move it more into ambulatory space.’”

Zayed Baker, chief pediatric officer for Riverside Medical Group, on the increasing demand for medical office spaces to be larger, more diversified and closer to residents:

“The reason for that is the market. Patients now come out and they want to know that they can get one-stop shopping. They don’t want to just come to the pediatrician’s office… This is the medical home concept. We don’t take care of a patient—we take care of the families—and this is where health care is going.

“Because of the market demand, because of the convenience patients are insisting on, we have responded by giving larger amounts of real estate and health care deeper into the communities.”

Bill Colgan, managing partner at Community Healthcare Associates LLC, on the shift from inpatient to outpatient care and the challenges and opportunities that come from trying to transition or repurpose a hospital:

“What we’ve also realized, if you take a look at the percentage of the GNP, health care is not going down—it’s going up. So, clearly, what that demonstrates to a group like ours is that there is a need for bricks and mortar, there is a need for health care facilities.

“Generally, when we look at facilities, what we like very much about hospital settings is that they are community-based. When you talk about providing services in a community, hospitals were built traditionally as community-based institutions. Everyone had family members that worked in the hospitals. Everyone, at the end of the year, no matter what your socioeconomic level, you wrote a check in support of your hospital. This is something we’ve known for generations.

“As we watch the outmigration, we do believe that there is a huge opportunity. I think New Jersey is just behind the curve in terms of trying to play catch up. There was no real plan on how we transition health care.”

Mary Beth Kuzmanovich, Colliers International’s national director for health care services, on the debate in New Jersey over how nonprofit hospitals will begin to pay for municipal services:

“States across the country are watching New Jersey to see how this plays out… Those systems that have enjoyed a not-for-profit tax status recognize that this wave is moving across the country, and they’re very anxious to see how New Jersey resolves it and use that to pattern opportunities to implement in other states.”

Francis Reiner, redevelopment consultant with DMR Architects, on how he would advise Halstead Healthcare System to redevelop 20 acres of excess land that would come with a potential acquisition:

“Our approach to this would be probably very similar to the developer side, which would be what is the maximum and best use for that particular property in terms of redevelopment, given its proximity to transit, given its proximity to being in an urban environment.”

Andrew Bush, vice president of real estate for Cooper University Health Care, on the difficulty and unpredictability of dealing with real estate in an acquisition:

“Real estate really has to be looked at case by case. There is an enormous amount of strategic thinking and financing that goes into these long-term real estate assets. And that encumbers them to a certain extent. Whatever the legacy issues are—it could be a lease that you can’t unwind, it could be an ownership position that is much more fractured and complicated than you envisioned going on. You may have deferred maintenance issues, legacy issues that have stretched out economic problems not envisioned, not underwritten in the initial deal… The list continues, and it’s our goal to try to figure how to solve that.

“Ultimately, that real estate asset—it’s not our core business. It’s the platform through which we deliver care. And if there’s a big transition in the way we envision delivering that care, it takes a long time for us to unwind and plan around that.”

This article originally appeared on NJBiz.