SmithGroupJJR Adds New Vice Presidents to Detroit Office


DETROIT — SmithGroupJJR, a national architecture, engineering, and planning firm, has promoted Jeff Gerwing, Lise Newman, and Bob Varga to vice president in its Detroit office.  

Gerwing, far left, is director of operations, a role he’s held since 2009 during which he has successfully grown revenue, improved project performance and recruited top talent. Prior, Gerwing, of Livonia, served as the co-leader of the firm’s Lighting Design Studio, where he was responsible for the lighting design of some of the most recognized projects, nationwide. This includes Chandler City Hall in Arizona; the Cranbook Academy Art Museum renovation and Collections Building in Bloomfield Hills, where his innovative lighting design won international honors for excellence.

Gerwing graduated from Penn State University’s Schreyer Honor College with a bachelor of architectural engineering in lighting design.

Newman, middle, of Birmingham, leads the Workplace Studio. Her 30-year career has been dedicated to the programming, planning, and design of workplace facilities and related functions. Newman’s clients in southeastern Michigan include Google, Olympia Development Co., Durr Systems, and Federal Mogul as well as the Chamberlain Group in Chicago.

She is a graduate of the University of Texas at Austin with a bachelor of architecture, preceded by undergraduate study in business administration from Trinity University, San Antonio, Texas. 

Varga of Farmington Hills, is a design principal, where he works with its Learning, Health, Workplace and Cultural studios. For the Learning Studio, Varga has demonstrated expertise in student life design with successful residence hall renovations for Michigan State University and the University of Michigan, among others. Varga served as lead designer for the renovation of the Patrick McNamara Federal Building and the DMC Sinai-Grace Hospital expansion, both in Detroit. Varga received a master of architecture from the University of Michigan, preceded by a Bachelor of Science in architecture from Lawrence Technological University.

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