Sophia Tarkhan, AIA, NOMA


As the Principal of the K-12 Education studio, Sophia draws on her diverse background and two decades of experience in architecture and construction management. A trailblazer advocating for diversity, she played a pivotal role in establishing Cooper Carry’s Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Council. Sophia, a registered architect and LEED AP, graduated from the University of Florida and spearheaded initiatives as the 2017 President of NOMA’s Atlanta Chapter. Recognized for her leadership, she is part of the inaugural cohort of Next To Lead by the American Institute of Architects, focusing on ethnically diverse women in architecture. Notable projects include the acclaimed Midtown High School addition and renovation, and two new STEM schools for Fulton County.

Ralph Raymond, AIA, NOMA


Haitian-born architect Ralph Raymond, a dedicated advocate for the profession, held various leadership roles in NOMA, AIA, NCARB, and ACE Mentor Program in Atlanta and beyond. Notable positions include President and Vice President at NOMAtlanta, and Board Director and Treasurer at AIA Georgia. Ralph, an associate at HOK’s Atlanta office, contributes to diverse projects and is an emerging leader on HOK’s global Technical Board. Recognized with the 2019 John A. Busby Jr. Young Architect Medal, he actively engages in community outreach, mentorship programs, and writing on design and diversity. Holding degrees from The Georgia Institute of Technology, Ralph is passionate about all aspects of architectural practice, with a focus on detailing and exterior envelope.

Todd Dolson, AIA


Todd, VP and Director of Design at SSOE, brings over two decades of architectural expertise in higher education and civic practice. Acquired in 2020 from Stevens & Wilkinson, he’s dedicated to crafting spaces aligning with client goals. Specializing in academic and public libraries, higher education environments, museums, and corporate spaces, Todd, a Georgia Tech graduate, fosters design excellence firm-wide from SSOE’s Atlanta office.

April Mundy, AIA


April Mundy, AIA, LEED AP, serves as Savannah K-12 Sector Leader and Associate Principal, boasting over 20 years of design and construction experience. Her diverse portfolio spans multi-school and individual designs, encompassing LEED certified and LEED Gold constructions. With an educational background from SCAD and Central Virginia Community College, April excels in balancing technical, aesthetic, and functional aspects in complex educational campuses. Her track record includes timely and budget-conscious project completions in areas like education, libraries, city halls, courthouses, public works, and commercial interiors.

Ganesh Nayak, AIA


Ganesh Nayak, AIA, LEED AP (BD+C), a principal at Metier Inc in Atlanta, GA, specializes in sustainable design with 25+ years of experience. He played a key role in LEED certification for major projects exceeding four million square feet. Holder of a Master of Architecture from Kansas State University, Ganesh has actively published, taught, and presented on architecture, sustainability, and leadership. Recognized for federal project quality control, he received the USACE’s Charles Trainor team award for excellence. Currently serving as interim secretary on the AIA Georgia board and chair of AIA Atlanta’s Committee on the Environment (COTE), Ganesh also leads the Georgia Department of Special Education’s State Advisory Panel on developmental disabilities.

Simon Martinez, AIA


As the leader of the Atlanta office for Eppstein Uhen Architects, Inc., Simon has always been captivated by how our collective design work has the power to influence lives and create memorable experiences. Architecture, for him, is a balancing form of art, defined by the ability to engage, collaborate, and listen. With decades of multi-disciplinary practice, Simon builds distinctive experiences through a hands-on leadership style. Passionate about engaging people and communities, Simon is active in volunteering activities, mentorships, and design events and looks forward to continue contributing to AIA’s mission to work towards transforming the day-to-day practice of architecture to achieve resilient, healthy, just, equitable built environment for everyone.

Joy Newberry, AIA


Joy joined McMillan Pazdan Smith in 2022 to play a key leadership role in supporting various studio teams committed to serving the CSRA and broader communities of the region. She offers a wealth of knowledge in master planning and design — including hospitality, multifamily, and healthcare. Joy is passionate about fostering a healthy work culture and mentoring emerging architects. An alumnus of the Christopher Kelley Leadership Development Program (CKLDP), Joy serves on the Historic Augusta Board of Trustees, and the Westabou Montessori School Board of Directors.

Marissa Swanson, AIA


Marissa seamlessly integrates her architectural passion with technological expertise, ensuring a comprehensive approach to diverse projects. Proficient in cutting-edge production software, she navigates seamlessly across project types, from hospitality to multi-family high-rise and higher-education athletic facilities. Marissa’s growth mindset and collaborative approach enhance each project, emphasizing transparency and communication. Beyond her architectural career, she launched the tech company Toss, showcasing skills in rapid prototyping, UI/UX, and project management, with the app now available for download on Apple and Android app stores.

Ai-Lien Vuong, AIA, NOMA


Ai-Lien Vuong, a three-time Georgia Tech alum, holds degrees in Architecture, Architectural History, Integrative Biology, Architecture, and City & Regional Planning with a focus on Urban Design. Passionate about community service, she’s involved in various alumni and professional groups, including AIA-Georgia Equity in Architecture and NOMA-Atlanta. Serving as an At-Large Director on the AIA-Georgia Board, Ai-Lien advocates for mass transit, affordable housing, urban design, and sustainable development. With a diverse professional background in public and private sectors, she currently works as an Architect at HOK, contributing to projects in higher education, science & technology, adaptive reuse, historic preservation, healthcare, affordable housing, and transit-oriented development.

Christian Sottile, FAIA


Christian Sottile, architect and urban designer, serves as a professor at the Savannah College of Art and Design and is the principal of Sottile & Sottile, an architectural firm in Savannah, Georgia. His expertise lies in civic design, master planning, urban analysis, and community-wide engagement with a focus on historic research. With degrees from SCAD and Syracuse University, Sottile has garnered over 50 awards, including international recognition from the Congress for the New Urbanism, the American Planning Association, and the AIA. Recognized as one of the top 100 academics in the nation by USA Today, he is also a member of the National Council of Architectural Registration Boards (NCARB).

Will Stanford, AIA


Will Stanford became part of BTBB in 2012, relocating from Montgomery, Alabama, to Macon. Designated Principal in 2015, he has excelled as a Project Manager, leading Design Teams and managing on-site construction from start to finish. Will’s expertise encompasses project cost estimating, construction document production, and job administration. A graduate of Mississippi State University, he holds a Bachelor of Science in Architecture. He currently serves on the AIA Middle Georgia Board executive committee.

Gulcin Becerik, AIA


Hailing from Turkey, Gulcin pursued architecture at Mimar Sinan Fine Arts University in Istanbul and earned a master’s degree from the Southern California Institute of Architecture in Los Angeles. With a 13-year career spanning California and Georgia, the architect, now based in Atlanta since 2019 and part of The Beck Group, focuses on design-build projects in healthcare and higher education. Actively involved in CKLD 2023 Class and the Equity in Architecture Committee, they advocate for positive change through thoughtful design and professional equity. Gulcin’s multicultural background enables empathy and understanding, while her commitment to promoting women in architecture stems from personal experiences as a female architect and mother.

Ryan Murphy, AIA


Ryan R. Murphy, AIA, defies conventional architecture career paths, embodying a civil servant and citizen architect. Serving nearly a decade in the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, he contributed to critical projects in Afghanistan, addressing infrastructure challenges in a woman-led police department. Post-military, Murphy founded Shamrock+, integrating technology like drones and LiDAR into architectural processes. A 2020 graduate of AIA Georgia’s Christopher Kelley Leadership Program, he chaired the program in 2022, focusing on diversity and inclusion. Committed to advancing the profession, Murphy shares expertise through courses on emerging technologies in AEC.

More Resources

David Southerland, Executive Director
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Tangela Monroe, CAE, Assistant Director
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Lynn Robinson, Interim Director of Outreach
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Heli Shah, Assoc. AIA

Laura Sherman, AIA

Garfield Peart, AIA

Jim Fausett, FAIA, College of Fellows Representative

2023, Ralph Raymond, AIA, NOMA

2022, Greg Skinner, AIA

2021, Steven G. Stowers, AIA

2020, Michael Tchouaffé, AIA

2019, Perry Jarrell, AIA

2018, Kathryn Bedette, AIA

2017, Neil Dawson, AIA

2016, Theresa Ridley, AIA

2015, Gregory Walker, AIA

2014, Mark Levine, FAIA

2013, Janice Wittschiebe, AIA

2012, Roy Abernathy, AIA

2011, Edward Bernard, AIA

2010, Gerry Cowart, FAIA