SPEAKER BIOS 2021

Amy Karn, AIA
Senior Project Architect, HMC Architects

With fifteen-plus years of experience that spans work with large corporate and small boutique firms, including operating her own firm for five years, Amy is a Project Architect with HMC Architects in Ontario, California. She has experience in various project types including entertainment venues, performing arts theaters, healthcare interiors, and is now focused primarily on collegiate athletics and teaching facilities. Guided by the conviction that the open sharing of knowledge and perspectives creates better architecture, Amy strives to be a leading voice for inclusion in the AEC industry and encourages shared design authorship for all members of her teams.

Amy Pokawatana, AIA, LEED AP
Vice President, Development Design, Hudson Pacific Properties

Amy Pokawatana serves as Vice President, Development Design at Hudson Pacific Properties and oversees the development, design and construction of multiple commercial office building and studio projects, ranging from redevelopment to new construction. She has been practicing architecture for over 20 years and prior to joining Hudson Pacific, she was a Senior Associate for the Commercial Office Buildings and Media & Technology studio at Gensler, focusing on Class A office buildings and creative office workplace for Media & Technology clients. Pokawatana is the current President of the University of Southern California Architectural Guild Board. Pokawatana is a licensed Architect in the state of California and a LEED Accredited Professional. She earned a Bachelor of Architecture degree from the University of Southern California.

Anita Zoroghlian
LMFT, Kaiser Permanente

Anita Zoroghlian, was born in Venezuela, and raised there and in Uruguay, in an Armenian home. She speaks English, Spanish and Armenian, and she says her first language is love. After attending UCLA , she continued on to get her Masters in Marriage Family Therapy at Phillips Graduate Institute in 1997. There she specialized in Child and Family therapy, and trained in Play Therapy. She has been a licensed therapist since 2004. She has worked with many adults, kids and families, from private practice setting, to settings such as Optimist Youth Homes with at risk youth. She helped the youth in that setting with movement therapy, including yoga, and school counseling services. She has also studied with Jack Rosenberg and Beverly Kitaen Morse at the Integrative Body Psychotherapy Institute for 7 years. And followed with studying at Peter Levine’s Somatic Experiencing Trauma release institute. She has also studied EFT, Emotional Freedom Technique, which she currently uses along with the other techniques to help calm the nervous system and move through blocks, to experience a more vital and engaged self. She currently Works at Kaiser Permanente’s Psychiatry department, having redesigned the Work Stress Clinic intensive program, also helped redesign the Teen Intensive Outpatient Program. She runs the Work Stress Clinic as well as a coping skills group for teens in High School.

Annabelle Selldorf, FAIA
Principal, Selldorf Architects

Annabelle Selldorf, FAIA is the Principal of Selldorf Architects, a 70-person architectural design practice she founded in New York City in 1988. Current projects include the redesign of the Sainsbury Wing of The National Gallery in London and the expansion and renovation of the Frick Collection in New York. Other cultural clients include the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego, Luma Arles, the Clark Art Institute, and Neue Galerie New York. The firm designed the Sunset Park Material Recovery Facility, a new recycling facility and education center on the Brooklyn waterfront, the largest of its kind in the United States. Born and raised in Germany, Ms. Selldorf received a Bachelor of Architecture from Pratt Institute and a Master of Architecture from Syracuse University. She is a Fellow of the American Institute of Architects and serves on the Board of the Architectural League of New York, the World Monuments Fund, the Chinati Foundation, and the Center for Curatorial Studies at Bard College. Additionally, Ms. Selldorf is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters, and in 2014 was the recipient of their prestigious Award in Architecture, and in 2016 received the AIA New York Medal of Honor. A frequent lecturer and juror, Ms. Selldorf has taught at Harvard and Syracuse University.

Annette Wu, AIA
Associate Principal, NAC Architecture

With over 26 years of experience as a designer, project manager, and architect, Annette has worked in Hong Kong, New York and Los Angeles. Gaining strong experience in conceptual design and execution, today she brings both these emphases together in project types which transform and engage the lives of the greater community. Her passion finds its voice in K-12, Community College and Higher Education projects. As a Principal at NAC, Annette’s focus is on best practices and the processes which ensure a holistic approach to design and execution. She received her BARCH from the University of Southern California and MARCH from Harvard’s Graduate School of Design.

Ashley Richardson, AIA, LEED AP
Principal, Ehrlich Yanai Rhee Chaney Architects

Ashley Richardson, AIA, LEED AP, a graduate of Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, has been a key member of EYRC’s team as a seasoned project manager on large complex projects including the Pendry Hotel + Residences. Her ability to manage large teams to ensure seamless documentation and delivery, while building strong client relationships, has made her an indispensable part of the firm’s leadership team. She was elevated to Principal in 2019. Ashley is the former AIALA Design Awards Committee Chair and is currently the Co-Chair of the Women in Architecture Committee. In addition to her internal firm management responsibilities, Ashley is currently EYRC’s senior project manager working closely with design build team members Kitchell, HKS and SWA on the $491 million Theater District Living and Learning Neighborhood at UC San Diego.

Athenna Ann Lim
Co-Founder, Studio Barnhaus

Athenna Lim, Co Founder of Studio Barnhaus and recipient of AIA LA 2020 2×8: Domum Award, initially struggled to find a job and land interviews with firms in the industry after graduating right in the midst of 2020. Fulfilling both the need to financially sustain herself and to stay connected with the design and architecture community, she decided to start what is now Studio Barnhaus. Despite the vast amount of challenges that 2020 has brought so many of us, Athenna has come out of it with a Bachelor’s Degree, multiple awards, a booming design practice, and as a committee member of ACLA 2021 2×8 Scholarship and Competition Program.

Betty Navarro
Senior Associate, StudioMA, Inc

Betty Navarro is a Senior Associate at StudioMA, Inc. with over 15 years of experience working on a broad range of commercial projects, including recent projects for the UCLA Nathanson Center, a LEED Platinum building for The Cheesecake Factory’s Headquarters, and multiple law firm projects. What inspires Betty most about design is how it makes people feel; how practical applications and beautiful elements influence our well-being and experiences. In addition, Betty will be serving on the 2021-2022 board for Association for Women in Architecture and Design (AWA+D). Betty earned a Bachelor of Science in Interior Architecture from Woodbury University.

Dr. Cari Schaefer
Founder, Wise Woman Emerging

Dr. Cari Schaefer DACM, is a best selling author, healthcare expert & provider, educator, lecturer on health and nutrition. She is the founder of Wise Woman Emerging a platform to mid-wife woman through the menopausal years. As a Doctor of Traditional Chinese Medicine with over 21 years experience Dr. Cari has helped thousands of woman identify and remove the barriers blocking them from feeling their best. At age 32, Cari had to overcome her own health crisis. Challenged to walk three blocks due to extreme fatigue, in constant pain, and depressed, she learned firsthand the limitations that poor health creates. Cari has combined all that she has learned through her training and her personal health journey and created Body Stress Analysis, the system she uses to help others obtain a solid foundation of high quality health. For more information, go to: http://www.cari4health.com

Carissa Oyedele, AIA
Associate Principal, Moore Ruble Yudell Architects & Planners

Carissa brings innovative management and inspired stakeholder engagement to maximize project outcomes within institutional and higher education market sectors. Carissa’s leadership of complex teams for the US State Department and California Community Colleges is informed by her broader experience as a leader in the architectural community. She is a recipient of the AIA National Young Architect Award, Top 20 Under 40 by ENR (Engineering News-Record) California, and NextGen 10 in Real Estate & Finance by CSQ (C-Suite Quarterly) Magazine. Carissa has served on the AIA Los Angeles board as a Director and California Representative.

Carmen Suero, Assoc. AIA
Principal, Good Project Company

Carmen Suero is a Principal at Good Project Company with over 20 years of experience in the industry. With a focus on Southern California, Carmen has been involved with projects across various sectors that include rail and aviation projects for MTA and LAWA, civic projects for the City of Long Beach and the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, as well as residential projects. Carmen’s career has included work within award-winning architecture firms, local and national construction firms, and interior design offices, as well as client representation on multi-stakeholder projects. This broad knowledge base allows Carmen to uniquely guide projects. Alongside her in practice, Carmen is currently pursuing an educational doctorate at Southern California University with a focus on the processes of practice within architecture and their relationships to representation in the industry.

Carmen Trudell
Assistant Department Head & Associate Professor, Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo

Carmen holds a B.Arch from the Architecture Department at Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo, and an M.S. in Advanced Architectural Design from the School of Architecture, Planning, and Preservation, Columbia University, NY. She is currently pursuing a Doctorate of Philosophy at the Center for Architecture, Science and Ecology, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Troy, NY. She has held a number of academic positions at her alma mater, Columbia University, and most recently taught at the New York City College of Technology, Brooklyn, NY. Carmen comes as well with a wealth of professional experience that spans over fifteen years. Carmen has conducted extensive research and has received numerous awards and grants. Her current teaching and professional work has been guided by three threads – research, technology, and sustainability. Licensed both in California and New York, she is also a LEED Accredited Professional. Carmen will lend her talent at the undergraduate level in the first year design and in the Environmental Control Systems sequence.

Chiara Bonsignori, Assoc. AIA
Project Architect, The Architects Collective

Chiara Bonsignori was born and raised in Rome, Italy, where she earned her architectural license and master’s degree in Architectural Design and Restoration. In Rome she worked on several commercial renovations and urban planning projects. In 2012 she moved to Texas where she earned a Post Professional Master in Sustainable Design from UT Austin while working as a technician in the School Technology Lab. She joined Corgan Architects in 2014 were she had the opportunity to work on several aviation modernization projects for American Airlines, and Delta Airlines. She is currently involved with various projects of Data Centers facilities.

Christiana Kyrillou, AIA, LEED AP
Principal, Los Angeles Studio Executive Director, Woods Bagot

Christiana manages the operations of Woods Bagot’s Los Angeles studio. Her diverse background and extensive experience in both international and local projects, affords her a comprehensive perspective in design and project management. A LEED Accredited Professional and California Licensed Architect, she is well versed in local regulations, jurisdictional processes and approvals, community and stakeholder engagement, as well as specific local climatic needs and cultural sensitivities. Christiana has delivered several large mixed-use projects with extensive hospitality program components including 5-star hotels, spa and fitness, meeting rooms and restaurants and entertainment globally, alongside several hospitality and residential projects locally. Her experience has offered insight into the perspective of both the client and architect, users, stakeholders and authorities alike. Her understanding of the complexity of large-scale projects and multi-disciplinary collaborations, enables her to confidently manage the overall priorities, goals and objectives, to deliver innovative, sustainable designs through construction within the program, budget and schedule.

Claudia Carol, AIA
Principal, Triumph Architecture + Urban Design

Claudia Carol, Architect, Master Planner and Urbanist, has over thirty years of professional experience giving her exceptional perspective on the interface of the natural and built environment. Her leadership on a wide range of projects – from urban revitalization and community engagement to academic campuses to entertainment destinations and healthcare centers – gives her a unique insight in addressing complex issues. Claudia’s passion is using urban design strategies for social good, particularly as it relates to health and wellness. She has won numerous accolades for her work, including awards from the American Institute of Architecture and the American Planning Association, and has spoken and authored articles and reports on critical issues facing the urban environment. She is currently a Principal with Triumph Architecture + Urban Design. Previously, she was a global urban design and planning leader for Gensler, a global design firm. Claudia earned a Masters in Architecture degree from UCLA’s School of Architecture and Urban Design, a Bachelors of Fine Arts degree from California Institute of the Arts, and attended the Architectural Association, London. You can reach Claudia at Claudia@triumphdesign.com.

Dawn Hicks, Assoc. AIA, NOMA
Community Design Coordinator/Assistant Project Manager, Venice Community Housing Corporation (VCHC)

Originally a design professional from Richmond, VA, Dawn holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Architectural Engineering from The North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University. She also holds a Master’s in Architecture from the University of North Carolina-Charlotte where her focus was on the social and economic impacts of Hip Hop on Architecture. Dawn has a passion for enhancing urban environments through influences of social, economic, and cultural forces that help shape built environments and develop inclusive communities in affordable ways. From 2018-2020 Dawn worked as an Enterprise Rose Fellow, with Venice Community Housing in Venice, California as their Community Design Coordinator with a focus on Participatory Design and Community Engagement. With VCH, Dawn has worked to facilitate dynamic engagement for the purposes of co-creating design and development. After the fellowship, Dawn accepted a Project Manager role with VCH and currently managing projects from acquisition rehabs, new construction and rehabs through partnerships with Community Land Trust working to preserve affordability in LA and surrounding Counties.

Deborah J. Weintraub, AIA, LEED AP
Chief Deputy City Engineer & Architect, Bureau of Engineering, City of Los Angeles

Deborah is the Chief Deputy City Engineer, and the highest-ranking architect for the City of Los Angeles. She provides design and management leadership for an integrated architecture and engineering organization of approximately 800 people, with approximately 400 active projects totaling $4 billion. The projects in her current portfolio include homeless facilities, Los Angeles River projects, a master plan for Silver Lake Reservoir, cultural facilities such as public theaters, historic restorations such as the Hollyhock House, transportation facilities, a plan to reconfigure the Hollywood Walk of Fame, recreational facilities and parks, general office facilities, City maintenance yards, and library facilities. Deborah has served on the Board of Directors of the AIA/LA, as the Chair of the AIA/LA Committee on the Environment, as a southern California representative to the AIA California Council, and was a founding committee member of the US Green Building Council chapter in Los Angeles. Currently she is chair of the Scientific Committee for the Nature, Art and Habitat Residency, and a Board member of the Heidi Duckler Dance Theater in Los Angeles. In 2019 Deborah received the inaugural Citizen Architect award from the AIA/LA for her work promoting the integration of community-serving design thinking into City projects at all scales.

Eletrice Harris
Vice President, SoCal NOMA

Eletrice Harris is a proud native Chicagoan. As the SoCal NOMA Summer Camp Director and the SoCal Student Chapter Liaison, as well as SoCal NOMA Vice President, Eletrice dedicates her time and talent to make sure that every student from middle school all the way through grad school not only knows about architecture but also believes they can become an architect. The National Organization of Minority Architects (NOMA) is bipartisan in nature. It consists of both professional chapters, designated as NOMA chapters, and student chapters, designated as NOMAS chapters. Both sectors of the organization are unified under the umbrella of NOMA. NOMA has as its mission the building of a strong national organization, strong chapters and strong members for the purpose of minimizing the effect of racism in our profession.

Emmanuelle Bourlier, Hon. AIALA
Founding Partner, CEO, Panelite

Emmanuelle Bourlier is the founding partner and CEO of Panelite. The company pioneered the translucent honeycomb panel in 1998 and remains focused on material innovation, specifically on the energy-saving, net-zero potential of honeycomb technology through daylighting, solar shading and greenhouse gas reduction. Prior to founding Panelite, Emmanuelle was a designer at Groves & Co in New York and Christian Biecher Architectes in Paris. She holds a B.A. in Architecture from UC Berkeley, an M. Arch from Columbia University and a Certificate in General Management from UCLA’s Anderson School of Business (Executive Program). She is a Board Member of the LA Forum for Architecture and Urban Design, for whom she is launching a podcast that is a living documentary of the city. She divides her time between Los Angeles and Oxnard, working, skateboarding, and growing an edible garden, with her eleven-year old son, boyfriend, and two cats.

Frances Anderton, Hon. AIALA
Host DnA: Design and Architecture at KCRW, Writer, Producer

Frances Anderton covers Los Angeles design and architecture in print, radio, podcasts and public events. She is currently writing a book, Common Ground: Multifamily Housing in Los Angeles, for Angel City Press. Anderton also programs talks, exhibitions and events at Helms Bakery District. For many years Anderton hosted DnA: Design and Architecture radio show, and before that Warren Olney’s current affairs shows Which Way, LA? and To The Point, all broadcast on KCRW public radio station. She produced and co-hosted the radio series Wasted: Neat Solutions to the Dirty Problem of Waste, aired in early 2021 on KCRW’s Greater LA. She curated Sink Or Swim: Designing For a Sea Change, about resilient architecture, shown at the Annenberg Space for Photography in 2015. She is the writer for Rodeo Drive: The Podcast, stories about the craft, the art and the stories behind the fashion and entertainment thoroughfare. Honors include the 2020 ICON Award from the Los Angeles Design Festival and the 2010 Esther McCoy Award for her work in educating the public about architecture and urbanism, bestowed by the Architectural Guild of USC School of Architecture. Find out more at francesanderton.com.

Francie Moore, AIA
Principal, SmithGroup

Francie seeks solutions in the collaboration of diverse perspectives. Growing up as the child of civil rights activists instilled in her deeply held values of justice and equality and set her on the path to become a trailblazer. She wrote her master’s thesis on The Aesthetic of Ambiguity: A Feminine Architecture before entering the profession at a time when fewer than 15 percent of registered architects in the US were women. In her 27-year career, the desire to change organizations and break down the structures that contribute to inequality has continued to motivate her work in healthcare and education architecture as part of a just society.

Gricelda Perez
Senior Bond Project Manager, RCDS/ Beverly Hills Unified School District

A native Southern Californian, Gricelda received her Bachelors of Architecture from Cal Poly Pomona. She knew she wanted to have a career in design since she was in high school. In her 20 year long career in Architecture she worked on healthcare projects for a short period of time and then turned to specialize in school construction. Coming from an immigrant family and staying close to home, Gricelda continues to work on K-12 and higher education projects throughout Southern California. Her fascination with school construction comes from being a mom of 3 children and watching them grow and interact with their surroundings has helped shaped her career path in Architecture.

Heidi Creighton, FAIA
Associate Principal, Buro Happold

Heidi Creighton, FAIA, is an Associate Principal at Buro Happold, a LEED Fellow, WELL Faculty, and a Fitwel Ambassador. She provides sustainability consulting services at the building, masterplan and portfolio scales, with a focus on health and wellbeing, circularity and social equity. Heidi has been active in the green building industry for more than 15 years and served on the USGBC-LA Board of Directors from 2013-2019 and she is currently serving on the AIA CA COTE Steering Committee. Heidi is a passionate advocate for a restorative built environment, delivering socially, economically and environmentally sustainable developments.

Ingedia K. Sanchez, AIA, LEED AP BD+C, NCARB
President, Arquitectos Chicago

As a Senior Technical Architect at SOM, Ingedia Sanchez has been involved with projects in the U.S., Middle East, Europe and Asia. Ingedia is motivated by sustainability and high-performance design. She incorporates her building enclosure expertise into a holistic design approach. At SOM since 2003, she has contributed to some of the firm’s largest projects that include; Burj-Khalifa, 401WabashTower, Tower 535, Roche Diagnostics, Kunming Tower, Hangzhou Gate Towers, and the O’Hare International Expansion in Chicago. Outside of studio, Ingedia in the President of Arquitectos – she enjoys traveling, music festivals, and spending time with her family and two young daughters.

Jenna Knudsen, AIA
Managing Principal, CO Architects

Managing Principal of CO Architects Jenna Knudsen has led award-winning, large-scale academic, laboratory and healthcare projects on university and healthcare campuses across the country. She is a champion for equity, focusing on transforming the architectural design and construction environment traditionally dominated by gender-inequity, division and risk-aversion to one that is inclusive, forward-thinking and trusting. At CO, Jenna co-founded Women of CO (WoCO), a group that champions the professional development of the firm’s female employees, and she previously served as chair of the AIA | LA Women in Architecture Committee. Jenna holds a Bachelor of Architecture from the University of Southern California and a Master of Science in Architecture and Urban Design at Columbia University.

Jennifer Noel Wong, AIA
Associate, CO Architects

Jennifer Noel Wong, AIA, LEED AP BD+C, has been with CO Architects since 2018 with the firm’s education group and brings a thoughtful and methodical approach to each project. She possesses unique skillset and a strong emotional intelligence, which has earned her the complete trust of her clients, team and consultants. She has experience working on both renovations and new construction for a wide range of project types, including K-12 and higher education, civic and retail projects. In her free time, she teaches after-school design workshops in her community.

Judy Kameon
Principal Designer, Owner, Elysian Landscapes

Judy Kameon is the founder and principal designer of Elysian Landscapes. Kameon’s work in landscape design and construction has spanned over 25 years and has resulted in the making of hundreds of gardens. Raised in Santa Monica, California, Kameon graduated from UCLA with a focus on painting, a study fundamental to her expressive designs. Soon after graduation, she purchased a 1920’s bungalow and an adjacent empty dirt lot with the simple intention of creating a garden. That intention became an obsession, and then a career. Now with a ten-person professional office in a growing Los Angeles design community, Kameon continues to explore and embrace sustainable landscape practices. Her clients run the gamut, from filmmakers, artists, and writers to captains of finance, fashion designers and hoteliers. In 1999, Kameon and her husband, the artist Erik Otsea, launched Plain Air, a collection of outdoor furniture inspired by mid-century modern design. In 2014, they again collaborated on Kameon’s first book “Gardens Are For Living”, published by Rizzoli. Kameon also regularly lectures about her unique design process and experiences as an entrepreneur.

Julia Oderda, AIA
Associate Principal, VCBO Architecture

Julia Oderda, AIA has been working in the Architecture profession since 2000 and is currently an Associate Principal with VCBO Architecture, a 90+ person architecture firm in Salt Lake City, Utah. Julia has worked on numerous K-12 schools including many that have garnered national, regional, and local awards. In addition to her K-12 experience Julia has also specialized in several project types over her career, including higher education facilities, recreation, and multi-family housing projects. In 2016, Julia came out publicly and to her firm as transgender, becoming one of Utah’s first out transgender architects in leadership. Since coming out, Julia has been very open and visible about her gender. She has spoken about her experiences as a trans woman in architecture in an effort to help educate the public. For her, architecture works best when it both functions and inspires, creating inviting spaces and communities.

Julie Hausch-Fen
Partner, Selldorf Architects

Julie Hausch-Fen is a Design Partner at Selldorf Architects and has been with the firm since 2004. She has led several of the firm’s major cultural and institutional projects, including the National Gallery in London, Smithsonian American Art Museum, The Hispanic Society Museum & Library, the Clark Art Institute, Brown University’s John Hay Library, New York University’s Institute for the Study of the Ancient World and multiple gallery designs for David Zwirner and Hauser & Wirth. Ms. Hausch-Fen has extensive experience with exhibition design having worked on Frieze Masters and seven shows at the Gagosian Gallery, among others. Ms. Hausch-Fen received a Bachelor of Environmental Design from Miami University at Ohio and a Master of Architecture from the University of Pennsylvania.

Karin Liljegren, FAIA
Principal + Founder, Omgivning

Karin Liljegren has dedicated her career to revitalizing downtown Los Angeles’s rich stock of existing buildings. In 1999, she worked on the very first projects under Los Angeles’s Adaptive Reuse Ordinance, which launched her nuanced understanding of the challenges and opportunities of adaptive reuse. Karin is a thought leader in the downtown community and is active with public officials in crafting policies that ease the challenges of working on existing buildings. She founded Omgivning in 2009. The firm uncovers potential in underutilized buildings transforming them into hotels, multifamily housing, offices, restaurants, and bars. In 2014, the firm received a Presidential Honoree award for an Emerging Practice from the AIA Los Angeles.

Kate Diamond, FAIA
Design Director, HDR Architecture

Kate Diamond is HDR’s Civic/Justice Design Director and a Design Principal in the Los Angeles office. Kate brings a breadth of experience for translating the aspirations of a diversity of clients into beautiful, high performance, award-winning projects that encompass justice, government, higher education, and private sector. Her passion for sustainable justice helps convince clients that design can address the triple bottom line of social, economic, and environmental responsibility while meeting the unique requirements of their mission. In 1993 Kate served as the first Woman President in 99 years of the AIA’s Los Angeles Chapter and in 1996 she was elected to the College of Fellows. She currently serves on the National Peer Review Council for the GSA Design Excellence Program and on the Board of USGBC-LA. Committed to sharing with the next generations, Kate has taught design studios at the University of Southern California, School of Architecture and continues to give guest lectures at various schools of architecture across the country.

Kristen Fraumeni AIA, LEED GA
Vice President Senior Designer, HKS Inc.

Kristen thrives in a collaborative atmosphere and her design philosophy centers around the human experience. She believes the proliferation of digital technology brings rise to new opportunities for elevating and shifting our understanding of the built environment. She also believes that utility in architecture is not its sole purpose: aesthetics and the production of beauty are paramount in her work. With 11+ years of experience working in hospitality and mixed-use architectural design, Kristen’s work has a broad global reach. In her role as a senior designer, she champions all aspects of project design and delivery, guiding the client and working closely with team members and consultants along the project journey.

Kristin Akin-Zimmerman, AIA, NOMA
Senior Designer, SOM

As a Senior Designer at Skidmore Owings and Merrill, Kristin approaches each project with a unique design perspective. She collaborates on a variety of project types including civic projects, mixed-use developments, and SOM legacy project renovations. With all design opportunities, Kristin particularly focuses on improving the urban landscape and public space experiences. Since graduating Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo, Kristin has spent her free time contributing to a more equitable and diverse architectural profession by leading efforts like the SOM Women’s Initiative. In collaboration with NOMA, she devotes her energy to mentorship, outreach, and exposing architecture to future designers.

Lauren Coles, AIA, LEED AP BD+C, CDT
Senior Associate, CO Architects

Lauren Coles is a Senior Associate at CO Architects with more than 15 years of experience teaming with clients to provide detailed coordination and design excellence for large higher education and healthcare architecture projects. Lauren’s approach to design is dedicated to joining forces – with coworkers, with clients, and with consultants. Lauren heads licensing supervision at CO, providing mentorship and guidance on the NCARB licensure process to firm members. In addition, Lauren serves on both the AIA|LA Professional Practice Committee and the AIA|LA Women in Architecture Committee. Lauren earned a Bachelor of Science in Architecture from Northeastern University.

Lesley Braxton, AIA, NCIDQ, LEED AP
Principal, Trahan Architects

Lesley Braxton’s work strikes a beautiful balance between courage and restraint – two qualities learned during her childhood. Her family relocated to eight different states in her first 17 years, teaching Braxton to embrace change, optimism, and the cultures of many. This influenced her path as an architect and interior design architect to take a wide-angle view and operate as a generalist in a seemingly very specific world. She designs across higher education, science and technology, and corporate typologies, ultimately blending influences of each project into the next. This blurring helps her discover new ideas, question traditional boundaries, and build enduring friendships with her clients. Braxton is the glue that holds complex teams together by bringing nationally recognized, award-winning design leadership and an empathetic, hands on approach. Braxton is a frequent guest speaker and critic at SCAD and Auburn University, her alma mater, where she received a Bachelor of Architecture and a Bachelor of Interior Architecture. She is also a dedicated mentor to many young women, helping them develop careers while giving her a deeper look into their cultures. She also has a love for art and travels the world with her family drawing and painting; both of her children held paint brushes before the ever holding a pencil. Her motto is: “Great design is tangible optimism.”

Lisa Green
Partner, Selldorf Architects

Lisa Green has worked in the architecture and institutional field for more than 25 years and joined Selldorf Architects as a Partner in 2010. Ms. Green is responsible for the firm’s strategic planning and programming for institutional clients, including The National Gallery in London, Smithsonian American Art Museum, The Hispanic Society Museum & Library, The Frick Collection and Brown University. Prior to joining Selldorf, she was Assistant Director of the Clark Art Institute in Williamstown, MA, where she served as a member of the strategic team, participating in all institutional planning. She managed a multiphased, $145 million expansion for the Clark, working with architects Tadao Ando, Selldorf Architects, Gensler, WORK AC and landscape architects Reed Hilderbrand. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Art History from Connecticut College and completed the Getty Museum Leadership Institute.

Liz Mahlow
Principal, Nous Engineering

Liz Mahlow is a founding partner at Nous Engineering, based in Los Angeles. She is a licensed engineer with over 15 years of professional experience in the construction industry, focusing on seismic design and special structures. She has managed large-scale, fast-track projects within the US and internationally. Through her structural engineering practice, she has worked to strengthen collaboration and diversity among practitioners in order to create best possible solutions for the project and community. Projects include large hospital campuses and schools in Africa to affordable housing in her Los Angeles community, emphasizing seismic design and client education of building performance outcomes. She serves on the Advisory Board for the Architectural Engineering Department for Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo and on the Advisory Board for the Los Angeles Forum for Architecture and Urban Design.

Margaret Griffin, FAIA
Co-Founder, Griffin Enright Architects & Professor, SCI_Arc

Margaret Griffin, FAIA, is a co-founder and principal of Griffin Enright Architects, where her designs synthesize form, content, and context to reinterpret and transform environments. Margaret holds a Bachelor of Architecture from Syracuse University and a Master of Architecture from the University of Virginia. She investigated the relationship between urban forms and landforms during her fellowship at the American Academy in Rome, a subject she continues to integrate and examine in her architectural practice. Margaret examines the traditionally dichotomous relationships between built form and environment, site and urban context, space and lightness to punctuate her comprehensive approach to design. In addition to guiding an progressive firm, Margaret extends her architectural research on the design faculty at the Southern California Institute of Architecture (SCI-Arc). She also served as a design leader on the Santa Monica Architectural Review Board, where she lent her architectural, urban, and landscape expertise.

Marine Maroukian, Assoc. AIA
Senior Project Manager, HMC Architects & AIALA WiA Past Chair

Born and raised in Uruguay, South America, Mariné has earned her architectural license and master’s degree in her native country. For the last 14 years, she has been part of the Los Angeles community, working for firms like HMC Architects, Buro Happold, Hatch & Colasuonno, Gensler and DLR Group & volunteering in organizations like AIA LA, USGBC LA, Fuller center for Housing for Armenia, Rose & Alex Pilibos & Homenetmen LA. She has brought to each of the firms she has worked for, the software knowledge of a BIM manager and the construction and documentation knowledge of a PA & PM. Sustainability, Resilience and NetZero projects are her passion and that has make her be part of the USGBC Building Resilience LA Steering Committee for the past few years as well as a sustainability leader for the firms she has worked for.

Marisa Kurtzman, RA
Partner, Frederick Fisher and Partners

Marisa spearheads visioning, programming, planning, and concept design for Frederick Fisher and Partners. She loves discovering what makes institutions and organizations tick, and then translating that into authentic design strategies. Recent projects include the Natural History Museum of LA County’s West-South Expansion and Princeton’s Schmidt Hall. As a NextGen partner, Marisa is a leader in shaping FF&P’s DEI initiatives. She received her M.Arch from Yale and her B.A. from Wesleyan University. Outside of work, Marisa is active in the Association for Women in Architecture + Design. She also enjoys quirky cultural activities, public radio, and taking walks with her baby daughter, husband, and dog.

Martha Ball, FAIA, LEED AP BD+C
Principal, Sector Leader with HED

As HED’s National Higher Education Sector Leader and an award-winning practicing architect, Martha Ball specializes in leading complex multidisciplinary projects including student housing, state-of-the-art science and research, and academic and healthcare facilities working with top-tier institutions such as University of Washington, Loma Linda University, UCLA, University of Iowa, and USC. With over 28 years of experience as a licensed architect, she brings a client-focused approach in successfully delivering innovative and best value design solutions and believes a holistic and integrated approach to architecture contributes to project success. She has created new models and best practices for dynamic learning environments that manifest positive collaboration and connect people, celebrating the diverse nature of today’s campus populations.

Melissa Shin, AIA
Principal, Co-Founder, Shin Shin Architecture

Shin Shin Architecture is an award-winning full service architecture and design firm based in Los Angeles. Melissa Shin, AIA is a principal and co-founder of Shin Shin and a licensed architect in the states of California and Michigan. Prior to founding SSA, she worked in the offices of Greg Lynn FORM (Los Angeles), Herzog de Meuron (Basel, Switzerland and New York), and Gehry Partners (Los Angeles). Melissa holds a Master of Architecture (Yale University), a Bachelor of Science in Theoretical Mathematics (Massachusetts Institute of Technology), and a Bachelor of Science in Visual Arts (Massachusetts Institute of Technology). She is currently adjunct faculty at the USC School of Architecture and has previously held teaching positions at Kent State University, the Southern California Institute of Architecture (Sci-Arc) and the Yale School of Architecture.

Mitra Memari, AIA
Partner, ZGF Architects LLP

Born in Iran, Mitra emigrated to the U.S. as a teenager. With the last name Memari, which means architect in Farsi, one thing is clear: Mitra was born to be an architect. Through adapting to a new culture and language at a young age, she developed a passion for diversity, inclusion, and equity. In her practice and in her role as a partner, Mitra has made it her mission to create a more equitable profession that represents the communities where we live and work. Mitra’s ethics-driven approach also leverages a passion for sustainable design to create seamless, collaborative, lasting relationships across client and project teams.

Nina Cooke John, AIA, NOMA
Founding Principal, Studio Cooke John Architecture and Design

Born in Kingston, Jamaica, Nina has always been inspired by the creativity she witnessed in her homeland: the art of people transforming everyday limitations into innovative solutions. She imbues this spirit of innovation into every design project. Nina is the founding principal of Studio Cooke John Architecture and Design, a multidisciplinary design studio that values placemaking as a way to transform relationships between people and the built environment. Working at the scale of the human body; individually or collectively, in the home or on the street, responding to how we use space in our everyday lives, whether in the family unit or as a community. Studio Cooke John was recently selected to design the Flatiron Public Plaza Installation for 2020. The public art installation was on view from November through January 1st 2021. Nina’s work has also been featured in Architectural Record, Madame Architect, on NBC’s Open House New York, in Dwell Magazine’s “13 Extraordinary Women in Design and Architecture You Need to Know” and the Center for Architecture’s 2018 exhibition, Close to the Edge: The Birth of Hip-Hop Architecture. Studio Cooke John has been selected to design the new Harriet Tubman Monument in Newark and is a part of the Elle Décor A-List class of 2021. Nina earned her Bachelor of Architecture degree from Cornell University and a Masters in Architecture from Columbia University. She now teaches at Parsons School of Design and Columbia University.

Patti Rhee, FAIA, DBIA, LEED AP
Partner, Ehrlich Yanai Rhee Chaney Architects

Patricia Rhee is an AIA Fellow and Partner at Ehrlich Yanai Rhee Chaney Architects, awarded the 2015 National AIA Firm Award, one of the industry’s highest honors. Her project experience ranges from civic to institutional and commercial developments of all scales and multiple delivery methods including design-build. Patricia was a founding Co-Chair of the AIA Los Angeles Women in Architecture committee. She has lectured internationally, and serves as a juror for AIA, DBIA and Universities nationally including a recent appointment as the Kea Distinguished Professor at the University of Maryland. She is the recipient of the 2017 Culver City Women in Business Council Visionary Award, and is deeply involved in her local community.

Paulette Singley
Chair, Department of Interior Design, Woodbury University, Los Angeles

Paulette Singley is an architectural historian who likes to cook and read detective novels set in ancient Rome. Her most recent book, How to Read Architecture: An Introduction to Interpreting the Built Environment (Routledge) erodes boundaries between the frequently compartmentalized fields of interior design, landscape design, and building design. She lives in Altadena, California and is the Chair of Interior Design at Woodbury University. She co-edited Eating Architecture with Jamie Horwitz and also co-edited Architecture: In Fashion and has published chapters in several anthologies as well as essays in architecture journals such as Log and Assemblage.

Pearl Ho
Project Designer and Illustrator, OfficeUntitled

Pearl Ting Ting Ho is a designer and illustrator at OfficeUntitled where she works collaboratively with Google on developing and delivering Global Workplace and Amenity strategies. Through her strategic engagement on various projects, Pearl is dedicated to designing concepts for the future of work. Pearl serves as the co-director for Dinner with Designers Los Angeles, a dinner event series that provides a platform for influential architects’ to share stories with young emerging designers over intimate dinner conversations. Pearl has also designed children’s toys and educational products for popular toy company The Imagination Tree.

Petrina Gooch, Assoc. AIA
Principal, Corporate HR Leader, HED

Petrina Gooch, Associate AIA, SPHR, SHRM-SCP is a member of the Board of Directors and a Principal with HED. She’s served13 years in the A/E industry as HED’s Corporate HR Leader, and served as the Executive Chair for the AIA Large Firm Round Table Human Resources Group from 2017 through 2019.
Petrina was tapped by National AIA to serve on a few special committees to help advance the profession. Petrina has held other volunteer leadership roles with the City of Whittier Personnel Board and Professionals in Human Resources Association. Petrina seeks to leave a legacy of Positive Change.

Phyllis Dubinsky, Affiliate AIA
Managing Principal, PDKStrategies

As a sole (and often collaborating) practitioner of a strategic consulting practice for service firms, institutions and end users, I am fueled by my insatiable curiosity and the desire to always learn more…about everything. My specialty areas are: New market entry, market research and application of that research, strategic planning, client development, business development, and matching disparate components (successfully). Health Impact issues and Education for All are strong motivators for me. During the course of my multifaceted career, I have been in leadership/principal roles for smaller regional practices and multi-national architecture, engineering and a/e firms, as both employee and consultant, helping firms capitalize on their strengths and passions. I am an avid walker and tennis player and I love to play jazz piano.

Pooja Bhagat, AIA, LEED AP BD+C
Principal, pooja bhagat architects+planners

Pooja Bhagat, AIA, leads her own firm, as Principal, pooja bhagat architects+planners. The design practice is based on more than 20 years of experience on a diverse scale of environmentally sustainable projects. The growing studio is currently working on a range of residential and interior design projects including ADU’s, commercial interiors and single family residential projects. Pooja’s desire to shape community has manifested in many projects locally and internationally. She has designed, detailed and managed multiple building types and master plans with complex client & consultant teams. Her focus on community-oriented projects have resulted in the creation of self-sustaining communities that have positively shaped the urban fabric. Pooja’s goal is to make design accessible for all and contribute to transforming spaces and places for people for the greater good.
Pooja is founding co-chair of the Women in Architecture Committee of the AIA Los Angeles Chapter. She co-led the planning of the 2016 & 2017 Powerful Conference – a platform which attracts over 500 local women architects and designers to empower women to be assertive, lead, and to further the mission of Gender Equity in architecture. She serves as a Board of Director for the AIA LA Chapter and continues to collaborate with staff & AIA community to bring more conversations into actionable initiatives, to further the Chapter’s goal of equity and diversity, and to create links with other organizations that support similar and complementary initiatives. She also serves on the board of Del-Rey Neighborhood Council as the Land Use Officer. Pooja has an undergraduate degree in Architecture from Delhi and post graduate degree from Sci-Arc and is a LEED accredited professional.

Poonam Sharma
Principal, LOC Architects

Poonam Sharma was raised in Southern California, Shimla, and Chandigarh, in northern India. Being exposed to such diverse built and natural environments has informed Poonam’s interest in not only architecture, but in the urban and social implications of design. Poonam pursued her undergraduate studies at Scripps College in Literature and went on to study architecture at the Southern California Institute of Architecture (SCi-Arc). Prior to founding LOC with Ali Jeevanjee in 2006, Poonam worked at the offices of StudioWorks Architects on several large LAUSD projects where she developed an interest in the architecture of schools.

Dr. Priyanka Doshi
Psychologist at Heart Institute, Children’s Hospital Los Angeles

Priyanka Doshi is a Pediatric Psychologist who obtained her doctorate degree at the PGSP-Stanford Psy.D Consortium. She currently works at the Heart Institute in Children’s Hospital Los Angeles. Prior to this, she completed a two year fellowship in the Solid Organ Transplant Program at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia and a one year internship in Pediatric Psychology at the University of Miami/Jackson Memorial Hospital. During her free time, she enjoys hiking, working out, hanging out with her family, and traveling.

Sarah Lopergolo, FAIA
Partner, Selldorf Architects

Sara Lopergolo is a Partner at Selldorf Architects, a 65-person architectural design practice founded by Annabelle Selldorf in New York City in 1988. The firm creates public and private spaces that manifest a clear and modern sensibility to enduring impact. Ms. Lopergolo is a licensed architect with three decades of experience and has been with the firm for over 20 years. She has worked on many of the firm’s major projects including large-scale new construction and cultural facilities. Ms. Lopergolo is currently Partner-in-Charge for the expansion and renovation of the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego and the expansion and enhancement of The Frick Collection. She has significant experience with ground-up construction having served as Partner-in-Charge on large-scale projects such as the Sunset Park Material Recovery Facility in Brooklyn and 200 Eleventh Avenue, a 19-story residential condominium. Ms. Lopergolo has completed galleries for David Zwirner, Hauser & Wirth and Barbara Gladstone among others. She received a Bachelor of Architecture from Syracuse University, and has studied and worked in England, Italy, and Japan. She is currently Vice President of Open House New York and sits on the Advisory Board of Syracuse University School of Architecture.

Schumetta McLendon
Founder and Principal, Schumetta, Inc.

Schumetta McLendon is the Founder and Principal of Schumetta, Inc. She began her design career as a Project Manager at Burdge Architects and went on to work with Scott Halley & Associates Construction to gain hands on experience in the field. Her company specializes in residential design and partners with developers and real estate professionals to bring their experience with luxury residential projects to the affordable housing market. Prior to working in architecture, Schumetta enjoyed a successful career in film and television, including corporate alliances, casting and production at The Walt Disney Company. Schumetta is an avid international football fan, following the Premier League and Champions League.

Stephanie Reich, AIA, LEED AP
Design and Historic Preservation Planner, City of Santa Monica

Stephanie Reich, AIA, LEED AP has been improving cities in Southern California since 2003. She is engaged in creating a vision for the future and working out the details. She has managed design review and historic preservation systems for four Southern California cities, improving processes to enable architects to realize their best work. She has served as Urban Designer for the cities of Santa Monica, Long Beach, Glendale, and West Hollywood and every city was improved in the quality of urban design and architecture because she served there. Stephanie continues to be excited by the enormous possibilities for excellence in architecture and urban design in Santa Monica and the Greater Los Angeles area.

Tania Van Herle, AIA, LEED AP
Principal, Corporate Operations Leader, HED

As Corporate Operations Leader for HED, Tania leads the firm’s operations which include: the Architecture & Engineering Disciplines, Practice Technology, Information Technology, Design Excellence and Sustainability. With over 25 years experience in technical execution, project management and business development, she is the Corporate Treasurer for the firm, serving on the Board since 2006. Throughout her career, Tania has been an advocate for equity, inclusivity and diversity. She has championed policy and program development and actively models change both within her firm, for the profession and within her local community. Born and raised in Los Angeles, Tania earned a Bachelor and a Masters of Science in Civil Engineering, followed by a Masters of Architecture I, all at UCLA. Tania is a founding chair of the Women in Architecture Committee of AIA-LA, served as the President of the AIA-LA Chapter in 2018, and is currently serving her second term on the Board of Directors for the Girl Scouts of Greater Los Angeles.

Toshiko Mori, FAIA
Founding Principal, Toshiko Mori Architect PLLC

Toshiko Mori, FAIA is the founding principal of Toshiko Mori Architect PLLC, and the Robert P. Hubbard Professor in the Practice of Architecture at the Harvard University Graduate School of Design (GSD). She was inducted to the National Academy of Design as well as the Academy of Arts and Letters in 2020, and has been a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences since 2016. Mori’s recent awards and honors include the Louis Auchincloss Prize from the Museum of the City of New York in 2020; the ACSA Tau Sigma Delta National Honor Society Gold Medal in 2016; Architectural Record’s Women in Design Leader Award in 2019; the AIA / ASCA Topaz Medallion for Excellence in Architectural Education in 2019; and Architectural Digest’s AD100 in 2021. Her project “Thread: Artists’ Residency and Cultural Center” was awarded the AIA 2017 Institute Honor Award for Architecture and was one of the winners of the inaugural FIBRA Award for Contemporary Plant Fiber-based Architecture in 2019. Last year, she published two new monographs, one with a+u magazine for their February 2020 issue and another with ArchiTangle titled “Toshiko Mori Architect: Observations.” Recently, the Fass School and Teachers’ Residence won the 2021 AIA Award for Architecture.

Vivian Lee, FAIA, LEED AP
New York Studio Executive Director, Woods Bagot

Vivian Lee, FAIA, LEED AP, is the Executive Director leading the Woods Bagot New York Studio. She joined the firm in February 2020 after a previous tenure as principal at Richard Meier & Partners. With thirty years of experience, she has designed projects across scales and building types. Vivian is a Fellow of the American Institute of Architects and co-chair of the Women in Architecture Committee of the New York chapter. As a LEED-accredited professional, she is committed to delivering environmentally sustainable buildings through technology and innovation. She brings with her an incredible pedigree of design excellence and experience in various project sectors, both in the US and abroad.