|In Luis Huertas’ current role with SDC, he consults on LEED compliance and sustainable design strategies, for a wide range of project types including commercial, higher education, healthcare, hospitality and institutional projects. He also advises teams on the applicability of a variety of other green building and energy efficiency standards and rating systems and spearheads SDC’s scope and tool development for LEED V4 readiness. Luis is one of the founders of the USGBC Caribbean Chapter and he has also served as a panelist at the Bermuda Ministry of Economic Development’s Bermuda Energy Summit.|
Prior to joining SDC, Luis managed his own design and project planning firm located in Aruba with a focus on sustainable design for the Caribbean region. He is also a founder and technical advisor of the Americas Sustainable Development Foundation (ASDF). He currently serves as a Board member for the Artistic Lab for Design Ecology and architecture (ALDEA) and is an AIA Richmond Chapter Public Relations committee member managing social media.
Luis’ notable projects includes Papago Gateway Center in Tempe Arizona which was part of the pilot program for the LEED-CS program and Washington University St Louis East End Campus Expansion that includes 4 new buildings with different programmatic functions, pursuing LEED-NC Gold through the campus approach.
|Cecilia Hernandez Nichols has over thirty years experience working in architecture and is Design Principal at Formwork Design Office, LLC, based in Charlottesville, Virginia. Formwork’s projects vary widely in scale, type and context. Cecilia earned a Master of Architecture degree from the University of California, Berkeley and a Bachelor of Arts in Design of the Environment from the University of Pennsylvania. Her previous experience includes a partnership with Rene Gonzalez in Design Associates, Miami and a partnership with Margaret Ikeda and Evan Jones in Assembly, a design-build practice in Berkeley, California. Cecilia has taught design studios at the University of Virginia’s School of Architecture and at Florida International University as a lecturer. Her design work focuses on creating beauty from the natural patterns of our behavior, a desire to distort the boundaries between indoor and outdoor spaces, an interest in exploiting craft and an understanding of the inherent sensual qualities of materials. Cecilia has an abiding faith in the power of strong architectural ideas to transform our lives for the better.|
|Georgie Márquez is Principal Owner at Andre + Marquez Architects, Inc. a SWaM certified Architecture and Interior Design firm in Norfolk, VA. The firm was started by her and her husband, Joel André, AIA, CID, in June of 1993.|
Georgie was born and raised in San Juan, Puerto Rico, and obtained her Bachelor of Architecture degree from Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, NY. She relocated to Virginia in 1987.
Georgie is licensed by the Commonwealth of Virginia to practice Architecture and is also certified as a CPTED (Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design) Professional. She completed the Safety Assessment Program (SAP) Training to assist local governments in safety evaluations of their built environment in the aftermath of a disaster.
Her background and expertise include programming, on-site design facilitating, security assessments and evaluations, space planning, and construction administration. She is a sought-after speaker, with presentations on the role of the designer in creating safer and healthier spaces.
Georgie is active with the local and state chapters of the American Institute of Architects (AIA), currently serves on the AIAHR Golf Tournament Committee, and is the Hampton Roads representative for the AIA Virginia Disaster Assistance Committee.
She is involved with the Hampton Roads Chamber and was appointed to serve as the 2020 Chair of the Chamber’s Norfolk Board Division, as well as the Chamber’s Executive Committee and the Regional Board of Directors. She also serves on the Board for CREW Coastal Virginia (Commercial Real Estate Women).
She is a graduate of LEAD Hampton Roads, class of 2006, where she was awarded the “Inspiring a Shared Vision Leadership Award” and is a 2018 Women in Business Achievement Award Recipient. She is also a graduate of the FBI’s Citizen Academy, class of 2019.
In 2018 she was appointed by the Norfolk City Council to the Mayor’s Advisory Commission on Climate Change Mitigation and Adaptation
Georgie and Joel live in a 110-year-old home in Portsmouth, VA
Josephine V. Arbaugh, AIA, LEED-AP is a registered architect and urban designer with over 14 years of professional experience working in national and international projects in various market sectors including government, healthcare, higher education, residential, and community. She has participated in several planning efforts as well as urban design and community-based projects. Her approach to architecture and planning focuses on cultural, environmental, and social impact design, as well as the development of sustainable communities. She holds a Bachelor Degree in Architecture and a Masters Degree in Urban & Regional Planning from Virginia Tech. Over the past few years, Josephine has been involved in and led several innovative community engagement efforts using Design Thinking as a tool to foster a more inclusive planning process.
Fidel Ortega graduated with honors from Pratt Institute and quickly became a sought-after design architect, joining several prestigious architectural and interior design firms. During his two-decade career, he has focused on Interior Architectural Design, most notably in luxury multifamily and hospitality markets.
Embracing the philosophy that the success of a project relies on successfully integrating its diverse components, Fidel focuses on a holistic and collaborative design approach. New York City presented the opportunity to design for some of the largest corporate clients in America including Citibank, Condé Nast, Omnicom and Benetton. In August of 2001, Fidel relocated to the Washington D.C. area where he designed and managed a variety of projects in high-demand markets around the globe.
Fidel established Ortega D.A.S. (Design Architecture Studio) in 2012, building upon his experience working with developers, owners, and brands to create curated design solutions unique to each project and property.
Fidel has taught and lectured to students of the Master of Interior Design program at the Corcoran School of Design and held classes in Architectural and Interior Design and Visualization. He is a registered architect and is certified by the National Council of Architectural Registration Boards.
Susy graduated with a Bachelor of Architecture from The Bernard and Anne Spitzer School of Architecture, The City College of New York in 2013. After graduation, Susy quickly developed a passion for standards and guidelines that ultimately shaped her career. She found herself focused on optimizing the process of creating construction documents with the tools at her disposal and utilize the resources available to leverage software efficiency opportunities without losing design quality.
She joined 4 Ideal Design in 2017, a Digital Practice Consulting Firm that she Co-founded with her husband a year before. Not sure if she wanted to leave design, Susy found synergy between the 4iD guiding principle to optimize the digital practice and her vision to bridge the gap between the design and the technology worlds. She quickly embarked upon the vital role of working with firms to create great architecture consistently through development of effective standards and efficient workflows. As her role of Services Director at 4iD, she oversees all client relations to provide customized solutions based on her industry experience and her ongoing study of the optimum use of software and tools.
In addition to her commitment to 4iD, Susy has continued to support up and coming architecture talent by teaching Revit in both English and Spanish. In a recent rewarding venture, she collaborated with a Technical School in Maryland to teach construction workers how to read and understand construction drawings in Spanish which included support in understanding the technical language contained in the documents. Susy also teaches at the New York School of Interior Design. Her classes include Presentation Techniques using Revit and Enscape as well as Hand Drawing. Her passion to teach and optimize design continues to align with her vision and mission in the Architecture profession.
She holds LEED certification and is currently in the path to licensure.
Deanna Kohnstam is an Assistant Project Manager at Reston, VA based Architecture, Incorporated. Her background in interior design, architecture, and construction management gives her a unique perspective during both design and documentation, as well as throughout the construction process. As part of the firm’s commercial design team, Deanna works on a range of projects including building repositioning, amenity spaces, and tenant fit-outs. She has an eye for detail while seeing the big picture, and she approaches every design challenge with the user in mind and considers the way they will experience the space. She works closely with clients to help them realize the design potential of their space and strives to push the limits of design to enhance the workplace.
Deanna, a native Northern Virginia, is a graduate of Washington University in St. Louis and James Madison University. With an interest in nature, she dedicates much of her free time to the outdoors while spending time with friends, family, and her dog.
Founded in 1986, Reston, VA-based Architecture, Incorporated is a 65-person, award-winning planning, architecture, and interior design firm with projects ranging from complex renovations to new construction for commercial, hospitality, education, healthcare, senior living, multifamily, and sports and recreation clients across the region.
Michael J. Peterson, Assoc. AIA is a born and raised Native Virginian, alumnus of the AIA Virginia Emerging Leaders of Architecture program (’18), and a two-time graduate from the University of Virginia (’15, ’20). His academic, professional, and personal passions have ranged from the application of Virtual Reality within the comfort of his living room, to flying over the mountaintops of Tegucigalpa, Honduras by drone, the paved pathway towards architectural licensure has been far from the unexciting. Michael has furthered his formal architectural education across 3 continents and within 6 different countries through various forms of research, documentation, and design.
Michael has been heavily involved in the AIA and related component organizations from Day-One. Serving with the AIAS at the University of Virginia in both his time as an undergrad and graduate, as the NCARB Student Licensing Advisor for the University of Virginia, and even as the official-unofficial event photographer for AIA RVA during his limited free-time as a graduate student. The promotion of an inclusive community starts with someone engaging others that might not have sought involvement otherwise; and Michael wants to be that someone.
The feeling of the moment may be instantaneous and fleeting, but a picture can capture the moment and let it live on as a memory. Cataloging and curating thousands of images may seem like a madman’s quest to visually document the world, but Michael will do it anyway. The abstract idea that the expressed purpose of a photograph is neither for the photograph’s subject nor photographer, but rather a third-party or someone who lacks the ability to see or experience the phenomena in-person has driven Michael for more than a decade. This personal philosophy led to the chance collaboration between Michael and professor Peter Waldman at the University of Virginia during his final year of graduate studies. This collaboration led to the coalition and publication of Peter Waldman’s second book, “Connective Tissue: Ten Essays by University of Virginia Kenan Fellows 2001-2016” where Michael’s photography is featured from cover to cover and enmeshed within collages, drawing from the mind that shaped the world he is now a part of.
In the end, Michael always seeks to answer the question, “If not me, then who?”
Marcy Giannunzio, AIA is the founding Principal of DIAG Studios, PLLC, an architectural firm that delivers innovative and creative architectural solutions and specializes in institutional, commercial, and residential projects. Her professional work, spanning over 15 years, includes numerous award-winning projects in the Washington, DC metro area. Ms. Giannunzio is a firm believer in utilizing her architectural skills to support the community through serving on local committees as well as being actively involved in the American Institute of Architects (AIA). Ms. Giannunzio is also a recipient of the 2013 AIA|DC Emerging Architect of the Year Award and the 2020 Alexandria Chamber of Commerce 40 under 40 Award.
Nick Cooper, Principal and Design Director for HKS Richmond, has spent his 20-year career designing and leading projects of various scales locally and internationally. He specializes in Mixed Use, Commercial, Adaptive Re-use, Healthcare, and Urban Design projects emphasizing a cross-sector influence where he believes the most innovative solutions emerge. Nick has collaborated on projects located in eight countries and 30 cities over the course of his career, which has fueled his passion for travel and his interest in studying cultures throughout the world.
Nick has been recognized for his thought leadership and design excellence, but is most proud of his community-based work and service to the city of Richmond. He has spent the last 10 years with a local non profit called Storefront for Community Design mentoring and influencing various projects such as transforming an old greenhouse into an outdoor classroom, converting shipping containers into a bike storage/repair shop, and designing a cultural hub in historic Jackson Ward for a local entrepreneur.
Nick also serves as a Steering Committee member of Citizen HKS, the firms’ public interest design and community engagement initiative. In 2018, Nick saw an opportunity to impact his city in a profound way by combining the two organizations in the form of a project that support’s Storefront’s Highland Park Center: 6PIC. The project, “Re-imagining Benefield” will be a unique cowork/colive adaptive re-use project that will act as a catalyst for building equity in the entire neighborhood.
Nick is most passionate about mentoring and empowering the next generation of critical thinkers at HKS and throughout Richmond as he serves as the Chair for AIA Richmond’s Young Architects Forum (YAF) and as the Vice Chair for AIA Virginia’s ELA Program for 2020. Under Nick’s leadership, the YAF Committee has been transformed into a dynamic group of individuals focused on empowering each other to create opportunity for Richmond’s emerging professionals. The committee has been successful in implementing new programs such as the Design Challenge, ARE Series, Storytelling for Community and the YAIS Mentorship Series, fulfilling their mission of investing in AIA’s future and strengthening our local communities.
Above all else, Nick is grateful for his family’s continued support in his career and enjoys sharing his love of architecture and community service with his wife Erin and their two children, Colin and Emalyn.