PRESIDENT Michael Williams
PRESIDENT ELECT Sam Batchelor
SECRETARY Meera Deean
TREASURER Judy A. Johnson
Meet the Board.
Sam Batchelor AIA
Sam Batchelor’s work is founded in a responsibility to the importance of craft and community. A partner at Boston-based architectural firm designLAB, he maintains a hands-on involvement in designLAB’s projects from schematic design through construction and post-occupancy. Sam also founded and directs the MassArt Community/Build Studio, and co-leads the BAC furniture design studio. He Co-Chairs the Membership Committee for the Boston Society of Architects. He holds an MArch from the University of Washington, and undergraduate degree from Yale.
Sam lives in Cambridge with his wife Scarlet, three children: Max, Iris, & Eli; and Batman – their three-legged poodle.
Born in Baltimore and raised in East Tennessee, Meera Deean is an architectural and urban designer at Utile. At Utile, she is currently managing the Downtown Waterfront Planning Initiative, which will result in a public realm and watersheet activation plan, a municipal harbor plan, and new zoning. She also managed the City Hall Plaza Master Plan for the BRA and the EPA’s Greening America’s Capitals project. In addition, she is working on the graphic design of the Boston Transportation Department’s new Complete Streets Manual, and leads many of the marketing and business development efforts of the office. She studied art history at Williams College, and received a M.Arch. from the Harvard Graduate School of Design. Prior to joining Utile, she worked with Vincent James Associate Architects, Hashim Sarkis ALUD, and Kao Design Group. She also spent two years as an architecture and design editor for Rizzoli International Publications.
Jonathan Evans is an architectural and urban designer at Utile. His recent work at Utile includes the Al Maryah Island design guidelines in Abu Dhabi as well as multi-family housing projects. Previously, while with Stull and Lee Architects, Jonathan managed architectural and urban design projects including the Hill District Master Plan for Pittsburgh, the Mount Vernon Master Plan (New York), and several urban scale housing projects.
Born and raised in New York City, Jonathan earned a B.S. in architecture from the University of Virginia and graduated with a M.Arch from the Harvard Graduate School of Design where he was awarded the Alpha Rho Chi Medal. He was a co-founder and principal instructor for a design program at Harvard geared to Boston area high school students and is currently a lecturer at Northeastern University and faculty in the practice department at the Boston Architectural College.
Judy A. Johnson
As controller, Judy has guided Leers Weinzapfel Associates through all matters financial for nearly 28 years. She founded the Cambridge Tree Stewards in November 2009. An original board member of the CDRC, she has a deep interest in giving back to communities.
James Kostaras, AIA, AICP
During his 25-year career in the public and private sector, James Kostaras has created and implemented successful urban design and development strategies that have led to the revitalization of urban districts challenged by economic disinvestment. He brings significant experience working in local government, serving a project director at the Boston Redevelopment Authority from 1985 to 2002 and as the Executive Director of the City of Somerville’s Office of Strategic Planning and Community Development from 2004 to 2007. In that position, he launched a major economic development strategy that has attracted over $1.5 billion in anticipated public and private investment in Somerville, and secured over $40 million in state and federal funding for affordable housing, parks, transportation and new infrastructure.
More recently, he worked with Sasaki Associates providing consulting services to the City of Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates, and founded Acadia Strategic Planning LLC, a firm that provides strategic project and program consulting services to public sector clients. His projects have garnered the 2001 American Institute of Architects Honor Award for Urban Design; the American Planning Association Massachusetts Chapter Award for Comprehensive Planning and the Congress for the New Urbanism Charter Award of Excellence.
He has significant teaching experience, including as a lecturer at the Harvard Graduate School of Design from 1997 to 2008, and has lectured widely around the world. He is a registered architect in Massachusetts and a member of the American Institute of Architects and the American Institute of Certified Planners.
Michael Williams, AIA
Mike is capital projects planner with the Massachusetts Community Colleges Executive Office, and principal of Building Opportunities, a private firm offering predesign services for building owners and architects, with a focus on higher education and independent secondary education. He comes to this after 23 years of being director of projects for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts (DCAM), where he was responsible for planning and design decisions in developing building programs and master plans, determining the feasibility and cost of state building projects, setting standards and guidelines for planning and design of state facilities, providing technical review and information as needed.
Mike continues to teach at the Boston Architectural College, where he has been faculty for the past 15 years.
Ann Fienman, Boston Society of Architects
Ann Fienman is managing director of the Boston Society of Architects. She joined the BSA staff in 2006, managing continuing education and, subsequently, operations. Her varied experience in nonprofits and start-ups helped hone the resourcefulness and hands-on approach that she brings to the BSA. After graduating from Boston College, she spent several years as a tour guide in and around Boston. Ann is interested in American history, the life cycles of urban environments and exploring city neighborhoods—preferably while driving her vintage LeBaron convertible.
Len Charney, AIA Boston Architectural College
Leonard Charney is Head of Practice at the Boston Architectural College. Len holds a Masters of Architecture from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (1979), a Masters in Teaching from Antioch College (1974) and a Bachelors of Science from Cornell University (1971). His diverse 30-year career has focused on three professional areas: design and construction management, community planning and real estate development, and career services education. Len’s teaching experience includes secondary, university, and post-graduate assignments. He has participated in the launch of innovative programs of instruction and career enrichment, including a certificate program in asset planning for architects and facility engineers in the United States and Canada. Since joining the BAC, Len and his staff have focused on developing closer working relationships with design firms to fully engage employers as supervising mentors, as well as expand student employment opportunities in design-related fields. Other key initiatives have included garnering one of three national Practice Academy awards from the AIA and organizing the BAC’s winning entry in 2009 for an NCARB Board (NCARB) Prize for Creative Integration of Practice and Education in the Academy. These in turn have spawned a series of current research projects that focus on collaborative learning and the development of more rigorous methods to assess student performance and skill development for BACs unique concurrent learning methodology.