American Institute of Architects (AIA) Elevates Three Colorado Architects to the College of Fellows

Three outstanding architects from Colorado have been newly elevated to the College of Fellows, one of the highest honors bestowed by the American Institute of Architects (AIA)

Ron Abo, FAIA, Principal at The Abo Group, Victor Olgyay, FAIA, Principal at Rocky Mountain Instutute, and Brad Tomecek, FAIA, Principal at Tomecek Studio Architecture were recognized for their contributions to the architecture profession, and their dedication to advancing the built environment. Only 3 percent of AIA’s 95,000 members hold this distinction and only 76 new fellows were inducted this year, a historically small number. Even in a historically small group of inductees, Colorado had the largest class of new Fellows in five years! 

Prospective candidates must have at least 10 years of AIA architect membership and demonstrated influence in at least one of the following areas:

Each of the newly elevated Fellows had prepared a preliminary submittal for the AIA Colorado Fellows Nominating Committee (FNC) to review and provide comments and each were sponsored by a previously elevated Fellow themselves. After receiving a full endorsement from the Committee, their nominations were ratified by the AIA Colorado Board. The Committee is now soliciting submittals for 2023, which are due by Wednesday, March 29th

Ron Abo, FAIA, Principal at The Abo Group, has developed a reputation for designing innovative, sustainable, and efficient buildings that enrich the communities in which they are located. Abo is also actively involved in the community as a founding board member of NOMA Colorado and has served on the boards of several more non-profit organizations, including AIA Colorado, the Denver Architectural Foundation, the Downtown Denver Partnership, and the Colorado Business Committee for the Arts.

“I plan to retire at the end of 2023, so being elected to the College of Fellows caps a rewarding, satisfying and wonderful 50-year career as an architect.”

— Ron Abo, FAIA

“There was a perception that fellowship was reserved for signature design architects. It is a breath of fresh air that the profession is finally recognizing exceptional talent and accomplishments in the community and in support for diversity equity and inclusion. Ron has had a distinguished career enriching the lives of the Asian American community giving his time to underserved populations in our society. I was so pleased to see Fellowship given as recognition of these and other accomplishments of architects in improving the quality of life of our communities.”

— Rich Von Luhrte, FAIA

Victor Olgyay, FAIA, Principal at Rocky Mountain Institute is an architect, educator, and researcher where he is leading an initiative to encourage widespread adoption of comprehensive building energy retrofits resulting in energy savings of at least 50 percent. Olgyay is known for his groundbreaking research focused on ecological restoration and on ecosystem services as criteria for green building assessment. Recently Victor’s research has expanded into building tool application, especially for demonstrating the reduction of carbon, water, and ecological footprints.

“I am honored to have supported Victor Olgyay’s elevation to FAIA. His entire career in architecture has exhibited resolute progress and achievements toward a more climate responsible future for the built environment. The influence of his work is evident in finished projects, research, teaching, writings, lectures and in advocacy for low carbon architecture and the promotion of fundamental bioclimatic design.”

— Cheri Gerou, FAIA

Brad Tomecek, FAIA, is the Founder and Principal of the architecture firm Tomecek Studio Architecture, where he has focused on creating beautiful, sustainable, and functional designs for residential and commercial projects. Tomecek is a leader in the Denver architecture community, and has received numerous awards for his work, including the AIA Colorado Young Architect of the Year Award in 2015 and AIA Colorado Architect of the Year in 2022

“I found it insightful to take the time to critically examine a thread, within a body of work, to better understand where we have been, where we are now, and most importantly, where are we headed.”

— Brad Tomecek, FAIA

Please join us in congratulating Ron Abo, FAIA, Victor Olgyay, FAIA, and Brad Tomecek, FAIA on their elevation to the AIA College of Fellows. Their dedication to excellence in architecture and commitment to sustainability and innovation are an inspiration to us all.

© AIA Colorado 2023