Session 4 Speakers

Ronnie McGhee, AIA, LEED AP | Ronnie is a native Washingtonian and has spent his thirty years of professional practice in the Washington area. He has designed and completed work on numerous DC Landmark and US Park Service (USPS), National Register Listed properties, served on the DC Historic Preservation Review Board for six years and the National Trust of Historic Preservation for five years. He is listed with both the DC Historic Preservation Review Branch and US Park Service as a Historic Architect.

As an architect and teacher, Ronnie believes that architects have a responsibility and special role to play in defining the direction and future of their communities. He has concentrated his more recent work on the design of sustainable new and existing buildings including libraries, offices, residences and retail spaces that reflect good construction and urban design practices. He remains an active faculty member of the School of Architecture at Howard University

Ava Abramowitz, Esquire | A former assistant United States attorney for the District of Columbia, Ava J. Abramowitz has been serving as a mediator for the federal courts for the District of Columbia since the late eighties, mediating a diverse assortment of civil cases from international and domestic corporate cases to those involving intellectual property and employment discrimination, all of which have placed a premium on negotiation skills. Since leaving her position as a vice president of Victor O. Schinnerer & Company, Inc., the underwriting manager of the CNA Insurance Companies’ architects and engineers professional liability insurance program, Ms. Abramowitz has mediated insurance disputes and has also served as an owner’s representative on residential construction projects.

Formerly the deputy general counsel of The American Institute of Architects, Ms. Abramowitz is the author of The Architect’s Essentials of Contract Negotiation (John Wiley & Sons 2002). A senior fellow of the Design Futures Council, she is also a founding fellow of the American College of Construction Lawyers and is currently serving on its Board of Governors. Additionally, she is serving as the first public member of the National Council of Architectural Registration Boards. A former member of the Governing Committee of the American Bar Association’s Forum on the Construction Industry, Ms. Abramowitz is the 2008 recipient of the Forum’s Cornerstone Award. Ms. Abramowitz is a graduate of Brandeis University and the George Washington University Law School.

Terrence M. McShane, Esquire | As a founding member of Lee & McShane, PC, Terry concentrates his practice in commercial litigation involving construction, employment, insurance and real estate matters. His commercial litigation practice includes representing over 600 professional A/E firms, many of which are in the ENR top 100 as well as owner representative disputes; commercial litigation involving various insurance companies, banks, real estate entities and other corporations in government contract actions and employment disputes. He also advises clients on contracts, commercial leases and employment issues as well as other business transactional matters. Prior to forming Lee & McShane, Terry was a Partner with Carr, Goodson, Lee & Warner.

For over 20 years, Terry has been a frequent speaker for various professional organizations including the American Institute of Architects, the American Council of Engineering Companies, the District of Columbia Bar Association, and other organizations making presentations to architects, engineers and lawyers on various legal topics and risk management issues.