Runberg Architecture Group celebrates conclusion of its 25th Anniversary Year with Staff Promotions

We celebrated the closing of our 25th anniversary year with the promotions of three staff members. Charla Burgdorf has been promoted to associate, Jessica Yu advanced to senior associate, and Ana Parke has joined the leadership team as a new principal.

Burgdorf joined Runberg in 2021 after working as a project architect on educational, historic preservation, and multifamily housing projects throughout the Puget Sound region. Since joining the firm, Burgdorf has led the design and project management of an affordable housing project in Angle Lake for Mercy Housing and acted as senior project architect on Candela Apartments, a 400+ unit mixed-use transit-oriented development in Mountlake Terrace.

Yu began working at Runberg in 2011 as a student intern and is now a project manager. Over the last several years Yu has spent much of her time working on master development projects on the eastside of Lake Washington. Yu currently leads the 12th Ave. Place project for Gables Residential, a 275-unit transit-orientated project near Sound Transit’s Spring District Station that anticipates starting construction later this year. She is an alumnus of the ULI Center for Leadership, holds a certificate in Commercial Real Estate, and is a frequent guest reviewer at the University of Washington’s College of Architecture and Urban Planning.

Parke has 17 years of experience, 14 of those years being at Runberg Architecture Group, first as an intern while studying at the University of Washington in 2008, then again as a fulltime employee back in 2012. Parke has focused on mixed-use and multi-family housing design for over a decade. Currently, she serves as the senior project architect for Grand Street Commons, a 771-unit mixed-use/mixed-income community in Rainier Valley, leading project administration during its final construction year. Parke has also contributed to several other large mixed-use buildings in central Seattle, including Jackson Apartments at 23rd and Jackson and both Batik and Cypress in Yesler Terrace. Parke has led training for AIA Seattle’s Code Committee, and she currently participates on the city of Bellevue’s Development Committee to help with permit review and entitlement processes.

“Ana sets the standard of excellence for Project Architects in our firm,” said Melissa Wechsler, principal at Runberg Architecture Group. “Most architects start off their careers focused on aesthetics, but Ana came to the firm with the unique perspective of valuing the ability to get a design built as much as she values the design itself. This is largely thanks to her dual degrees in Architecture and Construction Management, but it also speaks to Ana’s dedication to understanding the details and treating all team members as partners in her work.”

Parke intentionally brings tact, humor, and humility to the table, all of which help find the best solutions for the project by fostering close collaboration from the whole project team.

“When I started my career in architecture, I thought my favorite part of the process would be seeing the project after it was built,” says Parke. “But what I have found over the years is the part that brings me the most joy is the process and teamwork along the way. I love assembling a solution by bringing together diverse perspectives and expertise, from the conceptual stage down to the tiniest detail on a corner of a building.”

With her promotion, Parke is looking forward to bringing a fresh perspective to Runberg’s leadership team.

“We learned during the pandemic that the way we work can change drastically in a short time.” Parke said. “Being the first Millennial promoted to Principal, I’m excited about the challenge of leveraging new and flexible ways of working without losing the deeply collaborative nature of our work as architects.”

Parke holds both Master of Architecture and a Master of Construction Management degrees from the University of Washington, and a Bachelor of Science in Architecture from University of Illinois. Outside of work Parke loves history, nature, and traveling with her young family. Just as she sets high aspirations for work within the office, Parke sets notable goals for herself as well, with a current intention to run a half marathon in each of the 50 states.

 

Press Release in the Daily Journal of Commerce.