July 1, 2015

EPC Panel Discussion: Mentoring

Building off the May EPC Forum, this event aims to further explore how emerging professionals define their place in today’s profession with particular regard to their coworkers.  Moderated by the passionate and talented Najahyia Chinchilla (Gensler), a panel of distinguished industry patrons will discuss the importance of mentoring across generations and how vital such relationships are to the workplace and future of our profession.


Drinks and appetizers included: 5:30pm-8pm | AIREA Studio | 1048 Woodward Ave, Detroit


Tracy Sweeney, AIA, LEED AP BD+C, NCARB
Architect & Associate | Harley Ellis Devereaux

Tracy is a licensed architect, a graphic design ninja, and an Associate with Harley Ellis Devereaux in Southfield, where she creates agile spaces that celebrate culture, facilitate knowledge transfer, and foster discovery and teamwork. She was awarded the AIA Detroit Young Architect Award in 2014 and the same honor for AIA Michigan in 2015.

She has regularly focused her volunteer efforts on the advancement of young professionals, including her roles as a founding member of the AIA Detroit Emerging Professionals Committee, panelist for Women in Design, advisor for ARE prep workshops, supporter of the Government Affairs Committee’s efforts to amend timing requirements for the Architectural Registration Exam, portfolio reviewer and peer-mentor. She was the 2014-2015 Chair of the Architecture and Design Alumni Cabinet at Lawrence Technological University, and a regular guest critic for design studio juries. A vocal advocate for the interdisciplinary nature of design, Tracy is also Chair of the AIA Detroit PechaKucha Night Detroit Committee, and serves as MC of the quarterly events.

Tracy is a frequent conference presenter, a seasoned event organizer, and is hopelessly addicted to design workshops. She has a passion for the unique stories that underlie the design process, and loves to push ideas as far as possible outside of their comfort zone.

Mark Farlow
Director of Design | Hamilton Anderson

Mark Farlow is the Director of Design at Hamilton Anderson with over 24 years of professional experience in the design and management of architecture and urban design projects. Mark assists clients in the development of design vision and strategies for implementation of projects. He is an enthusiastic advocate for the architecture profession, speaking at local schools and community groups at every opportunity. Along with his community service, he has been teaching at LTU as an adjunct professor of architecture since 1995 and today leads the academic community with his innovative online-format architecture design studios.

Melissa Dittmer, AIA
Director of Architecture | Rock Ventures, LLC

Melissa is the Director of Architecture + Urban Design at Bedrock Real Estate Services. In her role, Melissa is responsible for leading Bedrock’s internal architecture studio – a collaborative group that completes the research, analysis, programming, and conceptual design of Bedrock’s real estate development projects. Most recently, Melissa led the conceptualization of Bedrock’s proposal for the redevelopment of 8.4 acres within the Brush Park community. In addition, Melissa also led the graphic design and data visualization of the Detroit Blight Removal Task Force Plan – a 340-page document outlining strategies for the removal of 84,000+ blighted properties in Detroit.

Previous to Rock Ventures, Melissa worked at Hamilton Anderson Associates (HAA). She was an integral member of the Detroit Strategic Framework Long Term Planning team at HAA where she then led the graphic design of Detroit Future City, a 350-page document that summarized the team’s collective research, civic engagement feedback, and Detroit-specific strategies. While at HAA, Melissa also served as director and co-creator of rogueHAA, a volunteer architecture, design, and urban research collaborative. She produced various Detroit-specific architectural initiatives that included written publications, design installations, panel discussions, symposiums, a Detroit urbanism blog, and architecture exhibitions.

As a current Detroit Revitalization Fellow, Melissa continues to educates the public about the importance of architecture and urban design strategies in the regeneration of cities. She is a registered architect and a graduate of the Illinois Institute of Technology and Columbia University.

Dan Kinkead, AIA
Director of Projects | Detroit Future City

Dan Kinkead is an architect and urban designer, and the Director of Projects for the Detroit Future City Implementation Office – a team of urban strategists, designers, and thought leaders driven to transform Detroit through strategic coordination, catalytic pilot projects, and an ethos of innovation.

Before Detroit Future City, Dan was design principal at the Detroit architectural firm Hamilton Anderson Associates, and an urban designer at Skidmore Owings & Merrill in New York. Dan’s work has ranged from new building design to district urban design, and large scale planning. Dan is a graphic consultant to World Bank urban research teams, and a contributing author to the forthcoming book: Remaking Post-Industrial Cities: Lessons from North America and Europe, in conjunction with Carnegie Mellon University. Dan graduated from Harvard University with a master of architecture in urban design, and from the University of Kentucky with a bachelor of architecture. Dan’s work has been published in domestic and international design media.

Breinne Willcock, Hon. AIA Affiliate
Lighting Designer | Illuminart

Brienne Willcock is a lighting designer at Illuminart. As part of the Illuminart team she has been on local, national and international teams designing interior and exterior lighting for projects ranging from residential to multi-building commercial developments. Her main areas of interest are LED performance specification-writing, intensive product comparative research, and ROI calculation and analysis. Brienne is the Illuminating Engineering Society (IES) Detroit President, as well as the IES Emerging Professionals Chair, and an advisory member to the Testing Procedure Committee of IES. She’s a writer for Lighting Design + Application as a featured Emerging Professional, and was one of publication’s “Future Leaders of Lighting” in 2013. She has been a past presenter of various topics for the local IES Section, Michigan Advanced Lighting Conference, American Institute of Architects (AIA 2030 Challenge). Brienne is also active with the U.S. Department of Energy through the Commercially Available LED Product Evaluation and Reporting (CALiPER) program, OLED research, and a panelist in “Specifying LED in a World of Continuous Change” for the upcoming annual DOE SSL Workshop in Detroit (November 2014). She also volunteers on the AIA Celebration Committee, was part of Dlectricity in 2012, and continues to be interested in the presence of art and design collaboration in Detroit.

Ann Phillips, Assoc. AIA
Challenge Detroit Fellow | Saroki Architecture

Ann recently graduated from the University of Oregon with both a Master of Architecture and a Master of Science in Historic Preservation. Prior to graduate school, she received a Bachelor of Fine Arts in interior design from Iowa State University. A recent addition to the team, Ann brings a multidisciplinary approach to the design process. She is particularly interested in the overlap of historic and new architecture and the innovation necessary to blend the two. Ann is excited to be taking part in a year-long fellowship with Challenge Detroit, a leadership and professional development program that invites approximately 35 of tomorrow’s leaders to live, work, play, give and lead in and around the greater Detroit area for one year. She is passionate about the history and culture of the city of Detroit and looks forward to actively participating in its revitalization.

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