DIGroup Architecture names 2 associates to leadership team

DIGroup Architecture has announced the appointment of Kate Haas and Debbie Koehler to the role of associate, in a move that deepens the firm’s leadership team.

The appointment of Haas and Koehler also marks the firm’s newest class of associates and the first nonarchitects to achieve this designation, demonstrating DIG’s commitment to promoting from within.

New Brunswick-based DIG delivers world-class designs to underserved and underrepresented communities in which its projects are located. At DIG, women account for 51% of the staff. The elevation of Haas and Koehler as associates brings female leadership representation to four at the associate level in addition to Swarupa Samant — the firm’s first woman of color at the principal level.

In their new role as associates, Haas and Koehler will continue overseeing their Interior Design and Marketing departments, respectively, as well as be involved in firm decision making and strategy.

“During Women’s History Month, it is only appropriate that we celebrate the achievements of Kate and Debbie, who are consistently at the forefront of DIG’s sustained growth trajectory and help make us a stronger, more agile firm,” CEO Jeffrey Venezia said. “As individuals and accomplished professionals, Kate and Debbie are changemakers who are validating AEC-related career spinoffs as viable, exciting specialty areas with unlimited growth pathways to executive representation.”

Haas, who has been with DIG for a total of eight years, has risen through the ranks from interior designer to senior interior designer, to being named director of interior design last year. Her areas of specialization include interior architecture design strategy, concept development, programming and space planning, 3D modeling and rendering, detailed construction documentation and finish material and furniture selections.

In addition, Haas directs, manages and mentors a team of talented interior designers to create innovative, practical and award-winning designs tailored to each client’s specific needs. Rounding out Haas’ extensive skill set is her proficiency in Revit, Autocad, Sketchup and Adobe Creative Suite.

Koehler, an architecture engineering and construction industry veteran who has been spearheading the firm’s marketing and business development initiatives for nearly six years, is a University of Lynchburg graduate with a B.A. in business management and Spanish. The Clinton resident spearheads new client development and strategic partnerships, as well as all related functions that advance DIG’s brand, profile and business strategy.

Koehler has developed a number of award-winning nominations, including the firm’s AIA-NJ “Firm of the Year” award in 2022. She oversees public relations, content marketing and strategic proposal development. Koehler also is credited with being instrumental to DIG’s expansion into Philadelphia a few years ago.

According to Koehler, the firm gained traction to quickly land multiple Philadelphia contracts accounting for over 10% of DIG’s revenue to date and growing. Just this past year, DIG also remained the sole architectural firm ranked among the city’s largest Minority-Owned Businesses.