Every business sector has influential players, whether they are in the public eye or wield their influence behind the scenes. In a monthly feature that runs in the first issue of the month, through October, IBJ is identifying those people in eight industry categories.
This month, we recognize the people who built this city, from the new airport to Lucas Oil Stadium to the Palladium. Nominated and vetted by their peers, these architects, engineers, designers, landscape architects, builders and representatives of the trades have colored our cityscape and are among the most respected in their businesses. Thomas Harmon of Harmon Construction was among this group, but his biography was unavailable at press time.
Donald Altemeyer, 64
Don Altemeyer has led the planning and design of a wide range of medical and research projects across the nation and is now planning health care facilities and university campuses in southern India and Malaysia. As part of the firm’s global initiative, Altemeyer is serving as a planning consultant to the Manipal Education and Healthcare Group based in Bangalore, India.
Significant local projects include several major buildings for the Indiana University School of Medicine, IU Health and the Roudebush Veterans Hospital. From 1999 through 2010, Altemeyer held a leadership role in the planning, design and construction of the midfield terminal project, at Indianapolis International Airport.
In 1970, Altemeyer graduated from the University of Cincinnati with a degree in architecture, holding several scholarships and the AIA Ohio Silver Medal in Architecture. Following graduation, he was a fighter pilot in the U.S. Air Force and the Indiana Air National Guard. In 1975, while still flying planes a couple of days (or nights) a week, Altemeyer founded BSA with Dwight Boyd and Richard Sobieray. The company is one of the largest full-service design firms in the nation and has offices in Indianapolis, Chicago, St. Louis and Bangalore.
Altemeyer’s community involvement includes service on the executive committee of the Indiana Chamber of Commerce and as chairman of the Criminal Justice Facility Planning Task Force for the Greater Indianapolis Progress Committee. He served as chairman of the Indiana Minority Development Supplier Council in 2005 and 2006 and was instrumental in rebuilding the influence of that organization throughout Indiana. He has served on the board of the Indianapolis-Marion County Building Authority since 1988 and currently serves on the boards of the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra, Conner Prairie Interactive History Park and Harmoni, the Historic Midtown Initiative.
Altemeyer was born in Salem. His wife, Teresa, is an artist, and they have two daughters.
Robert L. Bowen, 71
Founder and Chairman
Bowen Engineering Corp.
When Bob Bowen graduated from Purdue University with his bachelor’s degree in civil engineering in 1962, he went to work for W.M. Lyles Construction Co., a California-based construction company founded by Purdue alum William Lyles. In 1967, Bowen returned to Indiana to start his own company. A multimarket company working in 15 states, Bowen Engineering specializes in water and wastewater treatment plants and energy utility construction.
Bowen Engineering has received six AGC (Associated General Contractors of America) Build America awards, considered the Oscars of the industry, including one for the $57 million Lafayette Wastewater Treatment Plant addition in 2004 and another in 2010 for the wind farm in Brookston.
Along with his wife, Terry, Bowen established the Bowen Foundation 15 years ago to provide scholarships to minority students in Indianapolis to help them pursue post-secondary education. About 300 students have received more than $750,000 in scholarships through the foundation. In October 2009, Bowen was inducted into the Indianapolis Public Schools Hall of Fame.
In 2002, along with then-Purdue President Martin Jischke, the Bowens founded Science Bound. The program mentors IPS students, from grades eight through 12, and encourages them to pursue careers in science and technical fields, with an opportunity to earn a full-tuition scholarship to Purdue. The Bowens also provided financial support to Purdue for the Robert L. and Terry L. Bowen High-Scale Performance Civil Engineering Laboratory. For their support of education, the Bowens received the 2005 Outstanding Philanthropist Award from the Indiana chapter of the Association of Fundraising Professionals.
In 2007, Bowen was awarded an honorary doctor of engineering from Purdue and, in 2011, an honorary doctor of business administration from the University of Evansville. He also completed the Harvard Business School owner/president management program, which works with CEOs from around the world to learn creative ways to approach business challenges.
Diana M.H. Brenner, 55
Brenner Design Inc.
Diana Brenner designed her first building in sixth grade. She says, “It was shaped like the letter A and was seven stories tall with an atrium in the center of the A.” By high school, her artistic skills landed her a job as a portrait artist at King’s Island, something she did through college. Brenner holds a bachelor’s in architecture from Ohio State University and a bachelor of architecture from Ball State University.
One of only four women to be named a Fellow of the American Institute of Architects in Indiana and the only woman named a Torchbearer in Architecture, Diana Brenner calls herself an entrepreneurial architect and keeps tabs on her firsts as a woman, including the first woman to design a building on Purdue’s campus—perhaps ironically, the Mann Building. The company is the associate architect for the Mackey Arena expansion.
President and sole owner of Brenner Design, founded in 1992 and the largest solely woman-owned architectural firm in Indiana, Brenner works with clients who are moving, right-sizing or rebranding. She also owns B&B Contracting, founded in 2002, which specializes in traffic control, site protection and materials supply. B&B is currently working on the Georgia Street project and the IUPUI parking garage. Before founding her company, Brenner was vice president and director of interior architecture for Kasler and Associates Inc.
Brenner has passion for her community as well as for her work. She serves on the Indianapolis Historic Preservation Commission and the Indiana Fire and Building Safety Commission. She also sits on the boards of the Arts Council of Indianapolis and the Indianapolis chapter of the National Association of Women Business Owners.
William A. Browne Jr., 55
Ratio Architects Inc.
Since founding Ratio nearly 30 years ago, Bill Browne has focused his career on advancing both the quality of design and delivery of professional services. He bundles architecture, landscape architecture, historic preservation, urban design, and planning and graphic design into his approach to every project. Notably, he worked in studio with Robert Indiana and Dale Chihuly to help them realize the installations of both men’s largest pieces of work: Indiana’s INDIANA Obelisk at the Indiana State Museum and Chihuly’s Fireworks of Glass at The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis. The company is nearing completion of the Glick Eye Institute on West Michigan Street and is working on the NCAA headquarters expansion.
Browne is serving his 20th year as a mayor-appointed member of the Indianapolis Historic Preservation Commission, where he is vice president. He is also board chairman of the Indiana State Museum, an advisory board member of Marian University Cycling Program, past president of the Indianapolis chapter of the American Institute of Architects, and past vice chairman of Indiana Landmarks.
Browne earned his bachelor’s in architecture from the University of Illinois and his master’s in architecture at the University or Florida. He did postgraduate work at the Preservation Institute on Nantucket, Mass. He holds National Council of Architectural Registration Boards certification, is a Fellow of the American Institute of Architects, and is LEED accredited.
Former Gov. Frank O’Bannon named Browne a Distinguished Hoosier and Gov. Mitch Daniels named him a Sagamore of the Wabash.
Browne is an avid cyclist, riding tours through the Alps, the Appalachians and the Rockies. Also a runner, he has completed three marathons, including the Boston, as well as 18 mini-marathons. He enjoys traveling with his wife and son to see interesting architecture in major cities.