“Nothing great was ever achieved without enthusiasm.”
–Ralph Waldo Emerson
Mike WakefieldProject Manager — San Francisco
Since 2001, Mike has been mastering his architectural skills not only by working on a variety of project types, but also through traveling and working abroad. He enthusiastically draws valuable inspirations from these various cultures and creative solutions to infrastructure. Regardless, one of the most fulfilling aspects of architecture for Mike is that the results are tangible.
He believes that the key ingredients to a successful project is an architect’s attentive listening skills and asking the right questions, all while keeping the entire team informed throughout the entire process. Furthermore, it is vital that there is trust between the client, design team, construction team, and the stakeholders. Clients have proven trust in his ability to simply the process while focusing on the critical areas of planning, design, construction, and the maintenance throughout the lifespan of the project.
- Master of Architecture, Tulane University, 2001
- LEED Green Associate, NCARB
- Licensed Architect in Arizona and Germany, (while currently pursuing CA license)
“I strongly believe that good design is a result of good communication. When we aspire to listen to our clients and continue an active dialog throughout the project, the end result would be the successful one.”
Yue (Luna) DengAssistant Designer — San Francisco
After finishing her studies at the prestigious Shandong Architecture University and practicing as an urban designer in China, Luna joined the Academy of Art University of San Francisco to follow her passion. As a graduate with honors at the top of her class, Luna has always made people’s experiences within the built environment a first priority in every design decision that she brings to the design team.
Luna finds that the most rewarding approach to design is to provide comfort, safety, sustainable strategies, social interaction, and inspiring aesthetics to the users of the space.
- B.A., Shandong Architecture University
- Masters in Architecture, Academy of Art University
"Life is all about facing new challenges."
Marilou DenumSenior Job Captain — San Francisco
Marilou has a diverse portfolio of architectural project experience including work completed in the U.S., Singapore and the Philippines. After she earned her Bachelor of Science in Architecture from the Baguio Colleges Foundation in the Philippines, she proceeded to work several years abroad before moving the U.S.
Marilou has worked on a broad range of project types, including retail, tenant improvement, residential, restaurants, grocery stores, hospitality, housing projects, condominiums, parking structures, street scapes, and industrial and commercial buildings.
Marilou prides herself on her flexibility and ability to solve design problems to satisfy client needs. She is thorough, detail-oriented, and organized. As a Senior Job Captain at SGPA, she is responsible for construction drawing production, site surveys, space planning, and consultant coordination.
- Registered Architect, Philippines
- LEED Green Associate
Ian WulfsonJob Captain — San Francisco
Ian was drawn to design while working in residential construction just after high school. Enjoying the intersection of art and function in building design, he wanted to use his creativity to contribute tangible benefits to the world. Ian pursued his design education, graduating from the Master of Architecture program at the University of Oregon.
Ian is now a Job Captain at SGPA, with experience in construction document development, design and construction administration. His role at the firm is enhanced by his attention to client and consultant needs, willingness to collaborate, and his focus on the overall usability and enjoyment of the finished design.
- Registered Architect, California
- LEED Green Associate
- Master of Architecture, University of Oregon
When you go the extra mile, it’s never crowded.
Kevin KoenigJob Captain — San Diego
Kevin began his career working on retail prototype projects and then moved onto hospitality work. Always one to immerse himself in his projects, Kevin briefly worked in construction defect litigation to strengthen his construction understanding and knowledge and bridge technical aspects of construction with successful design.
Having always enjoyed creating and building things – from Legos and tree houses as a kid to furniture as an adult – architecture was an obvious choice to pursue. What he thoroughly enjoys about his career is turning a simple sketch into an actual functioning building.
Approaching architecture with a mindset of finding the most efficient design in relationship to community, energy and user needs, is always important to Kevin. He feels this method most successfully ensures projects meet their intended function and create a lasting place for the built environment.
- Bachelor of Architecture, University of Oregon
"To be an architect is much like being an orchestra conductor, one must shape the space, set the tempo, and unify the players to create a harmonious environment."
Armando ToscanoSenior Job Captain — San Diego
Armando graduated from the California Polytechnic State University in San Luis Obispo with a Bachelor of Architecture. He has been working in the architectural field since 2000 and comes to SGPA with vast experience in commercial and hospitality projects.
Ever since he can remember, Armando has fostered the idea of creating new physical spaces from imagination – an idea that would eventually lead him to this career. Among his many talents, his greatest strength is the ability to manage a project by bridging the gap between clients, government agencies and consultants to solve problems in the most efficient way.
“Whatever good things we build end up building us.” Jim Rohn
Chris SchummSenior Job Captain — San Diego
Chris’ underlying passion to take something from conception to reality led him to a career in architecture. For nearly a decade, he has helped to provide architectural consulting services to academic, medical, commercial, residential and hospitality clients located throughout the United States. Chris is especially adept at on-site problem solving and issue resolution, and is intrigued by different methodologies and opportunities to succeed.
His specialties include: architectural marketing, architectural project administration, client representation, planning, and construction administration. Knowledgeable at executing all phases of architectural projects, from programming and early conceptualization to final project closeout, his goal is to become a licensed California Architect within the next few years.
- Cad Certificate, Yakima Valley Community College
"To accomplish great things, we must not only act, but also dream; not only plan, but also believe." Anatole France
Bill S.Y. HungProject Manager — San Francisco
Bill Hung has a passion for designing community-based buildings that connect people with beautiful environments and spaces. Throughout his career, he has overseen numerous complex residential and commercial projects internationally. He has expertise in guiding projects of all sizes, from luxury home remodels to large scale public works, such as hospitals and mixed-use developments.
His attention to detail ensures that no aspect of the project will be overlooked. He skillfully combines his knowledge on the latest technologies to optimize the design process. Clients and staff know that Bill will bring cutting-edge practices with a designer’s sensibilities to any project, and he strives to manage projects efficiently without sacrificing either form or functionality.
Bill is a true global citizen; he was born in Hong Kong, educated in the US and Scandinavia, and has traveled around the globe for work. When he’s not working, you can find him in a pool swimming, or chasing his two daughters around Lake Chabot in Castro Valley, CA.
- Registered Architect, California
- LEED Accredited Professional
- Bachelor of Arts in Architecture, University of California, Berkeley
"Designing spaces is to create a lifestyle; the goal is to design one that will facilitate activity and light human spirit."
Jia ChenAssistant Designer — San Francisco
Jia is counted upon to deliver efficient, creative design support to our staff. Her role as a Junior Designer is to ensure that our clients’ needs and goals are clearly conveyed in the finer details and overall package of a project.
With strong time management and project delivery traits, Jia takes pride in preparing documents for client and governmental approval as well as having the ability to prepare a variety of ideas at the concept phase. She never takes her mind off the priorities of each project. Jia believes that a thoroughly well-designed space can reach its full creative potential when attention is paid to subtle elements and executed thoughtfully.
- Bachelor of Science in Architecture, University of Bath, United Kingdom
- Master of Architecture, University of California at Berkeley
“Great design is a multi-layered relationship between human life and its environment.” - Naoto Fukasawa
Gregory HueyAssistant Designer — San Francisco
With a major in Architecture and minors in City Planning, Sustainable Design, and Social & Cultural Factors in Environmental Design, Gregory is committed to understanding the different dynamics of people, spaces, and the environment within architecture.
An early background in graphic design and a lifelong passion for architecture led Gregory to the profession. He views it as the perfect blend of creativity, discovery, and technology. He enjoys visualizing and conceptualizing sustainable design proposals in everyday life to potentially improve neglected or even already vibrant spaces.
At SGPA, Gregory is a Junior Designer. He contributes to the whole production process and aids in designing presentations, graphics, and exhibits. He believes that design is for all to be enjoyed and should ultimately connect individuals together to celebrate a space as a community.
- Bachelor of Arts in Architecture, University of California, Berkeley
“Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.” – Leonardo da Vinci
Yao ChenSenior Job Captain — San Francisco
With over 12 years of experience, Senior Job Captain Yao Chen has a wide range of experience, both in project types and size. His project background includes airports, office buildings, and clinics.
Yao has served in various capacities on projects: as a designer, on the production staff, in management roles, or in administrator roles during project construction. Yao demonstrates dedication to the project team and a high level of attention to detail in design and construction.
He loves to travel and particularly enjoys different cityscapes all over the world. Yao greatly admires the architects and builders who designed and created great buildings that have stood the test of time, crediting this admiration and love for travel as what led him to pursue architecture. He enjoys the many dialogues of architecture around the world and within his community, and is eager to exchange and learn new design thoughts, knowledge, and experience.
- Registered Architect
- University of California, Berkeley, Bachelor of Art in Architecture
- LEED AP
"Good design is scaled to a person, and responds to their needs."
Thomas TarnSenior Job Captain — San Francisco
Thomas credits two things as what led him to architecture: an unusually strong love for history growing up, and the fact that he was gifted a full-sized Mayline drafting board at the age of eight.
Early in his career, Thomas focused on retail and commercial design and planning. Seven years of infrastructural/transit-focused design work followed, with an emphasis in construction administration and specialized structural and architectural detail development.
As a Senior Job Captain, Thomas’ duties include design and drawing production, detail development, precedent and case study research, construction management.
- Bachelor of Arts in Architecture, California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo
- LEED AP
“The goal of a designer is to listen, observe, understand, sympathize, empathize, synthesize, and glean insights that enable him or her to ‘make the invisible visible." –Hillman Curtis
Shihua (Lewis) QiuJob Captain — San Francisco
As a Job Captain, Lewis is counted upon for his out-of-the-box approaches to problem solving and detailed design aesthetic. With a background in mixed-use residential, Lewis integrates his talents seamlessly into SGPA’s mixed-use and housing studios. Lewis contributes to many project roles: documentation and schematic design, ADA clearances, room layout, public space.
- Academy of Art University, Master of Architecture
- University of California Davis, Bachelor of Arts in Focus of Interior Architecture
“There are 360 degrees, so why stick to one?” – Zaha Hadid
Megan JonesAssistant Designer — San Diego
As a Junior Designer, Megan assists and collaborates with Senior Designers and Project Managers in the designing and presentation of projects. Megan focuses on residential, retail, and mixed-use projects. She works mainly in the Adobe Creative Suite to present our ideas in the most clear, efficient and effective manner.
Megan was first drawn to architecture for the chance to combine her mathematical left brain with her love for design. To Megan, architecture is limitless: With math, there’s only one right answer, whereas architecture allows for endless possibilities. She seeks to find a balance of aesthetics and practicality in each project.
As someone who grew from student intern in our San Francisco office to a full-time employee in our San Diego office, Megan continues to explore her passion and niche within architecture at each level of opportunity.
Bachelor of Architecture, Minor in Sustainable Environments, California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo
LEED Green Associate
"The steel and the space, or the object and the void, become one and the same" – Richard Serra
Rick RoswallSenior Job Captain — San Diego
Known for his high level of commitment to quality, clients and SGPA alike count on Rick for his detailed project management support and BIM production. Inspired by creative, high-functioning spaces and design-centric environments, Rick is a strong addition to the SGPA production team.
With more than 12 years of experience, Rick’s expertise lies within senior living, healthcare, retail, office, and residential projects.
- LEED AP
- BFA, San Diego State University
- AA, Mira Costa College
"Everything plays a role in the finished product, and the goal is to find the balance between environment, economy, and equity."
Travis KeltnerSenior Job Captain — San Diego
As a Job Captain at SGPA, Travis approaches design with a holistic viewpoint and believes that everything is linked – from form and function to materials and color to structure and infrastructure. Highly skilled in Revit, AutoCAD, Google Sketchup, Adobe and Microsoft programs, Travis’ attention to detail makes him a strong team player throughout project stages, especially document coordination and approval.
Architecture combines Travis’ passion for math, science, and drawing into a career he loves, one that propels him to find solutions to new challenges.
- B.Arch., California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo; Minor in Sustainable Environments
- BSA: Eagle Scout
"Architecture fascinates me with its combination of rational logic and perceptual understanding merging to focus on improving lifestyles."
Qianqian ZhangAssistant Designer — San Francisco
A highly adaptable designer on the SGPA team, Qianqian combines her formal education with her experiences living, exploring, and studying abroad to inform and develop design solutions.
Well-versed in Autodesk CAD, REVIT, Sketchup, Adobe programs, Rhinocero, 3D Max, VRay, Maxwell, Grasshopper, and Lumion, Qianqian considers each projects’ possibilities, social sensitives, and design options with a fresh, well-trained perspective and an underlying passion for architecture and design.
- LEED Green Associate
- M.Arch., Texas A&M University
- M. Arch., Jilin Institute of Architecture and Civil Engineering
- B.Arch., Jilin Institute of Architecture and Civil Engineering
- Assoc. AIA
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
“Being an architect means constantly approaching challenges and presenting solutions. It combines problem solving, technology and creativity into one profession, always inspiring you to push the boundaries and think outside of the box.”
Jaclyn ShorJob Captain — San Diego
Enamored with architecture’s profound ability to impact society, Jaclyn discovered her professional calling at an early age. Her interest in architecture has taken her abroad, studying the profession in Italy and cultivating her experience back in California. Her career goal is to apply modern day construction, technology and design principles to create communities that will promote healthy lifestyles and sustainable environments.
Jaclyn focuses on smaller details while also maintaining the larger goals of a project. Motivated by architecture’s long-standing, influential effects on a community, Jaclyn often works on multi-family, mixed-use, master planning or commercial projects, which she approaches creatively and thoughtfully.
• B. Arch., California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo
• Studied architecture abroad in Florence, Italy
Nadya Robledo EspinozaAssistant Designer — San Diego
As a junior designer at SGPA, Nadya assists with design and production assignments for a variety of project types. She is experienced in design research, pre-design, schematic design and design development. With over six years of experience, Nadya’s innovative design skills resonate from her belief that function yields more importance than form alone. Her technology-based skill set allows her designs to benefit from tools such as video editing, photography, 3D modeling, drafting and introductory software programming.
Architecture is ideally suited for Nadya; The combination of logistics and aesthetics fulfills her inherent desire to influence current and future generations through spatial design.
- B.A. in Architecture with a concentration in Urban Studies, NewSchool of Architecture + Design
“Listen very closely and understand what your client is asking of you.”
Leighton LeeSenior Project Manager — San Francisco
Leighton is known for his likeable demeanor and putting his clients’ best interests first. A graduate of UC Berkeley’s architecture program, Leighton knew he wanted to be an architect since a young age: His first architecture-related job was directly out of high school. He is inspired by the way design connects to the built environment. Leighton’s ability to blend different architectural elements together while considering environmental factors is a talent he has consciously honed since the start of his career.
Leighton’s comprehensive experience includes residential, multifamily, retail, church, industrial, hospitals, medical office buildings and forensic architecture. At SGPA, he is renowned for his ability to manage each component of the design and construction process while maintaining his composure and professionalism.
- Registered Architect, California
- NCARB Certificate
- B.A. in Architecture, University of California, Berkeley
- PFAS/ACRABAT Certification for Steep Roof Climbing
"Architecture is about more than just beautiful buildings – it’s also about how spaces interact with, and change the lives of those who use them."
Victoria MetzlerJob Captain — San Francisco
Imagine, for a second, the feeling of satisfaction after solving a difficult puzzle, or finding the solution to a tricky problem. It is that same feeling – the sense of pride and accomplishment stemming from being able to design a space from scratch that is both habitable and enjoyable – that drew Victoria to pursue a career in architecture. Spaces like outdoor plazas, or any sort of social gathering area, which allow for interaction between users, have become one of Victoria’s specialties since joining SGPA. She is also instrumental in the production of design and construction documents for projects ranging in completeness from planning and site design to building design and construction. In the next several years, Victoria plans to pursue and establish her architectural license.
- B.Arch., California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo
"The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated." —Mohandas Gandhi
Becky SergiConstruction Administrative Assistant — San Diego
Becky has always felt that an architecture firm was the right workplace for her—she loves working with creative and positive people. She obtained specialized construction administrative experience while working for a busy architecture firm doing education projects. At SGPA, she performs a wide variety of construction administration, office management, and reception duties. Becky is someone who can be relied upon to work until the job is completed. She is always the first to volunteer to help out wherever needed. Her ability to keep not only herself but others organized makes all of our lives much easier.
"I prefer drawing to talking. Drawing is faster and leaves less room for lies." —Le Corbusier
Derek Michael BuskirkJob Captain — San Diego
Derek joined SGPA in 2012 as an intern, assisting in different capacities for projects of various sizes and studios. In his current role as a job captain, he leads production efforts, as well as design and graphics support, renderings, and construction documents. His work ethic, sharp eye, and skills with Revit and Adobe Creative Suite have continuously created high demand for his time on many of SGPA’s projects.
The idea that our profession can change lives and communities inspired Derek to study architecture and led to his current pursuit of licensure.
- B.Arch., Woodbury University