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Voiland College of Engineering and Architecture Executive Leadership Board

Bruce E. Blackmer

Retired; President, CEO and Chairman; NAC Architecture

  • M.B.A. – Gonzaga University
  • B.Arch. – North Dakota State University

Bruce E. Blackmer, FAIA, retired President, CEO and Chairman of NAC Architecture, led the firm to a top 50 position among architectural firms in the US and to consistently rank among the top 5 A/E best places to work. He led the expansion of the Spokane based firm with offices in Seattle, Los Angeles and Denver. An internationally recognized and awarded architect, Bruce was the responsible principal for many buildings on the WSU campus including the Animal Disease Biotechnology Facility, Murrow School of Communication Expansion, the Food Science and Human Nutrition complex, and the Academic Center at the Riverpoint Campus among others. His work spans a dozen campuses, master-planning for communities and campuses, historic preservation, senior living and health care architecture, community support, and military facilities including such noteworthy projects as the University of Idaho’s Student Recreation Center, the Terraces on Lake Coeur d’Alene, the Edwards Air Traffic Control Tower where the space shuttle lands, the USAF Space Command and Control Facility and the House of Charity for the homeless in Spokane. His career of over four decades included prior positions with RTKL Associates in Baltimore, the USAF in San Antonio and TSG in Spokane. He currently engages in coaching and advising architectural organizations on leadership issues, mergers and acquisitions, valuation analysis, transition planning, visioning and strategy development.

With extensive insight into architectural education, engagements have included leading the US delegation in negotiating a multi-lateral accord with Australia, China, Canada, Korea, Mexico, the Commonwealth Association of Architects and the United States establishing a mechanism for evaluating and accepting international university graduates as equivalent for professional architectural career paths in each country. Korea hosted his evaluation of their higher-education system for architecture. Bruce advised the Canadian Architectural Certification Board on methods for evaluating foreign-educated professionals immigrating to Canada. Working with a variety of accrediting constituencies within the US he led the effort to raise the quality benchmark for architectural education within the US creating a new model for US programs seeking accreditation, a standard which has been emulated internationally by accrediting systems around the globe.

As national Vice President of the American Institute of Architects he led the re-visioning of the organization’s areas of core competencies, creating its Knowledge Communities, raising the bar on knowledge growth and expertise in 24 specialties within the profession. As a delegate to the UNESCO international conference in Turin Italy he participated in evaluating substantial equivalency in architectural education among over 140 nations. He has led accreditation review efforts for over 15 universities throughout the US and internationally.

Current business adventures include development of Pete & Belle’s Ice Cream Shop, Minnesota Lakeside Recreational Development, Baron Aviation Leasing, Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory franchise, development of a sustainable forest, and development of Rockcrest Residential Properties. He was previously engaged in peer to peer CEO coaching in Vistage International and a partner in office property development.

Bruce has been heavily engaged within his profession and community. He has been on the Spokane Mayor’s Downtown Revitalization Taskforce, Citizen’s Aquifer Advisory Committee, a Rotarian, an American Architectural Foundation Regent, on the UIA-UNESCO Validation Review Task Force, President of the National Architectural Accrediting Board, an AIA Fellow, a Richard Upjohn Fellow, and president of his church congregation. His work and articles have been published in several professional publications and he has often served as conference speaker and award program juror.

Bruce holds a National Council of Architectural Registration Boards certification and has had architectural licenses in five states. He earned a Bachelor of Architecture degree from North Dakota State University and a Master of Business Administration from Gonzaga University. He was on the advisory board for the WSU School of Architecture for two decades and currently serves on the WSU Voiland College of Engineering and Architecture’s Executive Leadership Board.

Bruce Blackmer.