News & Press: CHAPTER NEWS

Chapter Update - June 2017

Monday, June 12, 2017   (0 Comments)
Posted by: April Becerra


By April Becerra, CAE


The first half of 2017 is coming to a close and I must say it has been a very busy year thus far.  It’s also my third year anniversary with the AIA Santa Clara Valley.  I’ve grown a lot in my position and have become acquainted with many outstanding and talented individuals.  I don’t always have the opportunity to speak with everyone or connect with everyone but here are a few updates on what’s happening with the chapter.  Also, if you’ve not done so, I encourage you to connect with me on LinkedIn. Often times, I will post chapter related news on LinkedIn.  (


  1. Welcome our new board member, Missy Mirkovski, AIA of IBI Group.  Missy has been appointed to a Director vacancy we have through 2017.
  2. Chapter office remodel – yes, we are actually doing it.  Not a full remodel but rather a refresh.  We’ve already started the process and phase 2 is happening within weeks. Phase 3 has more to do with filling in the voids.  This would be items we think would enhance the office, the experience of those who visit the office, the volunteers and members who use our office and the staff who are here day in and day out.  There will probably be a short list of items we could use and will be seeking donations for.  That to come later.
  3. New staff member – Chris Burnham joined our team in April.  Chris comes with a long background in graphic design and more recently real estate.  She’s learning quickly so please feel free to welcome her next time you see or speak with her.
  4. Our 3rd Annual Home Tours was a great success.  I am so pleased when I watch the architects interact with the public as they tour the homes.  There are always lots of questions people bring with them as they tour and it’s heartening to see we have the most qualified professionals there to help them in their home design journey.  Keep a look out for our Call for Homes for our 2018 Home Tour coming later this year.
  5. Our Golf Tournament was on Friday, June 16th.  It was a sold-out event and with Sam Sinnott stepping down from his 5 years as chairperson for this event, it is a pleasure to see everyone come out in force to thank him for his service to our chapter.  He’s not going anywhere.  I expect to see him golfing next year but Scott Smithwick of Devcon will assume the reigns and continue the great work.



By Sharon Refvem, AIA, LEED Fellow


There was a WIA committee meeting this past week. It was well attended and they are all very engaged and growing (2 or 3 new members attended the meeting).


1.   Reviewed April Chapter event: In addition to +/-100 signed up and walk ins, 180 watched the event online via the live stream, many others seemed to have watched the video in the following few days. Good venue for a WIA related events, but costs $ to use.  

2.   WIA website: Discussion about monthly blog posting assignments and Q/A project they are developing; NOTE: WIA has developed a very nice separate web site,, where members are blogging monthly and posting events.

3.    National WIA Conference 2019: targeting partnership with SF, San Mateo (confirmed), and East Bay WIA Committees for a combined (not competing) proposal to national and branding it “Silicon Valley”; Pam pursuing Stanford venue; Discussed need for new logo for this purpose, i.e. WIA “Silicon Valley”; reviewed other WIA logos from New Orleans, LA, NY, etc.

4.    In partnership with the Fellows and Emerging Professionals Committees, the Women in Architecture Committee will be hosting a special event to introduce the Path to Fellowship to our members on June 13th.



By Steve Sowa, AIA


This past May’s program was a joint San Mateo and Santa Clara Valley event, hosted by San Mateo Chapter at Stanford University.  In addition to the lecture and presentation was our annual Scholarship awards.  Adding to the event was San Mateo’s announcement of their own scholarship winners.  Kent Brown, our own chairman of the Scholarships Committee, did a fantastic job introducing the four scholarship awards, the student winners and continuing the legacy of the Santa Clara Valley Chapter’s dedication to promoting the education of students and the emerging professionals.    


Future events will include the tour of the new Intuit Campus and interiors with presentations on the interior concept and construction in August. The September Business Meeting will also include trends in interior architecture and will be at Novo Construction in Menlo Park.  This will also be a joint meeting with the AIA San Mateo Chapter. 



By Banou Rostami, WVC Student Rep


The students participated in the Cal Poly Design Village recently and the chapter sponsored their participation.  They have also been active in both visiting construction sites as well as community service projects.  More recently, the EPC Sketching Group conducted their sketching session at the new Cilker Building on the West Valley Campus.


Note:  The AIASCV Board of Directors extends its congratulations to Banou who was accepted into Berkeley and will be starting in the fall.  Wishing you all the best and check back in with us for your summer internship needs.  Banou will be replaced by S. Hamed Hooriaband.




Michael Dern, AIA


A few events coming up and one is limited in size so if you want to participate, get your rsvp in. Event Calendar Link -


  1. Lunch & Learn on the new Community Choice Energy Program, presented by Alan Suleiman, LEED AP with Silicon Valley Clean Energy.  Scheduled for July 11th at the offices of Hawley Peterson Snyder’s new Sunnyvale office.  Seating is limited for this presentation and lunch is provided by Silicon Valley Clean Energy.  Your rsvp guarantees your lunch will be waiting for you.
  2. Noon Time Webinar – Automated Parking Systems, presented by Mike Brinck of CityLift on July 27th.



Shohreh Khodabakhshi, Associate AIA


A very active committee, the emerging professionals continue to offer various firm tours, ARE 5.0 study groups, sketching groups and occasional project tours.  Check our event calendar if you have an interest in seeing all of their upcoming events. 


Thank you to our Home Tour Architect Mixer Host - Monark and Samsung