Architect and Sustainability Advocate Michael R. Davis, Bergmeyer’s Former President, Retires After 40 Years of Service

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Mike Davis

BOSTON– Veteran architect and sustainability advocate Michael R. Davis, FAIA, LEED AP, who spent over 40 years at the award-winning Design Collaborative Bergmeyer, has retired from the firm as of Aug. 31.

Serving as the firm’s first-ever Director of Corporate Social Responsibility, Davis joined Bergmeyer in May of 1984 and was made a Principal by 1992, serving in key leadership roles throughout his tenure as Vice President from 2001-2015 and President from 2016-2021.

Leading the firm through nearly three decades of revolutionary expansion and unprecedented change, Davis’ impact on the firm’s continued growth and success is immeasurable. Even more remarkable is Davis’ work within the Architecture industry through his work with the American Institute of Architects (AIA), working as an advocate for sustainable public policy and design excellence in the public realm.

“It is with great pride that we celebrate Mike Davis’ remarkable career and legacy – one so impactfully influential that it will be felt throughout the architecture and design industry for generations to come,” said Bergmeyer President, Rachel Zsembery, AIA, LEED AP BD+C. “His leadership as an advocate for progressive evolution and climate positive impact within Bergmeyer, the City of Boston, and the global architectural design community has paved the way for our collective future.“

Throughout his career Davis has worked to advance the field of architecture, serving on the Boston Civic Design Commission (BCDC) for twenty-one years – twelve as Chair – advising the Boston Planning and Development Authority within the Boston Zoning Article 80 Major Project Design Review Process on the impact of development proposals on the quality of Boston’s public realm. In 2001 Davis served on Mayor Thomas Menino’s inaugural Green Building Task Force, leading the city’s adoption of Zoning Code Article 37, the first municipal “green building” zoning ordinance in the country.

In 2007, he served on Governor Deval Patrick’s Net Zero Energy Building Task Force, producing programs and guidelines intended to spur the growth of NZEBs across the Commonwealth. For these efforts, and for Davis’ advocacy work in support of the Massachusetts Green Communities Act and its “stretch” energy code, he was elected to the AIA’s College of Fellows in 2010.

In 2013 Davis was elected President of the Boston Society of Architects (BSA) and appointed Chair of the Board of Trustees of the BSA Foundation from 2015 to 2016. As BSA President he directed the commissioning of “Building Resilience in Boston,” while also leading the repositioning of the organization to focus on an elevated mission to use the fundamentals of architecture and design to assist local communities in addressing their design challenges.

In 2020 Davis was appointed to the AIA’s Board of Directors’ Government Advocacy Committee (GAC), contributing to the AIA’s first public policy platform document while also helping write the AIA’s Climate Action Plan. He also served as the first Chair of the Advocacy Committee for the AIA’s national Committee on the Environment (COTE), while previously serving on both the national AIA 2030 Commitment working group as well as the AIA Materials Knowledge working group.

In 2021 Davis was selected to represent the AIA at COP26 in Glasgow, working to establish new partnerships with policymakers and industry partners leading to meaningful action addressing the built environment’s impact on climate change.

“The reason I joined Bergmeyer forty years ago is the same thing that makes this firm such a great organization today,” said Davis. “We still believe that talented, ambitious, and fair-minded people should never know boundaries. Everything I have accomplished as a professional is thanks to the great support and encouragement I have received at every stage of my career from my colleagues at Bergmeyer.”

As for his time at Bergmeyer, Davis’ legacy will be felt for decades to come, having made a lasting impact on the firm’s commitment to serving the greater public good through his efforts as Director of Corporate Social Responsibility – making this an explicit part of Bergmeyer’s fundamental business practices through the launch of its first-ever social responsibility mission “B the Change.” Davis was also instrumental in creating key partnerships with organizations focused on creating opportunities for young people of diverse backgrounds to explore careers in design.

Under Davis’ leadership, Bergmeyer’s team successfully expanded the firm’s national presence by opening its first West Coast office in LA while simultaneously extending Bergmeyer’s design expertise across several new market sectors, including healthcare, hospitality, and multi-family. He also led the company alongside Bergmeyer’s current leadership team through its iconic rebrand including a fully realized departure from a traditional architecture and design firm to a multi-disciplinary design collaborative.

While remaining acutely attuned to how architects support climate mitigation and adaptation, Davis plans in his retirement to travel the world with his life partner, Katie McGuinness, to sketch more frequently, to cook slowly and with sustainably-farmed ingredients, to sing and play guitar on the front porch, to never ski on Saturday again, and to occasionally provide expert witness services in support of Architects’ professional liability defense through his new solo practice: Mike Davis FAIA LLC.

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