American Institute of Architects, San Francisco Chapter

Announcing the 2014 AIA San Francisco Board of Directors

Posted on Jan. 21, 2014

SAN FRANCISCO, CA (January, 2014) - The American Institute of Architects, San Francisco Chapter (AIA San Francisco) is excited to announce its 2014 Board of Directors. Serving the Bay Area for more than a century, AIA San Francisco is one of the largest of AIA's 300 chapters. Headquartered in the historic Hallidie Building– one of the world's first glass-curtain-wall-buildings, designed by Willis Polk and completed in 1917– AIA San Francisco is the Bay Area’s premier destination for architecture and design. Representing more than 2,300 members in San Francisco and Marin County, our mission is to improve the quality of life in the Bay Area by promoting architecture and design. We further this goal through community involvement, education, advocacy, public outreach, member service, and professional excellence.


Marianne O’Brien, AIA


Marianne O'Brien, AIA is a Principal in the San Francisco office of SmithGroupJJR, an 800 person firm. Marianne focuses on management of technically complex university projects, and has actively explored alternative delivery methods over the course of her 28 year career. Prior to joining AIASF, Marianne chaired an AIA Minnesota task force on emerging issues in the profession, winning a presidential citation for her leadership. She is delighted to be in the Bay Area and immersed in the active, engaged community of architects.

President Ex-Officio

John Kouletsis, AIA

Kaiser Permanente

John is Vice President, Facilities Planning, National Facilities Services for Kaiser Permanente. Through extensive benchmarking and design sessions with front-line healthcare professionals, planners and architects, he has developed national standards and guidelines that incorporate patient, workplace and environmental health and safety best practices. John has spent over 25 years as an owner's representative and design consultant, working on a variety of health care facilities in both the US and Japan.

Vice President, President-Elect

Irving A. Gonzales AIA

Gonzales Architects

Irving is the principal of an award-winning, community-based design firm 25 years in practice. The firm and portfolio is diverse and speaks to the expertise it brings to the predominantly non-profit mixed-use, multi-family affordable housing, commercial and spiritual commissions, delivering high quality architectural projects committed to design excellence, social responsibility and sustainability within the context of equally diverse urban settings. The portfolio is based on the devotion to enriching the built environment and lives by strengthening community, and designing projects with social, environmental and aesthetic verve.


Mark English, AIA

Mark English Architects

Mark manages his residential design firm, Mark English Architects, which he started in 1992. More recently, Mark has been coaching his peers on new strategies for social media and marketing, and is the editor of two online magazines. He has also promoted principles of energy-efficient design, particularly as it relates to compliance with California's Title 24 energy code. Mark received his degree in Architecture from California Polytechnic University, complemented by graduate studies at the Syracuse University campus in Florence, Italy.

Assistant Treasurer

Paul Cooper, AIA

Tom Eliot Fisch

Paul brings 19 years of experience to his work with expertise in the design of community serving libraries and recreational centers, corporate offices, academic facilities, and retail developments. He was instrumental to the success of the George Sim Community Center in Sacramento and the Almaden Library/Community Center in San Jose, both multiple award-winning projects. He also provided leadership to the renovation and expansion of the campus bookstore at UC Davis and the renovation and seismic upgrade to the historic Kinsey Hall at UCLA.


Jeff Gherardini, AIA

Plant Construction

Jeff Gherardini is a Vice President and Construction Manager for Plant Construction Company, L.P. Since joining Plant in 1998, Jeff has been involved with notable projects like the Walt Disney Family Museum in the Presidio, Prada Beverly Hills, and Clift Hotel. Among other projects, he is currently working on the rejuvenation of Mid-Market Street with the ACT Strand Theater. Jeff has been on design review juries for the AIASF, Structural Engineers of California (SEAOC), Structural Engineers of Northern California (SEAONC), UC Berkeley College of Environmental Design, and SCI-Arc. Jeff attained a Masters degree in Architecture from UC Berkeley and a Bachelor of Arts in Architecture from Washington University in St. Louis. In between degrees, Jeff served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Niger, West Africa. He also sits on the Board of Directors at San Francisco Heritage and the City of Hope Real Estate Council in San Francisco.

Assistant Secretary

Aaron Hyland, AIA

Architectural Resources Group

Aaron is the managing principal of Architectural Resources Group, directing all aspects of strategic planning, finance administration, client relations, and overall firm management. Aaron is a registered architect with over 25 years of experience managing complex rehabilitation and new construction projects, particularly with academic and institutional clients who oversee numerous capital assets. His current projects include rehabilitation of the historic buildings at Oregon State Hospital, restoration of Angel Island Immigration Station, and the restoration of Garrett Hall at the University of Virginia.


Meredith Bynum, AIA

Ratcliff Architects

Meredith Bynum, AIA is a senior project manager at Ratcliff Architects with expertise in working with diverse teams on significant urban projects, whether they are healthcare, cultural, civic, educational, or workplace. She seeks project solutions that transform a place into a meaningful and valuable asset that serves the goals of the client, user, and community. Her projects have included the Bay Meadows transit-oriented commercial office development, the new museum design for The Old San Francisco Mint, the Sacramento Courthouse, and a family clinic for La Clinica de la Raza.


Frances Choun, AIA

McCarthy Builders

Frances Choun is a principal and vice president for the Northern Pacific Division. She develops and maintains business relationships with clients throughout the region. Choun launched her career in architecture, where she developed an interest in the construction side of the business. Her exposure to the construction industry eventually led to her transition into the field. As an industry expert, Frances is regularly called upon by local media and invited as a speaker on panels to address construction industry trends and has been published in both business and trade press. In addition, Frances is the Immediate Past President of the Commercial Real Estate Women—San Francisco chapter; Past President of the board of directors for the San Francisco Telegraph Hill Neighborhood Center; and a member of the American Institute of Architects.


Carol Corr, AIA

Kaiser Permanente

Carol Corr, AIA is Design Manager, Facilities Planning, National Facilities Services for Kaiser Permanente. Through extensive benchmarking and design sessions with front-line healthcare professionals, planners and architects, she develops and maintains national standards and guidelines that incorporate patient, workplace and environmental health and safety best practices. Carol has more than 20 years of design, development, management and construction experience, including a variety of building types ranging from high tech, commercial, laboratories, affordable housing, to healthcare.


David Gast, AIA

Gast Architects

David is principal of Gast Architects, an eleven-person firm founded in San Francisco in 1980 specializing in new custom homes and renovations, including the sensitive restoration and adaptation of historic properties. Projects range in scope from the development of large country properties and inner city whole house renovations to more modest additions to and remodeling of existing housing in styles from warm modern to traditional. Non-residential projects have included schools, stores, restaurants, offices, and currently a pro-bono parklet in the Haight. Sustainable design strategies are integral to the design process, including a new home in Hawaii submitted for LEED Gold certification.


Lisa Iwamoto

IwamotoScott Architecture

Lisa Iwamoto is founding partner of IwamotoScott Architecture, an award winning architecture and design firm established with Craig Scott in 2000. Based in San Francisco, California, the firm has gained national and international recognition for innovative design projects at multiple scales including urban design, buildings, interiors, full-scale fabrications, museum installations and exhibitions, and theoretical proposals. IwamotoScott was named Architectural Record’s Design Vanguard 2011, and received six AIA awards in 2013. Other awards include I.D. Magazine Design Awards, Interior Design Awards, Research and Design Awards, and Progressive Architecture Awards. IwamotoScott’s work has been included in numerous journals, and presented at professional, academic, and arts institutions worldwide. Iwamoto is also author of Digital Fabrications: Architectural and Material Techniques published by Princeton Architectural Press in 2009. She is Professor of Architecture and the Malo Collegium Chair in Design at UC Berkeley.


Karen Kuklin, AIA


Karen is a regional leader of the Science and Technology practice at Gensler, and a studio director in their San Francisco office. She focuses on delivering complex projects through all phases – from programming and feasibility studies through construction administration. With over 31 years of experience, Karen has worked on a variety of projects ranging from master plans and new campuses for Ohlone Community College in Newark, CA and Lawrence Berkeley National Labs, to a Feasibility Study for the Goldman School of Public Policy at the University of California, Berkeley. Karen has served as a guest lecturer for the AIA and the Society of College and University Planning (SCUP), among others. As an active member of her community she serves on the Building & Grounds Committee at the Nueva School, the AIA Healthcare & S+T Committee, and is the Committee Chair for Boy Scouts of America Troop 355.

Karen holds a Bachelor of Architecture from California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo, and serves on the Dean’s Leadership Council of the College of Architecture and Environmental Design, Cal Poly.


Rosa Sheng, AIA

Bohlin Cywinski Jackson

Rosa joined Bohlin Cywinski Jackson in 1997 and became a founding member of the San Francisco office in 1999 while serving as Project Architect for Pixar Animation Studio's Headquarters in Emeryville. With 20 years experience, Rosa has led a variety of award winning and internationally acclaimed design projects, which range from the aesthetically minimal, highly technical development of the glass structures for Apple’s original high profile retail stores to the innovative LEED NC-GOLD Lorry I. Lokey Graduate School of Business at Mills College. Rosa is the Chair for The Missing 32% Project Committee, continuing the conversation of Equitable Practice for women in architecture. She is also a member of SCUP, USGBC and OWA.

Public Director

David Englund

WRNS Studio

David is the business partner, chief financial officer and director of administration at WRNS Studio. David brings over 30 years of experience as a financial management and operations professional within the A/E industry. As business partner, he guides the financial performance of projects and overall company operations. A proponent of change, constructive confrontation, and efficiency, David is responsible for structuring future growth while ensuring short term gains. Prior to joining WRNS, David was the CFO at Forell Elsesser Engineers. He was also Managing Principal at Stantec Architecture, CFO at Chong Partners Architecture, General Manager for Saudi Arabian Bechtel Corporation, and Division Controller for Bechtel Corporation.

Public Director

Alisdair McGregor


Alisdair leads the Buildings Practice in Arup's San Francisco office. With over 30 years of experience in designing buildings for low energy performance, he has led a wide variety of Arup projects including hospitals, research labs, corporate offices, museums and civic facilities, and has a particular interest in the integration of sustainable design principles. Alisdair has extensive experience in the use of natural ventilation, daylighting and water conservation, as well as examining the energy performance of buildings. He was elected as an Arup Fellow in 2004, was bestowed an Honorary Senior Fellowship in 2005 by the Design Futures Council, and was named one of Fast Company's Top 100 Creative People in Business in 2011 (#17).

Public Director

Simin Naaseh

Forell / Elsesser Engineers

Simin is the president and CEO of Forell/Elsesser Engineers and has over 30 years of experience in structural and earthquake engineering. She is recognized for her expertise in the implementation of innovative seismic design technologies. She was also appointed the City of San Francisco’s prime consultant, managing 13 sub-consultants for the seismic retrofit of the historic San Francisco City Hall. She has lectured worldwide, sharing her knowledge of earthquake engineering and the use of energy dissipation systems to minimize earthquake damage to buildings. Ms. Naaseh has served as SEAONC president and was elevated to SEAONC Fellow. She currently serves on the OSHPD Hospital Building Safety Board, and chairs the Structural and Non-Structural committee.

Public Director

Jennifer Suzuki

Long & Levit LLP

Jennifer Suzuki specializes in corporate, partnership, and business law. Her practice includes the formation, merger, acquisition, and dissolution of business entities, including partnerships, corporations, limited liability partnerships and limited liability companies, the preparation of stock option, stock purchase and stock buy/sell agreements, withdrawal and separation agreements, counseling of clients concerning issues arising from their professional service agreements and general business issues such as fee collection and the use of liens as a fee collection tool. Ms. Suzuki’s practice focuses on the representation of professionals, including architects, engineers, and attorneys.

Associate Director

Amelie-Phaine Keller, Assoc. AIA

Weisbach A | D

Amélie is a graduate of the Savannah College of Art and Design school of architecture where she received her BFA and M.Arch degrees. After moving to the Bay Area in early 2012, she has continued to grow her involvement in professional, educational, and nonprofit endeavors. Elected as the 2013 Bay Area Young Architects chair, she is dedicated to furthering connectivity between students and architects at every stage of their professional careers. She is also a member of the AIASF mentorship program. In her free time, she is a part-time piano teacher, musician (piano, violin, accordion, guitar, & voice), and fiber artist.

Associate Director Designate

Wesley Wong, Assoc. AIA

Joseph Chow & Associates, Inc

Wesley Wong is a young, dynamic, and ambitious architectural designer with a desire in community based design and sustainability. Within nature there is beauty, symmetry, chaos, and confusion, but architecture has the power to bring it about or change it all at the same time. Every time we build, there is a potential to recreate the wonder and awe of the natural landscape; my goal in life is to be in a team where we can design architecture that possess tremendous potential to uplift, inspire, and humble. Currently, Wesley serves as the Chair of BAYA, the emerging professionals committee of AIASF. He enjoys creating open dialogues of ideas and fostering good relationships between the different professions associated with architecture. His goal is to become an licensed architect.

Student Director

Kylee Keller

McCoppin Studios

Kylee is an honors graduate in political science and environmental studies from the University of Oregon. She worked for high-end residential architects for a number of years in Crested Butte, Colorado, before moving to San Francisco with her husband and shiba inu to attend the M. Arch program at the Academy of Art University. There, she has participated in a number of school charettes and had multiple projects displayed in the 2012 spring show. She has enjoyed interacting with her peers and instructors and expanding her knowledge and passion for architecture. Kylee has worked for McCoppin Studios for the past year.

Visit the Board of Directors page