Newsletter | Oct/Dec 2023

Editor's Note:

by Mui Ho

The highlight of the year for our organization has always been our annual retreat in September. This year, it was, as usual, very successful under the leadership of Rachel Slonicki and the Retreat Committee. A resilient economy and the housing boom has meant that the building industry is in good shape. This was the first time in quite a while that it seemed all members attending were securely employed (if not already enjoyably retired!).

Hana Mori as usual had brought some of her students, a very good way to introduce young women to the organization. Some women may feel that a women's group is less important in an age where the status of men and women professionals are more equal or, in fact, where gender itself has become more fluid. While it's origin 50 years ago was to support women in a male-dominated field, the organizaton still serves a useful purpose. I always encourage our members to join the AIA or other building industry related groups if they can earn from their programs or making connections. But professional support and development can take many forms, and the camaraderie in belonging to the OWA is one of them.

The weather was most cooperative. It was warm but not hot and sunny all through the weekend. I remember we had some rainy, chilly September retreats, restricting our activities only to indoor events. Being able to spread out and enjoy the environment is essential for this beautiful location.

Rachel at work during retreat

Legacy presentation

There were thirteen presentations on Saturday and Sunday.
Amy Shu Chang
Christie Coffin
Janet Crane
Jiane Du
Dilara Karademir
Leslie Moldow
Marjan Rezvani
Marda Kwan Stothers
Sima Tawakoli
Alex Vondeling
Cammy White

Members at the legacy presentation

HOK Office Tour and Talk

July 25, 2023

Saturday Night Music and Dance

by Debbie Kline
The group is Duo Gadjo plus a cellist Susanne Porte that evening. Isabel the singer is French. Her husband Jeff Magidson is American. They met in France and are based in Martinez. They specialize in Django Reinhardt style gypsy jazz and old French standards made famous by Trenet, Piaf and others. With the class before the dance using the group's songs to learn foxtrot, lindy hop , jitterbug and Charleston, we had some moves to work with and lively beats to inspire us.

I've been following the group for around a year and learning the songs since the start of the pandemic an open class in French Cafe Sonas through the Freight and Salvage in Berkeley. Other members in OWA have also been listening to them and love their music.

Landscape Presentation by Leslie Golden

by Gilda Puente-Peters

On Saturday August 18, our membership had organized a Landscape Presentation from our members and we were delighted to have our accomplished landscape architect with do plus years of experience Leslie Golden to present some principles of Landscape Architecture, including sustainable landscape design applied to several of Leslie’s projects. Some of the projects presented were the Downtown San Leandro promenade project, the Laurel Gateway, 12 Street Lake Merritt waterfront park upgrade, Concord Bart Station upgrades as well as the Google Campus landscape upgrades.
The members also enjoyed a delicious pod-luck lunch at Gilda Puente-Peters newly renovated backyard garden after the presentation. It was a wonderful time getting to know Gilda's family as well as other members' family, savoring good food, having lively conversations, networking and above all a relaxing afternoon in a dream setting. 

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