SWBR promotes Brown, Price, Purdy, and Sylvester to sr. associate; welcomes Calhoun and Palmer

May 05, 2020 - Upstate New York
Michael Brown


William Price


Kristin Purdy


Keith Sylvester


Jasmine Calhoun


Katheryn Palmer


Rochester, NY SWBR is celebrating four leadership promotions, and two new hires. Michael Brown, AIA, William Price, RLA, Kristin Purdy, AIA, and Keith Sylvester have been promoted to senior associate. Addionally, finance specialist Jasmine Calhoun and project designer Katheryn Palmer have joined the firm.

“We’re proud to announce our new leadership team members as we look forward to another successful year of positively impacting lives through meaningful design,” said president Tom Gears, AIA.

Brown, AIA, CDT, LEED AP BD+C, has been with SWBR for 16 years and is a project architect/manager in the firm’s Workplace Studio where he manages design and construction for municipal and commercial projects. As a certified NYS code enforcement officer, Brown also provides expert reviews and assessments on code-related issues. He earned a Master of Architecture, Master of Business Administration and Bachelor of Architecture from the University at Buffalo. 

“Mike is well known and respected throughout SWBR for his technical and management abilities, his knowledge of building codes and standards, his even demeanor and his teaching and mentoring,” said principal Randal Sickler, AIA.  

Price, RLA, landscape architect and urban planner, joined SWBR in 2018. Price helps to lead the firm’s landscape architecture and urban site design projects along with business development and proposal writing efforts. His extensive portfolio includes the design and entitlements for several waterfront and historic preservation projects. He serves as the chairman of the Town of Brighton Planning Board and is a board member of the Community Design Center of Rochester. He received a Master of Landscape Architecture from the State University of New York College of Environmental Science and Forestry and a Bachelor of Environmental Design from the University of Massachusetts.

“Bill’s expertise as a landscape architect and urban planner, as well as his business development skills, have helped our landscape group prosper and positively impact our clients,” said Don Naetzker, RLA, landscape architecture manager.

Purdy, AIA, CSI, LEED AP BD+C is a project architect and member of SWBR’s Board of Directors. As part of the firm’s Education Studio, Purdy works with clients and the design team to develop a project’s program and design solution, overseeing projects from programming through construction administration. As SWBR’s sustainable design manager, she works to maintain the firm’s ongoing commitment to the environment by integrating sustainable best practices into design projects and our office culture. She graduated from the University at Buffalo with a Bachelor of Science in Architecture.

“Kristin is a skilled and incredibly organized project manager with the ability to apply her skills to many different project types, from a beautiful performance hall, to research laboratories or even sports facilities. Our clients love working with her, she’s the ultimate team player,” said SWBR principal Steven Fernaays, AIA.

Sylvester, chief information officer, has been with SWBR for more than 20 years and manages all IT systems for the firm. Sylvester is the lead information technology (IT) decision maker and is responsible for strategy, design, implementation, utilization of technology and data security. He also oversees the firm’s Technology Department, which uses virtual and augmented reality, 3D modeling, Revit and drone technologies to better assist the design process.

“Keith does so much more than keep our systems running and safe. He ensures our firm is at the forefront of new technology, helping us enhance our client services and design better performing, more sustainable buildings,” said Tom Gears, AIA, SWBR president.

Calhoun is responsible for billing, contract management, project resource plans, and assisting with financial reports for the firm’s housing studio. She graduated from the University at Albany with a bachelor’s in actuarial science and a minor in business and economics.

As part of the firm’s education studio, Palmer assists project architects with design and construction documentation on K12 projects. She graduated from Alfred State College with a bachelor’s in architecture.



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