Associate Principal Justin Bishop honored as 2019 Forty Under 40

OPN celebrated Associate Principal Justin Bishop, AIA LEED AP, along with 39 other community leaders on Oct. 17 at the Corridor Business Journal’s 15th annual Forty Under 40 event.

Justin has been a leader at OPN and in the community since moving to Eastern Iowa 15 years ago. From the job site to the teaming room and on professional boards and volunteering in the community, he has demonstrated his commitment to OPN, the field of architecture, and the community.

Since joining OPN’s Cedar Rapids office in 2004, Bishop has been a part of some of OPN’s most complicated commissions. Through AIA, he has encouraged the advancement of emerging professionals and as a member of OPN’s management team he has been tasked with puzzling through internal operation challenges, managing all internal committees, organizing retreats and championing community service.

He was instrumental in leading the design team on the Cedar Rapids Event Center, a $175 million 2008 flood recovery project. He also led the design of Johnson County’s Emergency Services Facility as well as the exterior envelope team for the new $172 million Hancher Auditorium at the University of Iowa with internationally renowned architect Pelli Clarke Pelli.

“Whether directly involved or not, most of the projects in the studio are influenced by Justin’s skills and talent,” said OPN Principal and Partner Daniel Thies. “He is an invaluable mentor and teacher for our young architects and has become a magnet for information and problem solving in all our studios.”

In 2015, Justin was offered financial partnership and the opportunity to launch and lead OPN’s fourth studio in downtown Iowa City.

“As the founder/leader of OPN Architects’ Iowa City office, Justin actively oversees the literal shape of our community. Architects are such important components of building our future and Justin stewards this outsize responsibility with determination, innovation, and care,” wrote The Englert Theatre Executive Director Andre Perry in a nomination letter for the award.

Justin is leading the OPN team collaborating with the theatre on the project to preserve and modernize the historic venue.

“His vision has been extraordinary,” wrote Perry. “Aligning aspirations, priorities, and available funding, he consistently demonstrates the qualities needed to realize an important community project.”

Justin’s leadership make our communities better outside of the design studio as well. He is immersed and engaged in an array of civic and non-profit groups and endeavors and has proudly served as a company coordinator of OPN’s United Way campaign since 2005. He served on the 2017 and 2018 United Way of Johnson & Washington Counties’ Campaign Cabinets and will chair the committee in 2020. He is also a founding member of United Way of Johnson & Washington Counties Leadership Council.

“I believe it’s my responsibility as a leader in the firm to foster a culture of philanthropy and serve as a champion for community involvement,” Justin said.

Congratulations Justin!