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Our chapter's 2023 Officers and Directors

Rachel Adams, AIA
2023 President

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 over 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 projects wrapping up construction this year are the Rubidoux HS Concert Hall, La Canada HS Campus Improvements, Fernando Ledesma Gymnasium, and Royal High School Performing Arts. Rachel has committed more than a decade of volunteer leadership for the ACE (Architecture, Construction, Engineering) Mentorship organization. In recognition of her dedication to the community, Rachel was awarded the 2016 ACE Mentorship of the year award.

AIA ServiceVice President, President-Elect, AIA Pasadena and Foothill, 2022; Treasurer, AIA Pasadena and Foothill,  2020 – 2021; AIA Pasadena and Foothill. Member since 2010

EducationMakintosh School of Architecture/Glasgow University, Master of Architecture; Georgia Institute of Technology, Bachelor of Science in Architecture

Andrea Cabalo, AIA, LEED AP BD+C, DBIA
Vice President / 2023 President Elect

Andrea Cabalo is a Higher Education Studio Client Leader with SMITHGROUP. She has over 25 years of experience managing programmatically complex buildings on college and university campuses in California and Hawaii. She 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 DBIA Designated Design-Build Professional.  Andrea has the unique ability to absorb and retain details discussed during project development which ensures the clients’ needs are met, and the design intent is realized in the completed work. Her main strength is team building, which gives her the ability to navigate challenging issues to a successful outcome for all involved.  Andrea is currently leading design teams at USC and Caltech in southern California. As a strong advocate for licensure, Andrea is re-energizing the study group committee at SMITHGROUP by focusing on supporting licensure, accreditation, certification, and intern development through mentoring. 


Darci Wong is a licensed architect in the State of California and manages design projects throughout Cuningham’s six offices.  She specializes in multifamily and mixed-use development projects, including affordable housing, market rate apartments, luxury condominiums, senior living communities, and hotels. Highlights from her portfolio of completed construction projects in Los Angeles include Metropolis Hotel & Residences, and the recently completed Pendry Hotel & Residences.  As a creative professional, she has the ability to translate client needs into reality using a collaborative and holistic approach.  As a Project Manager, Darci works closely alongside clients, consultants, contractors, and the project team to develop design and manage project documentation, with a high level of attention to detail throughout all design phases.

Daniel A Stein AIA, LEED AP

Dan has more than 30 years of experience in architecture, project management and construction. He has worked with over 40 Fortune 500   corporations to provide a wide spectrum of project management services. He has a unique talent in assisting clients determine how to best   use and maximize their spaces. Dan has managed the development and construction of a diverse group of projects. Most recently he completed a 60,000 sf medical office   building and nine level parking structure for Heath Care Partners and the renovation of the Variety Arts building in downtown Los Angeles. 

Dan’s expertise in real estate, design and construction allow him to work effectively with company executives to develop strong project teams to ensure that the project objectives are achieved. Dan draws on the experience he has gained working for the real estate industries top companies to assist his clients in achieving their ideal results on schedule at or below the projected cost.

 Jessica Orlando, AIA
 Director of Programs 

Jessica Orlando, as California Higher Education Practice Leader, focuses on delivering a positive and seamless experience for her Higher Education clients across the state and around the world. Jessica is an active member in the Southern California design community, focusing on issues related to equal representation of diverse perspectives in design professions and engaging with future generations of designers, engineers, and contractors. Her work through Architecture for Communities Los Angeles as Chair of the Design by Diversity (DxD) Committee has engaged with more than 200 organizations, education institutions, and companies as well as children of all ages to inspire interest and appreciation for design.

 James Spencer, FAIA
Director of Citizen Architect

James Spencer FAIA graduated from USC School of Architecture in 1965. After two years of active duty in the Navy, he began a 13-year   career at Neptune & Thomas working mainly under its co-founder, Joseph Thomas FAIA. During his Neptune & Thomas career, he became   licensed   in 1970 and was primarily a designer developing community college projects such as an entirely new community college in Marin   County and a theater at Los Angeles Pierce College. Other projects included one of the largest full-care retirement homes in the state, a   middle school, a music building at UCLA, and a theater at Pepperdine University. Leaving Neptune & Thomas in 1980 he founded his own   firm that eventually became Spencer/Hoskins associates with a staff of 24 in Altadena. The firm became an expert in the field of community   colleges and when sold in 2007 was working with 15 colleges, three of them entirely new campuses.  

His work was honored with four AIA PF design awards plus two state-wide preservation awards and two state-wide community college design awards. He became preeminent in the master planning of colleges and universities, having written over 30 master plan documents for campuses throughout the state, including the UCLA Lake Arrowhead Conference Center, an AIA PF Award winner. It is for his planning that he was honored in 2019 with Fellowship in the AIA. 

Jim served on the AIA PF Board from 1979 through 1985 and chaired our honor awards programs in 1980 and 1986.

 John R. Byram, AIA, NCARB
 Director of Government Affairs & Advocacy

John is the founder of Byram Architects, a design-oriented, multi-disciplinary architecture and planning practice in  Pasadena.  He has over 25 years of experience in architecture and city planning, including architectural responsibilities over a   diverse range of project types, as well as various planning roles in the development of specific plans, studies and design   guidelines.  Byram Architects projects are intentionally shaped by the uniqueness of each client and the places where they have   chosen to build. Cultural, historical and environmental concerns are seen as opportunities—opportunities to enrich and add  relevancy to architecture. He is a member of the AIA, has NCARB certification and is licensed to practice architecture in California and Arizona.

Dora Barrientos, AIA
Director of Membership

Dora Barrientos, attended California State Polytechnic University, Pomona, receiving a  B.A. in Architecture. She worked for the City of Los Angeles, Bureau of Street Lighting, Planning Dept. and LA World Airports for ten years before transitioning to the private sector. Dora then specialized in Commercial-Industrial and Tenant Improvements at Cataldo Associates. She returns to the Director of Membership, having served previously in 2017-2018 when she joined AIAPF as an associate member. She continues to be active in chapter events and leading the annual Birdhouse Competition. Dora looks forward to contributing to the upcoming year and once again engaging Chapter Members. 

Magdalini Vraila, Assoc. AIA
Director of Emerging Professionals

Magdalini Vraila is currently working as a Designer with AC Martin, focusing on Higher Education projects. Originally from Greece, she graduated from USC with a Bachelor of Architecture in 2019. She started her professional career at House & Robertson Architects, where she worked on several mixed use, commercial and entertainment projects. As a part of the AOR team, she collaborated with several Design Architects on projects both in California and Texas. Her experience in an executive architecture office allowed her to understand the importance of licensure early on and use her technical skills to inform her designs. As a result, she is passionate about incentivizing young architecture professionals to embark on their licensure path as early as possible. Through the university’s outreach programs, she has repeatedly been a mentor for current USC Architecture students and has attended several Career Days and Portfolio Review days in various California schools. She strongly believes in the power of the architecture community to move the profession forward and is excited to provide the next generation of Architects with the resources they need to succeed.

Kuo-Hung "Henry" Tseng, AIA, NCARB
Director of Communications

A native of Taiwan, Henry is the founder and architect of Seikun Architects, which is named after his dogs. He holds a Bachelor of Architecture degree from Cal Poly Pomona. After graduation, he spent some time living and working in Tokyo, taking in all the awesome experiences Japan had to offer. It was there, that he fell in love with minimalist design and efficient small spaces, and wanted to bring that back to the US.  A firm believer that "Less is More" and "Form follows Function,"  Henry is fascinated by how buildings affect human behavior and psychology and aims to unite these theories of proxemics with an uniquely Taiwanese aesthetic.

In line with his obsession with efficient small space design, he was on the board of Los Angeles's tiny house advocate group and dreams one day of building a tiny house himself and living in the forest with his dogs.

In his free time, Henry enjoys spending time with his family and friends, hugging his 3 dogs, and being active in the Volvo "brick" community. 

 Gaylaird Christopher, AIA
 Director of Sponsorship

The Director of Sponsorship is a Board position with a two-year term. As Director of Sponsorship, the Board member acts as a strategic organizer of sponsorship activities on the Sponsorship Committee as well as an enabler of sponsorship efforts of various members   who are engaged in this activity. This position carries basic obligations of Chapter governance, requiring that s/he attend the monthly Boar   meetings on the evening of each month.

 Michael McDonald, AIA
 Member at Large

The Director of Sponsorship is a Board position with a two-year term. As Director of Sponsorship, the Board member acts as a strategic organizer of sponsorship activities on the Sponsorship Committee as well as an enabler of sponsorship efforts of various members   who are engaged in this activity. This position carries basic obligations of Chapter governance, requiring that s/he attend the monthly Boar   meetings on the evening of each month.

Winston Thorne, AIA, NOMA, NCARB, CSBA
Director at large / Past President

Winston is President of Winston Thorne Architect, an architecture and planning firm based in Pasadena serving the growing California and Arizona markets. Works include single and multi-family residential, restaurant, laboratory, historic structures, and commercial type developments. President of Thorne Construction, LLC, a licensed general contracting business in Arizona. His accolades include awards from AIA Central Arizona Architecture Foundation, Resolution Award with Historic Preservation Advisory Committee to RED Awards, and design competition accomplishments.

Growing up in Toronto, Ontario, Canada; he excelled in athletics, leadership, and music. Attended Ryerson University’s School of Architecture in Toronto, where his design interest in the built environment was founded in architecture. Following his curiosity with American architecture, it led him to Phoenix, Arizona where he spent the last seventeen years working on notable historic preservation, luxury condominium project types to the tallest hotel in Arizona. Actively participated with the design community, associations, and volunteered with charitable organizations.


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