Press Releases 01.05.2022

Perkins&Will’s Denver Studio Appoints New Managing Director, Operations Director

Architects Ernest Joyner and Jeff Chermely will lead the Denver practice through a period of new growth, expansion, and market diversification

DENVER—Global architecture and design firm Perkins&Will has appointed new leaders for its Denver studio: Ernest Joyner has stepped into the role of Managing Director, and Jeff Chermely has become Operations Director.

The leadership transitions come at a time of growth for the Denver studio, which has been expanding into new markets, including corporate, mixed-use commercial, healthcare, and science/technology. Its strong legacy in sports, entertainment, and recreation—the studio was known as Sink Combs Dethlefs until a merger with Perkins&Will in 2017—ensures clients in every sector benefit from design that supports holistic health and well-being. This is an approach the firm calls Living Design.

“I look forward to leading our Denver studio into the next chapter of its story. The highest and best use of my time and energy will be supporting individuals and teams so they can deliver excellence to our clients at every turn. Living Design is a key part of that promise.”

Ernest Joyner, Managing Director

Ernest Joyner has stepped into the role of Managing Director

Current projects designed by Perkins&Will’s Denver studio include the James Brown Arena in Augusta, Georgia; the Colorado School of Mines Frontiers Building in Golden, Colorado; and the Classic Center Arena in Athens, Georgia. Built projects include the Portland State University Viking Pavilion in Portland, Oregon; the University of Michigan Crisler Center in Ann Arbor, Michigan; and Bell MTS Place in Winnipeg, Manitoba.

Joyner succeeds Andy Barnard, who served as Managing Director since 2017 and as President of Sink Combs Dethlefs since 2009. Barnard will retire this spring.

“I’ve enjoyed every minute of my 35-year-career designing buildings that benefit their users and the communities they serve. Now, it’s time to pass the baton to the next generation of leadership,” Barnard says. “I’m confident our studio is in excellent hands with Ernest as my successor.”


Adds Joyner: “Andy leaves big shoes to fill, having nurtured a thriving studio culture and very successful practice. I am grateful for his mentorship and leadership over the years. Now, in collaboration with Jeff Chermely, I look forward to keeping that positive momentum going.”

Chermely, who succeeds Joyner as Operations Director, previously served as a senior project manager in the Denver studio. He has been with the firm since 2005.

“I’m excited to apply the strategic problem-solving and project management skills I’ve honed over the last 17 years to the role of Operations Director, where I know I can have a positive impact on every project, for every client,” he says. “I look forward to working closely with Ernest to shape the future of our growing practice.”

Jeff Chermely has become Operations Director