2022 AIA LA Board of Directors Election Platforms and Bios

Voting was open from September 29 through November 9, 2021 at 12 noon PT. Thank you to everyone participating 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 September 29, 2021 until November 9, 2021 at 12:00 noon Pacific time, at which time the votes will be tabulated. Results will be made public at the Board Meeting on November 9, 2021. Voting results will be announced on Thursday, November 11, 2021 and  posted on

Thanks to all who attended our AIALA Board of Directors’ 2022 Candidate Town Hall on November 3, 2021.

Voting has closed for the 2022 Board.

UNCONTESTED POSITIONS (please vote for all)

Vice President/President Elect (one position available serving a 3-year term: 2022 VP, 2023 President, 2024 Past President)

Leslie Sydnor, AIA

Leslie is a director at Cumming; currently working as a planning and development project manager for LAUSD. She has over 25 years of experience in the design of education, aviation, industrial and low-income housing projects. Leslie is co-chair of the Justice Equity Diversity and Inclusion (J.E.D.I.) committee and has been a member of the Design Awards and Long Range Strategic Plan Committees. She has planned and/or moderated the Encompass Conference on Equity and Diversity for the past 3 years. Leslie has a B.A. in Architecture from Yale and an M.Arch from UCLA.

Architects collaborate. The best of us collaborate with our coworkers, clients, contractors, agencies, and community. As a board member for the past three years I have seen the chapter effectively partner with members, legislators, and community advocates. I am committed to expanding AIALA’s reach through deepening existing partnerships like that we have with SoCal NOMA, as well as new partnerships with other AIA Chapters and organizations like ULI, AAAE, etc. The AIALA is a strong voice for, and on behalf of its members – our voice can be louder and our profession stronger by joining with others working toward a place for ALL Angelenos.

Secretary (one position available serving a 2-year term: Jan 2022-Dec 2023)

Lani Lee, AIA

Lani Lee is a Los Angeles architect and a native Angeleno who brings to life institutional projects that emphasize sustainability and maintain a positive impact on our environment. Her 22-year career extends across a broad scope of project types including: large institutes of higher learning, affordable housing, cultural institutions, and the restoration of historic buildings. She has served as Co-Chair of the Women in Architecture Committee and its annual Powerful conference, and is a member of the Equity and Action Committee at SOM.






These four pillars represent my platform as AIALA Secretary. The world has changed, and so it is more important than ever to remain committed to our colleagues and communities through the constant acquisition of knowledge, providing ongoing opportunities to those who seek advancement in our profession, fighting for equity and fairness for all, and finally, building a strong legacy for future generations of architects. As AIALA Secretary, I will be a strong leader who encourages engagement and collaboration in order to build a great future for our profession and our city.

AIA California Representative(position available serving a 2-year term: Jan 2022-Dec 2023)

Gio Aliano, AIA
Abode Communities/Architecture

Gio Aliano offers more than 30 years of design expertise and passion to bring equity through architecture to mission-based and community-serving organizations. He is particularly immersed in the intricacies of design for affordable/supportive housing and mixed-use community-benefit developments. Most recently, his work in the City of Los Angeles HHH Innovation Challenge has propelled the use of modular, prefabricated design to drive cost and schedule savings to address the City’s homelessness crisis. Aliano is a board member of Los Angeles Education Partnership; and a member of Southern California Association of Nonprofit Housing [SCANPH].

California is experiencing an unprecedented housing crisis and the number of unhoused individuals grows every day. As an affordable housing and community-benefit architect, I play an instrumental part in bringing equitable, responsive, and thoughtful architecture to enrich the lives of vulnerable populations throughout our communities. As a candidate for AIA CA Representative, I will earnestly represent the AIA LA Board by closing the gap between affordable housing policy makers and design professionals to ensure that quality architecture remains accessible to all.

CONTESTED POSITIONS (please vote for all)

Director (3 positions available serving a 3-year term: Jan 2022-Dec 2024)

Stephen M. Albert, AIA
Albert Group Architects

University of California Berkeley California

Master of Architecture, 1967

Carnegie Mellon University Bachelor of Architecture, 1966

Principal: Albert Group Architects: 1979-Present.

Beverly Hills Architectural Commissioner. 1987-1996: Streamlined complex review and approval processes.

Board of Directors: Alternative Living for the Aging, 1990-2010. Led the design of multiple affordable senior housing projects. His vision of “independence through interdependence” was implemented in all projects
Southern California Institute of Architecture. Instructor: “Office and Project Management”.

Emphasized architecture as a rigorous profession requiring knowledge of contract law, finances, the regulatory environment, and communication skills. Mr. Albert continues to reduce risk management in the profession.


As a member of the Board of Directors I will:
• Emphasize that the primary role of the AIA, LA Chapter is securing and promoting the profitability and financial stability of its members.
• Recognize that the practice of Architecture must be promoted as a serious, and well-run business, that gains public confidence with Architects who have a proficiency in Contract Law, Accounting, Practice and Risk Management.
• Engage with City of L.A. Planning and Building and Safety Dept. to find remedies to conflicts in the approval process.
• Support qualifications-based Architect selection processes and policies that redress the imbalance of Risk and Reward.


Director (3 positions available serving a 3-year term: Jan 2022-Dec 2024)

Nathan Bishop, AIA

Nathan Bishop AIA, LEED AP has been Design Principal at Koning Eizenberg since 2011. Nathan brings an empathetic approach to the creation of sustainable community places which amplify social impact through inclusive design. After practicing in Boston at such firms as Office dA and Machado & Silvetti, and teaching at RISD, Harvard, and Northeastern University, he moved to LA to continue his professional and academic career and has taught at SCI_Arc and USC while leading design efforts for Pico Branch Library, 500 Broadway, and the Arroyo affordable housing projects. Nathan is currently design lead for the new Malibu High School.

Investment in young practitioners has always been important to me in both the classroom and the office and now I want to use the AIA platform to nurture young architects as advocates for a more inclusive Los Angeles. I am currently working with our local AIA chapter, and LA City Planning staff, to envision a new Planning Code which encourages a more diverse and experimental Los Angeles. I believe that the voices of future practitioners must be included in such processes to ensure that our future city will make space for everyone.

Director (3 positions available serving a 3-year term: Jan 2022-Dec 2024)

James E. Donaldson (JED), AIA
Johnson Fain

JED is a Principal at Johnson Fain with more than 20 years of professional experience in designing large scale projects including Creative Office, Residential, and Mixed-Use Developments. JED earned a Bachelor of Arts in Architecture from the University of North Carolina-Charlotte and a Master of Architecture Degree from Virginia Tech. JED’s knowledge of the building industry is complemented with his interest in green building technologies and advanced computer modeling. JED has taught architectural courses and/or been a guest studio critic at UC Berkeley, USC, and UCLA Extension as well as a speaker at USC’s BIM symposium.


I will work with the AIA Board of Directors to educate membership, and the general public, on matters of technology, design, and climate change.  The architectural industry is facing a monumental transformation and I will demonstrate how to empower architects with the proper use of  technology. Architecture is the critical tool in shaping our cities and I will focus on participation and publishing about how design is the impetus for success. Climate change is the most relevant issue facing the world and with my knowledge of the field I will educate on how the AIA can be a steward for change.

Director (3 positions available serving a 3-year term: Jan 2022-Dec 2024)

Ismar Enriquez, AIA, LFA, LEED AP
the architects collective

Ismar has been practicing for 15 years and he is currently Director of Sustainable Design at TAC, focusing on housing that fosters social, equitable, and sustainable communities.

Ismar was the Chair in 2017 for 2×8, which has awarded over $100,000 in scholarships. He has led discussions in past AIA conferences and other non-profit organizations addressing the housing crisis and social justice.

As the 2021 COTE Chair, Ismar is addressing issues of carbon neutrality, resiliency, climate justice, and equity. In addition to the sustainability initiatives, Ismar is involved in government policy change and advocacy efforts across the State.


Being a past 2×8 and current COTE Chair has given me a strong foundation to address issues important to Architects and the environment. As a member of AIA CA’s COTE and Resilient Design Subcommittee, I am working with State leaders to protect and fight against Climate Change. I have formed a coalition with the AIA OC and AIA LBSB Chapters and represent LA in a national capacity. I sponsored a letter that our Board signed off on, opposing the expansion of Fire District 1. This is one of many issues I continue to work on for our members. Let’s act now!

Director (3 positions available serving a 3-year term: Jan 2022-Dec 2024)

Mark Nichols, AIA, LEED AP
MNichols Design

I’m an Architect with over a decade of experience and am the Owner of my own practice, MNichols Design, which focuses on single family, multi-family, and commercial projects. I’ve worked at high-end multi-family and single-family Architecture firms in both Seattle and Los Angeles prior to going out on my own, which provides me with a broad understanding of the practice of Architecture as well as the similarities and discrepancies across different jurisdictions. I am passionate about designing exceptional buildings that aim to improve their surroundings and committed to seeing them successfully brought to life.


If you share these following frustrations, elect me so that I can update existing  regulations to better accomplish their intent.

Broad: Uphold over-arching goals of a more inclusive, equitable, and sustainable  practice of Architecture


  1. Increase building height limit of 16’ to 25’ for detached ADUs on multifamily  properties in LA.
  2. Find alternatives to LARR and ICC ES reports for the verification of product  performance in order to grant greater flexibility in product selection.
  3. Improve energy modeling software so that it more accurately captures the  efficiency of newer HVAC systems.

Ex Officio Associate Director (position available serving a 1-year term [2022] and advancing to Associate Director for another 1-year term [2023])

Joshua A. Foster, Assoc. AIA, NOMA
JAF Creative Solutions, LLC

Joshua A. Foster, NOMA, Assoc. AIA, is an award-winning designer for his commitment to community outreach and engagement relating to the built environment. Previously focusing on the design and construction of affordable and market-rate housing projects, Joshua leveraged his experiences into the founding of JAF Creative Solutions, LLC— a community-impact focused strategic partnership and design consultancy firm. He is also an Adjunct Architecture Professor at East Los Angeles College and a high school football coach in Long Beach. A native of the Philadelphia area, Joshua is also a graduate of both Columbia University and the University of Southern California.

Joshua’s mission as Associate Director is to foster the strengths and passions of the associate membership body in a way that maximizes the impact we have right now even before becoming licensed members. Through partnerships within the community at large, we can use our unique skill sets to make a significant difference and to become true Community Builders. Joshua strongly believes that the grass is greener where you water it and by watering the current talents of our associate membership we will create a more impactful AIA chapter within the Los Angeles community.

Ex Officio Associate Director (position available serving a 1-year term [2022] and advancing to Associate Director for another 1-year term [2023])

Miranda Gardiner, Assoc. AIA, LEED Fellow, Fitwel Ambassador, EcoDistricts AP
HKS, Inc.

Miranda Gardiner is a vice president and sustainability leader at HKS, with projects ranging from campus to commercial mixed-use. Her career has afforded her multiple international experiences including field work in Greece, a research fellowship in Germany, and a secondment with the Abu Dhabi Urban Planning Council. Previously, she managed LEED technical development at USGBC, including LEED for Healthcare and LEED Pilot Credit Library. She serves on the SDGBC Board of Directors, USGBC’s LEED Advisory Committee, and as the Vice Chair for AIA-LA COTE. Miranda holds a M. Arch from the University of Pennsylvania and a BA from Georgetown University.

In 2021, over 40% of 2030 Challenge new signatories are from Los Angeles – in large part, due to the efforts of our AIA-LA COTE and Design Awards Committees. I am an active member of both, serving as the Vice Chair for COTE and a sustainability liaison for the DAC. The work I champion with my fellow experts is influencing greater, longer-term solutions for climate change, equity, and equality in our practice. I will continue to hold us accountable as a Board and within our profession, upping the ante to be better year after year through high-performance design and advocacy.

Ex Officio Associate Director (position available serving a 1-year term [2022] and advancing to Associate Director for another 1-year term [2023])

Petrina Gooch, Assoc. AIA, SPHR, SHRM – SCP

Petrina Gooch, Associate AIA, SPHR, SHRM-SCP is a member of the Board of Directors and a Principal with HED. She’s served 13 years in the A/E industry as HED’s Corporate HR Leader, and served as the Executive Chair for the AIA Large Firm Round Table Human Resources Group from 2017 through 2019.
Petrina was tapped by National AIA to serve on a few special committees to help advance the profession. Petrina has held other volunteer leadership roles with the City of Whittier Personnel Board and Professionals in Human Resources Association. Petrina seeks to leave a legacy of Positive Change.


IPC: Impact Positive Change

Let’s drive radical foundational change within the industry that is characterized by agility, relevance, unbounded possibilities, and that embraces the energy of a relentless and inclusive passion. I believe that what got us here will not take us to our destination, however, capitalizing on the change demanded in the present will bring inclusive momentum for the path forward and progress is always relevant.

Voting has closed for the 2022 Board.

The following current Board Members will continue their terms in 2022:

  • President: Mitra Memari, AIA
  • Past President: Wade Killefer, FAIA
  • Treasurer:  Annette Wu, AIA
  • Director: Michael Hurvey Anderson, AIA
  • Director: Ziba Ghassemi, AIA
  • Director: Dan Herman, AIA
  • Director: Christiana Kyrillou, AIA
  • Associate Director: Alise Robles, Assoc. AIA
  • Public Director: Amy Anderson
  • AIA California Representative: Michael W. Folonis, FAIA