2021 AIA LA Board of Directors Election Platforms and Bios

Voting closed as of noon on Tuesday November 10, 2020. Thank you to everyone who participated in this year’s Board election!

Architect, Associate, Fellows & Emeritus Members-in-good-standing of AIA|LA are eligible to vote for one (1) Vice President/President-Elect, one (1) Secretary, two (2) Directors, and one (1) AIACA Representative.

Only Associate Members in-good-standing of AIA|LA are eligible to vote for Ex Officio Associate Director.

Voting will be open from Tuesday, September 29, 2020 until Tuesday, November 10, 2020 at 12:00 PM Pacific time, at which time the votes will be tabulated. Results will be made public at the Board Meeting on November 10, 2020. Voting results will be broadcast via email to the AIALA membership on Thursday, November 12, 2020 and  posted on

To conform with the guidelines adopted by the AIALA that support Equity, Diversity and Inclusivity in the Chapter, 2021 Candidate Bios and Platforms will not include candidate headshots. This also helps focus attention on candidates’ qualifications and platforms. Thank you for taking this step with us.

You can view the video of the AIALA Board of Directors’ 2021 Candidate Town Hall, which took place on October 14, at this link.


Vice President/President Elect (one position available in 2021; 3-year term)

Mitra Memari, AIA

Born in Iran, Mitra emigrated to the U.S. as a teenager. With the last name Memari, which means architect in Farsi, one thing is clear: Mitra was born to be an architect. Through adapting to a new culture and language at a young age, she developed a passion for diversity, inclusion, and equity. In her practice and in her role as a partner, Mitra has made it her mission to create a more equitable profession that represents the communities where we live and work. Mitra’s ethics-driven approach also leverages a passion for sustainable design to create seamless, collaborative, lasting relationships across client and project teams.

I believe architects are well-positioned to be at the forefront of re-imagining our built environment to be more just and equitable space. Our profession needs to reflect the communities we serve, diversity and inclusion can only add to the rich talent and expand our creativity. In our rapidly changing world, the future adaptability and sustainability of our built environment has become dire for our action. My commitment is to ensure that AIA LA’s actions are durable, that our advocacy supports this work, and that we provide leadership and support to the full breadth of our members. It’s a big table; all are welcome!

AIA California (AIA CA) Representative (one position available; 2-year term)
Michael W. Folonis, FAIA
Michael Folonis Architects


Michael W. Folonis, FAIA, approaches his work with a generous spirit of inquiry, infusing each project with an awareness of environmental responsibility, context, theory, function and materiality.

His broad base of experience ranges from healthcare, mixed-use, multi-family, affordable housing and commercial projects.

The work has received more that 50 design awards from National, State and Los Angeles Chapters of the AIA, and has been published nationally and internationally.

Michael holds a Master’s degree from UCLA and a Bachelor of Architecture degree from SCI-Arc.  In 2008, the National Chapter of the AIA elected him to the College of Fellows.


As a candidate for AIA CA Representative, I believe I have the experience and past involvement to have a positive effect on legislative issues which are so important to our membership and all architects. In 2014-2015 I served as the AIA California Representative and from 2016-2017 as Secretary on the AIALA Executive Board.

I feel my responsibility is to work with the AIALA Board of Directors and staff to serve as a bridge between policy makers in Sacramento and our profession.

In 2015 I was instrumental in the successful passage of Senate Bill SB704, which had a positive and lasting effect on California architects.

Associate Director Ex Officio (one position available; 2-year term)
Alise Robles, Assoc. AIA


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.

As Ex Officio Associate Director for the AIA|LA Chapter, I will foster engagement between the Council and local associate members on important topics of sustainability, inclusion and diversity. I will support sustainable design as more than building efficiencies but as building communities. As a person of color, I am proud to be on the NBBJ Anti-Racism Task Force and will utilize this experience to build on the LA Chapter’s diversity and inclusion best practices. I will listen and work against injustice to create a path of progress for all associ­ate members and emerging professionals.


Treasurer (one position available; 2-year term)
David Van Wyk, FAIA
Walt Disney Imagineering

Over 35 years with Imagineering, David has worked with architects, engineers and designers to build one-of-a-kind Disney experiences worldwide. David currently serves on the Board of Habitat for Humanity San Gabriel and as President for Neighborhood Housing Partners. He previously served on the Dean’s Advisory Council at Cal Poly SLO’s CAED and was part of Microsoft’s Innovation Outreach Program to explore disruptive technologies across industries. David was a founding member of Lean Construction Institute’s Large Owners Group, focused on project delivery, and has spoken broadly about technology-process applications and how effective design construction integration is shifting the AEC process.

Today more than ever, our profession’s efforts to prioritize solutions for affordable housing, environmentalism and shifting business norms, and our ability to cultivate environments that foster equality, diversity and social justice, will measure our success
as community leaders.

Through projects like Architecture for Communities Los Angeles, we can strengthen community relationships and inspire future generations of architects to evoke meaningful change. Our chapter’s strategic principles uniquely position us to develop healthier communities. As a member of your executive leadership team, I will work to ensure the themes of value, relevancy, inspiration, inclusivity and advocacy define our projects throughout Los Angeles.

Treasurer (one position available; 2-year term)
Annette Wu, AIA
NAC Architecture


With over 26 years of experience as a designer, project manager, and architect, Annette has worked in Hong Kong, New York and Los Angeles. Gaining strong experience in conceptual design and execution, today she brings both these emphases together in project types which transform and engage the lives of the greater community.  Her passion finds its voice in K-12, Community College and Higher Education projects.  As an Associate Principal at NAC, Annette’s focus is on best practices and the processes which ensure a holistic approach to design and execution.

She received her BARCH from the University of Southern California and MARCH from Harvard’s Graduate School of Design.

As a Chair of the Women in Architecture Committee for the past three years, I’ve learned the teamwork and collaboration it takes to produce the Powerful Conference and our events which focus on embracing diversity through inclusion, encouraging professional growth, and promoting leadership within the profession.  I believe this experience would be beneficial to the Board, and I will continue to listen to and work with the stakeholders of the staff and AIA community to develop actionable initiatives furthering the goal of equity and diversity.  As an Associate Principal and NAC shareholder responsible for the firm’s financial health, my experience will promote transparency in the role of Treasurer.

Director (two positions available; 3-year term)
Stephen Albert, AIA
TAG Studio


1966: Bachelor of Architecture: Carnegie Mellon University

1967: Master of Architecture: University of California, Berkeley

1976-1978: Project Manager: Dworsky and Associates

1979- 2020: Principal and founder The Albert Group Architects.

1981: Faculty member of the Southern California Institute of Architecture (SCI-Arc) and created the Office and Project Management curriculum.

1982-1992: Architectural Commissioner for the City of Beverly Hills

1995-2008: Board Member of Affordable Living for the Aging .

2019: appointed to the City of Los Angeles Housing Task Force. The Task Force will create a roadmap for the City to implement the construction of over 450,000 housing units between 2021 and 2028.


• To expand members’ opportunities by promoting stable reliable, business processes
that gains public trust in our ability to provide leadership for a sustainable environment.
• To provide tools that enable the Architectural practice to be on a firm financial footing,
attract the best talent and provide a supportive work environment.
• To meet these goals by supporting the business of Architecture and the contractual
basis of the profession.
• Understanding Risk and Reward:
• Emphasizing profitability as a component of professional satisfaction.
My expertise and experience will allow members to be confident that these goals are being

Director (two positions available; 3-year term)
Michael H Anderson, AIA, NOMA
Anderson Barker Architects


  • Principal and founder, Anderson-Barker Architects
  • California registered architect, practicing for 42 years
  • Member of AIA, NOMA, and ULI
  • Specialist in transit and aviation architecture, and urban economic development

Author of NO MORE BROKEN PROMISES: The Challenge of Change and Other Obstacles to Economic Growth in Communities of Color (due 2021)

This book describes a pragmatic, practical recipe to trigger urban regeneration along with land uses and building types needed to kick-start revitalization for the wider community, with multiple concrete examples of what did and didn’t work from decades of my own work in low-incomeimpacted communities of color in and around Los Angeles.

My mission and practice in architecture is to come up with equitable solutions to the problems that exist in low-impacted communities utilizing current measures to fund transit, open space, and community development programs. Recognizing that most municipal agencies of low-income-impacted communities seeking transit-oriented development may not have the resources to implement transit-oriented planning, I hope to encourage AIA to collaborate with these municipalities in establishing TOC business plans to attract private capital for needed investments. I will utilize my own and others’ relationships with private capital sources to aid local municipalities in placemaking destinations.

Director (two positions available; 3-year term)
Michael Hamner, FAIA

Raised in East Los Angeles, Michael graduated from USC (’84). A faculty member of ELAC’s Department of Architecture since 1992, he is currently the Chair. Michael’s elevation to Fellowship in 2017 was the first time a two-year community college professor and program received this honor. He is licensed in California, Hawaii and Louisiana, and his experience spans from hospitality to institutional facilities. For 30 years he has been a principal, with his architect wife, of D. Michael Hamner, FAIA, Architects and BArch, Builder|Architects, a design-build/development company. Michael has coached basketball for 44 years, including a High School program in Montebello from 2000-2009.

As achieved at ELAC, I hope to utilize the AIALA’s resources to develop meaningful interventions with Middle and High Schools and the larger underserved community, and to provide knowledge and opportunity to students to pursue an Architecture career. To that end, we must educate teachers and counselors on what an Architect does, and what an architectural education requires, so they can provide the best information as students decide their pathway. Many architecture students say they chose their major because they knew someone who piqued their interest. This is key to getting students interested in architecture; getting the word out early, and often.

Director (two positions available; 3-year term)
Michael Kemp, AIA
Michael Kemp Architects

Michael Kemp is managing director at Michael Kemp Architects, an Architecture and Planning Firm in West LA. The Firm specializes in Residential, Commercial and Hospitality projects. Raised in Chicago, and a graduate of the University of Utah; he has worked for several award-winning Architectural Firms in LA, and as Director of Architecture for a National Builder. He has served on Boards of several non-profits; LA Neighborhood Council; and Chair of several Architectural and Land Use Committees. He has been a speaker on Architecture and Design issues at NeoCon; and the Institute of Design in LA.

I am honored to have been a professional member of the AIA/LA for over 30 years. As Director I will work to support the ongoing programs, and excellent staff and leadership of the organization. My top priorities will be the inclusion of all members, and all sizes of Firms; and promote the relevancy of the organization to our members, potential members, and the general public. The viability of our profession rests in broadly reaching out to younger generations so that they can experience what an inspiring profession Architecture can be.

Director (two positions available; 3-year term)
Christiana Kyrillou, AIA
Woods Bagot

Christiana is the Principal in Charge and Studio Executive Chair of Woods Bagot’s newly opened Los Angeles Studio. A graduate of SCAD, she is a LEED AP and California Licensed Architect. Over her 21-year career, she has developed a diverse and extensive experience in both international and local projects with deep understanding of the complexity of large mixed-use projects and multi-disciplinary collaborations. In addition, while at Woods Bagot, she has developed the Internship and Graduate Recruitment Program and is leading the EDI task force. Recently relocated from San Francisco, she was previously on the Governance Committee and Programs Committee of CREWSF.

With my relocation to Los Angeles I am looking to develop relationships within the local Architectural and Design community, get involved, collaborate, provide mentorship, and stay at the forefront of change within our industry and profession. We are at a pivotal moment where so many key issues are shaping our profession and our practice, from COVID, to climate change, to social justice and diversity. I believe our profession needs to speak up and be part of that
change and as an AIA|LA Board Director I am committed to be part of that change by supporting the AIA|LA and its initiatives.

The following current Board Members will continue their terms in 2021:

President: Wade Killefer, FAIA
Past President: Greg Verabian, AIA
Secretary: Kevin Holland, FAIA
Director: Fabian Kremkus, AIA
Director: Pooja Bhagat, AIA
Director: Ziba Ghassemi, AIA
Director: Dan Herman, AIA
Director: Leslie Sydnor, AIA
AIA CA Representative: John Egan, AIA
Public Director: Molly Rysman
Associate Director: Francisco Arias, Assoc. AIA