Architecture offers a variety of ways to practice, but it can be challenging to find the right career path. The 2019 TORCH Mentorship curriculum begins with a discussion on finding the right career path and how to get there. A panel of FAIA members will share their personal experiences before joining groups for intimate conversations.
The TORCH Mentorship program will partner emerging professionals and AIA Fellows over the course of the year to share personal strategies and paths to success in the architecture profession.
Denise Berger, FAIA, The Port Authority of New York & New Jersey
Robert Eisenstat, FAIA, LEED AP, The Port Authority of New York & New Jersey
Lia Gartner, FAIA, LEED AP, The New School University
Reynolds Logan, FAIA, Richard Meier and Partners Architects
Michael Samuelian, FAIA, The Trust for Governors Island
UPCOMING EVENTS IN THE TORCH PROGRAM SERIES:
Apr 22: TORCH Mentorship Program – Laying out a Career Plan
May 21: TORCH Mentorship Program – Communicating Architecture
Sept 17: Community Engagement & Social Responsibility: Learning Leadership
Nov 19: Business of Architecture: What they Didn’t Teach You In School
PAST TORCH EVENTS:
January 23: TORCH Mentorship Program Launch + Happy Hour
About the speakers:
Rob Eisenstat, FAIA, LEED AP, is the Chief Architect of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey Engineering Department. He has been an architect in the Engineering Department for the past 28 years. Before his public architect career, Rob worked 14 years in the private sector on projects ranging from high tech industrial development centers to high rise/mixed use developments in the US and abroad with Skidmore, Owings, and Merrill San Francisco and Luiz Paulo Code Arquitetura in Rio de Janeiro. Rob is a graduate of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and is a Registered Architect in New York State and New Jersey. He holds NCARB and LEED certification, and is a member of the Architectural League of New York and the American Institute of Architects, where he has been co-chair of the New York Chapter Transportation + Infrastructure Committee since 2007.
Denise Berger, FAIA, Chief of Operations, Port Authority of New York and New Jersey. With a career that spans over 30 years, Ms. Denise M. Berger, Chief of Operations, oversees the day-to-day activities of the Engineering Department which is comprised of 570 staff members and a professional services budget of $1.3 billion. She ensures that Design and Construction Management are aligned to deliver the Agency’s $32.2 billion ten-year Capital Plan. She oversees the Department’s Program Management, Project Controls, Project Scheduling, Construction Cost Estimating, Technology, Strategic Planning, and the Department’s Financial Services. Ms. Berger serves on the executive Board of Directors of ACE (Architecture, Construction and Engineering) Mentor Program of Greater New York, WTS International and Professional Women in Construction. In 2016, Ms. Berger founded the Port Authority Women’s Council, whose mission is to empower women to advance in leadership roles. In 2018, Professional Women in Construction honored Ms. Berger with a Leadership Achievement Award.
Michael Samuelian, FAIA, is the President and CEO of the Trust for Governors Island, the not-for-profit organization created by the City of New York and charged with the planning, redevelopment, and ongoing operations of Governors Island. Prior to his appointment as President of the Trust, Michael was a Vice President with Related Companies, where his work focused on the design of large-scale public private development projects. He was responsible for the urban planning and design of Hudson Yards, a $25 billion master plan for 18 million square feet of mixed-use development on Manhattan’s West Side. After 9/11, Michael was the Director of Lower Manhattan Special Projects at the New York City Department of City Planning, helping the city’s efforts to redevelop downtown. In this position, he worked with a variety of constituents, ranging from the local community boards to state and city agencies to develop consensus for the disposition of federal funds dedicated to the recovery and rebuilding of Lower Manhattan. Michael also led the effort to plan and design a new waterfront park on the East River and was the city’s representative in the development and production of the World Trade Center Commercial Design Guidelines.
Lia Gartner, FAIA, LEED AP, is Vice President for Buildings at The New School, responsible for all of the university’s building-related activities, from long-range campus planning through facilities maintenance. Over more than a decade, Lia has overseen the growth and modernization of The New School campus, including design and construction of the 18-story, LEED gold certified University Center building and other exemplary spaces for higher education. Before joining The New School, Lia was responsible for design and construction at the City University of New York’s 20 campuses, and for 16 New York City municipal agencies. Her experience in architecture includes work with the architecture firms Johnson Burgee and Ulrich Franzen and her own private practice. She has taught architecture design and theory at The New Jersey Institute of Technology, Columbia, City College of New York and New York Institute of Technology. Among other professional honors, she was named the 1998 New York AIA Public Architect of the Year and has been awarded AIA’s highest honor of Fellowship. Lia holds a Master in Architecture degree from Columbia and a Bachelor’s degree from Harvard.
Renny Logan FAIA, is a Principal design architect with 30 years’ experience at Richard Meier & Partners across a diverse mix of clients and projects of various types, scales, and cultural settings. His most notable experience includes the design and management of large programmatically complex projects. Nationally recognized work includes the Federal Courthouse in Central Islip, New York (one of GSA’s largest courthouses), and the Barcelona Museum of Contemporary Art. Renny is dedicated to fostering a culture of excellence in design, project management, craft, and client services that exceed expectations, in a diverse and healthy work environment. His responsibilities include design leadership, client relationships, project organization and management, practice and staff management and mentoring, and communications & business development. He began his career at TVS Design in Atlanta, and Gwathmey Siegel & Associates in New York after receiving both his Master of Architecture and a BS Design magna cum laude from Clemson University. In 2017 he was elevated to Fellowship in the American Institute of Architects.
As a reminder, AIA National policy requires participants to attend the entire educational portion of an event to receive continuing education credits. We encourage all participants to arrive on time to comply with this policy.