BNIM Announces New Associate Principals and Associates

BNIM Announces New Associate Principals and Associates

BNIM is excited to announce the advancement of seven new Associate Principals and nine new Associates across the firm’s studios.

Associate Principals Tina Wehrman, Levi Robb, Kayla Berkson, Jason Kruse, Alyssa Parsons, Mark Neibling, and Dana Sorensen demonstrate a commitment to excellence in quality of design, project execution and leadership, and professional mentorship. These firm leaders guide the future of BNIM, collectively exemplifying the practice’s core purpose and values through transformative work advancing sustainable and human-purposed design for clients and communities across the U.S.

Associates Amy Dishman, David Amstutz, Jamie Kluesner, Christian Truscinski, MJ Johnson, Kate Kovarik, Tyler Jessen, Liz Sears, and Jackson den Herder support and advance BNIM’s core purpose and values through their work. BNIM’s new Associates are recognized for their positive impact on the practice, providing excellence in design and practice initiatives, internal and external project leadership, creative problem solving, and active professional and community involvement.


Associate Principals

Tina Wehrman, NCIDQ, LEED AP: As a new Director of Interiors for BNIM, Tina provides 16 years of experience in architectural interiors. Since joining the firm nine years ago, Tina significant work in BNIM’s Des Moines studio has included the University of Iowa Stanley Museum of Art, American Enterprise Group Headquarters renovation, Las Vegas Downtown Civic Center, the University of Iowa Psychological and Brain Sciences building, the LifeServe Blood Center, and a number of projects for MidAmerican Energy. Tina is known by her teammates and clients alike as a reliable, creative, and resourceful leader and mentor who provides her strategic mindset, focus, and expertise to every project.

Levi Robb, AIA: Levi is a design leader within BNIM’s Des Moines office and across the firm. He has a deep understanding and knowledge of design related to architecture and visual arts, balancing the poetic with the practical and programmatic. Levi is often sought-out as a resource for design clarity, rigor, and constructive dialogue and direction. His work has included the University of Iowa Stanley Museum of Art, the adaptive reuse and redevelopment of Charity Hospital, the renovation of American Enterprise Group Headquarters, and the Las Vegas Downtown Civic Center. In addition to his leadership at BNIM, Levi is strongly engaged in local community arts organizations and runs his own successful visual arts practice which brings a unique perspective to our work.

Kayla Berkson, AIA: Kayla’s approach is defined by precision and a rigorous pursuit of essential design decisions at all scales, making her adept at leading large-scale, complex project management while bringing all layers of design into focus to deliver the right solution for every project. Her project leadership and contributions include the adaptive reuse and redevelopment of Charity Hospital, the LifeServe Blood Center, the University of Iowa Visual Arts Building, and the meticulous renovation of American Enterprise Group Headquarters. Kayla is also highly active in her community and profession including serving on the Des Moines Plan and Zoning Commission and as a leader for AIA Central States and AIA Iowa.

Jason Kruse, AIA LEED AP BD+C: Jason exemplifies the qualities of a well-rounded architect. He demonstrates versatility and excellence in design, document development, building client relationships, overseeing construction, and collaboration with his project teams. His generosity, humbleness, and positive demeanor as a leader contribute greatly to BNIM’s work and culture. His work as project architect on the Tom and Ruth Harkin Center has been instrumental in advancing BNIM’s thought leadership and approach in inclusive design, and he is a firm resource for this expertise. Jason’s significant work has also included the Des Moines International Airport, the University of Iowa Psychological and Brain Sciences Building, and the Des Moines Community Playhouse.

Alyssa Parsons, AIA LEED AP: Alyssa is a natural and determined leader who promotes an integrated approach to her work at BNIM. She serves as a mentor to her colleagues, especially to younger staff, ensuring they acquire new skills and meaningful experiences. Through her deep knowledge of every aspect of a project, her persistence to proactively anticipate project challenges, and her focus and passion for her work, Alyssa serves as a trusted advisor to clients and leader for project teams. Alyssa has demonstrated leadership on noteworthy projects including the adaptive reuse of Westport Commons, Pacific Center Campus Development, Washington University East Campus Transformation, and the addition and renovation of Missouri State University Blunt Hall.

Mark Neibling, AIA: Mark is a highly regarded, trusted leader, and creative collaborator at BNIM. Mark excels at addressing challenges with a comprehensive approach, demonstrating a keen understanding of both the big picture and intricate details. He also actively engages in internal efforts and discussions concerning the impact of technology on BNIM’s design processes. Mark has provided significant leadership on a number of projects, including the Kirk Family YMCA in downtown Kansas City, MO, and the Kansas City International Airport Parking Garage. Beyond his professional commitments, Mark is dedicated to making a positive impact within his local community through his work serving on the Westwood Planning Commission.

Dana Sorensen, AIA LEED GA: Dana is a key leader within the Des Moines studio and across BNIM’s practice. His well-rounded skillset encompasses conceptual design, rigorous documentation, and construction administration as well as leadership in sustainable design strategies, technology, and implementation. Dana actively pursues high-performance design and sets these expectations for the whole of BNIM’s practice, serving as a resource and guide for project teams. His significant work includes the Lutheran Church of Hope-Grimes and Hope-Ankeny, Metropolitan Community College’s Center for Advanced and Emerging Technology, the University of Iowa Stanley Museum of Art, the University of Iowa Visual Arts Building, and the Iowa State University Gerdin Business Building.

"We are thrilled to recognize the significant leadership to our communities, projects, and BNIM at-large with the announcement of our newly identified Associate Principals and Associates at BNIM. Our people are at the heart of what makes BNIM such a great place; they are what allows us to collaborate with our partners to design and deliver transformational results for our communities and the world around us. These individuals embody all that we are as a design practice, and we couldn’t be more excited about what all of these individuals mean to the future of our practice." - Carey Nagle AIA, LEED AP, BNIM Principal



Amy Dishman, NCIDQ, LFA, LEED AP: Amy is an experienced and thoughtful interior designer who has demonstrated a remarkable alignment with BNIM’s core values and has made significant contributions to the firm’s work and culture. Amy utilizes her exceptional range, a sincere passion and a broad spectrum of skillsets to deliver high-performance, human-purposed design and thought leadership. She has served as an important creative collaborator on a number of our projects, including A to Z Naturals Nutrition Center, the Glenn Korff School of Music at University of Nebraska-Lincoln, and a new Construction Technologies Center for Southeast Community College in Milford, NE. Amy is BNIM’s latest Living Future Accredited (LFA) Professional, and continues to advance BNIM’s approach to holistic sustainable design.

David Amstutz, AIA, NCIDQ: As a certified Interior Designer and licensed Architect, David is an integral member of BNIM’s Interiors studio who has contributed to a number of significant projects at BNIM. David earns the trust of clients through his knowledge, easy manner, thoughtful attention to detail, and consideration of their values, needs, and budgets. His work includes the renovation and addition of Leawood Presbyterian Church, United Way of Greater Kansas City Office, Reconciliation Services renovation, the South Loop project in Kansas City, MO, and several improvement projects for the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art. He has also held a key role in firm-wide initiatives such as BNIM’s recent United Way giving campaign.

Jamie Kluesner: Jamie is an experienced professional with over 15 years in executive assistance and office administration. Jamie fundamentally understands the importance of BNIM's culture and advances core values through her many contributions providing invaluable support for BNIM's projects, studios, and firm leadership. She manages numerous tasks and processes to ensure our practice runs more smoothly and effectively. She has held an integral role in implementing sustainable practices within BNIM's office, including overseeing educational sessions and directing BNIM’s waste management, recycling, and composting initiatives. Outside of her work at BNIM, Jamie serves on the Overland Park Environmental Advisory Council, elevating environmental awareness and minimizing environmental impact for the City of Overland Park, KS.

Christian Truscinski: Christian is recognized as a thoughtful designer who is fully engaged and passionate about the dialog of design.  Christian has a natural inclination to lead, regularly engaging with others across the firm to mentor and bring out the best in his colleagues. He is recognized by his clients, collaborators, and colleagues for the value, design acumen, and resolution that he brings to each project. Since moving from Tacoma, Washington, and joining BNIM’s Des Moines studio, his contributions, continued growth, and leadership have helped to shape BNIM’s practice and culture. His recent contributions include significant work on the Des Moines International Airport Terminal.

MJ Johnson: MJ is a designer in BNIM’s Des Moines studio who seamlessly translates project design into documentation with an adept understanding of technical precision and keen ability to see and process design in 3-dimensions. She is a highly sought-after and invaluable team member, resource, and mentor within the firm. In her over six years with the firm, MJ has demonstrated design excellence and leadership on a variety of significant projects, including the adaptive reuse of historic Charity Hospital in New Orleans, LA, Iowa State University's Ivy College of Business Gerdin Building Expansion, and repurposing of the historic Des Moines Union Depot into the Des Moines Heritage Center.

Kate Kovarik: Kate understands and embraces BNIM's core purpose and values, beautifully articulating the work of BNIM’s practice, projects, and people. Kate works collaboratively with studios across the firm to lead and support initiatives in business development, thought leadership, and strategic internal and external communication to reflect BNIM’s commitment to design excellence. She has also held a key role in training and mentoring the next generation of business development team members at BNIM. Her recent advancement to Associate and Business Development Manager highlights her commitment, talent, and generosity in shaping the firm's future.

Tyler Jessen, AIA: Tyler is an experienced architect who has demonstrated strong alignment with the ideals and goals of BNIM. He has a passion for great design and provides the technical and leadership skills to bring it to life.  Tyler approaches his work and project challenges with grace, determination, and resilience, and he is a trusted leader who represents the practice with care and conviction. Tyler also serves as an excellent mentor for his colleagues at BNIM, approachable and generous with his time and knowledge. In his time at BNIM, Tyler’s work has included significant project initiatives for MidAmerican Energy and the design of Las Vegas Downtown Civic Center.

Liz Sears: Liz joined BNIM in 2015 and quickly became passionate about our work and our people. She engages people with authenticity, kindness, and grace, and makes BNIM a better place with her presence and influence. Liz is an adept problem solver and has been instrumental in improving BNIM’s employee experiences and elevating our practice in every way. She has expanded BNIM’s recruiting processes, elevated the onboarding experience for new hires, and worked with design staff to create thoughtful and engaging experiences for student visits. She is passionate about employee well-being and community engagement, leading both BNIM’s annual wellness week and United Way giving campaign.

Jackson den Herder, AIA: Jackson brings 12 years of experience in the profession to his role at BNIM. He has set a high standard for collaboration and communication through his engagement in BNIM’s practice. He has become a sought-after teammate on complex and high-profile projects. He is excellent at communicating with team members and checks in often for impromptu design and coordination discussions. He leads by example for design teams, driving the design forward, advising on progress, and consistently delivering on his commitments.  In his time at BNIM, he has held a significant role in the office renovation for MidAmerican Energy Company and the Des Moines International Airport Terminal.

“All of our employees at BNIM are employees at BNIM are exceptional individuals in their own way and in their unique roles within our organization. We are especially proud of our new Associate Principals and Associates who over recent years have exhibited growth in their professional development, invested in our communities, led initiatives within our firm, and have positively contributed to our firm culture as a new employee-owned design company. We look forward to providing more opportunities for their growth in their respective professions and in designing a better world for all.” – Laura Lesniewski, AIA, LEED AP, WELL AP, BNIM Principal


Featured Image (pictured left to right, top to bottom): Mark Neibling, Alyssa Parsons, Levi Robb, Kayla Berkson, Dana Sorensen, Jason Kruse, Tina Wehrman, Amy Dishman, David Amstutz, Jamie Kluesner, Kate Kovarik, Christian Truscinski, Liz Sears, Jackson den Herder, MJ Johnson, Tyler Jessen



BNIM is an employee-owned design company and innovative leader in designing high-performance, human-purposed environments. The services we provide—architecture, interior design, landscape design, sustainability leadership and consulting, graphic design, and planning—are guided by our core purpose: We design and deliver beautiful, integrated environments to inspire change and enhance the human condition. BNIM has been recognized with more than 600 awards for exceptional design and thought leadership, including the 2011 AIA National Architecture Firm Award, and the firm has emerged nationally as a leading resource for established methodologies, innovative technologies, and cutting-edge research in architecture, planning, and landscape design. Through a process of integrated design, which is both an organized collaboration between disciplines and an interweaving and interconnectivity of building systems, our team creates designs that are both environmentally responsible and achieve the highest level of design excellence.

For more information, contact Beena Ramaswami at [email protected].