Design for Dignity
Speaker Bios 2024


Kelly LoBianco – Director, Los Angeles County Department of Economic Opportunity (DEO)

Kelly LoBianco is the inaugural Director of the newly-created Los Angeles County Department of Economic Opportunity. Most recently, she served as Chief Program Officer for a leading NYC-based nonprofit, The HOPE Program, growing workforce development and social enterprise programming in the green economy. Prior to that, Kelly served as Assistant Commissioner of Training for the NYC Department of Small Business Services and held various roles in local and state government in New York as well as the US Senate in Washington DC. She earned an MPA from Columbia University and a BA in Political Science from Northwestern University.

 

Cristian Ahumada – Executive Director & CEO, Holos Communities

Cristian was born in Chile and came to the U.S. in the late 1970s. His passion lies in the evolution of cities, community building, integration of individuals of all socio-economic strata, sustainability, environmental resiliency, racial equity and ending homelessness. Cristian’s primary goal today is to advance new, faster, and more economic models of housing that do not rely on the utilization of Low Income Housing Tax Credits (LIHTC). Over the last 20 years, he has overseen the development of more than 2000 affordable apartment units, primarily apartments with support services for people who have experienced homelessness, and households with special needs.

During his tenure at Holos Communities, previously Clifford Beers Housing, Cristian has successfully transitioned the organization from the parent company, Mental Health America of Los Angeles, into an independent and strong housing developer, diversified the organization’s income stream, and created a new non-LIHTC department to bifurcate housing production in addition to growing the LIHTC team. Holos creates new, holistic paths for developing communities as living ecosystems. These paths will advance solutions for the multiplicity of challenges ahead — the homeless and housing crisis, global warming, racial and environmental inequity, and the displacement of small and BIPOC-owned businesses. He believes that for too long we have attempted to resolve these issues through disparate strategies and mutually exclusive solutions and this new approach will solve for these challenges together because they are all inherently inter-connected.

Cristian graduated from California State Polytechnic University, Pomona, with a degree in Urban and Regional Planning. He loves to spend time with his son, Diego, train Tae Kwon Do, play chess, garden, barbeque, and look for UFOs.

 

Dr. Dana Cuff – Director & Professor, cityLAB & UCLA

Dr. Cuff engages spatial justice and cultural studies of architecture as a teacher, scholar, practitioner, and activist. Her leadership in urban innovation is widely recognized both in the U.S. and abroad. In 2006, Cuff founded cityLAB, a research and design center that initiates experimental projects to explore metropolitan possibilities. In 2019, cityLAB expanded its social and political engagement by creating coLAB in the Westlake/MacArthur Park neighborhood of Los Angeles, in long-term partnership with community organizations. cityLAB represented the United States at the 2010 Venice Architecture Biennale, was featured on CNN and in Newsweek magazine, and was named one of the top four urban think tanks in the country by Architect Magazine. The lab’s “housing first” research demonstrates that affordable, well-designed housing and neighborhoods are attainable foundations of equitable cities. cityLAB has developed sustainable, high-performance, low-cost housing prototypes for infill sites ranging from backyards to schoolyards. In 2017, after a decade of research that included a full-scale demonstration house built on the UCLA campus, Cuff co-authored California State legislation, effectively opening 8.1M single-family lots for secondary rental units.

Since 2013, Cuff has led a cross-disciplinary team at UCLA with a substantial multi-year award from The Mellon Foundation for the “Urban Humanities Initiative.” UHI offers students from architecture, urban studies, and the humanities a radical platform for crossdisciplinary, impactful, urban scholarship and action. Cuff co-authored a book about this effort entitled Urban Humanities: New Practices for Reimagining the City (MIT Press, 2020). This is the most recent of numerous books, including Architects’ People (with W.R. Ellis; 1989), Architecture: The Story of Practice (1989), The Provisional City (2000), and Fast Forward Urbanism (edited with R. Sherman, 2011). Dana Cuff publishes and lectures extensively about the modern American metropolis, architectural agency, affordable housing, and architecture’s potential for creating more just cities. Dr. Cuff recently received three prestigious awards that describe her career: Women in Architecture Activist of the Year (2019, Architectural Record), an international prize for Researcher of the Year (2019, Architectural Research Centers Consortium), and Educator of the Year (2020, American Institute of Architects Los Angeles).

 

Erich Nakano – Executive Director, Little Tokyo Service Center

Erich Nakano has been with the Little Tokyo Service Center (LTSC) since 1992. LTSC is a 40+ year old nonprofit organization that builds affordable housing, engages in comprehensive community development work in Little Tokyo, and provides a broad range of social services for the elderly and families. Erich Nakano graduated from UCLA’s Graduate School of Architecture and Urban Planning with an M.A. in 1993. At LTSC he has managed affordable housing and community facility projects in Little Tokyo, and in other communities of color throughout the L.A. area, in partnership with other community-based organizations. He was responsible for program development for several LTSC programs including the Affordable Housing Collaborative, Asian Pacific Islander (API) Small Business Program, LTSC’s Child Development Program; and others. He has been LTSC’s Deputy Director, serving as LTSC’s chief operating officer. In October, 2019 he was appointed Executive Director after the former Executive Director, Dean Matsubayashi, passed away.

Prior to his work at LTSC, Erich Nakano has been involved in various community organizations and issues including the Japanese American redress and reparations movement, community preservation and tenant rights, educational rights, and various national and local political campaigns. He graduated with a B.A. from U.C. Berkeley in political science.

 

Brian Ten, AIA, LEED AP, CASp – Founding Partner, Carde Ten Architecture + Consulting

Mr. Ten is a recognized authority in the field of child care development facilities, having designed over 20 of them for universities, municipalities and institutions.

He is also a California Certified Access Specialist. As an expert in the field, he guides both public and private clients through the arcane accessibility codes and standards.

With a life-long commitment to community, he has served on various civic boards and advisory panels. As a college student, Brian was the founder of the UCLA Special Olympics program. He has worked with many non-profits including UCLA’s Unicamp, The Foundation for the Junior Blind and Life Rolls On. He is also the chair of the Randy Miller UCLA Scholarship Fund.

Brian is an ardent traveler, science fiction buff and soccer dad. He received his BS and his graduate degree in architecture from UCLA.

 

Kristin Fukushima – Director, Little Tokyo Community Council

Kristin Fukushima is the Managing Director of the Little Tokyo Community Council – the nonprofit community coalition of businesses, residents, nonprofits, and other vested stakeholders, representing the interests of the Little Tokyo community. She has been involved with SLT from the onset, including as the previous Project Manager, and continues to serve on the SLT Cabinet and chair the FSN ad hoc committee. She loves that Little Tokyo is a home and special place to so many people and communities, while also being an intimate, tight-knit community where one constantly runs into people while walking around.

 

Sonya Falcone – Partner, Daylight Community Development

Sonya Falcone is a Partner at Daylight Community Development. Founded in UCLA Anderson’s business creation program, Daylight Community Development is committed to delivering homeless and affordable housing to Angelenos faster and more cost-effectively. Today, the organization has a portfolio of 65 operating units and a pipeline that includes more than 325 units in active construction and another 100+ in predevelopment.

 

Lauren K. Chang – Partner, Sheppard Mullin

Lauren is a land use partner at Sheppard Mullin. She advises and counsels developers on real estate developments in the City of Los Angeles and other jurisdictions throughout California. She has significant experience negotiating and obtaining streamlined approvals as well as entitlements for complex multi-year development projects, including innovative transit-oriented, multifamily, affordable housing, and mixed-use projects on urban infill sites. Lauren leverages her substantial experience reviewing CEQA documents to develop efficient and defensible CEQA strategies that integrate cutting-edge streamlining options at the state and local levels, including State Density Bonus Law, Transit Oriented Communities, SB 35, AB 2011, and others.

Whitney Hodges – Partner, Sheppard Mullin

Whitney Hodges is a partner at Sheppard Mullin in the Real Estate, Land Use and Natural Resources Practice Group in the firm’s San Diego office. Whitney’s practice focuses on the representation of clients involved in real estate development. She advises and represents major residential, industrial, commercial and mixed-use development projects, as well as Native American Indian tribes and renewable energy developers through all phases of the land use regulatory process and environmental compliance, including litigation. Whitney is also involved in a number of industry organizations and is an adjacent professor at the University of San Diego.

Osama Younan – P.E. – General Manager, Los Angeles Department of Building & Safety

Osama Younan is the General Manager of the City of Los Angeles Department of Building and Safety (LADBS). He developed the Department’s Green Building Division to implement the Los Angeles Green Building Code. Osama Younan is a licensed Mechanical Engineer with the State of California and a LEED Accredited Professional with the U.S. Green Building Council. Osama Younan serves as the Chair of the Green Building Committee for the Los Angeles Basin Chapter which represents eighty-nine jurisdictions in Southern California, he serves on the Green Building Code Advisory Committee for the California Building Standards Commission that provides recommendations regarding the development of the CALGreen Code, and he serves on the ASHREA Standard 189.1 Committee “Standard for the Design of High-Performance Green Buildings”.

Osama Younan is a Licensed Professional Engineer, LEED Accredited Professional, and oversees the operations of all the bureaus in the department. As the General Manager, he oversees the operations of the Department’s 950 employees in the following major functional groups spread among 11 geographical locations:
+ Permit and Engineering Bureau
+ Inspection Bureau
+ Code Enforcement Bureau
+ Resource Management Bureau
+ Technology Services Bureau
+ Development Services Case Management Division

 

Michael Bohn, AIA – Partner, Studio One Eleven

As Partner of Studio One Eleven, Michael Bohn, AIA, takes an integrated approach to architecture, landscape, and urban design. His focus on the studio’s housing practice includes transit-oriented developments, affordable housing, and mixed-use projects. His experience in supportive, student, and market-rate projects spans adaptive reuse and ground-up developments that serve seniors, families, veterans, artists, and the homeless. His adaptive reuse experience includes the completion of four office to housing conversions. He is a licensed architect and urban designer with over 35 years of experience.

 

Robert Moldafsky, AIA – Director of Development, Jamison Properties 

Robert Moldafsky is Director of Development of Jamison Properties, the development arm of Koreatown-based Jamison. He currently oversees their adaptive reuse division including 3 projects in construction and 9 projects in design. Jamison has completed 7 adaptive reuse conversions since 2013.

Prior to joining Jamison, Moldafsky worked at Robert AM Stern Architects in New York City on the firm’s multi-family residential projects including 220 Central Park South and 200 E. 83rd Street. Moldafsky earned his Bachelor of Architecture degree from Syracuse University and is a registered architect in the State of New York.

 

Erin Anderson – Vice President, Palisades Investment Management 

Erin leads acquisitions and development for Palisades’ investments across Southern California. His work with Palisades includes the successful entitlement approvals of 1111 Sunset for 827-units across 6- acres in three high-rise towers, and the market-leading lease ups of The Fitz at Fairfax (West Hollywood) and Gardenhouse Beverly Hills. Last year, he opened 200 West Ocean, a 106-unit adaptive reuse of the former Verizon office tower in Downtown Long Beach, and is currently in design phase of a second, 275-unit high rise office conversion at 400 Oceangate. In Erin’s 15-year career he has executed more than $1.75 billion of hospitality, multifamily, and office investment with private and institutional Los Angeles investors.

Truong Huynh – P.E., C.B.O. – Acting Deputy Director, Long Beach Community Development

Mr. Truong Huynh is the General Superintendent of Engineering/Plan Review Services, a manager in the Building and Safety Bureau within the City of Long Beach’s Department of Community Development. Mr. Huynh is a licensed professional engineer and a certified building official with over 27 years of experience in the building and safety profession. Mr. Huynh began his career with the City of Long Beach in 2005 and is responsible for planning, organizing, directing and coordinating the programs and activities of the Engineering/Plan Review Services Division. Previously, Mr. Huynh worked for 8 years at the City of Los Angeles’ Department of Building and Safety.

Alan Pullman, AIA – Partner, Studio One Eleven

Alan Pullman, AIA, is Studio One Eleven’s Founding Principal with over 30 years of experience in urban design, mixed-use and community projects. At Studio One Eleven, Alan is responsible for overall management and strategy, as well as design leadership on select projects.

Alan’s work focuses in context sensitive subjects with an emphasis on urban infill and adaptive re-use projects such as Courtyard Lofts and 4th + Linden, both winners of several local and national AIA awards. Other notable projects include Dalton, a transit-oriented mixed-use project in Pasadena, CA; the revitalization of the Lincoln & Rose shopping center in Venice, CA; the sustainable development of the Long Beach Conservation Corps Environmental Education Center; as well as various streetscape and storefront revitalization programs through public agencies. In addition, he has led planning efforts such as Downtown Long Beach Visioning, which studied the city’s growth over a 15-year period and informed the City on how the urban form should develop.

Alan is a registered architect in California and a member of both the American Institute of Architects and Urban Land Institute, where he serves on the Inner City Council. He holds a position as board member for the Long Beach Conservation Corps and is an advisor to the 4th Street Merchant Association. In addition, Mr. Pullman is a partner in East Village Associates, a development firm dedicated to adaptive re-use projects that contribute to the downtown economic, environmental and community life.

A native of New York, Alan received his Bachelor of Architecture degree from Syracuse University.

Mark Falcone – Founder/ CEO/ Partner, Continuum Partners, LLC

Mark Falcone founded Continuum Partners, LLC in Denver in 1997. Since its inception, Continuum has successfully completed over $3 billion of development and established itself as a national leader in complex, mixed-use urban infill projects. Continuum recently completed development on the $400m mixed-use project in Denver called 9+CO and the $200m Market Station in downtown Denver. Mark is currently leading a significant entitlement effort on three different parcels in downtown Los Angeles and recently completed and sold the $120m LA Produce project in the Arts District neighborhood.

Prior to forming Continuum, Mark worked with The Rouse Company’s division of Office and Community Development in Baltimore, MD and served in several key roles in his family’s real estate development group, The Pioneer Companies. He graduated with a BA from Colgate University in 1985.

Throughout his career Mark has been actively engaged in the dialog to advance more sustainable settlement patterns within his industry and amongst public policy makers. Over the years Mark has served in several volunteer leadership positions for the Nature Conservancy, a not-for-profit affordable housing developer and other various organizations focused on the issues and challenges of our built environment. Mark has also served on other boards including NEA’s Mayor’s Institute on City Design, Colgate University and the Bonfils Stanton Foundation.

Currently Mark is a member of the University of Denver Board of Trustees, he serves as vice–chair of the Biennial of the Americas Board and is Trustee Emeritus of the Museum of Contemporary Art/Denver.

As chair of the Colorado Chapter of the Nature Conservancy, Mark led a statewide 50 million dollar campaign for the protection of several major landscapes, including a collection of ranches in Southern Colorado that now make up the Great Sand Dunes National Park. In 2004 he and his wife Ellen Bruss donated a piece of land to the Museum of Contemporary Art Denver which led to the construction of a new building by David Adjaye. Mark led the 16 million dollar capital campaign to fund the building.

Mark is currently leading a new initiative between the Nature Conservancy and the Biennial of the Americas called the Youth Congress for Sustainable Americas. This new partnership is assembling a network of young citizen activists throughout Latin and North America to coordinate action across the hemisphere which will lead to measurable progress on Climate Action initiatives. The delegates include members from Mexico, Peru, Brazil, Columbia, Argentina, Uruguay, Chile, Cuba, Canada and the United States.

Mark has two children. Sonya graduated from Colgate University in 2012, earned an MBA from UCLA and is a founding partner of the LA-based affordable housing developer Daylight. Luke graduated from Willamette University in 2015 and completed his Masters in Architecture at SciArc in 2020. Mark is married to Ellen Bruss, founder and owner of EBD Design, a branding and graphic design firm.

Nerin Kadribegovic, FAIA – Principal, KADRE ARCHITECTS

As a Principal with Kadre Architects, Nerin Kadribegovic, FAIA is one of LA’s design leaders working on resolving homelessness through a variety of emergency and permanent housing solutions. An expert in design and delivery, he works closely with private and governmental officials and leads design efforts in providing emergency shelter and permanent housing for nearly 2,000 houseless Angelenos over the last two years.

Nerin’s passion for navigating complex design problems, especially where economy is of paramount importance, captures an eye for beauty and design, notably in social cause, that results in unconventional, award-winning solutions. Obsessed with artfully directing natural light to create nuanced, playful moments, he ushers a spirit of dignity into places, where least expected.

A third-generation architect who endured displacement as a refugee of the wars in Yugoslavia and Bosnia, Nerin has directly experienced the impact of chaotic social and environmental disruption on people and society. This alert awareness evokes deep empathic connection to critical issues facing metropolitan urban centers around the world; those gripped by environmental or socio-economic crises.

The wartime reality imposed a fragility on life and shelter, that ignited his resolve in dissolving obstacles. Protecting a broken community, Nerin developed the uncanny ability to transform whatever material was at one’s disposal into something of functionality, beauty and meaning. Instilling hope and safety during hardship has become second nature, embedded into his mindset, both in design and leadership for social cause.

 

John Kaliski, FAIA – Principal, JKA; Chief Architect Officer, Impact Housing

Since graduating from Yale Architecture School in 1982, John Kaliski has had a diverse career as an architect, urban designer, teacher, and writer. Before starting his own practice, his professional work included five years as a designer at Skidmore Owings Merrill, first in Houston, then in Los Angeles, followed by five years as Principal Architect of the Community Redevelopment Agency of the City of Los Angeles. He commenced his private practice in 1993 as a principal of AIJK. In 1994, he was recognized by TIME as one of fifty leaders who will shape the twenty-first century. Four times a Fellow of The Mayor’s Institute on City Design, he served as President in 2009 of the Los Angeles Chapter of the American Institute of Architects (AIA). His writings on cities and architecture have appeared in Design Book Review, the Harvard Graduate School of Design Magazine, ARCA, California Architect, Log and Cite, as well as the co-authored book, Everyday Urbanism, published in 1999 and 2009. He has taught history, theory, and studios at UCLA, USC, Cal Poly Pomona, SCI-Arc, The University of Houston, and The University of Michigan.

Since founding John Kaliski Architects in 2000, John’s work has included design guidelines for the Hollywood Boulevard District, a vision plan for Los Angeles’ Crenshaw community, the Ocean Park Boulevard Complete Green Street, design of affordable small lot subdivision townhomes for Enterprise Foundation, continuing design of non-profit medical clinics for Mission City Community Network, the urban design of Metro’s East San Fernando Valley Transit Corridor project, six automobile dealerships, private homes, and over 400 units of multi-family housing. His design work and writings have been recognized with awards from the American Institute of Architects (AIA) and the American Planning Association (APA).

On both urban design and architecture projects John seeks to critically integrate client as well as public concerns and aspirations into practicable design outcomes. His ability to facilitate design processes has led to his leading numerous workshops and charrettes in cities including Des Moines, Kansas City, and throughout Southern California. With three decades of experience working with and for clients and communities, John has developed the insight to constructively celebrate multiple viewpoints into constructible architectural languages that celebrate enduring community making.

Peter DeMaria – Chief Design Officer, MID-RISE Modular & Founder, DeMaria Design

Architect Peter DeMaria is the Chief Design Officer at MID-RISE Modular and DeMaria Design and he’s on a mission to provide housing for the masses. MID-RISE is a prefab design/fabricate 2D panel and 3D volumetric modular company focused on providing high quality architectural solutions in an expedited manner and at an affordable price point. He’s a seasoned modular veteran who spearheaded the first State of California approved multi-family/multi-story modular solution fabricated overseas/China and his current design efforts focus on the challenges of affordable housing in the US. He visualizes architecture fulfilling a critical force on the planet and is on a quest to “crack the code” on the world’s homeless challenge – one of the most significant needs of our society. The recipient of numerous AIA Honor Awards for Excellence in Design he also received Bank of Manhattan’s Innovative Entrepreneur of the Year Award in recognition of his progressive and committed business development focused on sustainable/alternative building methodologies and systems. He is also credited with creating the first fully code compliant cargo container-based home in the US in 2004. His recent modular Hope on Lafayette Homeless Village for the Mayor of Los Angeles Bridge Housing Program was recognized with an American Institute of Architects (AIA) Excellence in Residential Design Award along with a Modular Building Institute (MBI) First Place Design Award. Complimenting his professional practice where he is a licensed Architect in California and Texas, DeMaria has taught and lectured at various institutions including USC, UCLA, Cal State Long Beach, SCI-Arc and most recently at the Univ. of Texas School of Architecture. He has served on the Board of Directors for the American Institute of Architects in Long Beach, CA and was the Founding Chairman of the Los Angeles AIA Young Architects Forum. Also appointed Cultural Arts Commissioner for the City of Manhattan Beach, he served in this capacity for over six years. Practicing in Los Angeles and Austin, his creative work has a global footprint.

 

Patrick Tighe, FAIA – Principal & Founder, Tighe Architecture

Patrick Tighe, FAIA, FAAR, is one of Los Angeles’ preeminent architects. The highly acclaimed namesake firm, Patrick Tighe Architecture, is committed to creating an authentic, contemporary Architecture informed by technology, sustainability and building innovation. Since its inception, the firm has produced a strong and diverse body of projects that includes city developed affordable housing, commercial, mixed-use projects, installations and award winning interiors.

​The firm’s work has received over 100 design awards including eight National AIA Honor Awards, American Architecture Awards, a Progressive Architecture Award, Los Angeles Architecture Awards, West Side Prize, Best of Year Awards as well as local AIA Honors. In 2011 Patrick Tighe was elevated into the College of Fellows of the American Institute of Architects, the highest honor bestowed by the AIA. Patrick Tighe was awarded the prestigious Mercedes T. Bass Rome Prize in Architecture, the American Institute of Architects’ Young Architect Award and the 40 under 40 Award. Tighe is a Fellow of the American Academy and The MacDowell Colony.

​Patrick Tighe received a Master of Architecture from the University of California, Los Angeles. Prior to establishing Tighe Architecture, Tighe worked in the offices of Frank Gehry and Thom Mayne. Tighe is a professor at the University of Southern California.

The work of Patrick Tighe Architecture has been published extensively, appearing in Architectural Record, Architectural Digest, Global Architecture, The LA Times Magazine, Interior Design, LA Architect, Wallpaper, Metropolis, the New York Times and Newsweek. The firm’s work has also been included in numerous architectural anthologies including The Power of Pro Bono (2010) and the latest edition of The Phaidon Atlas of Contemporary World Architecture.

Tighe frequently lectures on his work. The firm has been exhibited internationally including the 2016 Venice Biennale and the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles. A monograph of the firm entitled “Building Dichotomy” (published by Images) was recently released.

Shane Phillips – Housing Initiative Project Manager, UCLA, & Author of “The Affordable City: Strategies for Putting Housing Within Reach (and Keeping it There)”

Shane Phillips is a housing researcher, writer, and consultant. He manages the Randall Lewis Housing Initiative at the UCLA Lewis Center for Regional Policy Studies, and he co-hosts the UCLA Housing Voice Podcast, a biweekly show that translates emerging research for a non-academic audience. He’s the author of the book The Affordable City, which advocates for prioritizing Supply, Stability, and Subsidies and offers more than 50 strategies for improving and maintaining affordability. Shane earned his bachelor’s degree in biochemistry from the University of Washington and masters degrees in public administration and urban planning from USC.

Adam Murray – Chief Executive Officer, Inner City Law Center

Adam Murray is Chief Executive Officer of Inner City Law Center, a non-profit poverty law firm serving the most vulnerable individuals and families in Los Angeles County. Founded on the fundamental principle that every person should always be treated with dignity and respect, Inner City Law Center’s 130+ staff and 400+ volunteers provide legal representation and advocacy to thousands of homeless and working poor clients, focused on combating slum housing, preventing homelessness, and aiding homeless veterans.

An expert on both housing and homelessness, Adam has developed and promoted innovative approaches and policies that reduce homelessness and lead to safe, healthy, and affordable housing. Prior to joining ICLC, Adam was a litigator with the international law firm Howrey LLP. In 2001, he worked pro bono on the momentous Rosales slum housing case in which Inner City Law Center secured $1.9 million for 59 parents and children. Adam has led Inner City Law Center’s efforts to develop effective programs, including groundbreaking programs that prevent homelessness and that meet the legal needs of homeless veterans in Los Angeles. In his thirteen years as Inner City Law Center’s Executive Director, Adam has guided Inner City Law Center’s transformation from a five-attorney law firm with a $1.4 million budget to a 70 attorney law firm with a $17 million budget. In addition, over the past four years, pro bono attorneys from private firms have donated over $35 million worth of free legal services to Inner City Law Center clients.

Adam serves on the board of directors of The Legal Aid Association of California and the advisory board of Street Symphony. He has served as president of the boards of the Housing Rights Center of Southern California and the Immigration Center for Women and Children and has taught economics and political science at East Los Angeles College. Adam is also a former board member of the Fair Housing Council of the San Gabriel Valley, the ACLU of Southern California, and the Center for Progressive Leadership, and is a former member of the Los Angeles County Citizens’ Committee on Economy and Efficiency.

Adam received a B.A. in International Relations from Pomona College, an M.A. in Economics from Claremont Graduate University, and a J.D. from the University of California at Berkeley School of Law. In 2009, the Los Angeles Daily Journal named Adam one of the top 20 attorneys in California under the age of 40. Adam was a Stanton Fellow with the Durfee Foundation in 2014 and 2015. When not working, Adam enjoys playing soccer with his wife and two children.

Annette Wu, AIA – 2024 President, AIA Los Angeles & Principal, NAC Architecture

Annette Wu has 27 years of experience as a designer and architect. She excels in listening to clients and translating organizational objectives into design vision. Annette leads with open lines of communication. She brings continuity and a consistency of approach to projects, sharing lessons learned and building efficiencies between our multiple project teams. Annette holds a Bachelor of Architecture degree from the University of Southern California and a Master of Architecture degree from the Harvard Graduate School of Design.

Frances Anderton – Public Director, Honorary AIA|LA

Frances Anderton covers Los Angeles design and architecture in print, podcasts and public events. She is currently writing a book, “Common Ground: Multifamily Housing in Los Angeles.” Anderton also programs talks, exhibitions and events at Helms Bakery District. For many years Anderton hosted KCRW’s DnA: Design and Architecture radio show, having got her start at KCRW producing Warren Olney’s current affairs shows Which Way, LA? And To The Point. 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. In 2015 she curated Sink Or Swim: Designing For a Sea Change, about resilient architecture, shown at the Annenberg Space for Photography. 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.

Hon. Lindsey P. Horvath – Chair, Board of Supervisors, District #3, County of Los Angeles

Supervisor Lindsey P. Horvath is the youngest-ever Chair of the Board of Supervisors and is focused on bringing young and marginalized voices into the work of the County. She is the first millennial, and currently the only renter to serve on the Board, bringing a much-needed perspective to Los Angeles County leadership.

Upon taking office in December 2022, she authored LA County’s homelessness emergency declaration, bringing added urgency and transparency to the region’s homelessness response. Supervisor Horvath also appointed herself to the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority (LAHSA) Commission, where she now serves as Chair, to focus accountability and transparency on the use of resources to address the emergency.

A member of the Metro Board of Directors and Vice Chair of Clean Power Alliance, she is also a longtime champion for transportation, environmental sustainability and justice, and women’s and LGBTQ+ rights.

She previously served as Council member and the longest consecutively serving Mayor of West Hollywood.

Miguel A. Santana – President & CEO, California Community Foundation

Miguel A. Santana has more than three decades of expertise in government, nonprofit, private, philanthropy and the community sectors and is renowned as an advocate for systems change and making Southern California a more equitable place for all its residents, especially those who have been historically marginalized.

Santana was appointed in August of 2023 as President and CEO of the California Community Foundation (CCF), one of Southern California’s largest and most active philanthropic organizations, which has served Angelenos for more than a century. CCF stewards $2.3 billion in assets and manages more than 1,900 charitable foundations, funds, and legacies.

Previously, Santana severed as President & C.E.O. of the Weingart Foundation, which partners with communities across Southern California to advance racial, social, and economic justice. He also served as President and C.E.O. of Fairplex, a nonprofit community benefit regional organization based in Pomona, CA.

Santana was the City Administrative Officer for the City of Los Angeles, where he oversaw the City’s $9 billion budget and designed the City’s first comprehensive homeless strategy, resulting in a $1.2 billion voter-approved housing bond and a doubling of the City’s general fund investment on programs to end homelessness. Prior to joining the city, he served as one of five Deputy Chief Executive Officers for Los Angeles County, overseeing all social service programs supporting children, families, veterans, and persons experiencing homelessness.

Santana began his career as a community liaison at the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund (MALDEF), before working with L.A. County Supervisor Gloria Molina.

He engages in numerous civic efforts and is currently serving as Chair of The Angeleno Project. He also serves on numerous nonprofit boards, including the New York-based, Surdna Foundation. He is currently the Second Vice Chair of the Los Angeles County Affordable Housing Solutions Authority (LACAHSA) and is Commissioner of CALACCOUNT Blue Ribbon Commission.

Santana earned his BA in Sociology and Latin American Studies from Whittier College and a MPA in Public Administration from Harvard University.

Lourdes M. Castro Ramírez – Chief of Housing & Homelessness, Office of Mayor Karen Bass

Lourdes Castro Ramírez serves as Chief Housing and Homelessness Officer for Los Angeles City Mayor Bass, coordinating housing and homelessness policy and building collaborative efforts to urgently bring unhoused Angelenos inside safely with housing and service supports, accelerating housing production, and improving the quality of life.

Prior to her appointment, she was the Secretary of the California Business, Consumer Services and Housing Agency under Governor Newsom. She led 12 entities, including 40 boards and bureaus, responsible for the preservation and expansion of affordable housing, statewide efforts to prevent and end homelessness, protect consumers, and safeguard California’s civil rights laws.

Castro Ramírez has held notable and prominent positions, including her appointment by former President Barack Obama to lead the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Office of Public and Indian Housing; President and CEO of the San Antonio Housing Authority; Director at the L.A. City Housing Authority overseeing rental assistance and resident development programs; and serving as University Health System Foundation President in San Antonio.

Castro Ramírez earned her Master of Arts Degree in Urban Planning and a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Political Science and Chicano Studies at UCLA.

Sarah Dusseault – Lead Strategist, LA4LA

Sarah Dusseault, Lead Strategist LA4LA, is a prominent policy-maker and advocate with over two decades of impactful work shaping the Los Angeles region. As former Chair of the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority (LAHSA) Commission, she spearheaded COVID-relief efforts like Project Roomkey providing interim housing for over 8,000. Sarah Co-Chaired LA County Blue Ribbon Commission on Homelessness working to reforming the entire housing support system. Sarah’s commitment to addressing unique challenges faced by people experiencing homelessness stems from personal experiences with her brother, who struggled for decades with homelessness and schizophrenia. She chairs the Housing Justice Action Team for The Angeleno Project, collaborating on vital initiatives such as “No Going Back,” a roadmap for tackling economic, pandemic, and racial justice issues. With a background advising key officials like Mayor Bass and Mayor Jim Hahn, Sarah brings a pragmatic approach to her roles.

Lori R. Gay – President & CEO, Neighborhood Housing Services of Los Angeles County

Lori R. Gay is the President and Chief Executive Officer of Neighborhood Housing Services of Los Angeles County (NHS) and Affiliates, NHS Neighborhood Lending Services (a CDFI and mortgage banking entity), and NHS Neighborhood Redevelopment Corporation (a full service, mission-driven real estate brokerage company). The three companies activate non-profit lending, development and neighborhood revitalization throughout Los Angeles County. She has worked in the community development field for over 35 years, focusing her efforts on rebuilding impoverished communities and creating mechanisms for community empowerment and ownership.

She currently serves as Board Chair of the national Black Community Developers Group, Board Member, Federal Home Loan Bank of San Francisco, member of the NeighborWorks® National Community Initiatives Advisory Committee, and as a member of several bank advisory councils. Some of her activities have included serving as Chair of the California Organized Investment Network (COIN), and board memberships with the California Housing Finance Agency (CalHFA), and Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, Los Angeles Branch.

Since 1984, NHS has developed, loaned or rehabilitated more than 28,000 housing and commercial units, placed 4.8 million families on the road to homeownership, created 260 block clubs, employed over 270 neighborhood youth, and invested more than $10 billion back into some of Los Angeles County’s toughest neighborhoods. NHS protects more than $2.2 billion of home values annually through its loss mitigation, preservation and financial counseling work.

Ms. Gay has worked for NHS since 1990, holds an MBA degree from Pepperdine University and a B.S. degree in Development, Resource and Consumer Economics from the University of California at Davis. She is a licensed minister, married to Bob Gay, and mother of Faith and Grace.

Jennifer Keith – Founder and Managing Partner, Ethos Real Estate

Jennifer Keith is a Managing Partner with Ethos Real Estate, a sponsor/operator focused on leveraging private capital for the production of affordable housing. Jennifer’s career includes investment banking, private equity, distressed debt and public-private partnership experience. She is also a sought out thought leader on California public policy, land use, affordable housing and building political, community and financial stakeholder consensus. Jennifer holds a Master of Real Estate Development from the Price School of Public Policy at the University of Southern California and a Bachelor of Arts in Economics and German Literature from the University of Virginia. She is a frequent guest lecturer and sits on numerous national, state and local boards of organizations in the real estate and affordable housing space.

Denice Wint – Vice President of Real Estate Development, EAH Housing

Denice Wint is responsible for affordable housing real estate development and project management across California and for assisting in the promotion and execution of the EAH Housing mission. Ms. Wint is primarily responsible for the supervision of project management of multi-million-dollar rental housing and other real estate development projects on behalf of EAH and facilitating relationships within the state to further the EAH mission. She ensures successful closing of several real estate projects when compared against approved project completion timelines and within board approved budget limits. Ms. Wint also, manages activities during the Predevelopment, Development, Initial or Construction Closing, Construction, and Final Closing stages.

Denice has over 15 years of experience in multifamily housing development, financial management, and economic development. She has worked with various community-based organizations and faith-based institutions to implement strategies to advance housing and development policies. Denice has also elevated the conversation around diversity, equity, and inclusion in leadership and in construction, both internally at EAH Housing and externally in the affordable housing industry throughout California. Denice strives to expand opportunities for bidding on construction projects for Black, Indigenous, and People of Color-led (BIPOC-led) third-party vendors, which are otherwise vastly underrepresented in the affordable housing industry. She has led an ongoing workshop series for SCANPH to discuss how developers can center inclusion in the affordable housing development and construction process and has arranged successful meetings between people of color-led developer organizations in the Bay Area and the CA Deputy Treasurer.

Ms. Wint joined EAH in 2018 after serving as the Director of Projects & Services, for Innovative Housing Opportunities (IHO). She oversaw real estate and community development projects as well as enhanced resident services programs. Before working at IHO, Denice worked at Los Angeles Housing Partnership (LAHP) for over seven years starting out as an Assistant Project Manager and working up to Senior Project Manager. She brought extensive experience in community and economic development, complex financial modeling, transit-oriented development (TOD), infill, historic, and mixed-use development including commercial components. Leading to this position, Denice was at Abode Communities where she served as a LISC AmeriCorps member.

Ms. Wint currently serves as a board member of Southern California Association of Non Profit Housing, serves on various committees, and is often an invited panelist or speaker to many local industry groups. She was also an elected member of the Harbor City Neighborhood Council in Los Angeles and served on the board for Richmond Neighborhood Housing Services in Northern California.

 

Tara Barauskas, Affiliate AIA|LA, LEED AP – Executive Director, Community Corporation of Santa Monica

Tara Barauskas joined us as Executive Director in 2016. She oversees the functional areas of the organization, including management of 1,800 units of affordable housing; housing development; resident services; maintenance; and administration of 80 team members.

Ms. Barauskas has more than 20 years of experience in affordable housing development, having worked at both for-profit and non-profit affordable housing development organizations prior to joining Community Corporation. Her past experience includes overseeing and managing the development process of dozens of projects throughout California.

Ms. Barauskas holds a Bachelors’ Degree in English from California State University, Long Beach, and a LEED AP Accreditation from the US Green Building Council. She currently serves as Chair of the Board of Directors for the Southern California Association of Non-profit Housing (SCANPH), a nonprofit membership organization that advocates for effective affordable housing policy throughout Southern California. In addition, she serves on the Board of the Santa Monica Bay Area Human Relations Council and the Board of Downtown Santa Monica, Inc.

Gabriele Hooks – Director of Development and Communications, Venice Community Housing Corporation

Gabriele has had the good fortune of working and exchanging knowledge with many brilliant and compassionate people throughout her career. For over 30 years, Gabriele has provided services and housing to those who have lived on the streets, in transitional housing, and in affordable, permanent supportive housing. She’s held positions at The People Concern, CSH, Southern California Health and Rehabilitation Services, and Venice Community Housing. She brings this background to her passion for reimagining systems to reduce poverty and racial inequity. Gabriele holds a Master’s In Public Administration.

Laura Archuleta – President & Chief Executive Officer, Jamboree Housing Corporation

Laura Archuleta strongly believes, “a complete community includes housing choices for all families.” She continues to be at the forefront of driving long-term solutions for the housing crisis through collaborative efforts among nonprofit organizations, public-sector agencies, and private companies. Under Laura’s leadership, Jamboree creates complete, healthy communities where residents thrive as they live, work, shop and play in their local neighborhoods. Under her leadership, Jamboree’s asset portfolio has grown to a market value of $3.2 billion, directly benefiting over 20,000 Californians.

While she’s proud of Jamboree’s expanding portfolio, it’s the faces behind these numbers that matter to her most. In 2001, her desire to go beyond housing and provide needed services for residents, and her vision for healthy communities, motivated Jamboree to start an in-house Resident Services Group – one of the industry’s first – that fosters learning, healthy living and community building for residents. These crucial services empower Jamboree residents to excel in school, cultivate strong friendships and develop more active lifestyles. Laura remains passionate about the award-winning quality of Jamboree housing and services in neighborhoods throughout California.

A gifted visionary and an exceptional innovator, she simultaneously creates a spirit of collaboration among her staff and external partners, while relaying her inspiring sense of mission and maximizing the talents and skills of those around her. She has a dynamic directorial style that keeps Jamboree on the cutting-edge of the industry. And, people have taken notice: In 2014, Laura was named “Person of the Year” by the Southern California BIA 55+ Housing Council for her commitment to providing innovative housing for seniors. Laura brings decades of experience serving on numerous boards, including the Federal Home Loan Bank of San Francisco, Cal State Fullerton Philanthropic Foundation Board of Governors, California Housing Consortium, California Building Industry Association (CBIA), ULI Orange County / Inland Empire Advisory Board, and United Way Orange County. She is also a founding member of UC Irvine’s Livable Cities Lab which leverages academic expertise to study the impact of affordable housing.

Laura’s personal commitment to affordable housing spans more than 30 years. Her own family experience drew her initially to the nonprofit housing sector. Her mother was born and lived in public housing growing up – instilling in Laura a strong sense of community and compassion.
Prior to joining Jamboree, she held several public sector positions, and her advocacy has led to the production and/or preservation of more than 10,000 high quality homes for low-income families, seniors, veterans, and transitional age youth. What does she love about her job? “I believe we have a tremendous impact on so many people’s lives and the way we go about doing that continues to change.”
Guiding principle: Creating hope for people when they feel they have no hope or no future is a powerful motivator.

 

Veronica Lewis, MPA – Director, HOPICS & Los Angeles Care First and Community Investment (CFCI)

Veronica Lewis, Master of Public Administration is a recognized leader in Los Angeles County in the Homeless Services, Substance Use Support and Reentry sectors and is the Director of the Homeless Outreach Program/Integrated Care System Division of Special Service for Groups (SSG/HOPICS) where she oversees more than 110 million dollars in annual funding for multi-service programs including: mental health, substance use disorder treatment, reentry support, homeless services, permanent housing programs and sites, and trauma-focused services. HOPICS has permanently housed thousands of households under her leadership.

Under her leadership as Director since January 2011, HOPICS’ annual budget has increased by 2100 percent and the workforce tenfold in 13 years. Veronica has worked tirelessly as an advocate to improve and coordinate homeless services in LA County- in particular the Service Planning Area Sixth Region (SPA 6) which is made up of South LA and the Cities of Compton, Lynwood and Paramount. Veronica is the founder of the thriving SPA 6 Homeless Coalition. She has played an integral role in the development of the ever-expanding LA Continuum homeless systems of care as the lead for SPA 6’s Coordinated Entry System for homeless individuals and families. In 2014 Veronica led and developed the one-of-a kind SPA 6 Family Crisis Housing Network that formed in response to the changing system of care for homeless families in LA County. The Network consists of a blend of homeless and housing providers that provide short to medium term crisis and bridge housing for families working toward permanent housing through the local Family Solutions Center- and still keeps 300 families with children off of the street every night in interim housing present day. Due to her leadership and advocacy HOPICS opened the first publicly funded interim housing location for transgender women and non-binary individuals in Los Angeles. Under her leadership, HOPICS has permanently housed more than 6000 homeless families within the last decades. Veronica has represented the interest of SPA 6 and the LA Continuum of Care (CoC) as member and Chair of the CoC Board and Coordinating Council. Veronica is also a Los Angeles County Public Social Services Commissioner appointed by LA County Supervisor Janice Hahn.

She has worked diligently to secure housing resources and build the capacity of small homeless and reentry agencies in South LA and the Cities of Compton and Lynwood. In her daily work Veronica has and continues to advocate for racial equity and honest dialogue about ways to improve the overwhelming number of health, economic, carceral and housing disparities for black people and other people of color in LA County. She deeply understands the intersection of race, homelessness, behavioral health and the criminal justice systems. She was a member of the Los Angeles Ad Hoc Committee on Black People experiencing Homelessness (BPEH) and delegation of members responsible for finalizing the report and recommendations and currently serves on the Implementation Steering Committee for BPEH which is responsible for implementation oversight of the recommendations. Veronica is also a member of the Homelessness Policy Research Institute (HPRI) Racial Equity Steering Committee.

Veronica served as the Chair for two years of the Los Angeles Care First and Community Investment or CFCI (formerly Measure J) Advisory Committee and led the process of developing a recommended transformative spending plan that resulted in LA County funding $287 Million for the first two inaugural years (FY 22-23) of investment into alternatives to incarceration and addressing racial inequities. CFCI funds diversion and reentry services, de-carceration of LA County jails, primary health, behavioral health, housing, economic development, and youth support. She is a member of the Steering Committee for the Los Angeles Regional Reentry Partnership (LARRP).

In addition to her contribution to local Los Angeles City and County homeless/housing, reentry and SUD systems, programs and policies, Veronica also lends her expertise to help shape policies, best practices and projects at the state and national level through her participation as a Councilmember on the California Interagency Council on Homelessness (Cal ICH) appointed by Speaker Anthony Rendon; member of the Collaborative Justice Courts Advisory Committee for California Courts Judicial Council (CJCAC) and Chair of CJCAC’s Racial Equity and Inclusion Workgroup; National Alliance to End Homelessness- Capacity Building Network; National Research Council- Transportation Research Board for the Airport Cooperative Research Program Project 03-59 Panel to help develop best practices nationwide to address homelessness at airports; and was a member of the California Department of Health Care Services Proposition 64 Advisory Group where she helped shape program design and utilization of more than 60 million for the Youth Education Prevention, Early Intervention and Treatment Account (YEPEITA).

Leslie Jordan – Consultant – Capital Construction Program Manager – CIIP, Housing For Health, Los Angeles County Department of Health Services

Leslie Jordan serves as the Program Manager for the Capital Improvement Intermediary Program (CIIP) at Housing for Health, consulting to the County of Los Angeles DHS. Over the past five years, Leslie has been instrumental in expanding the program’s mission to develop innovative Interim Housing solutions for individuals experiencing homelessness. This includes projects of various typologies, focused on low barrier access, enriched services, trauma-informed design, and healing environments.

In her role, Leslie collaborates with non-profit agencies, service providers, leading architects, and government officials to navigate publicly funded projects. The work includes stakeholders, public and private funding channels, and policy experts. Under her leadership, the Capital Program has successfully completed 18 facilities with budgets reaching up to $37 million.

Before joining Housing for Health, Leslie founded Perch Projects in 2015, a consultancy aimed at building strong teams and creating inspired facilities for underserved populations. Her expertise in construction, design, project and program management, combined with a passion for using the built environment as a social justice tool, informs her client-focused, creative, and practical approach to her work.

Throughout her career, Leslie has enjoyed fruitful collaborations with organizations like Planned Parenthood of Los Angeles, Wesley Health Centers/JWCH, Downtown Women’s Center, the Skid Row Carnival of Love, among other public and private clients.

Deborah Lever – Program Manager & Project Manager, Housing for Health, Los Angeles Health Services

Deborah Lever is an integral member of the Housing for Health Program (HfH) within  the Los Angeles County Department of Health Services, a dynamic agency dedicated to  serving individuals experiencing homelessness. In her role for the Capital Program,  Deborah spearheads collaborative efforts to provide supportive housing solutions across  various projects throughout Los Angeles County.  

Specializing in interiors, Deborah leverages her expertise to direct and coordinate  specific project needs related to space planning, design, finishes and the specification of  FF&E. Her keen eye for detail ensures that each project is tailored to meet the unique  requirements of its occupants.  

Before assuming her current position, Deborah honed her skills in Healthcare Interior  Design, for over a decade, contributing to both renovation and new healthcare projects.  She holds degrees from UCLA in both Psychology and Interior and Environmental  Design.  

Driven by the belief that one’s environment profoundly impacts health and behavior,  Deborah is passionate about integrating this philosophy into every project she  undertakes. Her dedication to creating spaces that promote well-being underscores her  commitment to improving the lives of those she serves. 

Elizabeth (Libby) Boyce, L.C.S.W. – Homeless Services Coordinator, Los Angeles County Chief Executive Office (CEO)

From 1987-1996 Libby Boyce worked as a medical social worker for people living with HIV/AIDS.  She provided these direct services at Yale New Haven Hospital, in New Haven Connecticut, Cedar Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, and LA County+USC Medical Center in Los Angeles.  In 1996, Libby transferred to an administrative position at the LA County Office of AIDS Programs and Policy and oversaw the Social Services and Mental Health Units until 2004.

In 2004, Libby transitioned into a newly implemented position, as the Homeless Services Coordinator for Los Angeles County Department of Health Services (DHS).  In this position Libby was responsible for improving the healthcare care provided to LA County’s homeless residents. Libby achieved many enhancements to LA County’s homeless services delivery systems and added services and advocacy measures to the few resources that were available for homeless individuals in 2004.  

In July, 2010 Libby transitioned to the job of Homeless Coordinator for the Los Angeles County Chief Executive Office.  In this role, Libby kept the Board of Supervisors and County departments abreast of homeless related policy, planning and programmatic issues that impact the County.  In addition, Libby developed homeless housing and services including the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority’s (LAHSA) led Family Solution System. 

Currently, Libby Boyce is the Deputy Director at Housing for Health (HFH) a program within the Los Angeles County Department of Health Services (DHS).  In her role, she is responsible for 115+ multidisciplinary street-based engagement teams, 3,000 interim housing beds, and 1,200 enriched residential care slots for people experiencing homelessness.  In addition, Libby oversees the Skid Row coordination and Action Plan. 

Aditi Shakkarwar – Housing Advocacy Manager, United Way of Greater Los Angeles

Aditi is a Hollywood resident and housing policy advocate. Prior to working for United Way, she spent almost six years working for the California State Assembly where she advocated for tenant rights and worked to change the public narrative on unsheltered homelessness. Positive coping strategies: karaoke, audiobooks, and good conversations over good meals.

Mark Oberholzer, AIA – Principal, KTGY

Context is everything. In cities like Los Angeles, context includes not just existing buildings and neighborhoods, but an emerging sense of urban identity and possibility. Mark Oberholzer’s strength is engaging with the context of client goals, zoning complexity, urban design, stakeholder influences, economic imperatives and design integrity to tease out extraordinary architectural solutions.

Over the last five years, Mr. Oberholzer has been at the forefront of KTGY’s expertise in innovative construction techniques – harnessing the design possibilities of modular construction, bearing steel stud systems and heavy timber. Mr. Oberholzer sees construction technology as another part of the context of design, bringing a conviction that collaboration, imagination, hard work and a sense of humor are the best tools to reaching the goal of better design.

Chava Danielson, AIA – Vice President/President-Elect, AIA Los Angeles & Principal, DSH Architecture

Chava Danielson, AIA, a native Angeleno, is Principal of DSH // architecture, with specialties in design, project advocacy, and serving non-profit organizations committed to their communities. She focuses on imparting beauty and sensitive programming to recharge underserved neighborhoods through educational, therapeutic and residential projects.

Danielson is Adjunct Professor at the USC School of Architecture. She currently co-chairs the AIA Los Angeles’ Government Outreach Committee and has served as a Director for the Los Angeles Forum for Architecture and Urban Design. She holds an M.Arch. from the Graduate School of Design at Harvard University and a B.A. in Comparative Literature from the University of California, Berkeley.

Simone Barth, Assoc. AIA, LEED AP BD+C – Principal, Mithun

With over twenty years of professional experience and a strong interest in craft and innovation, Simone’s talent lies in the synthesis of management, stewardship, and design excellence. As project manager, Simone has contributed to the planning and execution of a wide range of award-winning academic, educational, and civic buildings. Her recent projects include new student housing communities at Colorado School of Mines, UCLA and UC Santa Barbara. She works with clients to find long-term solutions to complex challenges. As skillful facilitator, she coordinates large stakeholder groups and translates a client’s vision into site and resource – sensitive places of performance and beauty. Simone has a deep passion for green building, preservation and building sustainable communities. Her architectural work and professional activism seek to engage and to inspire. She is actively involved in AIA California, serving as chair of the Advocacy Committee and member of Climate Action Steering Committee.

Damian Possidente, AIA, LEED AP – Principal, Mithun

Damian is an architect with broad experience creating vibrant residential, academic, workplace and mixed-use developments for urban and campus settings. At each step of the design process, he seeks opportunities to understand and enrich the many layers of community that activate a site, and positively impact broader cultural, economic and environmental systems. An agile team leader, he brings more than 23 years of experience and a listening-focused approach to design—facilitating interdisciplinary collaboration and ensuring the incorporation of diverse voices when those perspectives can most impact project development.

Damian’s skill at contextual design that contributes to the urban fabric is highlighted throughout his broad body of work, which ranges from UC Santa Barbara San Benito, a new on-campus residential community providing much-needed affordable housing for 2,140 students, to The Now, a mixed-use commercial development with an interactive digital billboard that reflects the vibrancy of Los Angeles’ iconic Sunset Strip. In addition to project-related work, he contributes to the development of next-generation designers as a university studio critic and is actively involved as a pod leader with the ULI LA NEXT cohort, leading events with fellow professionals in conversation around community-focused goals and aspirations.


Gio Aliano, AIA – Principal, GGLO

Gio is deeply committed to advancing social equity through architecture, focusing on affordable housing, mixed-use community developments, health & wellness, and educational facilities. He has gained valuable experience in modular design working on the City of Los Angeles HHH Innovation Challenge to drive cost and time savings in addressing the City’s unhoused crisis. 

Gio’s thoughtful and holistic approach promotes design excellence and ensures that clients’ visions are realized. He believes in forging strong client relationships that lead to long term meaningful collaboration for the betterment of a project.

Gio is a team player, always finding ways to provide leadership and encourage others to contribute their own insight to a project. He believes design is a process that occurs amongst a talented project team, with each member bringing their unique perspective and personal experiences to inform the design. Gio strives to ultimately provide a sense of authorship for everyone on the team. 


Tyler Stark – Project Architect, KFA

Tyler is a Bay Area native, living out his passions for design, music, and the restoration of human flourishing. He is currently engaged in affordable housing, education, and housing infill projects at Killefer Flammang Architects, while pursuing dual-licensure in architecture and psychology; the goal of which to one day weave together the two.