(in order of appearance in the program)


Tania Van Herle, AIA, LEED AP BD+C – 2018 President, AIA Los Angeles & Principal, Corporate Systems Leader, HED

Throughout her career, Tania has always sought out opportunities to expand her knowledge, volunteer and serve as a mentor. In describing the beliefs that define who she is, she states “It’s really simple. Give back, make a difference in the communities where we work, collaborate, and innovate.” Tania is honored to be serving as the current President for the Los Angeles Chapter of the AIA and looks forward to advancing the Chapter’s mission.

As Corporate Systems Leader for Harley Ellis Devereaux’, Tania is responsible for the operation of the firm’s key systems: Legal, Human Resources, Finance and Information Technology.  With experience in the technical, management and business development areas of the practice, she is the Corporate Treasurer for the firm and has served on the Board since 2006.

With over 20 years of experience in architecture, Tania has overseen the firm’s Operations in the design and construction of K12 Education, Higher Education, Healthcare, Corporate & Commercial and Science & Technology projects.

Born and raised in Los Angeles, Tania earned a Bachelor and Masters of Science in Civil Engineering, followed by a Masters of Architecture I, all earned at UCLA.    Tania is the past chair of the Women in Architecture Committee of AIA-LA, a past graduate of the 2013 Southern California Leadership group, and is currently serving on the Board of Directors for the Girl Scouts of Greater Los Angeles.


Carlo Caccavale, Hon. AIA|LA – Executive Director, AIA Los Angeles

Coupled with his knowledge of architecture and passion for policies that support excellence in the built environment, Carlo Caccavale brings 15 years of experience at the American Institute of Architects Los Angeles chapter to his position as its Executive Director.

Carlo has initiated a number of AIA|LA conferences intended to provide contributions to the profession and surrounding region. They include Encompass, the AIA|LA Conference to Actualize Diversity and Inclusion; Design for Dignity, the AIA|LA conference focused on homelessness and housing affordability; and Powerful, Women Leading Design. To facilitate greater recognition for design excellence and widen the spectrum of offices participating in design awards programs, Carlo launched the Restaurant Design Awards in 2005 and the Residential Architecture Awards in 2016. In 2017, he started the chapter’s Architectural Photography Awards to celebrate those who translate three dimensional design to the single plane while capturing its intent.

Carlo joined the chapter in year 2003, as an Events Coordinator, and was elevated to his current position after 10 years as the chapter’s Associate Director. As the AIA|LA Executive Director he leads a staff producing close to 150 events a year at the behest of the chapter’s board.

Born in Rome, Italy, surrounded by beautiful architecture, and imbued with a strong interest in design and the urban experience from an early age, Carlo believes it was inevitable that he work for the American Institute of Architects Los Angeles in his adopted city. When not attending to the needs of the chapter, he can be found enjoying film, opera, and theatre but also enjoying food in the multifaceted restaurant landscape of Los Angeles.


Celina Alvarez – Executive Director, Housing Works

Celina Alvarez is the executive director of Housing Works, one of Los Angeles’ most experienced and effective permanent supportive housing service providers.

Alvarez is a proud West Texas native who has lived in Los Angeles for the last 25 years.  She began working in non-profit 1993 during the peak of the AIDS epidemic.  In 1999, Celina went to work at LAMP Community on Skid Row where she met Mollie Lowery.  During her time at LAMP, Celina embraced a “harm reduction” approach in working with chronically homeless individuals living with serious mental illness and/or substance use addiction. Since 2000, Celina has played a key role in developing and implementing effective methodological practices in the arena of permanent supportive housing and “Housing First” in both single site and scattered site settings.

Alvarez joined the Housing Works Mobile Integrated Services Team (MIST) in 2008, which is recognized as one of 75 national best practice leaders.  Through the Mobile Integrated Services team, Housing Works provides intensive supportive services to chronically homeless individuals—from the streets—to housing and beyond.

Ms. Alvarez earned her bachelor’s degree in social work from Cal State Los Angeles and a master’s in nonprofit management from Antioch University Los Angeles.

Celina was promoted to Executive Director of Housing Works in July of 2015.  Her passion is to walk alongside those who are striving to regain control of their lives… one person, one life, one relationship at a time.


Marty Borko, Assoc. AIA – Executive Director, ULI Los Angeles

ULI Los Angeles, a District Council of the Urban Land Institute (ULI), has named Marty Borko its new Executive Director. Borko will leave his post as Principal at Gensler in Los Angeles to command the day-to-day workings and long-range planning of one of ULI’s largest and most active regional chapters. The Los Angeles District Council recently presided over the 2017 ULI Fall Meeting which set attendance and fundraising records.

Along with ULI Los Angeles Chair Clare DeBriere, Borko will pilot the organization as it confronts the most critical land-use challenges in the city, including the homeless and housing affordability crisis, as well as city planning, infrastructure, transportation, open-space and historic districts.

With more than three decades of experience in urban planning and large-scale design, he provides leadership in the design and planning of entertainment and urban development projects around the world. Marty focuses on solving complex design problems in today’s urban environments, with an emphasis on mixed-use developments, city building and themed attractions. He is a member of the Entertainment Council of the Urban Land Institute, and is a frequent speaker on the subjects of urban design, entertainment and placemaking. Locally, Marty is a Board member of the Downtown Breakfast Club, contributes time and outreach to the Hope Street Family Center, and is active in the Los Angeles Chamber and the Westside Urban Forum. Marty holds a Bachelor of Architecture from the University of Oregon and a Master of Architecture and Urban Design from UCLA.


Alan Greenlee – Executive Director, Southern California Association of Non-Profit Housing (SCANPH)

Alan Greenlee is the Executive Director of the Southern California Association of Non Profit Housing (SCANPH). He has served in this capacity since October 2012. Over his 25-year professional career, he has demonstrated a commitment to helping low-income families join the economic mainstream by supporting beneficial public policy at the local, regional, state and federal levels. Greenlee has designed, implemented, and managed programs operating from coast to coast, impacting hundreds of thousands of low-income and underserved families. As an entrepreneur, he developed market-making products and services for the solar industry. Drawing from the full range of his experience allows Greenlee to innovate in the fight against poverty tempered by the practicalities of the real world. The combination yields efficient, effective, and scalable solutions.


Helen Leung – Co-Executive Director, LA-Más

Helen is a Los Angeles native raised in the Frogtown neighborhood by a working class, first generation Chinese family. Growing up in an immigrant community, she deeply identifies with the rich diversity that makes Los Angeles so unique. With mentorship from local leaders, Helen became the first person in her family to go to college. After nearly a decade on the East Coast, Helen is honored to be back in her hometown investing the privilege of her education and work experience back into neighborhoods like the one where she grew up.

Helen joined LA-Más because of her passion to explore strategies that minimize displacement pressures that come with gentrification. Helen provides leadership at LA-Más by ensuring all projects are grounded in local need and systemic change. Helen has extensive policy and community-based experience having worked for former Los Angeles City Council President and current Mayor Eric Garcetti. Her national policy and program experience includes her work as Program Associate at Living Cities, fellowship at the Office of Sustainable Housing & Communities at the U.S. Department of Housing & Urban Development, and internship at the Office of Political Affairs at the White House under President Obama’s administration.

Helen serves on the Los Angeles East Area Planning Commission, the Community Advisory Board of Genesis LA, and the Board of the Elysian Valley Arts Collective. She holds a master’s degree in public policy and urban planning from Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government and a bachelor’s degree in Political Science and Communications from the University of Pennsylvania.


Ruth Schwartz – Co-Founder & Executive Director, Shelter Partnership, Inc.

Ruth Schwartz is the founder and Executive Director of Shelter Partnership, a non-profit private/public partnership which provides technical, developmental, material and public policy support for Los Angeles’ housing system for the homeless as a means to end homelessness in the region. Over the past 19 years, Shelter Partnership has assisted in the creation of both transitional and permanent, affordable housing with social support services for homeless individuals and families. Shelter Partnership has been instrumental in securing permanent housing for over 7,000 homeless individuals and families at rents that they can afford. Shelter Partnership also performs critical studies on homelessness and the housing delivery system. These include the needs of domestic violence victims, single women, emancipated foster youth, persons with a dual-diagnosis of mental illness and substance abuse and a major study on housing needs of homeless and low income persons living with HIV/AIDS. The Shelter Resource Bank Program, an award-winning project of Shelter Partnership, has secured more than $120 million in new excess inventory, distributed free of charge to more than 200 shelters, housing developments and social service agencies in Los Angeles County. Shelter Partnership was instrumental in Los Angeles’ designation as the second Homeless Initiative City by the U. S. Department of Housing and Urban Development which resulted in the community receiving a $20 million grant for innovative homeless efforts. The Partnership also regularly advises local governments on public policy and programmatic issues and has played key roles in the development of the City of Los Angeles’ Section 8 Homeless Assistance Program and the regional Housing for Persons with AIDS Program (HOPWA).


Angela Brooks, FAIA – Managing Principal, BROOKS + SCARPA

As the Managing Principal at Brooks + Scarpa Angela Brooks, FAIA supervises all of the office operations. She acts as the office central hub directing project flow and tempo. Through an exacting operations approach she describes with the phrase “Accuracy, Neatness and Concentration”. Angela ensures that each project remains on time and on budget by enforcing project deadlines, coordinating communications between all parties, and rigorously tracking finances. Her hands-on involvement runs from schematic design through completion of construction and post-occupancy.

Angela is a recognized leader in the field of environmental and sustainable design and construction. She has pioneered more holistic ways of delivering affordable housing, sustainable architecture and advances in social equity. She has been practicing architecture since 1991 and is responsible for firm development in the area of housing and policy, leading the firm’s sustainable initiatives and overall management.

She is a powerful advocate for the rich, multivalent impact of good design. Ms. Brooks sees architecture as an instrument for the triple bottom line and the delivery vehicle for space that encourages occupants to flourish. She has pursued this philosophy through two tracks since her master’s thesis almost twenty-five years ago: executing and enhancing individual structures while formulating and advancing ideas that promote larger societal wellbeing through policy organizations.

Ms. Brooks’ was a peer reviewer for Global Green USA’s book Blueprint for Greening Affordable Housing and was featured in the book Women in Green: Voices of Sustainable Design for her policy work with Livable Places and on Fuller Lofts, a sustainable mixed-use project designed to be a catalyst for neighborhood revitalization.

Ms. Brooks was a co-founder and past President of Livable Places, Inc., a non-profit development company dedicated to building sustainable mixed-use housing in the city of Los Angeles on under-utilized and problematic parcels of land as a reaction against Southern California’s suburban sprawl. She has served as an advisor to the National Endowment of the Arts, Mayors Institute on City Design and currently, she sits on the Advisory Board of Solar Santa Monica, a program whose mission is to achieve net zero energy imports by 2020 for the City of Santa Monica; a model that can be replicated throughout the country.


Rushmore D. Cervantes – General Manager, Housing + Community Investment Department, City of Los Angeles

Rushmore Cervantes is the General Manager of the Los Angeles Housing and Community Investment Department (HCIDLA).   Mr. Cervantes plans and directs all activities and operations of HCIDLA to support the creation of viable urban communities by promoting livable and prosperous communities through the development and preservation of decent, safe, affordable housing, neighborhood investment, and social services.  With Federal and State grants, conduit bond financing and local funding sources, HCIDLA provides assistance in the development of single-family homes, multi-unit rental housing, mixed-use (commercial/residential) developments, strategic, cost-effective capital projects, and housing opportunities for persons with special needs (such as homeless, persons with AIDS, persons with sensory or physical disabilities, victims of domestic violence, and kinship families).

Mr. Cervantes oversees HCIDLA’s six City Commissions as well as the network of Family Source Centers that provide low-income families with supportive services geared towards financial sustainability and an increase in youth academic achievement.  HCIDLA also performs habitability inspections of all 760,000 multi-family units in the city, administers the Rent Stabilization Ordinance, and provides a first-time homeownership program and a home repair program.  All services and programs are place-based, and integrate transit, community, economic, and housing development investments.  Mr. Cervantes also serves as a member of the Los Angeles Workforce Investment Board and as President of the Los Angeles Development Fund, a Community Development Entity (CDE) that invests New Market Tax Credits in commercial and residential developments that create permanent jobs.

Over the course of his City career, Mr. Cervantes has managed the financing of affordable housing, developed and implemented performance-based social service and community programs, developed strategic plans, collaborative efforts and initiatives with City Departments and private sector organizations, facilitated the implementation of the City’s Financial Management System, and built community consensus on various issues.  He has over 20 years of experience with the City of Los Angeles and has held several other key City positions including: Chief Deputy Controller, General Manager of the El Pueblo Historical Monument Authority, Assistant General Manager of the Los Angeles Department of Aging, and Member of the City Joint Labor-Management Benefits Committee.

He was also a budget analyst with the Office of the City Administrative Officer for approximately five years.  Mr. Cervantes holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration from the California Lutheran University.


Richard H. Llewellyn, Jr. – City Administrative Officer, City of Los Angeles

Rich Llewellyn was confirmed as the City Administrative Officer for the City of Los Angeles in February 2018, after serving in the position in an interim capacity since February 2017. Rich reports directly to the Mayor and the City Council. As the CAO, his office has direct oversight over the City’s $8.8 billion budget, labor negotiations, debt management, and major policy issues as directed by the Mayor and/or City Council, including for the proprietary departments of Department of Water and Power, Airports, and Harbor.

Prior to this position, Rich served as Counsel to Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti and as a member of Mayor Garcetti’s Executive Staff.

Rich also worked in a variety of governmental and private sector settings, including positions with the Honors Program in the United States Department of Justice, as Chief of Staff to two different members of the Los Angeles City Council, as the Senior Deputy for Legal and Administrative Affairs to a member of the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors, as Chief Deputy City Attorney in the Los Angeles City Attorney’s Office, and as Associate Counsel to a private business law firm in Los Angeles.

In his private time, Rich has served on numerous boards of non-profit organizations. Rich received his undergraduate degree in Accounting, summa cum laude, at Duke University and his J.D. degree, cum laude, at Harvard Law School. Rich passed the Uniform CPA examination and is a member of the bar of the State of California and the District of Columbia (inactive).


Jenna Hornstock – Executive Officer, Transit Oriented Communities, METRO

Jenna Hornstock is the Executive Officer for Transit Oriented Communities for LA Metro.  TOCs are a relatively new concept, focusing on a neighborhood or corridor (not to be confused with TODs which focus on a single development). TOCs maximize equitable access to a multi-modal network through land use and holistic community development principles.

Jenna Hornstock joined LA Metro’s Countywide Planning and Development Department in 2011. She is currently the Executive Officer for Transit Oriented Communities, and manages Metro’s Joint Development, First/Last Mile Planning and Systemwide Design programs as well as the implementation of redevelopment activities at and around Union Station.

Prior to joining Metro, Ms. Hornstock spent nearly 7 years at the Community Redevelopment Agency of the City of Los Angeles (CRA/LA), most recently as Chief of Strategic Planning and Economic Development.  During her tenure at CRA/LA, Jenna worked directly on financing and implementation of affordable housing, infrastructure, industrial and retail development projects, and secured grants for open space, healthy food access and land use planning.  Prior to CRA/LA, she worked for a nonprofit affordable housing developer and on the Housing and Business Team of former Los Angeles Mayor James Hahn.

She holds a Masters in Public Policy from Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government and a BA in Rhetoric from UC Berkeley. Jenna is Assistant Chair of ULI’s Public Private Partnership National Product Council and a former Public Director for the Los Angeles Chapter of the AIA.


William Huang – Director, Department of Housing, City of Pasadena

Mr. Huang is the Director of the Housing and Career Services Department for the City of Pasadena.  The department provides a wide array of affordable housing, homeless, and employment programs, as well as funding for social service and economic development activities with an annual budget of approximately $25 million.  Pasadena is actively engaged in affordable housing with a highly effective inclusionary housing ordinance, numerous transit oriented developments, an innovative housing first program, and a strong local government voice for new affordable housing legislation.   Pasadena’s homeless population decreased by 54% from 2011-2016.  This was accomplished in large part by a concerted focus on providing permanent supportive housing, rapid rehousing and homeless prevention programs.  His background includes experience as the architect, developer and/or public lender for thousands of units of affordable housing throughout Los Angeles County.  Prior to joining the City of Pasadena, Mr. Huang was the Housing Director for the County of Los Angeles. He is the former Deputy Director of the Los Angeles Community Design Center (now Abode Communities) where he oversaw affordable housing development and design for numerous housing and community facilities.  He is a former licensed architect with degrees from Southern California Institute of Architecture (SCI-Arc) and Harvard University’s Graduate School of Design.  He is committed to capacity building and provides training in affordable housing throughout the nation and helped to establish several leading nonprofit affordable housing organizations in Los Angeles County.  He has been the recipient of numerous awards for his affordable housing efforts including induction into the California Housing Hall of Fame.


Jerry Ramirez – Manager, Homeless Initiative, Chief Executive Office, County of Los Angeles

Jerry Ramirez is a Principal Analyst in the Office of Homelessness within the Los Angeles County Chief Executive Office.  In this role, Mr. Ramirez is the team lead of professional staff charged with implementing the County’s Homeless Initiative strategies to combat homelessness.  In addition, Mr. Ramirez is the point person for all land use, housing, and prevention-related strategies and issues.

Jerry has been with the County for 18 years, and prior to his current role, has worked on special projects that included Redevelopment, Strategic Planning, Los Angeles International Airport Master Plan, Supervisorial Redistricting, and Immigration issues.

Jerry earned his MA in Urban Planning, with emphasis on housing and demographic analysis, from the University of California, Los Angeles.  Jerry happily spends all his free time with his 3-month old son Matteo.


John S. Egan, AIA, NCARB, LEED AP – Principal Architect,  EGAN | SIMON architecture

John S. Egan is a Principal of Egan | Simon architecture. John believes investment in Progressive Architecture should benefit the community, create diversity, and strengthen the urban fabric.

His childhood was spent along the Potomac River where Washington D.C. sprawled into rural Colonial America. At a formative age, he moved to Chicago; an unknown metropolis with deep generational family roots. The greatest of the City Beautiful Movement cities provided an architectural immersion. Commuting to school, John walked to and from Union Station. The Architecture scraped the sky; replacing the forests of his youth. The difference ignited his Architectural pursuit.
John ventured to Los Angeles, attending the renowned University of Southern California’s School of Architecture. During this time, a grass roots movement seeking a solution to a Southern California Affordable Housing crisis was underway. In response, John vested his evenings providing Architectural services to Non-Profit Housing Developers.

With an early office establishment, he managed the renovation of the Hotel Bel-Air, a prestigious luxury hotel owned by the Royal Family of Brunei, followed shortly by the design of Le Palais du Couchant, on Sunset Boulevard in Beverly Hills.

Simultaneously, his affinity for a progressive Los Angeles, was validated through groundbreaking projects; Project Angel Food serving over 2,000 meals daily to the seriously ill; The S. Mark Taper Shelter Resource Bank providing goods to over 100,000 homeless individuals in Los Angeles annually; and numerous Affordable Housing developments resulting in homes for those in need.

Architecturally recognized by the US Green Building Council and by the Clinton Global Initiative, John believes in environmentally responsible Architecture. His practice borrows from past and current technologies to create a Progressive Architecture.

John is a past commissioner for the California Board of Architects, a member of the American Institute of Architects, a licensed Architect in California and Florida, a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Accredited Professional, a member of the US Green Building Council, a member of the Southern California Association of Non-Profit Housing (SCANPH), and a Board member of HY Architects in Northern California. He is a returning guest speaker at the Annual Housing California Conference as well as the Southern California Association of Non-Profit Housing (SCANPH) Annual Conference.


KeAndra Cylear Dodds – Senior Program Director, Policy & Special Initiatives, Enterprise Community Partners

For more than a decade, KeAndra Cylear Dodds has dedicated her career to the creation and preservation of affordable housing; improving access to transit, healthy environments and economic opportunities; and developing policies that foster social equity. KeAndra currently works as Senior Program Director, Policy and Special Initiatives at Enterprise Community Partners. She leads the Southern California policy work and joins with Enterprise’s state and federal advocates to improve access to safe, affordable homes in thriving neighborhoods. Prior to joining Enterprise, KeAndra was the Transportation and Housing Deputy for Los Angeles County Supervisor Hilda L. Solis. As Deputy, she focused on issues related to transportation, land use, affordable housing and LGBT rights. Before joining the county, she was a Staff Attorney at the Western Center on Law and Poverty in Los Angeles. There, KeAndra engaged in impact litigation, policy advocacy, technical assistance and education statewide to improve access to affordable housing for low-income families. She also advocated for equitable transit-oriented and sustainable development. KeAndra received her law degree from the University of Southern California, Gould School of Law and her bachelor’s from the University of Pennsylvania.


Erika Hartman, M.A., LMFT – Chief Program Officer, Downtown Women’s Center

As Chief Program Officer at Downtown Women’s Center, Erika Hartman, M.A. LMFT, oversees the Permanent Supportive Housing, Community-Based Housing, Health and Wellness, and Workforce Development departments, as well as programmatic measurement and evaluation. Erika oversees budgets totaling over four million dollars and a team of over 70 employees. She is also responsible for overseeing the strategic growth of programs, which currently serve approximately 4,000 women annually.

Erika brings over a decade of clinical and administrative experience, working with populations who have histories of complex trauma, to DWC. Previously, she served as Chief Program Officer at Westside Children’s Center where she led the agency’s national accreditation, through the Council on Accreditation, was instrumental in shaping the agency’s mission and strategic plan, and oversaw agency-wide performance and quality improvement, risk management, crisis intervention, and human resources. Erika also provided clinical and administrative oversight to the child welfare, infant mental health and disabilities, and early education center programs.

She has also worked as an administrator in the Gang Reduction Youth Development Program at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles and as an academic researcher. She holds a master’s degree in marriage and family therapy from the University of Southern California, and bachelor’s degrees in psychology and sociology from the University of California, Santa Barbara.


Robin Hughes – President and CEO, Abode Communities

Robin Hughes has been actively involved in affordable housing and community development for over 30 years and in her 20 years as leader of Abode Communities, she has transformed the organization into a top 50 affordable housing developer nationwide and the premier provider of environmentally sustainable affordable housing in California.

Hughes is considered an expert in the field of community development and serves in many leadership roles that shape and promote housing policy at the local, state and federal level. She is board chair of Housing Partnership Network, a national consortium of nearly 100 of the leading housing and community development nonprofits in the country; co-policy chair of California Housing Consortium a non-partisan advocate for the production and preservation of housing affordable to low- and moderate-income Californians; board member of California Community Reinvestment Corporation, a premier multifamily affordable housing lender responding to California’s statewide affordable housing crisis; and board member of The Community Development Trust, a national investor in affordable housing that provides long-term debt and equity capital for the creation and preservation of affordable housing and charter schools. Hughes also serves on the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority (LAHSA)  Ad Hoc Committee on Black People Experiencing Homelessness.

In addition to her service as chair of the Affordable Housing Advisory Council for the Federal Home Loan Bank of San Francisco, as well as board member of the JPMorgan Chase Community Advisory Board of Los Angeles, her experience is highlighted by four years as City Planning Commissioner for the City of Los Angeles.

Hughes was recognized by Huffington Post as “Person of the Day and Women in Business as Outstanding Nonprofit Director. She was also recognized as Black Business Association’s Executive Leadership Award and was featured on the cover of National Real Estate Investor as “Champion of Affordable Housing.”

She received her masters and bachelor degrees in public administration from the University of Southern California, and received a certification from Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government Executive Program.


Laura Raymond – Campaign Director, Alliance for Community Transit – Los Angeles

Social justice advocate with nearly two decades of experience building multi-sector coalitions, directing campaigns and coordinating strategies that shift conversations, build power, and win concrete change for communities.


Dana Trujillo, LEED AP – Chief Investment & Finance Officer, Skid Row Housing Trust

Ms. Trujillo is responsible for all financial transactions and real estate investments, including the acquisition and development of new permanent supportive housing in Southern California and the recapitalization of the Trust’s existing buildings. Ms. Trujillo, who joined the Trust in 2013, has over fifteen years of real estate experience and is credited for the development of over 1,000 units of high-quality, award-winning, service-enriched and sustainable affordable housing throughout Los Angeles County. She is accountable for the financial performance, reporting and accounting for $265 million of total assets and maintains a pipeline of new real estate investments totaling over $290 million. She oversees the accounting, real estate development and asset management divisions at the Trust. Ms. Trujillo holds a B.S. from the University of Southern California and sits on the Board of Directors for the Southern California Association of Nonprofit Housing.


Sarah Lorenzen, AIA – Principal, TOLO & Professor, CPP ARC & Director, Neutra VDL House

Sarah Lorenzen is a registered architect at Peter Tolkin Architecture and is a tenured architecture Professor at Cal Poly Pomona. Since 2007 she has also served as director of the Neutra VDL Studio and Residences in Los Angeles, where she develops cultural and artistic programs and has overseen the restoration of the site.

Sarah has significant experience overseeing the production of art and architectural installations and exhibitions, and designing institutional and R&D projects. Prior to joining Peter Tolkin Architecture, Sarah was a principal at Plasmatic Concepts, and she worked as a project architect at MBT Architecture in San Francisco, and as a designer at Lord Aeck & Sargent Architecture, Stanley Beaman & Sears Architecture, and at the Farrington Design Group in Atlanta, GA. She has taught architecture at Cal Poly Pomona for the last twelve years and she served as chair of the department from 2013-2017.

In addition to practicing and teaching Sarah regularly writes and lectures on issues related to architecture and urbanism. She has received multiple design awards and grants including several Graham Foundation grants, a Fulbright Fellowship, and a six-week travel fellowship to China. She has been invited to participate on design juries for the AIA, the LA Chamber of Commerce, SCI-Arc, Syracuse University, Arizona State University, University of Arizona, UCLA, USC, Woodbury and ELAC. In 2015 Sarah received the Presidential “Educator of the Year” award from AIA LA.

Sarah grew up in Mexico City and moved to the United States. to attend college. She did her undergraduate work at Smith College and at the Atlanta College of Art (BFA in Drawing, 1992), and received a Master of Architecture degree from Georgia Institute of Technology (1997) and a second Masters in Metropolitan Research and Design from SCI-Arc (2004). In 2011 Sarah spent a year-long sabbatical conducting urban research at TU Delft in the Netherlands.


Kevin Daly, FAIA – Founder, Kevin Daly Architects

Kevin Daly, FAIA, is the founder of Kevin Daly Architects. For over twenty years he has pursued an architecture that delves into the paradoxes of the urban condition and the consequences of intervention. Projects by Kevin Daly express his belief in an architecture that is performative on every level: environmentally, structurally, economically, and aesthetically. Bolstered by abundant research, he has demonstrated the benefits of advanced, unconventional building technology in works that are consistently recognized in publications and awards, and range from public schools, custom residences, and university buildings to affordable housing. He is on the design faculty at UCLA and has served on juries or lectured at institutions internationally, including Stanford University, Cornell University, Rice University, SCI arc, the Architectural League of New York, the University of Texas at Austin, and RISD.


Darci Niva – Executive Director, Westside Coalition on Hunger & Homelessness

In LA County, we find ourselves in the midst of a crisis of homelessness and poverty. There are tens of thousands of people living on our streets already,  1 in 10 Cal State students self reporting as homeless and a quarter of a million people are spending 90% of their income on rent. Things could get considerably worse than they are right now. But I am not discouraged even in the face of troubling statistics because of the caliber of the organizations that I work with. The members of the Westside Coalition range from social service providers, faith organizations, governmental agencies and businesses; but each of them are committed to finding solutions for those in need in our community and they are among the finest that I have ever worked with. We have a lot of work to do to change this systemic problem that we face, but the brightest and best are working collaboratively together in an unprecedented way. Consider joining our efforts; if you can volunteer we can use you! If you are affiliated with an organization or business that has concern about these issues, lock arms with us. We are better together than we are alone.

Twenty (20) years of professional experience in public, private, non-profit, volunteer, and faith-based sectors in social relief programs, developing and managing staff, over-seeing volunteer training and donor relations. Focuses on socio-economic issues empowering individuals to make sustainable life choices; Program Development, marketing and fundraising.

Education:  Master of Arts Interdisciplinary Studies (MAIS) Human Rights and Social Justice, Arizona State University (ASU) – College of Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences; Tempe, Arizona.  Bachelor of Art (BA) – Digital Media in Learning with Technology, ASU; Tempe


Fernando Mejia – Student, Free School of Architecture

-A resident of East Los Angeles.
-Studied Latin American Studies at Cal State LA with an emphasis on social organizing
-Board Member a community cultural center in Boyle Heights called Corazon Del Pueblo (2010-2014)
-Certified in Permaculture
-Built my own house in 2013 out of need, which was subsequently torn down in 2017 due to lack of permits.
-Worked at the LA Neighborhood Land Trust from 2013-2016
-Currently studying architecture at East LA College.


Leonardo Serrano – Architect in progress, Los Angeles School of Global Studies

Waiting for BIO


The Rev. Eric C. Shafer – Senior Pastor, Mount Olive Lutheran Church

The Rev. Eric C. Shafer is Senior Pastor at Mt. Olive Lutheran Church in Santa Monica. He has helped open the Bruin Shelter (now called “Students4Students” Shelter) at Mt. Olive, the first shelter for homeless college students on the west coast and has been involved in the relaunch of the Santa Monica Area Interfaith Council.  His previous positions include Senior Vice President for Odyssey Networks in New York City and Director of Communion for the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America in Chicago. Shafer has taught in South Africa and Madagascar and made multiple trips to Jerusalem and the West Bank.


Roberto Sheinberg, Assoc. AIA – Past-President, LA Forum for Architecture + Urban Design & Director of Design, Lehrer Architects

Roberto Sheinberg has practiced Architecture for over 20 years in Mexico and the US. Throughout his career he has focused on creating contemporary, inspiring and environmentally appropriate designs that enhance the communities which they serve. His diverse body of work includes institutional, commercial, planning projects and multi-family and single-family housing.

As Director of Design at Lehrer Architects, he is a critical member in establishing the direction of each project and ensuring its successful completion.

Roberto currently serves on the Board for the Los Angeles Forum for Architecture and Urban Design. He is the immediate past-president having fulfilled a 2 year term in 2016 and 2017.

Prior to Lehrer Architects, Mr. Sheinberg worked with Leddy Maytum Stacy Architects in San Francisco as Senior Associate.  Before relocating to California, Mr. Sheinberg formed his on practice and worked in his native Mexico City for TEN Arquitectos with Enrique Norten.

His work has received numerous local, state, national and international design awards and has been exhibited in Spain, Mexico, US, Japan, Finland and Brazil. He has been published extensively in the US, Mexico and Europe, in magazines such as Architectural Record, Interior Design, Dwell, Metropolitan Home, and Hauser and in books by Princeton Architectural Press, Monacelli Press and Rizzoli amongst others.

Roberto’s current work includes a Homeless Housing Initiative with Lehrer Architects LA, Restore Neighborhoods LA and Genesis LA. This initiative’s goal is to identify strategies, assess partnerships and sites, and develop fast track projects for supportive and permanent housing for chronically homeless individuals. The first two projects of the initiative – both for formerly homeless and at-risk youth – are expected to start construction late Summer 2018.

Recent work includes the Katz Family Pavilion at Stephen Wise Temple, UCLA’s Botanical Garden Pavilion, Caltech’s Keck Institute for Space Studies, Masterplan and new Mausoleum at the Hollywood Forever Cemetery and Feasibility and Planning work at the Los Angeles–Glendale Water Reclamation Plant. Ongoing work on Urban Infill Affordable Housing in South Central Los Angeles with Restore Neighborhoods LA is an important exploration of affordable, sustainable, community enhancing home ownership in neglected neighborhoods.

Previous work included the Plaza Apartments, 106 supportive housing units for formerly homeless in South of Market in San Francisco. Featured in several Books and publications such as “A Blueprint for Greening Affordable Housing” by Global Green USA and was a finalist for the United Nation’s World Habitat Award, the Plaza has received over a dozen design and housing awards and has been included in the HUD Secretary’s Green Affordable Housing design advisor. Other projects in the San Francisco Bay Area include the 625 Townsend Street office building, the Ed Roberts Campus for Independent Living, and the Nueva School.

His residential project “Casa de Carmen” in Baja California, designed with LMS Architects, has been widely published and was recently included in the exhibit “Green House: New Directions in Sustainable Architecture & Design” at the National Building Museum in Washington D.C.

In Mexico City, his projects include the Televisa Mixed-use building and the Televisa Employee Cafeteria with TEN Arquitectos as well as the “C” Bar and Dance Club, a conversion of a historic 3,000 seat movie house utilizing 80% recycled materials salvaged from construction sites and contractor’s yards throughout the city. The Televisa Mixed-use building was awarded the first Mies van der Rohe Award for Latin American Architecture and was included in the traveling exhibit “At the end of the Century: 100 years of Architecture” curated by the Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles.

A graduate of the Universidad Iberoamericana in Mexico City, Mr. Sheinberg is an associate member of the AIA, a member of the Mexican Federation of Architects and a LEED accredited professional.


Jennifer Caspar – Chair, Piece by Piece & Vice Chair, Skid Row Housing Trust

Jennifer Caspar has served on the Piece by Piece Board of Directors since 2012, and became its Chair in 2015. She has also served on the Board of PBP’s parent company, Skid Row Housing Trust, since 2011. Jennifer has spent her career in community finance and development, with a particular focus on permanent supportive housing for people moving out of homelessness. In Los Angeles, she has worked for Enterprise Community Investment, A Community of Friends, and others. At Esperanza Community Housing, she developed an understanding of the challenges of operating non-housing social enterprise while overseeing management of Mercado La Paloma, a food hall for first-time business owners, with office space for nonprofits on the second floor. Piece by Piece occupies a retail space at the Mercado where its art is exhibited. Jennifer holds a Bachelors degree in English from Georgetown University and a Masters in Urban Planning from George Washington University. She is also the founder of Eric’s Kids, a scholarship program for students who have experienced the death of a parent.


Dawn Mendelsohn – Program Director, Piece By Piece

Dawn Mendelson, Program Director, has provided leadership in the development of Piece by Piece since 2007.  She has over time built an arts curricula for participants that fosters learning in design, drawing, creativity and mosaic technique with progressive benchmarks for developing Artisan-level skill.  Dawn steers the vision for workshops held at a variety of locations and meeting learning needs for participants of every skill level.  Dawn specializes in pique assiette, a style of mosaic which uses recycled materials. She has been featured on PBS and HGTV, and is well-respected within the professional mosaic-artist network. Her passion is working with people, especially those who are new to art, and enjoying their moments of self-discovery.


Tara Barauskas, LEED AP – Executive Director, Community Corporation of Santa Monica

Tara Barauskas joined Community Corp. in 2016 as the Executive Director. She is responsible for the overall management of the organization and achieving its strategic goals and vision. Ms. Barauskas has been working in the affordable housing industry since 1999, in both the for-profit and non-profit sectors. During this time, she has developed over 20 affordable housing projects throughout California, and has overseen development activities for a non-profit that produces permanent supportive housing for people who are homeless in the Los Angeles area. Tara’s passions are affordable housing, creating equity and social justice in communities, and sustainability. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree from California State University Long Beach, and earned a LEED AP (Homes) credential from the US Green Building Council, and a Living Future credential from the International Living Future Institute.


Jennifer Schab, AIA, LEED AP – Principal, Rios Clementi Hale Studios

Jennifer brought her extensive knowledge of the residential and educational markets to Rios Clementi Hale Studios in 1993. She has served as Project Architect on some of our highest-profile educational commissions, including the LAUSD Primary Centers. She has also worked on numerous private residential projects.

The first member of our staff to become a LEED Accredited Professional, Jennifer heads our sustainable design efforts. Her determination to find sustainable solutions, especially those that conserve the precious supply of water in the increasingly arid Southwest, permeates nearly every project we work on.

A California-licensed architect, Jennifer received her Bachelor of Fine Arts from the Rhode Island School of Design and her Master of Science in Building Design from Columbia University. Jennifer was an instructor at the Otis College of Art and Design from 1989-97 and at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas from 2010-11.


Pete White – Founder & Executive Director, Los Angeles Community Action Network

Pete White is the Founder and Co-Director of Los Angeles Community Action Network (LA CAN), which builds indigenous leadership with the Central City East community to address the issues confronting the neighborhood’s extremely low-income, predominantly African American residents. LA CAN focuses on housing and civil rights, healthy food access, women’s rights and violence prevention.


John Friedman, FAIA – John Friedman Alice Kimm Architects (JFAK)

MArch (Harvard) | MA Philosophy, Politics, Economics (Oxford)| BS Architecture (MIT)

With over 30 years of experience in the field of architecture, John co-founded JFAK in 1996. John was raised in the San Francisco Bay Area, where he studied hard, played water polo harder (3-time NCAA D3 All-American). He’s since traded in his Speedo for a sketch book, and the Beatles for Radiohead, and you’ll find him most days at his desk drawing.

John has served on the Board of Directors of AIA Los Angeles and has taught design studios at Southern California Institute of Architecture (SCI-Arc) and USC. He is an appointed member of MIT’s School of Architecture +Planning Visiting Committee.  Both partners were named Emerging Voices by The Architectural League of New York in 2004, and in 2007, John was elevated to the College of Fellows of the American Institute of Architects.


Mark Casanova – Executive Director, Homeless Health Care Los Angeles

To inspire staff and motivate my co-workers to carry out HHCLA’s crucial mission of improving the health of homeless people through direct service, education and advocacy. I am committed to a harm reduction model of treatment because I believe that caring about people means caring about them wherever they find themselves.


Kishani De Silva – 2A + D, Arts Architecture + Design Management Services

Kishani has been working in the architecture and design industries for over eighteen years and started her own management consultancy, 2A+D, following her time at Foster + Partners in London, as a project manager. She is involved with the Association for Women in Architecture + Design, where she spearheads a gender equity initiative—”50:50 x 2020″ and completed four-years on the Board, including President (2015/2016) and Parliamentarian (immediate past president, 2016/2017). She also serves on two other Boards involved with social and environmental justice, one being Fair Trade Los Angeles, where she is leading the strategic thinking effort on making Los Angles a Fair Trade City. Kishani currently teaches a contemporary practice class which was part of the Architecture 2030’s Curriculum Project pilot in 2016, as well as a Systems seminar and 4th Year Design Studio. She is also currently reading for a post graduate qualification in Major Programme Management at the University of Oxford, England.


Tommy Newman – Director of Public Affairs, United Way of Greater Los Angeles

Tommy Newman is currently the Director of Public Affairs at the United Way of Greater L.A. He was last at LA Family Housing where he directed the organization’s communications and public affairs strategies. Tommy also worked at L.A. City Hall as a policy and neighborhoods deputy. Tommy attended George Washington University and the University of San Francisco School of Law.


Christina Miller – Senior Project Manager, Homeless Strategies, Office of Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti

Mayor Eric Garcetti has appointed Christina Miller as Senior Project Manager for Homelessness Strategies, a key member of the team leading his administration’s response to the crisis of unsheltered homelessness.

“We are building 10,000 units of supportive housing to lift homeless Angelenos out of desperate situations for good — but we cannot lose sight of the fact that people living on the streets today need help now,” said Mayor Garcetti. “Christina has an exceptional track record of creating partnerships that quickly connect people to housing and services. She’s the right person to take on this challenge.”

Christina comes to the Mayor’s Office from Los Angeles World Airports, where she served as the consulting project manager on homelessness issues. There, she helped lead an interagency task force that successfully addressed a homeless encampment in Manchester Square, and connected 350 people with housing-focused services.

As Senior Project Manager for Homeless Strategies, Miller will supervise the successful development, coordination, execution, and completion of projects that respond to the needs of those experiencing homelessness in Los Angeles.

“I am thrilled to be joining the Mayor’s team and getting closer to the core of this movement to solve homelessness in Los Angeles,” said Miller. “We have an opportunity to build a City where no one calls the sidewalk their home — and it’s an honor to be part of a leadership team that is committed to real and lasting change.”

Miller previously worked at L.A. Family Housing, a low-income housing developer and service provider in the San Fernando Valley — where she brought to scale a community-wide housing system for people experiencing homelessness, and oversaw services that brought nearly 1,000 chronically homeless adults and veterans off the streets.

Miller is also a certified Rape Crisis Advocate. She received her Master’s Degree in Counseling from California State University Northridge, and her Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology from California State University Channel Islands.


Jimenez Lai – Bureau Spectacular

JIMENEZ LAI works in the world of art, culture, and education. Early in his career, Jimenez Lai lived and worked in a desert shelter at Taliesin and resided in a shipping container at Atelier Van Lieshout on the piers of Rotterdam. Before founding Bureau Spectacular, Lai worked for various international offices, including MOS and OMA. Lai is widely exhibited and published around the world, including the MoMA-collected White Elephant. His first book, Citizens of No Place, was published by Princeton Architectural Press with a grant from the Graham Foundation. Draft II of this book has been archived at the New Museum as a part of the show Younger Than Jesus. Lai has won various awards, including the Architectural League Prize for Young Architects and Debut Award at the Lisbon Triennale, and the 2017 Designer of the Future Award at Art Basel / Design Miami. In 2014, Lai represented Taiwan at the 14th Venice Architectural Biennale. In 2015, Lai organized the Treatise exhibition and publication series at the Graham Foundation.  Alongside MoMA, Lai’s work has been collected by SFMOMA, Art Institute of Chicago, and LACMA. Currently, Lai is a visiting faculty at Columbia University, and will be heading a Supra Studio at UCLA.


Joanna Grant – Bureau Spectacular

JOANNA GRANT received her M.Arch from Princeton University. She has worked for architecture offices in Los Angeles, Chicago, Guangzhou, and Shenzhen for a diverse range of internationally renowned firms, including the L.A. based firm, Johnston Marklee & Associates. She has previously worked with Beatriz Colomina on a research projects of couples in architecture, as well as the Danish office ADEPT Architects in their Chinese satellite firm. In 2013 she became a member of Bureau Spectacular, assisting in multiple competitions in which they were awarded honorable mentions or finalists, and the winning proposal for the Taiwan pavilion for the 2014 Venice Biennale. Joanna curates the blog “Cloudzwatching,” which features student design work from schools across the United States. She has contributed to Conditions Magazine and Nova Organa, and recently organized a conference at Princeton University called “& Delight” with Kevin Pazik. Her work has been described as “Takashi Murakami meets Mario Botta.” She likes rainbowy, cute and fluffy architecture. And Postmodernism.


Simon Ha, AIA, LEED AP – Partner, Steinberg Hart & Board Secretary, Skid Row Housing Trust

Simon Ha is a Partner and the Urban Mixed-use Practice Leader at Steinberg Hart.  He brings over 15 years of large-scale mixed-use, urban infill, and multi-family design experience and has completed over 3000 units in award-winning projects.  He has dedicated his career to design of housing and community development with an education background in urban housing policy, finance, and real estate development from Harvard Graduate School of Design.

He is the Chair Elect of American Institute of Architects Housing Knowledge Community, Executive Committee Member on Skid Row Housing Trust, Zoning Advisory Committee Member for the Los Angeles Department of City Planning, and involved in various other organizations around design, policy, development, and community engagement.  Understanding aesthetic and functional housing design along with the development and entitlements process, Simon yields the highest value for the client while achieving the goals of the city, community, and urban environment.


Christopher Locke – ZGF Architects LLP

Christopher is Designer at ZGF Architects, a role he began 1.5 years ago. During his brief time at the firm, he has worked on educational and office workplace facilities. The most recent being a renovation of a mid-century modern building on the Cal-State LA Campus. In addition to his role as a designer, Christopher Co-coordinates the office’s Diversity Inclusion Advocacy Group (DIAG).

He moved to Los Angeles after graduating from the University of Michigan with a Master’s degree in architecture. He previously attended the University of Massachusetts where he earned a bachelors in fine arts in architecture. Coinciding with his relocation to Los Angeles, he co-founded the platform Designing in Color (Dco). The platform challenges and advocates for the representation and rights of minority architects and communities. This is performed via collaborative workshops/projects at schools, conferences and in the city. Through a new venture called Small Talks: LA, Dco continues to develop and collaborate with others on how to change the spaces we live in. small talks:LA originated as a response to the current demand for political/social organization among motivated individuals who care for the diversity and future of our cities.

Christopher’s current work in Los Angeles not only revolves around his role as a designer at ZGF Architects and his involvement in NOMA (The National Organization of Minority Architects), but also his personal connection with the footprint of the city. Currently, Christopher is studying the current housing crisis across the city and using film as means of telling stories for narratives unknown. Christopher believes that architecture is a great platform to express an art that provokes how we experience space physically and emotionally. On a larger scale, his ultimate goal is to challenge the collective minds that create the intimacy of our communities.


Anne Cotter, AIA – ZGF Architects LLP

Anne Cotter is an Associate Partner at ZGF Architects in Los Angeles.  She brings over 30 years of experience in the planning, design, and management of a wide variety of complex projects ranging from residential, office, hospitality and mixed-use projects to healthcare and educational facilities.  The types of projects include low-rise and high-rise buildings, from affordable housing projects to luxury hotels.  Anne’s approach is that each project is a learning experience that informs the next project, with the different building types influencing each other.  Her depth of experience is applied to the goal of successfully completing projects, with a team approach being the key ingredient.

While familiar with Los Angeles visiting family the past 20 years, Anne moved here last year and is now eager to contribute her time and experience to addressing the housing situation with the community.  This will be a collective effort, merging the need with policy, funding and architecture for the short term and long term solutions.


Will Wright, Hon. AIA|LA – Director, Government & Public Affairs, AIA Los Angeles

Will Wright currently serves as the Director of Government and Public Affairs for the Los Angeles chapter of the American Institute of Architects (AIA|LA). As Los Angeles’ chief advocate for better architecture and urban design, he helps bring together design thinkers and civic leaders to solve problems and set priorities.

With more than a dozen years of experience advocating for a healthier, more beautiful and better functioning city, he is responsible for a variety of roles including connecting architects and designers with civic leaders to help shape public policy and provide critical input on project delivery methods, procurement best-practices, infrastructure investments and environmental performance.

Mr. Wright currently serves on the Board of Directors of the Los Angeles County Business Federation (BizFed) as a Vice-Chair of the Transportation Committee. Previously, he served as the Vice Chair of BizFed’s Planning and Land-Use Committee. In 2013, Mr. Wright became a founding Board Member of the non-profit From Lot To Spot, which helps underserved communities transform vacant lots into parks and open space. He also currently serves as a public board member of the BOMA-LA Political Action Committee.

Mr. Wright has a BFA from Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas and a Masters in Fine Arts from the Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, California.


Craig Shimahara – President, Shimahara Illustration

Shimahara Illustration produces architectural visualization assets such as digital illustration, animation/film, and VR.

Our tenacity for excellence gives shape to everything we do as artists, but it’s the way we treat our clients that truly distinguishes us from our competition. We know that excellence in this business means cherishing the people we work with – and performing accordingly. Since 1999 we have helped companies of every size and specialization reach significant goals with our ability to LISTEN, our passion to LEARN, and our desire to LIGHTEN the load for all our partners: Let us illustrate!


Alice Kimm, FAIA, LEED AP B+CJohn Friedman Alice Kimm Architects (JFAK)

MArch (Harvard) | BA Economics (Cornell)

Born in Chicago, Alice spent her high school years in Seoul, then returning to the US for what she thought would be one year, but has now been more than twenty. Alice held the position of Chair, and then Director of Undergraduate Architecture at USC from 2010-2014 and was appointed Adjunct Professor in 2015. She spends the little free time she has reading fiction and playing squash.

Alice was awarded a Fulbright Scholarship to research housing types in Korea in 1997, and was selected to deliver a TEDx Talk by the Fulbright Association in 2015. She currently serves on the Advisory Board of the LA Forum for Architecture and Urbanism and has been a peer reviewer for the Design Excellence program of the Government Services Administration for the past decade. Alice has also served on the Boards of AIA Los Angeles and Woodbury University’s School of Architecture. Alice was elevated to the College of Fellows of the American Institute of Architects in 2010.


Gio Aliano, AIA – Senior Vice President, Architecture & Principal Architect, Abode Communities

Gio Aliano is senior vice president, principal architect responsible for the executive oversight of Abode Communities’ architectural design studio. Under Aliano’s leadership, the design studio fachieves design excellence through progressive and innovative thinking while relying on fundamental design principles to create meaningful architecture that is relevant and contextual.

With nearly 30 years of experience, Aliano brings the highest level of architectural expertise and a passion and commitment for Abode Communities’ mission. He has been actively involved in environmental design, planning and architecture practice, and his diverse experience includes multifamily and single-family residential, community buildings such as libraries and healthcare facilities, educational institutions such as community colleges and K-12 schools, and public facilities.

Aliano served as a Design Review Board (DRB) commissioner for the City of Glendale for 10 years leading the DRB as chairman through two, one-year terms during that time. Aliano’s commitment to deepening the understanding of key design principles to burgeoning architects has led to his service as design studio guest critic for University of California, Los Angeles, Woodbury University and California State University, Fullerton.

He is a licensed architect in the State of Califonia (C-26571) and currently serves as a board member for the Los Angeles Education Partnership. A member of the American Insitute of Architects, Aliano received his master of architecture from University of California, Los Angeles and a bachelor of science in design from Arizona State University.


Leigh Christy, FAIA, LEED AP BD+C – Principal, Perkins+Will

As a Principal, Leigh Christy works at the interface of urban design and architecture. Her public and private sector experience encompasses design, management, and technical realms at a variety of scales, offering her a project perspective that is both comprehensive and forward-looking. She specializes in providing innovative, sustainable project solutions that meet the client’s and com-munity’s needs. Leigh is a member of the Perkins+Will Resiliency and Water Task Forces, the head of the firm’s Innovation Incubator microgrant program, and the leader of the Los Angeles Office Social Responsibility Committee. Using research, teaching, and project work as a basis, she frequently publishes and presents on social and environmental sustainability issues at all scales. She was named as one of Building Design + Construction’s 2010 “40 under 40” honorees.

Leigh received a Bachelor of Science in Architecture with Honors from the University of Michigan in 1996 and a Master of Architecture from the University of California, Berkeley in 2000. She has been an adjunct faculty member of Woodbury University and also an architectural design juror at UC Berkeley, Southern California Institute of Architecture (SCI-Arc), and University of Southern California among others. Her project work has been honored with numerous national and regional design awards and has been featured in a variety of publications, including Architecture, Architectural Record, Landscape Architecture, Fast Company, World Architecture News, Interior Design and Contract Design.


Christopher Hawthorne – Chief Design Officer, City of Los Angeles

Mayor Eric Garcetti named Christopher Hawthorne as the city’s first Chief Design Officer, a new post created to improve the quality of civic architecture and urban design across Los Angeles.

In this role within Mayor Garcetti’s Office of Economic Development, Hawthorne will help bring a unified design vision to projects that are shaping Los Angeles’ urban landscape, by collaborating with City departments and public agencies to promote welcoming, economical and ambitious architecture and urban design. A key part of this effort will be ensuring that transformative infrastructure and architectural projects under development today — from housing to parks to transit lines — are inclusive, accessible and cost-effective.

Through public programs and other forms of outreach informed by the diversity and dynamism of Los Angeles, Hawthorne will also work to foster a broad civic conversation about architecture and urban design across the city.

“We are investing billions in new infrastructure and public spaces that will transform how Angelenos and people from around the world experience our city,” said Mayor Garcetti. “Anyone who’s familiar with Christopher’s work knows that his creative eye, and his understanding of urban design are unparalleled. I am proud to welcome him to my administration in this important new role.”

Hawthorne comes to City Hall from the Los Angeles Times, where he has served as the architecture critic since 2004, writing extensively about public space and civic architecture in Southern California and around the world. He is also a professor of the practice at Occidental College in Los Angeles, where he has led a wide-ranging dialogue on architecture, urban design, and the city through the framework of his “Third Los Angeles” project.

“Los Angeles has an incredible opportunity to reshape and reanimate our public realm in the years to come,” Hawthorne said. “I’m thrilled that Mayor Garcetti has underscored the importance of civic architecture and urban design by creating this new role, and even more thrilled that he has asked me to fill it.”

Hawthorne is a native of Berkeley, Calif. and an honors graduate of Yale, where he studied political science and architectural history. He will begin work as Chief Design Officer next month.


David Howden – Director, Los Angeles CSH

CSH has promoted David Howden to Director of the Los Angeles program. David’s tenure with CSH, his dedication to our work, and his extensive system knowledge and relationships in the community will be incredible assets in taking us to the next level in this extraordinary journey for CSH Los Angeles.

David has close to 20 years of experience in assisting communities with sound strategies to address and end homelessness. He has taken this solid background to a new level in LA. As a Senior Program Manager and then Acting Director, he has worked closely with public and private sector partners to align systems and increase resources. He has spearheaded efforts to strengthen the capacity of service providers and developers to bring supportive housing to scale.

David was a recognized leader in the two successful referenda to raise billions to pay for new supportive housing and services, and was instrumental in forging a partnership and Memorandum of Understanding between the City and County that will serve as the dynamic framework for ending homelessness in LA.

Over the past few years, David has worked with our Home for Good partners to design a Coordinated Entry System (CES) throughout the region. David also led a community-based planning effort to develop a regional homeless strategic plan for San Gabriel Valley, which included both a comprehensive needs assessment and an implementation strategy.

Prior to joining CSH, David was with the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority, where he was Funding Manager from 2001 to 2008. His responsibilities included oversight of the annual Continuum of Care Homeless Assistance Programs application for one of the largest Continuums in the United States.

David has a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology from the University of Wisconsin – Madison and a Master of Public Administration from Rutgers University.

We are very proud of what David and the CSH team in Los Angeles are accomplishing together and look forward to their even greater impact and success in the future.


Lawrence Scarpa, FAIA – BROOKS + SCARPA

The work of Lawrence Scarpa has redefined the role of the architect to produce some of the most remarkable and exploratory work today. He does this, not by escaping the restrictions of practice, but by looking, questioning and reworking the very process of design and building. Each project appears as an opportunity to rethink the way things normally get done – with material, form, construction, even financing – and to subsequently redefine it to cull out to latent potentials – as Lawrence aptly describes: making the “ordinary extraordinary.” This produces entirely inventive work; work that is quite difficult to categorize. It is environmentally sustainable, but not ‘sustainable design;’ it employs new materials, digital practices and technologies, but is not ‘tech or digital;’ it is socially and community conscious, but not politically correct. Rather, it is deeply rooted in conditions of the everyday, and works with our perception and preconceptions to allow us to see things in new ways.

Mr. Scarpa has received more than 100 major design awards including twenty National AIA Awards, 2014 Smithsonian Cooper Hewitt National Design Award, 2005 Record Houses, 2003 Record Interiors, 2003 Rudy Bruner Prize, five AIA COTE “Top Ten Green Building” Awards and was a finalist for the World Habitat Award, one of ten firms selected worldwide. In 2004 The Architectural League of New York selected him as an “Emerging Voice” in architecture. His work has been exhibited internationally including the National Building Museum in Washington, DC. He has been Featured in NEWSWEEK and appeared on The Oprah Winfrey Show. In 2009 Interior Design Magazine honored him with their Lifetime Achievement Award. In 2010, his firm Brooks + Scarpa was awarded the National and State of California Architecture Firm Award from the American Institute of Architects.

He has taught and lectured at the university level at numerous schools. He is currently on the faculty at the University of Southern California. He was also the 2012 Visiting Professor at Harvard Graduate School of Design, the 2011 and 2012 John Jerde Visiting Professor at the University of Southern California, the 2010 Ivan Smith Eminent Visiting Professor at the University of Florida, 2009 E. Fay Jones Visiting Professor at the University of Arkansas, the 2008 Ruth and James Moore Visiting Professor at Washington University, the 2007 Eliel Saarinen Visiting Professor at the University of Michigan, 2005 Max Fisher Visiting Professor at Taubman College of Architecture at the University of Michigan, 2004 Freidman Fellow at the University of California at Berkeley. He is a co-founder of Livable Places, Inc.; a nonprofit development and public policy organization dedicated to building mixed-use housing on under-utilized and problematic parcels of land. Most recently he co-founded the Affordable Housing Design Leadership Institute (AHDLI) to help develop more sustainable and livable communities.


Michael B. Lehrer, FAIA – Past-President, Homeless Health Care Los Angeles & President, Lehrer Architects LA

Michael B. Lehrer, FAIA founded his practice, LEHRER ARCHITECTS LA, in his native Silverlake District of Los Angeles. His work, from the intimate to the monumental, is grounded in the idea that beauty is a rudiment of human dignity. He designs for community with a reverence for light and space. Delight is a matter of extreme gravitas in the work.

Lehrer Architects LA has won over 125 major design and sustainability awards, including over 40 design awards from the national, state, and local chapters of The American Institute of Architects. The Downtown Homeless Drop-In Center (over 3 million visits in its 13-year run as a drop-in center), The Lehrer Architects Design Studio and the LA County Elections Operations Center have all won the Institute Honor Award from the American Institute of Architects, the top annual award for architecture in the United States.  The Water and Life Museum in Hemet was the first LEED Platinum Museum in the world. He leads his practice with his partner, Nerin Kadribegovic, AIA, Robert Sheinberg CAM, Director of Design, Erik Alden, AIA, Director of Technologies and an extremely talented group of senior architects and designers.

Educated at Berkeley and Harvard after attending LAUSD public schools, Michael is Chairman Emeritus of the Alumni Council of the Harvard Graduate School of Design (GSD) and is Past President of Homeless Health Care Los Angeles.

He is also a Past President of the American Institute of Architects, Los Angeles where he founded its annual, ongoing Legislative Day and he initiated the AIA/LA push to make GREAT STREETS a central initiative in our city.  He was Vice Chairman of School Construction Bond Oversight Committee for over 5 years, overseeing (a now) $27 Billion repair and construction program for the LA Unified School District.  [MBLF1]

He is married to Mia Lehrer, FASLA. They have three children:  Benjamin (and Laura), Rebecca (and Neil), and Raphael, and grandchildren, Gabriel, Roxanna, and Clara.

Lehrer Architects designed today’s venue, Studio-MLA.


Tanya Tull – President/CEO, Partnering for Change

A nationally recognized expert in the field of family homelessness, Tull began working in the nonprofit sector in 1980, when she founded Para Los Ninos (For the Children), in response to an article in the L.A. Times about children living in Skid Row hotels. She served as the agency’s Executive Director through 1985 and then President through 1996. In 1983, Tull co-founded L.A. Family Housing – a nonprofit agency that develops and operates emergency shelters and permanent housing. Tull founded two additional nonprofit agencies in 1988 – A Community of Friends and Beyond Shelter – as an evolution of her earlier work in the field. A Community of Friends develops permanent, supportive housing for special needs populations and has been operated by others since 1990.

With Beyond Shelter, Tanya introduced an innovation in the field at the time, “housing first for families,” which has since helped to transform both public policy and practice on a national scale (rapid re-housing). Under Tull’s leadership, Beyond Shelter became a laboratory for social change, promoting the “housing first” approach for families nationally and internationally for the next 25 years. In 1996, Tull served on the U.S. National Preparatory Committee for the United Nations Conference on Human Settlements, Habitat II, held in Istanbul, Turkey and for many years on Advisory Committees for the National Alliance to End Homelessness and the National Low Income Housing Coalition.  In 2000, she helped to integrate “housing first” as the key approach to ending family homelessness into the “Ten Year Plan To End Homelessness” developed by the National Alliance to End Homelessness, a prototype later adapted by communities throughout the country. A graduate of Scripps College, Claremont, CA and UCLA Graduate School of Education, Tull received an Honorary Doctorate in Social Sciences in 1992 (Whittier College). She was an Assistant Professor for Research at the School of Social Work, Social Work Research Center, University of Southern California.  She has served as a Senior Fellow at the UCLA Luskin School of Public Affairs since 2005 and has been a Senior Fellow at Ashoka since 2009. Honors on behalf of her efforts include the CORO Foundation Public Affairs Award (1983), the Gleitsman Foundation’s prestigious National Citizen Activist Award, Kennedy School of Government – Center for Public Leadership, Harvard (1996), and the MALDEF (Mexican American Legal Defense and Education Fund) Community Service Award (2002).


Mark Casanova – Executive Director, Homeless Health Care Los Angeles

To inspire staff and motivate my co-workers to carry out HHCLA’s crucial mission of improving the health of homeless people through direct service, education and advocacy. I am committed to a harm reduction model of treatment because I believe that caring about people means caring about them wherever they find themselves.


Simon Ha, AIA, LEED AP – Partner, Steinberg Hart & Board Secretary, Skid Row Housing Trust

Simon Ha is a Partner and the Urban Mixed-use Practice Leader at Steinberg Hart.  He brings over 15 years of large-scale mixed-use, urban infill, and multi-family design experience and has completed over 3000 units in award-winning projects.  He has dedicated his career to design of housing and community development with an education background in urban housing policy, finance, and real estate development from Harvard Graduate School of Design.

He is the Chair Elect of American Institute of Architects Housing Knowledge Community, Executive Committee Member on Skid Row Housing Trust, Zoning Advisory Committee Member for the Los Angeles Department of City Planning, and involved in various other organizations around design, policy, development, and community engagement.  Understanding aesthetic and functional housing design along with the development and entitlements process, Simon yields the highest value for the client while achieving the goals of the city, community, and urban environment.


Mike Neely – Former Commissioner, Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority

Mr. Neely is the founder and past director of the Homeless Outreach Program/Integrated Care System. The Homeless Outreach Program was founded in 1988 as a pilot program with $50,000 and four employees and grew into a multi-million dollar project with more than sixty employees.

He served on the State Commission on Homeless Veterans, the State Commission on African American Males and Substance Abuse. He was a Los Angeles County Commissioner on the Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs Commission. He is a member of the Congressional Black Caucus Veterans Brain Trust. Mr. Neely served on the Downtown Strategic Plan Committee which provided the framework for the downtown Los Angeles’ renaissance in the 21st Century. He was also involved in issues where he improved the outcomes for many projects. He participated in the development and implementation of the first mobile HIV/AIDS testing van. He was the first to develop an outreach program to employ formerly homeless individuals to assist the United States Census Bureau to implement counting homeless persons in the 1990 census. He assisted the City of Los Angeles in organizing its homeless count in support of the City’s lawsuit against the Federal government in the mid 1990’s. He was member the Los Angeles County Welfare Reform Implementation Committee, and a member of the Prop. 36 Implementation Task Force.

Mr. Neely was selected as a Hesselbein Fellow of the Peter Drucker Foundation (now Leader to Leader Institute). This Institute provides intensive training in leadership and management with some of the great thought leaders of our time including , Peter Drucker, Frances Hesselbein, Noel Tichy, Warren Bennis and Ken Blanchard. The Fellowship also included the opportunity to be mentored by a management expert. His mentor was Jim Collins, author of “Good to Great” and they worked extensively together and have maintained a great working relationship. Mr. Neely has served on numerous Advisory boards and Study groups as well as the Board of Directors of the California Association of Alcohol and Drug Program Executives. Mr. Neely retired in 2004. He is an active participant in many community projects, including serving on the Board of Directors of SAJE. He was the appointee of County Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas of the Second District to the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority (LAHSA) Board of Commissions by Los Angeles. Currently he serves as a Commissioner on Los Angeles County Commission on Older Adults.


Pete White – Founder & Executive Director, Los Angeles Community Action Network

Pete White is the Founder and Co-Director of Los Angeles Community Action Network (LA CAN), which builds indigenous leadership with the Central City East community to address the issues confronting the neighborhood’s extremely low-income, predominantly African American residents. LA CAN focuses on housing and civil rights, healthy food access, women’s rights and violence prevention.