Beverly Willis, FAIA, is an artist, architect, author and philanthropist. After 50 years of practice, she founded the Beverly Willis Architecture Foundation in 2002. She served as President of the California Council of American Institute of Architects. Beverly was a founding trustee of the National Building Museum in Washington, D.C., a position she still holds.
A director at SOM, Julia Murphy is integral to the firm’s engagement with the built environment of New York City. In her decade of experience at SOM, she has worked on some of the most complex projects in Manhattan, emerging as an expert project manager. She has a diverse range of project responsibilities, from day-to-day interaction with the client and coordination with the consultant team to maintaining staffing, schedule, and budget. Much of her work involves mitigating risk for clients who must build their projects within the exigencies of New York’s physical and regulatory environments. She was featured in Architect Magazine’s feature piece, “Workers in Progress.” Murphy is a member of the WX Women Executives in Real Estate and is Chair of Beverly Willis Architecture Foundation.
Michele O’Connor is a Principal at Langan and a director of the firm’s civil engineering practice in New York City. Langan is an integrated planning, site engineering, and environmental consulting service firm for private developers, property owners, and public sector clients. Michele’s practice includes site engineering design and planning for a wide variety of commercial, institutional, recreation, retail, and residential development projects. Besides her passion for civil engineering, Michele is also extremely passionate about supporting, mentoring, and empowering women in STEM and the engineering community. This dedication inspired her to co-found Women@Langan in September 2015.
Melissa Burton is a Principal with Arup and currently serves as the Consulting Practice Leader for Canada. She oversees a variety of work for Arup in the consulting practice from early stage advisory through specialty technical consulting work to complex design studies. In her role she brings together teams of engineers and consultants with a breadth and depth of skills and experience to enable them to collaborate with clients and develop creative, robust solutions to realize her client’s visions. Melissa started her career looking at how the wind climate affects the buildings we design, and how the consequential reaction of the buildings affects the people that occupy them. Her technical expertise extends to beyond code approaches using advanced analytical tools to quantify and reduce design risk from wind loading.
Peter DiMaggio is Co-CEO of Thornton Tomasetti and is responsible for defining, articulating and driving the firm’s strategic vision. In addition to participating in the development and execution of the overall business plan, he is involved in strategic initiatives from identifying new markets and merger and acquisition opportunities to instituting mentorship and professional development programs. Pete is a recognized expert in special structures and protective design and security. He has been involved in the design and structural hardening of numerous government buildings, including more than 40 U.S. embassies, federal facilities and courthouses. His diverse portfolio also includes office buildings, educational facilities, hotels, stadiums, laboratories, residential towers and unique structures around the world.
Patti Harris, Founder and CEO of LicenseSure LLC and Special Counsel to Zetlin & De Chiara LLP, provides legal and business counsel to architects and engineers throughout the United States. A serial entrepreneur as well as an attorney, Patti started her career as a corporate attorney with two New York City law firms. From 2000 to 2013, Patti served as the Managing Partner of Zetlin & De Chiara. Harris is the Founder and CEO of LicenseSure, which provides business and licensing compliance services to design professionals. Ms. Harris’ legal practice focuses on mergers and acquisitions, business organization and management issues, succession, strategy and licensing issues.
Joan Blumenfeld, Contract Magazine’s 2018 Legend, is a design principal at Perkins+Will, a global architecture and interiors firm. Over the past 10 years she has been committed to achieving gender equity across all aspects of the design and construction business. As the first president of the Beverly Willis Architecture Foundation (BWAF) she facilitated broadening its mission to include changing culture throughout the industry. She remained President for five years, helping to grow the organization to have national recognition, and since 2011 served on the Executive Committee, stepping down in 2020. Previous and parallel to her work with BWAF she has been an active advocate for building better and more healthy interiors, buildings and communities. As 2007 President of AIA NYC, she worked with city agencies and the Mayor’s Office, resulting in the first revamping of citywide workplace standards since 1971.
Angelica Trevino Baccon is a principal of SHoP. She has a particular specialty in leading complex mixed-use and workplace design projects, often at the intersection of enterprise and technology. These include the new Uber headquarters in San Francisco and several confidential projects for global leaders in Silicon Valley. She holds a Bachelor in Architecture degree from ITESM in Monterrey, Mexico, and a Master of Architecture from Harvard University, where she has also served as a professor. Her work on New York City’s South Street Seaport established her deep expertise in fast-paced, high-profile design and delivery challenges with multilayered stakeholder groups, successfully leveraging programs to promote vitality, equity and community in the private sector and public realm.
Erleen Hatfield, PE, AIA, is the Managing Partner of the Hatfield Group, a multi-disciplinary engineering consulting firm based in New York. She has over 25 years of experience in the design of complex structures worldwide. She frequently writes and presents on topics related to innovation and technology in engineering and architecture. Her firm, Hatfield Group focuses on synthesis of engineering and architecture, putting client value first. Hatfield Group, uses bespoke engineering design, technology, and innovation to achieve their clients’ goals. With a keen appreciation for design she has worked on iconic buildings around the world. She sits on numerous national industry boards and teaches at the Yale University School of Architecture.
Latoya Nelson Kamdang is the Director of NY Operations for Moody Nolan. She is also a U.S. Fulbright Senior Scholar, Registered Architect, Certified Interior Designer, and LEED AP BD+C. Her experience spans architecture, planning, exhibit design, industrial and interior design. She has experience in hospitality, retail, museums, workplace, education, and institutional. As a Senior Architect, some of her most recent clients include Hilton Worldwide and Hudson Yards Observation Deck experiential journey. Latoya was on the design team for the Smithsonian Institute National Museum of African American History and Culture. She was an interdisciplinary team member from RFP submission through construction documents. Her spatial focus was the Slavery & Freedom History Gallery. Latoya’s experience has also spanned to overseas federal projects.
Sabrina Kanner is the Executive Vice President of Development, Design and Construction and responsible for overseeing Development in the Northeast U.S. With Brookfield Properties and its predecessor, Olympia & York, for over 35 years, Sabrina joined the construction division of Olympia & York in 1982. In her tenure with the company, Sabrina has played a key role in the construction, design and development or redevelopment of over 40 million square feet of signature Brookfield projects such as World Financial Center, Brookfield Place, 300 Madison Avenue, Halley Rise, the restoration/renovation of the Winter Garden at World Financial Center after 9/11, and Manhattan West. Sabrina holds a B.A. from Union College and is a member of WX and the National Academy of Construction.
Alexandra Lange is a design critic. Her essays, reviews, and profiles have appeared in numerous design publications including Architect, Harvard Design Magazine, Metropolis, and T Magazine, as well as in The Atlantic, New York Magazine, the New Yorker, and the New York Times. Her latest book, The Design of Childhood: How the Material World Shapes Independent Kids was published by Bloomsbury USA in June 2018. She is currently at work on a new book about the history and future of the American shopping mall.
Carol Loewenson’s expertise ranges from highly technical buildings, renovations and façade replacements to work involving both the private and public sector. Her approach to architecture is deeply rooted in a commitment to public spaces and an acknowledgment of how the shape of a building, city, or institution impacts people’s lives. She brings a careful consideration of context to her work, balancing preservation and modernization to generate sustainable transformations that capture the complexity of a space’s past history and future goals. Carol Loewenson joined Mitchell Giurgola in 1982 and became a partner in 1996. Her work at the firm includes projects for the Brooklyn Public Library, The New York Public Library, Rockefeller University, New York University, Cornell University, LaGuardia Community College, and the New York State Unified Court System.
Rich McFadden joined JB&B in 2003, and has acted as Project Manager and Partner-in-Charge in the Electrical Department on a wide variety of projects and building types. With a strong background in facilities operations, Rich has lent his expertise to the live upgrade of large mission-critical systems supporting projects such as Citigroup’s New York headquarters at 388-390 Greenwich Street. He has also played an instrumental role in the development of Brookfield’s multi-building complex at Manhattan West for which he serves as the Partner-in-Charge. Rich currently serves as National Director on the ACEC New York Executive Committee. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Electrical Engineering from Bucknell University, and is a licensed Professional Engineer and LEED Accredited Professional.
Karen McNeill, Ph.D., is an expert of Julia Morgan and currently working on a multiple publications about the architect. Dr. McNeill’s scholarship focuses on women and gender in the architectural profession as well as how Progressive Era women used the built environment to expand their roles society as consumers, reformers, educators, and professionals. Her work has been supported by the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Autry National Center, the Bancroft Library, and the University of California Humanities Research Institute. Karen has also taught history and architectural history at colleges and universities in the San Francisco Bay Area and has been involved in historic preservation, authoring several context statements for major surveys and successfully nominating a range of buildings to the National Register of Historic Places. She is currently Senior Family Historian at Ascent Private Capital Management of U.S. Bank.
Bolanle Williams-Olley is the Chief Financial Officer at Mancini Duffy, a technology-first design firm, where she oversees the firm’s financial and operational performance. With a strong background in financial analysis and strategic initiatives, Bola thrives on building relationships between finance and management teams to ensure the overall financial success of projects and her firm.
She holds a Master’s in Education & Social Policy from NYU, Master’s in Applied Mathematics and Bachelor’ in Mathematics from City University of New York, Hunter College. She is passionate about service and is the founder of four impact organizations: SheBuildsWaves, SheBuildsLives, SheBuildsMoney and REACH Nigeria.
Ann directs FXCollaborative Architects’ Cultural and Educational practice, and has been instrumental in its development from its inception. She is inquisitive and optimistic by nature, and with a keen blend of analytical and organizational skills, Ann uncovers possibilities, unlocks potentials, and maximizes outcomes. Ann is a Fellow of the AIA, a registered architect in New York, and a graduate of Washington University in St. Louis, where she earned both Bachelor of Arts and Master of Architecture degrees. A frequent speaker and active member of the design community, she has served on the advisory boards of several organizations and is active in the AIA New York Committee on Architecture for Education, Non-Traditional Employment for Women (NEW), and Beverly Willis Architecture Foundation (BWAF).
Kirsten Sibilia is a vocal advocate for the value of design and the need for social justice. She is the Managing Principal at Dattner Architects, she focuses on the firm’s health and vitality. Her design training and entrepreneurial spirit have allowed her to approach the business side of the practice as a design project; with each initiative, she reflects the firm’s commitment to improving public life, through the creation of resilient and sustainable urban density. Kirsten holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts from Parsons School of Design and a Bachelor of Arts from the New School.
Experienced in managing complex institutional planning and design projects, as Partner at Robert A.M. Stern Architects LLP, Jennifer Stone brings a love of contextually appropriate, sustainable architecture to her work with clients, communities, and building industry partners. Jennifer is an active participant, mentor, and volunteer in her professional community. As a council member of the Society for College and University Planning, she shares her extensive knowledge and stays current with global best practices. Her presentations at numerous professional conferences and her leadership roles with the New York Building Congress Foundation, ACE Mentorship Programs, and the Urban Land Institute, as well as the firm’s own Women Leadership Initiative and Sustainability Committee, testify to her commitment to developing and opening the field of architecture.
Barbara Wilks, principal and founder of W Architecture and Landscape Architecture, is a leader in the field of design. Beginning her career as an architect and obtaining prominence for her design skills, she soon realized that her interests in public space linked with the profession of landscape architecture. Now as an architect and landscape architect, Barbara uses her leadership skills to realign nature and communities. Barbara has won many awards for her work and was elected to both the College of Fellows of the American Institute of Architects and the American Society of Landscape Architecture for her design accomplishments. Her projects range in scale from urban plans, to public spaces, to infrastructure, to architecture.
As Senior Vice President of Design for Related California, Ms. Yee is responsible for the management of architecture and design for all market rate and mixed-income residential developments in California. Ms. Yee works closely with the architectural team, sales and marketing, and development executives throughout the entire development process to ensure seamless design and execution. A recipient of the Asian Women in Business Corporate Leadership Award, Ms. Yee holds a Master in Architecture from the University of California, Los Angeles and a bachelor’s degree from Georgetown University. She is a current member of the American Institute of Architects (AIA) and has been a speaker at AIA conferences and Urban Land Institute events.
Mary McLeod is a professor of architecture at Columbia University, where she teaches architecture history and theory. She has also taught at Yale University, Harvard University, University of Kentucky, and the Institute for Architecture and Urban Studies. Her research and publications have focused on the history of the modern movement and on contemporary architecture theory, examining issues concerning the connections between architecture and politics. She is co-editor of Architecture, Criticism, Ideology and Architecture Reproduction, and is the editor of and contributor to the book Charlotte Perriand: An Art of Living (Abrams, 2003). In addition, she is co-editor of the website Pioneering Women of American Architecture (Beverly Willis Architectural Foundation).
Victoria Rosner is Dean of Academic Affairs at Columbia University School of General Studies and teaches in the Columbia University Department of English and Comparative Literature. Much of her scholarship focuses on modernism across diverse forms of cultural production, notably literature and architecture. She is the author, most recently, of Machines for Living: Modernism and Domestic Life (Oxford University Press, 2020). A growing component of her work examines gender in the professions: Victoria is co-editor of Beverly Willis Architecture Foundation’s web-based archive Pioneering Women of American Architecture.
Cynthia is an architect and currently serves as the Executive Director for Beverly Willis Architecture Foundation (BWAF). She joins the Foundation following ten years as the Managing Director of the American Institute of Architects New York Chapter, Center for Architecture. Both an architect and a creative institutional administrator, Cynthia was responsible for the creation of Archtober, the New York City month-long festival of architecture and design. As one of the early pioneers of co-education in the 1970’s, Cynthia graduated from Princeton University receiving both a magna cum laude, and Masters of Architecture. She worked for Philip Johnson in the 80’s and taught at the University of Virginia, New Jersey Institute of Technology and her alma mater.
Aislinn is the Programs and Communications Coordinator for Beverly Willis Architecture Foundation. Aislinn earned her MFA from Städelschule in Frankfurt am Main, Germany, and her BFA from the University of Oxford, UK. She has exhibited sculpture and drawings and performed collaboratively with artists internationally, and has participated in a writing program at Aarhus Litturaturcenter, Denmark. Aislinn has worked on a number of international publishing and art projects, including leading research on and providing editorial assistance with ‘The One and The Many’, a public sculpture by artist Peter Randall-Page located in Fitzroy Place, London, UK. In 2016, Aislinn participated in the Montreal Biennial, and in 2017, she participated in the Litturaturfest in Aarhus, Denmark, showcasing international writers and artists.