Brewing ARE Buzz – How to Boost Licensure 9-10AM


Tim Lavelle and Jason Dugas with Gensler will present information on the status of licensure in the profession and steps available to increase interest and success completion of the process.

Tim Lavelle is a licensed architect at Gensler in Dallas, Texas. Tim has been with Gensler since 2005 and has worked on a variety of project types and scales including retail, restaurant, national roll-out projects, building and security assessments, ballistic retrofits and corporate interiors.

Following up on Gensler’s licensure experiences, he was part of a group of three people to start informal licensure activities in their office. The primary goals were to ease and improve the process for others as well as recognition. Expanding his involvement with licensure, he spent the past year writing exam questions for the 5.0 version of the A.R.E. and has continued his involvement with NCARB as a member of the ARE 5.0 subcommittee. Tim has also spoken at the 2017 AIA Orlando convention on licensure.

Jason Dugas is a licensed architect at Gensler in Dallas, Texas. Jason has been with Gensler since 2015 and his primary practice area sector is Critical Facilities. In addition to data center work Jason’s project type experience is varied and includes industrial facilities, movie theaters, corporate interiors, high end hospitality and campus master planning.

In addition to joining Gensler’s licensure champions, Jason started an A.R.E. support team at his previous firm and compiled a study library of materials and resources to promote architectural licensure. Given Jason’s industry tenure and experience, he brings a real world approach to the Gensler licensure team and offers a sincere enthusiasm to help inspire and encourage the next generation of architects.


A Q&A with Tim and Jason

[400 Record – Plaza Canopy and Restaurant Stair. Photos by Dror Baldinger. Courtesy of Gensler.]

First, would you give a short summary of what you’ll be speaking about at the AIA TN conference and its importance?

We are speaking about our efforts to promote licensure in our office, create a change in culture and encourage professional development. Responding to our own personal experiences we created an informal group to encourage, assist and recognize emerging professionals in our office. We will discuss the tools used, issues encountered, and lessons learned.

[Desk Card – toolbox quote. Courtesy of Gensler.]

How has Gensler benefited from the licensure initiative program?

Right now, we see impact on a personal level with the sense of accomplishment of the newly licensed professional. We also see benefits with the increased pool of credentialed professionals and expanded opportunity to be included on proposals. Licensure had not been a hot topic inside the firm but that has been changing and we have started conversations around the firm that have raised issues and awareness. On a smaller scale we see energy and increased interest in completing the licensure process in our office.

[Shark – toolbox quote. Courtesy of Gensler.]

What kind of feedback do you hear from EP’s about the program? 

The testing process can be arduous, so we tell the test takers up front that they can engage us as much or as little as they want, and we generally have a lot on one-on-one conversations. Feedback is often sporadic during testing, but we get more response later in the process. so, we seek emerging professionals out and have informal conversations where we get a lot of questions about available study material, registration process and testing status.  We ask all the time to see how we can improve, be more effective and add value and often the answers.

[Dinosaur – toolbox quote. Courtesy of Gensler.]

How do you cultivate innovation in your firm?

We see hotspots of innovation in our firm and they are fed by technology, the cross pollination of outside interests and some breathing room from the constant heavy pressure of time and budget.

[400 Record –Canopy drop-off and Sculpture. Photos by Dror Baldinger. Courtesy of Gensler.]

[Legacy West – Haywire Entry. Photo by Peter Calvin. Courtesy of Gensler.]


Often, we earn awards and accolades that are significant from a professional level, but do you have other moments or achievements that you personally find significant and more valuable?

[Tim] Peer network – The connections that I have made over the course of my time in Dallas. I have seen co-workers become friends and continue the relationships years after departing.

[Legacy Hall. Photo by Garrett Rowland. Courtesy of Gensler.]

Advice for young architects – any lessons learned you would find useful for the new design minds out there?

[Tim] I have spoken to recent graduates about interviews and portfolio, licensure, work life and navigating the professional landscape. My most frequent advice is to constantly invest in and add value to yourself.