Rochester Business Journal has selected Laura M. Cooney, AIA, NCARB, Northeast Architecture and Interior Design Discipline Leader at national architecture, engineering and planning firm Bergmann, as a 2021 Women of Excellence honoree.
Cooney joined Bergmann in 2015 and has been a dedicated and effective leader for the growing team, ensuring staff receive the necessary professional development to succeed in their roles while providing critical architectural and code compliance expertise for a range of clients across the company’s portfolio. Her commitment to the industry and professional advancement extends beyond her role at Bergmann as well, having played an important role in the initial development of Rochester Institute of Technology’s Master of Architecture program.
“Laura has a natural ability to mentor staff and model the way for developing architects and interior designers. Her approachability and tireless investment in our young professionals are consistent with Bergmann’s values and those of the American Institute of Architects,” said Andrew Raus, AICP, senior vice president, Bergmann. “Laura embodies the purpose of this award. She is a leader in her profession, a mentor to up and coming professionals, a technical expert and an active volunteer. We are proud to count her as a valued member of our team.”
Cooney serves as a diligent champion for women in architecture, both those currently in the industry and future practitioners. She is an active member and leader of the American Institute of Architects (AIA), previously serving as president and as a board member for many years of the Rochester chapter, and as Rochester’s AIA NYS State Director. In 2013, Cooney launched “Girls in Architecture” (now known now as “Girls in Architecture and Engineering”) with the Rochester chapter. The program introduces female middle school students from across Monroe County to career opportunities in these traditionally male-dominated STEM disciplines and encouraging them to take STEM classes in high school.
Prior to joining Bergmann, Cooney started her own business, offering building code consultations to design professionals. To provide further value to fellow architects and engineers in the community and statewide, Cooney also developed continuing education programs to teach peers about the latest in continuously changing building codes, extending her compliance expertise to projects throughout New York State, and establishing herself as a trusted advisor for clients and colleagues alike.
"The 2021 Women of Excellence honorees are at the pinnacle of their careers. They are making a difference at work, at home and in their communities," said Suzanne Fischer-Huettner, group publisher of the Rochester Business Journal. "In addition, they are mentoring other women to achieve greatness. We at the Rochester Business Journal are pleased to celebrate their many accomplishments."
Established in 2018, the Women of Excellence awards recognize high-achieving women for their professional experience, community involvement, leadership, and sustained commitment to mentoring. Forty winners were selected by a panel of judges comprised of previous Women of Excellence and Circle of Excellence honorees. The Women of Excellence awards will be presented at an online celebration at 5:30 p.m. May 25.
For more than four decades, Bergmann architects, engineers and planners have been delivering results to clients across the United States and Canada. This team of more than 450 professionals spans the Northeast, Midwest and Atlantic regions. Bergmann develops connections with partners and communities to create dynamic, creative solutions that will stand the test of time, while promoting environmental and functional sustainability. Projects in the Bergmann portfolio range from signature buildings and commercial developments to critical transportation infrastructure and community planning.