AIA North Carolina Emerging Professional Friendly Firm Certification

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On October 26, HH Architecture accepted the Emerging Professional Friendly Firm (EPFF) Certification at the AIA North Carolina Awards in Charlotte. This designation honors architecture firms that create supportive, career-advancing environments for emerging professionals to flourish as diverse, creative, resilient, and knowledgeable architects.


Principal and Director of Operations, Jenessa Van Deen, AIA, LEED AP, BD+C, GGP, and Architectural Designer, Maya Miller, were present to receive the official certificate. Jenessa is a leader in our firm for mentorship and supporting the career advancement needs of our designers. Maya explained why Jenessa’s role and the overall environment of working for an Emerging Professional Friendly Firm is meaningful to her.

“Having worked at HH Architecture for only a short time, I have already been able to get practical, hands-on experience in many areas of the profession, which has helped me as I prepare to take my Architectural Registration Exams. Our firm’s work environment fosters a sense of creativity, project ownership, and collaboration. An essential part of my experience here is the relationships I have been able to form with more experienced designers and architects. Their insights and willingness to share information is integral to my growth at HH Architecture.”

Paige Kopf, an Architectural Designer and Project Captain, is another EP on our team who is currently working toward licensure. She was excited to share her thoughts on HH Architecture receiving this certification and the importance of supporting EPs.

“Having support from the firm on my journey to licensure has been critical. When I first started here, my AXP supervisor assigned me to projects that gave me wider exposure to different typologies and phases, which also enabled me to complete my AXP hours. I came to HH Architecture with limited exposure in only a few areas, but I’ve now gained enough experience and guidance to serve as a Project Captain. It’s meant a lot to me that the firm has offered tangible support.

The firm encourages us all to set personal and professional goals and, this year, my biggest goal has been passing AREs. HH Architecture has provided access to study resources as well as paid time to take exams and exam reimbursement for each division passed. These benefits have motivated me to stay focused on my goal, and I’ve been able to pass several divisions so far. I’m grateful that HH Architecture is a cheerleader for every EP on individual paths to licensure and celebrates when one of our team members becomes a licensed Architect!“

As a firm, we are excited to continue our work fostering the growth and celebrating the accomplishments of our EPs!

To learn more about this certification, visit