Principals

Left to right:

Constance Miller

“I believe a CFO’s responsibility has evolved from just crunching numbers to leading the company on various fronts. It is essential to interact with other functions and business-related matters – project process, marketing, technology – and determine their impact on the organization and the industry”.

Principal, Constance (Connie) Miller serves as LVDA’s Chief Financial Officer. More than 30 years of experience in the fields of accounting and administration for businesses involved in architecture, interior design, real estate development and construction solidifies her knowledge about all aspects of the AEC industry. With a big picture approach and the ability to contribute beyond her financial area of expertise, she manages the firm’s formulation and implementation of corporate policies and procedures.

Connie’s organization and leadership skills earn her respect as a thought partner who takes an active role in managing the business efficiently. She effectively collaborates, negotiates and manages people. An allied member of American Institute of Architect, she also is a member of the City Club of Chicago, Professional Women’s Club of Chicago, and Northwestern Alumni Association.

James R. DeStefano FAIA, FALA, RIBA

“Bold plans and designs create conscious opportunities to shape the built environment. The creation of a unique sense of place affords that opportunity and is a compelling factor that guides us in shaping the physical and conceptual character of the environment”.

Principal James (Jim) DeStefano, FAIA, FALA, RIBA serves as an executive on projects and as a strategic adviser to senior management. Prior to LVDA, Jim spent 27 years at SOM and later founded his own firm which designed more than 35,000,000 sf of office buildings and over 35,000 residential units in multi-family developments. Enjoying a prolific career spanning more than five decades, Jim remains at the forefront of modern design. He often leads the profession in the use of ground-breaking building technology, materials and management systems. Dedicated and passionate about creating a vital urban environment, his designs for commercial, residential and civic projects in the U.S., London and the Middle East achieve recognition with the highest honors for design and technical excellence.

A frequent guest speaker and consultant on best practices and design, Jim is respected as a distinguished professional with unsurpassed expertise in the architectural community. Jim serves on the Board of Overseers at the Illinois Institute of Technology where he received his Bachelor of Architecture at the College of Architecture and Planning.

SELECT PROJECTS
One South Dearborn
Dearborn Plaza
200 West Randolph Street
Elmhurst Art Museum
State Emergency Operations Center
Fountainhead Quad Cities Master Plan
Illinois State Capitol Complex Master Plan
Regatta and Chandler Residential Towers
Student Housing High Rise
Judge Doyle Square Master Plan

Mary Ann Van Hook, AIA, LEED AP

“I see myself as the project overseer and an advocate to the client. My purpose is to be service oriented and I take it seriously”.

Founding Principal, Mary Ann Van Hook, AIA, LEED AP leads the management of the firm and serves as the Principal In Charge overseeing quality control and contract compliance for diverse building types and multi-project programs. Her 40 years of experience performing a variety of roles, including Managing Architect, Architect of Record, Design Architect, Owner’s Representative and Construction Manager, uniquely positions her to view a project from many perspectives. Clients and colleagues appreciate her knowledge of construction and ability to read people as well as she reads a set of drawings. Her energetic determination combined with her unique skills enable her to move a project along while assuring its constructability and effectiveness.

Mary Ann is a strong advocate for the growth and equitable participation of disadvantaged, minority and woman owned businesses in the AEC industry. She is an involved member of Hispanic American Construction Industry Association and currently serves on the Scholarship Foundation Board and on the Professional Development Committee. She also is a certified Illinois Capital Development Board Project Manager for Architecture/Engineering and a member of several design industry organizations.

Mary Ann received her Master of Architecture from the University of Illinois at Chicago. She received her Bachelor of Science in Architecture from the University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign where she participated in Unite Pedigogique d’Architecture 3 while attending the Ecoles des Beaux Arts in Versailles, France.

SELECT PROJECTS
200 West Randolph
Peace Corner Youth Center
State Emergency Operations Center
Fountainhead Quad Cities Master Plan
The University of Chicago Harris School of Public Policy
Northwestern University Kresge Centennial Hall Renovation
University of Illinois at Chicago Lecture Center F
University of Illinois Altgeld and Illini Halls Feasibility Study
University of Illinois Davenport Hall Master Plan
University of Illinois Pennsylvania Avenue Residences Dining Remodel
Illinois State Capitol Complex Master Plan
Roosevelt Square Redevelopment
Ickes Family Homes
Student Housing High Rise
Bernard Zell Anshe Emet Day School and Anshe Emet Synagogue Master Plan
Legacy Charter School
River North Storefront and Lobby Renovation
Judge Doyle Square Master Plan

Avram Lothan, FAIA, LEED AP BD+C

“As part of a young design practice at the beginning of the 21st century, I am energized by the prospect of designing buildings that support and dignify contemporary life. We live at a unique time in the evolution of American culture, an era of limits; limits on budgets and schedules, on energy and infrastructure. At the same time, the programmatic and performance requirements of projects are more complex than ever. Rather than bemoan this current state of affairs, I embrace it. I use these limits to discipline and prioritize my design process and focus on the aspects of the project, including its resources and community most essential to creating a positive outcome”.

Founding Principal and Design Director, Avram (Avi) Lothan, FAIA, LEED AP BD+C leads the direction and development of the firm’s design efforts. Effective consensus building and a stimulating exchange of ideas define his process, while intellectual creativity and determination distinguish his outcome.

Characterized by a global and humanistic approach to contemporary architecture, his projects are widely recognized for planning and design excellence. Top-tier publications and organizations, respected by the architectural community as well as clients’ professional industries, regularly honor his work with editorial features and awards. Avi demonstrates his generous dedication to charitable and educational causes through years of teaching, advising, and pro bono services. He is an active member of several cultural and professional organizations and has served on the Board of Directors and various committees at Elmhurst Art Museum, Society for Contemporary Art, Harvard Club of Chicago, American Institute of Architects, and National Public Housing Museum.

Avi received a Master of Architecture from Harvard University and a Bachelor of Arts from Washington University. Upon graduating from Harvard University, the National Professional Fraternity for Architecture and the Allied Arts honored Avi with the coveted Alpha Rho Chi Medal to recognize his affinity for leadership, willing service, and promise of professional merit through his attitude and personality.

SELECT PROJECTS
Central Technology Services Operations Center
Alliance Francaise de Chicago
Elmhurst Art Museum
Peace Corner Youth Center
State Emergency Operations Center
College of DuPage Technology Education Center
Northwestern University Kresge Centennial Hall Renovation
The University of Chicago Harris School of Public Policy
University of Illinois at Chicago Lecture Center F
University of Illinois Altgeld and Illini Halls Feasibility Study
University of Illinois Davenport Hall Master Plan
University of Illinois Pennsylvania Avenue Residences Dining Remodel
Illinois State Capitol Complex Master Plan
Roosevelt Square Redevelopment
Ickes Family Homes
Private Residence
Student Housing High Rise
Bernard Zell Anshe Emet Day School and Anshe Emet Synagogue Master Plan
Legacy Charter School
River North Storefront and Lobby Renovation