Janet K. Grace BS '83 (Architectural Design)

Janet Grace is based in Philadelphia and is senior project manager at real estate services company AthenianRazak LLC.

Professional Experience
I graduated from Philadelphia College of Art (PCA), now the University of the Arts, with a degree in Architectural Studies in 1983. I lived on an Indian Reservation in Montana prior to being offered employment in 1984 by one of my PCA professors, Barry Eiswerth, who was a partner at H2L2 Architects. I worked in the architectural profession from 1984 to 2001 at H2L2 Architects, the Ballinger Company and Space Design, Inc. At those firms, my clients were Fortune 100 companies, including Independence Blue Cross, Hershey Foods, Johnson and Johnson, and Morgan Stanley.

In 2001, I started my own firm called CKG Architects with two partners. Our first major commission was participating as a minority owned business providing architectural services for Citizen's Bank Ballpark. In 2003, my firm was included in the "Top 50 minority owned firms Book of Lists" as ranked by the Philadelphia Business Journal.

In 2004, I left the firm to pursue work at AthenianRazak LLC, which creates, consults on and manages real property. My role at AthenianRazak is construction management and project management. Since joining AthenianRazak, I have won the following awards: 2011 Commercial Real Estate Women Outstanding Member at the National Level, 2009 and 2010 Preservation Alliance Awards, 2007 Commercial Real Estate Women Sponsorship Award, 2006 Philadelphia Business Journal Women of Distinction, and 2005 Commercial Real Estate Woman Outstanding New Member Award.

I am a member of the National Society of Colonial Dames in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania (NSCDA/PA) and work with fellow NSCDA/PA member Dodo Hamilton on various preservation projects for the NSCDA/PA.

University and Alumni Association Involvement
My major, Architectural Studies, was discontinued a few years after I graduated. While I have not continued direct involvement with UArts, I have remained involved with the UArts family and I see serving on the Alumni Council as an opportunity to be more directly involved with UArts, which I would value. Since graduation, I continued to stay in touch with faculty and alumni, purchasing their work (from past professor Edna Andrade), assisting them with community tree planting (Roy Cortez BS '77) and on occasion dog sitting (for past Continuing Studies Director Fred Osborne). I have volunteered at UArts' sister school, Philadelphia University, lecturing in their MBA program and giving the first year architectural students a tour of my modernist home (which was designed by Norman Rice, who was the architect hired by PCA in 1956 to assist in the preservation of the Haviland and Strickland Buildings).

Volunteer/Leadership Roles
Boards and/or Committees (Current)
2012: Incoming President – CREW Philadelphia
2012: President DOCOMOMO –US Greater Philadelphia
2011: CREW Philadelphia Chapter Champion
2011: Co-Founder of DOCOMOMO –US Greater Philadelphia
2011: National Delegate CREW Network
2007 - Present: PHS Flower Show Volunteer
2006 - Present: Executive Board, Glee Club, Union League of Philadelphia
2005 - Present: Community Outreach Committee, CREW Philadelphia
2005 - Present: Garden Committee Member, 1630 Latimer Street
2003 - Present: Stenton Committee Member
2003 - Present: Board Member, Friends of Lemon Hill Mansion
2003 - Present: Board Member, Colonial Dames of America, Chapter II

Boards and/or Committees (Past)
2010: National Silent Auction Committee CREW Network
2006: Chair, Community Outreach Committee, CREW Philadelphia
2006: National Delegate to Grant making Committe CREW Fdn
2005: Co-Chair, Community Outreach Committee, CREW Phila
1992-1997: Block Captain, 39th Police District
1980-1990: Sunday School Superintendent, Living Word Community

Associations & Memberships (Current)
The Library Company of Philadelphia
Athenaeum of Philadelphia
American Institute of Architects
Commercial Real Estate Women (CREW) Philadelphia
English Speaking Union

2011: Outstanding Member at the National Level, CREW Philadelphia
2011: Second Place, PHS City Garden Competition
2011: Successful Designation of the Fleer House Philadelphia Historical
 - Commission (PHC)

2011: Successful Designation of the Lehigh Branch PSFS Bank by the PHC
2010: Successful Designation of the Free Library Falls of the Schuylkill Branch by the PHC
2010: Successful Designation of 3421 W. School House Lane, by the PHC
2010: Honorable Mention PHS City Garden Competition
2010: Preservation Alliance Homeowner Award
2009: Athenian Properties –   Outstanding Sponsor Company, CREW
 - Philadelphia

2009: Successful designation of East Falls Historic District by the PHC
2009: Athenian Properties, LLC, named one of Philadelphia’s 100 Fastest
 - Growing Businesses

2009: Preservation Alliance Grand Jury Award for the Bryn Mawr Film Institute
2007: Athenian Properties - Creative Sponsorship Award, CREW Philadelphia
2006: Nmaed Woman of Distinction , by the “Philadelphia Business Journal”
2005: Outstanding New Member, CREW Philadelphia
2003: CKG Architects Named one of the top 25 minority-owned firms by the Philadelphia Business Journal
1993: First Place, West Point 150 unit Housing Competition
1983: Second Place, Works in Progress Competition, the Hershey Hotel

Personal Accomplishments
North America (U.S., Canada, Mexico, Bermuda, Puerto Rico, St. Thomas, St. Croix); South America (Galapagos, Brazil, Argentina, Paraguay, Peru, Ecuador, Chile, Venezuela); Pacific Rim (Australia, New Zealand); Asia (Singapore, Malaysia, Hong Kong, Macau, China, Thailand, Japan, India); Europe (Russia, England, France, Germany, Sweden, Greece, Turkey, Luxemburg, Spain, Portugal, Iceland, Gibralter, Ireland, Switzerland); and Africa (Morroco).

Letter of Interest
In 2007, I was in charge of a garden restoration at 1630 Latimer Street. Dodo Hamilton had recently donated funds to provide a smart irrigation system for that garden. That year, I saw Dodo at the NSCDA Gala and mentioned to her how grateful we were to receive the donation and that I promised that we would keep the garden in perfect condition to pass onto the next generation. Dodo replied, "That's the nicest thing I've heard all evening," which surprised and pleased me. My goal at mid-life is to make the world better and to pass it along in good shape to the next generation. This goal can only be accomplished through collaboration and teamwork with others. By serving on the Alumni Council, I hope to give back to a very important place.

I have been to more places that I ever expected to go and have given more away than I ever expected to own. The education that I received at PCA provided the foundation and the means to accomplish this. The skill sets that I bring to the Alumni Council are my ability to strategize and administrate. One year ago, I founded a local chapter of a non-profit that preserves Modernist buildings. Today, that Chapter has 40 members, a bank account, and is in the process of receiving 501c(3) status. Running a small non-profit while keeping my day job and participating in volunteer work requires me to constantly decide the best and highest use of my time and to work with the strengths that others bring to the table. I am also not afraid to roll up my sleeves!

I also collaborate with the Preservation Alliance to provide expert opinions and team up with Jorge Danta of the Philadelphia Historical Commission to write Historic Nominations. Jorge and I also serve on the Board of Lemon Hill together. This skill set could be potentially valuable as the campus of the University is located with a historic district and I could provide for ease of coordination with these two organizations. It would be an honor to serve!