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Chicago Office of Perkins+Will Names New Leaders in Higher Education, Science + Technology

Jessica Figenholtz, Adana Johns bring wide breadth of experience to benefit design practices, clients

The Chicago office of global architecture and design firm Perkins+Will announces the appointment of leaders widely recognized for their experience and extensive project work in the Higher Education and Science + Technology practices, respectively. Jessica Figenholtz, director of Higher Education Planning, has been named leader of Higher Education, and Adana Johns, a member of the firm-wide Science + Technology Council that drives forward the strategic mission and vision for the practice, has been named leader of Science + Technology. In their elevated roles, Figenholtz and Johns will be principally responsible for developing business relationships across the region and for sharing best practices across the firm.

“Jessica and Adana are at the forefront of some of the most rapidly changing--and most important--business and design opportunities,” said Gina Berndt, managing director of the firm’s Chicago office. “I am thrilled that they are taking on these new roles. Their leadership will inform our design teams and directly benefit our clients.”

Jessica Figenholtz

With more than 14 years of professional experience, Figenholtz is a highly regarded expert among some of the world’s leading higher education institutions. She brings together planning, redevelopment, and sustainability to deliver high-impact projects and create value for clients and communities alike, transforming educational experiences and outcomes. Working across education, retail, workplace strategy, and commercial interiors, Figenholtz partners with clients from vision through implementation to develop design solutions.

Figenholtz joined Perkins+Will in 2015 after having served as associate vice president & operations leader for the K-12 & Higher Education Studio at CannonDesign. She is currently project manager for the 110,000 sq. ft. University of Cincinnati Health Sciences Building in Ohio, beginning construction in early 2017, and the 330,000 sq. ft. Iowa State University Parks Library feasibility study in Ames, Iowa.

Figenholtz earned her Bachelor of Science in Architectural Studies from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. She currently serves on the American Institute of Architects Chicago Board of Directors and the Girls in the Game Advisory Board, and is heavily involved with the U.S. Green Building Council and ACE Mentor Program of Chicago.

Adana Johns

As a member of the Perkins+Will Science + Technology Council, Johns has played a central role in delivering high-profile academic and corporate research projects across the country. She is currently managing the 600,000 sq. ft. Louis A. Simpson & Kimberly K. Querrey Biomedical Research Center at Northwestern University in Chicago and the 120,000 sq. ft. University of Cincinnati Neuroscience Institute. She also has brought an interdisciplinary approach to grow the Science + Technology practice, collaborating on projects with Higher Education, Government, Municipal, Industrial, and Commercial team leaders.

Prior to joining Perkins+Will, Johns worked with a wide range of clients, including Abbott Laboratories, AbbVie, Pfizer, Fresenius Kabi, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, Chicago State University, Lake County, City of Chicago, the U.S. State Department, and the GSA.

Johns earned her Bachelor of Science in Architectural Studies from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. She is an active participant in National Council of Architectural Registration Boards committees dedicated to the development of the Architectural Registration Exam. She is vice president of the board of the International Institute for Sustainable Laboratories Windy City Chapter. She also is a member of AIA Chicago and the Chicago Council on Science & Technology.

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