2014 Session 7 Speakers

Facilitator Presentation:

Partnering for Profits, Teaming for Fun

A fun project usually means a profitable one. Learn how Partnering can impact your bottom line and make the project much more fun. Partnering is a tool that teams can use to set expectations and outline how to resolve conflicts. Using a tool like this when managing a team can lead to honest collaborative work. M. Silver & Co. will present this tool and discuss how to apply to any project team.

Charles Silver, Vice President, M. Silver & Company

As Vice President of M. Silver & Company, Charlie Silver is responsible for the areas of speaking, facilitating and training. The company focuses on cultural change in the building industries such as construction, engineering and design. Its mission is to help organizations implement their strategies for adapting to the new technological and demographic environments that they face.

Prior to forming M. Silver in 1999, Mr. Silver was Director of FMI Corporation, the world’s largest consulting firm serving the construction industry. His responsibilities were focused on improving the presentation and business development efforts of his clients through the use of straightforward training and coaching skills.

Mr. Silver has trained over 10,000 people throughout his career. He has worked in 46 states and 22 countries on 5 continents, training people in both English and Spanish. As a convention speaker, Charlie has shared the stage with Mary Lou Retton, Bobby Knight and Norman Vincent Peale. He has spoken before design and construction firms and national and regional AGC and Society of Marketing Professional Service conventions.

He is a nationally recognized facilitator, able to bring diverse and complex groups together toward a common goal and executable action plan. As a partnering/team building facilitator, Charlie has worked with over 75 project teams and management groups. Projects ranged from $8 million to several billion, from city parks to nuclear power plants to airports. Many of the projects involved multicultural teams working both in the US and abroad. His skilled facilitation saved some of the more difficult projects from failure or extensive claims.

Among other careers, Mr. Silver has worked in real estate development, sales and sales management, consulting, construction, farming and was a combat pilot in the Marine Corps. He is the author of the textbook, Real Estate Economics and was Chairman of a Community Bank. Mr. Silver is a graduate of the University of North Carolina, has an MBA from Chapman University, and attended North Carolina Central University School of Law.

Steven served as a member of the AIA|DC Board (2007-2011, vice president, 2009, president, 2010). His major accomplishment on the AIA|DC Board was to lead the effort to create and fund the District Architecture Center, Steven currently serves on the Board of the Washington Architectural Foundation. He has also been an active member of the preservation community serving as chair of the Montgomery County, Md., Historic Preservation Commission, president of the board of the Maryland Assoc. of Historic District Commissions, and as board member of Montgomery Preservation. He has acted as guest critic and lecturer at various local universities and regional preservation conferences.

Steven is dedicated to the notion of service beyond oneself. Leading by example, he and his firm have designed several award-winning pro bono projects for community groups. An avid amateur musician, he is immediate past president of the board of the Washington Conservatory of Music. He has also served as vice president for the Maritime Museum of America Project of the National Maritime Heritage Foundation. For his many professional and civic accomplishments, Steven was elevated to the College of Fellows of the American Institute of Architects in 2012.

Roundtable Discussion:

Large Project Team Complexities and Strategies 

Moderated by Marek Hnizda

This panel will include the following elements:

  • Project Introduction (magnitude and quantity of players involved, specifically the panelist that represent components of the project teams)
  • Dialogue with the panelists about the relationships of various project participants
  • Q & A

Charles Westberg

Charles is Managing Director of CEW Project & Development Services

Mr. Westberg is the Managing Director of CEW Project & Development Services and has over 20 years experience providing Owner’s Representation and Development Management Services.  Mr. Westberg’s expertise includes entitlements, design management, project budgets and schedules, contract negotiation, and construction management.   Mr. Westberg’s focus on team collaboration and the implementation of project documentation and process management brings an attention to detail that is unwavering in meeting client goals and objectives.

Mr. Westberg has recently completed two significant projects in the Washington DC metropolitan area. Constitution Center (former DOT Headquarters) was an urban campus building which covered an entire city block involving the base building renovation of 2.2 million square feet and the tenant fit out of 1.4 million square feet.   The Defense Health Headquarters was a 700,000 square foot renovation in Falls Church, VA.  The project was composed of two projects; a core and shell renovation in combination with a full tenant fit out for GSA.  Mr. Westberg was the Project Executive for both projects managing the entire project.

Prior to completing the above referenced projects, Mr. Westberg was employed by Jones Lang LaSalle as a Vice President for their mid-Atlantic region which included Washington, Baltimore and Virginia area. Prior to Jones Lang LaSalle, Mr. Westberg was an employee at Identix, Inc. as Project Manager for their Facilities Group supporting the Federal Government on multiple large scale historic renovation projects in Washington, DC.  Mr. Westberg began his career with a general contractor as an estimator and assistant project manager which provided him with the frame work and understanding of the nuts and bolts of the industry.

John P. Grounds, AIA

John Grounds is a Senior Project Manager, HKS Architects

As a Senior Project Manager and Registered Architect, John Grounds possesses the skills and education required to successfully lead projects from inception to completion.  His 24 years of experience include business development, contract negotiation, master planning, building design, construction documentation, agency processing, consultant coordination, and construction administration.  As a project lead, he successfully coordinates the efforts of a diverse team of individuals including project managers, engineering consultants, designers, and architectural staff.

In service to the profession, he has been recognized by his peers and elected to leadership positions within the American Institute of Architects and California Architectural Foundation.  Throughout his career, he has taken an active role in defining the goals and exceeding the expectations of both his clients and colleagues.

Michael Pittsman

Michael Pittsman is a Senior Vice President at Davis Construction.

Upon graduation in 1992 from the Architectural Engineering Program at Pennsylvania State University, Mike entered the DC marketplace as a structural engineer. For the first five years of his career, Mike worked at two different consulting structural engineering firms downtown Washington, DC. His main focus was on performing structural design on high profile projects including the US Fish and Wildlife and Verizon Center.

Joining DAVIS Construction in 1997, one of Mike’s greatest strengths lies in hi abilty to develop and foster a true team approach environment to design and construction collaboration. As Senior Vice President, Mike is responsible for the Commercial Office Building market sector which includes commercial office buildings, build to suit specialty office buildings, and complex transit oriented garage facilities. His energy and enthusiasm haven’t wavered from day one, and his tireless supervision has helped expand DAVIS’ role as a market leader. An expert in identifying and resolving challenges, he thrives on collaborating with the client team to make the most of every project from the earliest stages of preconstruction to final completion.

John_EdwardsJohn Edwards, AIA

John Edwards is a Senior Project Manager at Bonstra l Haresign ARCHITECTS.

Mr. Edwards is a Senior Project Manager and chief sustainability design leader for Bonstra|Haresign ARCHITECTS. Mr. Edwards has been working in various capacities within the architectural profession for more than 20 years. Prior to joining Bonstra|Haresign ARCHITECTS, Mr. Edwards was associated with SMB Architects, PC. With these firms, he has been involved in several award-winning projects, most notably the 12-story headquarters of the National Association for Realtors, which became the first new Class-A commercial building in Washington to receive LEED certification, in cooperation with the Gund Partnership.

Robert Walker, PE, PLA, LEED AP

Rob-Walker2Robert Walker is a Principal at William H. Gordon Associates.

Mr. Walker is a long standing principle of the firm and holds unique credentials by being both a professional engineer and a licensed landscape architect. Because of this combination, Mr. Walker provides a multi-faceted design approach and his solutions have as much appreciation for aesthetics as they do function. Throughout his career, Mr. Walker has personally managed some of the largest projects in the firm and has overseen projects with total construction budgets as large as $370 million.

Mr. Walker’s areas of expertise include site security, federal, municipal, commercial and residential land development, recreational and industrial type projects. His design expertise includes site analysis, due diligence evaluation, master planning, site layout and grading, low impact design, LEED, storm water management and regulatory compliance.

Mr. Walker attended Pennsylvania State University and holds a Bachelor’s degree in Landscape Architecture. In 2006, he became a certified LEED Accredited Professional. He is also recognized as a Designated Pans Examiner (DPE) in several Northern Virginia jurisdictions including Fairfax and Loudoun Counties. Mr. Walker’s recent community involvement includes serving on the Reston Master Plan Update Task Force.

Tour & Presentation:

Commission of Fine Arts

The presentation will provide a brief history of the U.S. Commission of Fine Arts and its impact on the development of Washington, DC.  It will include an explanation of the review process and the unique stakeholder role the CFA plays in projects large and small.  A tour of CFA’s offices and a review of historic exhibits will follow.

Thomas Luebke, FAIA, Secretary of the U.S. Commission of Fine Arts

Thomas Luebke, FAIA, has served since 2005 as the Secretary of the U.S. Commission of Fine Arts, the federal design review agency for the nation’s capital.  As the executive director of the agency, he has edited the 2013 book, Civic Art: A Centennial History of the U.S. Commission of Fine Arts; he initiated and guided the National Capital Framework Plan, 2009, a major federal planning effort to extend the commemorative core of the National Mall, in cooperation with the National Capital Planning Commission.

An architect with experience in planning and historic preservation in both public and private sectors, Luebke served previously as the City Architect for Alexandra, Virginia, where he was responsible for design review of all new public and private projects in the city, including the Potomac Yard and Carlyle developments.  He served previously as executive director of the Mayors’ Institute on City Design, an urban design forum sponsored by the National Endowment for the Arts.  He  is a frequent speaker and panelist on topics such as the design of Washington, DC; the history of the U.S. Commission of Fine Arts; and the design of commemorative works for such institutions as the National Building Museum, the Smithsonian Institution, the American Institute of Architects, and the American Society of Landscape Architects.  In cooperation with the National Building Museum, he has initiated and participated in numerous symposiums and exhibits, including Monuments and Memory (2001), Framing A Capital City (2007), and Power, Architecture, and Politics: The U.S. Commission of Fine Arts and the Design of Washington (2010).

Luebke is a Phi Beta Kappa and honors graduate of Washington University in St. Louis, and he graduated with a master in architecture degree from the Harvard University Graduate School of Design, where he was a teaching fellow in architectural history. He was a visiting scholar at the American Academy in Rome in 2010.  He served as president of the board of the Washington Architectural Foundation, a non-profit organization of architects serving the Washington, DC community, leading the transformation of the institution’s mission as the District Architecture Center. He was named a Fellow of the American Institute of Architects in 2011.