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AIA Kansas is a registered provider of AIA-approved continuing education under Provider Number A086. All registered AIA CES Providers must comply with the AIA Standards for Continuing Education Programs. Any questions or concerns about this provider or this learning program may be sent to AIA CES ( or (800) AIA 3837, Option 3). Learning programs that have been approved are registered with AIA CES for continuing professional education. As such, they do not include content that may be deemed or construed to be an approval or endorsement by the AIA of any material of construction or any method or manner of handling, using, distributing, or dealing in any material or product. AIA continuing education credit has been reviewed and approved by AIA CES. Learners must complete the entire learning program to receive continuing education credit. AIA continuing education Learning Units earned upon completion of this course will be reported to AIA CES for AIA members. Certificates of Completion for both AIA members and non-AIA members are available upon request.

My name is Otto Chanyakorn. I was born in a rural area of northeast Thailand. Growing up in the farmland of my father, I spent most of my childhood outdoors, which influenced me to love Plein Air painting.


Earning my undergraduate degree in architecture in Thailand and a master’s degree in the US has led me to work in the field of architecture. I currently work as an assistant professor at Kansas State University. Combining my love of painting and my educational background is my approach to painting and creative work. In parallel with my digital skills, my current focus is teaching students to use freehand drawing and watercolor painting to aid the architectural design process.


In 2020, I was awarded the Gabriel Prize by Western European Architecture. Recently, the Civita Institute awarded me the 2023 Drexler Family Diversity Fellowship. In addition to developing my creative work and research, I regularly conduct workshops on drawing and painting to enhance design thinking and creativity. I was recently invited to conduct the workshop for the LABash 2023, the Landscape Architecture Conference.

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Otto Chanyakorn
Assistant Professor

Otto Chanyakom

William Robarge, AIA, is a licensed architect and Associate Partner at TreanorHL Architects, a national architecture and design firm headquartered in Lawrence, Kansas.  

Will is a graduate of the University of Kansas where he earned both his Bachelor of Arts in Architecture with a minor in Latin American Studies, and his Master’s in Architecture. 

Growing up in a military family, Will lived much of his early life in various Latin American countries, including areas affected by extreme-weather events. Through this experience, he gained a deep respect for the first responders and volunteers who came to assist communities in crisis by providing disaster response and recovery services.  


With a passion for helping in recovery efforts close to home, Will joined the Kansas Disaster Assessment Program in 2008, deploying to assist with various damage assessments of facilities and structures affected by tornados, flooding and severe storm events in Kansas. 


Will served on the AIA National Disaster Assessment Committee for two years and has also volunteered to serve on the AIA Kansas Disaster Assistance Committee as the State Disaster Coordinator.  Will also became certified as a disaster Safety Assessment Program (SAP) trainer and registered with the California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services (Cal OES).  

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Will Robarge, AIA
Associate Principal

Will Robarge

Lakisha Ann Woods, CAE, is the EVP/Chief Executive Officer of the American Institute of Architects (AIA), a dynamic global network of more than 96,000 architects and design professionals throughout 200 chapters committed to enhancing the built environment. 
Woods previously served as President & CEO of the National Institute of Building Sciences (NIBS) where she led efforts to expand the organization’s programs and markets while growing and strengthening its membership base. 

Prior to joining NIBS, she was the Sr. VP & Chief Marketing Officer at the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB), where her team was responsible for all marketing and revenue-generating programs – including marketing the International Builders Show, sponsorship sales, and partnerships with major national companies. 

Woods is the author of the book Never Get Their Coffee: Empowering Fearless Leadership and currently serves as Immediate Past Chair of the Board for the American Society of Association Executives (ASAE). She also currently serves on the Board of Trustees for the National Building Museum, the Board of Visitors for the University of Maryland School of Architecture, previously served as Vice Chair of the U.S. Green Building Council Board of Directors and is a global speaker. She holds a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Maryland in College Park and lives with her husband and daughter in Howard County, Maryland.

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Lakisha Woods, CAE AIA
EVP/Chief Executive Officer

Lakisha Wood

Paul Cloutier is a designer and entrepreneur who is focused on rebuilding local economies and creating impactful destinations. After 25 years in the design industry, Paul moved back home to Kansas to help found A Bolder Humboldt a development organization that is revitalizing Humboldt Kansas, population 2000. We are creating the town we want to live in, and working hard to show young creative ambitious people that there are opportunities in rural America.

About A Bolder Humboldt

A Bolder Humboldt is an organization in Humboldt Kansas focused on the commercial, economic, and community development of our 2000 person town. We have worked to restart the economic engine of our community by supporting new businesses, home building, encouraging new residents and bringing the community together. It all starts with creating experiences that remind people that there are incredible opportunities in our rural places. We see people from all over the world come visit here, and our efforts have been featured as one of the New York Times 52 Places to Visit in 2022, The Kansas City Star, and NPR. We were also recognized by the AIA for our Fitness Center building with Hufft.

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Paul Cloutier

Paul Cloutier

Steven Ehrlich is Founding Partner of Ehrlich Yanai Rhee Chaney Architects, recipient of the 2015 American Institute of Architects (AIA) Firm Award. The jury recognized the firm for “fluidly melding classic California Modernist style with multicultural and vernacular design elements by including marginalized design languages and traditions.”  The practice’s signature approach known as “Multicultural Modernism” creates meaningful architecture through environmentally conscious designs, cultural meaning and advances in technology and materials.
Ehrlich, a self-proclaimed “architectural anthropologist,” learned early on the significance of architecture’s response to the culture and to the environment. Upon graduating from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Ehrlich spent six years in the 1970s living and working in Africa, serving for two years with the Peace Corps as their first architect in Marrakech, Morocco; he later traveled across the Sahara and taught architecture at Ahmadu Bello University in Nigeria. The wisdom of indigenous building—architecture without architects—was instrumental in forming Ehrlich’s approach to design and continues to influence the firm’s work today.  Now joined by five partners with diverse personal backgrounds and experiences, EYRC is a vibrant collaborative practice committed to creating architecture that is globally relevant. 
In addition to the Firm Award, the widely published practice counts nine national AIA design awards to its credit, and Steven Ehrlich is a recipient of the AIA California’s prestigious Maybeck Award for outstanding lifelong achievement in architectural design as well as the 2015 AIALA Gold Medal Award. He has lectured and taught as a visiting professor both nationally and abroad, and has intermittently taught at USC for over 35 years. Steven Ehrlich is currently the Ekdahl Family Visiting Professor at Kansas State University.

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Steven Ehrlich, FAIA, RIBA
Founding Partner

Steven Ehrlich

Kimberly Dowdell is a licensed architect and frequent speaker on the topic of architecture, leadership, diversity, sustainability and the future of cities. In her recently completed term as the 2019-2020 national president of the National Organization of Minority Architects (NOMA), she worked closely with her board of directors and staff to increase opportunities for women and people of color to gain more equitable access to the building professions. She also more than doubled the organization’s membership and significantly raised NOMA’s profile during her two years in office.


Kimberly’s career aspirations are rooted in her upbringing in Detroit, where she was initially driven to utilize architecture as a tool to revitalize cities. She earned her Bachelor of Architecture at Cornell University and her Master of Public Administration at Harvard University. Her professional experience has spanned from architecture to government and teaching to real estate development.


Kimberly is currently a Principal in the Chicago studio of HOK, a leading global design firm. She co-founded the SEED Network in 2005 and has been a LEED accredited professional since 2007. In 2022, Kimberly was elected to serve as the 2024 National President of the American Institute of Architects (AIA). She was also elected to the Cornell University Board of Trustees. Kimberly’s overarching mission is to improve people’s lives, by design.


Kimberly Dowdell, AIA
2024 President

Kimberly Dowdell

As an aspiring architect turned code consultant, Gary approaches the practice of consulting by seeking to empower architects to creative yet compliant code solutions. The process of maturing a project from an idea to a built reality is one that requires the architect to translate their design into a language that the building official is trained to understand – the language of the International Building Code. Often, the nuances of this language can appear to be overly restrictive against the architectural agenda, leading to costly and consequential design changes in the name of “code compliance.” Speaking the language of not only the architect but of the IBC allows Gary to advocate for the ambitions of the architect while simultaneously satisfying the expectations of the jurisdiction.


Gary serves as an Architectural + Accessibility Code Consultant for EPM in the Kansas City metro area. Prior to moving to Kansas City to lead EPM’s expansion into the Heartland, Gary served as a lead code consultant within the North Carolina office. His experience includes code consulting within projects ranging from 40-story mixed-use, high-rise developments to adaptive reuse of historic 1-story buildings. With experience across nearly every project type and within jurisdictions of all sizes and temperaments, Gary bridges the gap that can commonly coincide with the permit review process. In addition to being a code consultant, Gary serves as a code educator through his “Code Cohort” program. This program seeks to equip architects in the IBC through an eight-module track. In 2023, 150+ architects across Kansas City were trained by Gary toward a working knowledge of the IBC for an architect’s day to day responsibilities.


Originally from rural south-central Kansas, Gary attended Kansas State University where he received his Master of Architecture degree. He and his wife live in Overland Park, KS where they currently enjoy scouting the city’s best local restaurants when not buried in home renovations.

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Gary Fike, Assoc. AIA
Code Consultant

Gary Fike
Drew andBrian

Matt serves as the Director of Marketing of Dimensional Innovations. He is responsible for forging client relationships to enhance the project experience, overseeing MarTech platforms, developing go-to-market strategies, elevating brand awareness, and driving growth. He also oversees sales enablement processes and content creation to enhance the sales cycle for all eight practices.
After his eight-year professional baseball career came to a close, Matt hung up his cleats and started a new chapter in advertising. His decade-plus experience includes working with clients such as the Las Vegas Convention and Visitor’s Authority, Wendy’s, Gatorade, 3M, DICK’S Sporting Goods and Intel. 
When he’s not collaborating on the next never been done before project or trying to help close the next big project, you’ll likely find him coaching on the diamond or cheering on his son or daughter from the stands.   

Chris is a creative and technical visionary and leader with over two decades of experience in the concept, strategy and execution of design and interactive experiences. His immersive digital experience work spans stadiums, museums, galleries and events, for such diverse clients as the University of Kansas, YouTube, LEGOLAND, LA Clippers, Minnesota Vikings and Chicago Cubs to name a few.


Having spoken at conferences such as Eyeo and DSE and lectured at the Kansas City Art Institute on interactive installation, creative coding frameworks and interaction design, Chris is passionate about empowering teams of artists and technologists to create truly mind-blowing work. He’s also a talented digital artist whose work has been viewed and experienced by tens of thousands throughout the Kansas City area.

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Matt Smith
Director of Marketing

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Chris Riebschlager
Director of Creative Technology

Eddy Tavio is a Senior Associate and Project Designer at Populous. He holds a Master of Architecture from the University of Kansas and is a LEED Green Associate with expertise in sustainable design. His work spans a variety of project types including higher education, civic buildings, campus and urban master plans, and sports and entertainment facilities. Eddy leads a senior-level urbanism studio at the University of Kansas where he and his students study the patterns of community and entertainment focused mixed-use developments and work with stakeholders to envision future development across the country with the broad goal of enriching and reinvigorating the American city.


Eddy focuses on conceptual design and innovative thinking to help clients see the future possibilities for their buildings and surrounding developments. He excels at the intersection of architecture, design and technology – looking at the seamless integration of digital tools as a way to both organize and streamline the design process, and ultimately communicate complex ideas in accessible ways. He also works closely with our brand activation team, contributing to experiential design efforts that help craft compelling stories for brands, teams, and cities. In 2020, he was honored by his alma mater with the KU School of Architecture and Design Young Architect Award and in 2021, he was interviewed by Sports Business Journal as one of “5 Architects to Know.”

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Eddy Tavio, AIA
Senior Associate Architect

Eddy Tavio

Rebecca Buford joined Tenants to Homeowners as the Associate Director in 2001. While in that position, the organization developed 24 homes. Rebecca helped administer the city’s HOOT Program, a first-time home buyer program that put 248 working class Lawrence families into ownership opportunities using federal funding and local partnerships. In 2004, she spearheaded the coordination of the homebuyer program’s transformation into a Community Housing Trust Program, the first in the state of Kansas.  In 2005, she became the Executive Director and since has overseen TTH’s building of 104 new homes in twelve developments, the completion of 106 acquisition/ rehabilitation projects, and the continued stewardship of 191 units in the permanently affordable housing trust.  Rebecca manages the 10 million in assets that TTH has worked to build over its 30-year history. This includes annual audits, property management, applications for funding, and housing development.

Under Rebecca’s tenure, TTH expanded its rental management to include 127 units. Along with affordable family rentals, TTH’s portfolio includes 20 LIHTC units for people with disabilities, 38 senior units in Lawrence and Baldwin, 10 rentals for domestic violence survivors, 3 units for young adults aging out of foster care, and 17 units for those in transition who may need wrap around services.


TTH is a nonprofit partner in another 132 units of Low-Income Housing Tax Credit developments. TTH also provides the LCHT Program’s homebuyer education classes, stewards the ever-growing housing stock by advocating for owners regarding taxes, maintenance and financing, and works with community partners to develop future sustainable housing opportunities in Lawrence.


Rebecca Buford
Executive Director

Rebecca Buford
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