Who Will Join the 2%?: Nominate a Design-Build Leader for DBIA’s College of Fellows 2024 Class

Nominations are open for DBIA’s 2024 College of Fellows class. This prestigious honor is reserved for the most distinguished professionals in the design-build industry, recognizing their outstanding contributions and leadership. In fact, only 2% of Designated Design-Build Professionals® are elevated to the status of Fellow.

Will you or someone you know join that 2% in 2024?

Nomination Requirements

Becoming a DBIA Fellow requires a distinguished career in design-build that embodies the principles of Design-Build Done Right® and showcases significant contributions to the industry. To be eligible, a nominee must meet the following criteria:

  • 10 years of continuous DBIA certification
  • 10 years of continuous membership in DBIA
  • 10 years of responsible charge of design-build experience while certified
  • Nomination by an approved DBIA leader

More broadly, a nominee must be able to showcase notable achievements and advocacy in the field. This includes identifying their most significant achievements, describing their role in significant design-build projects and demonstrating their leadership and recognition in the industry.

Advocacy is key; nominees should be strong supporters of DBIA’s mission and values, promoting design-build project delivery at both national and regional levels. This can include leadership roles, service on boards and committees and/or involvement in legislative efforts. Additionally, nominees should have a strong presence in educating the industry, participating in presentations and publications that advance effective design-build practices. 

Nominees should also have a positive influence in the design-build industry, spreading awareness of best practices and outcomes. They should be recognized for their contributions and have received awards for their dedication to design-build. Lastly, civic involvement and achievements are valued, showcasing nominees’ commitment beyond professional achievements.

Meeting these criteria, along with demonstrating significant civic involvement and achievements, can qualify a nominee for elevation to DBIA Fellow.

Meet the 2023 DBIA Fellows

Last year, three amazing professionals exceeded those criteria and joined the DBIA College of Fellows. Here’s a closer look at who they are:

James Avitabile, PE, FDBIA
Jim Avitabile headshot

Senior Practice Development Leader — Design-Build, RK&K

Jim Avitabile has effectively led the DBIA Transportation and Aviation Markets Committee, chaired several Conference planning committees that delivered successful conferences and contributed to DBIA’s best practices in Transportation publications. Since getting involved with DBIA in 2007, Jim has aided in the growth, evolution and maturation of the design-build delivery process with Owners such as FDOT, GDOT, SCDOT and several Florida municipalities. Under Jim’s leadership, DBIA drafted the first Transportation Sector Best Design-Build Practices documents and was heavily involved in the recent primer update. Jim also volunteers time for community service projects like helping local governmental agencies address environmental concerns, flood, growth management, sustainability, resilience and traffic safety.

Rebecca Blankenship, FDBIA
Becky Blankenship headshot

First Vice President, Hill International Inc.

Rebecca Blankenship is a primary reason design-build has become so prevalent in the Northwest. She has influenced legislation and best practices through her service on committees with the Washington State Capital Projects Advisory Review Board. As First Vice President, Pacific Northwest Operations Manager at Hill International, Becky has helped at least 18 first-time Owners achieve success through Progressive Design-Build. Her reach of experience includes architecture, engineering, design-build and Owner representation. She also served in the Air Force earning numerous medals. She is pursuing a doctorate from Gonzaga University with dissertation research focused on the Progressive Design-Build delivery model.

Barbara Wagner, LEED AP, FDBIA
Barbara Wagner headshot

Executive Vice President, Clark Construction Group, LLC

Barbara Wagner is an advocate, educator and influencer in design-build project delivery nationwide. Educated as an architect and engineer, she possesses the highest credentials in the AEC space. An executive vice president and 38-year veteran of Clark Construction Group, Barbara has been personally responsible for billions of dollars and millions of square feet of design-build projects. In over 20 years, Barbara has served in many leadership positions, including president of WPR, chair of the national board of directors and current chair of the development board. Over the past two decades, Barbara has presented at an average of six conferences a year.

These are just a few examples of the exceptional leaders in the design-build industry who have earned their place in the 2%. If you know someone who fits this description, nominate them today.

Nomination Process

Before submitting your nomination, review the Nominee Application Requirements on the DBIA website. Once a nominee is confirmed eligible, they will need to submit a complete nomination package by July 12, 2024. Nominations received after this date will be considered for the following year. Nominations are open until July 5; candidate packages are due July 12. For questions about the DBIA Fellows process, please email DBIAFellow@dbia.org.