SmithGroup Elevates Seven to Principal
SmithGroup, one of the nation’s leading integrated design firms, has promoted Jennifer Durham, Kevin Gurgel, Clare Jagenow, Kevin Piontkowski, Luke Renwick, Stacie Thornton and Andrew Varilone to principal at its Detroit and Ann Arbor offices.
A senior project manager and architect at the Detroit office, Jennifer Durham, AIA, LEED AP has over 20 years of experience in the higher education market. She specializes in leading complex, interdisciplinary projects through all phases, from the initial design concept through completion. Durham served as project manager on the recently completed Wayne State University Mike Ilitch School of Business. She’s also serving as project manager on the expansion of Saginaw Valley State University’s $25 million Scott L. Carmona College of Business & Management. Durham is a member of the American Institute of Architects (AIA). She graduated from the University of Michigan with a Bachelor of Science in architecture, followed by a Master of Architecture and Master of Engineering in construction management. A native of Cadillac, Michigan, Durham now resides in Detroit.
Kevin Gurgel, PE is an experienced structural engineer at the Detroit office who has worked on a wide-range of notable projects in the healthcare, higher education and workplace markets. Gurgel excels at managing large project teams. He draws inspiration from seeing a design come to life and making a positive and lasting impact on individuals and their communities. Recent work includes the new Henry Ford Health System Brigitte Harris Cancer Pavilion, expected to open in early 2020; and a new 81,000-square-foot facility in Lyon Township, Michigan, for Carl Zeiss Industrial Metrology, LLC. Gurgel earned a Bachelor of Science in civil engineering, followed by a Master of Science in structural engineering from the University of Illinois. Originally from Darien, Illinois, he now resides in Canton, Michigan.
As an accomplished landscape architect at SmithGroup’s Ann Arbor office, Clare Jagenow, PLA, ASLA has contributed significantly to several of the firm’s urban design and campus projects. She is serving as a landscape architect on various site-improvement projects at the General Motors Technical Center Campus in Warren, Michigan. She also served as project manager on a renovation and addition at Michigan State University’s Breslin Student Events Center. Jagenow is an active member of the Michigan chapter of American Society of Landscape Architects (MiASLA) and served as president from 2016 through 2018. In 2017 she received MiASLA’s Distinguished Member Award for her significant contributions to the organization and the community through volunteerism, advocacy and educational initiatives. Jagenow earned a Bachelor of Landscape Architecture degree from Michigan State University. Originally from Detroit, she now resides in Trenton.
Kevin Piontkowski joined SmithGroup in 2018 as the firm’s chief financial officer at the Detroit office. With over 25 years of experience, Piontkowski brings with him extensive international expertise and proficiency in strategic planning, banking relations, financial analysis, financial reporting, mergers, acquisitions, restructures, divestitures and more. Piontkowski is a true business partner. Utilizing a hands-on leadership style, Piontkowski works with leaders across the firm to establish and implement strategic financial objectives, while providing financial support and ensuring future financial success for the firm and its stakeholders. Piontkowski earned a Bachelor of Science in accounting from Wayne State University.
Luke Renwick, IALD, CLD, LC is a talented lighting designer at the Detroit office. He is passionate about how lighting can inspire people, express a client’s identity, inform visual hierarchy, and encourage movement throughout spaces to create a psychological and biological response. He has led the lighting design on multiple award-winning and acclaimed projects, including the Museum of the Bible in Washington, DC; and the restoration of the General Motors Durant-Dort Factory One in Flint, Michigan. Renwick is a professional member and Certified Lighting Designer with the International Association of Lighting Designers. He earned a Bachelor of Architectural Engineering with a Minor of Architectural Studies from the Pennsylvania State University. A native of Butler, Pennsylvania, Renwick now resides in Canton, Michigan.
Stacie Thornton, PHR is a corporate senior human resources manager at the Detroit office. In her role, Thornton works with leaders to create tools and processes that provide employee coaching and talent development opportunities. She’s also serving on SmithGroup’s Equity, Diversity and Inclusion initiative team which directly addresses barriers to success for future professionals and facilitates an environment and firm culture where our differences are embraced. In addition to being a firmwide resource, Thornton serves as the human resources manager for the firm’s Shanghai office. She is a member of the Society for Human Resource Management. She earned a Bachelor of Arts in interdisciplinary studies in social science from Michigan State University, followed by a Master of Science in Administration in human resources administration from Central Michigan University.
As an electrical engineer at the Detroit office, Andrew Varilone, PE, LEED AP BD+C specializes in providing complex electrical design solutions to healthcare facilities of all sizes. He has an inherent understanding of how invaluable a healthcare facility can be to its surrounding community and is passionate about providing successful and reliable electrical system operations. Notable projects include the new four-story, 187,000-square-foot Henry Ford Health System Brigitte Harris Cancer Pavilion in Detroit, scheduled to open in early 2020; and the recently completed 174,000-square-foot McLaren Port Huron South Tower addition. He earned a Bachelor of Science in electrical engineering from the University of Michigan – Dearborn. Originally from Livonia, Michigan, he now resides in Northville.