ELS Employees Advance into New Roles

Berkeley, CA — ELS has promoted eleven employees to reflect their growing roles within the organization. Its newest associate principals are Lauren Wynveen and Chris Lutjen; Cheri LaFontaine is now the firm’s Director of Administration. Advancing to the senior associate level are Dana Bazzi, Ántonia Bowman, Tracy Chan, Beckie Denio, and Luke Ivers. Promoted to associate are Lily Hung, Yeganeh Shams, and Gavin Wall. We are proud of their professional growth and grateful for their continued role in the firm’s successes.


Lauren Wynveen, AIA, Associate Principal, joined ELS in 2013 and is a registered architect in California. Lauren has led design teams and worked on a variety of projects including mixed-use planning, retail centers, and residential building design. She works directly with city officials, consultants, and members of the community, and contributes her creative talents in both conceptual and technical phases to a variety of projects. Her recent project work includes the LEED Platinum-certified Austin Energy Headquarters, the Downtown Dublin Preferred Vision (which was recognized with an Honor Award from the AIA California 2021 Urban Design Awards), and Mills College’s Lisser Hall renovation (which was awarded a 2021 Preservation Design Award for Rehabilitation by the California Preservation Foundation). Lauren received a Bachelor of Arts in Architecture with highest honors from the University of California, Berkeley.

Chris Lutjen, AIA, LEED AP BD+C, Associate Principal, joined ELS in 2019 and is a registered architect in California with over twenty years of experience in design and project management. His experience is instrumental in the successful delivery of ELS’ historic and adaptive reuse projects, many of which are in Berkeley and Oakland as part of ELS’ on-call architecture contracts with the cities. Chris is inspired by the craft of both historic and modern buildings, and he works carefully to ensure the skillful integration of historic criteria, program, design intent, and budget. He has a core belief in social justice and buildings that respect our shared ecology, and sees all projects through the lens of sustainability. Chris received his Master of Architecture and his B.S. in Architecture from Kent State University. His professional work has been augmented by studies in Florence, Italy.

Cheri LaFontaine, Director of Administration, has been managing the offices of small businesses for over three decades. Originally from the East coast, she joined ELS in 2015 and is now responsible for a wide range of duties across the firm including HR and benefits administration, facilities management, office purchasing, and upholding office policies and procedures. As a vital liaison between the various staffing levels at ELS, Cheri believes that the best way of carrying out healthy and balanced company policies is to support human connections between staff and management. Cheri is a member of the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM). Prior to joining the architecture world, Cheri worked in the graphic arts, where her roles included startup co-owner, office manager, and vendor representative.



Dana Bazzi, Senior Associate, joined ELS in 2017. She has experience on various building types including commercial, hospitality, retail, civic, historic, institutional, community, academic, and recreation. Dana’s work includes the historic renovation of the Hotel President in Palo Alto, Veterans Memorial Senior Center in Redwood City, and the Recreational Sports Facility Universal Locker Room, a highly inclusive facility at UC Berkeley. She is skilled in project management and has worked through all phases of design, ranging from conceptual and schematic design to construction administration. Dana received her Master of Science in Architecture from the Pratt Institute and her Bachelor of Architecture from the American University of Beirut.

Ántonia Bowman, AIA, NCARB, LEED AP BD+C, Assoc. DBIA, Senior Associate, joined ELS in 2017 and is a licensed architect in California and Texas. At ELS, Ántonia was instrumental in the completion of the award-winning Kinesiology & Wellness Center at Cañada College. During her architecture career, she has worked on a variety of projects for colleges and universities, retail and mixed-use developments, and civic and cultural institutions. She recently earned an Associate DBIA designation. A core team member of AIA San Francisco’s Equity by Design, Ántonia is a committed advocate for greater visibility and equitable opportunities for women, LGBTQ+, people of color, and others who are underrepresented in the profession. She received a Master of Architecture from The University of Texas at Austin and a B.A. in Studio Art from Smith College.

Tracy W. Chan, Assoc. AIA, Senior Associate, joined ELS in 2014. Her work includes the new RH San Francisco, The Gallery at the Historic Bethlehem Steel, at Pier 70; the upcoming Veterans Memorial Senior Center in Redwood City; and the Kinesiology & Wellness Center at Cañada College. Tracy is the firm’s BIM Lead and oversees the BIM Resources Group and the BIM/Revit sector of the Design Technology group, through which she develops more efficient digital workflows. She helps the firm optimize its digital workflows and better integrate cutting-edge BIM practices on projects. As a designer, she leverages her experiences from conceptual design through construction administration, to rapidly test ideas through iterative design and visualization. She regularly represents ELS at Autodesk University, a week-long immersion event that addresses the integration of technology and Big Data into design. She received a Bachelor of Arts in Architecture with high honors with a minor in sustainable design from the University of California, Berkeley.

Beckie Denio, AIA, LEED AP, Senior Associate, joined ELS in 2022. She has over twenty years of project experience in a rich variety of work including mixed-use retail, municipal and community college libraries, commercial, multi-family, and aquatics. Beckie has been a licensed California architect since the late 1990s, receiving her LEED AP accreditation only a few years later. Since joining ELS, she has enjoyed helping the firm expand its sustainability practices. A strong believer in the power of mentoring, she is readily available to ELS’ younger designers seeking guidance. Beckie most enjoys working on community-oriented projects that fulfill a need while reflecting the user group’s vision of a successful future. Current projects include the Piedmont Community Pool. She received a Bachelor of Architecture from the University of Kansas.

Luke Ivers, AIA, NCARB, LEED Green Associate, Senior Associate, first joined ELS in 2015, returning in 2022, and has been instrumental to the design process on a variety of project types including education, sports and recreation, retail, and mixed use. A licensed architect, skilled technician and talented designer, Luke prepared key documentation for the College of Marin New Miwok Recreation and Aquatic Center, including refinement of conceptual schemes and presentation renderings. Luke has worked on similar projects through all phases of design, ranging from conceptual and schematic design to construction documents. As an Adjunct Faculty member of Diablo Valley College in Pleasant Hill, he has taught architecture courses on construction materials and methods. He received his Master of Architecture and his B.S. in Architecture from the University of Idaho.



Lily Hung, LEED AP BD+C, Associate, joined ELS in 2018. She has experience on numerous project types, including civic, historic, institutional, community, recreation, academic, commercial, and retail, and on project phases from design through completion. As project designer for the City of Berkeley’s on-call architecture contract, she worked on the renovation of Berkeley’s Live Oak Community Center, planning and concept design for the new Willard Park Clubhouse, and award-winning improvements to the city’s historic Rose Garden. Lily also performed construction administration on the insertion of classrooms, art rooms, and offices for Bonita House, a 4,500-sf, drop-in educational and social rehabilitation services day-use center in Berkeley. Lily received her Master of Architecture from the University of Florida, and a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Virginia.

Yeganeh Shams, Assoc. AIA, Associate, joined ELS in 2018. She is known to clients for innovative design concepts that bridge the gap between architecture and interior design. She has worked on various building types including historic, institutional, community, recreation, commercial, and retail, and on project phases from concept through completion. Her notable projects include RH San Francisco, The Gallery at the Historic Bethlehem Steel – the renovation of a historic building at Pier 70 for RH’s flagship San Francisco gallery. She was also the designer for the lobby and retail-banking portions of Fremont Bank’s new headquarters. Yeganeh’s graphic communication skills include creating professional renderings, 3D visualization, materials and inspiration boards, and visual communication diagrams and details. In 2021, she was nominated by UC Berkeley, her alma mater, to the National Society of Leadership & Success. She received a Master of Architecture from the University of California, Berkeley, and a Master of Interior Architecture and B.S. in Architecture from the University of Tehran.

Gavin Wall, Associate, joined ELS in 2011. He is experienced in all phases of the architectural process, from concept and schematic design through construction administration; he has also worked extensively on urban design projects. His latest projects include South San Francisco’s Orange Memorial Park Aquatics Center and the new Community Aquatics Center in Piedmont. He also worked on the College of Marin’s recently opened Miwok Center for Recreation and Wellness. Prior to joining ELS, Gavin was involved in multiple cultural and commercial projects throughout the country and internationally. Gavin received a Master of Architecture from the Southern California Institute of Architecture (SCI-Arc) and a Bachelor of Fine Arts from Pitzer College.

About ELS Architecture and Urban Design

ELS Architecture and Urban Design is an award-winning architectural practice with a 55-year tradition in the design of extraordinary buildings and spaces that enhance the experience of urban life while being mindful of the environment. The firm’s portfolio represents a diverse array of projects, including community and civic, recreation and sports, historic renovation, performing arts, education, mixed use, retail, sustainable design, and planning and urban design. ELS has ranked among the top 50 firms in the U.S. by Architect magazine for numerous consecutive years and is listed among the 2022 Architectural Record Top 300 Architecture Firms. We are honored to be the first firm in California to be awarded the JUST 2.0 label which represents our commitment to transparency, equity, and stewardship practices. For more information, please visit elsarch.com.

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