Speakers, Panelists, & Moderators

Abbie Liel

Abbie is an Associate Professor of Civil, Environmental and Architectural Engineering at the University of Colorado, Boulder. She earned undergraduate degrees in Civil Engineering, and the Woodrow Wilson School of Public Policy, at Princeton University. She started her graduate studies in the United Kingdom on a Marshall Scholarship, where she received a M.Sc. in Civil Engineering and a M.Sc. in Building and Urban Design and Development.

Abbie completed her Ph.D. at Stanford University, focusing on collapse risk of older non-ductile concrete frame structures.  At CU, Abbie has worked on problems related to performance of concrete buildings, snow loads on structures, flood damage in the 2013 Boulder, CO floods, and integrating green and hazard resistant design.  She recently received the Shah Family Innovation Prize from the Earthquake Engineering Research Institute, recognizing creativity, innovation and entrepreneurial spirit in earthquake risk mitigation and management.

Annie Kao

Annie Kao, P.E. is a senior field engineer for Simpson Strong-Tie, where she has been connecting with and educating engineers, architects, building officials, and contractors on design and product solutions for residential and commercial construction for over 10 years. Prior to joining Simpson Strong-Tie, she worked as a structural engineering consultant for retail, hospital, school and multi-family projects. She frequently speaks at regional, state and national conferences on innovative structural engineering product solutions and communication skills for engineers. Annie served as co-chair for the SEAOSC (Structural Engineers Association of Southern California) Strengthening Our Cities Summit, an annual event to promote community earthquake resiliency in Southern California. She is a registered professional engineer in California and earned her B.S. from Harvey Mudd College and her M.S. from UC Berkeley.

Anthony Calderone

Anthony Calderone, P.E. is the Director of Engineering & Development at TH Real Estate a wholly owned Subsidiary of TIAA. He received his Bachelor’s in Architectural Engineering from the University of Texas at Austin and a Master’s in Structural Engineering from the University of California, Berkeley. Anthony is a Licensed Professional Engineer in the States of California, Nevada, Arizona and Texas.

On behalf of TH Real Estate, Anthony is responsible for all engineering and environmental due-diligence for commercial real estate transactions and developments in the Western U.S. He has overseen the technical due-diligence for more than 200 real estate transactions ranging in size from $15M to $3B. From 1991-2006, Anthony worked as an engineering consultant, providing engineering and construction solutions for building system improvements, material failures, seismic retrofits, and ground-up developments. Anthony served as a Neutral-Party Expert for the California Board of Professional Engineers and as a Voting Committee Member of the California Building Standards Commission for the 2010, 2013 & 2016 CA Building Code development cycles. He also is an active participant in the development of ASTM Standards for seismic risk assessments.

Bill Graf

William P. Graf, P.E. is Vice President of Engineering at of ImageCat, Inc., a catastrophe risk management firm in Long Beach, California. Bill earned a Master of Science in Structural Engineering from UCLA, and has more than 35 years of experience in structural analysis and design. Bill has performed thousands of seismic risk assessments for individual buildings, and hundreds of portfolio studies. He is a member of ASTM Subcommittee E2026 and E2557 for seismic risk assessments for individual buildings, and currently acts as chairman of the subcommittee developing guidelines for seismic risk assessment of real estate portfolios for ASTM. He and Yajie Lee of ImageCat developed the SeismiCat seismic risk management system, the Code-Oriented Damage Assessment or CODA damage models [Spectra, 2009], and FEMA’s BCA Tool for benefit-cost analysis for the evaluation of seismic retrofit of buildings.

Charles Hobey

Charles Hobey serves as Senior Vice President - Operations for Equity Office’s western region. He is a seasoned real estate executive who is responsible for all facets of property management, engineering and construction for 70 office properties comprising approximately 18 million square feet of office space in the western United States. Mr. Hobey supervises approximately 100 operations and administrative professionals.

In his role as Sr. Vice President – Operations, Mr. Hobey has led due diligence activities for office portfolio acquisitions and dispositions with approximate total value of $4 billion across 10 million square feet. Mr. Hobey has led physical and environmental due diligence activities and financial due diligence in the areas of capital requirements, operating expenses, and other income. Mr. Hobey has handled lease and tenant workout negotiations, and he has managed numerous land use issues including ground leases and development agreement amendments.

Mr. Hobey has more than 25 years of experience in the real estate, strategic consulting, and operations fields. Prior to his position as Sr. Vice President – Operations, Mr. Hobey served as Equity Office’s Vice President – Corporate Strategy. Prior to joining Equity Office in 2004, Mr. Hobey was a Manager at Bain & Company, Inc. where he advised clients on supply chain operations, procurement, operations excellence, merger integration, business unit strategy and channel strategy.

Mr. Hobey holds a an MBA from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Sloan School of Management, and a bachelor's degree in chemical engineering from Northwestern University. Mr. Hobey previously served as chairman of the board of directors of the Greater Los Angeles Chapter of the Building Owners and Managers Association, and he holds a California real estate broker’s license.

Chris Poland

Chris' structural engineering career spans over 42 years and includes hundreds of projects related to the design of new buildings, seismic analysis and strengthening of existing buildings, structural failure analysis, historic preservation, as well as the development of guidelines and standards that are used worldwide. He was a Senior Principal, Chairman and CEO of Degenkolb Engineers during his 40 years with the firm from 1974 through 2014.

Chris Poland is an internationally recognized authority on earthquake engineering and champion of disaster resilience. His passion for vibrant, sustainable, and healthy communities drives his consulting engineering practice. He focuses on community resilience and the buildings and systems that contribute to it. Currently, Chris is a Community Resilience Fellow in the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) and member of the team of authors that developed a Community Resilience Planning Guide.

Chris is a member of the National Academy of Engineering (2009), a Fellow of the American Council of Engineering Companies, the Structural Engineers Association of California and the American Society of Civil Engineers Structural Engineering Institute. He is also an honorary member of the Earthquake Engineering Research Institute and the Structural Engineers Association of California. Awards Chris has been given include: the HJ Brunier Award for Excellence in Design; the 2006 Alfred E. Alquist Medal; the 2017 Housner Medal; and a number of ACEC National Awards.

Dani Paxson

As an Associate with KPFF, Dani is dedicated to bringing people and teams together. In her 25 years of experience, she has managed a wide variety of projects, spanning a range of market sectors including healthcare, retail, residential, parking and sports facilities. A significant number of those projects have been delivered using Design-Build, a project environment in which she thrives. Over the last few years, Dani has become engaged in the topic of diversity, playing a lead role in the KPFF Los Angeles Women’s Network since its inception in 2014, serving on the planning committees for the 2015 and 2016 AIA | Los Angeles Powerful Conferences and taking on active roles with both the NCSEA and SEAONC Structural Engineering Engagement and Equity (SE3) Committees.

Dani is a licensed Structural Engineer in the state of California, a DBIA Associate and a LEED Accredited Professional. She received a Bachelor of Science degree in Architectural Engineering from California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo and a Master of Science degree from the University of California, San Diego. She has served on the California Building Standards Commission, the Cal Poly SLO advisory board and several industry committees.

Daniel Zepeda

Daniel Zepeda received his Master’s degree in Structural Engineering from the University of California, Berkeley and is a licensed Structural Engineer in California and a Principal with Degenkolb Engineers. With over a decade of experience in seismic evaluation and seismic strengthening of existing buildings, Daniel’s project breadth spans large medical centers, civic buildings and privately owned structures. He is the chair of the Structural Engineers Association of California (SEAOC) Existing Buildings Committee and is currently helping cities in the Los Angeles area including the Cities of Los Angeles, Santa Monica, Beverly Hills and West Hollywood with their seismic programs. Daniel was a member of Degenkolb’s post-earthquake reconnaissance team that surveyed both the 2010 Chile Earthquake, the 2010 Baja California Earthquake and the 2016 Taiwan Earthquake. He also participating in the update of the latest version of ASCE 41 and development of the new ATC-78 and ATC-134.

David Bonowitz

David Bonowitz is a structural engineer and an expert in the incorporation of engineering standards into earthquake risk reduction policies.

Bonowitz chairs the Resilience committee of the National Council of Structural Engineers Associations (NCSEA). For the prior ten years, he chaired NCSEA’s Existing Buildings committee, through which he developed and coordinated building code changes on behalf of the nationwide engineering community.

Bonowitz has over 30 years of public and private sector experience. Currently, he consults to city, state, federal, and international agencies, including the cities of San Francisco, Oakland, Berkeley, Mountain View, and the Association of Bay Area Governments.

Bonowitz received his undergraduate degree in Civil Engineering from Princeton University and a Master’s degree in Structural Engineering from the University of California, Berkeley. He is a Fellow Member of both SEAONC and SEAOC.

David Mar

David Mar, owner of Mar Structural Design, is known for innovation in the field of Performance Based Design. He guides clients with a holistic approach to seismic design. He makes clear the links between system choices, expected performance and an understanding of damage and downtime. In 2013, David served as technical director for FEMA P807: Guidelines for the Seismic Retrofit of Weak-Story Multi-Unit Wood-Framed Structures. David received his undergraduate and master’s degrees from the University of California, Berkeley. In 1998, David was honored with SEAONC’s H.J. Brunnier Award for Outstanding Achievement in Structural Design.

David Williams

David Williams, S.E. is a Project Engineer at Degenkolb Engineers and has been involved in a number of projects, including new design and retrofit of existing structures. Additionally, David has participated in several municipal seismic projects, including Santa Monica and Beverly Hills. David is an active member of the Structural Engineering community and is currently the Co-Chair of the 2016 SEOASC Summit.

David Williams joined Degenkolb Engineers after completing his Master of Science at Stanford University. During his graduate study, David conducted research using the HAZUS methodology to predict building losses and conduct life cycle analysis of structures.

Debra Gerod

Debra Gerod, FAIA, LEED AP, is a partner of Gruen Associates, a Los Angeles-based, 75-person planning, landscape and architectural firm. Debra’s specialty is in the collaborative design and delivery of projects, primarily in the public sector. These projects include large-scale, significant civic and cultural projects such as courthouses, embassies, performing arts centers, museums, libraries and transportation projects. Current projects include the renovation of Pershing Square, Division 20 Maintenance of Way Building, SW Yard Maintenance Facility, the renovation of the Glendale Central Library, the Master Plan for the historic 1939 Los Angeles Union Station, and Metro’s Airport Metro Connector/96th Street Station.

She was the 2016 President for the American Institute of Architect’s Los Angeles Chapter, a member of the Board of the AIA California Council (AIACC) and a long-time board member for the ACE Mentor Program of Los Angeles. Debra was elevated to a Fellow of the American Institute of Architects in 2013.


Dominique Hargreaves

Dominique Hargreaves is the Executive Director of the U.S. Green Building Council-Los Angeles Chapter (USGBC-LA). She has been a dedicated USGBC-LA member since 2008, serving in roles such as Events Chair and Education & Program Manager, prior to taking on the leadership in 2014. Dominique holds a B.A. in Business Administration from Loyola Marymount University and a diploma in Social Innovation from the United Nations-mandated University for Peace (UPEACE). She began her career in realty with Pulte Homes working on new construction single-family developments and later joined developer teams working on high-rise condo towers in downtown L.A. Her journey brought her to an encounter with the LEED rating system, which led to involvement as a volunteer at the USGBC-LA.

As Executive Director, her focus is building membership, partnership, and creating a lasting impact. Dominique has already doubled the chapter’s membership, expanded the chapter’s range from the beaches to the Arizona border--cementing its leadership role in the region—and advanced key programs, such as the Green Janitor Education Program, which certifies janitors in sustainable knowledge and practices, empowering them to understand not only what to do but why. Additionally, Dominique has created partnerships with organizations such as Building Skills Partnership (BSP), Service Employees International Union (SEIU), Builders Owners and Managers Association (BOMA), Metro, Urban Green, L.A. Department of Water and Power, L.A. Better Buildings Challenge, L.A. Department of Building and Safety, and the L.A. Mayor’s Office. This increase in partnerships has created access to unique programs for upskilling workers and knowledge. Outside of USGBC-LA, Dominique also serves on the Chief Sustainability Officer Task Force for the nonprofit Pando Populous, is an Adjunct Faculty member for the Business, Entrepreneurship & Technology Department at Los Angeles Trade Technical College (LATTC), serves on the Advisory Boards of SEED-LA and UCLA Advanced Energy Communities Technical Advisory Committee, and is the Metro Sustainability Council’s 1st Vice Chair and Chair of the Council’s subcommittee Metro27, which focuses on the identification of new technologies in transportation that can elevate LA Metro‘s projects to be built as a result of Measure M and looking toward the 2028 Olympics.

Dominique is dedicated to a life of service to the Los Angeles community. The vision of sustainable buildings for all within this generation keeps her inspired to move sustainability forward with the members of USGBC-LA and its partners. In her spare time, Dominique enjoys fashion, and she and her husband share a passion for wine and tennis.

Elena Miller

Elena M. Miller is the Deputy Executive Director of the California Pollution Control Financing Authority (CPCFA). Prior to joining CPCFA in 2016, Mr. Miller worked at the California Energy Commission as senior counsel, and previously as the Energy Commission’s Public Advisor. Her background in the energy sector includes serving as the State’s chief regulator for oil and gas at the California Department of Conservation. Ms. Miller’s career began as an employment law attorney in private and public sector positions.

The California Pollution Control Financing Authority (CPCFA) is an independent public financing agency chaired by State Treasurer John Chiang. CPCFA is dedicated to offering creative economic development and financing mechanisms through the California Capital Access Program (CalCAP). CalCAP encourages banks and other financial institutions to make loans to small businesses that have difficulty obtaining financing. CalCAP offers specialized programs for Electric Vehicle Charging Stations, the Americans with Disabilities Act compliance, and Seismic Safety retrofits. In addition to small-business lending, CPCFA has a Bond Program to steer private capital and public funds toward private waste management businesses seeking financing through conduit bond issuances. CPCFA’s CALReUSE Program has provided grants and loans for Brownfield site assessments and remediation throughout California.


Evan Reis

Evan Reis, SE, is the Executive Director of the US Resiliency Council. He works with public agencies and private companies nationwide to promote resilience and protect buildings and infrastructure against natural and man-made risks. Evan focuses on developing comprehensive resilience management strategies that include, mitigation, emergency management and business continuity planning, and financial risk transfer.

Evan co-founded the US Resiliency Council in 2011 as a way to educate building stakeholders and the public about the gap between the growing sustainability movement and true resilient design. The country was made painfully aware of this gap little more than a year later, in the aftermath of Superstorm Sandy. Evan noted that even though there were more LEED certified buildings in the New York area than anywhere in the world, these buildings were built to have a low impact on the environment, not for the environment to have a low impact on them.

Improving local community and regional resilience in natural and manmade disasters is a national imperative. Key to the success of this challenge is the need to understand the performance of the nation’s building stock in terms of safety, repair cost and recovery. The vision of the USRC is to make the public more aware of their potential risks in natural disasters, and provide them with information to make better-informed decisions on owning, renting, leasing and insuring properties, so that market forces will drive the building design, and procurement process toward more resilient building design.

Garrett Hagen

Garrett Hagen joined Degenkolb after completing his master’s from Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo. Garrett has a passion for contributing to research and developing the state of practice for earthquake-resilient structures through several published papers, committee reports, and the development of ASCE 41. Garrett was a member of the Degenkolb post-earthquake reconnaissance team that surveyed earthquake damage in Taiwan in 2016. Bringing back lessons from Taiwan, Garrett has assisted with guidelines for city retrofit ordinances, provided code updates, and implemented the state of current knowledge in the design and seismic strengthening for a variety of facilities. Garrett is currently co-chair for the SEAOSC Existing Building Committee and chair of ACI 369-D which updates the wall provisions of ASCE 41.

Henry Burton

Dr. Henry V. Burton is an Assistant Professor and the Englekirk Presidential Chair in Structural Engineering in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at the University of California, Los Angeles. His research is directed towards understanding and modeling the relationship between the performance of infrastructure systems within the built environment, and the ability of communities to minimize the extent of socioeconomic disruption following extreme events such as major earthquakes. Dr. Burton is a registered structural engineer in the state of California. Prior to obtaining his PhD in Civil and Environmental Engineering at Stanford University, he spent six years in practice at Degenkolb Engineers, where he worked on numerous large scale projects involving design of new buildings and seismic evaluation and retrofit of existing buildings. Current projects include (1) utilizing remote sensing to assess the implication of tall building performance on the resilience of urban centers, (2) stochastic characterization of building aftershock collapse risk and (3) developing design and assessment methods for resilient and sustainable buildings. Henry is a recipient of the National Science Foundation Next Generation of Disaster Researchers Fellowship (2014) and the National Science Foundation CAREER Award (2016).

Jack Baker

Jack Baker is an Associate Professor in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Stanford University. His teaching and research focuses on the use of probabilistic and statistical tools for modelling the reliability of buildings, infrastructure systems and other elements of the built environment. He has industry experience in seismic hazard assessment, ground motion selection, probabilistic risk assessment, and modeling of catastrophe losses for insurance and reinsurance companies. Before joining Stanford, he was a visiting researcher in the Department of Structural Engineering from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH Zurich). He has Ph.D. and M.S. degrees in Structural Engineering from Stanford, an M.S. degree in Statistics from Stanford, and a B.A. degree in Mathematics/Physics from Whitman College. His awards include the Shah Family Innovation Prize from the Earthquake Engineering Research Institute, the CAREER Award from the National Science Foundation, the Early Achievement Research Award from the International Association for Structural Safety and Reliability, the Erskine Fellowship from the University of Canterbury and the Eugene L. Grant Award for excellence in teaching from Stanford.

Jason Krolicki

Jason Krolicki is an Associate Principal at Arup and leads the Buildings Structures group in San Francisco. Jason has more than 17 years of experience and led award winning projects including giant observation wheels, mixed-use high-rise structures, university buildings, hospitals, and office buildings. Recent projects include the Las Vegas High Roller, the world’s largest observation wheel, the new Apple Campus in Cupertino, and 181 Fremont in San Francisco, the most resilient and tallest mixed-use tower on the west coast.

Jason has extensive knowledge in the design and detailing of a variety of materials including steel, concrete, wood and masonry. He combines a strong theoretical background in the seismic behavior of structures with current state of the art design practice. Utilizing his range of experience and passion for design, Jason approaches every project with a focus on performance and innovation.


Jason Peery

Jason Peery is the Resident Managing Director and head of the Account Executive Practice in the Aon Newport Beach office. He started his insurance career with AIG as an environmental insurance underwriter, and then moved on to manage corporate segment sales and marketing before making his move to the risk consulting and brokerage side of the business. Jason joined Aon in March of 2008, and is the regional Real Estate Practice Leader and an Account Executive for a core book of business, specializing in the real estate industry. Jason is a three time Risk & Insurance Magazine Power Broker, real estate, technology, and “40 under 40.”

Jeff Ellis

Jeff Ellis, SE, is the Director of Codes & Compliance for Simpson Strong-Tie Company Inc. He has more than 26 years of construction industry experience and manages the company codes and compliance efforts. Additionally, he is involved in research and development and provides technical support for connectors, fastening systems, and lateral force resisting systems. He was a practicing design engineer for commercial, residential and forensic projects for more than 9 years prior to joining Simpson Strong-Tie in 2000. He has a passion for community resilience, which became even more important to him after his earthquake reconnaissance experience after the devastating 2011 Christchurch earthquake. He currently serves as Immediate Past President for the Structural Engineers Association of Southern California (SEAOSC), as the SEAOC Secretary, a California Building Officials (CALBO) Structural Safety Committee member, and as a Manager on the International Code Council Evaluation Service (ICC-ES) Board of Managers. He served as chairman of the AISI Committee on Framing Standards (COFS) Lateral Design Subcommittee for several years and as President of the Cold-Formed Steel Engineers Institute (CFSEI).

Jim Muenzer

One of MATT Construction’s most versatile project executives, Jim Muenzer specializes in one-of-a-kind projects and those with high architectural aspirations. A licensed civil and structural engineer, he earned his Bachelor of Science degree in civil engineering at the University of Santa Clara, a master’s degree in structural engineering from Stanford University, and an MBA from Wharton.

Early in his career, Jim worked as a structural engineer. After completing his MBA, he began working in construction and eventually went to work for C.L. Peck. When MATT Construction was formed in 1991, Jim was drawn to “their traditional way of doing things—they value quality, honesty, integrity and making sure things are done right.”

Jim is known for museum-quality detailing and structural innovation. His refined museum projects have included the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles, the Huntington Library and Botanical Gardens, and the Hammer Museum. He has also worked for a number of exclusive arts organizations and on several of MATT’s award-winning historic renovation projects. He has worked closely with celebrated architects and is one of the most sought after builders/collaborators in the industry. The list of his project types also includes theaters, estate residences, labs, and educational facilities. The delivery methods for the projects he has managed include traditional GMP, Design-Build and IPD.

Josh Gebelein

Josh Gebelein is an Associate Principal with Brandow & Johnston with a master’s degree from Stanford University, and 18 years of engineering experience. During his career he has lived and practiced in Sacramento, Menlo Park, and Los Angeles, and has worked on international projects in New Zealand, Japan, Canada, Haiti and Turkey. His projects have included some of the most iconic and significant structural works built in Southern California, including the Wilshire Grand Tower, the Metro Exposition and Purple Lines, and the U.C. Irvine New Replacement Hospital. He enjoys learning about advances in seismology, earthquake engineering, and materials science, and then exploring how to apply that knowledge into real practice as well as building codes. He is currently chair of the SEAOC Resilient Structural Design State Subcommittee, and a member of the NCSEA Resilience Subcommittee.

Josh Smith

Josh Smith is the Senior Transaction Counsel for CleanFund Commercial PACE Capital. His work includes drafting financing documents, structuring PACE transactions, and working with local governments and PACE program administrators to strengthen the market for PACE financing.

Josh represents CleanFund in each transaction, helping structure, review, and approve each deal as part of the underwriting process. He works with the transaction parties to draft the transaction documents and evaluate the property owner’s entity documents prior to completing the financing. Josh also represents CleanFund in its lobbying and government relations work, advocating on behalf of the PACE industry, and providing guidance to cities, counties, and state governments to establish PACE programs. On behalf of CleanFund, he has also consulted with various PACE program administrators as to how to create and improve existing PACE programs.

Prior to his work with CleanFund, Josh worked as a commercial loan administrator for Umpqua Bank, where helped restructure the Commercial Real Estate Servicing Team, and processed loan extensions, modifications, and workouts for commercial real estate transactions.

After law school, Josh worked as a law clerk for the Hon. Scott A. Oravec, U.S. Magistrate Judge for the District of Alaska. He also received a Public Interest Fellowship, which he used to form a consulting company which advised small business owners in establishing retail shops.

He received a B.A. in Economics and Political Science from Loyola University Chicago in 2007, and a J.D. from the University of the Pacific (McGeorge School of Law) in 2010, where he was a member of the Roger Traynor Honor Society and a research assistant for Professor Miriam Cherry.

Katelyn Finn

Katelyn J. Finn [AIA, LEED AP BD+C] is a seasoned professional Architect/ Project Manager with a career spanning 14+ years. She has experience in a wide variety of project types including Health Care, Mission Critical, Residential, Commercial, Education and Retail. Her body of knowledge enables her to comfortably lead multi-disciplinary teams from conceptual design through construction; easily scaling from small to 550,000SF, $100+ million-dollar ventures.

Sensitive to budgetary and time constraints, Katelyn works exceptionally well under pressure and is a veteran of fast-track and accelerated schedule projects. She believes collaboration and integration is key to a project’s success. A New Yorker, her no-nonsense style approach to project execution has cemented her reputation as a leader, collaborator and team builder.

Ken O’Dell

Ken O’Dell joined MHP Structural Engineers in 1989. With over 25 years experience in structural engineering and risk management, Ken has been involved with and responsible for a number of significant projects including entire school campuses (K-12 schools as well as higher education facilities), major hotels, housing, civic projects, and commercial and retail structures throughout the western United States. Following the 1994 Northridge, 2010 Haiti, and 2013 Napa earthquakes, Ken provided on-site post event assessments, reported on observed structural damage, and developed reconstruction plans. These experiences are behind his passion for seeing structural solutions not in terms of building support, but rather in terms of lives impacted. His strong desire to look beyond the fine lines of engineering in providing solutions is supported by an equally strong commitment to quality, and dedication to all members of the project team including clients, architects, other consultants, and contractors.

Kevin O’Connell

Kevin D. O’Connell, S.E. is an Associate Principal and structural engineering Division Head for the Los Angeles office of Simpson Gumpertz & Heger Inc. Kevin has a B.S. in Civil Engineering from the University of Southern California, an M.S. in Structural Engineering from Stanford University, and is a licensed Civil Engineer and Structural Engineer in California. Kevin has over twenty years of experience in new building design, design of modifications and retrofit of existing buildings, evaluation of existing buildings, and investigation of structural failures. He was a member of Los Angeles Mayor Garcetti’s Earthquake Technical Task Force providing technical input on the development of the Mayor’s Resilience by Design report and worked with the Los Angeles Department of Building and Safety on technical aspects of the City’s soft-story and non-ductile concrete retrofit ordinance. Kevin is active professionally and a board member for WCAPT, past board member of SEAOC, past president of SEAOSC, and he is currently the chairman of the SEAOSC Foundation.

Marissa Aho

Marissa Aho, AICP, serves as Los Angeles’ first Chief Resilience Officer in the Office of Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, where she leads city-wide resiliency efforts, including those found in the Mayor’s Resilience By Design report, the City's Sustainable City pLAn, and as part of the 100 Resilient Cities program pioneered by the Rockefeller Foundation. These efforts include implementation of historic building retrofits, fortifying the water infrastructure, and advancing earthquake early warning. In addition to advancing our resilience and sustainability goals through the Building Forward LA partnership. Marissa has 15 years of policy, planning, project management, and community engagement experience in the public, private, and nonprofit sectors where she worked with interdisciplinary teams to find creative solutions to complex problems. Prior to joining the Mayor’s Office, Marissa held senior positions at two Los Angeles planning and land use consulting firms. She has a BA in Communications, Legal Institutions, Economics, and Government/Political Science from American University and a Master of Planning from the University of Southern California Price School of Public Policy. She is an active member of the American Planning Association serving as the American Institute of Certified Planners Commissioner for Region IV (California & Nevada). She is an advisor to the Dr. Lucy Jones Center for Science and Society, a steering committee member for Building Resilience LA and is a member of the USC Price Alumni Association Board of Directors. Marissa is also an adjunct instructor at the USC Price School of Public Policy, where she is teaching a graduate urban planning studio on resilience.

Matt Barnard

Matt Barnard, S.E. is a Principal with Degenkolb Engineers and a Member of the SEAOSC Board of Directors. Matt is passionate about improving the resilience of our communities. When Matt was deployed to St. Bernard Parish, Louisiana through the Safety Assessment Program after Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, he saw firsthand the impacts on a community from a devastating natural hazard. The failure of the buildings and infrastructure and the resulting loss of the community inspired him to be part of the solution so Southern California is better prepared when it is our turn. A few years later in 2010, Matt participated in the Degenkolb Engineers’ earthquake reconnaissance of the Haiti Earthquake and again saw the tragic impact from failures in buildings and the resulting loss of the community.

Today, Matt continues to advocate for an improved built environment through his structural and seismic engineering of structures throughout California and through his professional affiliations. He is currently serving as the SEAOSC representative in the Building Forward LA initiative after having serving on the USRC technical advisory committee. Building Forward LA is an effort on behalf of the Los Angeles Mayor’s Office to identify opportunities to achieve resilience through better buildings in Los Angeles. The focus of the effort is on identifying opportunities to enhance or adjust the rules and processes that govern the design and construction in the City of Los Angeles so we achieve community resilience enhancing buildings sooner.

Mehran Pourzanjani

Mehran Pourzanjani S.E.; is a Principal, of Saiful/Bouquet Structural Engineers. He has over 30 years of experience in designing buildings. His experience spans a wide spectrum of structures varying from institutional and public projects to healthcare, regional malls, high rise structures, and evaluation and strengthening of existing structures. Mr. Pourzanjani is the President-Elect of SEAOSC and serves on the Board of directors of SEAOC. Additionally, he is a member of the SEAOC Standards Committee, and ACI 318H, Seismic Provisions subcommittee, and has served as the past-chair of the SEAOC Seismology Committee.  Mr. Pourzanjani has participated in university research through codification for the design and seismic performance of concrete elements and also served on the “PEER Tall Buildings Initiative” task group towards developing guidelines for the seismic analysis of tall buildings.  

Michael Braund

Michael Braund is a California licensed Structural Engineer and Principal with Degenkolb Engineers, where he leads the San Diego operations as the Office Director. Mike is a current Board member of the Structural Engineers Association of California and the immediate past-president of Structural Engineers Association of San Diego. As an accredited DBIA Professional, Mike is passionate about leading his projects with a collaborative approach that values the perspective of all team members.

Michael Cochran

Michael Cochran has an extensive background in new building design and seismic retrofit and renovation of existing buildings. He is skilled in the design of wood, steel and concrete structures, including those using steel moment and concentric brace frame design and cast-in-place construction.

During his 30-plus-year career, Michael has built up a portfolio that includes residential, office and retail projects, as well as facilities for aerospace companies. His new design credits include One Santa Fe, a 438-unit multifamily complex in Los Angeles, California; a pair of midrise office buildings at Howard Hughes Center in Las Vegas, Nevada; an office building for Fox Studios in Century City, California; and the preservation/conversion of a designated Los Angeles City historic monument into a private middle school. Michael was also responsible for seismic retrofits of several educational and commercial buildings throughout Southern California.

Michael Cusumano

Michael Cusumano is the Managing Director of the Cusumano Real Estate Group, a Burbank, California based real estate development and investment firm. He is responsible for the current development of the $200,000,000 "Premier on First" mixed use development in Burbank California, as well as the $200,000,000 "Talaria at Burbank" mixed use development project in addition to approximately $1,000,000,000 in other developments throughout southern California.

Cusumano is very active in philanthropic and civic endeavors. He is the Vice Chair of the Board of Governors of Providence St. Joseph's Medical Center Foundation, Member of the Board of Directors of the Community Foundation of the Verdugo's, the Burbank Chamber of Commerce, Burbank Business Partners, Leadership Burbank, and several other civic organizations. Cusumano holds a California Real Estate License and California General Contractor's License, and is a graduate of UCLA (BA-Economics-1984) and the Pepperdine Graziadio School of Business (MBA-1994).

Pilar Mendez

Pilar is an Associate and Senior Project Architect with SmithGroupJJR. She is committed to delivering exceptional, collaborative results on all projects. With nearly two decades of project delivery experience, Pilar has demonstrated success with technical and consultant coordination, document quality control, regulatory requirements, and design assurance for projects types, ranging from healthcare and higher education to commercial and residential projects.

Pilar combines her architectural knowledge and skills with her leadership abilities to lead and inspire high performance teams. Since joining SmithGroupJJR, Pilar has led the OSHPD Design Build Sharp Chula Vista Ocean View Tower. Pilar creates value for her clients through rigorous schedule and cost controls, while simultaneously delivering the highest quality project. As a leader and manager, Pilar is hands on, embedded with her team in collaborative effort, inspiring commitment to delivering the highest-quality projects, on budget and in record time.

She has received a Bachelor of Architecture at Pontifícia Universidad Javeriana in Bogotá, Colombia as well as a Masters of Architecture at the Southern California Institute of Architecture. Pilar is an Associate member of the Los Angeles AIA chapter and a LEED AP BD+C.

Saeed Fathali-ICC-ES.jpg Saeed Fathali

Dr. Saeed Fathali is the Director of Seismic Solutions at STRUCTURAL TECHNOLOGIES. Saeed received his PhD in Structural and Earthquake Engineering from University at Buffalo, The State University of New York. Following his graduation from UB in 2008, Saeed worked for Rutherford + Chekene in San Francisco for seven years where he worked on several applied research projects including probability-based seismic performance assessment of buildings, evaluation of code requirements for directional combination of building seismic responses, development of seismic guideline for roof-mounted solar panels, and evaluation and improvement of the current code formula for seismic design of acceleration-sensitive nonstructural components. Saeed’s expertise in nonlinear response history analyses has benefited several seismic retrofit projects in the Bay Area, and the peer review of several high-rise structures and base-isolated hospitals along the West Coast. Saeed is an active member of several committees at both SEAOSC and SEAONC, and ACI, and serves as a manger on the board of ICC Evaluation Services (ICC-ES).

Scott Adan

With over 25 years of experience, Dr. Scott M. Adan is a nationally recognized structural and earthquake engineer. He is the Director of Seismic Assessment Services with the CBRE Group. His extensive experience and engineering background provide a keen ability to advise clients on matters related to seismic evaluation and earthquake design. He received his Ph.D. in Civil Engineering from the University of Utah, Masters from Brigham Young University and Bachelors from the University of Texas in Austin. He is a licensed Structural Engineer in the states of California and Utah and is also licensed to practice engineering in Washington and New York. Nationally, he is certified by the Structural Engineering Certification Board (SECB). Having practiced in nearly all earthquake susceptible regions of the western United States, he has authored more than 25 publications on earthquake resistant design. In addition, he has investigated damage from numerous earthquakes and lectured on their effects.

Rob Smith

Rob Smith leads Arup’s Advanced Technology and Research team in San Francisco. A native of the UK, Rob has worked for Arup over 20 years and has spent time in London, the Philippines, Los Angeles and San Francisco.

His projects are to be found on six continents (still trying to get that elusive skyscraper project in Antarctica) and in many areas of structural engineering, including high-rise buildings, long span bridges and special structures, such as the Vegas High Roller and the Beijing National Stadium. He has a particular interest in extreme loading on structures, be that from wind, earthquakes, terrorism or flooding, as well as the design of high performance systems in buildings.

Ross Stein

Ross S. Stein is a Consulting Professor of Geophysics at Stanford University, Scientist Emeritus at the U.S. Geological Survey, CEO and Co-founder of Temblor.net, and President-Elect of the Tectonophysics section of the American Geophysical Union (AGU). He is a Fellow of the AGU and the Geological Society of America, was Editor of the Journal of Geophysical Research, and later chaired AGU’s Board of Journal Editors. He received an Sc.B. from Brown University magna cum laude and with honors, and a Ph.D. from Stanford University.

Stein received the 2012 Gilbert F. White Natural Hazards Award from AGU, gave a 2012 TEDx talk, ‘Defeating Earthquakes’, and received the 2000 Eugene M. Shoemaker Distinguished Achievement Award of the USGS. In 2003, the Science Citation Index reported that Stain was the second most cited author in earthquake science during the preceding decade; he was tenth most cited during 1900-2010.

In 2009, Ross co-founded the Global Earthquake Model, a public-private partnership building a seismic risk model for the world. Ross chaired GEM’s Science Board through 2014; the GEM Foundation is now staffed by 24 people. Stein sits on the Natural Catastrophe Advisory Council of Zurich Insurance. Stein is a speaker in the 2015-2016 MPSF Speaker Series, the largest community lecture series in the U.S., with 5,000 subscribers.

Thomas Sabol

Tom Sabol is a principal at Englekirk, a Los Angeles-based firm specializing in structural and earthquake engineering, historic structure rehabilitation and wind engineering. Tom received his B.S. in Architectural Engineering from California Polytechnic University, San Luis Obispo, and his Ph.D. in Structural and Earthquake Engineering from UCLA.

He has been responsible for the structural design and project administration for large scale building structures, evaluation of earthquake safety of structures and projects investigating the seismic behavior of buildings. He serves on a number of research and standards-development groups such as AISC Seismic Provisions and Specification. He also is a member of the CSU and UC seismic policy boards. He became a SEAOSC Fellow in 2013.

Dr. Sabol is an Adjunct Professor in the Civil and Environmental Engineering Department at UCLA where he teaches graduate and undergraduate courses focusing on earthquake engineering and structural steel. He is a registered civil and structural engineer and licensed architect in the State of California.


Yolanda Bundy

Yolanda Bundy holds the position of Chief Building Official for the City of Ventura and is a registered Civil Engineer in California. She received her Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering from California State University Northridge and has a Master of Science in Structural Engineering from California State University, Northridge. Ms. Bundy possesses multiple International Code Council certifications including Certified Building Official and Certified Fire Code Official. Yolanda Bundy is also a CAL-EMA Safety Assessment Program Evaluator and Coordinator.

Ms. Bundy is part of the Ventura County Earthquake Preparedness Initiative Cohort sponsored by the Southern California Association of Governments (SCAG), in partnership with the Dr. Lucy Jones Center for Science and Society. This cohort was created to help local cities and counties protect and prepare Southern California communities and economies from disruption in the event of a major earthquake.

Ms. Bundy is currently working on the initial stages of an Earthquake Resiliency Strategy Action Plan that will focus on retrofit efforts for the approximately 147 Unreinforced Masonry structures in the City of Ventura.


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