Building Connections Mentorship Program: Career Panel

TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 27, 2024 | 5:30 PM - 7:30 PM




Welcome to our Building Connections Mentorship Program Mid-Year Career Panel. You'll hear from 4 panelists and our moderator as they talk about how they got to where they are in their career and how mentorship may have helped get them there.


5:30 - 6:00pm Networking, food & drink

6:00 - 7:00pm Career Panel

7:00 - 7:30pm Close out panel discussion and any followup conversations


Steffi Reyes-Thomas, Founder & Chief of Holistic Spaces Design Consultancy

Steffi is an Afro-Chicana Holistic Designer and Artist. She is focused on wellness in the built-environment and regenerative practices as Founder & Chief of Holistic-Spaces Design Consultancy where she creates original spaces that are deeply social. She navigates between the realms of tangible and virtual, seamlessly crafting deeply personal experiences. Steffi offers energetic space clearing, climate discussion techniques, design assist, and holistic design literacy.



Susan Freed, Project Manager, Energy & Sustainability Division, County of San Diego

Over the past decade, Susan Freed has led the County of San Diego through groundbreaking sustainability firsts, steering its 11 million square foot and 1000+ building portfolio toward a climate positive future and solidifying the County as an exemplary decarbonization leader. Each year she not only establishes ambitious goals, but provides clear direction for cost-effective implementation, proving bold climate action is possible.

Susan has navigated challenges in creating public sector sustainability momentum, leveraging incentives and demonstrating financial savings to secure funding for lasting impact. A thought leader, she has presented at Greenbuild, Living Future, Net Zero Forum, and others.


Adria Fox, CEO @C4GS-ZEDlife, Visionary, ZERO Energy Developer, Curator of Genius

Ms. Fox is a community change agent, an innovative community strategist and zero energy developer - Dedicated to projects that create global impact, sustainability, and transformation in the lives of others.Her mission in life is to use her development, and strategic alliance strategies to collaborate and develop projects, programs, and companies that will affect the world for the next 100 years.

Adria is honored to work with amazing projects and companies - World Women Summit, California National Organization for Women, C4GS, Inland Empire Jazz Festival, The Nick Cannon Foundation, the National Education Awareness Tour, It's Your Turn, E-Women Network, the EPIC Mastermind Experience, California Curl Green, Tia Ross & Company, Youth Success Week - Oceanside, GroundWorks San Diego, Blue Ribbon Worldwide, and Motivating the Teen Spirit, just to name a few. 


Philip Bona, FAIA, Architectural Consultant

Through an impressive career spanning more than four decades, Philip Bona has participated in a broad range of architectural endeavors. It is Phil’s voice that has been loudest amongst architects in pursuit of a solution to California’s housing affordability crisis through his efforts in the “Housing the Next One Million” (HN1M) campaign, perhaps the most visible and comprehensive attempt yet to find solutions to California’s housing shortage. Phil helped start the San Mateo County Chapter of the AIA in 1983. Over the next 23 years, he served in practically every position available in the San Mateo chapter as well as on a myriad of committees. From 1983 to 1999 Phil led urban design charettes that became a part of “Housing the Next One Million".”

Phil was hired in 2009 by San Diego’s Centre City Development Corporation. (CCDC). While at CCDC he led the Downtown Education Task Force.

Phil served as president of San Diego’s AIA chapter, was on the AIACC board on thee occasions, and is now part of the national AIA strategic council. Through 2021 he is chairing the New Urban Agenda Task Force. Recently, he has been focused on resilience, regenerative design, and housing post-disaster. It is through such work that he believes architectures future may lie. His has been an exemplary lifetime of commitment to the betterment of the architectural profession and the communities it serves.



Jennifer Montgomery, Principal, Schmidt Design Group

Jennifer Montgomery is a Principal at Schmidt Design Group and has practiced landscape architecture in California for 18 years. She has devoted her career to sustainable landscape architecture practices and brings her passion for sustainability to her work on a wide variety of projects, from parks, trails, and master plans, to commercial and institutional facilities.

Jenn served as the project manager for Civita Park which has received 8 design awards since its completion. Credited as the first big step in what has been coined an “open-space renaissance” in Mission Valley, Civita Park features a number of terraced amenity sites including a central plaza and amphitheater, community gardens, dog runs, children’s play areas, and numerous public-art features.


Please see the Building Connections Mentorship Program webpage for more information about the program.


February 27, 2024 at 5:30pm - 7:30pm


DPR Construction Training Room
5010 Shoreham Pl
Suite 100
San Diego, CA 92122
United States
Google map and directions

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