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Small Firms 101: Seminar #3

November 6, 2019 @ 8:30 am - 12:30 pm PST

$60 – $90

Small Firms 101 – A Seminar Series (#3)

Hosted By: Helms Design Center
Learning Units: 3.5

Small Firms 101 is series of hands-on professional development workshops that will serve as a forum to give insight and access to the tools and resources needed to organize and operate a successful architectural & design practice. The theme of Workshop 1 is “Get Started.” The second workshop centers on “Getting Business.” The third is “Getting Bigger.”

Each seminar will be four hours long; comprised of various presentations ranging from 30-40 minutes with a 20-30 minute interactive Q&A.

Learn from speakers; ask questions specific to your practice during the Q&A and speak to peers encountering similar challenges.



Seminar 3 – Wednesday, November 6

Getting Bigger: Best-Practices + Business Development for Small Firms


TOPIC: Expanding the Scope of the Architect: Diversification of Services, including: Predesign, Architectural & Design Services, and Post-Architecture.

Carlos Augusto Garcia – AIA, NCARB, Project Principal, M-Rad Architecture + Design

Carlos is an internationally recognized architect with ten years experience in the fields of architecture, concept development, project management, graphic design, and hand rendering. As an architect with both a Master’s Degree in Architecture and Bachelor’s Degree in Architectural Design from Tulane University School of Architecture in New Orleans, LA, his work can be seen above highways, in neighborhoods, on desks, in print, and online.  Carlos has been honored with a gallery installation at the Ogden Museum of Art and addressed City Councils as a proponent of his design for the Planned Parenthood Federation of America. He firmly believes in the importance of new material technology and utilizing the contemporary architect’s digital toolbox. Applicable projects are always interfaced with sustainability in the form of adaptive re-use and integration of new building design technologies.

See Carlos’s presentation HERE


TOPIC: Winning big as a small firm: How to win big projects whether on your own as a small firm or by creating partnerships with larger firms. Getting bigger requires inter-firm partnerships; learn how we’ve thrived with this model.

Darrell S. “Rocky” Rockefeller – AIA, Senior Partner, Rockefeller Kempel Architects

Rocky Rockefeller has focused his 38-year career on creating innovative, exceptional built environments for residential, commercial, hospitality, and mixed-use clients. His passion for design runs from the earliest stages of conceptual development through the final days of construction, resulting in work that is both beautifully conceived and of the highest technical rigor. Rocky’s design leadership is strengthened by his ability as a strong project manager and rapt listener, ensuring that each design has a focus on character, purpose, and place, with an eye for sustainable strategies. He currently serves as the CEO and President of Rockefeller Kempel Architects.  Rocky is a well-respected member of the architectural and academic community, having held teaching positions at both UCLA and Cal Poly Pomona’s Interior Architecture Master’s Degree Programs where he gives the same attention to detail and high performance as in his client work. Prior to establishing Rockefeller Kempel Architects, Rocky was Managing Partner at Rockefeller/Hricak, an award-winning firm in Los Angeles from 1981 to 2002. He is an active member of the American Institute of Architects and currently serves on the California Architects Board as a Commissioner, as well as participating in numerous city commissions. Rocky’s dedication to realizing client and community aspirations and goals is what continually drives him to new heights of design.

See Rocky’s presentation HERE


TOPIC: How does a small firm set itself up with regard to IT? What’s the most effective/efficient/economical setup for a 2-3 staff small firm? And when the firm starts growing, what’s the best way to transition? – Making foundational choices, aligning with industry trends, prioritizing security, and pursuing standardization.

Alex Serriere – Director of Research & Development, TEECOM

Alex’s inextinguishable curiosity for things that work has led to an unbounded passion for technology and this passion serves as the basis for TEECOM’s Research Department. With a degree in Electrical Engineering from UCLA, Alex started in the aerospace industry, but at TEECOM, Alex is tasked with understanding and communicating innovations at the intersection of people, technology and the built environment. From the social implications of smartphones to the newest Ethernet standards, the work of the Research Department enables TEECOM to better serve clients with information about how technology is expected to evolve over the life of their projects. Internally, that work ensures that TEECOM’s own processes continue to advance and evolve alongside the technology systems that TEECOM designs. Recently, Alex has led the effort to transition the Research Group towards a Research and Development Group by developing solutions that will shape the future of the built environment.

See Alex’s presentation HERE


TOPIC: Dollars for Design – Optimizing the R&D Tax Credit for Architecture.  You are paying too much in taxes. Over 70% of architecture firms and their owners are not claiming a very powerful tax incentive – the Research & Development Tax Credit. Are you missing out on dollars for design that could give you a competitive advantage? This course will cover eligibility requirements and how to leverage available information and technology within time tracking software to easily access this lucrative incentive.

Brady Bryan – Founding Member, CEO, BRAYN Consulting, LLC

As BRAYN’s founder and CEO, Brady brings optimal value to mid- market clients through specialty tax incentives in a number of industries including architecture, engineering, construction, manufacturing, and software. A licensed attorney in California and Texas himself, Brady has assembled an all-star team of BRAYNiacs. This powerhouse team is composed of lawyers, engineers, and accountants hailing from Big-4 and other national consulting firms. Brady’s goal is to educate businesses and people on how to avail themselves to the little-known tax incentives that are designed for them. In this way he knows BRAYN can make a meaningful impact with real people.  Prior to founding BRAYN in 2010, Brady spent many years in industry, as well as Big-4 accounting. During his tenure at Deloitte, he first learned about several of the tax incentives his company now specializes in. He also spent several years doing indigent defense work. Brady has a Juris Doctor from Southwestern Law School, and a BBA in Management from Sam Houston State University. He lives in Las Vegas with his wife, three children, and three French bulldogs.

See Brady’s presentation HERE


Graciously Hosted by:


November 6, 2019
8:30 am - 12:30 pm
$60 – $90


AIA Los Angeles


Helms Design Center
8745 Washington Blvd.
Culver City, CA 90232
+ Google Map


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