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.
Mr. Berg is our Senior Architectural Designer at Melichar Architects. He has over thirty-
five years of comprehensive practical experience in design and construction. Prior to his
joining Melichar Architects, Mr. Berg operated his own construction company for almost
a decade, providing award-winning design and carpentry services on a variety of project
types. His “hands on” knowledge of building processes and business management
allows us to provide clients with the most inclusive services possible. His understanding
of historic architecture and design is invaluable to our firm.
Mr. Berg holds both a Bachelor of Architecture and Bachelor of Architectural Structures
from the University of Illinois at Chicago. His construction projects have won numerous
awards and have been published nationally. He has served on the Design Review
Committee for the Libertyville Main Street Organization. Mr. Berg also is a member of a
national organization that is dedicated to the preservation and improvement of
communities. Furthermore, he has served on the City of Lake Forest Building Review
Board, Historic Preservation Commission, and Plan Commission. He is currently on the
Board of Directors for the Lake Forest Historic Preservation Foundation.
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.
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.