Congratulations to the 2024 AIA Dallas Award Honorees

Join us in congratulating our AIA Dallas Members on their achievements!

Jeff Potter, FAIA
2024 AIA Dallas Lifetime Achievement Award

2023 Edward C. Kemper Award winner and 2023 TxA Medal for Lifetime Achievement in honor of Llewellyn W. Pitts, FAIA recipient — helped shape the values and professional standards at AIA and demonstrated an enduring commitment to excellence and advocacy that elevates architecture’s importance in society.

Through his seemingly countless contributions, Jeff Potter, FAIA, has played a critical role in shaping the values and professional standards of today’s AIA and profession. A dedicated leader at all levels throughout his career, including his service as AIA’s 88th president, Potter has demonstrated an enduring commitment to excellence and advocacy that elevates architecture’s importance in society. His vision for the profession has energized emerging professionals and established architects alike, challenging them to continue to make AIA a proactive and progressive organization.

A native of Shreveport, LA, Potter completed his studies at Texas A&M, and founded his namesake firm in Longview, TX, quickly establishing himself as a sought-after strategic planner and designer of educational facilities. Later, he and his wife, Shelley Potter, opened their studio in Dallas.

Potter began his involvement with AIA with the AIA Northeast Texas Chapter—now a section of AIA Dallas—where he served in nearly every office in the all-volunteer component. In 1994, he was invited to join the Texas Society of Architects’ Publications Committee, where, for seven years, he helped shape the profession through the society’s award-winning magazine, Texas Architect. His work on the committee inspired him to volunteer on the society’s executive committee, serving as vice president, secretary, president-elect, and its 66th president in 2004.

In 2006, Potter was selected to represent Texas as a member of AIA’s Board of Directors, where he focused on the development of a strategic communications initiative. He envisioned a comprehensive examination of AIA’s brand that was launched at the 2011 Communication Summit in Kansas City. He spurred AIA to partner with celebrated marketing and design firms LaPlaca Cohen and Pentagram while strengthening AIA’s communications staff and enhancing messaging across three publications.

This work continued into his AIA presidency, during which Potter led the initiative that repositioned AIA to more effectively communicate the value of architecture and its benefit to society. His transformational agenda gave rise to a bold and innovative communication strategy, including the widely viewed I Look Up video series and a closer focus on highlighting AIA members and their work.

Throughout his AIA leadership tenure, Potter grew increasingly concerned that AIA’s philanthropic avenues were suffering after parting with the American Architectural Foundation (AAF) in 2008. To remedy that, he joined the Architects Foundation, AAF’s successor, and later served two terms as its president, focusing on opportunity scholarships. His leadership resulted in increased support from corporate and private donors, as well as AIA’s board, that grew the opportunity scholarship program from three to 25 students enrolled in architecture programs across the country. The scholarships profoundly impact students who can change the face of the profession.

Bud Melton, Hon. AIA Dallas
2024 AIA Dallas Honorary Membership

W.J. “Bud” Melton has focused on active-transportation infrastructure, urban planning and urban design for more than 20 years as part of Halff’s Planning and Landscape Architecture practice. As a lifelong advocate for active transportation, Melton spearheaded funding to convert the MKT Rail right of way to what’s become one of the Dallas park department’s foremost civic spaces. Soon after, he reinvented himself as a bicycle and pedestrian planning specialist and joined his wife Annie’s transportation consulting firm, Bowman-Melton Associates.

In that role from 1995 to 2016, he managed scores of large-scale bikeway, trail and transit-oriented development planning and design projects. He helped dozens of Texas cities, plus several counties, with concept development, master planning, funding partnerships and design assistance for micro-mobility infrastructure.

Melton is an expert at finding innovative, creative solutions to complex problems and has achieved unprecedented success with stakeholder buy-in. He was instrumental in shaping North Central Texas’ Veloweb, an interconnected network of greenway trails and bikeways defined in the region’s long-range mobility plans.

He helped create the Dallas County Trail Plan: Trails for the 21st Century, a master plan that continues its implementation by Dallas County and its partner cities. Halff produced a similar plan for Collin County, which quantified connections between Dallas, Collin, Tarrant and Denton counties. Melton helped the City of Dallas with its nationally acclaimed Renaissance Plan in 2000–01, which undertook comprehensive inventories of every park in the Dallas system.

Patrick Kennedy, Hon. AIA Dallas
2024 AIA Dallas Honorary Membership

Patrick Kennedy is a principal and regional practice director of Planning and Urban Design for HKS Architects.  He is presently on the board of directors for the Dallas Area Rapid Transit (DART) system and teaches master’s level Sustainable Urban Development in SMU’s Lyle School of Engineering.  He is co-founder of the Coalition for A New Dallas, a Political Action Committee dedicated to electing, educating, and empowering local leaders in support of revitalizing Dallas neighborhoods and building a city of upward mobility for all.  He has awards from NCTCOG, Greater Dallas Planning Council, APA, AIA, AIGA, and ASLA.

Alex Pharmakis
2024 AIA Dallas Sustainability Commendation

Alex Pharmakis is the Sustainability Manager for the City of Farmers Branch. In his role with the City, Alex worked to create the city’s first Sustainability Plan and has implemented numerous projects related to solar energy, vehicle electrification, and water conservation. In addition, he has created local government programs responsible for planting over 1,400 trees in North Texas. 

 Alex holds a B.S. in Environmental Geoscience from Texas A&M University and a Master of Public Administration degree from Columbia University.

 He enjoys traveling to National Parks and Major League Baseball stadiums.

Lorena Toffer
2024 AIA Dallas Architecture Educator Award

Lorena Toffer is an architect, educator and social entrepreneur. A member of cohort 9 at SMU’s Doctorate in Educational Leadership, she is Co-Founder of CityLab, a Dallas ISD transformation high school offering Architecture, Urban Planning & Environmental Science. She holds bachelor’s & master’s degrees in architecture from Tec de Monterrey & Texas A&M and is an AIA National Young Architect Award for her leadership & contributions towards diversity & inclusion. She is an Adjunct Assistant Professor at UTA CAPPA, as well as an instructor with the Fallingwater Institute for high school and college summer residencies. Lorena is an Outstanding Alumna of Texas A&M College of Architecture for her leadership & humanitarian approach to design and activism. By erasing barriers for entry, increasing awareness of careers in Design, creating opportunities for future generations of leaders that are a reflection of the cultural, geographical and socio-economic diversity of the communities we serve and advocating for social & environmental justice, Lorena is committed to Architecture’s social contract

2024 AIA Dallas Contractor Award

BufordHawthorne is a custom luxury home builder with an impeccable reputation. Our dedication to our clients extends far beyond the construction of their homes. From the pre-construction phase to long after the finished home presentation, BufordHawthorne maintains a commitment to our homeowners’ complete satisfaction, and to making the experience of building a home an exceptional one. We are honored to have built several homes for some of our clients, a high compliment to our service, our project management and the quality of the homes we build.

With decades of experience, we seamlessly orchestrate the homebuilding process for projects both large and small. At the beginning of the process, we collaborate with the homeowners, their architect and their interior designer to help ensure the smart use of resources and to establish an achievable budget. Our transparent billing ensures clients are always in the know. And our relationships with a carefully selected, time-proven team of craftspeople mean we always have the right resources for every project.

GSR Andrade
2024 AIA Dallas Firm of the Year

Architecture is where art & science merge.

As a result, our design philosophy is one of exploring and evaluation the variables that are part of every project, combining them to ultimately and at a unique and appropriate solution.

GSR Andrade Architects is a Dallas-based, Hispanic-owned architectural firm founded in 2001 by a group of passional, driven individuals. We provide responsive, innovative architectural services to the local community and beyond. Our mission is to re-imagine spaces that are functional yet inspiring, and we stop at nothing to find creative solutions to each puzzle. GSR Andrade believes every person deserves to be reflected and known by their surroundings, and our approach always begins with humanity.

We are a client-focused firm, committed to building and maintaining relationships with our clients, our employees, our consultants and the community. It is our pledge to deliver quality work and workmanship, implement the best and most appropriate technologies available, and incorporate sustainable planning into our work.

Campos Engineering
2024 AIA Dallas Consultant Award

Campos Engineering provides MEP engineering design; testing, adjusting and balancing; commissioning, and building wellness solutions. Their work is customized to their client’s needs and is leading the industry.

Campos Engineering is committed to dignity, integrity, uncompromised client service, and excellence. To fulfill this mission, the Campos team seeks to first understand, then to be understood. They seek only win-win relationships with those they serve, and to improve the financial well-being of all stakeholders.

The Stewpot
2024 AIA Dallas Community Honor Award

The Stewpot serves individuals and families experiencing economic, housing, and food insecurity by offering programs in the areas of housing, stabilization, education, nutrition, and enrichment.

The Stewpot is a community ministry of First Presbyterian Church of Dallas. Established in 1975, it began with a concerned group of church members who started preparing lunch for the congregation’s homeless and hungry neighbors. By 1991, Stewpot programs included a wide range of social services, including casework services for those experiencing homelessness and programs for at-risk children and youth, and the agency moved across the street to a donated two story office building that continues to be “home.” Over the years, The Stewpot has helped to “birth” new organizations to meet community needs including Austin Street Center, Genesis Women’s Shelter, Interfaith Housing and The Bridge.

The Stewpot – along with the FPC Day School, Encore Park, and the First Presbyterian Church of Dallas Foundation – represents First Presbyterian Church of Dallas’ enduring commitment to its downtown Dallas location and its neighbors.

Lakewood Home Tour
2024 AIA Dallas Community Honor Award

For the past 47 years, the Lakewood Early Childhood PTA (LECPTA) has hosted the Annual Lakewood Home Tour weekend. This beloved, community-wide event features a tour of treasured Lakewood homes. The Lakewood Home Tour primarily raises funds for Lakewood’s feeder schools in DISD.:​

  • Lakewood Elementary School
  • J.L. Long Middle School
  • Woodrow Wilson High School

The home tour ensures the LECPTA can continue to raise funds for our East Dallas public schools.

Founded in 1952, the LECPTA is a non-profit organization that is part of the local, state, and national PTA. Current Lakewood Elementary boundaries are Abrams to the west, Patrick Drive and Northwest Highway to the north, White Rock Lake to the east, and East Grand and Glasgow to the south. While most parents live in the Lakewood Elementary school zone, our membership is open to anyone who wants to get involved in the East Dallas/Lakewood community and make the area a better place for children and families.

Republic Tower
2024 AIA Dallas Historic Architecture Award

The Republic National Bank Building, located in the heart of downtown Dallas, has a compelling legacy in advancing the skyline of Dallas and on the city’s status as the financial center in Texas. Known today as the Republic Center, the Republic National Bank Building is a unique example of rich architectural advancements and design.

The 36-story building served as the headquarters for the Republic National Bank upon its completion in 1954 and instantly became a Dallas landmark. It was also the first significant office building to be completed after the Second World War in downtown Dallas. Its height has earned it the titles of “tallest building in Dallas” and “tallest building west of the Mississippi River.” The gentle setback of the building’s design provided a pedestrian feel along the street.

According to David Dillon, award-winning former architecture critic for the Dallas Morning News, the Republic National Bank Building was considered a ‘prototypical fifties building,’ rising straight from the street to a flat top with minimalistic decoration. The distinct architectural style and form drove other banking institutions across Texas to follow suit with their own high-quality, modern, high-rise buildings. The building was one of the first in the United States to specifically utilize aluminum cladding, with most of the façade comprised of aluminum panels that remain intact today. The building was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2005 and designated a Dallas Landmark in 2004.

You’re Invited to celebrate our AIA Dallas National, State, and Local Honorees and our Allied Members at the 2024 Awards & Honors Breakfast on Thursday, May 9th, 8:00 AM – 10:00 AM, located at the Architecture & Design Exchange, 325 N. St Paul Street, Suite 150, Dallas, TX 75201.

Learn more about the Awards & Honors Breakfast >>

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