Indiana architects group honors two Fort Wayne community leaders

Fort Wayne architect Zachary Benedict and local economic development official John Urbahns have received awards from the American Institute of Architects Indiana (AIA) for their work to better the community through design, a news release said.

Benedict received the Edward D. Pierre Award, named in honor of the architect who was a crusader for the welfare of children, decent housing for all and progressive urban planning. Benedict, managing partner of MKM architecture + design, has dedicated the last 12 years to exploring how architecture and urbanism benefits rural communities, the news release said.

Urbahns, executive vice president of economic development at Greater Fort Wayne, received the Walter S. Blackburn Award, which is named after a longtime Indianapolis architect and civic leader. Urbahns’ leadership has made a major impact on the built environment and caliber of design in Fort Wayne, the news release said. He currently also is working on a 10-year plan intended to increase middle-class pay, attract and retain top talent, and grow the regional economy by generating $3.5 billion in private investment over the next 20 years, the news release said.