Architecture Firm AO Elevates 35 Rising Stars, Including the Appointment of Two Partners & Three Principals

3/14/2022, 4:43 PM (Source: GlobeNewswire)

ORANGE, Calif., March 14, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) --  AO, a leading full-service architecture firm with design expertise spanning the full commercial real estate spectrum, announced the promotions of thirty-five team members including two new partners, three principals and one senior associate. The promotions acknowledge the long-serving leadership and commitment to AO’s success exhibited by each team member; and support the firm’s growth and expansion into new markets to serve sectors including science and technology, data centers, healthcare, public utilities, interiors, modular, affordable housing and senior living.

“The proven leadership and talent of AO’s recently promoted team members is exceptional. We are excited to recognize each of them for their individual achievements and contributions to the success of our firm,” said Rob Budetti, managing partner at AO.


  • Serafin Maranan Jr. plays an integral role in AO’s Multifamily and Mixed-Use studios, leading successful projects with a relationship-first approach and more than 25 years of architecture and design experience. A gifted public speaker and collaborator, Serafin has emerged as a trusted advisor, partnering with clients, developers, consultants, and cities to deliver dynamic communities throughout California and the Western US. He brings to each assignment a strong work ethic, fostering creativity and a growth mindset amongst the members of his team. He enjoys the process of design, believing that architecture is about the journey, experience, and evolution of community.
  • Known as Sammy to friends and colleagues, Samuel Saludo leads AO teams with more than 30 years of international design and management experience. His extensive portfolio includes design and master planning for world class retail, residential, resort, mixed-use, commercial, and lifestyle destinations. Sammy is a talented and accomplished designer who enjoys bringing each client’s vision to life through creative and innovative design solutions. He is a trusted leader and mentor, working closely with the next generation of AO talent to elevate design and redefine client service.


  • With more than a decade of experience, Ioanna Magiati leads multidisciplinary teams within AO’s Multifamily and Mixed-Use studios, specializing in market-rate, affordable, senior, and modular developments. She is a charismatic problem-solver with a passion for elevating the design vision of her clients and nurturing the success of her team. Ioanna is an avid researcher and lifelong learner valued for her strong project management and people skills, as well as her ability to foster trust and collaboration amongst developers, cities, designers, architects, and consultants. Ioanna is a member of the Urban Land Institute (ULI) and sits on the ARC Alumni Advisory Board for Cal Poly Pomona and the Design Professional Council for the Modular Building Institute (MBI).
  • With more than 23 years of experience in the architecture and construction industry, Rene Boggio leads multidisciplinary teams on some of AO's most high-profile commercial and residential assignments. His balanced approach relies on consistent communication and active listening to build a mutual understanding with clients and teams. As a result, he has a keen ability to effectively drive creative solutions for design and project management-related issues. Rene emphasizes a relationship-first approach, working in close partnership with clients to manage expectations, foster a collaborative team spirit, and deliver successful results on every project he undertakes.
  • A veteran architect and project manager, Jim Glina has more than 30 years of experience in the building industry as an architect, developer, and general building contractor. His expertise lies in the execution of high-quality design, product conceptualization, process management, risk management, contract negotiations, and market delivery. Jim is a trusted advisor, working with clients and colleagues to identify critical issues and implement effective solutions. An excellent communicator and delegator, Jim leads, builds, and motivates dynamic teams to deliver their best on each and every assignment.

Senior Associates

  • Ninad Chaukkar
  • Travis Gold, Architect, NCARB
  • Nakisa Heshmati, Architect, LEED AP BD+C
  • Duc Huynh
  • Paolo Leon, AIA, NCARB, MBA
  • Glenn Man, LEED AP ND
  • William Perkins, Architect, LEED AP
  • Roger Rozelle, Architect
  • Alan Sandoval
  • Pedram Shokati, Architect, LEED AP
  • Lalaine Tanaka, AIA, NCARB, LEED AP
  • Bryan Tessner, AIA, NCARB, LEED GA
  • Andy Thomas, LEED AP
  • Rodel Villanueva
  • Fred Walter, Architect, LEED AP
  • Ryan Yoshimoto


  • Shane Anderson
  • Damian Daniel
  • Steve Griego
  • Calvin Huang
  • Veronica Kim, NCARB
  • Francis Kwek
  • Ryan Labrum
  • Kai Lau, Architect, LEED AP
  • Brian McClusky
  • Korina Mempin
  • Jose Mendez
  • Maryam Mofakham, NCARB, LEED AP BD+C
  • Fred Tomas
  • Eddie Velasquez

“As a firm, we know that our team is our greatest asset and we appreciate their expertise, professionalism, and client service,” added RC Alley, managing partner at AO. “Above all, we thank them for their commitment to making AO better each day.”

About AO
AO is a relationship-focused, design-driven architectural, interior and planning services firm helping clients create places where people and business flourish. In its 46th year, the firm boasts diverse expertise across multifamily, retail, hospitality, mixed-use, science and technology, data centers, restaurant, healthcare, office, industrial, parking, landscape, interiors, global design, modular and transit-oriented development. AO is known for its ardent collaboration with developers and owners, and deep expertise across various building types. AO operates from offices in the cities of Orange, San Diego and Sunnyvale, California, and Atlanta, Georgia, where it serves clients across the Americas, Asia and beyond. Visit to learn more.

A photo accompanying this announcement is available at

Marisa Vallbona 

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