BNIM Announces 2019 Promotions

BNIM Announces 2019 Promotions

Kansas City, Mo. (February 13, 2019) – BNIM is pleased to announce the promotion of new Associate Principals, Associates and Administration in its Kansas City, Des Moines, and San Diego offices.

These individuals join BNIM’s existing leadership in realizing BNIM’s collective capacity as design thinkers solving the local and global design challenges of our clients. As we move toward our 50th year as a firm, we are focused on the idea of redesigning design. A number of values and themes have begun to emerge from our work, engagement, and dialogue as a way to frame how we best move forward and redesign design itself.

“In order to transform the profession, our design leaders are committed to a methodology yielding projects that help redefine a process for positive human, environmental, and community impact. By providing sound, smart leadership, we will be able to solve our clients' challenges, help them realize seemingly latent opportunities, and identify what they truly value but have yet to express,” said James Pfeiffer, BNIM Principal. “More and more, we are called upon to bring people together and connect the dots, resulting in unexpected partnerships and incredible results.”

(from top left to bottom right) Sam DeJong, Beena Ramaswami, Jeremy Kahm, Danielle Buttacavoli, Janell Rock, Josh Harrold, Anastasia Huggins, Jonathan Sloan

(from top left to bottom right) Rachel Murray, Shelley Edie, Kayla Berkson, Dana Sorensen, Jason Kruse, Levi Robb, Tina Wehrman, Tom Feldman, Jeremy Nelson, kyle patneau, Ryan McCabe, William Trakas, Mark Neibling, Katie Nichols

Associate Principals  

Danielle Buttacavoli, San Diego, Associate Principal

Danielle is a proven leader who promotes an interdisciplinary approach to her work as an architect and planner. An invaluable member of BNIM’s San Diego studio, Danielle serves as co-studio director and as a mentor to the studio team. Danielle is recognized by clients and peers as a strong project leader who advances BNIM’s core values in all her projects. She is extremely well organized, consistently seeks ways to streamline our process, and has a demonstrated ability to successfully manage a wide range of projects and firm initiatives. Danielle has served as project manager on the CalPoly Kennedy Library Renovation project, GSA Schwartz Federal Building and Courthouse renovation project, County of San Diego Live Well Building, and the CSU San Marcos Academic Building Feasibility Study.

Jonathan Sloan, Des Moines, Associate Principal

Jon is recognized by clients and peers as an experienced project leader with steadfast focus on project management, design excellence, and client service. Since joining the firm in 2011, Jon has continued to serve projects in BNIM’s Des Moines office, including leading construction administration for the University of Iowa Visual Arts Building and leading the design, production, and construction administration efforts for the University of Iowa Psychology project. As a voice and contributor to the BNIM People group, Jon has assisted in developing the firm’s Thrive mentorship process. Concurrent with project management duties with clients, he also contributes to the coordination of project staffing. In everything he does, Jon is also a mentor, working closely with his BNIM peers to share his depth of knowledge and elevate the firm’s work and culture.

Jeremy Kahm, Kansas City, Associate Principal

Jeremy is a proven project leader who exhibits a high degree of integrity and professionalism on a daily basis. He is extremely organized, thoughtful, deliberate and strategic. Jeremy has demonstrated strong project leadership and has been instrumental in guiding a number of the firm’s projects through all aspects of the design and delivery process. Jeremy is knowledgeable about many aspects of the profession and generously shares his time and talent with other colleagues. He is a steady, reliable advisor for clients and collaborators. Perhaps best of all, Jeremy is unflappable, and continues to maintain a positive attitude and calm demeanor throughout the ups and downs of any project.

Josh Harrold, Kansas City, Associate Principal 

Josh has established himself as a strong design leader within BNIM. He has helped guide his studio to elevating design excellence for all of its projects through a collaborative design process that mentors and elevates his collaborators’ abilities. Josh is a well-rounded architect with an inherent ability to translate concept into built reality. He works hard on all of his projects to discover the sweet spot between human-purposed integrated design, sustainability, and staying on budget. He has contributed to the success of the firm’s business development efforts and has furthered those efforts by delivering on project promises that have led to great client satisfaction.

Janell Rock, Kansas City, Associate Principal 

Janell is a tireless representative of BNIM’s core values, both inside and outside the firm. She is both tough and caring. She is responsive and detailed in her work. And she is known for her abilities to listen, create, and lead. Janell’s desire to pursue the beautiful and seamless integration of architecture and interior design, along with her client-centered approach, fuels her enthusiasm for design excellence and human-purposed environments. She continues to play a key role in charting the next iteration of BNIM’s interior design practice though business development, community involvement, and her careful attention to current clients and projects.

Sam DeJong, Kansas City, Associate Principal 

Sam is a thoughtful, conscientious designer who cares deeply about the beauty of the built environment and the impacts our decisions make on the people who engage with our buildings. Sam has contributed to several U.S. Department of State projects, most notably those in Tunisia, Sudan, Eritrea, and Switzerland, and he has also contributed to many notable BNIM projects here in the U.S., including the University of Missouri-Kansas City’s Bloch School, Westport Presbyterian Church renovation, University of Missouri School of Medicine, and the Jacob’s Well Church addition. He has also volunteered innumerable hours on the design and construction of the Asilong Christian High School campus in a remote region of Kenya. Sam brings passion and perseverance to his design process, to our communities, and to the culture of design excellence within BNIM.

Anastasia Huggins, Kansas City, Associate Principal

In a short period of time, Anastasia has proven herself to be a talented, well-rounded architect and problem solver, always looking for a better way to execute and elevate design at BNIM. Anastasia has demonstrated strong project leadership and has been instrumental in guiding a number of the firm’s projects through all aspects of the design, development, and project delivery process with relative ease. She has an engaging personality and has become a trusted advisor and collaborator for the firm’s clients and partners, including those for BNIM’s recent work at Johnson County Community College.

Beena Ramaswami, Kansas City, Associate Principal

For the past 10 years, Beena has applied her incredible breadth and depth of design expertise to her role in the Client Development and Graphics studio at BNIM. Her contributions to the firm’s brand are immeasurable, as she has worked tirelessly to translate BNIM’s core values, mission, culture, portfolio, and history into a cohesive, internationally known identity. Leading BNIM’s graphics studio, Beena has worked collaboratively with project teams to integrate impactful environmental graphics elements into high-profile projects like Princeton University Lewis Center for the Arts, Qualcom Pacific Center Campus buildings, MU School of Medicine, and Seaton Hall at K-State. While Beena is a skilled designer who consistently seeks new ways to integrate technology into the design process, she is equally recognized within BNIM as a strong, caring advocate and mentor to many other designers within the firm – both formally and informally.


Kayla Berkson, Des Moines, Associate

Kayla’s work and leadership are rooted in the core values of BNIM. She is a critical voice in the design excellence dialogue in BNIM’s Des Moines office, and her role has expanded in the firm’s national dialogue through her leadership on the firm’s Charity Project. A trusted, thorough, and detail-oriented project leader, Kayla has contributed significantly to a number of projects including the University of Iowa Visual Arts Building, American Enterprise Group Corporate Headquarters Renovation, and the Lutheran Church of Hope Johnston – Grimes. She has also led and coordinated internal, external, and client teams for the University of Iowa Informatics Initiative and modifications to the Iowa Utilities Board Office Building.

Dana Sorensen, Des Moines, Associate

Dana is a valued and trusted leader and collaborator. Known by clients and peers alike as a confident and responsible architect, Dana has grown significantly as a leader in recent years through his key roles in projects such as the University of Iowa Visual Arts Building, Lutheran Church of Hope Ankeny, Metropolitan Community College Center for Advanced and Emerging Technology, Lutheran Church of Hope Johnston—Grimes, the Des Moines Heritage Trust Project, and most recently the Iowa State University Gerdin School of Business. As a firm leader, Dana contributes significantly to discussions about how to improve efficiency as part of BNIM’s Redesigning Design initiative.

Jason Kruse, Des Moines, Associate

Jason’s drive for design excellence is an exemplary reflection of BNIM’s core values. A calm collaborator and professional who is seldom rattled and consistently thorough, Jason has become a trusted leader and team member. He is recognized by peers and clients as a knowledgeable voice and a skilled hand for any required project effort, from business development, to project coordination, to LEED documentation. Jason’s growth, responsibilities, and leadership are demonstrated by his impactful contributions to the success of numerous projects and most recently by his leadership on the Des Moines Community Playhouse, Strata in Kansas City, and the Des Moines Performing Arts Education Center.

Levi Robb, Des Moines, Associate

Levi is unquestionably recognized within the firm for his relentless pursuit of BNIM’s core values. He has a deep knowledge of design excellence related to architecture and visual arts, and he is often sought as a resource for constructive dialogue and direction based on historical and theoretical design awareness. He has led the conceptualization of numerous projects varying in size and scope, including serving as a critical design resource and leader for the University of Iowa Stanley Museum of Art. A successful artist in his own right, the work Levi pursues in his art studio lends him a unique perspective to the firm’s overarching design dialogue.

Tina Wehrman, Des Moines, Associate

Tina is unique in the broad expanse of her abilities to lead and contribute. While focused on her leadership in architectural interiors, Tina is a trusted contributor and collaborator on all aspects of our built environment projects. Known by peers and clients as a reliable, creative, and resourceful leader, Tina is called upon by many of BNIM’s studios to contribute her knowledge and skills. Clients recognize Tina’s professionalism, thoroughness, and attention to detail all while maintaining an optimistic attitude inside and outside of the office. Her leadership has been invaluable for numerous clients including the American Enterprise Group, the University of Iowa, Metropolitan Community College in Omaha, and MidAmerican Energy.

Tom Feldmann, Des Moines, Associate

Tom’s role as a leader at BNIM is demonstrated by the success of the projects to which he has led or contributed. Frequently involved in six or more projects at various stages of development at any given time, Tom has emerged as a key resource regarding documentation and constructability. Tom has an unwavering insistence on quality and protection of the design intent. Combined with his seemingly tireless work ethic, Tom has become an integral part of the Des Moines team. An exceptional client advocate, Tom is trusted by his clients as a confident leader and a champion for their values.

Jeremy Nelson, Kansas City, Associate

Described as methodical, precise, tenacious, and infectiously positive, Jeremy is recognized at BNIM as an invaluable team member with boundless potential. In contributing to two extremely complex and challenging projects—The Princeton Lewis Center for the Arts and Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts Expansion—Jeremy emerged as one of the most knowledgeable, prepared, and trusted team members. Truly embodying BNIM’s core values, Jeremy’s patience, kind nature and selflessness, and his design-thinking mentality continue to elevate BNIM’s people, culture, and work.

Kyle Patneau, Kansas City, Associate

Since joining BNIM in 2015, Kyle has established himself as a firm dynamo of technical expertise. His understanding of building systems and construction methodologies, paired with his strong design sensibilities, have earned Kyle a role in the future development of the firm’s processes for design technology and project standards. To his peers, Kyle is a mentor across all disciplines. To his clients, he is a creative, knowledgeable, “calm in the storm” project leader. To BNIM, he is a representation of the firm’s values and a tremendous asset to the work we do.

Ryan McCabe, Kansas City, Associate

In the time that Ryan has been at BNIM, he has demonstrated his abilities as a creative, strategic architect. Ryan is a problem solver with a real passion for design excellence and client satisfaction. He recently worked on the firm’s YMCA project and Westport High School / UMKC proposals and helped advance those projects in significant ways. In contributing to any project effort, Ryan’s attention to detail often elevates the overall design while still being cost effective. Clients have noted that they appreciate his confident and calm approach to the design process.

Mark Neibling, Kansas City, Associate

Mark came to BNIM in 2017, and in his short time with the firm, he has already impacted the firm’s design culture by seeking ways to integrate technology and design. As project manager on the YMCA project, Mark helped lead the team in a process that not only exhibits design excellence but that exemplifies excellence in how to collaborate with consultants, detail a building, and meet budgetary constraints. Mark has a scientific and detail-orientated way of thinking that is evident in his communications with clients. As a result, he consistently earns their trust and confidence in his abilities to lead their projects effectively and achieve their vision of success.

William Trakas, Kansas City, Associate

Will is an incredible example of an engaged architect. He has contributed to a number of the firm’s U.S. Department of State projects, including those in Uganda, Eritrea, Austria, Switzerland, and most recently Mauritania, learning the rigorous design constraints for these projects with an eye towards thoughtful problem-solving for design issues large and small. He has also contributed to several local efforts, including Winnetonka and North KC high schools. Will has an unhindered willingness to lead in any capacity, and he is always up for a design conversation after testing some ideas. His spirit is contagious in the office, and he is a great BNIM ambassador outside the office.

Katie Nichols, Kansas City, Associate

In her two years at BNIM, Katie has brought noted contributions and successes to BNIM projects such as the U.S. Embassy projects for Kampala, Asmara, and Vienna, the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art Rezoning & Feingold Residence, and the Career and Technical Education facility and Arts projects at Johnson County Community College. She has been an active leader on the Keeler Court Affordable Housing project, and most recently has been project architect on the Beth Shalom Sanctuary. Katie’s leadership efforts extend far beyond BNIM, through her role as Acting President of AIA Kansas and her leadership involvement within the civic community. Katie brings to BNIM a well-rounded skillset, a dedication to her work, and a passion for excellence.


Shelley Edie, Kansas City, Facilities Manager

Since joining BNIM 18 years ago, Shelley has become a critical part of the firm’s day-to-day operations. In recent years, particularly since the relocation of the Kansas City office to Crown Center, Shelley has assumed ownership of BNIM’s facilities management, becoming the go-to person for all office and facility-related matters. With confidence and resourcefulness – and always with a smile – Shelley tackles the many challenges that come with keeping the BNIM office space running smoothly.

Rachel Murray, Kansas City, Director of Administrative Services

In her new role as Director of Administrative Services, Rachel will be leading and providing best practices for BNIM’s administrative studio. For several years, Rachel has served as an enduring mentor and advocate for this team. Her quiet leadership, unfailing capabilities, and uplifting attitude have earned her the trust and deep respect of her colleagues. To her colleagues at BNIM, Rachel sets the standard what it means to reflect the spirit of BNIM.


About BNIM

BNIM is a design practice working to redefine building performance and the human experience of place. As early pioneers of sustainability in the building industry, BNIM is a leader in the global design conversation on design excellence. Founded in 1970 and recognized in 2011 with the AIA National Architecture Firm Award, the firm is a leading resource on innovative technologies and research in architecture, interiors, planning, and landscape design. The practice works collectively from Kansas City, Mo.; San Diego, California; and Des Moines, Iowa.