2019 AIA Rochester Board of Directors
LINDA HEWITT, HON. AIANYS
AIA Rochester Executive Director
Linda graduated from RIT with a Business Administration degree in 1982. She has been the Executive Director of AIA Rochester since July 1996. Prior to that she owned her own consulting business. She also serves as the Executive Director of the Architectural Foundation of Greater Rochester. She resides in West Henrietta with her husband Greg and their Guiding Eyes Released Puppy, Demi.
Committees: Newsletter, Golf, Design Awards, Honor Awards, Membership (Directory)
Guiding Eyes for the Blind
American Cancer Society - Breast Cancer Awareness
JENNIFER TAKATCH, AIA
Kent State University B Arch 1985
Principal of Architectura, P.C. 1991-Present.
Board Member Rochester Childfirst Network 1999-Present; Facilities Committee Chairman
Hope Lutheran Church- Building Committee; Past Board Member; Past Drama Director
Jennifer has been a member of the AIA since graduating from college, and served on the board as Membership Director and PR Director. She has been involved in various committees including Architecture Week, Women in Architecture and Girls in Architecture. She has mentored throughout her career to students ranging from middle school to college. Being a member of the AIA has enriched her life professionally and personally.
She has also been active in community through serving on mission teams to Peru and Flower City Work Camp in Rochester.
LAURA COONEY, AIA
Kent State University, BArch ’93, NYS Certified Code Enforcement Official
Ms. Cooney has been an active AIA Rochester and/or AIA NYS Board of Director member, almost straight, for the last 20 years. As a Sr. Architect/PM at Bergmann, her work ranges from QA/QC reviews, mentoring, code compliance reviews and assistance (both in-house and external for clients), to managing some architectural projects. Ms. Cooney is on both the local Women in Architecture and Girls in Architecture & Engineering committees, for which they hold events throughout the year and a program every year for middle school girls, respectively. She has gotten so much out of the AIA, over the years; friends, mutual respect with peers, meeting new people, mentorship opportunities, and keeping up with industry changes, all of which are very important to her. Ms. Cooney states she definitely get out of it as much as, if not more than, she puts into it!
RICHARD M. POSPULA, AIA, NCARB
One of the elder statesmen of the Rochester Chapter, Rich began his service to the profession in 1982 as a member of the Governmental Affairs committee. Since that time, he has served the chapter in various board leadership and support capacities ranging from public relations, design awards, membership, and is the only Rochester architect asked to serve as president on three separate occasions - a record he wishes will be broken. Rich is also currently serving as AIA Rochester’s liaison to the Architectural Foundation of Greater Rochester, where he serves as Treasurer. He is licensed in NY, PA, NJ, MA, MD, and VA, and has recently retired in early 2019. Rich is now pursuing fly-fishing and writing as his main recreational priorities, and quietly resides with his wife Cathy, in a bucolic hamlet in western Monroe County.
MICHELLE MURNANE, AIA
Director of Communications
Michelle Murnane is a registered architect, a LEED accredited professional, and NCARB certificate holder. She has been an active member of the AIA her entire professional career. She has held various roles on the Board of AIA Rochester, including President in 2013, and was instrumental in co-founding the Emerging Rochester Architects (ERA), which is AIA Rochester's young professionals' group. Michelle was also an active member of AIA Columbus' Associates Committee, and co-chaired a program for high school students which was recognized by the National Associates Committee (NAC) in 2003. Michelle received AIA Rochester's Emerging Architect of the Year Award in 2010. In addition to her service to the AIA, Michelle has over a decade of specialized experience in practicing healthcare architecture. She served on the formation committee for the new Master of Architecture program at Rochester Institute of Technology and was active with the program as an Adjunct Assistant Professor and the IDP Education Coordinator with the program. Michelle graduated cum laude from Kent State University with a Bachelor of Architecture degree.
BLAIR BENSON, ASSOCIATE AIA
Director of Education
Blair Benson has been a member of the Architectural Team at CPL (formerly Clark Patterson Lee) since 2017. Focused primarily on healthcare projects at CPL, she also volunteers on the CPLgreen committee, an internal team tasked with developing sustainable initiatives to implement across the national CPL network.
Benson is a LEED AP in Building Design + Construction and is actively pursuing her professional architect’s license. She is an alumna of Syracuse University (B.S.), and is concluding her M.Arch degree at the Rochester Institute of Technology Golisano Institute for Sustainability. Benson is passionate about making architecture accessible to the next generation of designers, bringing educational, collaborative, and engaging opportunities to students and young professionals in Rochester.
JAY WOODCOCK, AIA
Director of Government Affairs
Jay, a graduate of University of Buffalo (BS Arch) and SUNY Alfred (AAS Architecture Engineering Technology), currently manages the Dwyer Architectural Rochester office as an Associate and Leadership Team member. Jay brings enthusiasm and 17 years of professional experience to the healthcare, medical university and higher education markets. He is a strong leader who commits himself to clients and encourages young professionals. He is focused on the betterment of his local community, possesses a reliable attention to detail and always conducts himself in an unselfish manner in both professional and social situations. In addition to being a fun and loving family man, Jay supports the Rochester AIA, GVRAHE, CSI and serves on the committee for the NYS Healthcare Facilities Conference.
MICHAEL PLACE, AIA
Director of Outreach
Michael Place is a licensed architect in the State of New York; he is currently a Project Architect at LaBella Associates, DPC in Rochester, NY. He holds a Master of Architecture degree from the University at Buffalo, and a BS Architecture degree from the University of Cincinnati. Place’s primary area of practice in the field of architecture is focused on K-12 education facilities, higher education university buildings, and local municipal projects, such as libraries and recreation centers. Place is currently an adjunct assistant professor at the Rochester Institute of Technology, within the Department of Architecture; he teaches two classes per academic year for the department: architectural theory and net zero energy efficient home design. As a board member Place aims to extend the reach of the local AIA chapter by engaging with regional universities and secondary schools, utilizing experience and contacts within these market segments. Specifically, his goal is to further connect the local AIA chapter with high school, trade school and university students that are interested in pursuing a career within the architectural and construction trades.