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Training the Next You

July 20, 2021 @ 11:30 am - 1:00 pm PDT

Free – $10.00


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Roundtable: Discussion on Methods of Mentorship to Bring Up our Upcoming Emerging Professionals

AIALA Committees: Practice and Emerging Professionals

This is a virtual event. Zoom log-in information will be emailed to registrants 24 hours in advance from events@aialosangeles.org. If you do not receive a confirmation 24 hours prior to the event, please email events@aialosangeles.org.

CES Learning Units: 1.5 LU

The roundtable event will bring together firm leaders of three varying sizes (HOK – Global/Large, ACM – Regional/Mid & Montalba Architects – Regional/Small) to discuss methods in handling the age old question of training for “emerging” professionals. The session will begin with a description of what each firm does currently & present/past failures, with the primary time dedicated towards questions handled by the moderators: Associate Director and Chair of the Emerging Professionals, Francisco Arias, Assoc. AIA of Ware Malcomb; and Ex Officio Associate Director and Emerging Professionals Co-Chair, Alise Robles, Assoc. AIA of NBBJ. In particular, the roundtable will establish what emerging professionals see as areas for improvement in mentorship, with the group trying to develop possible working strategies for firms of each size. The discussion will be open to all participants, controlled by the moderators.


Francisco Arias, Assoc. AIA – Ware Malcomb
Francisco is a Senior Project Designer at Ware Malcomb, an international design firm providing planning, architecture, interior design, branding, civil engineering and building measurement services to commercial real estate and corporate clients. As a design leader, he is actively engaged in a series of projects at various stages of design. Francisco is currently the Vice Chair for the Emerging Professionals Committee, member of the Jean Roth Driskell Scholarship Committee, and was the 2018 2×8 Committee Chair. Francisco provides several years of expertise to a diverse portfolio of projects; he embraces their respective communities and takes pride in helping them thrive.


Alise Robles, Assoc. AIA – NBBJ
Alise Robles is a Healthcare Designer at NBBJ. Since graduating from USC’s School of Architecture, she has been involved in a variety of projects, from schematic design to construction documentation to construction administration. She has served as a key team member on multiple projects for top tier healthcare providers in the Los Angeles area. She contributed to the 2017 Patient Centered Design Conference and Innovation Summit where her presentation placed first in the Experiential Design Competition. Alise is dedicated to redefining welcoming and inclusive environments for patients and staff.



David Frey, AIA – West Coast Senior Technical Principal, HOK
David leads the technical direction and development of all projects designed in HOK’s Los Angeles, San Francisco and Seattle studios. Over the past three decades, he has provided technical leadership and innovative project delivery methods on many different types of projects, including the International Terminal at San Francisco International Airport, St. Regis Hotel in San Francisco, Northwest Science Building at Harvard University, Centennial Towers in San Francisco and the Parkmerced Vision Plan.


Michael Chang – Project Architect & Technical Lead, Special Services Group, AC Martin
Michael is a Project Architect & Technical Lead in the Special Services Group at AC Martin, a firm with offices in Los Angeles, Pleasanton & Roseville. AC Martin is a California based architecture, planning, interior architecture and research firm that uses an integrated design approach to create enduring environments for the 21st century. Michael has over 15 years of experience, with projects across the globe & varying delivery types. He is an active participant within his firm’s internal education and mentoring committees & the Chair of the internal Continuing Education Committee, hosting presentations to foster professional growth of employees. Additionally, he is an ACE team leader at Franklin High School, an USC Guild Mentor and a board member of Asian American architects/engineers Foundation.


Lori Marmolejo, AIA – Associate Principal, Montalba Architects
A native Californian, Lori earned her Bachelor of Architecture from California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo. She has worked in markets around the country, navigating diverse requirements over numerous project types including restaurants, aviation, luxury residential, and hospitality. As Design and Culture Director for the Los Angeles office, she works closely with leadership to shape and cultivate an office environment of connectivity and exploration, helping align peer interests and professional paths. Her passion for mentorship extends beyond inner-office relationships to connect with the greater AEC community, as well as academia and related design fields.

Learning Objectives:
+ Participants will be equipped to develop ways to format & build a sustainable mentoring program that more effectively helps nurture the firm’s Emerging Professionals.
+ Participants will hear from Emerging Professionals about their perspective on the perceived split between the following roles: design, technical management, and firm management; and what their expectations are for gaining experience in these three areas.
+ Participants will discuss the idea of a 5- or 10-year plan for Emerging Professionals to help focus and direct their careers, and how leadership can help them realize their career goals.
+ Participants will discuss issues including: how comfortable Emerging Professionals feel about approaching their direct supervisor or Principal level leadership with questions or challenges; and whether they are getting sufficient field experience to have a greater understanding of materials and methods of construction.
+ Participants will be able to outline what distinguishes job training from mentorship.
+ Participants will be able to describe keys to aligning mentee needs and expectations with mentors.


Event Sponsored by:






July 20, 2021
11:30 am - 1:00 pm PDT
Free – $10.00
Event Categories:


AIA Los Angeles


A virtual ZOOM meeting