MJM+A is proud to celebrate Valerie Costa’s 10 years with the firm by making her an Associate, a richly deserved advancement within the leadership of the company. Founding partner Michael Macaluso says “Val’s enthusiasm, loyalty, passion, and commitment to our work is infectious through the entire staff. She makes it both fun and challenging to come to the studio every day and we are very excited to see what she can do from here on.” Partner Ryan Scipione adds, “Valerie has proven herself an invaluable member of the team at MJM+A, and I couldn’t be prouder to announce that she is now an associate of the firm.”
Some people just know from the beginning of a job when they have found a home. This was the case when Valerie Costa walked into the offices of MJM+A Architects in 2012 after graduating from New York City College of Technology (CUNY) where she received her BS in Architectural Technology. Valerie was immediately steeped in the warm and nurturing environment at MJM+A and quickly became an integral part of the team.
Meticulous and creative, Valerie fast tracked to become Project Manager, a particularly demanding position in an architectural firm. Bringing exceptional insight and skills to run project teams and communicate the most technical of issues with clients and her colleagues, it was clear that Valerie was a leader from the get-go. That was balanced by her ability to dig into the nuts and bolts of jobs, working with the latest technologies such as AutoCad, Revit, 3d Studio Max and the Adobe Creative Suite, producing technical documents, bids and other reports and observing project benchmarks directly in the
field. Essentially, whether it is to lead a team of CAD technicians or to get her hands dirty in the trenches, Valerie’s reputation is to do whatever is necessary to develop a project from design through completion of construction.
“Working with Michael and Ryan hand-in-hand on projects has been a true learning experience. From the measure-up of existing conditions into schematic design, design development/construction documents, and construction administration, I see the project fully through from beginning to end and it is very exciting. It’s also great when we all participate in a design charrette and in the end, we go with the design that’s best for this application, no matter who is the initial designer. Everyone then adds to the final design, so it really is a true collaboration” says Valerie in describing the convivial atmosphere at the firm.
“In thinking about some of the more memorable projects I’ve worked on, I really enjoyed the ASPCA facility in the Bronx. Not only because I am a dog person, but it was quite the challenge. The entire building is arc shaped, so designing rooms with 90-degree corners in a radial layout required innovative planning. In the end it came out great and was a fantastic project to see through to the end. Another favorite was Maspeth Savings Bank in Queens. Not only because it was the one of the cornerstones of the revitalization of that Queens neighborhood, but it was an award-winning project that required the skilled management of many architectural disciplines. Of course, it was also fulfilling to work on some residential projects right in my own backyard in the Rockaways—especially helping devastated home owners affected by Superstorm Sandy rebuild and return to their storm-resilient new homes ”, Val says with a smile.
Valerie also sports a national reputation with the Society of Registered Architects (SARA). She became a Director on the Board for the New York Council of SARA (SARANY) in 2017 and in 2020, joined the Board of Directors for SARA National. As Director on the Board of SARANY and SARA National, Valerie continues to contribute to SARA by assisting in event coordination and by promoting participation among young architects, associate architects, and students. Valerie feels that it is important to get the young architects today involved in SARA given her strong belief in “Architect Helping Architect,” which is SARA’s credo. This commitment also transcends into her role as the current Program Manager for the Sean F.
Mellon Scholarship Fund. Valerie’s dedication to the profession of architecture led her to become actively involved and a strong asset to these not-for-profit educational organizations.