Architecture is like the difference between saying hello and giving a meaningful hug.
Eduardo GonzalezSenior Project Manager — San Francisco
Eduardo holds an NCARB certification, is LEED AP and a licensed architect in California, Colorado and Argentina. After earning a Bachelor of Architecture at the University of Buenos Aires, his career led him to several countries, where he had the opportunity to meet many wonderful people and learn about different cultures. Eduardo has an openness to new ideas and maintains a comfort level with various design approaches.
Eduardo is an asset to the SGPA team with his full comprehensive hands-on Project Management skills, including design, architecture and construction administration. His innate ability to create a comfort zone where clients feel respected and understood, allows the design team the freedom to interpret the client’s needs using creativity, under a trusted environment.
- Registered Architect, California, Colorado, Argentina
- NCARB, LEED AP
"Always reach for an adventure - one that you have not imagined before - that activates growth and exploration."
Sharon RisslingSenior Project Manager — San Diego
As a Senior Project Manager, Sharon Rissling leads with a strong ability to coordinate all aspects of built projects. With nearly three decades of experience, she has a comprehensive understanding of and extensive experience in executing and designing high rises, large mixed-use live, work and play developments, education facilities, liturgical facilities, single family residences and remodels, and commercial tenant improvements.
Her sharp leadership skills position her to oversee teams’ day-to-day activities from creation through construction. Sharon’s diverse project background includes high rise housing on city blocks, mixed-use building groups on suburban acres, assembly buildings on campuses, and high-end custom homes – in amazing diverse locations and climates such as the Colorado mountains, Arizona desert, Arkansas plains, and California seaside.
Sharon finds ultimate satisfaction in her work when a client is satisfied. She enjoys the creative imagination process, learning new things daily, teaching and receiving information.
- Registered Architect: Arizona, California, Colorado
- University of Oklahoma, Bachelors of Science in Environmental Design/Pre-Architecture
Marla UshijimaSenior Project Manager — San Francisco
Known for her thorough research skills, clients can count on Marla to orchestrate a smoothly run, well-managed project delivery. Driven by her belief that an efficient project delivery process supports the design effort by focusing efforts and reducing distractions, Marla ensures the work stays on track at all project phases. Armored with superb communication and organization skills, projects are executed on schedule and with keen attention to detail under Marla’s lead. Enthusiastic, efficient and resourceful, she is an innovative thought leader for the SGPA team.
With more than 25 years of experience, Marla sets high standards for preparation of construction documents. She has experience working on a broad spectrum of project types – commercial, retail, hospitality, education, health care, senior living, and civic – and thrives on new challenges.
- Registered Architect, California
- LEED AP
- M.Arch., University of Michigan
- Bachelor of Science in Architecture, University of Michigan
Hilary BackmanSenior Designer — San Diego
Hilary’s deep passion and curiosity for the arts inspired him to pursue a career in architecture and design. With over 20 years of experience, Hil has designed a range of successful projects in California and abroad. His specialties include residential, hospitals, mixed-use, retail, senior living communities, community centers, community planning, custom residential, hotels, tenant improvement projects, and schools at all levels of education.
At SGPA, Hil blends strong communication skills and experienced techniques to effectively work with clients, consultants and colleagues to create places that resonate with visitors and the users of spaces. SGPA relies on Hil to enrich the design and final product of a project, a task he takes great delight in, drawing inspiration from mastery of form, light, time and space conducted by great past and present architects.
•M. Arch., Dalhousie, Nova Scotia, CA
•Bachelor of Environmental Design Studies in Architecture, Dalhousie, Nova Scotia, CA
•BFA in Painting and Drawing, Concordia University, Montreal, Quebec, CA
"There is no solution; seek it lovingly." —Socrates
Justin TholenProject Manager — San Francisco
Justin focuses on the coordination and management of projects, from design and permitting to construction administration. He is also responsible for writing agreements and RFCPs, Revit modeling, and document production. Known for his excellent record-keeping and organizational skills, Justin excels at finding solutions to complex problems. He began his career as a drafter at a small father-son firm, moved on to production work at larger corporate firms, and joined SGPA in 2011. He looks forward to taking on project management roles for larger projects. Justin is currently pursuing architectural licensure.
- B.S. in Architectural Studies, University of Utah
"Architecture can be very structured and technical, or organic and stream of conscience. It's fun to strike a balance between these two paradigms."
Steve SwartzendruberSenior Construction Administrator — San Francisco
Thanks to his father, a building contractor, Steve has always been drawn to design and construction. He enjoys seeing physical buildings take shape after their conceptual beginnings on paper or on screen. At SGPA he assists with overall project management. Steve excels at coordination with both our in-house design and production teams and our external consultants and clients. On a typical project, he’s responsible for building detailing, permitting, specifications, and client relations.
- B.S. in Architecture, Lawrence Technological University
"Creativity is intelligence having fun." —Albert Einstein
Janette N. TropeaProject Designer | Marketing Manager — San Diego
With over ten years of experience, Janette has used her background to benefit both the architecture and business development sides of SGPA. She has been a valued asset in securing key projects as our marketing manager and in developing them from design through construction as a project designer. She is known within our team for her skills in strategic planning, focused management, and creative design.
Her architecture work is focused on mixed-use projects with elements of retail, education, and civic uses. She is experienced in 3D modeling, Revit, consultant coordination, and project team coordination. An organized and diligent problem solver, Janette contributes a unique understanding of the particularity of marketing and business development in the AEC industry.
- LEED AP
- M.Arch., Arizona State University
- B.B.A., Marketing Emphasis, University of San Diego
"If I had influence... I should ask that the gift to each child in the world be a sense of wonder so indestructible that it would last throughout life." —Rachel Carson
Roxanna KreislerProject Manager — San Diego
Roxanna specializes in managing SGPA’s education projects from start to finish, with a keen eye for detail and organization. Her design choices are focused on how the built environment affects our mental, physical, and social health. A skilled community facilitator, she brings people together to collaboratively solve design challenges and is able to successfully manage complex approval structures and government agencies.
Her project management strengths are led by her special attention to the client, the user group, and the needs of both. She excels at creatively shaping limited resources and logistical obstacles into positive results. Roxanna is also well versed in the strategic use of building information technologies.
- B.A. in Architecture, 5-Year Program, University of Arizona
When Walt Disney was creating Disneyland and discussing the architecture of the park, he was quoted saying, "It's kind of fun to do the impossible."
Marianne BatesOffice Manager — San Diego
In 1995 Marianne took her first job with an architectural firm and fell in love with the profession. It was more than engineering and interior design—she admired architects’ ability to create vision not only within their firm, but within a community. She has worked in architecture ever since, collaborating with staff, consultants, and clients to reach the same common goal: beautiful design.
Known for her dependable nature and sharp eye for detail, Marianne assists principals and project managers in processing agreements for clients and consultants. She also manages the administrative staff and keeps the office running smoothly. In the ever-changing working environment of architecture, she helps the firm to continue moving forward as one team.