2021 Candidates Statement

Leah Alissa Bayer, AIA, LEED GA, NCARB

BIOGRAPHY: Leah Alissa Bayer, AIA, NCARB, is Founder and Managing Director of the virtual architecture firm EVIA Studio and has been practicing in the Bay Area since 2014, primarily focused on housing. Passionate about business leadership, mentorship, and EDI, Leah has also volunteered for AIASVC since 2014, as Communications Director of WIA, Founding Co-Chair of the Architectural Intelligence Conference, and Director of the Board. She currently serves as Founding Chair of the Practice Leadership Committee, Treasurer of the Board, Chair of the EDI Task Force, and Advisor to AIA National's Center for Practice.

CANDIDATE STATEMENT: Since 2014, I’ve enjoyed becoming more involved with AIASVC each year, contributing where and how I can best serve the chapter and its members. Amidst major disruptions and challenges this year, I’ve felt proud to take part in forming and executing plans to adapt and guide the Chapter towards a more resilient, financially secure, and equitable future. Serving first as a Director and currently as Treasurer, I would be honored to expand my leadership responsibilities as Vice President to carry forward the work we’ve begun and make a greater impact on our Chapter and its members’ success for years to come.



Brent McCure, AIA

BIOGRAPHY: I am a partner at CAW Architects in Palo Alto, with nearly 25 years of experience designing learning environments that support and enhance the educational experience.  These unique opportunities have afforded me the ability to work with many diverse community groups to create unique projects within the campus setting, each with a common goal to serve future generations where students can thrive.  As the lead principal for most of our K-12 work, I have been fortunate to lead the design of many diverse projects including new approaches to classroom buildings, public spaces within a campus setting, and projects that serve the community.


CANDIDATE STATEMENT:   After finishing my first year on the board, I’m excited to continue working together with the many hardworking professionals to help advance and improve the quality programs offered by the chapter.  I am particularly interested in continuing to enhance the opportunities for emerging young professionals to grow in the profession, to help continue the promotion of increasing diversity within the profession, and to help find ways to enhance the chapter’s involvement in the development of the broader civic landscape that is currently underway in Silicon Valley.



Mary E. Morris, AIA, REFP, LEED AP


Main employers beginning in 1985:

  • Creative Energy Associates: +/- 4 years
  • The Steinberg Group (that was its name back then):  +/- 10 years
  • HMC:  +/- 17 years
  • Lionakis, 3 years

CANDIDATE STATEMENT: I have been a licensed Architect in Silicon Valley, serving primarily public education clients, since 1992.  For most of those years, my volunteer hours have gone to organizations easily identified as serving education and racial and social justice causes. As I step back a bit from leadership roles in those organizations, and especially after becoming involved with the WIA, I realize I have more time—and more interest—in serving those causes by leveraging architects’ empathy, knowledge, and professional status. What we build, how we build it, and whom we bring to the table during the process makes a difference. And now that I have been on the Board for a year, I am ready to take on the role of Board Secretary, a position I held for a number of years for the YWCA in Silicon Valley.



Stephanie Silkwood, AIA, LEED AP BD+C, WELL AP

BIOGRAPHY: Stephanie Silkwood, AIA, LEED AP BD+C, WELL AP is an Associate Principal at RMW in San Jose. Stephanie’s past involvement with the AIA has ranged from local leadership to national representation, for which she was recognized with the AIA’s Young Architect Award in 2016. She formerly served as our Chapter’s Associates Director from 2010 – 2011 and has been active in several of our committees, including the Emerging Professionals Committee, Women In Architecture, COTE, Home Tours, and the Urban Village project. She was a co-Chair for the first Architectural Intelligence Conference. Stephanie continues to be a strong voice for AIA Silicon Valley and looks forward to reengaging with the Chapter leadership group.


CANDIDATE STATEMENT: Since the beginning of my career, I have persistently sought opportunities to elevate the architecture profession. In 2010-2011, I served as AIA Silicon Valley’s Associates Director and greatly expanded the programs of our local Emerging Professionals Committee. From these successes and connections I made arose opportunities to have meaningful impact at the state and national level. I served on numerous committees for AIA California, AIA National, NCARB, and the California Architects Board. But I missed the camaraderie of our local Chapter. I missed experiencing the immediate impacts of hard-working volunteers in our community. So I’m back! And I look forward to continued service to our Chapter as a Board Director.



Jyothsna Giridhar, Intl Assoc, AIA

BIOGRAPHY: I am a building sustainability professional and I am a sustainability coordinator with DES Architects + Engineers. I received my Masters of Architecture degree with a specialization in Environmental Design from the University of Nottingham in the UK, and since then I have been focusing on several different aspects of building sustainability spanning from design strategies to certifications. I am very passionate about sustainability and I am currently a member of AIA SIlicon Valley COTE Committee and AIA CA COTE Committee.


CANDIDATE STATEMENT: As architects, we have a small window to make a difference and reverse climate change in 10 years. There are a lot of opportunities in South Bay to push the boundaries of sustainability in every project that we do. I would be really honored to serve as one of the directors of AIA Silicon Valley and work towards bridging the gap between architecture and sustainability. I would like to work with AIA Silicon Valley to change the perception that sustainability is a theoretical principle, to one that is grounded in the reality that enhances the quality of design.



Leticia SooHoo, AIA, LEED AP BD+C

BIOGRAPHY: I am a licensed architect, experienced project manager, green building advocate and mentor in the AEC industry. With 20 years of experience, I have been involved in many sustainable building projects and various projects of complexity and innovation.

Currently I am an owner representative / project manager at CBRE @ Google, responsible for procuring and executing commercial construction projects.

I am also an avid educator and speaker. I have taught at university level and spoken widely at roundtable conferences and webinars, and provided training in green building and sustainability in colleges and corporations.

Being a mentor in AIA in the past several years, I enjoy conversations and work sessions with members, advocating for architects to advance their influence in the built environment.

CANDIDATE STATEMENT: I am honored to serve as a Director to continue to help build connections across all stakeholders: owners/occupants, architects, and builders.

  • Foster real-time, true collaboration between all project stakeholders. Empower architects to play a key role in decision making by providing them just-in-time information (such as real-time costing) to meet project goals.
  • Work with experts to develop technology platforms to enable rapid knowledge sharing and collaboration tools to achieve high quality design in an optimized, streamlined process.
  • Collaborate with academic institutions and the industry to prepare and mentor emerging professionals to enter the workforce more rapidly, and address the gap of talent retention in the industry.

I believe the architectural profession can leverage technology to innovate and disrupt the current process, contribute to better and more efficiently built projects, creating more sustainable, equitable architecture accessible to all. 


Srivarshini Balaji, AIA, LEED Green Associate

BIOGRAPHY: Sri is passionate about working towards bringing equity and diversity in the Architecture profession. She served as the Secretary for Women in Architecture, AIA Silicon Valley committee for 2 years advocating for inadequate representation of women in Architecture by contributing to a support network that mutually benefits her peers. Sri holds a master’s degree in Architecture from the University of Oregon and is currently employed by Aedis Architects. She is licensed to practice Architecture in California & India and is an active member at AIA Silicon Valley.

CANDIDATE STATEMENT: I have been part of the Silicon-Valley Architecture community for the past four years. I held the Secretary position at the AIA Silicon Valley chapter's Women in Architecture sub-committee for two years. I like to think of myself as a team player who would actively look to strengthen the relationship between the board and its sub-committees. I am excited about the opportunity to make a positive impact on the AIA Silicon-Valley chapter and the community it serves.