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The AIA Disaster Assistance Task Force

The task force is charged to Provide leadership, advocacy and training for the AIA disaster preparedness program, which focuses on component and member preparedness. Provide advocacy support to establish local and State disaster programs. After a specific event, evaluate the impact and make recommendation for an appropriate response to the AIA leadership trends.

Terrance Brown, FAIA, resides in New Mexico and is a former Chair of the AIA National Disaster Assistance Committee who led the creation of the AIA Disaster Comprehensive Response System (CRS). Under this system, the Institute, its components and members have better prepared to both survive disasters and to respond to them alongside federal, state, and local authorities. Brown co-authored the AIA Disaster Assistance Handbook and currently serves as a Special Advisor to the AIA National Disaster Response Task Group. He is a Richard Upjohn Fellow of the AIA and 2001 AIA National Vice President. Brown has served the AIA for 6 years as Liaison to the Federation of Pan-American Architect Associations and is the 2004 AIA Whitney Young Jr. Award recipient.

Brown is internationally recognized for his volunteer work in recovering from disasters. His disaster assistance involvement began in Guatemala in 1973. As relief organizations rallied to provide material for reconstruction, Brown helped create methods to teach natives in a country with multiple languages how to rebuild their homes using low cost safer and stronger methods. Brown provided a hurricane disaster survey of the island of St. Lucia and has helped numerous cities, regions, and states in the U.S. and internationally, develop disaster assistance response programs. He provided disaster surveys after a fire in Los Alamos and assistance to California fire damaged areas and flood damaged Iowa. He provided training after tornado damage in Gallatin, Tennessee and disaster preparedness training in South Carolina, Colorado, New Jersey and Florida.

Brown was selected by the AIA to be the spokesman for a team of professionals who traveled to Sri Lanka to study the effects of the 2004 Tsunami. He trained members of the Royal Architectural Institute of Canada and the Architectural Institute of British Columbia and Nova Scotia on how to set up their provincial disaster response teams. Over the years, during 8 AIA National Conventions, Brown has successfully trained literally hundreds of architects how to assess building damage and organize successful disaster assistance programs across the USA.

Michael Lingerfelt, AIA, LEED-AP, is a high-energy executive with more than 30 years experience in design and project delivery. His resume documents a results-oriented executive with a proven ability to lead large, complex projects and multi-disciplined design teams. To date, he has built to date over $3.6 billion in hard construction. This diverse portfolio of projects range from theme park attractions, merchandise facilities, restaurants to health care and hospitality facilities.

Lingerfelt has served at the AIA National level on the AIA National Board Advocacy Committee (2009), Corporate Architects Knowledge Community Advisory Group (2005), Retail & Entertainment Knowledge Community Advisory Group Cofounder (2006), Chair (2007) and Immediate Past Chair (2008). He has served on AIA State level on the AIA Florida Board as Director (2006 – 2007), Vice President (2008 – 2009), 1st Vice President/President Elect (2010) and currently as the President. In his local chapter he served on the Orlando Chapter Board of Director’s (2006 – 2007) and the AIA/Valencia Community College Golf Tournament Chair (2005 – present). Lastly, he represented the AIA at FEMA's Emergency Management Institute's Strategic Plan 2009 – 2014 Focus Group.

Lingerfelt has also been a post disaster safety assessment evaluator since 2003 and certified to train others in 2008.  He has trained over 325 architects, engineers, building officials and inspectors to date. He has provided safety assessment evaluations for Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans (2004), Northridge Earthquake (1994) as well as fire and flood assessments in California. He has completed the Emergency Management Institute's Professional Series (2009) that includes IS 100 - Introduction to the Incident Command System, IS 139 - Exercise Design, IS 200 - ICS for Single Resources & Initial Action Incidents, IS 230 – Principles of Emergency Management, IS 235 - Emergency Planning, IS 241 – Decision Making & Problem Solving, IS 240 – Leadership & Influence, IS 242 – Effective Communication, IS 244 – Developing & Managing Volunteers, IS 700 - National Incident Management System (NIMS) an Introduction and IS 800 National Response Framework and Introduction.

Rachel Minnery, AIA, NCARB, LEED AP, is an architect and LEED accredited professional at Environmental Works, a non-profit community design center in Seattle, WA. 

Minnery has worked with both the public and private sector on building and planning projects focusing on environmentally and socially responsible design in the areas of housing, healthcare and education.  Minnery is the Co-founder of Architects Without Borders Seattle and Chair of the National AIA’s Disaster Assistance Advisory Group. 

She has led groups of volunteer architects to disaster-stricken places including Washington State, Haiti, and Mississippi to respond to floods, hurricanes and earthquakes.  Minnery has also served on the National AIA Communities by Design Committee, developing design principles for livable, walkable communities.  She has been featured and interviewed in newspapers, journals and on the radio. In 2006, AIA Seattle honored her with the Community Service Award.

Minnery is the 2008 recipient of the Graduate of the Last Decade (GOLD) Award from Ball State University and 2009 Outstanding Alumni Award from the College of Architecture and Planning where she earned a Bachelor of Architecture.

Stan Peterson, FAIA, NCARB, has presented Disaster Assistance and Disaster Assessment training workshops across the country. Peterson has the actual experience of assessing the damage following several wind, tornado and flood events over the past fifteen years in Kansas. His presentations are based on experiences and the Kansas Disaster Assessment Program that he was a founding member of and is a contributing author of their disaster manual. He has made presentations on disaster assistance at AIA National Conventions, AIA Grassroots, AIA Regional Meetings, NCARB Annual Meetings, several state AIA meetings and to many different civic and professional groups. Peterson was elevated to Fellowship in the American Institute of Architects in 2006 for his national work with disaster assistance. He currently serves on the AIA National Disaster Assistance Task Force and is the State Co-coordinator of the AIA Kansas Disaster Assistance Program. As Chair of the AIA Kansas Disaster Assistance Committee and as State Co-coordinator of the Kansas Disaster Assessment Program he has been responsible for the disaster assessment training of more than 500 volunteer architects, engineers and building officials in both the AIA Kansas Disaster Assessment Program and the Safety Assessment Program for California Emergency Management Agency.

Peterson was a member of the Kansas State Board of Technical Professions for twelve years with two as chairperson. For the National Council of Architectural Registration Boards he served or chaired several committees and task forces, including chairing the Disaster Response Task Force following Hurricane Katrina. He spent three years on the Board of Directors of NCARB and was awarded the President’s Medal for Service to the National Council of Architectural Registration Boards in 2006.

George Salinas, AIA, is a registered building architect (RA), design & construction principal, and consultant to the international design and construction industry with 25+ years of diverse experience as an building designer, IT data center design specialist, technology consultant, construction project manager, and transformative innovator. Salinas has specialized design and construction experience in mission critical facilities (data centers, IT facilities, medical facilities, trading floors) and disaster damage assessment.

His planning and design experience includes building performance metrics, sustainable design, energy-efficiency, and turnkey design/build. Building types include IT data centers, 911 emergency facilities, police and fire training centers, judicial facilities, correctional facilities, hospitality industry, airports, banks, museums, corporate offices, and urban design. As a managing principal, Salinas has developed new building infrastructure strategies including energy utilization and smart building systems.

As an AEC industry leader Salinas has served as a NAFTA Representative for the American Institute of Architects between Canada, the U.S. and Mexico. He has conducted technical and certification seminars for numerous professional organizations including AIA, CSI, AWI, AHI etc. Author of “The Process of the Design and Construction Industry”, he also initiated the first electronic product selection and specification system, Electronic Sweet's (now Sweet's Network) for the design and construction industry.

Ann Somers, AIA, LEED AP, is a licensed architect and LEED accredited professional working in Jackson, Mississippi as a partner at Cooke Douglass Farr Lemons, a multi-disciplined design firm.

Somers was the President of the Mississippi American Institute of Architects in 2005 when Hurricane Katrina hit the Mississippi Gulf Coast. She worked with the National AIA and devised a disaster assessment program for local and nation-wide architects to assist residents of the stricken region.

In addition, Somers assisted with the formation of the 2005 Mississippi Renewal Forum and participated in the design charrette. She began working with the AIA Disaster Assistance Committee since 2006 and has received ATC-45, Post Wind Storm and Flood Training.

Jennifer Zolkos, has been executive director of AIA Rhode Island, Providence, Rhode Island for five years. In that time she has worked with the RI chapter to lobby the legislature in the interest the architectural profession and has acted as a liaison between AIAri and the RI Emergency Response Task Force. Zolkos has worked to inform the AIAri membership of opportunities within the task force as well as upcoming training sessions. She has worked to ensure that AIAri lends support to the task force when needed and that the AIAri board is kept current with the latest progress.

Also on the task force is R. Kirk O’Brien, AIA, owner of Aedifice Ideas Architecture, in the Greater San Diego Area.


Terrance Brown, FAIA


Michael Lingerfelt, AIA, LEED-AP


Rachel Minnery, AIA, NCARB, LEED AP


Stan Peterson, FAIA, NCARB

George Salinas, AIA

Jennifer Zolkos, AIA Rhode Island


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