2020 SUMMIT SPEAKERS
Trystin Kier Francis is an award-winning multi-disciplined Architectural, Interior, and Production Designer, Writer, and Producer. This gifted artist founded the Kier Company a design and lifestyle brand in 2006 which is now the parent company to several subsidiary brands currently in development. He holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Communications from Benedict College, a diploma of Interior Design from the Interior Design Institute, and a Master of Architecture degree from the University of the District of Columbia.
He has worked on numerous independent films and television pilots and several projects in development. He is a past contributing designer to “House Calls” a featured column in the local living section of the Washington Post. He recently designed the first floor of the Mayoral residence of current D.C Mayor, Muriel Bowser. He is a recipient of the Envest Foundation’s 2013 top “40 under 40 in philanthropy, a recipient of the 2013 Washington City Paper’s Readers Poll Best of D.C. “Best Interior Designer” distinction, and is the recipient of the 2016 DC Hall of Fame Society “Capital Probe” award.
He was ranked among Washington, D.C.’s Black professionals in “Who’s Who in Black Washington”. He has appeared on the Oprah Winfrey Network (OWN) opposite comedic actress Kym Whitley on “Raising Whitley” and was a co-host on the District of Columbia Cable Network series “the O”. His clients include local and national politicians and some of the biggest names in entertainment.
Santasha Hart is driven by her desire to design thoughtfully, develop responsibly, and impact others greatly. She is an architect who is passionate about how design and community development intersect. Santasha sees herself as an ever-evolving student of design always working to broaden her capacity to innovate and produce relevant architecture. As architecture and interior design trends come and go, Santasha believes the need to respond with intentionality to the needs of the community and site with which a project is located will always remain. Her aim is to use elegant thought out design to restore communities and aid in their redevelopment so that the fabric of our once family oriented walkable urban neighborhoods can be restored.
Mr. Clark is a multi-discipline technical professional with a combined 10 years of experience in planning, architecture, building systems, and construction. He strives to bring a holistic approach to the planning, design, and construction of our built environment. Mr. Clark has obtained his Registered Architect license, Professional Engineer license, as well as his Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Accredited Professional certification. Mr. Clark is also a member of the American Institute of Architects. Mr. Clark is involved with design, building code compliance review, condition assessments, and analysis of new and existing building systems. Mr. Clark is highly motivated to foster relationships with new clients, as well as, cultivate and grow relationships with existing clients.
During his professional career, Mr. Clark has developed a variety of different skill sets at engineering, architecture, and construction firms. Through his different experiences, Mr. Clark has produced construction documents for permitting, bidding and construction; designed and detailed building systems and building materials; and completed energy audits. He is proficient in Virtual Design Construction (VCD)/Building Information Modeling (BIM) tools such as Revit, AutoCAD, and Navisworks.
Erica Williams is the entrepreneur behind The Design Bloc, a Florida-based design company working to further educate designers, create new dialogue in the design community, and provide professional design and consulting services. Her love for the arts as a child shifted from drawing, musical instruments, and painting to architecture during her junior year of high school. It was when she stumbled upon a PBS documentary highlighting architect, Zaha Hadid, and after that day she decided that she wanted to pursue architecture and design as a career path. Erica went on to attend the University of South Florida and received her Masters in Architecture graduating with the AIA Medal for Design Excellence and Leadership.
She started her career during the recession in 2009, so Erica moved from her hometown in Orlando to Washington DC to work at Gensler. She worked with Gensler for 6 years, and during that time she co-designed over 1.5 million sq ft of projects as a Technical Designer and served as one of the youngest Practice Area leaders for the regional Product Design group. So far throughout her 11+ year career, she has been on the design teams for high-profile projects like Mercedes Benz HQ, Boeing Defense HQ, Marymount University, Miami World Center – Block F, UBS, Starbucks cafe re-branding, and Capital One 360 cafes design concept.
In 2017, she decided to take the plunge to pursue her passion project The Design Bloc full time upon receiving a co-working grant from The Cambridge Innovation Center. The Design Bloc started just as a hobby and Instagram page back in 2014, but has grown to become much more. It is now a full service consulting firm for Interior Design and small business Branding. It focuses on 4 sectors: Design, Technology, Community, and Education. Design Life Smart, is Erica’s personal brand identity in which she reveals behind the scenes of The Design Bloc, her business ventures, travel, and life balance hacks. As a young, women of color, and first generation American, Erica knows her path has not been typical; So it’s now her mission to inspire other creatives to break out of their boxes and achieve their true potential by sharing her strategies through her courses, ebooks, and online tutorials. She believes we are all designers and architects of our lives…We just need the right blueprints and mentors to execute our plans.
For more on The Design Bloc and Erica Williams, you can follow both @thedesignbloc and Williams’ personal account: @designlifesmart on Instagram.
Dr. Anthony Jackson, Ed. D. is a college professor with ten years of experience working in student affairs at the collegiate and K-12 level. He has received multiple awards for his commitment to his students’ social environment. He is an intricate piece in the community where he provides his time and his knowledge as a mentor to students and peers alike.
Stay in touch with Dr. Anthony Jackson on LinkedIn at http://linkedin.com/in/dr-anthony-jackson-a8b8b9a3.
Stephen Michael Wilder is an Architect & Entrepreneur from Harlem, New York. Stephen is a very ambitious person who is rooted in creativity and the desire to do new things and improve upon existing things. Stephen is dedicated to using his status, resources, and influence to better his community and other similar communities.
For the last 6 years, Stephen has worked on building his architectural firm Think Wilder Architecture. In the competitive and detail oriented industry of architecture, there is not a day where Stephen is not juggling business, creativity and technology. Stephen plans to use his business as a platform that serves some of his life’s biggest desires. These include teaching the youth about business ownership and its benefits. He will also use his architecture firm to help change the way underserved people live, work and play.
He has professional affiliations with the National Organization of Minority Architects (NOMA) and the American Institute of Architects (AIA). Stephen has a Master’s degree in Science of Architecture from Carnegie Mellon University and a Bachelor’s Degree in Architecture from Howard University.
Melissa Daniel, Assoc. AIA, is an architectural designer based in Maryland. She has nine years experience as a Senior Designer on embassies, federal buildings and government facilities. For the past four years, she has been working on multifamily, residential and public housing. Most recently, Melissa was the recipient of the 2018 AIA Associates Award and hosts the podcast ‘Architecture is Political’.
Katherine Williams, AIA, NOMA, LEED AP is a licensed architect in Northern Virginia and currently a Senior Project Manager in Georgetown University’s Planning, Design and Construction office. Her career path includes work in traditional architecture firms, community development, and managing commercial construction for a general contractor. She restarted the Black Women in Architecture brunch in DC, an annual event, and also co-founded the Desiree Cooper ARE Scholarship.
Katherine served as chair of the AIA Housing and Community Development KC advisory group, the NOMA magazine editor, and was an Enterprise Rose Architectural Fellow in San Francisco. She was a recipient of the 2016 AIA Virginia Emerging Professionals award and the 2013 National Organization of Minority Architects President’s Award. She writes at katherinerw.comand is publisher/editor for archstories.com.
Kathryn Tyler Prigmore, FAIA, LEED AP BD+C has over 40 years of architectural experience as a practitioner, educator, and regulator. Her strong project management skills include an inimitable understanding of the dynamics that facilitate project delivery. Ms. Prigmore has provided design, technical oversight, and project management for award-winning projects of a wide range of sizes, types, and delivery methods – including those with sensitive and classified defense and federal missions. Notably, she was one of the first 20 African American Women registered to practice architecture in the United States, and was elevated to Fellowship in the American Institute of Architects (AIA) in 2002. Ms. Prigmore received her Master of Science in Engineering degree from The Catholic University of America and her Bachelor of Science in Building Sciences and Bachelor of Architecture degrees from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.
Kathy Denise Dixon, FAIA, NOMAC, LEED AP+ CDT, NCARB has been a contributor and respected leader in the architectural industry for nearly thirty years. She has been involved in every stage of the design and construction process and has experience in educational, commercial, residential and government projects. During her career, Kathy has worked in various organizational structures including corporate, institutional, federal government, non-profit, and private industry.
A graduate of Howard University’s School of Architecture, Ms. Dixon continued her secondary education at UCLA, matriculating with a Master’s degree in Urban Planning, with a focus on Housing and Community Development.
She is also the co-author of the book titled “The Business of Architecture: Your Guide to a Financially Successful Firm” published in December 2017.
Ms. Dixon has been certified by the USGBC’s Leadership in Energy and Environment Design Program (LEED AP), the National Council of Architectural Registration Boards (NCARB), as well as CSI’s Certified Documents Technologist (CDT) program. She is licensed as an architect in Maryland, Virginia, the District of Columbia, Georgia, Pennsylvania, and New Jersey.
Kathy served as National President of the National Organization of Minority Architects (NOMA) from 2012-2014 after serving for six years as the Northeast Region Vice-President. She was inducted into the NOMA Council (NOMAC) as an advisor to NOMA. Ms. Dixon is active in her church as a Trustee and is also an Assistant Professor in the Department of Architecture and Urban Sustainability at the University of the District of Columbia in Washington, DC. Ms. Dixon was elevated to the College of Fellows in the American Institute of Architects (AIA) in 2017.
As principal of Roberta Washington Architects, PC , Washington has overseen the designs of multiple housing, educational and health care projects and cultural centers including the African Burial Ground Interpretive Center. Witharchitectural degrees from Howard University and Columbia University, she is a past president of the National Organization of Minority Architects, a fellow of the AIA and a former NYCLandmarks Preservation Commissioner. Washington researches, writes and lectures about early black architects in New York and black women architects with biographies appearing in The Biographical Dictionary of African-American Architects, 1865-1945 (the book) and BWAF’s Pioneering Women of American Architecture (online)