Reflections on Integrity – Part 2

Measures & Manifestations

President and Founder of Acoustic Distinctions, David Kahn, reflects on 32 years in business and shares thoughts on integrity in action…

Upon reflecting on the importance of integrity to the firm’s 32 years in business, here are a few thoughts on how integrity can be measured and highlights of ‘integrity in action’.

We measure the strength of our integrity by repeat clients, longstanding partnerships, and a large portfolio of successful projects. We acknowledge that these all were made possible by a positive reputation built with care and purpose over the past three decades and a continued commitment to professional and personal integrity. Industry recognition through design awards and articles in trade publications are always great validators too.

Keeping busy is a strong basis of AD’s professional integrity. AD maintains a strong work base of a variety of projects. A summary of recent and upcoming notable project openings can be accessed here…

Recognition of projects and team efforts in publications included a feature article in Lighting and Sound America about the successful opening of the new Van Cliburn Hall at Texas Christian University, Virtuoso’s Delight (pp 42-49).

In between assignments, AD’s team is active on multiple thought leadership initiatives. For the education community, AD leadership recently presented at annual conferences for facility professionals of APPA and K-12 music educators of the Texas Music Educators Association. View the APPA presentation here…

For the youth music community, the Empire State Youth Orchestra (ESYO) recognizes AD and design partners for efforts to transform a purchased property to the ESYO Center for Musical Youth. Learn more about the new permanent home for the region’s young musical leaders here..

Pertaining to the acoustic profession, AD Senior Associate, Arthur van der Harten, presented five topics to acoustic peers at ASA’s 2022 conference. I continue to serve on the faculty of RPI and, along with a tag-team approach of AD’s senior staff, lead classes for the institute’s graduate program in architectural acoustics.

Maintaining an internal culture centered around continuous learning is supported, in large part, by the firm’s weekly lunch and learn meetings. These sessions serve as a casual peer forum to discuss projects, explore perspectives, and share insights. AD’s team also contributes to other firms who offer similar in-house training programs. Presently, AD offers 3 classes that can be submitted for AIA-CEU credits. For more information on course offerings, please reach out to AD’s Head of Marketing, Aline Halle.

Professional integrity, as it ties to artistry, is a particular focus for AD’s consultants who are also musicians – including yours truly. Last month, Seth Lunick (euphonium) and myself (trumpet), played with the Hudson Valley Wind Ensemble for the Maryknoll Sisters annual charity concert. All the proceeds that were raised from the sold-out event went directly to benefit the sisters’ mission work conducted around the world.

Project integrity, relating to what our services ‘produce’, has always been important. As institutions face growing budget challenges, AD is launching an acoustic wellness check initiative to help clients identify practical measures to boost sustainability and operational efficiencies. To learn more about this aid to help faculty and facilities staff make the most of their building, please reach out to AD’s Head of Marketing, Aline Halle.


Last, but not least, is the aspect of team building. An organization is as good as the company it keeps. Three decades in business have solidified the fact that the firm’s collective professional integrity is enhanced by the ability to attract, retain, and engage quality people. Seth Lunick, a 2022 acoustical engineering and music graduate, supplements AD’ consulting team as its newest Acoustic Designer.