First minority woman promoted to principal of majority Black-owned architecture firm

DIGroup Architecture on Friday said it elevated Swarupa Samant to principal — the first minority woman promoted to principal of a majority Black-owned architecture firm.

Based in New Brunswick, DIGroup is a certified minority-owned, disadvantaged and small business enterprise specializing in architecture, planning, interior design and environmental graphics, signage and wayfinding services for senior living, education, health care and civic clients. The company said it takes great pride in its ethnically and culturally diverse staff who are passionate about architecture.

Since joining the firm in 2014, Samant has skillfully managed some of the firm’s largest and most complex urban design-build school projects in New Jersey, exceeding $200 million in construction costs.

As a LEED accredited professional, Samant is strongly committed to sustainable, sensible design, achieving LEED Level Silver status for the new $133 million Camden High School and LEED Gold certification for the new $32 million School #16 in Paterson. She also managed the completion of Dina’s Dwellings, an award-winning supportive housing project for survivors of domestic violence, in her hometown of New Brunswick.

According to Jeff Venezia, CEO, “Swarupa’s continued success and leadership in the K-12 market and her strength in serving large public agencies, such as the New Jersey Schools Development Authority and the NYC School Construction Authority, led to the owner’s unanimous support of this well-deserved promotion.”

Samant has over 25 years of experience as an architect in both the U.S. and India and serves as a mentor to the firm’s emerging young architects to help them grow professionally.