David James Salay


David has been working at Bender & Associates since 2000. He has gained experience in public, private, commercial, and municipal projects that include single family residential, guesthouses, commercial offices, municipal buildings, and unique historic structures such as historic homes, lighthouses, railroad depots and military forts.  He has taken a leading role at Bender & Associates in working on historic structures reports and preservation projects.  Prior to coming to Bender & Associates, he worked at several architecture firms in San Francisco, including BAR Architects, Cary Bernstein Design, and Tanner Leddy Maytum Stacy Architects in San Francisco (now LMS Architects).



Bachelor of Architecture Degree, Tulane University, New Orleans, LA

Master of Architecture Degree, Tulane University, New Orleans, LA


Civic Affiliations

Old Island Restoration Foundation, former Board Member

Habitat for Humanity


Professional Registration

Registered Architect, State of Florida, AR97145

NCARB (National Council of Architectural Registration Boards) Member

LEED Accredited Professional


Honors and Awards

-     Commendation on final architectural thesis, Tulane University

-     John Lawrence Memorial Medal for Design Excellence, Tulane University

-     Florida Trust for Historic Preservation: Five awards for Excellence in Restoration and Rehabilitation, 2000 to 2014.

-     Historic Florida Keys Foundation: Seven awards for Excellence in Rehabilitation and Restoration, 2000 to 2014. 


Haven Burkee


Haven obtained his Architectural Degree from Taliesin, The Frank Lloyd Wright School of Architecture in Scottsdale, Arizona and Spring Green, Wisconsin. In November 2002, he began his employment with Bender & Associates to complete his internship and developed into a project management position where he has shown a strong talent for design. His interest in Sustainable Architecture developed over the years and in April 2005, he received a sabbatical to study Sustainable Architectural Design in London, England, returning to Bender & Associates in March 20007.


Master of Architecture in Sustainable Environmental Design, Architectural Association School of Architecture, London, UK 

Bachelor of Architecture,  Frank Lloyd Wright School of Architecture, Scottsdale, AZ

Professional Registration

Registered Architect, State of Florida, AR97561

NCARB (National Council of Architectural Registration Boards)

Member LEED Accredited Professional  



Ayn Lewis

Administrative Assistant & Bookkeeper

After a 25 year career in IT Support, Ayn moved to Key West from Boston in 2013. Since then she has managed a flower shop, a marina, and a real estate office before settling in at Bender & Associates where she is responsible for all administrative support as well as accounting, billings, and bookkeeping. She also collaborates with the team on historic structure reports, planning studies, and new project proposals.

Bert Bender

Principal Architect

Since starting his practice in 1975, Bert Bender has been recognized for his architectural contributions and talent with numerous project awards, listed separately, and has had his work published in “Preservation News” a National Trust for Historic Preservation publication, several books on light houses, and numerous newspapers and magazines across the State of Florida.



Bachelor of Architecture, University of Illinois at Urbana



Registered Architect,   Florida No. 11,082;

                                    Arizona No. 9755



Member, National Trust for Historic Preservation                                     Member, Florida Trust for Historic Preservation

Member, Monroe Council of the Arts                                                    Member, Historic Florida Keys Foundation

Member, Key West Art and Historical Society                                                 Member, Bahama Conch Community Land Trust


Honors and Awards

  • Individual Distinguished Service Award, Florida Trust for Historic Preservation, 2005

  • The Wright Langley Award for Outstanding Service Preserving the Cultural and Historic Values of the Florida Keys 2000

  • AIA Award for Design:  Greenwood Memorial Park,      Mausoleum Chapel, Phoenix, Arizona, 1974

  • University Honors:  University of Illinois,

      Department of  Architecture



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Ana Alvarez

Resume Ana Alvarez (003)_edited.jpg

Ana obtained her Bachelor of Architecture from Pilot University Corporation of Colombia in Bogota - Colombia in July 1998. In 2001 Ana Obtained her Master degree in Architectural Restoration from the Polytechnic University of Madrid in Madrid, Spain. In January 2020, she began her employment with Bender & Associates as an Associate to complete her AXP program (NCARB requirement to obtain the License of Architecture in United States)


Bachelor of Architecture Degree, Pilot University Corporation of Colombia, Bogotoa-Colombia

Master of Architecture Degree, Polytechnic University of Madrid, Madrid, Spain