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2017 Outstanding Mentor of the Year | David S. Urffer


JKRP Architects | Principal Architect

Dave started his journey with the ACE Mentor Program in 2000, the same year that the Eastern PA affiliate was developed. For the past 16 years, he has been an industry advocate, mentor, team leader, board member and source of inspiration to both students and mentors.

I am writing this post as the Affiliate Director of Eastern PA, but I would be amiss if I did not mention that I would not even be in this position – or have any affiliation with the ACE Mentor program if it were not for Dave’s passionate efforts and involvement with the program.

Dave’s knowledge of architecture and its relationship to the design and construction industry was a huge advantage to our ACE Team. As a result, he not only served as a mentor to the students, but to the other professional mentors as well. For all of his great professional attributes, it’s his personal relationships that set him apart and makes him a great mentor. Despite what may be going on at work or in his personal life he is always warm and approachable – especially at ACE. He always found a way to highlight a team members’ strength in order to provoke meaningful conversations or engage in activities that would ultimately benefit the experience of the students.

Dave is dedicated to his job as a firm owner at JKRP Architects and is active in various professional groups and organizations. Although he manages a full schedule, both professionally and as a husband, father, musician, coach and volunteer, he still manages to attend most ACE sessions – to this very day; bringing enthusiasm and the keen ability to encourage students to use their imagination and creativity. Dave’s diverse interests allow him to be relatable to almost any person he meets. He is as dedicated to his family and co-workers as he is his motorcycle, his band, his soccer team, his church and various construction projects around his house.

Dave utilizes his many years of experience and knowledge by being instrumental in the overall governance of the affiliate and mentor support committees. Both of which have been charged with developing initiatives focused on affiliate stability, mentor recruitment and retention.

Finally, I must comment on Dave as a professional colleague. He has served as my mentor and supported my career for many years as an architect in his firm and continues to be a counselor to this day.  He is a standard bearer of integrity and is a strong proponent of making sure the students of ACE Eastern PA are served with the most genuine and quality experience possible.

Dave – Thank You for everything that you have given us all of these years!