At Awards Gala AIA-NJ Reflects and Looks Toward Future

January 13, 2014

Design Competition Winners and Service Award Recipients Honored, 2014 Officers Installed During Jan. 11 Event in Shrewsbury

From the creation of innovative new homes, offices, schools and other buildings to the preservation of some of New Jersey’s most important structures, the architecture profession had a profound impact on New Jersey in 2013.

While the New Jersey chapter of the American Institute of Architects (AIA-NJ), which was formed in 1900, has long played an important role in improving the landscape and economy of The Garden State, 2013 was an especially active year for the organization and its members.


(L to R) Jack Purvis, 2013 AIA-NJ President presents Kurt Kalafsky, 2014 President, with his official gavel.

On Jan. 11, New Jersey’s architectural community gathered with friends and family to reflect on the year’s successes. At AIA-NJ’s annual awards gala, held at Shadowbrook in Shrewsbury, the organization honored the winners of its annual design competition. A total of 17 projects were recognized for their originality and advancement of the field. Additionally, AIA-NJ honored the recipients of its service awards, which are bestowed upon individuals and firms that have demonstrated exceptional service to the profession.


2014 AIA-NJ Officers at installation

The awards gala also served as an opportunity for AIA-NJ to install its 2014 officers, providing a glimpse into what’s in store for the organization this year. The 2014 officers include: 

  • Kurt M Kalafsky, AIA, of Howell, N.J., will serve as 2014 president. A founding principal and chief technology officer of Iselin, N.J.-based The Aztec Corporation and Aztec Architects LLC, Kalafsky has been an AIA-NJ member for 20 years and has served in several other positions, including president-elect second vice president, secretary and chair of the Bylaws and Codes and Standards committees.
  • Kimberly Bunn, AIA, of Moorestown, N.J., will serve as president-elect. Owner and principal of Moorestown-based Bunn Architecture, Bunn has been a member of AIA for 20 years, and has served in a leadership capacity for more than a decade. Bunn currently sits on the Board of Trustees and chairs the Communications Committee, and has served as first and second vice president.
  • Justin A. Mihalik, AIA, of Essex Fells, N.J., will serve as first vice president. A principal at Essex Fells, N.J.-based J.A. Mihalik Architect LLC, Mihalik has been a member of AIA-NJ for the past 15 years, and recently served two consecutive two-year terms as the organization’s treasurer.
  • Steven Lazarus, AIA, of Englewood, N.J., will serve as second vice president. A founding principal of Englewood-based Axis Architectural Studio, Lazarus has been a registered architect and member of AIA since 1986.
  • Judy Donnelly, AIA, of Hackettstown, N.J., will begin a two-year term as secretary. The principal owner of Hackettstown-based Donnelly Architecture, LLC, Donnelly has been an active member of AIA for more than 10 years, and has served the organization in many capacities including secretary, first vice president and president-elect.
  • Ben Lee, AIA, of Morristown, N.J., will resume his role as treasurer. Managing principal and chief financial officer of Morristown-based NK Architects, Lee has more than 35 years of experience in architecture. He was the 2011 president for Architects League of Northern New Jersey, one of AIA-NJ’s six local sections.
  • Robert Cozzarelli, AIA, of Belleville N.J., will begin a three-year term as regional director. A principal of Rutherford, N.J.-based Bertone Cozzarelli Healthcare Architects, Cozzarelli is a 28-year member of AIA. He has served the organization in many capacities including 2004 president. He is a past winner of the AIA-NJ Architect of the Year award
  • Jason Peist, AIA, of Nutley N.J., will resume his role as associate regional director. Design director for Rutherford, N.J.-based T.M. Rybak & Associates (TMR), Peist has been a member of AIA for five years. In addition to his new role as associate regional director for AIA-NJ, Peist is active in AIA-Newark and Suburban, one of the state chapter’s six local sections, where he is a trustee and chair of the Emerging Professionals committee.
  • Jack Purvis, AIA, of Howell, N.J., will serve as past president. Owner of Allenwood, N.J.-based Jack A. Purvis Architect, Purvis has served AIA-NJ as president, first vice president and second vice president. He is a past winner of the AIA-NJ Architect of the Year award.

“The past year was an incredibly active period for AIA-NJ, which played a pivotal role in New Jersey’s effort to recovery from Superstorm Sandy and prepare for the future,” Kalafsky said.  “In 2013, AIA-NJ leadership implemented a design program to help rebuild Camp Osborn in Brick Township, paved the way for the introduction of legislation that will help the state better respond to natural disasters, organized a seminar aimed at protecting our cities from storms, created guidelines for elevating historic structures faced with flooding and assisted the needy with philanthropic efforts such as Canstruction. As we carry strong momentum into 2014, these are just a handful of the initiatives that we’ll look to build on as we continue to provide services that are relevant to members and potential members who want to advance the profession of architecture and, ultimately, improve the infrastructure and economy of New Jersey.”

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