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Jess M. Sowards, AIA, LEED AP

Principal Architect


Jess is a proud graduate of the University of Kentucky’s architectural program. He has been an integral member of the firm and South Florida community since 1987. Having worked at several architectural firms while completing his formal education, Jess advanced quickly in the firm taking on many challenges including the design and reconstruction of numerous cultural arts and religious projects, hotels, shopping centers and fire stations. In 1989, Jess became a registered architect in the state of Florida and received his certification from the National Council of Architectural Registration Board (NCARB). Having developed his skills to manage multiple projects from conceptual design through occupancy, Jess was promoted to a firm Principal in 2000.

Community involvement and commitment to the profession of architecture have been essential components to Jess’s career. He is the past President of the Palm Beach Chapter of the Florida American Institute of Architects and in 2004 was honored with the Hillard T. Smith Award for his active leadership in community activity and service which was of direct benefit to the community. In 2014 Jess received the Gold Medal Award, the Palm Beach Chapter’s highest honor and in 2016, he was honored by the State AIA Chapter with the Florida Citizen Architect award which recognizes those members who in their daily lives are playing an important part in shaping the world through their leadership. Additionally, Jess is  a member of the Palm Beach Chapter’s AIA Foundation and chairs the Chapter’s Annual Golf Tournament which raises scholarship funds for deserving architectural students.

Jess remains involved with the design of most of the firm’s projects. His personal philosophy mimics that of the firm in that design relates to the vernacular of the region and the architect must always be sensitive to the economics of the project.  His design credits include a host of municipal, cultural, performing arts, historic restoration and hospitality projects including: 25 fire rescue stations for agencies throughout the South Florida region, Maltz Jupiter Theatre,  Mizner Park Amphitheatre, the Historic 1926 Building for Palm Beach State College, the Arts Garage, Stonebridge Country Club, St. Andrews Country Club, Historic Sundy House Restaurant, Bluesten Park Community Center, the Village of Key Biscayne Community Center and the Old School Square Cultural Arts Complex, to name a few.

Since 1987

Architect: State of Florida, #13205
NCARB, #45861

Bachelor of Architecture, 1987
University of Kentucky

American Institute of Architects
Florida Association AIA – Past State Director
Palm Beach Chapter – Past President
AIA Palm Beach Foundation for Architecture – Secretary/Founding Member


Palm Beach County Zoning Board


City of Boca Raton Community Appearance Board
Past Vice Chairman and Member

City of Delray Beach Board of Adjustment
Past Chairman and Member

City of Delray Beach Planning and Zoning Board
Past Chairman and Member

City of Delray Beach Site Plan Review and Appearance
Past Chairman and Member

Pineapple Grove Main Street Design Committee Member

Rotary Club of Delray Beach
Member and Past Secretary

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