Debunking the Myths and Misconceptions: Understanding the Facts to Optimize Design-Build

Recorded On: 11/02/2022

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CONTENT EXPIRES: December 31, 2024

The widespread success of the design-build delivery method has provided an increasing number of outstanding projects to serve as benchmarks, but it is critical to continue to address any lingering misperceptions to maintain momentum.   In this session, various myths and misconceptions will be dispelled to enhance your strategy to leverage the many advantages of design-build.Â

James (Jim) Ropelewski, JD, DBIA


ROPE Strategies, LLC

Jim is a former member of the Senior Executive Service with over 30 years of broad experience leading Federal organizations in the areas of law, procurement, budget, audit resolution, human capital, design and construction programs, facilities management, and information technology. He is an advisor to the Design-Build Institute of American (DBIA) in matters involving curriculum and resource development, as well as serving as an instructor for several of their training courses.  Jim is also the Principal for ROPE Strategies, LLC, providing consulting services in design-build integrated project delivery, risk management, strategic planning, and alternative dispute resolution (ADR), including facilitated partnering workshops. He is an Adjunct Professor at American University’s School of Public Affairs, Department of Justice, Law, and Criminology.

Jim served over 16 years with the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ), in legal and senior management positions. As an attorney, he specialized in government contracts and construction litigation, rising to the position of Deputy General Counsel. As Chief of Construction Contracting, he established the design-build program for all new Federal detention facilities. After DOJ, Jim served in the U.S. Department of Education in various leadership roles, including Director of Contracting, Senior Procurement Executive, Suspension and Debarment Official, and Deputy Chief Financial Officer. In those roles, he oversaw contracts, procurement policy, indirect cost negotiations, and internal controls. Jim retired from Federal service as an Assistant Inspector General, Office of Personnel Management.

Jim holds a B.A in Economics and Political Science from Binghamton University and earned his Juris Doctor from William and Mary Law School. He also has earned a Certificate in Strategic Foresight from the University of Houston.


Dave Triplett

Procurement Unit Chief

Federal Bureau of Investigations

Dave is Chief Contracting Officer for the Federal Bureau of Investigation for the Facilities Acquisition Unit in the Procurement Section.  The Section supports the FBI mission by responsibly and efficiently procuring all necessary supplies, services, architect and engineering, construction, and other operational programs across the enterprise.  Mr. Triplett has served as the Chief Contracting Officer of FFD’s Facilities Acquisition Unit since 2017.  Prior to that time Mr. Triplett served as a Contracting Officer supporting a number of large construction projects for the FBI.  Mr. Triplett entered on duty with the FBI in 2010.

Rachel C. John, JD, Assoc. DBIA

Senior Associate

Zetlin & De Chiara

Rachel John is a New York City-based attorney at the law firm of Zetlin & De Chiara. She represents owners, developers, design professionals and other members of the construction community on general business, transactional and litigation matters. She has significant experience navigating contract, procurement and project management issues on large public construction projects and in reviewing and drafting professional service and construction agreements, including for alternative delivery models such as design-build. Her experience also includes bid protests and other disqualification appeals in procurement, grant funding compliance (e.g., FHWA, HUD, FEMA), dispute resolution, construction claims, surety and insurance issues, and representing clients in city, state and federal courts and administrative proceedings.

Ms. John served as in-house counsel at the New York City Department of Design and Construction where she worked on several of the agency's largest and most complex projects, valued in the hundreds of millions to multi-billion-dollar range. When New York State authorized New York City to utilize design-build project delivery under the Rikers Island Jail Complex Replacement Act and New York City Public Works Investment Act, Ms. John was integral to the establishment of the agency's design-build program and form of agreement.

Zetlin & De Chiara LLP, one of the country's leading law firms, focuses its practice on all aspects of construction law and the built environment. The firm provides sophisticated legal and business counsel to real estate owners, developers, financial institutions, owner's representatives, design professionals, construction managers and contractors.



Jones Design Studio, PLLC

MollyA. Jones, AIA is an Oklahoma and Arkansas Architect, NCARB certificate holder,LEED® Accredited Professional, Green Globes Professional, Guiding PrinciplesCompliance Professional, and DBIA Professional with over 30 years of experiencein the design and construction industry. Ms. Jones’ passion is sustainabledesign and construction. She founded Jones Design Studio, PLLC (JDS) to assistOwners in building beautiful, sustainable, regenerative projects.

Damon Gray

Branch Office Manager/ NY Metro

Burns and McDonnell Engineering Company, Inc.

Damon R. Gray is a Design-Build Project Manager at Kiewit. Mr. Gray has over 20 years of industry experience. Mr. Gray has designed, planned, directed and managed work throughout the United States from New York City to Hawaii on the Architectural side of the business, on the Engineering side of the business, on the Owner's side of the business and on the Contractor's side of the business. He is currently a member of the Kiewit, Hawaii-Area Office's Senior Management Team. He attended Temple University's School of Architecture, Villanova?s Project Management Program and is a Doctoral Candidate at the University Hawaii. Mr. Gray is an associate member of the American Institute of Architects, Design Build Institute of America, and The Project Management Institute.


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1.00 CEU credit  |  Certificate available
1.00 CEU credit  |  Certificate available