KSS Elevates Five Employees to Associate

KSS Architects, a national design firm focused on architecture, interior design, and planning, is pleased to announce the promotion of Ryan Drummond, Don Kim, Jessica Mangin, Becker Raab, and Jesse Wilks to Associate. The elevation of these individuals demonstrates their dedication and contributions to the success of the firm.

Ryan Drummond is well-versed in all project phases from concept design through construction administration thanks to his broad experience spanning smaller-scale renovations to large new construction projects. Known for his profound consideration of all parties involved on a project from clients and consultants to constractors and suppliers, Ryan is experienced in producing high-quality document sets while carefully coordinating the complexity of multiple disciplines. For the past decade, Ryan has been a member of an artist cooperative in Philadelphia, where he has regularly exhibited his artwork. As a member of a gallery, Ryan has gained an intimate understanding of the needs and desires of artists who work on a localized scale which informs his approach to professional endeavors. 

Petar Mattioni, partner at KSS, says “Ryan is a true powerhouse; his level of rigor, enthusiasm, and commitment to design have consistently elevated our practice and contributed to our clients’ success. As an artist, Ryan brings unique energy to the way we practice, design, and envision our projects. In recent years, Ryan has successfully contributed to and lead some of our most meaningful and impactful work. His elevation to Associate is certainly well deserved.”

Don Kim believes beautiful, healthy, durable architecture is possible through the spirit and relentlessness of man, before and during the act of building. To this end, he dedicated the last 15 years of his career to leading teams through planning, design, permitting, and construction, while leveraging a variety of integrated project delivery methodologies along the way. The depth and breadth of his experiences, ranging from 50,000-square-foot healthcare, science/technology, and educational facilities, to one million-square-foot mixed used developments, inform his daily practice. A leader in the firm’s Stewardship Practice Group, Don is passionate about building technology and performance, daylighting and sustainability, evidence-based design, and occupant wellness.

KSS Partner Ed Klimek, says “Great leaders advance the people around them; Don is just such a leader. In working closely with him, I have been fortunate enough to witness him develop and promote the talents of those who work with him.  Don is a great mentor and architect.  He is a great asset to the firm and I am pleased to see him recognized through his promotion to Associate”

Jessica Mangin flourishes in a team environment that encourages learning and collaboration, and is most inspired when contributing to design charrettes, knowledge sharing, mentoring, and participating in the cross-pollination of ideas and processes across the firm’s various studios. With experience across the entire design process from master planning through construction administration, Jessica understands the development of design through occupation, actively stewarding architectural concepts through to built realities. Passionate about high performance architecture, Jessica is LEED AP BD+C certified, a leader in the firm’s Stewardship Practice Group, and has experience managing entire LEED certification processes. As an outdoor enthusiast, Jessica finds inspiration in nature, which enriches her interest in the dialogue between built environments and natural landscapes. Dedicated to elevating architecture and design in the local Philadelphia community, Jessica is actively engaged in initiatives such as Park(ing) Day and ACE Mentor Program.  

Mayva Donnon, partner at KSS, says “Jessica is incredibly powerful and thoughtful. She is a driving force behind much of KSS’ success at the University of Pennsylvania over the past five years and has overseen the evolution of Tangen Hall from feasibility study through construction administration. She is unflappably calm in all situations—whether a high-pressure deadline or a contentious construction call, she is calm, cool, and collected. Jessica is an asset to the firm and I am pleased to see her promoted to Associate.”

Becker Raab views the field of design with curiosity and desire to explore the day-to-day spaces we inhabit. Through his work, he strives to achieve a celebration of contextual relationships, material craft, and commonplace delights. Becker enjoys the rigor of a collaborative design process to arrive at unique, thoughtful responses to project conditions. Becker’s passions extend not only throughout firm activities but into the community as well. Having participated as a team leader on Community Design Collaborative projects, Park(ing) Day installations, and as a local volunteer in his neighborhood, Becker believes in the agency of design to make meaningful impact on our world.

KSS Partner Merilee Meacock, says “Becker brings a strong understanding of the tectonics of architecture. He is a big picture thinker with the ability to zoom out and consider a project across scales. He is humble, supports his peers, and welcomes any challenge as an opportunity to learn. Becker’s talent and kindness make him a valued member of our firm, and I am thrilled he has been elevated to Associate.” 

Jesse Wilks’ passion for architecture is rooted in its ability to enrich and add meaning to the everyday moments in daily life—moments that we might otherwise take for granted or fail to notice: opening a door to reveal a new space, climbing a flight of stairs, transitioning from darkness to a space filled with light. His favorite spaces are those that engage multiple senses yet do so quietly and thoughtfully. Through a variety of educational projects at KSS, he has worked to embed these values in the project process, from conceptual design through construction. Jesse’s work extends into the Philadelphia community through participation in the Design Advocacy Group task force on design equity and attending neighborhood zoning meetings. He pursues personal interests in design and craft via woodworking.

Matthew McChesney, partner at KSS, says “Jesse’s commitment towards the quality of our work has made him a resource in the firm as well as to our clients. He sees the construction of buildings as a craft, and his ability to finely hone the details as a method to make the ordinary, extraordinary.  We are excited to name him as an Associate; we see his passion an integral part of the future of KSS.”