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About Us - 2020 Board of Directors
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Varoujan Movesian. AIA
2020 President

Varoujan Movsesian is an architect at FSY Architects, with a primary focus on multi-family and affordable housing projects. His communication skills and commitment to excellence have informed his approach to effective project delivery. He is an NCARB-certified, licensed architect in the State of California and has served on the AIAPF board for three years.

Varoujan earned his Master of Architecture degree from Arizona State University. Having grown up in Pasadena, his time in Phoenix was a welcome exposure to a vibrant outpost of contemporary architecture. An after-hours woodworker, his passion for “capital-A” Architecture is fueled by a commitment to quality craftsmanship and the limitless potential of custom fabrication. He holds a Bachelor’s degree in English Literature from USC and enjoys exploring the ways that ideas change the world.


Charles Bryant, AIA
Vice President / 2021 President-Elect

Charles T. Bryant is the founder of Masbuild Inc., an award-winning A&E services firm based in Pasadena. With 30+ years of experience in the design and construction industry, Mr. Bryant has served as the principal and contract manager for the US Department of HUD (A&E new and renovation projects). He has also served as the principal architect coordinating design, engineering, and construction for commercial, institutional, and multi-family residential projects for the U.S. Navy and Air Force; the State Department; Caltrans; Los Angeles, Pasadena, Lynwood Unified School Districts; and Mt. Vernon School District (NY). As a design builder, a licensed architect, and a licensed contractor, Mr. Bryant has worked on projects of various sizes and complexities for private and governmental agencies providing design solutions to complex and challenging tasks. Most notably, Mr. Bryant served as developer, architect and general contractor for his own 12,500 square foot award-winning commercial office building at 751 N. Fair Oaks Ave. in Pasadena.

Prior to founding his own firm Mr. Bryant served as Construction Manager at Harris & Associates, Project Manager at Archiplan Urban Design Collaborative, and Job Captain at Skidmore Owings & Merrill Los Angeles. Mr. Bryant earned his Bachelor’s Degree, in architecture, from Tuskegee University followed by a Management Development for Entrepreneurs (MDE) certificate from the Anderson Graduate School of Business at the University of California, Los Angeles. He is an NCARB - certified, licensed architect in California and numerous states.

He has served in the leadership of associations, such as:
The American Institute of Architects (AIA) for which he served as Director of Professional
Development; president of the So. Ca. chapter of NOMA, Pasadena Unified School District Bond
Oversight Committee and director of both the Pasadena Chamber of Commerce and Pasadena
Development Corporation.


Andrea Cabalo, AIA, LEED AP BD+C, DBIA

Andrea Cabalo is a Principal at AC Martin. She has over 20 years of experience managing programmatically complex buildings on college and university campuses in California and Hawaii. Her skills in communication and collaboration have guided teams through many successfully completed projects. Andrea earned a Bachelor of Architecture degree from the University of Hawaii, and is currently a licensed architect in the State of California, a LEED AP in Building Design + Construction and a designated Design Build Professional (DBIA). As a strong advocate for licensure, Andrea leads the “areU” committee at AC Martin focusing on supporting licensure, accreditation, certification, and intern development through mentoring.



Rachel Adams, AIA

Rachel Adams is Architecture for Education Inc’s (A4E) managing principal and partner. Rachel leads the firm in planning, programming and implementation to achieve a “student & faculty-focused” solution for her clients. Her passion is to create architecture that enhances and inspires learning. For almost 20 years, Rachel’s work encompasses institutional master plans and facilities that outline strategies for change and growth. Under Rachel’s leadership, A4E’s practice has delivered multiple innovative educational environments that support and improve the quality of education.

Rachel’s expertise includes District Facility Master Planning, Campus Modernizations, Renovation to New Construction, and Additions. Some of her most recent projects include Rio School District’s new K-8 STEAM Academy, Rancho del Paso’s K-12 Campus, and Master Planning and Ed Specs for Alhambra Unified School District.

Rachel has committed more than a decade of volunteer leadership for the ACE (Architecture, Construction, Engineering) Mentorship organization and established a successful mentorship program at Washington High School. In recognition of her dedication to the community, Rachel was awarded the 2016 ACE Mentorship of the year award.


Fariba Shantiyai, AIA, CCS, LEED AP
Director of Programs

Fariba is the President and CEO of LA Design Group, Inc., a full-service architectural firm with offices in Diamond Bar and Pomona, California. She has over 30 years of experience in architectural design, master planning, programming, and management of a variety of commercial, educational, institutional, and residential projects. Fariba has been an active member of AIA Pasadena & Foothill Chapter. She has served on the Executive Committee and Board of Directors and held the positions of 2012 President, 2011 Vice President, Treasurer, Secretary, and Director of Legislative and Government Affairs in the last few years. She has served on AIA California Council Board of Directors and as a member AIA|CC Advocacy Advisory Committee.



Director of Citizen Architect

Mark Gangi, AIA 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 sporadically as a guest lecturer since 2006.


Victor Smith, Associate AIA
Director of Membership

I have been an AIA Associate for the last three years and have participated in a variety of events organized by the AIA Pasadena chapter. I received by Bachelor of Architecture degree from Cal Poly Pomona and I am currently an active Alumni member. I have worked at HMC Architects, for my former instructor Patrick Sullivan FAIA, John Cataldo AIA CSI, at the Los Angeles Housing Department as a Code Enforcement Habitability Building/Mechanical Inspector, and am currently an Architectural Associate at the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power since 2001. I would like to bring my interest and enthusiasm for architectural design and history to the chapter and to my fellow architectural members of the chapter.



Jane Becronis, AIA, LEED AP, NCARB
Director of Government Affairs & Advocacy

I’ve worked as a public architect for Los Angeles County Public Works over the past 16 years.  I’ve always been interested in serving the public.  My work includes the design and coordination of over a hundred projects including both new and tenant improvement construction.  These include community centers, sports fields, yard offices, park facilities, healthcare facilities, industrial facilities, and many public and private facilities. I have been involved in numerous design studies for the County including completing a case study for a net-zero-resource-usage single family residence, and design-build projects. Previously, in private practice, I managed a design studio and have had my own architectural practice. I’m deeply interested in the sustainability aspects of the buildings as well as related policies, codes and regulations.


Christian Gomez, AIA, CSBA
Director of Emerging Professionals

Christian recently joined the team at Haynes + Oakley Healthcare Architects as a Job Captain/Assistant Project Manager. She received her Bachelor’s in Architecture from Woodbury University in 2016 and is currently on the path towards licensure. Since graduation, Christian has made Healthcare Architecture her concentration; but while in school she worked for such places as the City of Los Angeles’ Real Estate Services department, the non-profit LA Más and the custom furniture company dTank. Outside of work, Christian’s passions include traveling, sports, and community involvement. As a professional Christian is looking forward to bettering her local and outside communities through Architecture and Design.


James Betancourt
Director of Communications

James Betancourt is an architectural associate at Richard F. McCann Theatre Architects; devoted to the firm’s experimental approach of designing for the performing arts. James received his Bachelor of Architecture (B.Arch) with honors from Woodbury University, where he also served 3 years as the Marketing Chair for Woodbury’s chapter of The American Institute of Architecture Students (AIAS). He effectively promoted AIAS engagements to active and prospective members through graphical design and digital media. James is a frequent participant in civic-engagement activities such as AIA-PF’s Citizen Architect and involvement in city-government. Outside of the studio, James spends his free time putting to use his proficiencies of architecture through the research, design, and development of custom motorcycle fabrication.


Winston Thorne, AIA, CSBA
Director of Sponsorship

Winston Thorne is an accomplished design professional with two decades of U.S. and international experience. His efforts and knowledge with historic structures has earned him the Chair position on the historic advisory committee, after a decade of voluntary engagements. He was given opportunities to work on and realize a number of high profile developments such as the tallest hotel in Arizona and luxury condo residences adjacent to the Biltmore. When he is not glued to his computer screens, he is enjoying the beach, learning to play the guitar, and curiously creating flavorsome foods. He is currently exploring his context.



Jay Zapata, AIA, LEED AP BC+D
Director at Large / Past President

Jay was born and raised in one of Latin Americas most significant and fastest growing metropolitan city, Panama City, Panama. In 2007, he began his professional career as an architect in one of the most prestigious architecture firms, Pinzón Lozano & Asociados Arquitectos, assisting in the design development & construction documents phases of high rise buildings. As the years passed by, Jay became an important part of the team of architects designing the innovative F&F Tower, a 52 floor cork screw designed skyscraper. As fate would have it, in 2010 Jay’s path led him to the City of Angels to work as a consultant architect for The Getty Institute in Brentwood. The following year, Jay worked as the architect in charge of all the technical and project coordination aspects for Season 4 of HGTV’s show The Outdoor Room with Jamie Durie, and also worked as a consultant architect for many architects and engineers in Pasadena and Los Angeles. In 2012, he joined Togawa Smith & Martin, an architecture firm that specializes in high density multifamily residential and mix use buildings throughout Southern California. At TSM, Jay had the opportunity to implement innovative technical solutions to deliver sensitive design with thoughtfully composed and cost effective planning, among many other things. Jay founded in 2018 zprout /s-prout/ an architectural firm focused in helping clients germinate new ideas to help them grow the current value of their properties. He opened his full time studio in the city of San Gabriel and his practice focuses in multifamily, medical, commercial, residential, and outdoor spaces projects. Outside of work, you can find Jay doing different types of outdoor activities but more importantly spending time with his wife and young children. He resides in the architecturally historic city of Pasadena. He also believes in alternatives ways of commuting to work and play; the positive impact this practice brings to our communities, environment, and well-being.


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