The AIA|LA Women in Architecture Committee is excited to present our 10th Powerful Conference this year! Powerful X: Shine Your Light will celebrate the strength and resilience of women architects and allied professionals by shedding light on their achievements. With our inspiring list of speakers, panelists, and roundtable discussions we hope to inspire a sense of purpose as we focus on the intentional actions that can be taken by women to self-advocate and deliver measurable progress towards a more diverse profession with increased gender equity.

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In Person!

Date:  October 6, 2023

Time: 8:00 am to 5:00 pm

Location: The Colburn School, Zipper Hall

CES Learning Units: 6 LU/HSW

See below for details on LU’s




Click on the Powerful X Lunch Table Topics below. Each attendee will be able to attend 2 round table discussions during lunch. The discussions will run for 45 min each. Sign up for tables will take place at check-in.

Lunch Topic Discussions

Don’t miss out!


AIALA Member – $120

Non-Member – $155

Student – $55


Support a conference that advances our profession, increase visibility for your firm, and pick up tickets for your staff.

View all the opportunities here!

2023 Co-Chairs and Co-Vice Chairs
Kristen Fraumeni, AIA, Leed GA
Sr Designer, VP HKS
Monica Rodriguez, AIA
House & Robertson Architects, Inc.
Alexandria Hoevel, AIA
Director of Los Angeles, Lowney Architecture
Sarah Jacobson, AIA
President, The Lamar Johnson Collaborative

Powerful Panel 1: The Road To Your Tribe And Power
Moderated by Karen Compton
Karen Compton
Principal, A3K Consulting, LLC
Leslie Sydnor, AIA, AIA|LA President, Cumming Corp
Michel Dory, Associate IIDA
Tenant Improvement/ Construction Project Manager, Crystal Stairs
Allyson Gipson
Executive Director, Facilities Planning & Management, University of Southern California
Gabrielle Bullock, FAIA
Director of Global Diversity, Principal, Perkins & Will
Nina Briggs
Assistant Professor of Landscape Architecture, Cal Poly Pomona

Keynote Speakers
Mia Lehrer
President, Studio-MLA
Jenna Hornstock, Hon. AIA|LA
Deputy Mayor of Housing, Office of Karen Bass

Additional Speakers
Elena Manferdini
Principal, Atelier Manferdini
Julia Gamolina, Assoc AIA
Founder & Editor In Chief, Madame Architect
Stephanie Reich, AIA
Urban Designer / Design and Historic Preservation Planner, City of Santa Monica
Tania Van Herle, FAIA
CEO Operations, HED
Patti Rhee
Partner, Ehrlich Yanai Rhee Chaney Architects
Pooja Bhagat, AIA
Principal, Pooja Bhagat architects & planners; Board Member ACLA

Powerful Panel 2: Women Leading Design
Moderated by Kristen Fraumeni
Kristen Fraumeni, AIA, Lead GA
Sr Designer, VP HKS
Alice Kimm, FAIA
Co-Founder & Principal
John Friedman Alice Kimm Architects
Silvia Kuhle, AIA
Partner, Standard Architecture | Design
Kristi Paulson, AIA
Partner, Behnisch Architekten

Closing Remarks
Annette Wu, AIA
Principal, NAC Architecture

Approved Learning Objectives AIA CES: 6 LU|HSW:

+ Participants will explore the intentional actions that can be taken to self-advocate through the multitude of speakers who will be sharing their personal career paths and strategies for success.
+ Participants will be able to identify what they can do as members of the A & E industry to assist developers/clients in delivering housing projects to the LA Market by listening to Jenna Hornstock, Deputy Mayor of Housing, share her and Mayor Karen Bass’ platform including objectives and programs for housing in Los Angeles.
+ Participants will be able to describe the challenges faced by African American women architects by listening to the Panel led by Leslie Sydnor. Once challenges are understood, participants will be better equipped to support a more diverse work-force and enable individuals who are underrepresented to succeed.
+ Participants will engage in lively discussions about the following 6 topics during lunch led by experienced moderators: Leadership and mentorship, work life harmony, firm ownership/business development, JEDI, Emerging professionals, and workplace negotiation. After attending 2 of these topics participants will be able to recall new tools for navigating their careers.
+ Participants will analyze how to navigate a male dominated design industry by listening to the panel on design which includes Silvia Kuhle, Kristi Paulson, and Alice Kimm – all either partners or firm owners. After the panel participants will have tools to ensure they are receiving credit for their design work, they will be better equipped to communicate with contractors and consultants, they will know how to handle returning to the workplace after having a child and will gain confidence in asserting design ideas in meetings both internal and with clients.
+ Participants will be able to compare the average salary range of others in the industry by analyzing anonymously recorded values of compensation provided by other attendees at event check-in. Buckets will be located at check in, categorized by years of experience, and guests will write down their base salary and bonus for comparison by the workplace negotiation table. The goal is to provide participants a more transparent analysis of what fair compensation looks like.
Participants will explore the design work of both Mia Lehrer and Elena Manferdini, which will enrich their understanding of two very influential, relevant figures in design in Los Angeles. Participants will see women in design leadership roles which can have a lasting effect on internal goals and visions for one’s career aspirations.

Presenting Sponsors

Champion Sponsors

Happy Hour Sponsor

Scholarship Sponsors

Past Chair Dinner Sponsors

Video Sponsor

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