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.
"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."
Senior Job Captain —
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.
As the Director of Retail at SGPA, Jim oversees development projects with significant retail components for SGPA’s San Diego office. Jim is a member of the International Council of Shopping Centers and a California registered Architect. He is passionate about working with creative people in order to seek the very best results for our clients.
“Whatever good things we build end up building us.” Jim Rohn
Senior Job Captain —
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.
"Always reach for an adventure - one that you have not imagined before - that activates growth and exploration."
Senior Project Manager —
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.
“There are 360 degrees, so why stick to one?” – Zaha Hadid
Junior Designer —
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
Evelyn began her accounting career at SGPA in 2005. With over 15 years of experience in accounting and administration, and a degree in Business Management, Evelyn collaborates with our administrative team to ensure a quality experience for our employees and clients. Evelyn is known for her enthusiastic spirit, positive attitude and willingness to help in any situation.
"The steel and the space, or the object and the void, become one and the same" – Richard Serra
Senior Job Captain —
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.
"Everything plays a role in the finished product, and the goal is to find the balance between environment, economy, and equity."
Senior Job Captain —
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
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.
Credentials •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.”
Job Captain —
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.
Credentials • B. Arch., California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo • Studied architecture abroad in Florence, Italy
Director of Operations | Associate Principal —
With over 30 years of experience, Richard serves two vital roles at SGPA: as our Director of Operations and as an Associate Principal. Known to approach projects with creative, budget-friendly design solutions complemented by his strong construction management skills, Richard’s impressive work history and knowledge of industry standards support various project types.
Richard’s primary focus in education and wellness allows him to collaborate with different agencies and offer strategic guidance throughout the design and planning process. Known for his meticulous skill application, Mr. Racicot has received numerous awards recognizing his contributions to design projects. As the Director of Operations at SGPA, he provides operations management oversight, manages projects, leads teams and develops plans to meet budget and schedule demands. In addition, Richard leads our technical and production staff as its newest mentor.
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
"The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated." —Mohandas Gandhi
Construction Administrative Assistant —
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.
"Creativity is intelligence having fun." —Albert Einstein
Janette N. Tropea
Project Designer | Marketing Manager —
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.
M.Arch., Arizona State University
B.B.A., Marketing Emphasis, University of San Diego
With four decades of architectural experience, Dave is regarded as a specialist in the realm of entitlements and governmental processing procedures. He joined the firm in 1975, led the firm’s new San Francisco office for eight years in the 1980s, and served as SGPA President from 1998 to 2015. During his tenure Dave managed complex architectural projects across the firm’s portfolio, including work for education, senior living, retail, mixed-use, office, and civic clients. Dave has been a speaker and panel member on retail and mixed-use projects for the International Council of Shopping Centers and is a past member of its program committee.
Registered Architect in California, Nevada, Arizona, Utah
Keith has 30+ years of retail, residential, education, and mixed-use project experience in Southern California. Since 1993, he has developed specialties in planning, design, entitlements, and repositioning strategy for large-scale mixed-use projects that enrich the user experience.
As a Vice President and the Director of the San Diego office, Keith guides our project leaders to challenge conventional thinking and develop big ideas. He leads dynamic team efforts to find the path connecting great design, user experience, longevity, contextualism, community input, sustainability, and efficiency. Knowing that the decisions made early can affect so many other factors downstream, he enjoys the early conceptual planning that sets up projects for success.
Registered Architect, California
ICSC 20-year member
B.Arch., California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo
Vice President, Chief Financial Officer —
Marla has over 25 years of experience in the design service industry, including more than half that time at SGPA. As a Vice President and the Chief Financial Officer she is responsible for the firm’s financial operations: directing and coordinating all company financial objectives and obligations, ensuring integrity of financial statements, cash management strategies, and maintaining a financially solvent organization. She is also responsible for business management, firm risk management, and human resources. Marla has been featured in Real Estate Southern California’s “Women of Influence” Publication.
"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
Project Manager —
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
With a dual background in computer programming and accounting, Linda specializes in solving financial mysteries. She has spent her career in the A/E/C industry, working her way up the accounting ladder from data entry to controller within her first decade. At SGPA Linda keeps track of the firm’s project accounting needs, financial software solutions, and financial data management for clients and staff. She is proud to have supported dozens of completed projects during her time at SGPA.
Lino has been designing projects for SGPA since 1980—if you’ve shopped or dined in Southern California, you’ve likely experienced his work. He has mastered the ability to solve complex design problems within the constraints of budget, schedule, and construction technologies. His extensive experience working with developers influences his design choices, contributing to practical design solutions.
Around the office, Lino is known for his hand rendering skills, his wife’s delicious lumpia, and his golf swing.
M.L.Q. (Manuel L. Quezon) University; Manila, Philippines
"Architecture is a visual art, and the buildings speak for themselves." —Julia Morgan
Senior Associate —
Stephanie focuses on the management and budgeting aspects of projects, from working with large teams in Revit to coordinating consultant teams. With extensive experience on retail and mixed-use residential projects throughout Southern California, she has worked for clients ranging from large commercial developers to school districts to the Department of Defense.
An effective and efficient decision maker, Stephanie propels design and building projects toward high-quality results. She knows that strong management is key to creating well-built environments where people can enjoy themselves and thrive.
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."
Office Manager —
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.
"I prefer drawing to talking. Drawing is faster and leaves less room for lies." —Le Corbusier
Derek Michael Buskirk
Job Captain —
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.
"When I'm working on a problem, I never think about beauty. But when I'm finished, if the solution is not beautiful, I know it’s wrong." —Buckminster Fuller
Senior Associate —
Pam blends strong management skills with creative thinking and 3D modeling expertise to complete successful projects. Known for persistently tackling all problems that come across her desk, she’s built a reputation with clients, consultants, and teammates for getting things done. As a LEED AP, Pam oversees the execution of sustainable elements in her projects. She also serves as SGPA’s BIM Manager, directing the office’s strategic use of building information modeling technologies and processes.
Pam has been interested in architecture since age 10, when she started drawing floor plans of her dream homes during a family move to a new house. Now that she’s an architect, the thing she enjoys most is seeing a project completed, built, and filled with people happy to be there.
Registered Architect, California
B.Arch., California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo