PHOTO: Photo: Nico Marques

The AIA|LA Women in Architecture Committee is thrilled to share the lunchtime discussion circles, along with their accomplished leaders, which will be featured at Powerful VI. (Please note that the conference is sold out.)


Negotiation Strategies for a Range of Situations
How to assess and succeed in the various negotiation situations that arise daily and at the inflection points in our careers, without falling victim to gender stereotypes. Whether it be for an initial salary at a new job, a raise, a compromise on an issue in a project or at the office etc.
+ Deborah Weintraub AIA, LEEDAP – Chief Deputy City Engineer, Bureau of Engineering, Department of Public Works, City of Los Angeles
+ Carol Lanham, AIA, Assoc DBIA – Program Manager, Kitchell CEM
+ Kate Diamond, FAIA LEEDAP – Design Director, HDR Architecture

Career Path Goal Setting
This session will rely on discussion and brainstorming to come up with realistic and concrete actions we can take toward achieving our goals. Discussion will also include topics like making your career fit you and staying open to unexpected opportunities.
+ Audrey Sato, RA, LEED-AP – Principal Architect, SATO Architects, Inc.

Making the leap from architecture to entrepreneurship, benefitting from bringing entrepreneurial strategies into architectural practice. Entrepreneurial hesitancy, starting your own firm, maintaining and growing a small firm.
+ Emmanuelle Bourlier – Founding Partner, CEO, Panelite

Navigating Highly Complex Programs and Projects
Managing risk and building capacity for the unknown.
+ Kishani De Silva – FUSE Executive Fellow, Los Angeles County Development Authority

Talent Retention and Professional Development Strategies/Retaining Bright Women
An equity-based approach to talent retention and professional development – tools and rewards. Identifying opportunities to grow talented staff beyond career pinch points.
+ Kala Wahl, IIDA – Senior Design Consultant, Bespoke Careers

Charting Your Career Path
Making your career fit you. How to make decisions – stay or go? And staying open to unexpected opportunities.
+ Marisa Kurtzman, RA, LEED AP – Partner, Frederick Fisher and Partners

Interviewing and Networking
Tips to make a powerful impression whether in an interview, meeting or a networking situation.
+ Patricia Rhee, FAIA, DBIA – Partner, EHRLICH YANAI RHEE CHANEY Architects

Advocacy-Finding Your Voice and Taking Action
Would you like to take action but don’t know where to start? What actions are effective? Here’s a chance to discuss how to begin to think strategically about advocacy.
+ Melanie Freeland, AIA, LEED AP – Studio Director, Rios Clementi Hale Studios

Interviewing and Networking Tips
Tips to make a powerful impression whether in an interview, meeting or a networking situation.
+ Anne Fletcher, AIA, LEEDAP – Managing Principal, HOK Los Angeles

Work Life Integration
How to make your work, life and passion integrate more seamlessly for you, your colleagues and staff
+ Carissa Oyedele AIA, LEED™ AP BD+C – Associate Principal, Moore Ruble Yudell

Alternate Career Paths
Architects and those trained in architecture practice in a wide variety of ways, within architecture and in allied professions. This is an opportunity to explore different options and share experience.
+ Kathleen Hetrick – WELL AP, LEED AP BD+C Ecodistricts – BuroHappold

How to Handle Sexual Harassment and Gender Discrimination
+ Petrina Gooch, Assoc. AIA – Principal & Corporate Human Resources Leader, HED

Building a Flexible Practice
Diverse interests, projects and locations can be reflected in an innovative and flexible practice.
+ Elissa Scrafano, AIA – Principal, Scrafano Architects

Talking to your (Future)
Client Engaging and retaining new clients requires strong communication and relationship building skills. This will be an opportunity to learn from experts and to share tips and experiences.
+ Helena Jubany, FAIA – Principal, NAC

Advocating for Equity
Topics to include an example of a diversity plan that can be tailored for different settings, hiring, promoting and mentoring.
+ Ingalill Wahlroos-Ritter, FAIA, Dean, Woodbury School of Architecture

The Power of Defining Yourself
An interactive session to discuss why women’s path to success often looks different and why it is important to set goals, be bold, break norms and don’t let society define you.
+ Michelle “Ferial” Asadies, AIA, LEED AP – Senior Project Manager, HDR

Redefine Your Tribe
The session will focus on the benefits of a career transition and how it positively affects your work, firm, clients and “new (architectural) community.”
+ Simone Barth-Auster, Assoc. AIA LEED AP BD+C – OMGIVNING

Implementing Equitable Processes and Procedures
Where to start, what to expect, how to ensure success.
+ Andy Lantz, Assoc. AIA – Creative Director, Partner, Rios Clementi Hale Studios

The Value of a Strategic Plan
Why it’s important for your practice.
+ Phyllis Dubinsky, Affiliate AIA|LA – Principal, Regional Development Director
TEECOM | the tech in architecture

Topics including the benefits and challenges of formal mentorship programs, the keys to good mentoring relationships and how mentoring is essential to advancing women’s careers.
+ Monica Rodriguez, AIA – Senior Associate, KFA, LLP
+ Kristin Akin-Zimmerman, AIA, LEED GA – SOM Los Angeles

Board Membership: Where to Start?
Interested in joining a board? How to get started, what to expect, different types of Boards. How to choose and get on a board, whether directly in the architecture field or indirectly (art, publications, environment, museums, and business.) Data show that women on boards are good for business. Board membership is an excellent way to effect change, gain experience, and make connections.
+ Heidi Creighton, AIA, LEED Fellow – Associate Principal, BuroHappold Engineering | Sustainability

Skills for Creative Success
Close the gap between your talents and achievements by cultivating your personal development power. Put together the special professional, interpersonal, and self-development skills you need to succeed in a creative profession. Walk away with your unique roadmap, and the knowledge to make it work for your future.
+ Jeannette Diaz, RA

Embracing BIM: Digital Architecture and Multidisciplinary Coordination
BIM provides tools for seamless integration of 2D and 3D elements, onward into physical (3D printed) and virtual environments (AR/VR), while maintaining data that is relevant to coordination of all building systems. BIM requires transparency and clarity – how do we adapt our communication not only through design, but also through project team collaboration?
+ Ashley Morgan Hastings, Assoc. AIA – BIM Manager, Arup

Starting Your Own Practice
You know more than you think!
+ Doug Teiger, AIA – Founder, Teiger Consulting

Technology and Design: Empowerment vs Divestment
Should architects set boundaries to maintain control of creativity? Or take advantage of optimization? This discussion will focus on how technological progress can help realize architectural vision and aid rather than overtake the creative process.
+ Judith Mussell, RA – Associate, Gehry Partners, LLP and Laurie Bachelder, Architect(EU) – Gehry Partners, LLP

Integration into Company’s Culture for New and Recently Promoted Professionals
A discussion of strategies to integrate and provide support for new employees to the company’s culture and promote professionals to their next promotion.
+ Jennifer Noel Wong, LEED AP BD+C – CO Architects

Architecture Adjacent
How to take the skills you are already equipped with from your architectural background and letting them take off into a passion project.
+ Pearl Ho – OfficeUntitled

Continuing the Conversation: Managing Large Firms
+ Kelly Farrell, AIA, LEED AP BD+C

Pedagogy and Practice
Increasingly diverse faculties of architecture are influencing new generations of designers. How is this changing the education landscape and the built environment? Explore the plethora of ways YOU can get involved in design education
+ Kerenza Harris, RA – Director of Design Technology, Morphosis Architects | Faculty at Sci-Arc

Communications for a Variety of Situations
Communication is one of the most important skills we employ in creating, managing and working in team-oriented integrated environements. This discussion will focus on various communication strategies and challenges.
+ Erin Gehle – Senior Director, Marketing and Communications Marketing, Rios Clementi Hale Studios

Finding Happiness in Architecture Through the Different Stages of Your Career
1. Overcoming the shock and disappointment upon entering the “real world” 2. Maintaining optimism while navigating the career path maze and evolving from acquisition-mode to editing-mode at mid-career 3. Reconciling the role of the “rainmaker” with the desire to draw and design at principal level.
+ Yunnan Allen, RA, LEEDAP – Senior Project Architect, HDR Architecture