ABOUT TAP INC. & TAP PLLC TEAM
TAP is a private non-profit community design center operated by a board of directors. TAP provides design and planning services to low income people, neighborhood groups and other non-profit organizations wishing to improve their homes, buildings and neighborhoods.
TAP was founded in 1969 to provide professional technical assistance to disadvantaged citizens and others in need of affordable building design services. Among its far-seeing and idealistic founders were students and professors of architecture, local attorneys, neighborhood residents and other people concerned with the livability of Troy neighborhoods.
BARBARA L. NELSON, R.A | AIA
Ms. Nelson became Executive Director of TAP Inc. in 2015. She interned at TAP from 1980 to 1986 and just never got community development out of her system. While practicing architecture, over 37 years, she has remained an advocate for fair and affordable housing, architectural preservation, complete streets, participatory design and the reclamation of blighted public space through creative and sustainable urban planning. Barb has served several non-profit boards in the area, and Troy’s Planning Commission under three mayors. She oversees all aspects of TAP's operations and participates in design, grant writing, planning and feasibility study work.
PROJECT MANAGER, LICENSED ARCHITECT
Elizabeth Rodriguez, R.A. (Liza)
Ms. Rodriguez is a project architect, specializing in the rehabilitation and adaptive reuse of existing buildings. She is responsible for the supervision and management, along with coordinating and production of construction documents. Since her start at TAP in 1986, Liza has guided many non-profits through the process of successful grant application to construction completion, on projects ranging from office space to special needs housing. TAP has received awards on many projects she has worked on for the sympathetic reuse of existing buildings.
PROJECT MANAGER, LICENSED ARCHITECT
Laura Ryder, R.A.
Ms. Ryder is a Project Architect, specializing in the rehabilitation of existing buildings, as well as the design of affordable infill housing. She is responsible for all aspects of a project, working with her clients’ ideas and budgets to create a satisfying and functional space. This includes supervision and management of staff and consultants, feasibility studies, preliminary design, code reviews, production of construction documents, bidding, and construction administration. Since joining TAP in 1990, Laura has worked with many non-profits and small businesses on such varied projects as affordable and special needs housing, libraries and daycares, and office and retail spaces.
CONSTRUCTION ADMINISTRATION SPECIALIST
Elizabeth Steckley (Beth)
Ms. Steckley has been with TAP for over thirty years. She has acted as Construction Administrator, serving as the architect’s representative in the field with duties that include coordinating construction completion in accord with the project documents and facilitating communication between clients and contractors to ensure compliance. She also assists with the development of contract documents, including estimating, drafting, and product specifying. In recent years she has worked with local land banks to assess the condition of vacant buildings and developed construction documents to stabilize for future redevelopment. Beth is interested in working with senior citizen homeowners to assess and modify their living situation in areas such as safety and weatherization, so that they may remain in their homes as long as possible.
DIRECTOR OF FINANCE
Virginia Gokhale, C.P.A.
Ms. Gokhale has worked in non-profit and small business accounting and financial management for over 30 years. Joining the TAP staff in 2019, Virginia brings her passion and commitment to sound and transparent financial practices in support of the mission and the craft of architectural preservation and smart, sustainable and community-building urban planning.
RESILIENCY MANAGER, SUSTAINABLE DESIGNER
Daniel was a community organizer involved in keeping hydraulic fracking out of New York State and a regional leader of the environmental/climate movement, Occupy Albany, and the Fight for $15 economic justice campaign. Now back in school, Daniel studies Building Sciences in the School of Architecture and Design, Innovation, and Society in the Science and Technology Studies Department within the School of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. The latter leverages Daniel’s passion for political and economic change applied in products, services, organizations, and social systems, emphasizing participatory design and ethnographic research, through which egalitarian work relations can manifest. Daniel is an avid cyclist, uses she and he pronouns, and has a cat named Azula.
Shayne Bornt spent over 15 years as a Carpenter, framing about 140 homes in his career. He studied Technology and received a Bachelor degree from the State University at Delhi. Shayne Always had an interest in volunteering and giving back to the community, he volunteers with Habitat for Humanity and for the Appalachia Service Project in Virginia each year. Shayne decide to make a career change and to continue his Studies at SUNY Delhi but this time aiming for a another degree in Architectural Design and Building, right now he looks forward to getting his Architectural License.
Shawn joined TAP in July 2021
the V. Lepera Design Fellow
Luke is a student in the School of Architecture at RPI. He is spending his ARCH semester here at TAP as our first Vincent Lepera Design Fellow. The Lepera Design Fellowship was establish to commemorate the accomplished career and extraordinary generosity of Vince Lepera. With the help of other students and faculty Vince founded TAP in 1969.
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Alison is a graduate student in the School of Architecture at RPI. She is pursuing her Masters Degree in Architectural Acoustics.
In accordance with NYS law for the practice of architecture, the registered architects at TAP Inc are partners of Troy Architecture Practice PLLC. Tap Inc. and Troy Architecture Practice PLLC collaborate in order to make architectural services available and affordable to those in need.
Troy Architecture Practice PLLC operates from 210 River St., Troy, NY 12180
Over the years, many dozens of people have worked or volunteered to advance TAP's mission. We are grateful to each and every one. See our HISTORY page to learn more about TAP's long history.