2019-20 Board of Directors

Congratulations to these eight accomplished AIA Seattle Members and Allied Professionals who have been elected to return or fill open seats on the Board of Directors for the term beginning September 1, 2019. We are deeply grateful for the enormous energy and effort our board members and other volunteer leaders devote to our organization.

AIA Seattle is a member-led organization that depends on volunteer leadership and initiative. We are deeply grateful for the enormous energy and effort our board members and other volunteer leaders devote to our organization.

Brendan Connolly AIA – President-Elect
Member since: 2006

Brendan Connolly, (AIA, NCARB, LEED AP BD+C), is a partner at Mithun, where he leads the design of a variety of project typologies, including education, museum and workplace environments that focus on enhancing the potential of mission-focused clients. Brendan’s work emphasizes the importance of sustainable design and the human experience of architectural and landscape space, fusing an integrated approach to design and research with a passion for building performance and reverence for place. Beyond project focused work, he also has served as one of the managing partners at Mithun on the firm’s board of directors, and has served a variety of community and professional organizations, including the AIA Seattle Honor Awards Program, the Seattle Design Commission and as a teacher, juror and Professional Advisory Council member at the University of Washington College of Built Environments. He is a graduate of Yale University and the University of Washington.

Statement of Interest: I spent the last few years working with AIA Seattle on both the Honor Awards program and also through pro-bono involvement with the new Center design, including the parklet concept for the exterior space. Through this collaboration with Lisa and the larger team, I have grown to appreciate the great service that AIA Seattle provides to our design community in terms of advocacy, elevation of design and sustainability dialogues, and also visibility as a profession to the greater community. My interest is in advancing these goals. Given our larger national political stage, and the acute state of our balance of our local and global environmental resources, there is no more crucial time for AIA Seattle to help our profession be united in addressing how design can influence positive change on this broader level.

Kirsten Murray FAIA – Treasurer
Member since: 2002

Kirsten Murray headshotKirsten Murray is an owner and principal of Olson Kundig, where she has practiced since 1989. In her work on urban design, adaptive re-use, cultural, mixed-use and residential projects, Kirsten is known for creating buildings and spaces that strengthen and enrich communities. In addition to her project leadership, Kirsten has pioneered many of the firm’s core cultural practices including Olson Kundig’s international internship program, integrated studio organization, community engagement programs, as well as co-directing [storefront], an experimental design space where the firm hosted a series of community-based projects. In 2016, Kirsten was elevated to the AIA College of Fellows, having served on the National AIA Trust Board in a number of capacities, including chair, trustee, treasurer and vice-chair. She has also served on the boards of the Henry Art Gallery and ARCADE.

Statement of Interest: The challenges that face us as a design community require collaboration and collective thinking. Seattle is unique in the level of dialogue and support offered by our AIA chapter. AIA Seattle should continue to enrich local practices while also contributing to the national and global design dialogue, especially around issues such as sustainability, diversity and equity. As treasurer, I would bring my understanding that aligning AIA Seattle’s financial resources with our organizational priorities will be key to our success.

Burcin Moehring FAIA – Director
Member since: 1990

Burcin Moehring head shotBurcin Moehring FAIA has dedicated her career to thoughtfully planning and designing science environments; and redefining standards, best practices, and providing leadership that benefit the architecture profession. Throughout her 29 years of experience in project management, teaching lab planning, and programming for educational and research facilities, and in leadership positions with AIA-CAE, SCUP (Society for College and University Planning) and I2SL (International Institute for Sustainable Labs), she has developed unique lab design solutions that address evolving teaching styles such as collaborative learning, interdisciplinary interaction, teaching and research integration, hands-on/discovery-based learning, as well as the integration of the technology and flexibility needed for today’s changing learning environments.

Statement of Interest: Throughout my career, I have been supported by many AIA members and have greatly benefited from the work AIA does to advocate for the profession and elevate public awareness. I’ve been fortunate enough to work with stellar professionals at all levels of their career in the design and construction industry. I truly believe that buildings can positively impact people’s lives by celebrating community and actively shaping our surroundings – and I am ready to give back to the AIA. I am honored to be elected to the Board of Directors.

What should AIA Seattle be working on? AIA Seattle is an outstanding organization, creates a platform and engages strategic issues concerning the practice of architecture. AIA Seattle should continue to strengthen the Social, Professional & Academic Network for its members and the community via its outstanding programs.

Heather Skeehan AIA – Director
Member since: 2014

Heather Skeehan head shotI started my career at ZGF working as a project architect, urban designer and project manager on assorted projects in the Portland and Seattle offices. I was heavily involved in campus master plans, multifamily residential developments, and workplace design. My passion for seeing projects through construction developed early on. When an opportunity arose to join GLY Construction’s VDC department, I jumped at the chance to work with teams to facilitate a more seamless relationship between the worlds of design and construction. My current role draws on my communication and technical design skills to bridge the gap between the design team and construction. I leverage BIM as a truly interactive platform to confirm examinations, reflect decisions made by the team, suggest more effective ways to execute in the field, minimize waste and efficiently schedule and communicate project development.

Statement of Interest: Serving on the AIA Seattle Board of Directors is an opportunity to be more directly involved in an organization that has been a great source of information and knowledge throughout my career. I’m especially excited about being more involved in development of resources to support the programming that AIA Seattle has been knocking out of the park. AIA Seattle has an opportunity to continue to provide programming that connects members of the broader AEC community together. We as an industry continue to work on more complicated projects, more quickly and with less resources. Our ability to be agile and work collaboratively across the whole AEC industry is critical to the successes of these projects. And working outside of the stress of projects to build trust and awareness as a community will help support our continued success in what continues to be a booming built environment.

Pepe Valle AIA – Director
Member since: 2016

Pepe Valle headshotPepe Valle is an exceptionally skilled technical architect with a flair for interpreting, organizing and coordinating project team assignments. With his rigorous attention to detail and facility with new technologies, Pepe has implemented several key process improvements. He provides guidance and leadership in preparing comprehensive design development documents, paying careful attention to schedules, budgets, quality control and sustainable building practices. He provides technical leadership and mentorship for the whole architecture and interior design team. Pepe has over 17 years’ experience in the industry and graduated with a BA in Architecture from ITESM in Monterrey, Mexico. He is a licensed architect in the US with a LEED AP and CSI CDT Certification. He is an AIA and CSI member. His inspiration comes from his daughter, Sam, and playing music. He loves to run and spend time at the gym, and tirelessly encourages others to join him.

Statement of Interest: The theme of this year’s Design Festival is “Balance.” When asked to describe my greatest strength in one word, this is the word I choose. I believe that as architects we have a tremendous social responsibility. How we choose, design and execute our work has a ripple effect throughout the community. We have a duty to consider who stand to lose and who stands to gain in every decision we make. Every building we create has an economic, social and environmental impact – it is our responsibility to balance those impacts to maximize benefit for all. AIA Seattle provides the perfect forum to engage everyone who shapes our built environment in conversations that matter about our impact and the legacy we are creating. I want to leverage the extended experience and knowledge of design professionals in service to creating a desirable community that supports healthy, future generations.

Shannon Payton– Director AIA
Member since: 2014

Shannon Payton headshotShannon is a design leader with ten years’ experience serving communities through the design of education facilities, with a recent focus on restorative justice and behavioral health projects at DLR Group. Shannon’s passion for cultivating learning environments is also leveraged in the design of workplace and civic projects that emphasizes user connection to nature, and data-driven design to support health and wellness outcomes. With a degree in architecture from the University of Oregon, and Master’s Degree in Landscape Urbanism from the University of Copenhagen, Shannon’s drive for design excellence has sparked a love of problem solving on both micro and macro scales. Her passion for the built and natural environment is fueled by her desire to serve her community through the design of socially vibrant, thoughtfully place-sensitive, timeless solutions that reflect the unique values of each client.

Statement of Interest: With a belief that design is an artful form of strategy, I am grateful to work with AIA Seattle to guide smart growth that prioritizes people, honors the beauty of our natural resources, and contributes to place-making in the wild and rapidly changing urban context of Seattle. I have a deep respect for AIA Seattle in its mission to move the needle forward in shaping policy, emphasizing advocacy for vulnerable and diverse populations, and elevating environmental stewardship to combat climate change. Involvement with community groups and AIA Seattle Committees has enriched my personal and professional growth enormously, such as my experience with Women in Design and the Women’s Leadership Summit, co-chairing the Young Architects Forum, as well as leading several Seattle Design Festival installations, including one that received an AIA Seattle Honorable Mention Award. I look forward to adding my voice to the important civic dialogue with the AIA Seattle Board and larger community in pursuit of improving our city and its natural landscape.

Elizabeth de Regt AIA – Advocate Director
Member since: 2014

Elizabeth de Regt headshotElizabeth de Regt is an architect and urban designer specializing in master planning, with six years of experience designing a wide range of corporate office, mixed-use, higher education, and healthcare projects. Her passion lies at the intersection of architecture and urban design, and she seeks to create spaces that enhance sustainability at an urban scale. Elizabeth focuses on livability issues, with expertise in researching daylighting in the public realm as well as zoning issues that impact shared spaces. By facilitating livability in an urban context, she hopes to make cities more attractive, affordable, and sustainable for a diverse array of people.

Having spent most of her childhood in the Seattle area, Elizabeth ventured out to explore other cities for her schooling. She holds a BS in Architectural Design from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and an M.Arch from The University of Texas at Austin. She moved back to Seattle following graduation and has worked at ZGF Architects ever since. She is an active member of both AIA Seattle and ULI, bringing her passion for architecture and urban design to her advocacy work. She currently sits on AIA Seattle’s Public Policy Board and chairs AIA Washington Council’s Climate Committee, coordinating AIA’s positioning and work combating climate change state-wide. She hopes to expand her advocacy efforts to incorporate a wider range of issues facing Seattle architects today as an AIA Seattle board member.

Statement of Interest: Architects design spaces with the intention of improving people’s lives. We have a wide range of expertise and use our problem-solving skills to benefit our clients and the public as a whole. AIA Seattle has the power to harness this knowledge base to influence policy locally and at a greater scale. We know how policy changes might impact our neighborhoods, clients, businesses, and our own membership. AIA Seattle’s Advocate Director will use these skills to make an impact on policy, working both regionally and state-wide.

The Seattle area faces intense changes in the coming years. With a growing population, an ongoing housing crisis, expanding public transit network, dire climate predictions, and all the policies that go along with these changes, AIA Seattle has a lot on its plate to sift through. I believe we should be focusing our efforts on:

  • Advocating for smart growth and housing equity, particularly within zoning and density debates
  • Influencing transportation policy in the region to minimize inequity and maximize urban access and mobility
  • Steering the development of the built environment in a low-impact direction, addressing resiliency and minimizing our carbon footprint in the face of climate change
  • Focusing on membership outreach and education to ensure AIA Seattle’s policies align with and are understood by our membership

Greg Briggs – Affiliate Director

Greg Briggs head shotGreg Briggs is a Principal and Office Director at Thornton Tomasetti and is currently serving on the AIA Seattle Board on the development committee. His career and focus has been around the advancement and integration of new technologies; a sensitivity to the design aesthetic, and contributing to high performance buildings through reduced embodied carbon, recycling and re-use of existing buildings, and integration of natural systems into his projects. Greg has served on national committees dedicated to educating and implementing sustainable solutions within the AE profession. He has authored and co-authored a book and articles on the guidelines and approaches to sustainable design. Greg has had the opportunity to collaborate on many project typologies nationally including museums, civic, educational, and commercial projects where his passion and leadership toward architecturally expressive, and high-performance buildings are enhanced through his involvement on these projects.

Statement of Interest: I am very excited for the opportunity to contribute to a great organization as the AIA Seattle. Serving on the AIA Seattle Board in 2018, I have grown to learn so much about what they are doing for the profession and the community. Its progressive ideas, education, and leadership nationally within the AIA community is outstanding. Having spent almost my entire professional career in Seattle, I have seen the city evolve over the past 25 years. I’m both excited for the growth of our city but also concerned about how this growth impacts the community as a whole. I feel this is a critical time for our city and country on addressing social and environmental issues that need to be tackled now. Serving on the AIA Seattle Board will give me this opportunity to contribute where I can and to work with other passionate board members and staff to find solutions to the issues we are facing.