Kristen Fraumeni, AIA
Vice President & Senior Designer, HKS Inc.
Kristen is a Vice-President and Senior Designer at HKS Inc in Los Angeles, CA. Since joining the firm in 2020 she has practiced commercial mixed use and multi-family residential architecture. Her previous 10+ years in the industry were spent specializing in hospitality architecture at Gensler, designing projects with a broad global reach. Kristen’s creativity is embedded in a pursuit to create buildings and spaces that elevate and enrich the human experience. She believes utility in architecture is not its sole purpose: aesthetics and the production of beauty are paramount in her work. She is a licensed Architect in California and a LEED GA with an M Arch I from SCI-Arc and a B.S in Architectural Engineering. She thrives in a collaborative atmosphere and embraces evolutions in digital design. She enjoys sharing her knowledge with others, lending professional advice to students through her role as a mentor in the USC Architecture mentorship program. Kristen also serves on the Los Angeles Design Fellowship at HKS. In her current position Kristen champions all aspects of project design and delivery, guiding the client and working closely with team members and consultants along the project journey.
Monica Rodriguez, AIA
Senior Associate, KFA Architecture
Monica recently celebrated her fifteenth year with KFA. She loves the fulfillment of working on affordable multi-family projects that are part of the solution to the housing crisis in LA. As a native Angeleno and second generation Mexican-American, she is especially proud of her work on Hollenbeck Terrace Apartments (Linda Vista Hospital), a low-income housing for seniors project in Boyle Heights. These days her efforts are focused on affordable housing projects including two ARO projects at the West LA VA, which will provide low-income homes for unhoused American vets. Community involvement is important to Monica; she is the newly appointed Board Architect of the Jefferson Park HPOZ. In 2021 she co-developed the new 8-week Architecture Program at the Santa Monica Boys & Girls Club, in the hopes to inspire BIPOC kids to be LA’s future architects. She enjoys exploring other forms of creative expression outside of work including stand-up comedy.
Alexandria Hoevel, AIA
Director of Los Angeles, Lowney Architecture
A life-long resident of Los Angeles, Alexandria has been practicing Architecture and Urban Design for almost 20 years. With a deeper focus on a project’s relationship to its urban context and the neighborhood surrounding it, she’s worked extensively on multi-family and mixed used developments both regionally and in other parts of the US. Since graduating from Cal Poly Pomona, Alexandria has had the opportunity to be a part of a handful of well-respected and eclectic firms in the region, and has recently joined Lowney Architecture as their Director of Los Angeles. Outside of the office, Alexandria devotes her free time to her community, mentorship, and to supporting equality within the field of Architecture. She’s also an active member of ULI and AWA+D.
As a founding member of the Lamar Johnson Collaborative (LJC), Sarah was integral in growing the architectural design firm from a start-up of six people to almost forty in a year and a half. When LJC was acquired by Clayco in 2019, she served as a core member of the transition team leading the merger between LJC and Clayco’s existing design-build practice, Bates Forum. LJC is now a full-service architecture, interiors, landscape, planning and engineering firm of nearly 300 professionals in five cities.
In 2021, she relocated to Los Angeles in order to establish and lead LJC’s west coast office in Culver City. Recognizing her past success, in 2022 Sarah was named the first female President of LJC and one of the leaders of the Clayco California office. As part of an integrated design-build firm, Sarah works closely with her Clayco colleagues, leveraging the knowledge and capabilities of her development and construction partners for the benefits of her clients.
With a background in both construction management and design, Sarah has distinguished herself as a strong, capable leader on a wide range of developments including office buildings, hotels, high-rises, mixed-use, civic and institutional facilities. A licensed project architect in multiple states, she has been involved in all aspects of project delivery from conceptual design through construction administration. She has been named an ENR Top 40 under 40 and her projects have won numerous design awards such as ULI Global Award for Excellence and AIA Merit Awards. In her role as President, she will continue to provide exceptional service to clients as she also takes on the responsibility for the overall leadership of the firm, including staff development, revenue growth, and profitability.
Sarah also leverages her leadership position to help increase the diversity of the architectural practice, at multiple levels – introducing high school students of color to the profession through mentorship and internships, looking for ways to partner with MBE and WBE firms in the community for skill sharing and skill growing opportunities, and working with industry women’s leadership initiatives to increase the number of female leaders at the table. She is passionate about making sure that the field of architecture better reflects the community it serves.
Kristin Akin-Zimmerman, AIA, NOMA
As an Associate at Skidmore Owings and Merrill, Kristin approaches each project with a unique design perspective. She collaborates on a variety of project types including civic projects, mixed-use developments, and SOM legacy project renovations. With all design opportunities, Kristin particularly focuses on improving the urban landscape and public space experiences. Since graduating Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo, Kristin has spent her free time contributing to a more equitable and diverse architectural profession by leading efforts like the SOM Women’s Initiative. In collaboration with NOMA, she devotes her energy to mentorship, outreach, and exposing architecture to future designers.
Yu-Ming Wei, AIA
Principal | Project Management Leader, HED
Yu-Ming Wei, AIA, is a Principal at HED where she serves as Operations Manager and Project Management Discipline Leader for their Los Angeles Office. She has extensive experience with large complex projects and client stakeholder groups and has garnered the relevant knowledge and skill set to successfully execute projects from inception through construction. She is well versed in the design process and teamwork necessary to drive projects from entitlement through construction. Over the course of her career, she has been involved in diverse project types ranging from residential high-rises, mixed-use commercial developments, K-12 classrooms, to higher education academic and student support facilities. It is her ability to steer collaboration and balance innovation with technical project requirements that has enables her to practice so broadly and achieve distinctive and relevant results for her clients. As a Project Manager, she focuses this experience on supporting and guiding her team members toward project success. As an Architect, she enjoys mentorship so others may discover their own paths forward in the multifaceted architectural profession.