Meet the 2023 Winners of the DBIA Distinguished Leadership Awards

The Design-Build Institute of America (DBIA) is proud to announce Linnell Stanhope; Kathy Tuznik, Assoc. DBIA; and Nick Ulliman, PE, MBA, DBIA, as the 2023 Distinguished Leadership Award winners. Winners were nominated by their peers and judged on their achievements in furthering the understanding and use of design-build. 

Meet the 2023 Distinguished Leadership Award Winners

Linnell Stanhope – Industry Practitioner

Headshot of Linnell Stanhope
Linnell Stanhope


Linnell Stanhope has been a driving force in promoting, educating and influencing the adoption of design-build practices across the Midwest, Mid-Atlantic and Southeast regions for the past three decades. Stanhope is unwavering in her dedication to design-build. In 2010, she worked with DBIA to develop and enact North Carolina Legislation enabling design-build. She was awarded the prestigious Select Society of Sanitary Sludge Shovelers (5S) award in 2019 from NC One Water, honoring her contributions to the industry. As a founding member of the DBIA Carolinas Chapter and the DBIA Central Virginia Chapter, Stanhope has played a crucial part in influencing the future of design-build in these regions and continues to serve on the Boards and Committees of DBIA National and Local Chapters. 



Kathy Tuznik, Assoc. DBIA – Owner

Headshot of Kathy Tuznik
Kathy Tuznik, DBIA

As a lawyer, Kathy Tuznik has advocated for drafting fair and reasonable legal terms to ensure successful design-build programs. Tuznik is the Senior Deputy General Counsel at the NYC Department of Design and Construction. She was instrumental in crafting new processes for procuring and awarding design-build contracts and helped produce a design-build agreement that embodies DBIA’s principles, now widely used in New York City. Tuznik’s leadership helped the city embrace the use of design-build and created a seismic shift in the city’s ability to deliver projects. Tuznik is a foremost contributor to the development and implementation of NYC’s multi-billion-dollar design-build Borough-Based Jail (BBJ) program, the largest vertical program of its kind in the country. She continues to be the ultimate team player in her multidimensional role as legal counsel, facilitator and advisor for NYC’s design-build projects.




Nick Ulliman, PE, MBA, DBIA – Young Professional

Nick Ulliman headshot
Nick Ulliman, PE, MBA, DBIA

Nick Ulliman is a true design-build and DBIA advocate. As a Sr. Project Manager at Ulliman Schutte Construction, his work has earned him several awards, including the Kentucky Society of Professional Engineers (KSPE) award for Outstanding Contributions in Construction. He successfully managed the Louisville MSD Southwestern Parkway CSO Storage Basin Project, which won DBIA’s 2019 Design-Build National Award of Excellence in the category of Water/Wastewater. Ulliman understands the mindset shift needed to make project collaboration successful. He establishes a collaborative environment with his team by engaging all project members to find creative solutions throughout design and construction. Ulliman demands quality products and value-driven solutions and negotiates with the intent of fair outcomes for all parties. 



Congratulations to Linnell, Kathy and Nick for their leadership in advancing effective design-build practices and promoting design-build as a project delivery method of choice.

The Distinguished Leadership Award winners will be honored at the 2023 Design-Build Conference & Expo Awards Dinner & Ceremony on Nov. 2. Register to join us and celebrate these winners as well as the nation’s best design-build projects and teams, this year’s class of DBIA Fellows and the Brunelleschi Lifetime Achievement Award winner William G. “Bill” Hasbrook.