DBIA Announces Record Number Of Distinguished Design-Build Leadership Award Winners

12 professionals honored for leadership in promoting design-build project delivery include a California State Senator, university professor, student, practitioner, two young professionals, and six owners.

November 18, 2015

Washington, D.C. – The Design-Build Institute of America, the only organization that defines, teaches, and promotes best practices in design-build, has announced the winners of DBIA’s Distinguished Design-Build Leadership Awards. These awards are presented to individuals who have demonstrated leadership in the advancement of effective design-build practices and in the promotion of design-build as a project delivery method of choice. Awarded to individuals in multiple categories of achievement that include Legislator, Academic Faculty, Student, Practitioner, Young Professional and Owner, the winners were announced during DBIA’s annual Design-Build Conference & Expo.

“Every single one of these award-winners is key to the growing use of design-build,” says Lisa Washington, CAE, the Executive Director/CEO of DBIA. “Design-build spreads only through legislators authorizing it, professors teaching it, students learning it, practitioners mastering it, and owners choosing it. All of these award winners have spent a great part of their career advocating for not just design-build, but for Design-Build Done RightTM, and we are grateful for their tireless work.”

The winners are:

Legislator Category:

WOLK 2012 tight cropped headshot 4.17.14Senator Lois Wolk, California State Senator

Since 2002, as a State Assemblymember and Senator, Senator Wolk has authored three design-build bills and supported many others that authorize design-build for various projects and sectors. Senator Wolk has been referred to as “a driving force in support of design-build in California.” Last year, she and her staff worked with the support of industry groups, such as DBIA and AGC, to successfully pass the monumental SB 785, which she authored.  This bill authorized a number of California agencies to use design-build, under a consolidated format, without the need for specific enabling legislation.


Academic Faculty Category:

Baabak Ashuri, Ph.D., DBIA, CCP, DRMP, Assoc. Professor & Chair, Integrated Project Delivery Systems Master Track, Director, Construction Research Center (CRC), Georgia Institute of Technology

Dr. Baabak Ashuri has integrated several DBIA educational materials into the curriculum at Georgia Tech, and has worked extensively with the Georgia DOT to enhance their awareness and use of design-build, design-build-finance, and public-private partnerships. He is a DBIA Certified Instructor and has taught several courses for DBIA around the nation, and also serves on the DBIA Transportation Committee and the Education Subcommittee


Student Category:
Uriel M. Gutierrez, CMIT, Student/Engineering Intern, Fresno State/CH2M

As President of the Fresno State DBIA Student Chapter, Uriel Gutierrez has brought awareness to students and young professionals about DBIA and design-build best practices. Gutierrez served as a teaching assistant for a DBIA-approved Design-Build University Program class, often conducting in-class design-build exercises and directing a mock design-build RFP class project.


Practitioner Category:

Dennis AshleyDennis Ashley, DBIA, AIA, LEED AP, Preconstruction Manager, Swinerton Builders

Dennis Ashley has been a visionary leader in developing the DBIA national student competition and exemplifies efforts to further the understanding and use of design-build delivery.  Ashley is a frequent guest lecturer on design-build delivery at the Air Force Academy, Colorado State University, and the University of Colorado.  He has also served as Chair of the Rocky Mountain Region Education Committee since 2004 and currently chairs the DBIA National Student/Academia Outreach Committee. His vision and innovation has led to numerous activities to engage students in design-build project delivery; including launching the DBIA National Design-Build Student Competition.


Young Professionals Category:
Amanda Faith, Marketing Manager, MEP Engineering, Inc.

Amanda Faith’s leadership in the Rocky Mountain Region’s Young Professionals committee has been instrumental in furthering the education and practices of design-build in this local community. Faith has led an effort to partner with local organizations to co-sponsor events that further interdisciplinary networking for young professionals in the design-build community. She has also represented the region and Young Professionals on the committee which planned DBIA’s 2015 National Conference & Expo.


Young Professionals Category:
Jordan Moffett
Jordan Aubrey Murphy Moffett, DBIA, AIA, LEED AP BD + C, BIM Manager, McCarthy Building Companies, Inc.

Jordan Aubrey Murphy Moffett, having been an architect on more than $200 million worth of design-build projects, has a 15-year history with design-build project delivery.  He has quickly risen to become BIM Manager at McCarthy, allowing him to integrate team members early in the design process and enhance collaboration. He has also lectured at the university level and educated owners on the benefits of Design-Phase integration, and worked with Scripps Health to obtain DBIA Conference scholarships, leading to a shift toward design-build for all future work within their system.


Owner Category:

Jeffrey BurstJeffrey Burst, P.E., Project Management Director, Louisiana Dept. of Transportation and Development (DOTD)

Jeffrey Burst has been a champion for the use of design‐build since Louisiana DOTD began using alternate delivery methods over ten years ago. He has been instrumental in establishing local DBIA chapters in both Baton Rouge and New Orleans, and has worked diligently to ensure that DBIA‐endorsed best practices are implemented in both the procurement and contract administration phases of all Louisiana DOTD design‐build projects. From testifying before the Louisiana State Legislature to providing education on design‐build best practices to DOTD employees, Burst has worked tirelessly to promote and utilize Design-Build Done Right.


Owner Category:

johnson_rogerRoger Johnson, Deputy Executive Director, Los Angeles World Airport (LAWA)

As Deputy Executive Director of Los Angeles World Airport, Roger Johnson has tailored LAWA procurement methods to embrace design-build. Through a variety of outreach programs, including speaking engagements and interoffice discourse, Johnson has worked to explain the benefits of design-build to both an internal and external audience, and has served on the DBIA National Board of Directors. Under his leadership, LAWA has awarded three major design-build projects; including the Central Terminal Area Improvements Project, Bradley West Terminal 4 Connector, and the Midfield Satellite Concourse projects, representing $1.5 billion in design and construction work.  Johnson has embodied the truest idea of design-build by demonstrating a trust in his design-build partners and encouraging a transparency between designer, builder, and the owner.


Owner Category:

Pat_Nemeth-005Pat Nemeth, DBIA, Vice President, Facilities Management & Development, Sharp HealthCare

When Pat came to Sharp Healthcare in 2009, she brought the design-build philosophy with her. At Sharp, Nemeth spearheaded the transition of all procurement for Sharp Healthcare’s capital construction improvements to utilize the design-build delivery method. Pat considers the design solution and means of achieving that solution as a hallmark of high performing teams, where each player has a voice in the development and execution of the vision. Fostered by this understanding, Nemeth has been a trailblazer in the healthcare industry with her commitment and dedication to the design-build delivery method.


Owner Category:

Don TonerDonald C. Toner, Jr., SR/WA, Director Right of Way, Texas Dept. of Transportation (TxDOT), Strategic Projects Division

Donald Toner works to effectively deliver right of way on design-build projects in Texas. On every design-build project, Toner meets personally with commercial and residential property owners, state representatives and local municipal officials.  His leadership has resulted in cost savings for TxDOT, in excess of $100 million over the course of his career, and time savings for each design-build contractor. Donald sets high expectations, leading by example, and providing solutions when challenged. He has been instrumental in establishing quality control procedures in order to get each project right the first time.


Owner Category:

Eduardo A. VegaEduardo A. Vega, P.E., MSCM, Asst. Director of Engineering & Capital Improvements, Miami-Dade Water & Sewer Dept.

Eduardo Vega, has embraced and championed many large scale, complex water and sewer design-build projects over the last 10 years at Miami-Dade Water & Sewer. Under his leadership and direct supervision, design-build contract language has been developed, design criteria prepared, and contracts have been procured and successfully managed. Eduardo has worked to have DBIA trainings at Miami-Dade Water & Sewer Department and has encouraged staff to become certified through DBIA.


Owner Category:

April Heinze01April Heinze, P.E., Director, County of San Diego/Dept. General Services

April Heinze has been instrumental in moving San Diego County to use design-build.  Under her guidance and leadership, the Department of General Services developed criteria, implemented documents and contracting procedures, and trained technical and contracting personnel in the delivery method, resulting in the delivery of 16 major Capital projects, valued nearly $1 billion.  The use of design-build is now the County’s preferred delivery method for Capital Projects.