Board of Directors
Robert Forest, FAIA
Robert Forest, FAIA, is a founding partner at Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill Architecture, where he leads the management of all of the firm's projects. A recognized authority on the economics of sustainable design, Bob has lectured and published widely on "best practices" for the management of high-performance architecture. He is the chairperson of the AIA Chicago Large Firm Round Table Committee, a member of the US Green Building Council, and the China Committee of the Chicago Sister Cities program. Prior to co-founding AS+GG in 2006, Bob was an Associate Partner in the Chicago office of Skidmore, Owings & Merrill, and had previously worked at design firms in Toronto, Hong Kong and Osaka, Japan.
First Vice President/President-Elect
April Hughes, AIA
April Hughes, AIA, the 2013 AIA Illinois and AIA Chicago Dubin Family Young Architect of the Year, is the owner and Managing Principal of HPZS, a full service woman-owned architectural firm specializing in combating climate change through adaptive reuse in order to “Preserve a Sustainable Future” for Chicago. She is a recent recipient of the DuPont Emerging Leader Scholarship at the 2016 Design Futures Council Leadership Summit on Sustainable Design, is a U.S. Small Business Administration Emerging Leader 2016, and is a 2017 Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses Scholar and advocates for women in the profession at all levels, from intern to executive.
Catherine Baker, AIA
Catherine Baker, AIA, is a partner at Landon Bone Baker Architects (LBBA). The focus of work at the firm is affordable housing and community-based design. At LBBA, Catherine manages various projects including master planning of neighborhoods, new and renovated single-family housing, multifamily housing and daycare centers. Catherine is active in architectural education programs, focused mainly on CPS high school students. She also runs her office's summer lab program which employs high school students to initiate change in their neighborhood through environmental assessment studies and community asset mapping. Catherine also serves on the Board of Directors at the Chicago Asthma Consortium where she is coordinating efforts between health experts, builders, developers and architects to design healthier living environments.
Brett Taylor, AIA
Brett Charles Taylor, AIA, is a Director at bKL Architecture. He has led numerous complex, multi-disciplinary teams for the Federal/Civic sector such as the EM Dirksen Courthouse renovation and the United Nations Geneva Campus renovation. He has also spent over 10 years working in the MENA region managing projects and developments in countries including Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Bahrain, United Arab Emirates, and Qatar.
Brett is recipient of the AIA National Young Architect Award, a former member of the AIA National Young Architects Advisory Committee, and former chair of the AIA Chicago Young Architects Knowledge Community. He is currently a board member of the Art Institute of Chicago Evening Associates and a volunteer for the Rebuilding Together organization.
Jessica Figenholtz, AIA
As higher education leader at Perkins+Will, Jessica Figenholtz, AIA, is focused on enhancing educational experiences and outcomes in the rapidly evolving education landscape. She believes in developing innovative strategies that creatively integrate design, business and learning environments. Jessica is a widely-recognized expert in higher education design with more than 16 years of professional experience. She has developed long-term relationships with some of the world's top higher education institutions.
Known also for her agility in operating within multiple practice areas, including higher education, K-12, retail and commercial interiors, Jessica is regarded for her thorough understanding of the client and project context. She is deeply involved in planning, redevelopment and sustainability—and believes that design should deliver impact, create value and transform lives for today's learner and future generations to come.
VP Honors & Awards
Jennifer Park, AIA
Jennifer Park, AIA, is principal and owner of Jurassic Studio, a design firm that explores form, patterns, composition and their translation into our social context. Her professional experience in architecture, design and education spans cities including New York, Los Angeles, Chicago and Mexico City, and her project experience spans academic, commercial, retail and residential settings. Jennifer is also contributing to the Obama Presidential Center as part of their museum design team.
Jennifer maintains close ties to academia currently serving as visiting assistant professor at Illinois Institute of Technology (IIT) teaching architecture studio courses. She believes in teaching students how to think critically about our social and political environment as part of the design process. In addition to several project awards, Jennifer was acknowledged as one of Chicago's 2015 Women of Influence in Michigan Avenue magazine and was a finalist for Curbed's 2015 Young Guns Award. She also is a recipient of the 2015 Burnham Prize and a 2017 Burnham Prize exhibitor hosted by the Chicago Architectural Club in affiliation with the Chicago Architecture Biennial.
Laura Garcia, AIA
Drew Deering, AIA
Drawing from two decades of design and construction experience across a diverse spectrum of architectural projects, Drew Deering, AIA, approaches management to ensure the skilled execution of all project phases within Moody Nolan’s design team. Informed by his great passion for creating structures that positively impact people and communities, Drew works closely with clients to realize their project visions and design intent at the highest industry standards. His in-depth construction administration and project management experience have driven the successful completion of projects from schools, arenas, and recreational centers to public facilities and historic revitalizations.
Patricia Saldaña Natke, FAIA
Patricia Saldaña Natke, FAIA, is President and Design Principal of UrbanWorks, an award-winning architecture, planning, and interior design firm, wherein she is responsible for the visionary design direction of the firm. Pat has a passion for cities, neighborhoods, and especially the most vulnerable sections of cities and their population.
Pat has served as an Adjunct Professor at the University of Illinois at Chicago Graduate School of Architecture, Facilitator at Archeworks, and a Part Time Professor at the Illinois Institute of Technology School of Architecture for the Advanced Design Studios. She was named one of “Five 2014 Emerging Designers” in Crain’s Chicago, listed in “50 Designers Shaping Chicago” by NewCity in 2014, and named “2015 Outstanding Woman” by Chicago’s largest Spanish newsmedia La Raza. In 2016, Pat was a TEDX University of Chicago speaker.
Jason Golub, AIA
Jason Golub, AIA, is an associate principal at Antunovich Associates. With more than 15 years of experience in architecture and real estate development, Jason has overseen projects ranging across commercial, hospitality, high-end residential, mixed-income multi-family, historic preservation, and mixed-use developments across a variety of scales. Jason’s concept-based design approach, team collaborations, and overall project management skills are vital principles of his architectural practice.
Jason has emphasized dedication to the profession through his volunteer work, involvement in AIA’s Architects in Schools program, and for the past several years he has served as co-chair for the AIA Chicago’s Practice Management Knowledge Community. Additionally, he is a member of the Architecture Review Committee in his home town.
William Emmick, AIA
William Emmick, AIA, is a Principal leading design management at Studio Gang. With more than a decade of experience at Studio Gang, William oversees projects ranging in scale and typology, focusing his efforts on the delivery and execution of the Studio’s most complex cultural, public, and urban design projects. Involved in all aspects of the Studio’s work, from business development to operations to design, he leads teams in communicating thoughtful, high-quality design through various means to clients, contractors, and others both inside and outside the profession. An advocate for underserved communities and a mentor to young architects and designers, William believes that design professionals have an obligation to examine policies and work to engage vital issues important to the design profession and to society at large.
Manuel Hernandez, AIA
Manuel J Hernandez, AIA, is the founder and principal at Design Seed, Inc with over 15 years of experience in architectural project design, building, preparation of construction documents, construction management, and on-site construction supervision. His project experience includes residential, healthcare, commercial, educational, and municipal works. Manuel is involved in many architectural and design-build projects throughout the Chicago land and surrounding areas as the lead architect and builder.
Manuel is also the current President of Arquitectos' board of directors, a past Auxiliar Board member of the Chicago Parks Foundation, and an ongoing Habitat for Humanity volunteer. He actively engages with AIA Chicago's various
Oswaldo Ortega, AIA
Oswaldo Ortega, AIA, earned a Master’s in Science of Urban Design and Architecture from Columbia University. In 2007, he joined the Washington, D.C. office of HOK and continued to develop his leadership skills through the Leadership Development Program at Johns Hopkins University.
Currently, at Gensler Chicago, Ortega has led master planning studies, architectural and interiors projects. Most recently he was the project architect for the Johnson Controls Asian Regional Headquarters in Shanghai, to which he frequently traveled to represent his team at Gensler.
Beyond Gensler, Ortega is very passionate about giving back as a co-lead mentor of the ACE mentor program and as 2018 president of the Illinois chapter of NOMA (National Organization of Minority Architects).
Chey Taylor, AIA
Chey Taylor, AIA, LEED AP, is an Associate at SMNG A Ltd with over 18 years of experience managing projects for public sector clients, including K-12 public school districts and community based not-for-profit organizations. Her project experience includes K-12 public school modernization, expansion and replacement projects, community health care clinics, early childhood facilities and public housing facilities. Chey is passionate about engaging design professionals in community issues and developing leadership in issues critical to the success and future of the profession and of the larger community. She is a past co-chair of the AIA Chicago Community Interface Committee, and helped develop the AIA Chicago Architect in Schools program that introduces the architecture profession and design thinking to 6-8th grade CPS students. She has previously chaired the Community Outreach Committee for the United Way Young Leaders Society.
Mindy Viamontes, AIA
Mindy Viamontes, AIA, is a Senior Project Architect and Project Manager at exp with over 12 years of experience. She has a strong focus on public infrastructure and transit-related design. Mindy has led many high-profile civic projects including the recently completed CTA Washington/Wabash Station and the CTA 95th Terminal Improvement Project which is currently under construction. She is a strong communicator and collaborative team leader with an emphasis on technical and design excellence.
Mindy is a Past President and Board Member for Chicago Women in Architecture. She has served on the AIA Programming Committee, AIA National Legacy Committee, AEC Cares projectChicago Committee, AIA Chicago BRIDGE, AIA Women’s Leadership Summit, and has been a team captain for CANstruction for the last seven years.
Tyler Schwede, Assoc. AIA
Tyler Schwede, Assoc. AIA, is a healthcare designer, medical planner a researcher at HKS, Inc. In 2014, Tyler’s uniquely-focused interest in health design was awarded the HKS Healthcare Fellowship, allowing him to fuse his previous educational background in parametric analysis and evidence-based design to create rapidly deployable tools to enhance efficiency in future inpatient units and outpatient clinic settings. His current studies focus on how design can directly impact a hospital's operational work process and efficiency. Tyler has been an active member of AIA Chicago, including leadership positions in the Healthcare Knowledge Community for the past two years.
Cameron Acheson, Assoc. AIA
Cameron Acheson, Assoc. AIA, is a Staff Designer at Landon Bone Baker Architects (LBBA) and is working on a variety of rehab, scattered-site, and infill affordable housing projects throughout West Town and Humboldt Park. The firm’s model of practice supports her desire to work locally with community organizations to stabilize and preserve the character of Chicago neighborhoods, and to be an advocate for the communities in which she works.
Prior to joining LBBA, Cameron worked with Rural Studio, Auburn University’s design/build architecture program. There, she served as a 5th Year and Outreach Instructor, as well as a liaison to the City of Greensboro, Alabama. Her work with the City of Greensboro aided in establishing a Parks and Recreation Department, developing a comprehensive zoning map, and designing the foundation for a long-term city master plan. Cameron serves on the Associate Board of archi-treasures and is a participant in the AIA Chicago’s Bridge 7.0 leadership program.
Professional Affiliate Director
Patrick Donley, Affiliate AIA
Pat Donley, Aff. AIA Chicago, is Vice President Business Development for Power Construction. Donley is responsible for the development of new business opportunities and development of new strategic business relationships. Since joining Power Construction in October 2010, the company has grown from $600M to over $1B in revenues. He has been responsible for helping Power succeed and grow within the multi-family residential and hotel market sectors.
Donley has over 35 years of experience in the Construction Industry, beginning with Walsh Construction in Chicago. During his years with Walsh, he was a Project Manager, Business Development Manager and Vice President. During his tenure at Walsh, leading sales and marketing efforts, the annual volume of work increased from $200M in 1989 to $2.5B in 2007. Prior to joining Power, he served as Vice President Business Development for the Midwest Region of Ryan Companies (a developer/contractor headquartered in Minneapolis) from 2007 – 2010.
Professional Affiliate Director
Ryan Biziorek, Aff. AIA
Ryan Biziorek, Aff. AIA, is an Associate consultant with Arup – a global consulting engineering firm. He leads the Acoustics, Audiovisual, and Theatre consulting practice in the Chicago office. He has been involved in providing technical expertise and project management skills for various building types. Ryan has over 10 years of experience in performing arts design, building service noise analysis, room acoustic modeling, public address and audiovisual systems design. He holds a BA in Physics from Kalamazoo College and an MSc in Sound & Vibration Studies from the University of Southampton, Institute of Sound & Vibration Research. Ryan has worked with a number of charitable and non-profit organizations in Chicago that serve the AEC community as a mentor, volunteer or board member. He is currently the President of the Chicago Architecture Foundation Auxiliary Board – a position he has held for the past 3 years.
Derrick McCormick, Assoc. AIA, AIAS
Derrick McCormick, Assoc. AIA, AIAS, is a current Master of Architecture student at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, as well as an associate designer at Unispace. He has worked with clients across different industries on corporate interior projects. He is adept in the full range of architectural services and has a passion for design that leads him to solve problems and meet client goals in satisfying and unexpected ways.