Building Ideas is a podcast joined by passionate designers who believe design has the power to make the world a better place. Join us every week as we discuss trending topics, innovative techniques and deep-seated traditions in the design and business worlds that leave a lasting impact on our lives and our communities. Subscribe to hear the latest weekly updates and special guest appearances every Wednesday.
Building Ideas is a podcast brought to you by MSA Design, an award winning national architecture and design firm headquartered in the Midwest committed to designing exceptional experiences and spaces.
Episode 51_Jason Farmer
Jason Farmer has worked in Ohio Athletics since 2003. Farmer was promoted to Assistant Athletic Director of Facilities and Operations in 2008, and again promoted in 2016 to Associate Athletic Director, the position he currently holds.
As Associate Athletic Director, Farmer schedules and manages daily operations of all athletic controlled facilities, coordinates all aspects of gameday operations for home athletic events, oversees all maintenance, renovation and construction projects, develops and implements policies and procedures in the area of facilities, maintains a full staff and establishes and monitors an annual budget.
In recent years, Farmer has been a leader in the development and innovation of Ohio athletic facilities. He has successfully planned and implemented Ohio facilities developments such as Walter Fieldhouse and Sook Academic Center.
Farmer, who received his Bachelors of Science in Sports Science and minored in Business Administration from Ohio University in 2003, has played a pivotal role in the overall success of Ohio athletic operations.
Episode 50_Kirk Koennecke
Kirk Koennecke is the Superintendent of the Indian Hill School District - a nationally renowned high performing school district located in Greater Cincinnati.
A veteran educational leader with 16 years of experience in administration and 24 years of service to students, Mr. Koennecke came to the Indian Hill School District after serving as superintendent of the Graham Local School District in Central Ohio, where he led in that capacity since 2016. Prior to that position, Mr. Koennecke worked as a principal at multiple districts including Marion City Schools, Springfield City Schools, Barberton City Schools, and the Bedford City School District. In addition to his vast experience as a leader in education, Mr. Koennecke has also been a featured presenter nationally, and has published numerous articles within education publications.
Mr. Koennecke earned his Master of Arts in Education and Superintendent Licensure from Wright State University (2014); his Master of Science in Education from John Carroll University (2005); his Master of Science in Sports Administration from Miami University of Ohio (1995); and his Bachelor of Science in Education from The Ohio State University (1994). He is a member of the American Association of School Administrators (AASA), the Buckeye Association of School Administrators (BASA), and is the executive director of the Ohio Small and Rural Collaborative (OSRC).
• Ohio State Strategic Leadership Innovation Award, 2019
• AASA Success Practices Network Model School, 2018
• Education Innovation Award, Urbana University, 2018
• Leadership Excellence+ Certified Trainer
• Lean Six Sigma Greenbelt Certified
• BASA Technology Committee
• AASA STEM Consortium Advisory Member
• Chapter Author: Rural Incubators in Innovation and Implementation in Rural Places, 2018, Edited by R. Martin Reardon
• Author: Small Town STEM for District Administration, September, 2018, Volume 4, Number 77
• AASPA Human Capital Leader in Education Certification
Episode 49_Mark Evans
Mark Evans is the Senior Director of Season Ticket Sales and Fan Experience with the Philadelphia Union of Major League Soccer.
Mark graduated from Towson University in 2005 with a degree in Sports Management. He began his career in the sports business with the Philadelphia Soul of the Arena Football League, and also within the Six Flags organization. He began his career with the Union in 2009 in Ticket sales and was involved in the original planning of Subaru Park. Due to his passion for improving the fan experience, and interest in the improvement of season ticket retention, he assisted in the creation of a fan services division at the Union. His successes at the club resulted in his 2019 promotion to his current position where oversees both the Season Ticket Sales and Fan Services Departments.
Mark was born in England and is a passionate fan of "the worlds game" - including his lifelong interest in Stadium experiences and the English Premier League.
Episode 48_Nestor Melnyk
Nestor Melnyk joined MSA Design in 1995 and is integral leading many of MSA’s key institutional projects including civic, religious, and is the Director of Higher Education Academic Projects firm-wide. Clients and colleagues recognize Nestor for his thoroughness and attention to detail in all aspects of the architectural process as well as being a leader in quality control and detailing, as evidenced by a 2000 CSI award.
Nestor received a B. Arch. from the University of Cincinnati in 1990 and, as valedictorian, was awarded the AIA’s Henry Adams Medal and Certificate. He continued studying at UC, completing an M.A. in geography in 1991. He also studied planning abroad with the University of the Aegean in Greece and completed liberal arts coursework at St. Clement Ukrainian Catholic University in Rome. Nestor became a licensed architect after only one year of professional employment, is NCARB certified, and became a LEED Accredited Professional in 2007.
Beyond his work in the firm, Nestor is a passionate advocate for children’s healthcare and disabilities issues. He is a member of the Hamilton County Board of Developmental Disabilities Services and served on the Ohio Developmental Disabilities Council. He also provides extensive service to initiatives at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center as well as other healthcare and developmental disabilities service organizations.
He and his family have founded multiple community initiatives, including Troy Gives a Duck - an organization committed to ending loneliness and eliminating isolation by setting up social opportunities for friendship building and changing the stigma of those with developmental disabilities.
Troy Gives a Duck shows how a single person with a positive message can build community and create a chain reaction of kindness among others, providing them with a physical reminder that they are valued and that there is goodness to be found.
Episode 47_Tony Costello
Tony Costello has been an educator / practitioner for his entire 54+ year career as an architect. He holds the title, Irving Distinguished Professor Emeritus of Architecture at Ball State University, retiring as a full-time faculty member in 2005 after 38 years. He has continued for the last 16 years in an adjunct capacity and teaches one elective course a year and is involved in the Department of Architecture Professional Advisory Board.
He is also the founding principal of C+A, COSTELLO + ASSOCIATES, a limited-practice, award-winning, firm he founded in 1976 in Muncie, Indiana. The focus of his practice since 2010 has been on pro bono projects in Haiti that include a completed library and an orphanage campus consisting of 5 buildings to date.
Tony is a native New Yorker (Life-long METS fan) having been born in Corona, Queens, until 9 years of age when his family moved north of Peekskill, New York, on the Hudson River which he considers his “hometown.” He attended Pratt Institute from 1961 to 1964 when he was awarded a Fulbright Scholarship to Turkey. As a Fulbright Scholar he attended the Middle East Teknik University (METU), Ankara, for the ’64-’65 academic year and was awarded a B. ARCH degree in 1965, thus being one of the first three Americans to earn this honor. He returned to Pratt and graduated in 1966 with a B. ARCH degree with Honors and was awarded the school’s Dean’s Medal.
He attended Columbia University and received an M.S. Degree in Urban Design in June 1967, and was awarded a William Kinne Fellows Traveling Fellowship for the summer of 1967. After teaching for ten years, he was awarded a Lilly Endowment Open Faculty Fellowship and did a year of post-graduate work in Planning Law and Public Policy at Harvard and MIT.
Tony has built an international-recognized career as one of the “pioneers” of the community-based, urban design movement founded in the late 1960’s. His founding of the Urban Design Studio at Ball State (1969) which became the Community-Based Projects (CBP) Program (1979) as well as the Muncie Urban Design Studio and Small Town Assistance Program (both in 1980). Largely due to his pioneering efforts, Ball State’s Community Based Projects (CBP) Program was honored in 2000 with the ACSA-Fannie Mae Community Design Award as one of the three, oldest, continuous community design programs in North America. Combined, these programs have won over 40 national and state awards from the AIA, APA, ACSA and U.S. Dept. of HUD in urban planning design, neighborhood revitalization, historic preservation, and affordable housing.
Tony has been a corporate member of the American Institute of Architects (AIA) since 1971. He served a three-year term (2005-2008) on a board of directors of the national AIA as a regional representative from the AIA Ohio Valley (IN, KY and OH) and served on the institute’s Community Committee. He also served as the national chairman of the AIA 150 - Blueprint for America subgroup, which was one of three components of the institute’s sesquicentennial celebration. For his leadership of this program, he was awarded a Presidential Citation in 2006. He was the major author of the AIA Guidelines on Pro Bono Services (2009); Tony was inducted into the AIA’s prestigious College of Fellows in 2001 and was named an AIA Richard Upjohn Fellow in 2008. He currently serves (2021-2023) as the Ohio Valley Regional Representative of the College of Fellows.
Episode 46_Dan Montgomery
Dan Montgomery is an Associate and Senior Project Architect at MSA Design.
Dan is a native of Lisbon, Ohio - a "small town in the woods" in Northeast Ohio. He graduated from the University of Cincinnati College of Design, Art, Architecture, and Planning (DAAP).
Dan's career began with institutional and civic work, and he joined MSA over 12 years ago where he has risen into Senior Leadership and is a key Project Architect on many of the firms' Civic, Educational, and Sport projects.
Dan shares his passion for architecture through teaching those newer to the profession by sharing his experiences and implementations that made him successful. Dan believes that “when it comes to design, the best designs are often the simplest. Every design move is done with reason and purpose to support the overarching concept.”
Dan is a Member of the Planning and Zoning Committee, a Member of the Pedestrian Safety Committee, and holds a Director position as a Board Member of the Northside Community Council. Outside of work, you can find Dan tending to his small garden, using fresh herbs to create Italian-inspired dishes, eagerly anticipating the next time he can travel through the streets of Italy.
Dan and his husband Brett reside in the Cincinnati neighborhood of Northside.
Broadly appealing and challenging podcast
Of the numerous podcasts I subscribe to, this is one of the most broad in the topics and people it covers. While the guests are From a very diverse backgrounds in points of view, I invariably come away from them with thought-provoking ideas and feel challenged to examine my own points of view on not only the built environment but other topics that come up during the course of the interviews. Highly recommended.