CO Architects Promotes 21 Team Members for Exemplary Performance

Los Angeles Firm Recognizes 15 Percent of its Staff With Elevated Titles

(L-R) Principal Gina Chang, AIA, EDAC; Principal Alex Korter, AIA, RIBA, LEED AP BD+C; Associate Principal Tanner Clapham, AIA. Photos courtesy of CO Architects. Click here for high-resolution images.

LOS ANGELES: CO Architects, a leading design firm for healthcare, education, and research facilities, experienced double-digit growth in 2020. In addition to hiring 25 new employees, the firm awarded year-end promotions to 21 existing team members at all levels: Principal, Associate Principal, Senior Associate, and Associate.

“Our team adapted quickly to 2020’s challenges,” says Scott Kelsey, FAIA, Managing Principal at CO Architects. “They fluently adjusted to remote working conditions, producing surprising growth for the firm.”

New Principals at CO Architects are Gina Chang, AIA, EDAC, and Alex Korter, AIA, RIBA, LEED AP BD+C. Advancing to Associate Principal is Tanner Clapham, AIA. The firm’s new Senior Associates are Antoinette Bunkley, Assoc. AIA, LEED AP; Ben Bye; Margaret Freeny, Assoc. AIA, SHRM-CP; Sarah Holton, AIA, LEED AP; Sussan Movassagh, Assoc. AIA; and Liz Wheeler. Recently promoted to Principal from Associate Principal, Gina Chang, AIA, EDAC, joined CO Architects in 2007. An accomplished healthcare architect, Gina approaches each project as an opportunity to create an environment for healing and wellness. Her recent projects include the Koman Family Outpatient Pavilion at UC San Diego and Kaiser Permanente Medical Office Building in Irwindale, CA. Gina is active in several internal organizations: Women of CO, COInside, the CO Mentorship program, and CO University. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Architecture from the University of California, Berkeley.

Alex Korter, AIA, RIBA, LEED AP BD+C, was also promoted from Associate Principal to Principal. He joined CO Architects in 2005 and has practiced for more than 25 years in the United States and abroad. Alex currently leads the firm’s Building Façades Group, where his expertise has elevated CO to an industry leader in energy-efficient design, exemplified by the award-winning Cal Poly Pomona Student Services Building near Los Angeles and the Health Sciences Innovation Building at University of Arizona, Tucson. Alex received a Bachelor in Architecture degree from the University of Manchester in England and a Diploma in Architecture from the Glasgow School of Art in Scotland.

CO Architects’ newest Associate Principal is Tanner Clapham, AIA. Since joining the firm in 2012, Tanner has served as a project manager, designer, and project coordinator on a range of medical, educational, urban-planning, and mixed-use projects—including the new University of Arizona Health Futures Center in Phoenix. His work was previously featured at the International Architecture Biennale Rotterdam and published in the Cornell Journal of Architecture and Wired UK. Tanner earned his Bachelor of Architecture from the Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art in New York City.

Antoinette Bunkley, Assoc. AIA, LEED AP, was elevated to Senior Associate. She has more than 25 years of experience providing planning, design, and project management. Antoinette also leads CO’s new Justice, Equality, Diversity & Inclusion (JEDI) initiative. She holds a Bachelor of Architecture degree from the University of Southern California in Los Angeles. Also promoted to Senior Associate is Ben Bye, who joined CO in 2014 and contributes valuable design talents to medical education, higher education, and healthcare projects. Ben graduated from the University of Oregon in Eugene with a Bachelor of Architecture degree and a minor in Art History.

Human Resources specialist Margaret Freeny, Assoc. AIA, SHRM-CP, was also promoted to Senior Associate. She joined CO in 2002 as an accountant and is currently responsible for the firm’s benefits and personnel matters.

Newly promoted Senior Associate Sarah Holton, AIA, LEED AP, is an emerging leader at CO, specializing in K-12 education design. She joined the firm in 2015 and brings wide-ranging experience that includes residential and retail projects. Sarah holds a Master of Architecture from Harvard University Graduate School of Design in Cambridge, MA, and a Bachelor of Arts in Art History from Cornell University in Ithaca, NY.

Also elevated to Senior Associate is Sussan Movassagh, Assoc. AIA. An experienced designer, Sussan joined CO in 2016 and has worked on several healthcare and higher-education projects. She holds a Master of Architecture from Virginia Tech in Blacksburg and a Bachelor of Arts in Interior Design from Marymount University in Arlington, VA. Marketing Manager Liz Wheeler is another newly elevated Senior Associate. Since 2016, she has managed the firm’s proposal and qualifications processes, website, and other marketing efforts. Liz received a Bachelor of Arts in American Studies at Fordham University in New York City and a Master of Arts in American and New England Studies at Boston University. Additionally, CO Architects advanced 12 team members to Associate level: Jennifer Carter, AIA; Haley Davis, AIA, LEED AP BD+C; Elfa Gomez; Aaron Horst; Jo Jordan; Bryn Lowe; Charles McCollum; Nayeli Medina; Dominique Simmien; Nazli Tatar; Eddie Valdez; and Jennifer Wong, AIA, LEED AP BD+C.

About CO Architects

Los Angeles-based CO Architects is nationally recognized for architectural planning, programming, and design in the higher education, science and technology, and healthcare sectors, and works with leading institutions from coast to coast. CO Architects’ specialized expertise includes transformative schools of medicine and health professions, advanced research and teaching laboratories, and innovative clinical facilities on higher education, healthcare, and urban campuses. The firm has been nationally and internationally recognized with more than 175 awards for innovative design and project delivery, including the American Institute of Architects California’s Architecture Firm of the Year Award.

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