Monthly Archives: May 2021

KG+D Architects Expands Firm Leadership

KG+D Architects, PC is proud to announce the elevation of Sarah Weissman Dirsa, AIA LEED AP, BD+C, SEED, Brian Mangan, AIA and Travis Schnell, AIA to Principals of the firm. These talented individuals have and will continue to play a vital role in the firm’s commitment to providing excellent design services and delivering impactful projects within our local communities. Sarah, Brian and Travis will join Walter Hauser, AIA – Principal, Erik Kaeyer, AIA – Vice President and Russell Davidson, FAIA – President in the planning and management of firm operations. Their promotions support the evolution of the next generation of firm leadership. Additionally, the promotion of Sarah Weissman Dirsa marks an important milestone as she is named the first female Principal of KG+D.

Sarah Weissman Dirsa, AIA, LEED AP, BD+C, SEED of Mount Kisco, NY joined KG+D in 2015 as a Project Manager. As an Associate and Associate Principal, Sarah took on a leading role in advancing the firm’s 21st Century educational facility design expertise and expanding the breadth of our corporate office portfolio. Her leadership in some of KG+D’s key projects include the development of the new Pelham UFSD Hutchinson Elementary School as well as award-winning additions and renovations to Brewster CSD’s JFK Elementary School. Sarah has also developed dynamic and collaborative workspaces for Caremount Medical, Chappaqua Crossing and Nice-Pak Products. Sarah was the recipient of a 2015 Young Architects Award from the National component of the American Institute of Architects. Sarah recently represented the firm as an educational facilities design expert for a national program entitled, Re-Imagine America’s Schools where she participated in design workshops to create pilot projects for educational facilities. Sarah earned her Masters in Architecture and Masters in Urban Design degrees from Washington University and a Bachelors of Arts in English from Binghamton University.

Brian O. Mangan, AIA of Briarcliff, NY joined KG+D in 2008 as an Intern Architect and held positions as an Associate and Associate Principal. Brian has led the firm’s work with several local BOCES including the development of a new Alternative High School and the renovation of the Career & Technical Institute at the Salt Point Campus for Dutchess BOCES as well as the adaptive re-use of the former Arden Hill Hospital into a new campus for Orange-Ulster BOCES. Brian’s commitment to design excellence is clear through his contribution and leadership for several of the firm’s award-winning projects including the historical preservation and expansion of the Bronxville UFSD’s 1929 auditorium, a Community Room addition for the Eagle Hill School and transformative renovations to Scarsdale High School that included the addition of a Learning Commons, Design Lab and Fitness Center. Brian’s design and project management skills have also been applied to projects for the Wilton Family Y, Greenwich Public Schools and the Bedford Hills Community House. Brian earned a Bachelor of Architecture from Pennsylvania State.

Travis S. Schnell, AIA of Carmel, NY joined KG+D in 2006 as an Intern Architect and held positions as an Associate and Associate Principal. Travis’ multifaceted experience encompasses a wide range of community centric facilities from religious institutions to recreational clubs from educational facilities to nature centers. Travis is currently leading the development of a sustainable new educational center for the Wolf Conservation Center and a new fieldhouse for the Indian Mountain School. Travis has lent his technical and design expertise and leadership to several of the firm’s award-winning projects that encompassed the complete transformation of existing facilities including the Great Neck Public Library, Shorehaven Golf Club and Rippowam Cisqua School Upper Campus. Travis’ experience also includes the development of the new Ossining Children’s Center, renovations to the Brooklawn Country Club’s main clubhouse and dynamic cafeteria renovations for Darien High School. When he is not working, Travis volunteers with the Jolly Rovers, a Non-Profit trail building organization that specializes in technical stonework. Travis earned a Bachelor of Architecture from Pennsylvania State.

KG+D is proud to recognize these team members who have shaped and supported the firm over their tenures and who will continue to play key leadership roles in both our firm’s long-term growth and present success.

Russell A. Davidson


Russell A. Davidson
FAIA, Managing Principal + President

Russ joined KG+D’s predecessor firm, Kaeyer, Parker & Garment in 1986 as an Associate, and was Principal of the firm for six years before becoming President in 2000. With 35 years of experience planning educational, commercial, religious and municipal facilities, he has extensive knowledge of the New York State public and private construction markets, educational planning requirements and trends, campus planning and successful bond referenda. Russ’ ability to develop creative design solutions that meet the program and project goals of the owner, with thoughtful attention to project site and context, has led to an exceptional level of client and community satisfaction with the end products delivered by KG+D.

Russ plays an active role in furthering the profession of architecture and the value of public achitecture. Russ has held leadership positions with the American Institute of Architects since 1999 culiminating in his role as National President of the AIA in 2016. Russ was elected to this position by the 90,000 members of the AIA served as it’s 92nd president in it’s over 150 year history and was the first National President from Westchester County. As an AIA leader, he has advocated for policy reform on issues that are important to our clients including funding for social infrastructure projects specifically, schools and libraries. As president, Russ traveled internationally and nationally and spoke about the public impact of design. In the fall of 2016 Russ convened the “Build America Summit” at the New York Times Center in New York City. This two day event focused on the critical need for our country to invest in the Public buildings that define our communities.

Erik A. Kaeyer

Erik A. Kaeyer
AIA, LEED AP, Design Principal + Vice President

As KG+D’s Principal for Design, Erik oversees the firm’s design quality standards and is responsible for a significant portion of the creative design work. He joined KG+D as an Associate in 1998 and was named Vice President in 2000.

A graduate of Cornell University, Erik began his career in architecture at Skidmore, Owings & Merrill in London and spent eight years in Chicago, first as a designer with Destefano & Partners and later as Senior Project Architect at McClier Corporation. At KG+D, he has led the design of award winning projects such as addition and renovations for the Rippowam Cisqua School and Eagle Hill School, the new Seven Bridges Middle School in Chappaqua, Jacob Burns Media Arts Lab, the first LEED Gold Building in Westchester County and the New York State Judicial Institute at Pace University Law School, the first facility of its kind specifically dedicated to the continuing education of judges and their staff.

Erik employs a unique design approach for every project drawing upon site characteristics, context, light and sustainable concepts to creatively interpret each design program. His interest in energy conservation and sustainable design, and his ability to create designs that innovatively meet the owner’s program and budget goals has helped deliver successful projects to the firm’s clients.