February 19 @ 3:00 pm - 5:00 pm
February 26 @ 8:15 am - 9:30 am
March 8 @ 4:00 pm - 6:00 pm
Janice Szymanski has been a member of AIAPV since 2013. Wanting to explore a better way to connect with other professionals, Janice started her involvement with the AIAPV Programs committee and Awards committee. She joined the board of Directors in 2014 and became President-Elect in 2015.
When asked what she was looking forward to as the 2016 President for AIAPV, Janice replied: “I am looking forward to helping better serve our membership and our communities. My hopes are to strengthen the communications and relationships between members and firms in our chapter and to also help raise public awareness for the profession. I’m also excited about the chapter’s commitment to helping architecture students and those who are new to the profession.”
Janice attended the University of Cincinnati from 2004 to 2008 where she received her Bachelors of Architecture. She continued her studies at Cincinnati from 2008 to 2010, where she also earned her Master of Architecture degree. In 2010 she joined AmeriCorps and mentored elementary and high school students for Cincinnati Public Schools. Since 2011, Janice has worked at Grimm + Parker Architects in Calverton, MD. As a Project Architect in Grimm + Parker’s Educational Studio, Janice currently is working on multiple elementary school and other professional documents such as Educational Specifications, Feasibility Studies, and Masterplans. She has a deep rooted passion, stemmed from her time working for AmeriCorps, for creating spaces that inspire students to learn and grow.
In her spare time Janice enjoys perusing other various creative outlets. She has recently taken oil painting, hand building ceramics, and sewing classes. If she’s not doing art or architecture you can find her spending quality time with her husband (Brian) and her cat (Meowmers).
Thomas Wallof is excited about the challenge of moving into leadership as our chapter’s president-elect, and is particularly interested in Potomac Valley’s educational programs and outreach within the architectural community.
Thomas received his Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Architecture from the University of Florida, and has experience in both workplace and commercial design. His primary expertise is with corporate and federal agency headquarters development, including secure/mission critical facility design work with GSA, USACE and the Pentagon. Concerning design, Thomas says he “aims to find a beautiful design logic at the intersection of art and technology while maintaining an ecological consciousness and providing worthwhile additions to the built environment.” He is a LEED-Accredited Professional with a focus on New Construction, proficient in Autodesk Revit, Programming, Schematic Design, Specification Development, Document Management and Construction Administration. Thomas has worked as an intern at RBK Architects in Tampa, Florida, as a designer at RTKL Associates in Baltimore, and as a project architect at Edifice Solutions in Beltsville. In November 2015, he began a new stage of his career with LSY Architects in Silver Spring.
Joe Lai first became involved with AIA Potomac Valley as a member of the Programs Committee. Joe was elected to the AIAPV board in 2012 as Associate Director, where he established the chapter’s first Committee for Emerging Professionals. He became active at the national level as well, serving first as Mid-Atlantic Regional Representative to the National Associates Committee (NAC), then as Chair. In 2016, Joe will continue his work for Emerging Professionals as part of the AIA Strategic Council.
Joe is an Associate with Perkins Eastman’s DC office. Previously, he was worked at Torti Gallas and Partners and Wiencek +Associates. At Wiencek, Joe worked on several multi-family projects—including Wheeler Terrace and The Vista at Edgewood Terrace—that have transformed neighborhoods and communities in DC. In addition to affordable housing, he also had the opportunity to collaborate with Adjaye Associates on the Francis Gregory and Lockridge Bellevue DC Public Libraries, both of which were opened in the summer of 2012.
Originally from Taiwan, he attended Tulane University in New Orleans where he received both his Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Architecture. He became licensed in 2013.
Tom Nyein has served as Treasurer of the AIAPV board since 2008. He also works with the chapter’s Communications Committee and provides much of the event photography used on this website and in other chapter publications.
Tom has been providing architectural design and construction management services for projects in the Washington, D.C. Metro area, Maryland, Northern Virginia, Illinois and Pennsylvania since 2008. The diverse range of projects include religious facilities, restaurants, dental offices, supermarkets, retail and warehouse facilities, residential new construction and modifications.
He began his career in 1989 at ArchGroup, Inc. working his way up from Assistant Architect to Construction Manager. Tom then spent 15 years with Phoenix Land Design, Inc. first as a Planner, later moving to a Project Manager position, where he served as primary contact for clients ranging from builders and developers to individual property owners, provided site design services for projects ranging from single and multifamily subdivisions, town homes, mixed use developments, religious and institutional facilities to individual properties.
Originally from Myanmar (Burma), Tom attended Mandalay University and the Rangoon Institute of Technology, where he received his Bachelor’s degree in Architecture. He received his NAAB accreditation for licensing in Architecture from Virginia Tech University.
Immediate Past President
Renee Brooks Catacalos joined AIA Potomac Valley as executive director in June 2013. She was previously deputy director of the regional nonproﬁt Future Harvest – Chesapeake Alliance for Sustainable Agriculture. Her nonproﬁt and trade association experience also includes managing marketing and communications at the Houston Association of Realtors, representing nonproﬁts and trade associations as a senior public relations agency executive, and serving on a number of nonproﬁt boards in the DC area including ECO City Farms and FRESHFARM Markets. Her professional background also includes several years as publisher of the food magazine Edible Chesapeake, as well as stints as a consular officer with the U.S. Foreign Service and deputy chief of protocol for the City of Houston, Texas. She is a native of Washington, DC, a graduate of the University of Virginia, and a current resident, with her husband and two teenagers, of Prince George’s County, Maryland.