LPA Announces Promotions and Expands Diverse Leadership Team

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Multidiscipline Design Firm Elevates Architects, Interior Designers, Engineers, Landscape Architects and Technology Leaders to Key Firm Roles

Top row from left to right: Franco Brown, Kate Mraw, Bryan Seamer; Bottom row from left to right: Charles Williams, Kari Kikuta, Julian Watt

“These individuals are designing and innovating at the top of their profession and their diverse perspectives will help guide our firm into the future,” says LPA CEO and Chief Talent Officer Wendy Rogers.

LPA Design Studios has announced several promotions across the integrated firm’s disciplines and studios, as it continues to develop a diverse leadership team to guide the company for the next generation.

The recent promotions include four new Principals, and two new Associate Principals, who will help steer the firm’s direction and participate as owners. The new Principals are Franco Brown, a leading designer in education and healthcare; Kate Mraw, a thought leader in education; Bryan Seamer, the Director of Structural Engineering; and Charles Williams, an architect who leads the firm’s Project Delivery Practice. Kari Kikuta, the Director of Landscape Architecture, and Sacramento Studio Director Julian Watt, are the new Associate Principals.

In addition, David Eaves, who has helped guide the design process for dozens of transformative K-12 campuses, was named Studio Director of the Irvine education studio.

“It is always our goal to recognize and support the exceptional talent in the firm,” says LPA CEO and Chief Talent Officer Wendy Rogers. “These individuals are designing and innovating at the top of their profession and their diverse perspectives will help guide our firm into the future.”

LPA has created a unique culture that seeks to inspire young designers and remove the traditional practice hierarchy, creating an environment that supports equity, education and personal growth. The result is a prototype for a diverse firm. Forty-six percent of the staff are women and 41 percent are racially and ethnically diverse—well above the national levels for architecture firms. Fifty percent of the staff have been at LPA for more than 10 years; many more than 25 years, including Rogers, who started as an intern.

“We believe diversity and inclusion are essential to innovation, belonging and representation,” Rogers says.

LPA is active in schools and universities promoting careers in building design. In December, the firm launched the LPA Interdisciplinary Diversity Scholarship Program, a renewable scholarship to encourage and inspire future designers. The program is accepting applications from high school seniors in California and Texas through January 29. For more information: https://learnmore.scholarsapply.org/lpa/

New Principals

Franco Brown, Design Director, is the lead designer for some of LPA’s most challenging and complex education and healthcare projects.

Kate Mraw, Design Director, leads LPA’s education interior design team, bringing a research-based approach to improve the learning experience for students.

Bryan Seamer, Director of Structural Engineering, leads a team of innovative structural engineers to create safe, high-performing, cost-effective and more resilient built environments.

Charles Williams, Project Delivery Director, leads LPA’s efforts to develop tools that promote better design, productivity and insight on project progress.

New Associate Principals

Kari Kikuta, Director of Landscape Architecture, shapes the landscape architecture on site-focused projects and oversees the growth and organization of the discipline in the firm.

Julian Watt, Sacramento Studio Director, is bringing new talent to the Sacramento studio and helping to recharge downtown Sacramento.

New Associates

  • Andrew Christiansen, Design Director, Civil Engineering
  • Debra Fox, Project Designer, Lighting Design
  • Nicholas Kramer, Design Director, Inspired Design
  • Stephanie Matsuda-Strand, Project Designer, K-12
  • Melody Tang, Project Architect, Civic + Cultural
  • Matthew Winter, Director, Mixed-use
  • Jeffrey Yamamoto, Managing Director, Landscape Architecture


Founded in 1965, LPA specializes in creating innovative environments that work better, do more with less and improve people’s lives. An integrated design firm with six studios in California and Texas, LPA’s team includes more than 400 in-house architects, master planners, engineers, interior designers, landscape architects and research analysts, working across a wide array of sectors. For more information, visit lpadesignstudios.com.

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