Sunday, November 20, 2011

November AIA-SWO Chapter Meeting Recap

The nominees for the 2011 AIA-SWO Craftsmanship Awards (all photos mine)

Over 130 design and construction industry members packed the University of Oregon’s new Ford Alumni Center to attend the November AIA-SWO chapter meeting and honor the nominees for and recipients of this year’s Craftsmanship Awards. The event was my profession’s opportunity to extol the virtues of fine craftsmanship and recognize those considered by the jury to be exemplary craftsmen or women. It was a wonderful evening that celebrated the best of the best. 

Attendees enjoying the delicious food at the buffet

The overarching purpose of the awards program is to ensure that the time-honored ideals of craftsmanship are sustained and passed along. Its success is dependent upon nominations of those individuals that local architects believe exemplify the highest standards of craftsmanship.

The Southwestern Oregon chapter of the American Institute of Architects considers anyone in the building trades—cost estimator, fine cabinet maker, job site superintendent, and all the others—worthy of this recognition if they have consistently taken that extra step to ensure a finely crafted building. The success of the most excellent architecture would not be possible without the dedication and skill of these individuals.

John Lawless, AIA served as emcee for the program.

The following is the complete list of the nominees for the 2011 Craftsmanship Awards:

Annah James – Annah James Studio
Caleb Bruce – Foci
Chris O'Sheedy – Innovative Air
Dana Fuller – 2G Construction
Dave Krull – Chambers Construction
Dave Veldhuizen – Six Degrees Construction
David Roberts – Gormley Plumbing & Mechanical
Dennis Coduti – Dennis Coduti G.C.
Don Brockman – Chambers Construction
Frank Goin – Bridgeway Contracting
Gary Bartel – Benny Bartel Company
Jesse Elliot – 2G Construction
John Burbee – EC Company
Kelly Willis – John Hyland Construction
Lee Hansen – Lee Hansen Painting
Martin Grant – Heartwood Carving Studios
Matt Imlach – Wildish Building Co.
Mike Nowak – 2G Construction
Randy Teeney – Marion Construction
Richard Shields – Rubenstein’s
Scott Brown – Scott Brown Construction
Tim Coslow – Tim Coslow Woodworking
Tom Allen – Smith Sheet Metal

The awards jury was pleased that the nominees for the 2011 Craftsmanship Awards represented a broad spectrum of skill sets and experience, and offered the following remarks:

We, the jury for the 2011 AIA Southwestern Oregon Craftsmanship Awards, were very impressed with both the broad range and skill of the nominees. As architects, we are well aware that these craftsmen are just a few of the many that are so important to building our homes and community with quality and beauty. To have been nominated for this award is a reward in itself. It speaks to the fact that their skills were recognized for honor by our members and/or their peers—and all nominees should feel proud and honored—we congratulate you all.

Nominations were reviewed representing trades or skills reflecting the wide and varied contributions to the design and construction industry. This of course makes judging the nominees difficult, as direct comparisons are not possible, nor appropriate. Thus, each nominee was judged on the merits of their body of work as illustrated or described in the nomination submission, and the range of support and comment for each nomination.

The nominees singled out by the jury for a Craftsmanship Award were those that stood out as exemplary within their trade or profession, possessing a demonstrated dedication or passion for the work that they do and the contributions they make. We are very pleased to have made our selections for award from such an impressive field of nominees, and congratulate the finalists receiving their Awards this evening.

The jury selected the following individuals as the deserving recipients of the 2011 Craftsmanship Awards:

Annah James with Kurt Albrecht, AIA, AIA-SWO President-Elect

Annah James – Annah James Studio (Art Glass)
Annah brings a unique combination of art glass artistry and architectural sensitivity to her work. It is rare to find that blend of cross disciplinary experience when collaborating to integrate art and architecture. Annah exemplifies the highest measure of that gift.

She works to understand the essence of a project and reflects it beautifully into her artwork and thus the architecture. Annah’s ability to collaborate with architects and clients to draw out the inspiration for the work has connected her clients more closely with their own projects.

Caleb Bruce with Kurt Albrecht, AIA

Caleb Bruce – Foci (Cabinet Maker)
Caleb is recognized for his ability to create complex cabinetry/interior panel rooms and spaces with precision, enthusiasm and distinction. To each project he brings enthusiasm, knowledge and an abundance of skills. Whether the budget for the scope of work is $10,000 or $300,000 his professionalism, attention to details, and craftsmanship never waver. 

As a collaborator, he is a gifted communicator able to take an initial idea from paper to the level of functional art in the built environment. Without exception, when clients see the product he provides, a smile develops in realizing the gift they have received.

David Roberts

David Roberts – Gormley Plumbing (Pipe Fitter)
Dave’s work sequence and fine quality craftsmanship as a pipe fitter is a pleasure to observe in the field.  He is strategic in planning the placement of tanks and piping so as to allow for future service and maintenance. 

He has a personal commitment to excellence in his work. He is great to work with and pays exceptional attention to quality and detail. It has been suggested that his work be used as a standard of excellence for other pipe fitters when they are ready to embark on future boiler replacements.

Don Brockman

Don Brockman – Chambers Construction (Superintendent)
Don provides superior and consistent leadership during construction projects. He is a great communicator and his thoughtful, proactive approach to orchestrating the entire design and construction team is invaluable. 

His expectations for quality are high and he continually delivers the best results. Don inspires everyone on his job sites to feel ownership for their parts of the project.  As a superintendent he treats his work as would a great craftsman, with an eye for detail and a desire for perfection. 

Michael Nowak

Michael Nowak – 2G Construction (Superintendent)
Michael has worked in the construction industry for over thirty years as a carpenter, project manager and superintendent. He is known for his conscientiousness, for his sensitivity to clients’ concerns, and for his absolute commitment to quality workmanship and safe performance.

His problem solving skills and his ability to overcome significant logistical issues are outstanding and greatly appreciated by both architects and clients.

Randy Teeney

Randy Teeney – Marion Construction (Concrete Form & Finish)
Randy provides excellent leadership during fabrication of tilt- up concrete panels. His crews assemble formwork with the precision and care typically found in finish carpentry. He works diligently to ensure a high-quality finish and a great looking finished product.

He is a pleasure to work with, communicates and coordinates very well with other members of the construction team, and with his many years of construction knowledge and attention to detail he provides quality work placed safely and efficiently.

Richard Shields

Richard Shields – Rubenstein’s (Quantity Estimator)
Richard has demonstrated terrific workmanship and is a hidden jewel of craftsmanship. Hhe has been a quantity estimator for 25 years and has estimated up to 40,000 projects during that period. He is the one that is sought for complicated work or to back-check others and he might be one of the best in his field in the world. 

He is typically hidden behind the scenes of a project but he looks ahead to anticipate potential problems. His magic is often in what you do not see or hear about. He is always cheerful and friendly. He is an estimator extraordinaire.

Scott Brown

Scott Brown – Scott Brown Construction (Concrete Finisher)
Scott is skilled at forming, pouring and creating beautifully finished concrete flatwork and walls.  He is able to satisfy structural requirements with aesthetically pleasing results.

He provides a high quality level of work even while working with the often challenging layout of curvilinear projects. He has great technical construction knowledge and has shown a willingness and ability to collaborate with artists to integrate his work with theirs. Scott is a true craftsman when it comes to working with concrete. 

Tom Allen

Tom Allen – Smith Sheet Metal (Sheet Metal Fabrication)
Tom has shown an exceptional attention to craft and detail and also a collaborative spirit when working with both design and construction teams.  He seeks to make sure that the sheet metal work is done well: straight, true flat and tight. 

He is hard working, solution oriented, proactive and well organized.  He is a pleasure to work with and his emphasis on quality and craftsmanship is evident in all his work.   Tom is serious about his work and demonstrates a commitment to pursue the highest standards of his craft.

The jury also chose to present a distinctive award to an individual who has dedicated his career to the cause of excellence in the construction industry. That individual is my good friend Gary Bartel:

Following in the footsteps of his father, Benny Bartel, who was also an award winner, we are pleased to present Gary Bartel with the 2011 AIA/SWO SPECIAL ACHIEVEMENT AWARD, to thank him for his decades of excellent service to our industry. Gary Bartel has been managing Benny Bartel Company since 1983 when he took over for his father, Benny Bartel (a previous Craftsmanship Award Winner).

Under Gary's management the company expanded from plastering to drywall and then to acoustic ceilings, demountable partitions, metal studs, access flooring and sound wall systems. Even as the newer products emerged that required less ability of a true craftsman, Gary emphasized the quality of the finished product. Loyalty was automatic with well-trained plasterers working for Benny Bartel Company. It was not uncommon to find a supervisor or plasterer that had been with the company 20 or more years.

Tonight, Gary is recognized by the American Institute of Architects – Southwestern Oregon Chapter with this SPECIAL ACHIEVEMENT AWARD for his career as not only a plaster craftsman but also for his life-long dedication to helping educate his fellow trades people and to better the design and construction community as a whole. Thank you, Gary.

Gary Bartel

I’ve considered Gary a professional mentor since I first met him back in 1988. All of the other architects who have known Gary for as long as I have (and longer) hold him in the highest regard as a construction professional. There’s no one more deserving of this award or a nicer guy than Gary.

The 2011 Craftsmanship Awards program was a great success due to the efforts of the organizing committee, the jury, and most significantly all of the award recipients and nominees. Congratulations to everyone involved!

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