The architectural community recently experienced the unexpected loss of Michael Lingerfelt, FAIA, LEED AP. Michael’s dedication and enthusiasm for the profession were unequaled. In 2014, he was awarded the prestigious AIA Florida Gold Medal Award for his profound and lasting impact in the field. He served as AIA Florida President in 2011, where he defended the profession from threats to safe, essential practice and facilitated the passing of legislation that aligned Florida Building Codes with model codes for a safer, more consistent code and administration. During his term he also helped plan AIA Florida’s 100th anniversary celebrations. He was elevated to the College of Fellows in 2012 and remained active at all levels of AIA, recently concluding his term on the AIA Strategic Council. He received numerous other awards and honors throughout his illustrious career.
“Michael’s dedication and passion was infectious – he was an inspiration for all those he touched. He will be terribly missed,” said Kim Headland, AIA, 2018 AIA Florida President.
His career spanned over 30 years of design and project management experience, leading large, complex projects and multi-disciplined design teams as Director of Project Architecture & Engineering for Walt Disney Imagineering and as Design Manager for Marriott Corporation. Michael was the expert on architectural disaster recovery with a national reputation in disaster relief assistance. In Florida, he created a disaster response model for organization; training and execution; member engagement and the expansion of the role AIA Florida architects played in the disaster recovery process. This model has been copied around the Unites States and abroad. A renowned post-disaster inspector, he played a crucial role in leading the resiliency movement to design better communities and led the architectural team FEMA relied on to learn about resilient building design for coastal communities. He served as Chair of the AIA Disaster Assistance Committee and was considered the heart of the Safety-Assessment Program (SAP). During his career, he trained over 1,379 architects, engineers, building officials and inspectors in Alabama, Arizona, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Maryland, Missouri, New Jersey, Puerto Rico, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas and the U.S. Virgin Islands.
He was also known for his charitable work and fundraising. He chaired the AIA Orlando Golf Committee for over 25 years, raising over $255,000 in scholarship funds for architectural students studying in the first ever 2+2+2 architecture program. This program allows a student to earn an Associate Degree at Valencia, an Undergraduate Degree from the University of Central Florida and a Masters from the University of Florida all while staying in Orlando. “Michael was a true champion for our profession, a true friend and a guide and mentor for so many of us. He had such a positive energy, and whenever he appeared to get down or frustrated, all you had to do was get him talking about his family and his eyes would light up. He had great faith, compassion and strength – and he shared it all without restraint. We will truly miss him over all the days and years ahead,” said Nathan Butler, FAIA. Michael will be greatly missed by family, friends and colleagues. His leadership, knowledge and camaraderie will not be soon forgotten.
A service will be held on Saturday, May 19th at 1:00 p.m. at the Downtown Baptist Church Orlando.
A memorial scholarship has been established to support Student Leadership University, a cause dear to Michael.
Those wishing to honor Michael and his family may also contribute here.