Svigals + Partners Architects Katelyn Chapin, Marissa Mead Named to Prestigious 40 Under 40 Lists
Third firm associate, Omarys Vasquez, has high-visibility position as founding member of national organization fostering justice and equity.
Architecture and art firm Svigals + Partners has announced two of its project leaders have been ranked in prominent 40 Under 40 recognition programs, as a third has been elected to a Board position advocating for diversity in the field of architecture. The news underscores the firm’s commitment to creating “a world of prosperous, compassionate communities.”
“Our philosophy in both design and management is built on supporting individual ambitions and wellbeing,” says managing partner Jay Brotman, AIA. “We believe this is the best way of nurturing innovation, passion, and profitability. It’s this holistic approach to creating environments that we bring to our clients.”
Announced this week, Svigals + Partners Associate and Project Architect Katelyn Chapin, AIA, has been named to Building Design + Construction’s 2020 40 Under 40 class, a national recognition program for the country’s top emerging professionals in the architecture, engineering, and construction industries. Selected from hundreds of entries representing 20 fields ranging from architecture to academia to law, honorees are billed to be “the next generation of rising stars.” Criteria includes leadership skills, sustained career progress, client relations, community outreach, and personal integrity, among others. The winners have been announced in Building Design + Construction Magazine and on its website at www.bdcnetwork.com.
The announcement comes as the firm’s Director of Art Integration, Project Architect, and artist Marissa Mead, AIA, NOMA, LEED AP, has been named to Connecticut Magazine’s 40 Under 40 list. Connecticut Magazine annually selects the region’s highest achievers across all professions, including athletics, government, the arts, farming, activism, and business. Contenders are nominated by friends, family, co-workers, admirers, and Connecticut Magazine staff. Mead will appear in the publication’s February 2021 issue featuring “the best of the best of a new generation,” according to the publisher Hearst.
Elsewhere in the firm, Omarys Vasquez, AIA, NOMA, LEED AP, has been elected to the Board of Directors as Vice President / President-Elect for the Connecticut chapter of the National Organization of Minority Architects (NOMA), known as NOMAct. This post extends Omarys’ leadership role as a founding member promoting justice and equity. The group’s mission, rooted in a rich legacy of activism, is to “advocate for equity, diversity, and inclusion in the architectural profession through mentorship, professional development, community outreach, and recognition.” The nonprofit group, incorporated in the fall of 2019, aspires to become an official Connecticut state chapter of NOMA early this year.
About the Architects
Katelyn Chapin, AIA, has been a project architect with Svigals+Partners since 2010. During that time, she has developed a passion for projects within the education sector and has been monumental in such high-profile projects as the University of New Haven’s Bergami Center for Science, Technology and Innovation, and the new Sandy Hook School in Newtown, Conn. Chapin joined AIA’s Connecticut’s Emerging Professional Committee in 2012, won the AIA Connecticut Emerging Architect of the Year Award in 2014, and recently served as Young Architect Regional Director for New England from 2018-2019. Currently, she serves as the 2020-2021 Community Director and one of seven architects to lead the Young Architects Forum (YAF), a national program of the AIA and its College of Fellows, which addresses issues of particular importance to recently licensed architects, within 10 years after licensure. In addition, Chapin’s leadership within the Institute extends locally as the Mentorship Chair for AIA Connecticut’s Women in Architecture committee. She was also recently appointed to serve on two national committees: AIA’s Equity and the Future of Architecture Committee (EQFA), and the AIA-AGC Joint Committee, a partnership between AIA and the Associated General Contractors of America.
Marissa Dionne Mead, AIA, NOMA, LEED AP, has contributed as an artist and architect to more than 100 projects at Svigals + Partners, and directly managed over 300,000 square feet of construction projects in the education and mixed-use sectors. Among the first to hold the title of Director of Art Integration in the industry, Mead consistently unites architecture, sculpture and story-telling to create meaningful places. In 2019, two of Marissa’s project designs received national recognition: New Britain’s sculptural Beehive Bridge, a National Award Winner in Engineering Excellence, as well as her pro-bono design for New Haven’s Botanical Garden of Healing, which was recognized as Editor’s Pick for Best Unbuilt Design in The Architect’s Newspaper. Active in multiple professional organizations, Marissa was elevated to Co-Chair of the AIA Connecticut’s new J.E.D.I. Committee and serves as Chair of Community Outreach for the AIA Connecticut Women in Architecture Committee, launching the organization’s first Remote Learning Series in 2020. She was also recently elected to the Board of Directors of NOMAct as the non-profit’s Parliamentarian-Historian.
Omarys Vasquez, AIA, NOMA, LEED AP, is experienced in multiple sectors including rural and urban housing, and her longstanding goal is to make architecture more accessible and inclusive. As a founding member of the Connecticut chapter of the National Organization of Minority Architects (NOMAct), Omarys contends all spaces, especially those for underserved populations, should be designed in conjunction with their users. At Svigals + Partners, Vasquez advances a longstanding firm commitment to collaborating with end-users and include all voices in an inclusive and rigorous design process. Vasquez is known for excellence in design as well as in communicating and coordinating various disciplines from schematic design through construction administration. This perspective has served clients well in multiple project types including multifamily, hospitality, institutional, commercial, academic, transportation and municipal buildings. In addition to her active role in NOMAct, Omarys is also a member of the AIA Connecticut’s J.E.D.I. Committee and serves on the Architecture Advisory Board for the University of Hartford’s Architecture Program with the purpose of bringing a diversity lens to the board.
About Svigals + Partners
Based in New Haven, Connecticut, Svigals + Partners is a full-service architecture, art and planning firm dedicated to building sustainable communities that uplift and inspire people. The firm is known for its success in the design and construction of educational facilities, community projects, research and science buildings and corporate workplaces since its inception in 1983. Known for their original and imaginative integration of planning, design, and artwork in the service of broad client goals, the firm is committed to creating meaningful change in the world. For more information, visit www.svigals.com.