Congratulations to our 2024-2026 Board Members!

We would like to wish a warm welcome to our newest Board Member, as well as a “welcome back” to our returning Directors! Our returning Directors are Edward Reifenstein, AIA, LEEDAP BD+C, Kenneth Lin, AIA, NCARB, LEED GA, Shivani Bhalla, Assoc. AIA, and Tyler Kobick, AIA. Our new Director is Yolanda Santiago, AIA, NCARB LEED AP BD C. You can read about them below.

Edward Reifenstein, AIA, LEED AP BD+C

Associate Principal & Director of Sustainable Design | Noll & Tam Architects

Since I joined the Board two years ago, I have become increasingly aware of the importance of the architectural community in dealing with the challenges facing our planet. As we move toward 2030, with the goal of limiting long-term climate change to 1.5 deg. C, the profession must step forward to lead. Both within my practice as Director of Sustainable Design at Noll & Tam and by helping to restart the AIAEB Architect’s Community on the Environment (ACOTE), I have sought ways to innovate and educate so we, as a profession, can meet this challenge.

Within the AIA East Bay, I have been co-chair of the revived Architect’s Community on the Environment (ACOTE), as well as participating in the renewal of the chapter’s by-laws. I have been a participant in AIA-sponsored events and am also active in the USGBC. I have been a resident of the Bay Area for 28 years and have raised three sons in Berkeley.

Kenneth Lin, AIA, NCARB, LEED GA

Architect | HKIT Architects

As an AIA East Bay Board Director for the past two years, I have gained tremendous experience that will be focused on guiding the betterment of the East Bay chapter for our members and our community. I am more than excited about the prospect of continuing this role to further the success of the chapter as we have come out stronger from the pandemic than we have ever imagined.

As the pipeline lead of AIA CA EDI steering committee and having been the one to
successfully revive the East Bay JEDI committee, I have strived to bring the EDI visions from AIA CA to our chapter. and with this, actively engage our chapter towards the promotion of more equitable practices through diversification and inclusion.

As a serving member in the East Bay design tours committee, I will maintain the important focus on design excellence with an emphasis on showcasing projects that highlight the diversified cultural backgrounds of the Bay Area.

During my tenure, I gained so much valuable experience through the state and local organizations and benefited from the guidance of the many talented architects that encompass the organization. I am excited about the possibility of expanding these experiences with this position.

Shivani Bhalla, Assoc. AIA

Job Captain | Lowney Architecture

Architecture to me is the art of curating life. Sometimes in the busy day to day it is easy to forget that as designers we help provide spaces and settings where people make their memories. That is a beautiful thing!

I thus believe that as creative professionals we have the unique opportunity to inform positive change and that is what inspires me everyday. However, in order to do that successfully we must align ourselves with similar minded organizations and the that is how my association the AIA East bay began. I have been fortunate to be on the Board of Directors for the last 2 years with an inspiring group of colleagues. During this time I have played an active role in reviving the Equity, diversity, Inclusion community (JEDI) along with other team members who are equally passionate about creating a sense of belonging for all. Additionally, I am co-chair of the reinvented Architects community for the environment (ACOTE) which hopes to become a resource to all  members who want to play an active role in addressing the climate crisis. The time to act is now and our chapter is ready to lead the efforts. 

With 10 years of work experience in India and the U.S., I always strive to bring my unique perspective to the table. I am presently working on Affordable housing projects and have previous experience with institutional and residential design. 

I would like to run again for the position of Director so I can continue to play a more impactful role in supporting our profession and our wonderful East Bay chapter. Thank you for your consideration.

Tyler Kobick, AIA

Principal | Design Draw Build

As an East Bay Firm Owner and Director the last two years on the Board I am excited to potentially double down on another 2 years term to help improve many of our current directives and actively promote new benefits for members and the architectural community.  I strongly believe in more cross disciplinary integration the AIA can help lead between Architects and Builders, Developers, Consultants and other thought leaders to assert stronger architectural leadership in many areas of change and growth in our region.  I also would like to see greater shared resources between the 4 bay area chapters and encourage region-wide initiatives.  Finally, I strongly believe that the AIA should do more to lobby state and national politicians to encourage policies that decrease architects’ liability, make laws that re-balance laws that were not made in a time of integrated project delivery and increase housing red-tape removal in our state.

While serving on AIA East Bay’s Board of Directors, I have also served as the co-chair of their Regional & Urban Design Forum (RUD) and an AIACA Director. Additionally, I was a Conference Speaker and Moderator at A’23.

Yolanda Santiago, AIA, NCARB LEED AP BD C

Senior Construction Administrator | Studio T-Square Architects

While this is my first time being an official member of AIA East Bay, I had been volunteering and collaborating with the East Bay chapter since very early in my career in architecture. I first joined the AIA in 2003, when I volunteered as a member of AIA San Francisco’s Bay Area Young Architects (BAYA) as a co-chair. I helped to run meetings with the BAYA Chair, organize events across the Bay in collaboration with AIA East Bay, as well as moderate online group chats. After moving to Alaska in 2005, I volunteered with AIA Alaska, in planning events and conferences, and was elected as Regional Associate Director for the Northwest & Pacific Region in 2008. This position offered the opportunity to connect with colleagues at the regional and national levels, to network with the affiliated organizations of NCARB and NAAB, and to attend multiple conferences nationwide. I have been an active participant at the Committee on Design as a juror for the AIA Firm Award nominations committee, and in 2013, when I had returned to the San Francisco Bay Area, I sought and won election to AIA California, VP of Professional Practice. In 2015, I took a break from volunteering to focus on my solo practice, and I am now once again, having joined Studio T-Square Architects in Oakland, wanting to give back to the profession at the local level. Volunteering and serving my community is one of my passions and I hope to give back by serving as Director for AIA East Bay.

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