Diana Melichar, AIA, LEED AP

Ms. Melichar is President of Melichar Architects. With over thirty years of architectural

design and construction experience, Ms. Melichar provides the vision, leadership, and

design direction that are the cornerstones of the quality work done by the firm.

Additionally she coordinates and supervises all activities of the architectural team, and

is responsible for design and technical services including design development,

construction documentation, budgets and construction supervision. Her wide range of

experience in exterior and interior architecture for residential, corporate, commercial,

civic, and historic preservation projects assures effective management of the

complexities of any project. Ms. Melichar is committed to providing exceptional results

with excellent value for clients of Melichar Architects.

Ms. Melichar holds a Master of Architecture and Urban Design degree from Columbia

University in New York City and a Bachelor of Architecture degree from Tulane

University in New Orleans. She is registered as an architect, an interior designer and

previously held her real estate license for 15 years. Her professional memberships

include the American Institute of Architects (AIA) and the National Council of

Architectural Registration boards (NCARB). Taking her professional commitment even

further, Ms. Melichar served for five years as a Commissioner of the Preservation

Commission in Highland Park, IL, reviewing proposed projects and generating public

awareness of preservation. Additionally, she participated in community forums and

committees; has been one of only twelve national Small Project Forum Advisors for the

AIA; and regularly contributes to architectural and preservation publications.  Ms.

Melichar has been a juror for preservation awards reviews along the North Shore,

including Chicago, Evanston, Highland Park and Lake Forest.  She also actively

participated in the historic renovation of the City of Lake Forest’s Ragdale artist’s

residence, on Ragdale’s Renovation Task Force Committee.  Ms. Melichar is currently

on the Board of Directors for the Lake Forest-Lake Bluff Chamber of Commerce, as well

as the Board of Directors for a leading manufacturer and technical innovator for the

green energy industry.


Robert T. Abell, AIA, LEED AP

Mr. Abell, a Senior Associate of our firm, serves as project manager for our most

complex commissions. He also oversees the technical aspects of all firm projects. With

more than thirty years of professional experience, he has extensive technical

experience and is adept at working closely with contractors to guarantee the building

process is completed on schedule and within budget.  His commitment to understanding

and coordinating all building systems has helped to produce successful projects.

Mr. Abell has been the project manager for many new buildings, historic renovations,

adaptive reuse projects, expansion projects, restoration and upgrades.  He has led a

variety of multifaceted projects, working in depth with all functions and aspects of a


Mr. Abell received his Bachelor of Architecture degree from the University of Waterloo

at Ontario, Canada.  He is a licensed architect in the State of Illinois and is an active

member of the American Institute of Architects.


Gavin Sheridan, LEED AP

Mr. Sheridan is a Staff Architect with Melichar Architects. In his fourteen years of

experience he has completed a wide range of projects from small residential

renovations to institutional and municipal buildings. Mr. Sheridan takes an active role in

the design development, construction documentation and construction administration

phases of our projects.  His greatest interest lies in design and construction detailing.

He enjoys the complexities of architectural design and detail from aesthetic decoration

to building structure.  Mr. Sheridan excels in problem solving and finding means for the

extremely complex building to function well.

Mr. Sheridan holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Architecture Studies from the

University of Illinois in Champaign. He is a licensed architect in the States of Illinois and

Wisconsin.  He is an active member at his local church and enjoys helping and serving



Jennifer Van Heirseele, LEED AP

Mrs. Van Heirseele is a Staff Architect with Melichar Architects. With thirteen years of

experience, Mrs. Van Heirseele likes working with clients and serving their needs. She

enjoys all aspects of architecture, especially interior and millwork designs. Mrs. Van

Heirseele does much of the rendering and model making for Melichar Architects.  She

has also taken an active role in marketing, including a published portfolio of our work,

postcards, press releases, and advertisements.

Mrs. VanHeirseele received a Bachelor of Science in Architecture as well as a

Certificate in Urban Planning from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. She actively

volunteers at her local church and neighborhood school.


Marla Schimpf

Mrs. Schimpf is the Office Manager for Melichar Architects. She has more than ten

years of experience with managing and administrative tasks in our office. Mrs.

Schimpf’s impeccable skills in accounting, invoicing, organizing and client

correspondence are truly significant reasons why the firm has thrived and been

successful over the years.

Mrs. Schimpf attended the Business School at Illinois State University. She volunteers

for the yearly USPS Stamp Out Hunger Food Drive and she has participated in the

Avon Walk for Breast Cancer in Chicago.

Sheree Dittmer, AIA, LEED AP

Mrs. Dittmer is a Staff Architect with Melichar Architects.  She has more than twenty

years of experience in architecture. Mrs. Dittmer’s interest and knowledge of energy

efficiency, as well as environmental responsibility and awareness, are strong assets for

the firm. She has extensive knowledge with a variety of LEED certified construction

materials and assemblies.  With problem solving as one of her main attributes, she

designed and built the first insulated concrete form residence in the North Shore area.

Mrs. Dittmer received her Bachelor of Science in Architecture from the University of

Texas. She is a registered architect in Illinois and Wisconsin, and is an active member

of the American Institute of Architects.