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AIAGR Board of Directors Ballot for May 30th Vote

Posted by: 
Deborah Dik
Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Each year, your AIA Grand Rapids Board of Directors is faced, as is every organization, with succession--the need to find and develop new leadership.  This year a number of qualified candidates came forward with an interest in serving on the AIA Grand Rapids Board.  


Please review the following candidates in preparation for the May 30th vote.


Vice President:  Two-Year Term (Vice President through May 2014 and President through May 2015)

Mike Belisle, AIA

Mike was born in Pontiac, Illinois, March 9, 1978. His father was a structural engineer whose career led him to numerous places across the United States, including Atlanta when Mike was 4 and Plano Texas when he was 8. They finally settled in the Rockford area when Mike was 12.  His dad then started his own structural engineering business in Sparta, where he worked till he retired.

Mike attended Rockford High School, graduating in 1996. He then attended Lawrence Technical University in Southfield where he graduated with a master's degree in architecture in 2002.  During his undergraduate years, he spent half his time on campus and half his time at home where he was kindling a relationship with his high school sweetheart, Jana. They were married in 1999.  Jana earned her BSN in nursing from Grand Valley State University two years later. They then moved to Novi where they lived while Mike completed his graduate studies.  During this time he worked part time for John Dziurman Architects.

Mike knew from an early age that he wanted to be an architect.  He would spend many hours building cities from Lincoln Logs and Legos.  Having a father who was an engineer also let him learn at an early age that he enjoyed drafting and design.

After graduating from Lawrence, Mike and Jana returned to the Grand Rapids Area where Mike took a position with The Design Forum Inc. where he spent the next three years working as an intern on a variety of projects, especially K-12 schools.  He left The Design Forum briefly in 2004, returning in 2005 where he remains to this day.

Mike received his license as a registered architect in Michigan in 2010. He is also NCARB certified as well as being a LEED accredited professional. He is a member of the Grand Rapids Chapter of the AIA.

Mike and Jana live in Rockford with their three children (two boys and a girl). Jana is the ICU nurse educator at Metro Hospital.  When he has spare time (not much with three kids), Mike enjoys remodeling work around the house, gardening, and craft beer brewing.

Mike's career has led him down a path to being in a position of responsibility in a small architectural firm.  He is responsible for all aspects of projects from programming through contract administration.  He is especially talented in design and document production including computer rendering.  Mike is the "go-to-guy" for several local developers including First Companies and Realvesco.  His client-focused attitude and quick response to requests for assistance are among the aspects of Mike's service that clients find most appreciated.  His work for them includes producing designs for both marketing and implementation for tenant build-outs as well as ground up new buildings.  He is also very intimately involved in the design and production of numerous school facilities.  Recent projects of note include the new parish center for St Philip Catholic Parish and High School in Big Rapids, several additions and renovations at Zion Christian School, and a major expansion of Covenant Christian High School.

Treasurer:  Two-Year Term (May 2013 through May 2015)

Neale L Bauman, AIA, CCS, LEED AP

Neale Bauman is our current treasurer and is running for re-election.

Sponsorship Director:  Two-Year Term (May 2013 through May 2015)


Kate Betts

With more than 15 years of experience in integrated marketing communications, Kate has served the for-profit and non-profit sectors in a variety of capacities, including graphic design, writing, public relations, and advertising.  Kate is also adjunct faculty in the School of Communications at Grand Valley State University as well as the University of Phoenix, teaching a variety of classes focused on public relations, public speaking, and event planning.

Kate received her bachelor of science degree in public relations and her master of science in communication from Grand Valley State University. She is currently marketing manager for TowerPinkster Architects Engineers and oversees the firm's marketing and public relations initiatives.  She has been with the firm for six years.

She is a member of the Society for Marketing Professional Services, AIA Michigan, and AIA Grand Rapids and serves on the Hospice of Michigan Junior Board.

Continuing Education Director:  Two-Year Term (May 2013 through May 2015)

Gary Gerber, AIA, CSI, CDT, LEED AP

Gary Gerber is our current continuing education director and is running for re-election.

Michigan Director:  Two-Year Term (Elected May 2013 to serve 2014-2015)

Jeff Hammond, AIA

Senior architect/planner for Spectrum Health with 29 years of professional practice, 2004/2005 AIA Grand Rapids vice president and president, and Cascade Charter Township planning commissioner and ZBA member.

Jeff has worked in a variety of roles from that as a principal in a small firm to that as a senior architect/project manager in several large firms.  His current position is as a senior architect/planner for Spectrum Health Hospitals here in Grand Rapids.

What he is hoping to do as the chapter's representative on the AIA Michigan Board is to provide two perspectives from the owner's side of the built environment. The first is as an owner who is witnessing, on a daily basis, the changes and the pressure our profession is under as we try to provide value to the built environment in the current economic climate. The second is as an owner who is witnessing the ever-increasing number of other organizations who are providing those services that traditionally fell under the role of the architect.  For our professional organization to meet these challenges, it must adapt and change to this constantly evolving environment, and it is this challenge that he would like to take forward as director to the AIA Michigan Board.

Joyce Lee, FAIA, LEED AP

Joyce Lee recently relocated to Michigan and was the chief architect at the New York City Office of Management and Budget, overseeing the survey of major city-owned structures and identifying opportunities in green design and development.  In 2008, Joyce received the Public Architect Award from the American Institute of Architects New York Chapter (AIA NY) for her "committed environmental consciousness and extraordinary ability to bring sustainability theory and practice to the public realm." Projects include the Whitehall, St. George ferry terminals, Queens Botanical Gardens, Riverside Health Center, and the NY Police Academy.  She is also a coauthor of the award-winning publication "Active Design Guidelines."

Since moving to Michigan, she has founded the Green Health Committee at AIA Grand Rapids and introduced programming at Aquinas College and Kendall College of Art and Design.  Joyce has also been selected as a Fellow to represent West Michigan in the National Leadership Academy for Public Health.

Early in her career, Joyce founded the Committee on the Environment (COTE) at AIA New York and then served as the chair of the national AIA COTE.  She contributed to the development and market adoption of the nascent LEED green building rating system.  In the mid 2000s, during her tenure on the advisory committee of the Urban Land Institute New York District Council, she has expanded high school participation in ULI's UrbanPlan program.  Joyce received her dual master degrees in architecture and real estate development from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.  She was a grantee of the Rockefeller Brothers Fund and has lectured in the United States and in China.


Brian Swem|AIA|LEED AP
AIA Grand Rapids President
Lott3Metz Architecture, LLC
645 Cherry SE
Grand Rapids, MI 49503