Pradeep Kapoor — Courtesy: DMR Architects
By Joshua Burd
DMR Architects has named its first-ever chief operating officer alongside five other promotions within its Hasbrouck Heights-based team of more than 40.
Pradeep Kapoor, a partner with the firm, assumes the COO position after 21 years in which he has held several roles and managed many of its most complex design and construction projects, according to a news release. He has focused primarily on the municipal, health care and education practices, while building a strong niche in sustainable design.
In his newest role, Kapoor will manage day-to-day responsibilities for significant firm projects while providing managerial support for all ongoing assignments, offering guidance on contracts, project management, budget, schedule adherence and staff development.
“Supporting the scope and volume of our new projects and absorbing and directing new staff members is made all the more complex by the layers of practice areas and services we have added in recent years,” said Lloyd Rosenberg, founder and CEO of DMR. “Pradeep has been managing the firm’s operations and I am pleased to be able to recognize his success at this role by naming him DMR’s first chief operating officer.”
The design firm announced the promotion on Tuesday, noting that Kapoor in 2017 was named a partner while serving as its director of sustainability. He was among the first architects in New Jersey to achieve accreditation under the U.S. Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design scale, DMR said, helping build a sustainable design program with the firm that has yielded projects such as Hudson County Schools of Technology and Carlstadt Elementary School.
“It has been a privilege to take on a leadership role during a time when the firm has literally created a new practice format that bridges traditional architecture with planning, design, construction management and other services that provides clients with exceptional skill, efficiency and value,” Kapoor said. “As we lift the standards for architects, we have been able to lift the careers of our people. I am a prime example of DMR’s culture of nurturing staff, fostering professional achievement, and recognizing talent and hard work, and I am proud to recognize five other staff members whose achievements also warrant promotions.”
The newly promoted employees also include Maria Perez, who is now director of human resources. In the news release, DMR said she has managed its office and staff since 1994, guiding the firm’s organizational development, creating a diverse staff and performance management structure, as well as managing benefits, compensation and training.
Additionally, Perez implemented a streamlined onboarding process to facilitate DMR’s growth from 10 to a team of more than 40. She has also coordinated communication throughout the pandemic, which continues to be instrumental in keeping clients informed and projects on schedule.
Meantime, Donna Coen O’Gorman is now the company’s director of business development for the education sector, the field on which she has focused throughout her 35-year career. The firm cited her ongoing project management work in the sector and its evolution to client advocacy, business development and thought leadership, adding that she has been published and is a frequent lecturer on topics such as school security, new project delivery methods and design trends.
Megan Apostol, now DMR’s director of marketing, has spent a decade with the firm, the news release said. During that time she has brought attention to members of its design team through publicity initiatives, print and digital communications and marketing initiatives, along with securing architectural and real estate industry awards for DMR practitioners.
The firm also announced the promotion of Kevin Johnson to project manager, noting that he joined its production staff in 2012. He quickly established himself as an integral member of DMR’s New York City School Construction Authority, helping complete more than 200 projects valued at $500 million over his nearly 10 years with the team.
Pierre Talisse, now a project manager, joined DMR in 2019, bringing with him worldwide experiences ranging from a 550,000-square-foot development in India to capital improvements across New Jersey school districts, the news release said. He supports renovation projects for many of the firm’s school district clients, including Bayonne, Hackensack, Edison and New Brunswick, as well as supporting the new construction of schools in Plainfield and Jersey City.
As a project manager at DMR, Talisse will support the education and public sectors, which currently account for more than $400 million of the firm’s pipeline.