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Art project by J.C. Winship from 2011 Westerbeke Retreat

Newsletter | Sep/Oct 2011

Volume 39:5
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In this issue:
OWA Pods - Gabriela Chamu

OWA Annual Business Meeting, October 18, 2011, 6 - 9 PM

by Gabriela Chamu    |    Share #596

Location: San Francisco Design Center Showplace
2 Henry Adams Street
San Francisco, CA 94103

Please contact Gabriela Chamu @ or via phone (415) 722-1303 for any additional information about this venue.

Plan to attend the annual meeting. Meet old friends and make new ones. We will be voting on new members to the steering committee, the annual operating budget for 2012, and the venue for the 40th Anniversary Gala in 2013 as well as discussion on programming you would like to see for 2012. Here’s the agenda and information on the nominees. (Any questions or additions to the agenda, please contact Joanne Winship)

1. Approval of the addition of 4 New Steering Committee Members
2. Discussion and Approval of 2012 Operating Budget
3. Discussion and Approval of Venue and Operating Budget for 40th Anniversary Events in 2013
4. Status Report on Activity with the State
5. Discussion on Program Goals for 2012
6. Report out on activity of the committee pods: public service, media, business development, eco-village, book circles, mentoring program, and the 40th anniversary.
7. Other Business

Steering Committee Nominees
The following four members have volunteered to serve for the next two years, 2012 -2013: Eliza Hart, Rosemary Muller, Rachel Slonicki and Cameron White. They will be replacing Leslie Golden, Karlene Gullone, Gilda Puente-Peters and Joanne Chow Winship who have served for the past two years. Those Steering Committee members remaining for another year are Susan Aitken, Dede Tave, and Gabi Chamu.

ElLIZA HART, Architect, Planner

In addition to being a licensed architect, Eliza is expert in sustainable design and is a Green Point Rated™ Advisor. She is also skilled in urban design, geographic information systems, and computer modeling. Before forming Hart Wright Architects, Eliza was employed at Studio Bergtraun Architects, and before that at Sagan Piechota Architecture. She has worked on a variety of residential and commercial projects, including both remodels and new construction (supervising the latter from schematic design to construction documents to construction). She received her Master of Architecture and Master of Arts in Urban Planning from the University of California, Los Angeles, and earned her B.A. in Environmental Studies at the University of Pennsylvania.

Eliza’s Statement: I would like to serve on the steering committee as the newsletter coordinator. I believe being active in such a group will help with my resume of volunteer work. I also wish to get to know fellow members and to understand how the organization works. I am very organized and already am secretary and on the board of directors of a family company outside my architectural practice. I will use some of the skills developed from this endeavor for this organization.

ROSEMARY MULLER, Architect FAIA, Civil Engineer

Rosemary is a licensed Civil Engineer as well as Architect. Along with general expertise in architectural design and design team organization, she has special expertise in the following areas: Green Design (LEED™), Pre-design and Master Planning, Site Analysis and Design, Seismic Upgrade, Historic Preservation and K-12 Schools. She is president of Muller & Caulfield Architects. Rosemary is a graduate of Swarthmore College and the University of California, Berkeley. Current projects include the East County Hall of Justice and new fire station in Alameda County, and a master plan for 3 park buildings in Kensington. She has served on the State Seismic Safety Commission, and the Oakland landmarks Preservation Advisory Board.

Rosemary’s Statement: Now that I am finished serving on the Oakland Landmarks Board, I look forward to becoming active in the OWA again. I hope to get to know more members, as well as catch up again with the old timers. This will be my 3rd time on the OWA steering committee. The first was in 1973 or '74.


My name is T. Rachel Slonicki. In response to a request to recruit new steering committee members for the upcoming two years, I am volunteering to serve. I am licensed to practice architecture in the State of California and am a sole proprietor of Little Elephant Architecture. My architectural practice focuses on alterations, additions, remodels, repairs, and adaptive reuse of existing buildings. I became a member of the OWA, approximately in 1992, after moving to the San Francisco Bay area in the fall of 1991. I served on the steering committee between the years of 1994-1996 and acted as a liaison between the OWA and LEAADD between the years of 1997-2001. Cameron White and I currently co-chair the service pod.

My motivation to serve on the committee is to reciprocate the good will, knowledge, and opportunities that I have benefited from as a member of the OWA. I believe in supporting women and men as they pursue careers in the design and construction industry. Through collaboration with the other members of the committee, I hope to develop programming that members will find stimulating, educational, and promote creativity.


I am a Senior Project Manager working for Kaiser Permanente for the last 12 years. I went to UC Berkeley and got a Bachelor of Arts in Architecture, and I'm a Registered Architect in California. I've worked on primarily health care related projects, including hospital additions and new medical offices. In the last few years, I've focused on infrastructure projects and community involvement. In my work, I'm presently very involved in working with community groups, in efforts to improve diversity and in tracking our project's sustainable features. I'm working on Kaiser's Oakland Replacement, and I work with the City of Oakland a lot. I serve as a mentor to high school students as part of my work. I'm married and have two grown children and one grandchild. I've been in a jazz vocal group, and I like music and dance. I live in Berkeley.

I'm interested in being on the OWA Steering Committee because OWA has been an important influence in my life. It has shaped my view of architecture and how my work fits in. I've met many contacts and mentors, and have gotten jobs through OWA contacts. I love the annual retreats. I've been on the Steering Committee twice before, in the '70's and '80's. I'm interested in expanding mentoring. Working with students has been rewarding for me, and I see it as a way to increase women's participation in architecture and related fields.

From Iceland to the OWA Retreat at Westerbeke

by Alfa Freysdottir    |    Share #602

I want to start with thanking all the ladies that participated in this year's retreat. I really enjoyed my long weekend at the Westerbeke ranch.

As a student, I very much enjoyed seeing how strong of a network your organization is. You put an effort to help and support each other, for example those who were unfortunate to lose their jobs in the financial hardship, you share experience and give advices.

It was also heartwarming to see many year old friendships that have come about because of OWA. I found it also comforting to see that the design industry is not just a "dog eat dog" world where each person fights on its own, but rather a network where you help each other out. It is really a nice feeling to know that there is a strong network of experienced women willing to help you out in your first steps in the design world. It was comforting to listen to stories of success of OWA women.

I didn´t really know what to expect from this weekend but I can truthfully say that I was very surprised by the welcoming of everybody and I found the time I spent there both informative, relaxing and it was a lot of fun to get to know everybody and learn from their experience.

I look forward getting to know OWA women more in the future.

Annual Retreat at Westerbeke - Sustaining Places Slide Mosaic

by Christie Coffin    |    Share #595

Many thanks to all who submitted images that enlivened and deepened the discussion at the annual OWA Retreat. Participants submitted a very wide variety of images: Built , proposed and student work included buildings, landscapes, urban design, textures and materials, and just plain handsome places that sustain us on many levels including their durability.

Participants included: Alfa Freysdottir, Alicia Rosenthal, Amy Alper, Ann Wright, Betty Wu, Cameron White, Clare Axley, Deborah Klein, Eliza Hart, Jacqueline Morgan, Joanne Chow Winship, Judith Wasserman, Lamona Wood, Mui Ho, T. Rachel Slonicki, Sally Swanson, Sima Laleh, Susan Aitkin, Veronica Martin, Zahra Ghanimi, Danielle Campbell.


OWA Pods

by Gabriela Chamu    |    Share #597

owa visioning retreat

At the OWA Visioning Retreat on May 7th Rene Yung led OWA members in the creation of activity groups, or "energy pods", to implement member projects in the coming year. Each pod has a group leader and a goal. We would like to encourage OWA members to sign up with one of the pod leaders below and help bring their effort and talents to these interesting and worthy projects.

40th Anniversary Committee led by Gilda Puente-Peters

OWA Book Circle led by Wendy Bertrand
Our activities have been reported on the OWA newsletters and forum during 2011.
We are currently reading Women and the Making of the Modern House* by Alice. T. Friedman. More information is here.

Next meeting: November 10, 2011.

Included members:
Inge Horton
Leon Setti
Jamie Brown
Tammy Lin
Rachel Slonicki
Hourig Ayanyan
Shannon Devine

Back ups:
Merle Easton
Spring Friedlander
Pamela Wadsworth Goode

*This is the third book, and copies are available for any OWA member to borrow until we send them to design schools at the end of the year.
Any questions may be emailed to Wendy Bertrand .

Business Developmet led by Shannon Devine

Eco-Village led by Spring Friedlander

Mentoring Program led by Karlene Gullone

Public Service led by Cameron White and Rachel Slonicki

Media led by Leslie Golden

Pod leaders: Please remember to submit your Pod names along with a list of members (if available) to in order to update our members about current POD circulation and activities.

Women's Leadership Summit: Advancing Women in Leadership Positions

by Gabriela Chamu    |    Share #594

Date: September 23-24, 2011
Location: Kansas City, MO

The 2011 Women’s Leadership Summit is a 2-day conference for women already in positions of leadership. The Summit will focus on supporting women in leadership by providing a forum to recognize, inform, and champion the work being created by women in architecture.

Strengthen your brand and your network. Elevate your exposure and your reach. And grow your legacy beyond your practice.

Review the agenda for a more detailed look into what to expect during this energizing and inspiring Summit!

Summit Goals:
  • Raise the Profile of Women’s Leadership in the Profession
  • Promote the Design Work of Women
  • Explore New Paths to Leadership
  • Mentorship + Leadership Succession

    Registration is Now Open
  • Pre-Registration (before September 8): $175
  • Late Registration/Onsite: $225

    Kansas City Marriott Country Club Plaza (Host Hotel)
    4445 Main Street
    Kansas City, Missouri 64111

    For additional information visit the conference website.
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