NESEA Awards

Celebrating NESEA Leaders

Each year, the NESEA community comes together to honor the contributions of three outstanding individuals in the community. After an open call for nominations, committees of NESEA Members vote to recognize the contributions and service of the new recipients. NESEA’s awards represent the richness of talent in our community, honor our history, and celebrate our future.

About the Awards

Read more about each of these awards, including the lists of previous recipients, below:

2023 Awards Recipients

Professional Leadership Award

The NESEA Professional Leadership Award recognizes individuals whose exemplary professional practice and body of work has contributed to advancing NESEA’s vision.

Chris Benedict

Owner, Chris Benedict, R.A.

Chris Benedict started her own Architecture firm in 1995 and has enjoyed exciting and diverse commissions ever since, creating innovative buildings that have set standards for excellence and energy performance.  She is an early pioneer in energy efficiency in apartment buildings and one of the first to adopt Passive House protocols in the US. Read more...


Henry Gifford

Mechanical System Designer, Chris Benedict, R.A.

Henry Gifford has worked with Chris Benedict for 28 years designing mechanical systems for 100+ energy efficient buildings, including the first energy efficient apartments buildings in New York City (the first anyone even said were energy efficient). His work cuts through technical myths and complexity to design economical building systems that use less energy. Read more...


Kate Goldstein Emerging Leader Award

This award recognizes a NESEA Member early in their career for their current engagement and their demonstrated potential to continue to meaningfully affect the future of NESEA.

Monisha Royan

Senior Analyst, International WELL Building Institute

Monisha Royan is a Senior Analyst at the International WELL Building Institute (IWBI) in New York. She supports clients in designing buildings and policies focused on occupant's health and well-being. As an Indian licensed architect, she has applied energy-efficient design solutions in new construction and building retrofits in India. Monisha's goal is to work towards sustainability and help emerging professionals build a career in sustainability. Read more...


Distinguished Service Award

Since 1993, this award has annually recognized a NESEA Member who has made a significant contribution of time and service to the organization.

Phil Kaplan

Principal, Kaplan Thompson Architects

As co-founder and Principal of two mission-driven design firms - Kaplan Thompson Architects and BrightBuilt Home - Phil Kaplan has dedicated his career to building communities that support one another and the environment. He is one of New England’s most ambitious and enthusiastic advocates for sustainable design, bringing more than two decades of technical innovation, creative achievement, and unquenchable curiosity to his field. Phil has served NESEA as the Chair of the Board of Directors, a conference speaker, and a member of the Bottom Lines Steering Committee. He was also the creator of BE the Future, NESEA's enduring scholarship program. Read more...