IA Interior Architects is pleased to announce the winners of its 2019 IAct Awards, a program honoring individuals within the firm who achieve excellence in one of four categories: Leadership, Innovation, Service, and Rising Star. This peer-nominated award honors our professionals who dedicate themselves to making IA such an exemplary place to work. These individuals exemplify the firms’ traits and values, people who are not only committed but truly invested in the continued growth of IA, their peers at the firm, and the evolution of the practice of interior design and architecture.
This year’s IAct Award for Leadership was presented to Agnes Pietraszek, a Senior Designer in IA’s San Francisco office. As part of IA’s Spark Committee, Agnes led the tremendous effort to create IA’s first ever Design Innovation Awards, an internal program that recognizes the best design across the firm. She is a continuous advocate for her teams, always providing energy and inspiration, as well as mentorship. Agnes is known for bringing a high level of passion, energy and thoughtfulness to every project, and especially for exhibiting grace under pressure during deadlines.
“Agnes is an incredibly strong yet humble leader. She is energetic and positive in her communication style, and detail oriented in her delivery. Always willing to jump into multiple facets of conversation and activities, Agnes is inspiring in her design abilities. I’m so proud of her,” shares Richelle Nolan, Managing Director of the Portland office and a Principal with the firm.
This year, the IAct Award for Service is being presented to Bryan Yu, Senior Lighting Designer in IA’s Los Angeles office. As part of IA’s lighting team, Bryan works across the firm, constantly collaborating with a range of varying project teams, an ideal example of the “OneIA” approach. Bryan’s focus is always to use his experience and talent to benefit the overall project delivery and outcome for the client. He never hesitates to help a team member in need; he seemingly has an endless reserve of energy and a tireless devotion to making the project, team, and firm better.
“Bryan is the perfect embodiment of IA’s values: he’s client- and people-focused, passionate about the firm and his profession, as well as multi-faceted, and enterprising. He’s a consummate professional who has a strong sense of integrity, is socially conscious, and always innovating,” shares Helen Watts, Managing Principal of the Los Angeles office.
The IAct Award for Innovation was presented to Manuel Navarro, Design Director in IA’s Austin office and a Principal with the firm. Despite IA Austin only celebrating its second year since opening, Manny has steadily become a design influencer in Austin and firm-wide. His first completed project, the East Austin offices for H-E-B Digital and Favor Delivery, created much buzz in the local market and received numerous press accolades, with other buzz-worthy projects following quickly behind. Manny is a valued mentor and a gregarious team player, eager to push the boundaries and work to expand IA’s design creativity. As a member of the Spark Design Committee, Manny is committed to constantly delivering thoughtful designs filled with creativity, wit, and ingenuity.
“Since joining IA, Manuel Navarro has exhibited an unwavering commitment to the success of his team, his clients, and the firm as a whole,” shares Stephanie Long, Managing Director of IA’s Austin office and a Principal with the firm. “Manny’s unquenchable thirst for new ideas and his passion for design excellence form the foundation to his impressive portfolio of work. Above all, Manny approaches his profession with a sense of selflessness and humility that engages both peers and client teams, creating an environment that fosters true innovation.”
The 2019 IAct Rising Star Award was presented to Amy Groome, Intermediate Designer in IA’s San Francisco office. In her two years at the firm, Amy has proved herself to be a dedicated, enthusiastic professional, always tackling any challenge with a positive attitude. She is well known in her office for being a skilled collaborator and communicator. Amy is also a quick study, especially with design technology, eager to learn and take on whatever a client throws at her. She is active in the local design community, and represents the best and brightest of IA.
“We are so thrilled that Amy is part of our IA team. The professionalism and energy that she brings to her work is inspiring,” noted Don Lam, Managing Principal of IA Interior Architects’ San Francisco office. “Deeply passionate about design, it is incredible to see how generously Amy gives to industry organizations and events, as a supporter as well as an active leader. She is unpretentious, invested, committed and a model for IA’s values. It has been fantastic seeing her grow as a designer and an emerging leader.”
“We are exceptionally proud of this year’s class of IAct Award honorees and nominees. Over 180 individuals were nominated this year for displaying excellence as individuals within IA, our industry, communities and world. Agnes, Amy, Bryan and Manny are stars, and we celebrate them for evoking in all of us a greater calling to strive for excellence in such significant, meaningful ways,” noted Jennifer Hatton, Managing Principal of Client Services and executive sponsor of the IAct Awards.
The awards were presented on Wednesday, November 13, during a live-stream event.