2023 AIA Colorado Honor Award Recipients

The AIA Colorado Honor Awards recognize the people and teams who are making a difference in the architecture profession and their communities. They’re committed to continually growing as architects, value creating a strong team and recognize the power of architecture in our daily lives. Help us congratulate the 2023 AIA Colorado Design + Honor Award recipients below!

Read the 2023 AIA Colorado Design + Honor Awards Press Release and see all Awards coverage, videos, and projects at aiacolorado.org/awards.

Anderson Hallas Architects | Unfound Door
Anderson Hallas Architects | Unfound Door

2023 Firm of the Year

Anderson Hallas Architects, PC

This award recognizes the outstanding achievement of a firm that has produced notable architecture for at least a decade. Award-winning firms have set an example both in design and leadership in the state. Criteria include an outstanding portfolio as a product of the firm’s collaborative environment. Through its work, it has made a significant impact on its community and/or the architecture profession. Demonstrates a commitment to training future architects. Additionally, they exhibit a culture that embraces diversity. Is widely known for the quality of its work, ability to work with clients and collaboration as a team by architects, designers, educators, and the public. They are known for the application of innovative technologies and/or progressive methodologies and developed works to achieve resilient and sustainable design goals.

The Honor Awards jury selected Anderson Hallas Architects, PC for their depth of portfolio, their success on succession, and their family firm culture. Located in the front range of Golden, their work positively impacts communities across the State and the Country. A commitment to historic preservation, adaptive reuse, and environmentally conscious designs are prevalent. As an architect in the community, you get a real sense of their firm culture which is embraced by all. It feels like a place you would want to work and would find purpose in the work. Their successful transition to the next generation lets us know the good work they do will be around for many more years.

Rich Carr | Unfound Door
Rich Car | Unfound Door

2023 Architect of the Year

Rich Carr, AIA

The Architect of the Year recognizes an individual architect who has made significant impact on the profession of architecture in Colorado. The criteria state they have developed a portfolio of notable, creative, and meaningful architecture that has positively impacted Colorado, they have pushed architecture toward the future while also honoring its past, become widely known for the quality of their work by architects, designers, educators, and the public, have advocated for fellow architects and advanced the community through their service and leadership, and have helped to address current issues in Colorado by using their expertise as a design professional.

This year, the Honor Awards jury is pleased to award Rich Carr, AIA, CCY Architects, as 2023’s AIA Colorado Architect of the Year. With a practice physically located in the Roaring Fork Valley, Rich’s work and commitment to regional vernaculars grounds his designs with a modern edge. However, his body of projects extend far beyond the state lines and enhances the list of incredible architects Colorado is recognized for. 

Rebekah Wagoner | Unfound Door
Rebekah Wagoner | Unfound Door

2023 Young Architect of the Year

Rebekah Wagoner, AIA

The Young Architect Award recognizes the individual achievements of a young architect licensed to practice architecture fewer than 10 years. This individual will have demonstrated exceptional leadership and made significant contributions to the architecture profession early in their career. 

This year, the Honor Awards jury is pleased to present the award to Rebekah Wagoner, AIA, Gensler.

The jury was challenged with a number of excellent submissions and Rebekah’s submittal rose to the top for a number of reasons. Her commitment to supporting and enhancing work-life success for professionals. She has earned the respect and admiration of her peers and industry leaders for her impeccable professional acumen, a testament to her expertise and skills.

Additionally, Rebekah’s ability to recognize the historic context and incorporate it into the creation of meaningful architecture showcased her deep understanding and appreciation of the field.

Lastly, her contributions to the aspiring architectural community through educational and evaluation activities demonstrated her commitment to nurturing the next generation of architects.

Colorado Green Building Guild | Unfound Door
Colorado Green Building Guild | Unfound Door

2023 Impact Award

Colorado Green Building Guild

The Impact Award which recognizes a group or organization in Colorado that has made a positive impact on Colorado communities and significantly contributed to the advancement of architecture and/or enhanced the role of practitioners.

This year, the Colorado Green Building Guild was chosen as the first ever recipient for its promotion of green building and specifically the organization’s role in helping to make resources easily accessible to designers, builders, and owners throughout the region. 

The Colorado Green Building Guild is a non-profit trade organization representing a wide range of green building leaders, and serving the community at large by making green building common practice and accessible to all. CGBG strives to ensure the widespread adoption of sustainable practices to increase the efficient use of resources, create healthier buildings, and support vibrant, sustainable communities throughout all of Colorado! 

The Honor Awards jury were especially impressed by the dedication of their volunteer members. They organize monthly seminars, workshops, and tours for a very broad audience that includes the professionals in the design industry, builders, manufacturers, students, home and business owners, green technology specialists, and more. Their events provide a platform for the general public to not only to share knowledge on sustainable design technology, but also to connect with one another and build community around green building. 

Particularly after the Marshall Fire, the Colorado Green Building Guild made significant positive impact by providing resources to homeowners as they began their rebuild process.

Stephanie Bingham | Unfound Door
Stephanie Bingham | Unfound Door

2023 President’s Award

Stephanie Bingham

The President’s Award recognizes a community member in Colorado who has significantly contributed to the advancement of architecture from a vantage point outside of a firm or a traditional practice career. 

This year, we’re pleased to recognize Stephanie Bingham, HMH Architecture + Interiors, with this honor. Due to her talent, motivation, and civic spirit, not to mention her unique skill set that spans marketing, she has utilized her graphic design talents and research to elevate the awareness and appreciation of not just architecture – but excellent architecture. 

Stephanie is known by her decade’s long advocacy and continued evolution of architectural dialogue through efforts she co-led and/or co-created, that includes self-guided tours of Mid-Century Modern marvels, Month of Modern, and serving on the board of Historic Boulder

Cheri Gerou | Unfound Door
Cheri Gerou | Unfound Door

2023 Distinguished Achievement Award

Cheri Gerou, FAIA

Cheri Gerou, FAIA was named State Architect in October of 2019 and has just completed her tenure in that role. It would be quite an understatement to say her time in office was eventful.

Just months into her role, COVID emerged as a pandemic which no one could have prepared for. In a matter of weeks, Cheri’s team constructed five acute care field hospitals in Denver, Grand Junction, Loveland, Pueblo and Westminster. They responded to new state statutes on climate impact and building performance, writing the rules with little additional support or headcount. They identified state owned assets to redeploy for workforce housing and still managed to present budgets to the legislature, work with user agencies, and improve processes and workflows for industry partners to keep the vertical infrastructure of our state in good working order.

Public service has been a hallmark of her career and this is just a capstone, having served in the state legislature and at the University of Colorado.

For all you have done, Cheri, we thank you and are pleased to present you with the Distinguished Achievement Award. 

Cheri’s esteemed predecessor Larry Friedberg, FAIA aptly summed it up by saying that Cheri is “a force of nature and an outstanding champion of the profession, and the AIA, while serving in the legislature and state government.”

We heartily agree.

Jerry Johnson | Unfound Door
AIA-Design-&-Honors-Awards-The_Unfound_Door-101 |

2023 Distinguished Service Award

Jerry Johnson

This year, we are delighted to honor Jerry Johnson with the Distinguished Service Award. For the past 40 years, he has been our voice and our friend at the state capitol and has demonstrated remarkable service to all Colorado architects.

2023 marked the 40th session of the Colorado General Assembly where Jerry Johnson was the architects advocate. Amazing, right? In those forty years, he has defended us against immeasurable harm and opened the doors to dozens of new laws from architects for a better built environment and practice climate. Jerry is beloved by the University of Colorado, a great motivator, a brilliant tactician, a person who makes people believe, has an incredible record of victories for his team, and will face even stronger adversaries in the upcoming season.

Jerry continues to be a valuable resource to Colorado architects as we seek smooth passage of the Architecture Practice Act in the next session. It’s because we have teammates such as Jerry that we know our profession and our practices are in good care for the years ahead.

Here is a small selection of quotes from those who have been inspired by Jerry over the years: 

Kevin Eronimous, AIA: 

“Whether it’s a legislative report, an intro to a new legislator, or a recap of the latest recruiting prospects for CU, Jerry brings careful thought and genuine passion to all that he does. His insightful fostering of meaningful relations has served our profession (and our legislators) incredibly well, creating a foundation of mutual trust and respect for everyone at the table.”

T J Carvis, AIA: 

“In the small fraction of the 40 years that I’ve gotten to know Jerry, he’s made a lasting impression on me. His jovial personality and willingness to go the extra mile offer a refreshing perspective in what can often be a tumultuous political environment. He has an incredible knowledge of the issues, both past and present, and seems to know everyone in the state legislature. Colorado architects could not have had a better ally at the Capitol!”

Mike Wisnesk, AIA: 

“Jerry is the consummate gentleman and happens to be a lobbyist, oftentimes more despised and vilified than a politician. He is honest, trustworthy, reliable, pretty much every quality one would find in an Eagle Scout. 

He taught me that in Colorado, politics is not a dirty word. That our citizen legislators have real jobs, and are real people, and simply want to make the best decision about an issue. He taught me that a cup of coffee or a simple, honest phone call to my legislator is much more valuable than an e-mail. This is advice I still use today. 

I first met Jerry to review very large stacks of printed bills, then meet to discuss how they affected our profession. Years later it dawned on me that he wasn’t teaching me how to read bills, he was showing me how to be a better citizen and be engaged with our legislative process. 

Jerry, I love you for who you are and how you have made our small world in Colorado better!” 

Mary Follenweider, FAIA: 

“As a Colorado growth management bill was heard in Legislative Committee, Jerry said: It creates visibility for AIA Colorado as a leader on the subject…with the ultimate outcome that Legislators see architects as a “player.” This is our Jerry Johnson, Hon. AIACO., who has always supported architects as influencers, engagers and subject matter experts. Thank you, Jerry, for your stalwart belief in us.”

Phil Gerou, AIA: 

“In 1983, when D. A. Bertram and I interviewed potential lobbyists to represent AIA Colorado, we knew we had the right candidate to represent us. We could not possibly have foreseen the extraordinary decades of collaboration and lobbying excellence that followed. AIA Colorado has been blessed with Jerry’s guidance, knowledge, intuition, and good humor for longer than we ever anticipated. Thank you, Jerry. It’s been an honor to work with you as a professional and to know you as a great friend.”

Marvin Sparn, FAIA:

“Facing the uncertain prospect of a practice act sunset, the AIA Colorado Government Affairs Committee decided that they needed help. As a founding member of the Committee, I solicited recommendations from personal lobbyist friends on who might be helpful to AIA Colorado – Jerry was highly recommended. 

Hiring Jerry far outlasted my presidency and is one of the best moves the Committee ever.”

Read the 2023 AIA Colorado Design + Honor Awards Press Release and see all Awards coverage, videos, and projects at aiacolorado.org/awards.

President’s Award | Unfound Door
Anderson Hallas Architects | Unfound Door
© AIA Colorado 2024
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