ENCOMPASS: Inclusive Architecture will be on Wednesday, April 24 at the California African American Museum.  Speakers will highlight best-practices, examine case-studies of inclusive design procedures and curate a series of genuine dialogues that underscore solutions to counter the prevalence of the inherent biases that too often continues to divide A/E/C professionals.

For 2019, our focus will be on business & cultural inclusion, procurement reform and best-practices w/ team-building to achieve greater equity and diversity in the delivery of professional services. The first half of the conference will focus on exploring procurement opportunities with the public sector, including the City of LA, LAUSD, METRO and the County of Los Angeles.  We’ll explore ideas about how to best remove the barrier to entry to gain access to these important contracts, as well as, analyze ways to reduce the risk and burden small businesses must endure once they have a public sector contract.  The second half of the day will focus on private sector procurement opportunities. We’ll highlight mentor/ protege best-practices and expand insight into team-building opportunities to advance more inclusive partnerships.


  • Alexis Laing – Project Manager, Bridge Housing
  • Amy Pokawatana, AIA, LEED AP – Director, Development, HUDSON PACIFIC PROPERTIES
  • Barbara Bouza, FAIA, IIDA, LEED AP, EDAC – Managing Director, Principal, Gensler & 2019 President, AIA Los Angeles
  • Debra Avila – Chief Vendor/ Contract Management Officer, METRO
  • Dr. Giovanna Brasfield, CCA – Vice President of Diversity and Inclusion, Flatiron Construction (initially supporting Inclusivity on the LINXS team on the LAWA APM Project) & Board Member, WBEC West (Women’s Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC)
  • Elise McCurley AIA – Senior Job Captain, NAC Architecture
  • Gabrielle Bullock, FAIA, NOMA, IIDA, LEED AP – Dir of Global Diversity, Principal, Perkins+Will & President, International Interior Design Association
  • Gail Kennard – President, Kennard Design Group
  • George Davis – Executive Director, California African American Museum
  • Hon. Mark Ridley-Thomas – Supervisor, County of Los Angeles, District 2
  • Isaac Gindi – Deputy Director, Business Outreach & Technical Services, Department of Public Works, County of Los Angeles
  • Jose Ometeotl – City Manager, City of Lynwood
  • Kevin M. Holland, FAIA, NOMAC, LEED AP – Director of Operations, Senior Associate, Perkins+Will
  • Krisztina Tokes – Deputy Chief Facilities Executive, LAUSD
  • Lance A. Collins, AIA, LEED AP (BD+C), cSBA, GGP, GGA-EB – Director, Partner Energy & President, SO CAL NOMA
  • Lawrence Huley – Mass Cali Production, Inc. & SoCal NOMA Chapter, Community Outreach Leadership and Executive Director of CAMP NOMA
  • Leslie Sydnor, AIA – Director, Planning Project Manager, Cumming Corporation
  • Lynda McGlinchey – Senior Management Analyst, Certification, Outreach, Regulations, & Enforcement Section, Bureau of Contract Administration, City of Los Angeles
  • Mahmood Karimzadeh, AIA – Deputy City Engineer, Bureau of Engineering, Department of Public Works, City of Los Angeles
  • Mark Pestrella, PE – Director, Los Angeles County Public Works
  • Michael Anderson, AIA – Principal, BASE
  • Michael Owh – General Manager, Purchasing & Contract Services, County of Los Angeles & former Chief Procurement Officer, City of Los Angeles
  • Mitra Memari, AIA, LEED AP – Partner, ZGF ARCHITECTS LLP & Board Treasurer, AIA Los Angeles
  • Peter E. Hendrickson, AIA – Associate Vice Chancellor, Design and Construction, UCLA Capital Programs
  • Priscilla Chavez, CCA – Manager, Diversity & Inclusion, PCL Construction Services, Inc. & Past-President, National Association of Women in Construction, Los Angeles
  • R. Steven Lewis, FAIA, NOMAC – Principal, ZGF ARCHITECTS LLP & winner of the 2016 AIA Whitney M. Young, Jr. Award
  • Robert L. Gilbert – Chief Development Officer, Los Angeles World Airports
  • Roland Wiley, AIA – Principal, RAW International
  • Schenae Rourk – Principal, Redwood Resources (Outreach, Marketing & Business Development Consultancy Firm) & President, National Association of Women Business Owners, Los Angeles Chapter
  • Valery Augustin, AIA, NCARB– Principal, DNA Architecture + Design & Associate Professor of Practice, Director of Global Studies, USC School of Architecture
  • Ziba Ghassemi, AIA, LEED AP -  Vice President of Design, Airports, Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield Group

More about ENCOMPASS: Inclusive Architecture:

In early 2017, AIA National's Equity in Architecture Commission released “The Equity in Architecture Commission Report"  which details eleven proactive steps to strengthen AIA’s commitment to equity, diversity and inclusion.  Shortly thereafter, AIA Los Angeles organized ENCOMPASS to serve an a forum to engage in an open dialogue that will set the parameters for how we adhere to this call to action.  What is the best framework to implement these recommendations?  What metrics of success do we want to establish? We are committed to leading the way forward and we need your participation to make this happen.

AIA|LA is fortunate to be the local chapter of one of the world’s most diverse regions in the world.  Los Angels is famous for its wealth of human resources and we are proud to be at the leading edge of diversity.  It is that diversity that gives us our leading edge on creative innovations in design.  However, we still have a long way to go to ensure greater equity, diversity, and inclusion especially when you consider the profession's urgent need to attract emerging talent and ensure younger generations seek careers in the A/E/C profession.

In a quickly evolving and thriving Los Angeles, diversity increases the promise of our design practice to deliver solutions.  Diversity adds value and benefits to our ability to deliver smart solutions to clients.  Diversity, in fact, provides the capacity to better support our own region with the improvements to ensure health and prosperity for all. 

ENCOMPASS: Inclusive Architecture serves as a forum to highlight best-practices, examine case-studies of inclusive design procedures and curate a series of genuine dialogues that underscore solutions to counter the prevalence of the inherent biases that too often continues to divide A/E/C professionals.  This conference allows us to candidly dissect the reality of the situation. ENCOMPASS will also highlight the value-add that inclusive architecture brings to society and how we all gain from a multifaceted profession. 

ENCOMPASS: Inclusive Architecture

Wednesday, April 24 (8am - 3:30pm)

California African American Museum

600 State Drive, Exposition Park

Los Angeles, CA 90037