Previous Honorary AIANH Members

2017 Honorary Member

John Hession, Photographer

At its 33rd Annual Awards Banquet on January 20, the New Hampshire Chapter of the American Institute of Architects (AIANH) named John W. Hession an Honorary Member of the Chapter. This award is bestowed on non-architects who have given distinguished service to the profession of architecture or to the arts and sciences related to architecture within the state of New Hampshire.

Mr. Hession has been a member of the Chapter’s Environmental Guild since 2004, providing insights and working on initiatives to promote the Guild’s mission of advocating for a more productive and healthy built environment through sustainable design principles. He was involved in five of the six Integrated Design/Integrated development conferences the Guild sponsored and has been a fearless and tireless proponent of the 2030 Challenge, a goal set forth by the architecture community to reduce and ultimately eliminate fossil-fuel-emitting energy to operate buildings by the year 2030.

Over the years, Hession has provided gratis services to AIA New Hampshire, documenting countless events. He is currently filming and directing a documentary, “Net-Zero in New England,” a project of the NH Architecture Foundation. Two segments of the film were previewed last September at the Red River Theatre in Concord. He has also produced video recordings and interviews of the 2015 and 2016 New England COTE (AIA Committee on the Environment) Summits in Portland, ME, and Boston, MA.

Hession’s architectural photography is well-recognized throughout the state. Much of it can be seen in the pages of NH Home Magazine, where he is the photo editor. He and his wife, Valerie Michaud, also co-authored Wildflowers of the White Mountains, a pocket field guide to New Hampshire’s wild flowers. Hession got hooked on filming and photography after working as a lawyer for three years. (He earned a JD from Boston University in 1983.) That led him to New York where he started a production company that created new magazine shows, commercials, documentary, and dramatic films for a variety of clients. He opened his photo studio in New Hampshire in 1999 and began specializing in architectural photography in 2001.

In making the presentation, David Ely AIA, said, “We are proud to name John Hession as an Honorary Member in recognition and appreciation of his consistent willingness and commitment to document, illuminate, and promote architecture and sustainability.”

2016 Honorary Members

Press: 2016 Honories, Union Leader

At its 32nd Annual Awards Banquet on January 22, the New Hampshire Chapter of the American Institute of Architects (AIANH) named Richard K. Gsottschneider and William Norton as Honorary Members of the Chapter. This award is bestowed on non-architects who have given distinguished service to the profession of architecture or to the arts and sciences related to architecture within the state of New Hampshire.

2016 Honorary AIA New Hampshire Members

Mr. Gsottschneider was recognized as the driving force behind RKG Associates, a planning, economic consulting, and real estate advisory firm founded in 1980 in Durham, NH. Led by Gsottschneider’s emphasis on job creation and expansion of the local tax base, RKG’s efforts are grounded in economics supporting urban development, neighborhood revitalization, city and state housing strategies, urban corridor revitalization, adaptive reuse and military base redevelopment, as well as residential, resort, office/industrial, retail/mixed use development, and campus planning. Gottschneider has been personally responsible for 50 or more highly successful projects in New Hampshire alone, and many more nationally and internationally over the past 35 years.

Of all his projects, he is perhaps most proud of the redevelopment planning for the former Pease Air Force Base in Portsmouth. Lasting almost six years, the work included the initial marketing strategy, land use plan, and financing plan, as well as the acquisition strategy from the Air Force. The project to date has created over 10,000 new jobs and has helped transform the economy in the Seacoast Region.  The success of the project led to RKG’s working on over 60 military base reuse projects throughout the United States. Other adaptive reuse projects have happened in Newmarket, Jaffrey, Portsmouth, Keene, Manchester, Exeter, Nashua, Concord, and Laconia, and other communities throughout the country.

In making the presentation, James Warner FAIA, noted that, “it is very likely (almost certain) that Richard K. Gsottschneider has had a more profound impact on more lives, in more places locally and nationally than any other New Hampshire architect, planner or developer! I cannot think of anyone more deserving of the Honorary AIANH title.”

Mr. Norton was recognized for his outstanding work and dedication to creating a healthy built environment in New Hampshire and promoting the importance of quality design. For over 35 years, as president and principal of Norton Asset Management, Inc. in Manchester, he has offered counsel on everything from contract negotiations to real estate and building options. As a specialist in the management of the construction process from design through occupancy, with extensive experience in energy and facility management and a deep interest in architecture, he is an invaluable asset to the community.

Norton has served on numerous non-profit and zoning boards. In fact, twenty percent of his time goes to non-profits, guiding them through the morass of figuring out their real estate and building options and architect and contractor selections. He was a charter member and past president of Plan NH and helped to launch their pro bono charrette program, participating in over 15 of them. He also helped found the 20/20 Vision for Concord initiative, served on its board for 10 years, and started the Greater Manchester Infrastructure Forum. He has written monthly articles for twenty years in the New Hampshire Business Review and the New England Real Estate Journal, focusing on commercial real estate and the New England economy.

Patrician Sherman FAIA, said, “Bill Norton has a proven commitment to the improvement of our built environment. I cannot think of a more deserving individual for recognition as an Honorary Member of AIA New Hampshire.”


2014 Honorary Members

Press: NH Union Leader  |  Back to 2016 Honories

At its 30th Annual Awards Banquet on January 10, 2014 the New Hampshire Chapter of the American Institute of Architects (AIANH) named Jennifer Goodman and Phyllis Stibler ASIDHonorary Members of the Chapter. This award is bestowed on non-architects who have given distinguished service to the profession of architecture or to the arts and sciences related to architecture within the state of New Hampshire. Ms. Goodman is the Excecutive Director of the New Hampshire Preservation Alliance and Ms. Stibler is president of Stibler Associates.Jennifer Goodman, Hon. AIANH

Jennifer Goodman was recognized for her outstanding work and dedication to the architectural and preservation communities in New Hampshire and for her expertise in preserving New Hampshire's historical legacy as Executive Director of the NH Preservation Alliance. Specific accomplishments include her leadership and efforts to save and revive the Daniel Webster Farm in Hillsboro; the team effort that received the National Honor Award for the Acworth Meetinghouse Restoration in 2011; and leading the collaborative efforts to develop a preservation easement and the Old House and Barn Expo. Through her leadership of the Preservation Alliance since 1998, she has improved preservation assistance for community preservation leaders and homeowners, increased its membership over 200%, and its annual operating budget from about $70,000 to nearly half a million dollars. She has helped organize support for important Legislative actions, including the Land and Community Heritage Investment Program (LCHIP) and an expanded downtown preservation tax incentive. Jennifer has also presented and published widely on community-based preservation planning and advocacy techniques that require negotiation and collaboration. She established the Green Guidelines for state and local policy-makers and co-edited Restoring Women’s History through Historic Preservation, which won the Society of Architectural Historians’ preservation award in 2004.

In making the presentation, Christopher Williams AIA, said, “Working on behalf of many communities within the State, Goodman has helped to preserve our historic character through the preservation of historic buildings, landmarks, landscapes, and neighborhoods. On top of all that, Jennifer is modest, clam, and exudes a can-do attitude mixed with a terrific enthusiasm for preservation and collaboration…and she’s fun to work with!”

Phyllis Stibler ASID is president of the largest, longest-lived, and most successful Interior Design practice in New Hampshire. She has exhibited extraordinary design talent over her 30+ year career, working on complex renovations and large-scale new construction for all project types, not only here in New Hampshire but across the country and abroad. She has received multiple awards for her work, for such projects as the UNH campus in Manchester, the Foundation for Seacoast Health Community Campus in Portsmouth, PC Connection, the Manchester Airport Terminal, Nynex/City Hall Plaza, as IDEXX Laboratories in Westbrook, ME, and the New Hampshire Charitable Foundation. 

Phyllis Stibler, Hon. AIANHStibler was a founding director and past-president of Plan NH and served on the AIANH Board of Directors for two three-year terms. Throughout her career, Phyllis has given extraordinary service to the community at large, volunteering in various capacities in support of the arts and of service organizations such as the NH Institute of Art, NH Business Committee for the Arts, the Arts Builds Community, the Manchester YMCA, the Girl Scouts Swiftwater Council, the NH Charitable Foundation, the NH Aviation Historical Society, and the Chamber of Commerce Foundation.

In 2006 she received an Outstanding Service Award from AIANH and the Leadership New Hampshire’s Cotton Mather Cleveland Award. The Greater Manchester YMCA presented her with Community Service Awards for facilities work in 2000, 2006, and 2007, and named her volunteer of the year in 1996. Stibler Associates was named New Hampshire Business of the Year in 1994.

Stibler’s dedication to good design and her volunteer efforts to the community, all delivered with enthusiasm and charm, have made her one of the leaders of New Hampshire’s design and construction industry.

Barry Brensinger AIA, who presented the award, said, “It is appropriate that we recognize Phyllis’ personal example and advocacy for the advancement of professional interior design, which has brought direct benefit to our own work as architects and to the built environment in the State of New Hampshire and beyond.”

2013 Honorary Members

Press: NH Union Leader

At its 29th Annual Awards Banquet on January 11, the New Hampshire Chapter of the American Institute of Architects (AIANH) named Louise Lavertu and Jay Kahn PhD Honorary Members of the Chapter. This award is bestowed on non-architects who have given distinguished service to the profession of architecture or to the arts and sciences related to architecture within the state of New Hampshire. Ms. Lavertu is the Excecutive Director of the New Hampshire Joint Board of Licensure and Certification. Dr. Kahn is the Interim President at Keene State College.

Ms. Lavertu was recognized for her outstanding work and dedication to the architectural community in New Hampshire and for her expertise in licensing, the legislative process, and as a guide for the board of architects. Louise has served as the Executive Director the New Hampshire Joint Board of Licensure and Certification for 17 years. She oversees the regulating of approximately 31,500 licensed or certified individuals and businesses. During her tenure she has been instrumental in implementing legislative agendas and has protected legislative rights for the profession when they have been in jeopardy. She is a source of knowledge for many professionals across the state who are in pursuit of licensure and has created an open and friendly office staffed with well-trained people.

In making the presentation Patricia Sherman FAIA said “We hear a lot these days about Government being too present in our lives and complicating our existence. But tonight we honor a New Hampshire State employee who for 17 years has helped architects navigate the licensing process and assisted the profession in implementing legislative changes. She has indeed simplified our lives.”

Dr. Kahn, Interim President at Keene State College, served as Vice President of Finance and Planning since 1988. He has overseen a dramatic physical transformation of the campus that includes some of the state’s most architecturally significant academic buildings of the past 25 years. In terms of campus planning and architecture, Kahn was the driving force behind a master planning exercise in the early 1990s, and for the string of noteworthy building projects that resulted from it, including the Pondside Residence Halls, Zorn Dining Commons, Young Student Center, Mason Library, Putnam Science Center, Rhodes Hall, the Alumni Center, and the new TDS Center. Several of these have won design awards from AIANH.

Bruce Dicker FAIA, who presented the award, said, “This impressive list and the extremely high quality of design it embodies, illustrate Kahn’s unwavering commitment to, appreciation for, and support of excellence in architecture – a legacy that is unparalleled in New Hampshire and readily acknowledged by every architect in the state.”

Because of Kahn’s vision and leadership, KSC is now consistently recognized by The Princeton Review as one of the top colleges in the Northeast (comparing favorably with many private institutions) for both academic programs and campus appeal, and one of the greenest schools in the country. 

Beyond his work on KSC’s campus, Kahn has been actively involved with a wide range of academic, civic, and charitable organizations, many with connections to or implications for the design and construction industry.

For a list of all Honorary AIANH Members, go to the member roster and search by “Honorary AIANH Members”.

2012 Honorary Member

Linda WilsonAIANH named Linda Ray Wilson as an Honorary Member of the Chapter at the 2012 Annual Awards Banquet. This award is bestowed on non-architects who have given distinguished service to the profession of architecture or to the arts and sciences related to architecture within the state of New Hampshire.

Wilson was recognized for her outstanding work and dedication in steadfastly preserving, protecting, and honoring the built environment of New Hampshire.

Linda has revealed that as a child she wanted to be an architect, but instead of enrolling in a graduate program in architecture after college she took a job with Arthur Eldredge’s architectural office in Peterborough. Rick Monahon AIA, then a fellow employee, recalls that Linda’s “capacity for organizing and hand drawing a well-detailed set of construction documents was truly impressive.” Her real passion though, was for preservation. She became involved in trying to save the Spaulding-Gatto house in Peterborough, an effort that failed, but that set her on her path to save many more of New Hampshire’s treasured historical resources.

Linda began working with the State Department of Historical Resources in July 1975, ultimately becoming its Director and State Historic Preservation Officer until May 2011, when she retired.

Former State Architectural Historian James Garvin, Hon. AIANH, recalls that during the early years at the fledgling State Historical Resources office, Linda “provided the philosophical guidance for any federally funded or licensed project that affected a National Register property in New Hampshire. It is safe to say that during the ’70s and ’80s Linda Wilson was the chief translator to the architectural profession of the federal rules and guidelines that had been enacted to protect historical buildings.”

Scores of programs were established or flourished with Linda’s guidance and amazing ability to collaborate: the NH Stone wall Policy, Historic Highway Markers, the Conservation License Plate Program, the Certified Local Government Program, the 1980’s “Jobs Bill” Rehabilitation and Survey & Planning grants, the Coalition for Sustaining Agriculture, among them. Most of New Hampshire’s most cherished landmarks — Historic Harrisville, the Belknap Mill, the legislative Office Building, and Canterbury Shaker Village — bear Linda’s preservation mark. State Historic Preservation Officer Elizabeth Muzzey said, “more importantly, Linda left her mark on people. Over the years, engineers, housing specialists, architects, environmentalists, and others have listened to her determined explanations of why historical resources matter and learned to consider them while planning projects.”

The AIANH Chapter is proud to name Linda Ray Wilson an Honorary Member. In making the presentation John Merkle AIA stated that “Linda has acquired the respect and love of the architectural and preservation communities over her long career and we are pleased to commend her as a consummate preservation professional.”

2011 Honorary Members

Bob Thoresen was recognized for his outstanding work and dedication in transforming Portsmouth, NH, to a vibrant coastal community. Bob began the transformation when he was the City’s Planning Director in the 1970s. His vision for a revitalized Market Square was the impetus for the dramatic investment by the real estate community in not only the waterfront, but the entire downtown area as well. He established the first Historic District in the City’s history, and co-authored the visual guidelines for the District that are followed to this day.

Following his tenure as Planning Director, Bob established The Thoresen Group, a development firm that has continued to reinforce the urban fabric and principles that now characterize Portsmouth, through several infill and renovation projects in the downtown area. His sensitivity to the unique qualities that have made Portsmouth a major destination for people from all over the country, is evident in the success of his development projects.

Thoresen’s work in Portsmouth has been recognized nationally, and he has served as a consultant to many communities throughout the northeast and the south that are trying to emulate his success here. His work as a preservationist is well documented, and he has served on a variety of local and national boards as a result.

His stewardship has been responsible for a higher public appreciation of design and in enhancing awareness of the built environment.

Carolyn Isaak, Executive Director of the AIANH Chapter, was given her honorary membership in recognition of her service to the Chapter and to the architectural community. Since 1999, she has worked closely with AIANH members and its Board of Directors to increase the visibility of architects in the state and to broaden the public’s understanding of architecture and the value of good design. Under her tenure the AIANH Chapter has developed new elementary, middle, and high school volunteer programs; increased continuing education opportunities for professionals; directed a community-based consensus building initiative; organized six regional conferences on Integrated Design / Integrated Development; built a broader program for Interns and Young Architects that includes a yearly competition; created a 501(c) 3 charitable arm, the NH Architecture Foundation; and strengthened the Annual Design Awards program.

2009 Honorary Members

J.D Colcord: For his pivotal role in implementing the design and construction of the Merrimack County Nursing Home in Boscawen, New Hampshire, and for his recognition of the importance of good design and energy efficiency in improving the quality of life of New Hampshire’s elderly.

Kate Hartnett: For her outstanding dedication, passion, and success in leading the design and construction professions to focus on reducing the ecological footprint of the built environment; for her vision in founding The Jordan Institute; for her contribution to five successful Integrated Design/Integrated Development Conferences; for her work as a consultant on sustainable, low-impact projects in the State; and for her integral participation in the New Hampshire AIA150 initiative and the organization and direction of its College Brook Restoration Workgroup.

2008 Honorary Members

Jane C. Nylander
For her outstanding contributions over four decades to the study and preservation of the rich history of New England’s colonial life, as embodied in its homes, its daily activities, and its rich material culture; and to her outstanding efforts to share the region’s history and heritage through her leadership of many of New England’s most noted museums, institutions, and preservation societies.

Lewis M. Feldstein, President, NH Charitable Foundation
For his many years of tireless service in restoring communities and shaping the state of New Hampshire — helping to make our neighborhoods safer, our schools better, and our lives healthier.