Boston Board of Directors

Board of Directors

Diana Nicklaus
President, PWC Boston Board of Directors
President & CEO, Saam Architecture

Diana is President and CEO of Saam Architecture, a Boston-based WBE/DBE firm. With a diverse portfolio, Diana brings a successful design process to any project type. She is focused on effectively leading project teams and complex situations, supporting productive communication and meeting the client’s goals. Diana’s project experience includes world-class museum projects, top-tier university and hospital buildings, urban transportation hubs, and blue-chip corporate offices.
Committed to supporting and encouraging diversity in the construction industry, Diana has supported numerous community and industry efforts, including service on the Boston Board of the ACE Mentorship program, co-founding the Massachusetts Building Congress Women’s Network, and annual presentations for a local STEM conference. In addition, Saam Architecture is recognized as a leader in progressive culture that enables women to thrive. Diana received her Bachelor of Arts in Art History from Tufts University in 1993, followed by a Master of Architecture at the University of Texas at Austin in 1997. Diana began her career in the New York studios of Pei Cobb Freed and Gensler. She joined the Boston office of Burt Hill in 2008 where she collaborated on numerous award-winning projects. In 2014, Diana left to found Saam Architecture with fellow Burt Hill Principal Koos Louw.

Sara Bryant
Vice President, PWC Boston Board of Directors
Partner, Murtha Cullina
As a partner in the Firm’s Litigation Department, Sara Bryant represents clients ranging from regional businesses to Fortune 100 and ENR Top 10 companies in the areas of construction and business litigation. She has extensive experience in dispute resolution in all forms including mediation, arbitration, administrative proceedings, jury and non-jury trials. In her construction practice, Sara represents construction managers, subcontractors and owners in state and federal courts in the trial and resolution of construction disputes on public and private projects. She handles matters involving allegations of breach of contract, defective work, mechanic’s liens and Chapter 93A violations. Sara is also involved in drafting and negotiating contracts and contract claims as well as securing lien and bond rights. In her business litigation practice, Sara represents clients on matters involving lan dlord/tenant and general business disputes, tort and product liability and insurance coverage. Sara previously served as an officer of the Massachusetts Building Congress and was co-chair and co-founder of the MBC Women’s Network. The Women’s Network provides women in the A/E/C industry with a platform for business development and mentoring. Sara is also a member of CREW Boston (formerly New England Women in Real Estate) and the Associated General Contractors of Massachusetts. Sara has been selected as a Rising Star in the area of Construction Litigation from 2009-2015 by Massachusetts Super Lawyers.

Sarah McGillicuddy
Vice President, PWC Boston Board of Directors
Director of Marketing and Business Development, Acentech
In her role as director of marketing and business development, Sarah McGillicuddy develops strategies, tools and tactics to expand Acentech’s business in its key markets. She leads the business development, marketing, advertising, and communications efforts of Acentech’s seven vertical market teams and three disciplines in the areas of architectural acoustics, audiovisual, information technology and security system design, and environmental noise and vibration. Sarah’s focus on collaborating with strategic partners has helped to expand and nurture the firm’s business contacts, while fostering valuable client relationships.

Ben Sawa
Treasurer, PWC Boston Board of Directors
Director of Marketing, GEI Consultants
Ben Sawa is the Director of Marketing at GEI Consultants, a multi-disciplined engineering firm serving the water, energy, infrastructure and building markets. Prior to this role, he has held progressive roles in engineering, geology, finance, operations and marketing. Most recently he was the Corporate Development Manager and Financial Analyst for GEI’s Corporate Finance team. Currently, his main responsibilities are to develop and support GEI’s long-term growth strategies and to manage the marketing activities throughout the enterprise including corporate communications and branding, client positioning, market research and analysis, lead generation and teaming, and pursuit and pricing strategies.

Rachel Woodhouse
Moderator, PWC Boston Board of Directors
Principal/Director of Operations, Dyer Brown Architects
Rachel Woodhouse joined Dyer Brown Architects in 2008 and brings a broad base of learning and experience to clients. Her high level of technical proficiency and strong understanding of corporate and institutional environments provide her with the right set of skills to manage client relationships through all phases of design and construction. Rachel leads the firm’s Higher Education studio, working with notable clients, including her more recent work with Northeastern University.
In her role as Director of Operations, Rachel also focuses on the inward management of Dyer Brown, refining their processes and ensuring the firm has consistent and appropriate staffing levels to best serve clients. She plays a key role in successfully integrating new hires and their strengths into the firm’s close-knit culture, while managing the organizational complexity of an ever-evolving firm. Rachel holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Iowa and a Master of Interior Design degree from Boston Architectural College.

Chelsea Christenson
Director, PWC Boston Board of Directors
Project Manager, Nitsch Engineering
Chelsea is a Project Manager and shareholder at Nitsch Engineering, and has 17 years of experience in providing site development and transportation design for public and private clients. As a LEED Accredited Professional and Certified Professional in Stormwater Quality, she has an in-depth understanding of green building/site design practices and principles, which she applies on academic, commercial, mixed-use, and public facility projects throughout Massachusetts and New Hampshire.

 

Caroline Fitzgerald
Director, PWC Boston Board of Directors
Director of Business Development, BOND
Caroline is Director of Business Development at BOND Brothers Construction. She has over 30 years’ experience in the A/E/C industry, working on some of New England’s most prestigious and award-winning projects. As a licensed structural engineer, she has a strong technical knowledge of the construction industry and a direct understanding of clients’ needs in delivering complex building projects. Caroline graduated magna cum laude from Tufts University, with a Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering. She started her career at the Office of Irwin Cantor, and joined Arup when they opened their New York office. In 1997 she launched and managed the Arup Boston office, serving as Principal. There she formed many strong relationships with key academic clients. Prior to joining BOND, Caroline was at VJ Associates, a construction cost estimating firm, and also worked for LDa Architects in Cambridge. Caroline serves as the co-chair of the Boston Society of Architects’ Women Principals Group and is thrilled to be a founding board member of the Boston Chapter of Professional Women in Construction. She is also a member of the Design Advisory Committee for the Town of Lexington, where she resides with her family.

Emily Hopps
Director, PWC Boston Board of Directors
Associate Principal, Simpson Gumpertz & Heger Inc.
Emily R. Hopps is an Associate Principal in the Building Technology division of Simpson Gumpertz & Heger Inc. (SGH). She joined SGH in 2003 and has experience in design, investigation, evaluation, restoration, commissioning, and construction administration of historic and contemporary buildings. She specializes in design of building-enclosure systems, including foundations, wall systems, windows, and roofing. Emily leads SGH’s flooring, paint, and coatings practice and has wide experience in the design, failure investigation, and repair of a variety of flooring finishes and coatings.

Deborah Myers
Director, PWC Boston Board of Directors
DMLA
Deb Myers is a people person, and that has fueled her design career for nearly 20 years. As a Registered Landscape Architect, Deb works to blend people’s needs with their surroundings. Her background includes years at both small design studios and large, multidisciplinary firms, giving her a well-rounded perspective on every step of the project process. Deb is responsible for management of a wide range of projects for municipal, institutional, and residential clients. Having a broad range of experience, her expertise includes permitting, site design, and construction documentation and administration. Deb gives her experience back to her community, too – she is a member of the Brookline Conservation Commission and an active volunteer through CREW Boston’s Community Involvement Committee. The rest of Deb’s time is spent having fun with her two boys, from shuttling them to swim practice to instigating snowball fights.

Susan Wisler
Director, PWC Boston Board of Directors
Principal, Architectural Engineers, Inc.
With more than 25 years of experience, Ms. Wisler is responsible for all mechanical engineering at AEI. She serves as principal-in-charge for many of AEI’s most complex new construction and renovation projects and keeps sustainability and energy efficiency in the forefront of her design work, which include projects in a variety of  markets including public and private higher education, PreK-12 schools, and local, state and federal buildings. She is a registered professional engineer and received her bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from the University of New Mexico.

 

Shelley Vanderweil
Director, PWC Boston Board of Directors
Vanderweil
Shelley, a granddaughter of Vanderweil Engineering’s founder, is a Principal and Electrical Engineer with experience in many building types and a focus on academic buildings. Shelley is a hands-on principal who stays involved in her projects through concept, early design and into production mode, and works closely with the day-to-day project manager throughout the project duration to ensure project goals are met.