Los Angeles—Five individuals have been awarded the National Council of Architectural Registration Board’s (NCARB) highest honor, the President’s Medal for Distinguished Service. The honorees were recognized by 2020-2021 President Robert M. Calvani, FAIA, NCARB, at the organization’s 2021 Annual Business Meeting. President Calvani commended each of this year’s recipients for their commitment to architectural regulation and NCARB’s mission to protect the public’s health, safety, and welfare.

2021 Recipients

Darryl Hamm headshot

Darryl R. Hamm of Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, is recognized for his outstanding contributions to elevate the role of the public member and build the community, as well as his service to the Pennsylvania State Licensing Board, Region 2, and the NCARB Board of Directors. As the second public director on the NCARB Board of Directors to be elected from a Member Board, Hamm led efforts to increase engagement from public members in NCARB service. He established opportunities for public members to meet and raised awareness of their important role on Member Boards. In addition, Hamm served as a valuable member of several NCARB committees—including the Audit, Procedures and Documents, and Professional Conduct committees, as well as the Public Member and Ethics task forces. In 2017, he was elected to the NCARB Board of Directors where he served three terms as public director. In addition to his work with NCARB, Hamm served over 36 years in the military as a full-time member of the Army National Guard, retiring in 2006 as a Chief Warrant Officer Five (CW5). He is just the third public member to receive this honor.

Robert Lopez headshot

Robert Lopez, RA, NCARB, of Albany, New York, is recognized for his outstanding service to the Council and the New York State Board of Architecture. As the executive of the New York Board since 2005, Lopez has dedicated his time and expertise to various NCARB committees—including the Member Board Executives, Policy Advisory, Professional Development, and Professional Conduct committees, as well as the Practice Analysis and Impediments task forces. In addition, he has been an excellent collaborator with the NCARB Outreach team whenever the Council gives presentations in New York, ensuring candidates have the information they need to get licensed in the state. Despite out-of-state travel restrictions, Lopez continues to actively participate and engage in NCARB committee work and all major meetings of the Council virtually, including the Member Board Executives (MBE) Workshop, Regional Summit, Committee Summit, and Annual Business Meeting.

James Mickey headshot

James S. Mickey, NCARB, AIA, of Reno, Nevada, is recognized for his outstanding contributions to the Council and the Nevada State Board of Architecture, Interior Design, and Residential Design. Mickey was first appointed to the Nevada Board in 2012, and he has served as secretary/treasurer and chair during his tenure. During his years of service to NCARB, Mickey has led multiple volunteer efforts including the ARE 5.0 Case Study Committee and Task Force and the Interiors Task Force. In addition, he has been a member of the Examination Committee and multiple Programming & Analysis and Structural Systems division-focused subgroups. Mickey was also elected by his peers to the Region 6 Executive Committee in 2016 and went on to serve the region as secretary/treasurer.

Bayliss Ward headshot

Bayliss Ward, NCARB, AIA, of Bozeman, Montana, is recognized for his over 15 years of outstanding service and leadership to the Council, Region 5, and Montana Board of Architects and Landscape Architects. Ward was first appointed to the Montana Board in 2005 and began volunteering for the Council in 2008. His early volunteer service was focused on the Architect Registration Examination (ARE), including several years on the ARE Graphics Subcommittee. In addition, he has served on the Credentials, Regional Leadership, Procedures and Documents, and Integrated Path Evaluation committees, as well as the Licensure, Future Title, and Governance task forces. Recently, he served four years on the Model Law Task Force, which overhauled the Legislative Guidelines and Model Law/Model Regulations to make the document more modern, adaptable, and user-friendly for Member Boards. In 2014, Ward’s peers in Region 5 elected him to the NCARB Board of Directors, and he has since been elected secretary, treasurer, and second vice president. As treasurer in 2020, he led the Board committee overseeing the selection of the Council’s investment advisors.

Michelle Cohn headshot

Michelle Cohn, AIA, NCARB, LEED AP, PMP, of Washington, DC, is recognized for her seven years of outstanding service to the Council and the Examination Department, and her commitment to support volunteers in the development of the ARE. Cohn joined the Council in 2014 as a manager in the Examination Department before becoming an assistant vice president in 2018. In her role, she focuses on all aspects of exam development and operations. Cohn has been the staff liaison to numerous volunteer groups—including the Program Continuum Advisory Collaborative, Examination Committee, ARE Item Development Subcommittees, ARE 4.0 Forms Assembly Task Force, and ARE 5.0 Case Study Task Force. This year, Cohn led the project team that launched the online-proctored version of the ARE to provide candidates with an option to continue testing during the COVID-19 pandemic. In addition, she is a member of the NCARB Outreach team, visiting schools, AIA chapters, and industry conferences to answer candidate and architect questions about the licensure process and NCARB certification.

View past recipients of the President's Medal for Distinguished Service