There’s an adage that leaders aren’t born, they’re made. Made through experience, hard work, failure, through childhood passions realized, and patient and caring mentors along the way. For some, the path to leadership is a straight line, a logical road; for others, it’s a meandering path dotted with purposeful pauses along the way. For all, it’s a choice made and remade with intentional pivots, meaningful relationships, and notable projects. Today, we recognize and celebrate eleven individuals whose choices, contributions, and commitment have led them here, to leadership.
Baskervill is pleased to announce the promotion of Angelo Phillos to Principal and Anna Kreyling, Anca Lipan, Allison Lynch, Jonah Margarella, Sheena Mayfield, Debra Nemeth, Courtney Neston, Julie Norman, Gene Sikes, and Kathy Thomas to Associate. These eleven encompass a diverse cross-section of our business, from architecture and interior design, to accounting, specifications, marketing, and communications. Get to know them, below.
Angelo Phillos, AIA | Principal, Mixed-Use & Multifamily
Angelo Phillos, AIA is an unassuming guy. Not one for the spotlight, you aren’t likely to find him at networking events or conferences. In fact, this announcement celebrating him makes him uncomfortable. He’s here for the work and the people, and the work that results when those people collaborate. When he was 10 years old, Angelo went to work in the kitchen of his family’s restaurant. For six years, he’d work side-by-side with the executive chef, learning how to translate raw materials into something magical. Presentation was everything. It was a crash course in decision making and creativity, but mostly in the power of mentorship and influence. It’s those same things—learning, creating, teaching—that continue to inspire Angelo and what make him great at what he does.
With a career spanning 25 years, today Angelo leads Baskervill’s Mixed-Use & Multifamily studio, where his people-first attitude is perhaps his strongest asset. Made an associate in 2018, Angelo’s promotion to principal is a natural result of his steadfast humanity and nurturing leadership. “Angelo has this amazing ability to connect with people. He builds trust with his team and rapport with clients and consulting partners; it’s who he is,” says Baskervill Chairman Burt Pinnock. “He believes in the power of the collective, approaching the work with that mantra every day.” With some big projects in his portfolio—among them the Greater Richmond Convention Center, Queally Hall Robins School of Business at the University of Richmond, and the recently completed NOVA of Virginia Aquatics facility at Regency—Angelo understands that it’s the day-in, day-out teamwork that sets the stage for great design and a great experience. And it’s that experience, the process of coming together, that continues to excite and engage him.
Anna Kreyling, CID, NCIDQ
Design Director, Hospitality
Anna Kreyling, CID, NCIDQ grew up on construction sites. With a general contractor father, her path to hands-on design leader was born out of a love of transforming found materials into small sculptures. With a dual degree in art and creative writing and a Master of Art in Interior Design, today Anna translates a love of innovation and exploration into her role as a Design Director in Baskervill’s Hospitality studio. “Interior design is this really beautiful blend of creative expression and practicality that I love,” she says. “I am constantly inspired by our industry and the talented people doing amazing work!” In her seven years with the firm, Anna has built a reputation as a thoughtful and intentional designer and leader – striving to balance unique design choices with a pragmatic eye, all while prioritizing relationships and celebrating talent. “Anna’s exceptional attention to detail, foresight, and focus on building collaboration with clients, contractors, and her internal team is what sets her apart,” says Hospitality Principal Terri Callaway. “We are thrilled to recognize that drive and leadership.”
Anca Lipan, AIA, LEED AP BD+C
“Each project is unique and captivates me,” says Anca Lipan, AIA, LEED AP BD+C, a studio director leading civic, cultural, and higher education projects. “The processes, synergies, and teamwork never cease to amaze me.” Over the years her work has included a diverse array of projects, but Anca points to a childhood surrounded by architects (her dad was a structural engineer) as the start of her fascination for the design process and the collaboration that unfolds over a set of drawings. Highly technical and detail-oriented by nature, it’s navigating the challenge of bringing an SR-71 stealth plane into the Science Museum of Virginia or helping client VIMS get through a Division of Engineering and Buildings’ review of their Chesapeake Bay Hall project with no comments that keeps Anca coming back for more. Leading teams on complex, multi-year projects has been a foundational aspect of Anca’s 27-year career, and where she’s most energized. “Her approach is wrapped up in a single quote: ‘I just want our work to be the best’,” says Chairman Burt Pinnock. “She embodies that approach with every decision, every day.”
Director of Strategy & Communications
“In the world of strategy and communication, the path forward can often be cloudy and filled with myriad options. Allison has a truly unique ability to assess conditions and identify actionable strategic steps to give clarity and direction,” says President Bob Clark. Indeed, Allison’s background in construction gives her a deep understanding of how buildings come to life—but her capacity to know and understand the built environment means she follows the intricacies of each project from groundbreaking to grand opening, harnessing the power of language to champion what our designers do every day. It’s that curiosity of a journalist and precision of an editor that allows Allison to align Baskervillians across studios and locations through communications that are true, relevant, and inspiring. With a clear-headed approach to problem solving and an incredible propensity to remember details, Allison is a resource for any public relations quarry, whether it’s finding the right team member for an interview or conveying a complex technical element to a general audience. As Director of Strategy and Communications, Allison leads both internal and external messaging, continuously shaping the voice of Baskervill.
Jonah Margarella, AIA, LEED AP
Studio Director, Workplace
It’s not often you meet architects enamored with, and excited by, codes, but they exist. In fact, Jonah Margarella, AIA, LEED AP, a studio director in the firm’s Workplace studio, is one of those architects. Raised by an artist and a physicist, Jonah was influenced early by the beauty created when science and art coalesce. “I’m inspired by creating something tangible from ideas conceived in imagination,” he says, and translating lines on the page into something safe and accessible is where Jonah shines. He flexes his expertise as a gubernatorial appointee to the Commonwealth of Virginia’s Building Code Technical Review Board and a building plans examiner for the Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development. “Jonah simply has an eagerness to make himself, the firm, and those around him better,” says Principal Alan Davis. “Have an idea to develop or help with some unusual aspect of the building code? Jonah will roll up his sleeves.” Projects necessitating a mix of community-building and technical finesse are his passion, and where he most hopes to make an impact moving forward.
Sheena Mayfield, AIA
Architect, Mixed-Use & Multifamily
“I like to solve problems,” says Sheena Mayfield, AIA. “When I was younger, I was constantly reimagining how things I used daily—clothing, buildings, products—could be made better.” This desire to create meaningful change has been the driving force of Sheena’s career from the outset. Sheena considers her work a creative investment in her, and the broader, community, mixing her work as an architect in the firm’s Mixed-Use & Multifamily studio with time as an adjunct professor at VCU and leader of Baskervill’s youth education and outreach programs. With each new project and volunteer engagement: new challenges and opportunities to learn. “There’s not only new (to me) architectural techniques, but often new (to me) cultural or historic information, which allows me to help create more inclusive and interesting spaces,” she says. Baskervill Chairman Burt Pinnock identifies Sheena’s ability to negotiate the varying nuances of multi-million-dollar residential projects alongside affordable housing work as one of her greatest skills. “She is a true renaissance architect in the making,” he says, pinpointing her ability to understand the intersectional value of diverse types of work as a particularly noteworthy aspect of her leadership.
Debra Nemeth, LEED AP
Project Manager, Manufacturing & Logistics
Inspired by the complex dance of form and function, Deb Nemeth, LEED AP, came to architecture the way many architects do: at the suggestion of a parent who saw potential. Blending a love of art and creative pursuits with a strong analytical side, Deb thrives as a project manager in the firm’s Manufacturing & Logistics studio. “Coordinating between the intricate functional requirements and the building design is a puzzle to solve,” says Deb. “It’s challenging, fun, and so rewarding when it all comes together.” Often working with highly technical and sometimes confidential clients, Deb navigates the intricacies of each client’s unique process to forge a solution that meets their needs. The projects are incredibly complicated and designed from the inside out, making every project a crash course in learning the client, and their business. But it’s her ability to connect with people that makes her a multi-faceted force. “Deb touches all facets of her projects,” says Bob Clark, Baskervill’s president. “She helps set the marketing strategy and—a skilled business developer—builds relationships to win work, all while guiding clients and mentoring junior staff. She’s an inspiration.”
Director of Marketing
Courtney Neston, Baskervill’s Director of Marketing, started her career as a landscape architect. An unconventional path? Maybe. But an interest in the connections between the built and natural environment shaped her journey from designer to director, where today she guides the firm’s global marketing efforts. With a passion for growing relationships and new business, it’s no surprise that during her four years at Baskervill she’s helped to substantially expand the firm’s client base in key markets. She understands the inherent connections between data capture and pursuit strategy, and confidently leads efforts in refining how the firm leverages information. Motivated by seeing years’ worth of groundwork manifest as a building serving its purpose, Courtney keenly navigates the balance of long-range planning and tactical moves needed to keep a consistent flow of projects in the pipeline. “Courtney sees the path from early opportunities to project wins clearly, facilitating the research and meaningful relationships needed,” says Bob Clark, firm president. “She challenges us to plan five moves ahead and holds us to it.”
Julie Norman, MBA
In design firms Baskervill’s size, there’s a whole host of magic that happens behind the scenes. For every line drawn, perfect material selected, or window placement agonized over, a team of unsung talent tracks hours, invoices, and payments. They learn the history of each project, understand what phase it’s in, help navigate questions and concerns. Julie Norman, MBA, project accountant, is one of those people. With a knack for being able to simplify complex project accounting issues, Julie has been a go-to resource for project leaders during her nine years with the firm. “Many clients contact her directly if they have questions or need information,” says Baskervill Principal and CFO Margaret Hood, “She’s truly a part of the project teams.” Julie’s enthusiasm for creating processes and organizing data for optimal financial tracking means she thrives leveraging her depth of knowledge to help teams become more efficient and effective. “Being a project accountant may not sound inspiring to some, but I embrace how our work supports teams from pursuit to project completion,” Julie says. But her true passion? Putting her optimization skills to work each fall leading Baskervill’s Thanksgiving Basket Brigade to provide a Thanksgiving meal to families in need.
Gene Sikes, RA
Curious by nature, Gene Sikes, RA has been interested in design and construction for as long as he can remember. “It comes innately to me,” he says. “I can see in my head how the pieces and parts of something come together before pen is even put to paper.” Gene spent three years as one of 13 students in Virginia Tech’s inaugural Building Construction program before transferring into Architecture to finish his degree, giving him an exposure to the construction side of the business most architects don’t have. His gift for seeing a design at both micro and macro levels, long before it’s ever built, makes Gene a beloved asset in Baskervill’s Hospitality studio. “Gene has an unparalleled wealth of building and construction experience,” says Principal Terri Callaway. “His knowledge is critical in helping our teams navigate complex construction issues or the subtleties of specific building types.” Sharing that knowledge is what excites Gene; helping the next generation grow is a responsibility he takes very seriously and enjoys immensely. Over his nearly 40-year career, Gene’s worked on projects across the globe. But it’s his farm in Virginia where he finds solace and the inspiration to ask, “what’s in store for today?”
Kathy Thomas, IIDA
Director of Specifications
Kathy Thomas, IIDA knows that great design is good for the soul. After studying both psychology and interior design at Virginia Tech, Kathy puts her knowledge of applied psychology methods to work translating ideas and conversations into physical space as the firm’s Director of Specifications. A natural shift from her many years as a designer, specifications combines the creative design, technical writing, and interpersonal connection Kathy thrives on. “Working with our internal teams is such a pleasure, says Kathy. “They’re talented and diverse but unpretentious. That humility is essential to great design because it encourages collaboration and innovation.” And, in her role, Kathy collaborates with just about everyone. A member of the firm’s Sustainability and Standards & Process committees, she’s passionate about mentoring colleagues and helping design teams play a more active role in developing project manuals. “Kathy has such a depth of knowledge and a keen interest in firm processes,” says Terri Callaway, principal and head of the Standards & Process committee. “Her voice and input are central to discussions about how we work together to create quality deliverables moving forward.”
Congratulations, all! We can’t wait to see what you do next.