2017 AIA Indiana Service Award Winners

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The AIA Indiana Gold Medal is the highest honor AIA Indiana can bestow on an individual. The Gold Medal is bestowed to an individual in recognition of their significant accomplishments in promoting the aesthetic, scientific and practical excellence of the profession; advancing the science and art of planning by advancing the standards of architectural education, training and practice; coordinating the building industry and the profession of architecture to insure the advancement of the living standards of people through their improved environment; and making the profession of ever-increasing service to society through service to the AIA.

This year’s recipient of the AIA Indiana Gold Medal is Lynn Molzan, FAIA. Lynn, as a senior partner at Woollen, Molzen and Partners, had a tremendous impact on the built environment in Indianapolis and across the state. He and his partners designed some of the most iconic buildings in Indianapolis, including Clowes Memorial Hall, Minton-Capehart Federal Building, the Pilot Center and the Conservatory at White River Gardens.



Thompson 1The AIA Indiana Legislator of the Year Award was created to recognize a Legislator who is a champion for the architectural profession and built environment in the State of Indiana. AIA Indiana set out to recognize Legislators for their willingness to sincerely listen to legislative concerns raised by AIA Indiana members, to make themselves available to meet with AIA Indiana lobbyists and Members and to take a steady approach to providing trusted leadership.

This year’s recipient of the AIA Indiana Legislator of the Year Award is Indiana State Representative Jeff Thompson. Rep. Thompson is one of the most respected legislators serving in the Indiana General Assembly, particularly for his expertise and judgment on state finance and education issues. Representative Thompson currently serves as the Chair of the K-12 House Ways and Means Subcommittee.


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The AIA Indiana President's Award was created to recognize an AIA Indiana Member whose dedication to the architecture profession and the built environment and whose time and service extends beyond the practice of architecture.

This year’s recipient of the AIA Indiana President’s Award is John Hawkins, AIA. In addition to be the founding partner of Kovert Hawkins Architects in Jeffersonville, Hawkins is the former chairman of the Indiana Fire Prevention & Building Safety Commission. His work as chair has greatly benefited the health, safety, and welfare of all Hoosiers. John's dedication and service to the profession is unparralled. 


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Presented annually it is named in honor of Edward D. Pierre, FAIA (1890-1977). He was a crusader for the welfare of children, decent housing for all, peace and progressive urban planning. Mr. Pierre was recognized repeatedly for his outstanding service to the architectural profession and the public. To honor his service, this award is presented for advocacy for architecture as a civic and community leader as well as service to the profession and to the public.

This year’s recipient of the Edward D. Pierre Award is Zachary Benedict, AIA.  Benedict, managing partner of MKM architecture + design, has dedicated the last 12 years exploring how architecture and urbanism benefits rural communities. "No architect in the country has been more influential in illustrating the need for a new approach to placemaking, one that looks to enhance the well-being of people of all ages and abilities,” according to MKMarchitecture + design founding principal Dodd Kattman, AIA.


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Walter S. Blackburn was an African-American architect elected to the College of Fellows in the 1980s. He chaired the AIA’s Diversity Taskforce in 1992, and shortly thereafter, was elected as its Vice President. His career also included many terms of service in the Indiana Arts Commission and on the boards of numerous local arts organizations and nonprofit institutions.

Successor to the Don E. Gibson Award, this honor is bestowed upon a non-architect public member or organization that has contributed of their time and person in service to or support of the architectural profession in Indiana, or an architect who has exemplified professional and public service as Blackburn did.

This year’s recipient of the Walter S. Blackburn Award is John Urbahns, AICP. John is executive vice president of economic development of Greater Fort Wayne. Under his leadership John has made a significant impact on the built environment and caliber of design for the city of Fort Wayne. He is spearheading a 10-year plan designed to increase middle wage income, attract and retain top talent and grow the regional economy by generating $3.5 billion in private investment over the next 20 years.


Young Architect 01The AIA Indiana Young Architect Award was created to recognize proficiency and exceptional accomplishments in, and contributions to, the profession by a licensed architect who has been a member in good standing of AIA Indiana for a minimum of three years and is 40 years or younger during the calendar year 2017.

This year’s recipient of the Young Architect Award is Brandon Hoopingarner, AIA. Brandon, director of design at American StructurePoint, has led the design team for some of the firm’s projects, including the new headquarters for BlueSky in Noblesville, Riverview Health’s Westfield hospital, which is under construction, and the Lawrenceburg Event Center. 

Brandon also is extremely dedicated to giving back to the architecture profession by mentoring young people interesting in exploring the industry as a possible career path. He volunteers as an architecture critic at his alma mater of Ball State University, serves as an educator at an architecture camp offered at the Indianapolis Art Center, and is highly involved with his firm’s commitment to Dream Alive, an organization that mentors urban youth to become civic-minded leaders. For four years, he has been an active volunteer at Morning Light, a Central Indiana nonprofit community services organization that provides end-of-life care for terminally ill individuals with limited means. He currently is a Board of Directors member and serves on the Executive Committee that sets policy, strategy, and charts a vision for the organization.

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