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Diversity and Inclusion > 2012 AIA Diversity Council

2012 AIA Diversity Council

The AIA remains committed to increasing diversity and inclusion within the organization and the profession; and we are pleased to welcome our 2012 appointees to the AIA Diversity Council. This year’s Council will be chaired by Wendy Ornelas, FAIA, and Miguel del Rio, AIA. Areas of focus for the Council will continue to include women within the profession, multiculturalism, and pathways to the profession.

Wendy Ornelas, FAIA


Wendy Ornelas is the 2012-2014 Regional Director for AIA Central States and associate dean and professor at the college of architecture, planning and design at Kansas State University. She and her husband, Robert Condia –a professor in the department of architecture at Kansas State – also have a firm, Condia+ Ornelas Architects, with offices in Manhattan, Kans., and San Diego. The firm does small commercial projects, limiting themselves to one a year. The list of Kansas projects includes della Voce, remodeling a Manhattan retail space into a restaurant (2007).

Wendy Ornelas, FAIA, is the Associate Dean and Professor at Kansas State University. She is the director of the PhD program in Environmental Design & Planning and the director of the Architecture Internship Program at the College of Architecture, Planning, and Design. From her work at Kansas State, to her work with her firm, Condia + Ornelas Architects, she has earned distinguished recognition from her involvement with the Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture, a past member of the IDP Coordinating Committee, her participation in the 2008 Accreditation Review Conference, and her term as 2009-2010 president of the National Architectural Accrediting Board.


Miguel Del Rio, AIA


Miguel Del Rio is Past President of AIA Puerto Rico Chapter. Under his leadership, the Chapter organized the AIA Haiti Reconstruction Summit. Also during his presidency, he conceptualized the successful 2010 Puerto Rico Convention entitled Diverse City. The central themes of diversity, inclusion and collaboration were promoted beyond ethnicity, gender etc., but also in the broader sense of the word to encourage alternative practices, emerging professionals, students and general public participation.

Since 2001, he has been principal of Del Rio Arquitectos, CSP, a design firm specializing in residential, mixed use and hospitality projects. His practice has resulted in several collaborations with local firms such as JC Deya & Associates and SCF Arquitectos. Both alliances resulted in the award of two major RFP competitions: Metro City Village Mixed Use Development and Los Altos Mixed Use Development respectively.


John A. Padilla, AIA
Ex Officio


John A. Padilla, AIA is principal of Padilla & Associates Architects, which has been engaged in new construction, renovation, and rehabilitation on a wide range of projects located in New Mexico, Texas and Colorado

Mr. Padilla was elected as the 2011-2012 Vice President of the American Institute of Architects. He currently serves as a Director representing the Western Mountain Region (NM, CO, WY, AZ, NV, UT) on the National Board of Directors of the AIA and also serves as a member of the Board of Regents of the American Architectural Foundation (AAF).


Gabriel Durand-Hollis, FAIA


Gabriel Durand-Hollis was elected as the the 2012-2013 Treasurer for American Institute of Architects. He was elected president of AIA San Antonio (1992), after serving on the local component‘s board and as it vice president (1998-1992). Gabriel was later elected president of the Texas Society of Architects/AIA (1999), after having been its vice president and chair of government affairs committee (1993-1997). He began a community service award program, the Jim Pfluger Award, which recognizes a Texas architect distinguished by their longstanding service to their community. Gabriel has been a member of the national International Committee (1997-2000), and chaired the Small Project professional interest area (1992-1995). He was elevated to the College of Fellows in 2003.

Gabriel is the president of Durand-Hollis Rupe, Inc. (DHR), a San Antonio firm that designs interiors, commercial, planning, municipal, aviation, research, medical and retail projects. DHR is noted for improvements to the San Antonio International Airport, Texas Medclinics, Alamo Colleges, and a portion of the restored Pearl Brewery that received Gold LEED certification.


Tamarah Begay, Assoc. AIA, AICAE, LEED AP


Tamarah has over 8 years of experience working with Native American Tribes on schools, housing, office buildings, cultural centers and multi-purpose buildings. Her experience includes project management, marketing, proposal writing, specification writing, programming, master planning, design (all phases), construction documents and construction administration.

Tamarah is one of the founding members of the University of New Mexico Student Chapter of the American Indian Council of Architects and Engineers (SC-AICAE). As a professional member she also serves as a board member for the AICAE and continues to help mentor Native American students in the field of architecture and related degrees. Tamarah is also an associate member of the American Institute of Architects (AIA), a certified construction document technical (CDT), and a LEED® Accredited Professional.


Melissa Daniel, Assoc. AIA


Melissa Daniel currently works on several standard embassy design and renovation projects for the U.S Department of State for Washington, DC-based firm Karn Charuhas Chapman & Twohey (KCCT). Ms. Daniel has significant experience with the design of major public and commercial projects, with particular expertise in construction administration.  As an active member in AIA|DC Chapter Emerging Architect Committee, Ms. Daniel has worked on the Architecture Uncensored lecture series (Fall 2009) and implemented a weekly ARE study group called DCstudyARE.  Recently elected board member for DC chapter of National Organization of Minority Architects (NOMA), she serves as chair of the Education committee. Ms. Daniel received her Bachelor of Architecture degree from the University of District of Columbia and currently sits for the Architecture Registration Exam. Outside of architecture, she is a PACK (People & Animal Cardio Klub) volunteer with the Washington Humane Society.


Donna deJongh, AIA, CSI, NCARB


Donne deJongh co-founded The deJongh Group, Architects and Planners in 1973. Today, the Virgin-islands based professional has completed a significant body of work, with projects in the U.S. and British Virgin Islands, and Georgia.

She has supported active development of the architecture profession for most of her career. She served on the Virgin Islands Board of Architects for over 16 years, and represented the Virgin Islands on the Southern Conference of NCARB. During much of that period, she actively participated ARE committees, in writing and grading of the ARE. She has continued to give time to NCARB, and is actively dedicated to encouraging youth to become involved in architecture.

Presently, she is completing her fourth term as President of the Virgin Islands Chapter of the AIA. In this capacity, she has supported many goals and objectives of the AIA, throughout the Chapter and the Florida Caribbean region.


Carmen Pérez García, Hon. AIA


Carmen is the executive director of Lower Rio Grande Valley AIA.  She is a retired educator with 25 years experience, having taught Early Childhood and Montessori Method to students of all ages from toddlers to adults as adjunct faculty at a Laredo, TX University. She is the first Executive Director of LRGV AIA and has served in this position for over 19 years. In those years, Carmen has been instrumental in bringing about significant improvements to her local community through critical alliances she has helped forge between architects and allied professionals.

In 2001, the Texas Society of Architects recognized Carmen with Honorary TSA Membership for her service to the LRGV. Carmen has chaired the Diversity, Continuing Education, and Public Affairs Advocacy Networks for CACE and served 2 years on AIA's Communities by Design Committee from which the notion of Centers for Architecture was born. She served as the CACE representative on the evaluation team for selecting the AIA's advertising agency, Giant Ideas, during her tenure on the Public Affairs Advocacy.


Valerie Hassett, AIA, IIDA, LEED AP bd+c


A registered Architect and Certified Interior Designer, Valerie has been practicing for more than 20 years. Currently employed by SBE Architects, she also manages her own firm, Studio of Valerie Hassett. Valerie has been actively involved with the AIA since 1994. She chaired the Northern Virginia AIA Chapter’s Women in Architecture Committee for 10 years and served as Chapter president in 2008. The following year Valerie was elected to the Virginia Society AIA Board, and she became state Secretary in 2011. Valerie is committed to the International Interior Design Association as well, having served as president for the Mid-Atlantic Region. She has been an instructor at George Washington University. Valerie received her Masters of Architecture from Virginia Tech and her BFA from Virginia Commonwealth University.


Jaki Jefferson


Jacqueline Kennedy Jefferson is the first Manager of Diversity and Workforce Inclusion at HOK. She is responsible for the strategic development and senior-level leadership of diversity including program design, resource planning and implementation at HOK.

With more than 14 years of experience working across several disciplines, Jacqueline has helped HOK maximize internal strengths and resources to grow its people and business. She has built a vision for achieving diversity and created strategic initiatives that have generated many positive results. Jacqueline developed the new HOK Diversity Scholarship Program (targeting women and persons of color), established the firm first firmwide diversity council and created an internal diversity network in every domestic office.

In addition to Jacqueline’s professional achievements at HOK, she gives back to her community by volunteering as a literacy coach and leading workshops for single mothers. She also serves as a career coach for high school students preparing to enter college, a workforce reentry instructor and advisor and a presentation and communications skills training coach for the Dale Carnegie Institute.


Judson Kline, FAIA, LEED AP


Judson A. Kline, FAIA, LEED AP, Senior Director of Herschman Architects, Inc., a retail and shopping center design firm where he has practiced for 34 years. He is an adjunct professor in the Kent State University College of Architecture. Jud is licensed in 11 states and has NCARB certification. He is a member of AIA (Cleveland past president AIA Ohio 2011 President-elect, AIA 150 Cleveland Champion), Greater Cleveland Real Estate Organization past-President, and Rotary Club of Shaker Heights past President, Chairman of the John Hay High School of Architecture and Design Advisory Board, a LEED Accredited Professional and certified as an Institute of Store Planners professional.


Brian McAlexander, Assoc. AIA, LEED AP


Prior to his appointment to the 2012 AIA Diversity Council, Brian McAlexander served on the AIA Dayton High School Student Design Competition, AIA Dayton Associate Director, AIA Ohio Associate Director, AIA Ohio Valley Regional Associate Director, and the AIA National Associates Committee.

He is also involved with Equality Ohio and the Human Rights Campaign (HRC).


Joyce Raspa-Gore, AIA, Esq.


Ms. Raspa is a solo practitioner in the areas of Construction, Real Estate, Contracts, Collections, Wills/Estate, Corporate, Municipal and Personal Injury Law. She graduated from Virginia Polytechnic Institute, with a Bachelor of Architecture, and graduated cum laude from New York Law School with a J.D. Joyce is admitted to the New Jersey Bar, United States District Court, District of New Jersey and the New York Bar. She is a member of the New Jersey State Bar Association, Construction Law, Woman in the Profession and GLBT Committees, and the Bergen County Bar Association, Construction Law Committee.

Ms. Raspa is Past President of the Architects League of Northern New Jersey, a chapter of the American Institute of Architects; Directing Editor of The Leagueline, the Architects League’s quarterly award winning publication; and a recipient of the 2008 Distinguished Service Award and Trustees Award from the Architects League.


Curtis Sartor, Jr., PhD, Min. Assoc. AIA, NOMA


Dr. C., as most people prefer to call him, is the Dean of the School of Art, Design & Architecture. He has general charge of all academic areas in the School of Art, Design and Architecture. As an architectural professor, he has been teaching for over twenty years and in private practice with Architectural firms in San Francisco, Ca. and Atlanta, Georgia for over ten years. He has professional experience in the design and planning of commercial, residential and institutional projects in both the public and private sector. He teaches courses in architectural design, environmental design, environmental psychology, earth stewardship, multiculturalism & non-western architecture. He has also taught students at Tuskegee Institute, Morris Brown College and at Southern Polytechnic State University.


Amy Slattery, AIA


Amy Slattery is an Associate at BNIM and was recently named a 2011 AIA Young Architects Award recipient. Through her leadership with the AIA at local, regional and national levels, she has emerged as a national voice advocating for diversity and emerging professionals. A recognized leader amongst her peers, Amy was named Emerging Professional of the Year by AIA Kansas City in 2008 and was recognized by ENR Midwest’s Top 20 under 40 in 2012.

In 2005, Amy initiated Women in Design Kansas City (WiDKC) as an attempt to reach out to established professionals in the community, to learn from their success, to advance the work women are doing and to improve the way our lives intersect that work. WiDKC was one of ten programs selected for the first annual AIA National Diversity Recognition Program in 2009 and the only program to receive that recognition for the second time in 2010.

Amy is currently on the Board of Directors for KC CREW (Commercial Real Estate Women) and the Kansas City Architectural Foundation.


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