Thomas R. Gears, AIA, Elected SWBR President

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

SWBR's Board of Directors has elected Thomas R. Gears, AIA, President of the firm. Tom is a licensed architect, LEED Green Associate, Certified Construction Specifier and has served as a Principal and board member since 1996 and assumes the President and CEO role effective immediately. David Beinetti, AIA, Immediate Past President, will assume the position of Chairman of the Board of Directors. The transition in leadership is part of the firm's strategic plan for continued growth and excellence.

Tom joined SWBR Architects in 1985 as a summer intern. He became a full-time employee in 1987, worked his way up to Principal in 1996, was promoted to Vice President in 2007, assumed the role of CFO in 2010 and has now accepted the highest position at the firm as President and CEO.

"Tom has demonstrated thoughtful leadership and a thorough understanding of SWBR corporate matters, client relations, culture, community and corporate oversight, and meaningful design, all with an entrepreneurial spirit, agility, efficiency and competency," says David. "He is a 'big-picture' thinker with a calm demeanor. As a mentor to Tom, I have watched him grow professionally and develop other strong firm leadership."

Tom's work over the years has focused on independent/assisted living and skilled nursing environments. He has led high-profile design efforts for several continuing care communities across New York. His recent work has focused on incorporating person directed care environments for skilled nursing and assisted living in urban and suburban settings. Several of his projects have incorporated elements of new urbanism into senior communities. He is a trusted resource to Leading Age members. He holds a Bachelor of Architecture from Kent State University, is a member of the American Institute of Architects, is certified with the National Council of Architectural Registration Boards and licensed in five states.

During his nearly 40 years of experience with SWBR, David has contributed significantly to the Rochester architectural landscape. He is active in the community, serving on the Rochester Downtown Development Corporation and Monroe Community College Foundation boards. As Chairman of the Board at SWBR, he will continue his role as Principal and Chief Marketing Officer with a focus on strategic growth and business development. He was appointed President of SWBR in 1998, having previously served as Architect, Principal and Project Manager since 1979. In addition to urban development, he has devoted much of his career to university clients such as Roberts Wesleyan College, Monroe Community College, Nazareth College and the University of Rochester.

"It has been my privilege and honor to serve as SWBR President and work with our brilliant, esteemed team and clients," David said. "I am confident that SWBR Architects will continue to make a difference in people's lives through design that enriches our communities. Tom will lead our talented team members in a collaborative, energizing and forward-thinking way."