February 3, 2021
This year’s winner of the Architects League of Northern New Jersey (ALNNJ) Community Service Award is Stacey Ruhle Kliesch, AIA. Stacey has been very involved in bringing STEAM, architectural and creative problem solving to K-12 students since she was in college in Washington D.C. in the 1990s. Currently, these efforts are manifested in STEAM Day presentations across the state, the New Jersey School Board Association STEAM Tank mentoring and judging, AIA New Jersey/ALNNJ K-12 and Environmental Education programs, as well as LEGO build events, individual school and student mentoring and independently designed and offered programs. Stacey was instrumental in bringing the first AIA New Jersey LEGO build to our AIA New Jersey (AIANJ) state convention in 1994 after having volunteered for a similar program at the AIA National Convention in Washington D. C.
Stacey’s efforts also extend to providing historical and architectural tours of her village through “Ridgewood Walks, Ridgewood Talks”, being instrumental in developing the Carl Kemm Loven, AIA, walking tours of Ridgewood and Glen Rock, and participating in an annual, local musical review, Ridgewood High School Jamboree, that raises funds for need-based college scholarships. She has also volunteered for the New Jersey Historic Trust Center for Heritage Preservation, served as a juror for the Design-Build Institute of America, Valley Hospital Auxiliary, Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Mothers Ministry, Bergen County Committee, and served as a trustee and mentor for the Girl Scouts of America of Bergen County.
According to ALNNJ Awards chairman, Todd M. Hause, AIA, “Stacey was selected to receive the award this year because her work, often focused on providing minority, underprivileged or underrepresented communities access, fulfills a primary need of the architectural profession; to help cultivate the next generation of practitioners as inclusive and diverse as our society itself. In order for architecture to be valued by society, we all will need to incorporate Stacey’s values and actions into our own practices.”
Stacey is the Principal at her firm, Stacey Ruhle Kliesch, Architect, LLC, started in 2003. Ms. Kliesch is licensed to practice architecture in NY and NJ, is a New Jersey Certified Interior Designer, a LEED advanced professional, and licensed to sell real estate in New Jersey. Stacey received her Bachelor of Architecture from the Catholic University of America, followed by a Master of Science in Management and a Master of Architecture from the New Jersey Institute of Technology. She has been an adjunct professor of design and guest juror at varied New Jersey colleges over the last 20 years.
Regarding the award, Stacey commented, “I’m so honored to be recognized by the Architects League of Northern New Jersey for my efforts in community service. It is wholly rewarding when I am able to help a population in need, but that does not diminish my appreciation for being celebrated for these acts of service. My goal in sharing the news of this award is that others will be motivated to reach out to their own communities and lend a hand. Lift others up. Share the gifts and opportunities that you have to make some else’s life easier. I am frequently asked, ‘Hey, why should I get involved? I’m not stopping anyone from doing what they want to do.’ While it is true that it’s good to avoid holding anyone back, it is much, much better to reach out to our communities in need and support them in reaching their goals. Be a part of someone else’s success story.”
An award-winning architect, Stacey has been a member of AIA since 1993, 2006 President of The Architects League of Northern New Jersey, and 2009 President of AIA New Jersey. Stacey’s awards include the AIA-NJ Distinguished Service Award in 2010; AIA-NJ Young Architect of the Year in 2008; 2007 recognition for leadership in AIA New Jersey’s regional celebration of the 150 anniversary of AIA; recipient of the Architects League of Northern New Jersy highest honor, the Anton Vegliante Memorial Award, in 2006; the Architects League Young Architect of the Year in 2001; Graduate Scholarship Recipient in 1998 from the Executive Women of New Jersey, 1997 Intern Architect of the Year from AIA-NJ; recipient of Architects League Trustees Awards in 1995 and 1997; recipient of the Architects League Clarence Tabor Memorial Scholarship in 1992; recipient of the Architects League 1991 Albert O. Halse Memorial Scholarship. Stacey is currently the founding chair of the AIA NJ Equity in Architecture committee, a member of the New Jersey Architects Political Action Committee, and an advocacy consultant for AIA New Jersey and the Public Awareness Committee. Over the past 24 months, Stacey has been involved in the production of over 30 hours of dedicated equity programming.
Last year’s recipient, William J. Martin, AIA, commented, “Working closely with Stacey for the last few years, I have come to understand what an incredibly strategic thinker she is in effectively promoting the profession. I could think of no one more deserving than you for the Architects League Community Service Award.”
Stacey’s leadership in AIA New Jersey includes her role as the chair for the Women In Architecture Committee in 2018. Young Architects Forum Regional Liaison from 2004 – 2005, IDP NJ State Coordinator from 1996 – 2004, Associate Committee Chair 1997 – 1999, and Environmental Education Committee Chair from 1996 – 1999. At the Architects League, Stacey has been a member since college graduation in 1993, a trustee from 2002 – 2004 and 1994 – 1998, and past Committee Chair for Membership, Programs, IDP, Associates, YAF, Speakers Bureau, and Public Relations starting as early as 1994. Stacey still volunteers to develop monthly programs for the League today. Stacey also served as AIAS President during her time at CUA.
Stacey loves helping people, being a mom, traveling, public speaking, reading, all water sports, and spending time on the beach. She resides in New Jersey with her husband, Gary, daughters Payton and Skylar, and beloved pup, Piper.
By Stacey Ruhle Kliesch, AIA, AIA NJ Advocacy Consultant | Posted in Architects League of Northern New Jersey, Diversity, EquityInArchitecture, K12 Architecture Education, Members & the Community, NJ Architect Newsletter, Service Awards, Women in Architecture | Tagged: #AIANJ, #ALNNJ, #CommunityService, #communityserviceaward, #diversity, #equity, #Inclusion, #K12, #StaceyRuhleKlieschAIA, #WIA | Comments (0)
Architects are creative professionals, educated, trained, and experienced in the art and science of building design, and licensed to practice architecture. Their designs respond to client needs, wants and vision, protect public safety, provide economic value, are innovative, inspire and contribute positively to the community and the environment.