Architecture + interiors practice JZA+D promotes five designers, hires marketing leader

Clockwise from top left: Compton, Perry, Toms, Giardina, Grace, McStay

Award-winning integrated design firm JZA+D has recently announced the appointment of Pam McStay to lead the firm’s marketing efforts. At the same time, the Princeton, N.J.-based, globally recognized firm has also announced a raft of internal promotions for staff architects and designers. These include the elevation of:

  • Richard Perry, AIA, NCARB, LEED AP to Principal
  • Benjamin Grace, AIA to Senior Associate
  • Julia Compton, AIA to Associate
  • Taylor Kinsey Toms, AIA to Associate
  • Nancie Giardina, NCIDQ, IIDA to Senior Interior Designer

According to JZA+D’s partners, architects Joshua Zinder and Mark A. Sullivan, the recently announced internal promotions derive in part from a longstanding commitment to mentorship and nurturing emerging talent. They note that the inward focus on career development for architects and interior designers on staff produces enhancements to client service and leads to improved project outcomes across the firm’s diverse portfolio of design work.

“Fostering career development, honing essential skills, encouraging networking, and providing opportunities for gaining practical experience at every project phase should be priorities for partners and practice leaders,” says Zinder, who is also Immediate Past-President of AIA-New Jersey. “These efforts produce benefits that  resonate in each of our projects to aid our clients, to the firm itself, and to the profession more broadly.”

Underscoring this point, Zinder and Sullivan also shared the news that in their elevated roles architect Julia Compton and interior designer Nancie Giardina will be a focused team to support the continued development and growth of JZA+D’s office and workplace sector. According to Zinder, Compton and Giardina have already been successfully overseeing design and construction of multiple workplace projects since 2018, including complex projects involving adaptive reuse and other highly specialized challenges.

Says Zinder, “Nancie and Julia rise to meet every challenge, designing environments that reveal and reinforce corporate brand identity while providing a productive and invigorating place for work. Their experience, dedication, and creativity make them ideally positioned for these new leadership roles.”

Detailed information on the JZA+D team members follows below.

Julia Compton, AIA served as a project architect with JZA+D before taking on the role of Associate. She studied at Rhode Island School of Design, earning both a Bachelor of Architecture and Bachelor of Fine Arts, before going on to work for architectural firms in Massachusetts, North Carolina, and Pennsylvania, gaining valuable experience. For JZA+D Compton is active in all phases of the design process for projects in the hospitality, residential, commercial, and cultural sectors. She brings to her work the deep sensitivity needed to design appropriately for the surrounding architectural context and local vernacular.

Nancie Giardina, NCIDQ, IIDA takes on her new role as Senior Interior Designer building on a considerable portfolio of hospitality, entertainment, space planning, and commercial work. Fully engaged in JZA+D’s integrated design process, Giardina’s design contributions and solutions help to blend interiors and architecture for seamless results. With a B.S. in Interior Design from Philadelphia University (with a minor in Construction Management) she is dedicated to the design and delivery of appealing spaces and uplifting environments

Benjamin Grace, AIA was elevated to the role of Senior Associate in recognition of the design intelligence, creativity, and critical thinking he exhibits in the management of community, hospitality, retail, workplace, and higher education projects across the country. Prior to joining the JZA+D team in 2013, Grace gained valuable experience working with William Starck Architects in Massachusetts. While pursuing a Master of Architecture degree from Syracuse University, he was awarded the AIA Henry Adams Medal for academic achievement and undertook a Design Studio Teaching Assistant fellowship.

Pam McStay is a marketing professional with more than ten years of experience in the architecture and engineering sectors. She brings to JZA+D considerable acumen in RFQ and RFP solicitations, including coordination of consultants, frequently helping prepare teams for client interviews for complex multi-stakeholder projects. McStay, who holds a B.A. from Muhlenberg College, also brings to bear considerable graphic skills and depth of experience preparing award nominations, major presentations, and published articles, earning praise from her employers and colleagues.

Richard Perry, AIA, NCARB, LEED AP brings over 30 years of experience in the commercial, institutional, and residential sectors to the role of Principal, and will be taking the lead in JZA+D’s New York office. His global portfolio includes work in the U.S., Europe and Asia. Prior to joining JZA+D in 2016, Perry worked for several firms in New York City including Michael Graves Architect, MR Architecture + Décor, and Richard Perry Architect, his own practice which he ran for 16 years. He is a registered architect in New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut. He is NCARB certified and is a LEED Accredited Professional.

Taylor Kinsey Toms, AIA who takes on the role of Associate, has become a vital part of multiple JZA+D projects, owing to her architectural expertise, project management skills, and dynamic, client-focused collaboration. She has worked on hospitality projects and multi-family residential works locally and nationally, as well as academic and workplace environments across New Jersey. The recipient of a Bachelor of Architecture from Syracuse University, Kinsey Toms studied abroad in Florence, Italy before graduating in 2016. Since joining JZA+D, she has managed corporate headquarters projects, high-end retail, and residential expansions, among other challenging project types.

About Joshua Zinder Architecture + Design (JZA+D)

Located in Princeton, New Jersey, the emerging practice JZA+D was founded in 2006 by principal Joshua Zinder, AIA, to deliver multidisciplinary services for sustainable and contemporary buildings, interiors, and product designs. The collective educational and professional experience of JZA+D’s staff spans more than a century in global markets, and its staff is encouraged and inspired to be cooperative partners, good listeners, and creative problem-solvers. JZA+D has won numerous design awards and its work has been seen in publications around the world. The staff actively participates in trade and professional organizations such as AIA, NCARB, USGBC, ACSA, IIDA, IOREBA, NJRA and Gotham Networking. The firm’s principals are all LEED accredited professionals. For more information, please visit