Leadership & Architectural Team
Richard Kaiser, AIA, Managing Partner
As a founding Partner of CHK Architects, Rich takes on many roles at CHK. In addition to his primary focus on daily business operations, new business development, and maintaining CHK’s long-standing client relationships, he also assumes the role of Principal-in-Charge of CHK’s largest and most complex projects, including the Pratt & Whitney Engineering & Technology Center. His range of expertise includes corporate office design, tenant fit-outs, corporate fitness and wellness centers, healthcare, and auto dealerships. Rich has also led the design of several ecclesiastic projects, one of his favorite project types.
Rich keeps a steady eye on the market trends, business news, commercial real estate activity, and new building technologies that impact our work and influence CHK’s designers. His affiliations with organizations such as the Construction Institute, Corenet, CREW, and BOMA allow CHK to remain on the leading edge of our profession.
Rich earned his architectural degree at the University of Notre Dame, and he is Certified by the National Council of Architectural Registration Boards (NCARB). In addition to being a Connecticut Licensed Architect and Interior Designer, he holds active registrations in twenty other states.
Rodolfo Garcia, AIA, Partner
Rodolfo’s professional background spans three decades and includes a wide range of project types and scales. Early in his career, Rodolfo focused on public work that included lead design roles on numerous school and public safety facilities throughout the Northeast. More recent experiences with clients such as Pratt & Whitney, The Hartford Insurance Group, and Collins Aerospace have expanded his diverse contributions to the design of the built environment.
His passion and enthusiasm for the art and craft in architecture are evident in his hand drawn sketches and renderings that bring ideas to life throughout the design process. Committed to CHK’s belief that a team effort inspires the best design solutions, Rodolfo strives to explore and share design ideas in an open and collaborative setting, where the client is at the core and fully engaged in the design process.
A graduate of the Boston Architectural Center in 1987, he is an NCARB certified professional, a licensed Architect in the State of Connecticut and recently earned his Connecticut Building Official License.
Steven Hine, AIA, LEED AP BD+C, Partner
With more than 30 years of professional experience in architecture and the construction industry, Steve’s communication skills and depth of knowledge in all phases of project delivery have elevated him to a leading role on CHK’s largest projects. He has managed design teams delivering several million square feet of new and renovated space for some of the firm’s most complex projects, and served as lead architect for the Pratt & Whitney Engineering & Technology Center.
Steve’s early career as a craftsman and cabinetmaker provided the foundation for his keen attention to detail and accuracy, which reflects in the highest quality standard of CHK’s drawings, documentation, and technical detail. His deep knowledge of building codes, high-performance buildings, and construction science have earned him the trust and respect of clients and colleagues alike.
In addition to holding licenses as an Architect and Building Official in the State of Connecticut, Steve is a LEED Accredited Professional, a member of the United States Green Building Council, and volunteers his expertise on the Design Review Board in his community.
Hugh Schweitzer, AIA, LEED AP, Partner
Hugh brings to CHK a diverse professional background of over 30 years; he directs project planning for the firm. He authors feasibility studies and manages multifaceted projects for a variety of respected corporate, institutional, and educational clients. An excellent communicator, Hugh assumes a leading role in CHK’s marketing efforts. His ability to pair design vision with sketch and words allows clients to better understand the architectural design process, enabling them to make well-informed decisions.
Having managed capital projects in over 2,400,000 square feet of property for the Town of West Hartford, Hugh has a distinct understanding of the challenges owners face. Cognizance of those challenges fuel his drive to deliver projects that exceed client expectations. His work on the American School for the Deaf Visual Arts Center, various Collins Aerospace projects, the State of Connecticut Judicial Branch and Electric Boat are among his numerous contributions to CHK’s list of diverse project type experience.
Hugh earned his Master of Architecture Degree from SUNY at Buffalo, and also holds a Degree in Marketing from UCONN. An NCARB Certified professional, he is a licensed Architect in Connecticut and New York. His professional affiliations include the Construction Specifications Institute and the U.S. Green Building Council. Hugh has been a member of the architectural design review board in his community for many years.
Christopher Foster, AIA, Senior Associate
Chris joined CHK in 2007, bringing a solid background in sustainable building design. Chris uses his strong communication skills and over 22 years of experience in the field to deliver complex projects for some of the firm's largest clients. A gifted problem solver, Chris has managed large design teams for projects at Aetna, The Hartford, UTAS, and other corporate clients.
Ronald Miller, AIA, Senior Associate
With over 28 years of experience in the field, Ron combines his strong understanding of project management and construction detailing with an upbeat personality in his work with clients. He has completed challenging projects for companies such as Eversource Energy, UTC, Pratt & Whitney, Aetna, and other corporate clients.
Karen Pannone, AIA, Associate
Karen joined the CHK team in 2005. With over 22 years of experience in the field, Karen's work at CHK has encompassed many important projects, including corporate facility design renovations and improvements. She produces many of CHK's colored renderings, and her area of expertise is historical preservation and reconstruction. Karen brings a calm and professional demeanor in handling the most challenging of projects. She has managed large design teams for The Hartford, Disney/ESPN, and Collins Aerospace, as well as multi-site industrial projects for Johnson Controls, and urban historical renovations for NINA.
Tracy Poirot, Project Architect
Tracy has been part of the CHK family almost since the beginning. Along with overseeing the management of Construction Documents and Construction Administration for the Curaleaf, Cigna Wilde Cafe, and United Healthcare projects, she has also done important work for Eversource Energy, Pratt & Whitney, and Electric Boat. Tracy serves as a mentor to many on the CHK team.
Edward deLeon, Project Manager
Ed is new to CHK, having joined in 2023, but he is not new to the industry. Ed has 40 years of experience designing office, institutional, industrial, and commercial buildings. For the last three decades, his focus has been on commercial retail projects, not only in the Northeast but also in major cities across the country. Ed has extensive field experience including development of As-Built drawings, onsite troubleshooting, construction progress inspections, and punch-list inspections. He is a true gentleman and generally considered the best-dressed member of the firm.
John Turner, Architectural Designer
John has three years of experience in an array of corporate, institutional, and public sector projects. John's work requires close collaboration with owners, contractors, and consultants, with an emphasis on teamwork and a well-designed finished product. John joined CHK in 2022.