PHOTO: Powerful IV: Detail of Image by Nico Marques

Powerful V

Thursday, September 20 | 8:00AM-4:00PM

Dorothy Chandler Pavilion


7:30-8:00AM Catered Breakfast & Registration


8:00-8:15 WiA- Leading and Learning

Jenna Knudsen, AIA, LEED AP BD+C – Principal, CO Architects

Melanie Freeland, AIA, LEED AP – Senior Associate, Rios Clementi Hale Studios

Pooja Bhagat, AIA, LEED AP BD+C – Principal, poojabhagat architects+planners

Lani Lee, AIA – Architect, Skidmore, Owings & Merrill LLP

Annette Wu, AIA – Project Manager/Architect, NAC Architecture


8:15-8:50 Morning Keynote

Laura Friedman – Assistant Speaker pro Tempore, California State Assembly & Assemblymember, District 43/Glendale


8:50-9:35 Affordable Housing in LA – Challenges & Opportunities

63% of affordable housing organizations are led by executive directors who are women. What challenges do these leaders have in providing much needed permanent supportive housing for those in need and low income families? This panel discussion will focus on the opportunities that architects have to provide solutions and discuss the future of affordable housing.


Elizabeth Timme – Co-Founder, LA-Más

Sarah Letts – Executive Director, Hollywood Community Housing Corporation

Dr. Jacqueline Vara – Vice President of Women & Family Programs, Los Angeles Mission

Denice Wint, LEED AP – Director of Projects & Services, Innovative Housing Opportunities

Moderator: Pooja Bhagat, AIA, LEED AP BD+C – Principal, poojabhagat architects+planners


9:35-9:45 Retweet, Repost, Reimagine

Rachel Jordan, AIA, LEED BD+C – Architect, CO Architects


9:45-10:00 Networking Break


10:00-10:30 Quiet Activism

Anne Schopf, FAIA – Design Partner, Mahlum Architects


10:30-11:05 Tech. Talk.

A discursive dive into the technologies driving today’s most radical architecture.


Noni Pittenger – Design Engineer, CW Keller

Kerenza Harris – Director of Design Technology, Morphosis Architects

Moderator: Lisa Pauli, AIA – Design Director, R&A Architecture + Design


11:05-11:15 Narrative-Based Urban Interfaces

Biayna Bogosian – Principal, Somewhere Something


11:15-11:50 Progress + Process + Practice

Practice occurs in many scales and contexts, encompassing personal progress, professional activity, alongside the support we broadly give to and take from the profession. These women have forged paths across sectors and scales, independently and in consortium. Together we will discuss practice through the lenses of personal and collective progress and processes.


Raven Hardison, AIA – Lead Designer, Parsons

Jennifer Luce, FAIA – Principal in Charge, LUCE et Studio

Siobhán Burke, AIA, LEED AP – Principal, Lyric Design & Planning

Moderator: Tanya Paz, Assoc. AIA – Senior Designer, CAMA


11:50-1:15 Lunch & Discussion Circles

Topics and Champions:


Negotiation Strategies

Deborah Weintraub, AIA

Claudia Carol, AIA

Katherine Perez Estolano

The Art of Communication

Valerie DeLoach, AIA

Amie Nulman

Charting your Career Path

Kate Diamond, FAIA

Career Path Goal Setting

Audrey Sato, AIA


Emmanuelle Bourlier

Talent Retention/Retaining Bright Young Women

Dani Paxson

Lindsay Urquhart

Implementing Equitable Practices

Marisa Kurtzman

Patricia Rhee, AIA

Work/Life Balance (not only for parents!)

Tara Bauer, AIA

Interviewing and Networking Tips

Melanie Freeland, AIA


Anne Fletcher, AIA

Monica Rodriguez, AIA

Board Membership: Where to Start?

Carissa Oyedele, AIA

Architectural Firm Roles

Julie Smith-Clementi

Alternate Career Paths

Tanya Paz, Assoc. AIA

Patti Harburg-Petrich, Affiliate AIA|LA

How to Handle Sexual Harassment and Gender Discrimination

Petrina Gooch, Assoc. AIA

Building a Flexible Practice

Elissa Scrafano, AIA

Talking to Your (Future) Client

Helena Jubany, FAIA

Elizabeth Valmont, Assoc. AIA

Advocating for Equity

Ingalill Wahlroos-Ritter, FAIA

“Lean-In” Initiative

Michelle Ferial Asadies, AIA

Redefine Your Tribe

Simone Barth-Auster, Assoc. AIA

Advocacy- Finding Your Voice and Taking Action

Andy Lantz

Starting Your Own Practice

Taryn Bone, Assoc. AIA

Jennifer Luce, FAIA

The Value of a Strategic Plan

Phyllis Dubinsky, Affiliate AIA|LA


Kishani De Silva

Morning Session Recap

Claudia Walker


1:15-1:45 Free Space

Elaine Molinar, AIA – Managing Director, Snøhetta New York


1:45-2:45 Beyond Bias: Mindset, Tools, and Approaches To Mitigate Unconscious Bias

This training session clarifies the presence of biases in all of us and develops awareness, provides tools and strategies for recognizing and effectively managing our biases in the workplace.  Along with emotional intelligence this toolkit enables a greater breadth of versatility in each of our behavior at work.

Training Leaders:

Belinda Morris – Founder & President, Peoplescape Consulting Group

Candice Gottlieb-Clark – Founder, Dynamic Team Solutions


2:45 Networking Break


3:00-3:10 Emerging Voice

Elizabeth Mahlow, PE – Founding Partner, Nous Engineering


3:10-3:55 Interdisciplinary Insights:  A Conversation with Creative Industry Executives

Female leaders from fashion, advertising and entertainment share in conversation about a range of topics including the status of equity in their respective fields, creating their own opportunities, advocating for others, and what they’ve learned in their path to leadership.


Sharon Tal Yguado – Head of Genre Original Series, Amazon Studios

Maria Smith – Executive Creative Director, M&C Saatchi

Moderator: Jenna Knudsen, AIA, LEED AP BD+C – Principal, CO Architects


3:55 What’s Next!

Jenna Knudsen, AIA, LEED AP BD+C – Principal, CO Architects

Melanie Freeland, AIA – Senior Associate, Rios Clementi Hale Studios