More EP Friendly Firms Announced for the North Central States Region

The second round of application review for the NCSR Friendly Firm Award has been completed, and the following firms were presented with the award:

Alliiance​, Minneapolis
Architecture Incorporated​, Sioux Falls & Rapid City
Flad Architects​, Madison
Legacy Architecture​, Sheboygan
MSH Architects​, Sioux Falls
Perkins & Will​, Minneapolis
RSP Architects​, Minneapolis
VanDeWalle Architects​, Sioux Falls

They join with the following firms recognized in 2019 (original announcement post is linked at the end of this post):
BWBR, Cuningham Group, ISG, JLG Architects, Kahler Slater, Kodet Architectural Group, OPN Architects, Peterssen/Keller Architecture, Ryan Companies, Snow Kreilich Architects, Stone Group Architects, and TSP
Visit ​​ to learn more.

All of the recognized firms demonstrated the ways in which they excel at the following:

  • Providing fair compensation and benefits to emerging professionals.
  • Supporting architectural licensure and invest in the professional development of EP’s.
  • Actively creating opportunities for emerging professionals to grow.
  • Demonstrating commitment and innovation to train and mentor emerging professionals.

Several firms commented that the award process provided good metrics to discuss internally. Many firms identified this award as an opportunity to differentiate themselves and attract talented EPs. Most applicants already did these things without recognition. Some firms used this list to begin initiatives that benefit EPs, like an ARE resource library or updated their office manual. Representatives of one large firm said this award was good to raise the bar for larger firms to invest in the profession.

If you are an EP preparing for an interview, I recommend taking a quick look at the EP Friendly Firm Award questions. Highlight questions that influence your decision to work with a certain company. Find out what kind of support is available for licensure and continuing education. Ask about benefits beyond your base salary (professional dues, health care, and parental leave). These qualities will impact your life working in that office. Or save yourself the trouble and just start your interview process at firms already recognized by this award!


Learn about all the resources the North Central States Region offers to Emerging Professionals, including our annual EP Summit, monthly regional calls, blogs and website links. Visit ​​.


The list of EP Friendly Firms continues to grow. If you would like your firm recognized you can still apply at  The committee is accepting applications through  July 31st, 2020. Awards will be valid through 2020. Applicants simply need to have an office in the region, and have an AIA member firm principal and an AIA member emerging professional fill out and sign the form together. The application is free!

Open to member firms in the following regional state components: 

Link to the live listing at NCSR’s website:

Special thanks to Kyle Palzer, Assoc. AIA, 2018-2019 AIA Regional Associate Director (RAD) for spearheading the EP Friendly Firm Award. He took an initiative and made it local to our four states. His efforts empower EPs and evaluate firms through a new lens that advances architectural practice.

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