SGA Hires Eight New Architects and Interior Designers, Expanding Boston and New York City Offices

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Al Spagnolo

BOSTON—SGA, a Boston and New York City-based national award-winning architecture, interior design, planning, branded environments and virtual design and construction practice, today announced that it has expanded its Boston and New York City offices and has hired eight architects and interior designers.

In addition, veteran architect Joe Mamayek, AIA, LEED AP joined the firm as Architectural Principal in late 2020 to focus on SGA’s expanding Life Science facilities design and planning group.

SGA’s new batch of hires are: Tony Morra, AIA, LEED AP, Senior Project Manager; Marty McCammon, Project Manager; Irene Huang, LEED AP BD+C, Project Architect; Chris Patneau, AIA, NCARB, Project Architect; Margaret Okonkwo, Job Captain; Grant Griffith, NCARB, CPHC, MCPPO, Job Captain; Rebecca Vooys, Interior Designer and Jillian Ahern, Junior Designer.

“It has always been a key mission at SGA to attract the best talent in the industry. The new additions to our growing team allow us to maintain our exceptional service level across the life sciences, academic, urban and mixed-use markets,” said Al Spagnolo, AIA, NCARB, President and Founding Partner at SGA. “We’re excited to welcome them all to the SGA team.”

Here is more information about SGA’s newest team members:

Tony Morra, AIA, LEED AP, Senior Project Manager

Tony Morra, who has 35 years of experience in architecture, sees himself as a problem-solver. From his perspective, every project presents its own set of challenges, whether they’re related to design, zoning, management, budget, or even climate change. His job is to develop solutions and options that lead to successful completions and improve sustainability. Another important component of his role is mentoring: He enjoys helping his colleagues and sharing knowledge.

Before joining SGA, Morra served as senior project manager at Tsoi Kobus Design, where he oversaw a number of healthcare and life science commissions. Previously, he held positions at TRIA, Inc. and EYP Architecture & Engineering. His longest tenure was at Shepley Bulfinch, where he spent 18 years specializing in higher education. That sector remains a focus of his work at SGA, along with life sciences.

Morra received a Master of Architecture from the Harvard Graduate School of Design and a Bachelor of Arts in environmental design from the University of Pennsylvania.

Marty McCammon, Project Manager

Throughout his 16-year career, Marty McCammon has specialized in life science. The sector appeals to him because labs and research centers typically feature a modern aesthetic and have complex requirements. McCammon welcomes the challenge of translating conceptual designs into successful facilities, which is why his favorite aspect of projects is coordination: He enjoys collaborating with engineers to ensure that the architecture blends harmoniously with a building’s infrastructure and systems.

Prior to joining SGA, McCammon honed his skills at Shepley Bulfinch and DiMella Shaffer, where he served as an associate and project manager, respectively. He earned a Master of Architecture from the Harvard University Graduate School of Design and a Bachelor of Science in Architecture from the University of Texas at Arlington.

Irene Huang, LEED AP BD+C, Project Architect

Irene Huang loves to solve puzzles and problems, which is why she has thrived in the field of architecture for more than 30 years. She particularly enjoys addressing challenges of complex building types, logistics, phasing, and master-planning. On core-and-shell projects, she specializes in the detailing of exterior envelopes, selecting materials that both enhance a structure’s appearance and the efficacy of its engineering.

In her role at SGA, which she joined in November 2020, Huang works on a variety of large-scale commissions across several industries, including life sciences. Previously, she served as a project architect at CBT, where she spent 23 years. During her tenure there, she focused on multifamily and academic projects.

Huang received a Bachelor of Architecture from the University of Texas at Austin.

Chris Patneau, AIA, NCARB, Project Architect

Chris Patneau combines a strong technical background in architecture with expertise in life sciences and lab planning. Over the course of his 14-year career, he has designed a wide range of R&D facilities for universities, developers, and pharmaceutical companies.

These “workhorse buildings” appeal to Patneau because they encompass demanding programs and require extra attention to integration with engineering systems. He especially enjoys the programming, conceptual, and schematic phases of such projects, when, as he explains, “the big ideas form and the conversations about goals take place.” But he also finds the subsequent stages engaging because they involve so much coordination with other trades.

Patneau joined SGA’s New York City office in November 2020. In his new role, he focuses on core and shell commissions along with lab fit-outs, drawing on his previous experience at FLAD Architects in San Francisco and at HOK in San Francisco and New York City.

A registered architect, Patneau received a Bachelor of Architecture from Kansas State University.

Margaret Okonkwo, Job Captain

Margaret Okonkwo’s experience across a variety of sectors is ideal for her role at SGA, which she joined last month. As job captain, she works on a wide range of projects, all at different stages, for clients in several industries. On any given day, you might find her contributing to a feasibility study, coordinating drawings with consultants, or planning a tenant fit-out. She welcomes this diversity and enjoys collaborating on any commission that is sound, sustainable, and respectful of the surrounding environment.

Previously, Okonkwo worked at the Boston-based firms TRIA, Inc., Group One Partners, and Regent Associates Inc., which specialize in life sciences, hospitality, and car dealerships, respectively. She also spent 10 years at Studio G Architects, honing her project expertise in childcare, education, affordable housing, mixed-use, and historic preservation.

Okonkwo received a Master of Architecture from Massachusetts College of Art and a Bachelor of Science in architectural engineering from Wentworth Institute of Technology.

Grant Griffith, NCARB, CPHC, MCPPO, Job Captain

Grant Griffith plays a critical role in setting objectives and helping teams meet them. On a daily basis, he collaborates with project architects and project managers to assess progress on commissions, develop strategies, and identify deliverables. He also devotes time to production, providing drawings, floor plans, and site plans, all of which he loves to see “coming to life” in construction.

A Certified Passive House Consultant, Griffith is a strong advocate of energy efficiency. He believes that the built environment has a significant effect on health and wellness, and strives to incorporate daylighting, fresh air, and sustainable building materials in design.

Previously, Griffith served as an architect at Flansburgh Architects in Boston, where he focused on primary schools. Earlier, he worked for five years at the McKnight Group in Columbus, Ohio, gaining extensive experience in commercial, office, and institutional projects.

Griffith received a Master of Architecture from Miami University in Ohio and a Bachelor of Science in Architecture from Ohio State University.

Rebecca Vooys, Interior Designer

Rebecca Vooys specializes in corporate interiors and lab design. Her role at SGA encompasses a wide range of responsibilities, including design development, test-fitting, construction documentation, and selection of finishes. Rebecca especially enjoys the beginning of projects, when she familiarizes herself with the client’s vision, and the end, when she sees the final product come to life.

During her undergraduate studies, Vooys completed internships at Workflow Interiors, a furniture dealership in Boston; and at Perkins & Will, where she worked on several corporate and workplace commissions while gaining experience in higher education and sustainable design.

Vooys received a Bachelor of Science in interior design from Wentworth Institute of Technology.

Jillian Ahern, Junior Designer

Jillian Ahern assists in all stages of the design process, from conceptual planning to construction administration at SGA. Her responsibilities include research, drawings, and specification of finishes, lighting, and furniture, all of which support successful project outcomes. The variety of her day-to-day tasks allows her to pursue her many professional passions: urbanism, adaptive reuse, brick detailing, and sustainability, to name a few. She also enjoys working across a range of sectors, from mixed-use buildings to lab facilities.

Ahern decided at a young age to pursue a career in design. As a teenager, she interned at high-end residential firms, which prompted her to enroll in Notre Dame’s five-year architectural program. Subsequent internships at Elkus Manfredi Architects and at Notre Dame’s department of facilities & design operations paved the way to her current role.

Ahern graduated from Notre Dame with a Bachelor of Architecture, furniture design concentration.