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About Us - 2014 Board of Directors
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Nazanin Zarkesh, AIA, LEED AP
President

An associate and Project Architect with La Canada Design Group, Nazanin designs and manages all kind of projects from new developments, renovations, and feasibility studies. She embodies the essential skills of a manager and job captain: strong technically, thorough, and an exceptional communicator with all disciplines. LEED certified, Nazanin applies the principles of sustainable design to each of her projects from design through construction. She is currently managing three projects: Altadena Town and Country Club Fitness Center, LA County + USC Canopy and Our Community School in Chatsworth.

 

Mitchell Sawasy, AIA, FIIDA
Vice President, President-Elect

Mitchell has been a Pasadena resident for over 30 years and a practicing architect for over 35 years. He has recently located his practice to the Pasadena area. He has held local and international office at the International Interior Design Association, IIDA, as well as participating at strategic events with the LAAIA Chapter. He has juried design competitions and has been the recipient of a number of design awards.

He attended California Polytechnic State University San Luis Obispo and the Southern California Institute of Architecture. During his career he has had offices and worked in Los Angeles, San Diego, Beijing, São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro.

Mitchell would like to see the AIAPF Chapter have a more visible role with the public, city government and our colleagues.

 

Harry Drake, AIA, CASp
Secretary

Harry is a principal with Gonzalez Goodale Architects. He has over 30 years of experience focusing on K-12 educational projects, civic/institutional projects, and accessibility design. Recent projects include the Robert F. Kennedy Community Schools at the site of the famed Ambassador Hotel and Cocoanut Grove, Glassell Park Early
Education Center, Westside Family YMCA, and Monrovia Library. His wide–ranging experience with a myriad of delivery methods and construction types allows for a flexible and sure-handed approach to the implementation of the most appropriate client-centered
project solutions. He also heads up the firm’s quality assurance program. Harry holds a Bachelor of Architecture Degree from California Polytechnic State University San Luis Obispo.

 

Dan Stein, AIA, LEED AP
Treasurer

Dan brings over 25 years of hands-on experience to the table. Through intensive involvement in each phase of construction on a wide variety of projects, he has developed a unique and varied skill set that has resulted in tens of thousands of dollars in savings, while maintaining the full integrity of each client’s vision. Dan’s client base includes Xerox, Verizon, Occidental Petroleum, Warner Bros., Wells Fargo, UCLA, Bradley & Gmelich Lawyers, Lakeside Community Medical, and FSB—a division of S1 Corp. Before founding PFM Solutions, Dan worked at a senior management level at Skidmore Owings Merrill Architects, Trammell Crow Company, Jones Lang LaSalle, Transamerica Financial Services, Wells Fargo Bank, and Ahmanson Commercial Development Company. Dan earned his Bachelor of Science degree in Architecture from Arizona State University and also received an advanced degree in Hazardous Materials Management from the University of California Los Angeles.

Fariba Shantiyai, AIA, CCS, LEED AP   
Director of Advocacy & Government Affairs

Fariba has enjoyed a career that has included a number of leadership positions culminating in her most recent position/venture as the President and CEO of LA Design Group, a full-service architectural firm based in Diamond Bar, California. She has over 25 years of experience in architectural design, master planning, programming, and management of a variety of commercial, educational, institutional, and residential projects. For the last 15 years, Fariba has devoted the majority of her professional experience to K-12 education and higher education projects. 

Fariba has been a very active member of AIA Pasadena & Foothill Chapter. She has served on the Board of Directors and held the positions of 2012 President, Vice President, Treasurer, and Secretary in the last few years.



  

Farzin Torbati, AIA
Director of Programs

Farzin Torbati is currently a Senior Managing Architect with Parsons. In his more than 25 years of professional experience, Farzin has designed, managed and delivered significant large scale projects, both nationally and internationally. Prior to joining Parsons, Farzin enjoyed being part of SOM LA office where he contributed to several architecturally significant projects. He is an active supporter of AIA Pasadena and Foothill chapter and deeply involved in community mentoring and social programs with disadvantaged high school students. Farzin also serves as an industry professional connection for USC school of Architecture students and recent grads.


 

Tony Hambarchian, AIA Associate
Director of Sponsorship


A graduate of Woodbury University's School of Architecture, Tony serves as a design consultant at FSY Architects and Gangi Development. He is an IDP Auxiliary Coordinator for the AIA Pasadena & Foothill Chapter at NCARB and continues his involvement and leadership in various chapter programs such as Emerging Professionals and First Friday Forum. He currently serves as a Project Designer on the Pasadena Community Gardens on behalf of the Citizen Architects Committee. Tony views design as a catalyst for social and cultural growth and uses the built environment as an opportunity to educate its user.

 


Amy Chang, AIA, LEED AP, BD+C
Director of Communications

Amy Chang has more than 17 years of experience in the architecture design profession. She is experienced and knowledgeable in all phases of A/E services including programming, planning, schematic design, design development, construction document management, and construction administration. Her strength comes from numerous programming, strategic planning, field evaluation studies and reports performed on a variety of project types that include defining project scope and establishing cost models for rehabilitation, new construction, and strategizing execution plans.

 Amy’s most recent role included managing L.A. design studio for a Fortune 500 A/E company. She was in charged of everyday design operations as well as developing working relationship among other design offices, consultants nationwide and internationally. Amy was also heavily involved in business development to expend the group’s clientele.

Amy is actively engaged with professional organizations such as A.I.A and Asian American Architects and Engineers (AAa/e) keeping her teams informed about new building technologies, relevant codes and market needs.
 

 

Tiffany TingTing Dell’Aquila, AIA Associate
Director of Emerging Professionals & Outreach


Tiffany has been an active member in the AIA Pasadena and Foothill Chapter since graduating from the USC School of Architecture in 2009. Currently she holds the position of Chair of Communications and has collaborated with the Board to improve and promote the quarterly news Bulletin. She is actively pursuing licensure by designing for Gangi Architects in Burbank, CA.

She finds the AIAPF to be a welcoming and open-minded organization, and enjoys bringing a new perspective to the Chapter. She looks forward to promoting Chapter events across varying mediums.


 

 

Mark Gangi, AIA, LEED AP
Director of Citizen Architect

Mark Gangi founded Gangi Architects in 1990. He designs and constructs buildings for the late 21st century, from zero energy houses to LEED Platinum museums. Mark formed the citizen architect committee at AIA Pasadena & Foothill Chapter, and is a member of the Center for Civic Leadership committee at AIAN. He was the 2009 President of AIA Pasadena Foothill Chapter, and started the ‘No Architect Left Behind’ initiative for ecological literacy. Mark is the AIACC liaison to the California Department of Water Resources. He is a graduate from the USC School of Architecture in 1990 where he has taught as a guest lecturer since 2006.

 

 

Julie Arcelay, Sub-Zero/Wolf Appliances
Member at Large, Membership

Julie Arcelay is currently an Architecture Student at College of the Canyons with expectations of transferring to USC School of Architecture after completing her studies.  Her background includes: Interior Design, Kitchen and Bath Design, tile design, marketing and promoting.  As the Trade representative for Sub-Zero and Wolf Appliances she has applied her education and vast knowledge of trade clients within her market place.

Julie has been an active affiliate member of the AIA Pasadena & Foothill chapter for the last two years.  As co-chair of the sponsorship committee, Julie’s passion for working with the trade and sponsorship of the chapter has clearly shinned this year.  She has assisted with the Prospective - Women In Architecture Program, the Design Awards Gala and chapter house renovation on behalf of the sponsorship committee and looks forward to what 2013 holds within the AIAPF chapter.

 

 

Alek Zarifian, AIA, LEED AP
Director at Large/Past President

Alek Zarifian, AIA, LEED AP is a Vice President of HDR Los Angeles. Previously, he has worked for such firms as The Yazdani Studio of Cannon Design, CO Architects (Formerly known as Anshen+Allen LA), and Panos Koulermos Architect. He has also been a visiting critic at the University of Southern California, SCI-Arc, Cal Poly Pomona, Woodbury University, and Otis School of Design. Alek has over 20 years of experience in the design of science and technology, healthcare, and institutional projects. He is a recognized expert in the planning and design of research facilities with many highly regarded projects to his credit. Alek’s work emphasizes a creative process that melds together context, program, and theory with clearly defined client goals and objectives. He served the AIA Pasadena & Foothill Chapter as the chapter secretary and is also a member of the AIACC SALC committee as the liaison to Office of State Wide Planning and Development (OSHPD). His recent projects include the Global Vascular Institute at The University of Buffalo for Kaleida Health, the Medical Sciences Building for Loma Linda University, and Medical Office Building-1 of Kaiser Permanente’s Anaheim Medical Complex

 

 

Brian Lee, AIA, CASp
Member at Large

Brian Lee has been involved with the design and development of governmental facilities, Class A medical and professional office facilities, specialty retail and the custom-luxury housing market throughout southern California.  He is a licensed architect in the State of California and has been designated as a Certified Access Specialist (CASp) by the Division of the State Architect.  His practice focuses upon sustainable product and accessibility in design.  He serves as a Director for the California Building Officials in Sacramento and has been chair of CALBO’s State License Boards Committee, Board liaison to the Access Committee, Commissioner with the CALBO Training Institute.  He is a graduate of the School of Environmental Design at Cal Poly, Pomona and is a professor at Mt. San Antonio College in the Architectural and Construction Technologies programs.  Additionally, he has also taught at the University of California, Riverside in the Business and Technology Construction Management and Interior Design programs and has provided consulting education to private industry and the California Building Officials and American Planning Associations   
 
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