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Board Nominees

Introducing Our 2018 Board Nominees



Nominee:  Michael Dern, AIA


Dern Architecture + Development, PC


Michael Dern, AIA is currently the Owner of Dern Architecture + Development. The       firm’s portfolio includes architectural design and project management for mix-use, corporate workplace, retail and custom residential projects. The firm has served in a broad array of public and private-sector clients, bringing a hands-on, and a collaborative design approach to each project.

He presently serves as the current Treasurer on the Board of Directors and Chair for  the Continuing Education Committee.   

Michael received a BARCH in Architecture and Minor in Construction Management at Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo. He pursued additional training at the Denmark International Study Program in Copenhagen, Denmark. While working throughout the SF Bay Area, Michael was an associate of HKS Architects, Inc. and in 2008 started his own architectural practice. Dern Architecture + Development is located in Los Gatos.

As President I will continue building on the success of our Chapter and community which our members enjoy. I see a great opportunity to share my broad experience as an architect and past director of AIA Central Valley to help the AIA Silicon Valley Chapter achieve many of the goals expressed in the Chapter’s Strategic Plan. Our advocacy for a better environment and promotion of our architects is essential to shaping the future of the AIA Silicon Valley. Accepting this challenge will raise public awareness of our value as professionals. It would be an honor to continue to serve on the board and aid in that mission.



VICE PRESIDENT/PRESIDENT-ELECT 2017 (succeeds to presidency in 2019)

Nominee: Sharon Refvem, AIA, LEED Fellow


Hawley Peterson & Snyder


Sharon Refvem is a Senior Associate and Director of the Sustainability Resource Group at Hawley Peterson Snyder (HPS), a current member of the AIA Silicon Valley Board of Directors, Board Liaison to the Women in Architecture Committee, and member of AIA-California Council COTE. She has served as Project Architect and/or Sustainability Lead on a number of award winning projects for the Packard, Hewlett, and Moore Foundations, UC Santa Cruz, Google, and Kaiser Permanente. She is a founding member and past President of U.S. Green Building Council - Northern California. Prior to joining HPS, she practiced architecture in Switzerland and taught at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH) in Zurich. Sharon is a Bay Area native with a BArch degree from the University of Oregon and master’s degree from ETH. 


This is a particularly pivotal time for architects in California as we take on the challenge of delivering ZNE projects by 2020/2030. I hope to have the opportunity to serve the chapter as Vice President and President-Elect during this transition by continuing to share the insights that I have gained through my years of practice and volunteer leadership.



Nominee: Noel Cross, AIA


Noel Cross+Architects


Noel received his Bachelor of Architecture, Cum Laude in 1986, licensed in 1987 and Noel Cross+Architects was founded in 1990.  Mr. Cross has been working in the architecture and construction industry for the past 38 years.  The five-person firm's main focus is in custom residential and ecologically sustainable design, having been involved in the design and construction of several hundred new home and addition/remodel projects in the past twenty years, as well as several historical rehabilitation projects. 


Our mission is to create “Shelter for the Soul” - we design environments that support our client’s lives and lifestyles, enhance their well-being, and inspire their self-expression.  Our commitment is that people absolutely love where they live, work, and play, and that they truly enjoy the process of designing and building their vision.




Nominee: Missy Mirkovski, AIA, LEED AP


 IBI Group Architecture and Planning


Missy is an architect with IBI Group, native of Macedonia (Europe). Received her Bachelor of Architecture from the University of Skopje and is LEED accredited.


Since 1990 Missy has provided complete architectural services for designed and built projects, been responsible for a diverse range of projects including hi-tech, biotech, retail, and educational, civic and healthcare types of projects for numerous types of commercial clients, public sector clients in the greater Bay Area. Most projects included project programming, master planning, feasibility studies, preparation of construction documents and construction administration. Missy is in constant pursuit of delivering successful projects through collaboration with clients, stakeholders, communities, public entities, agencies, vendors and project staff. Committed to translating visions into reality through innovative project design, management, implementing sustainable design to enrich the aesthetics of the built environment.


Her bi-cultural background focus on family values, community collaboration, has led her to a number of volunteer opportunities and community leadership roles. Whether heading the volunteering activities at her work place or leading the design for educational center and housing for orphans in Rwanda in collaboration with the Department of Architecture at West Valley college, Missy stands for making profound difference in the community, in the life of the less fortunate, less privileged children and families. Sees her role as a board member for the Chapter as an opportunity to re-introduce the profession of architecture to the education sector as an art, science, and engineering that has a vital role in shaping the future of the building environment in this area, region and worldwide.




Nominee: Joe Vela, AIA


 Aedis Architects


Joe Vela was named Associate Principal at Aedis Architects in 2006, and has taken on the leadership role in the firm’s community college portfolio. He also oversees specifications and construction administration standards for the firm. Currently, Joe serves on the board for the District Foundation at San Jose Evergreen Community College District, and is the current Treasurer for the AIA Silicon Valley Board of Directors.




Nominee: Karissa Patel, Associate AIA




Karissa is a graduate from California Polytechnic University, San Luis Obispo with a degree in Architecture and minor in Architectural Engineering.  She is currently a designer at RMW Architecture & Interiors and actively pursuing licensure.


Karissa has been a treasurer of the Emerging Professionals Committee for two years and helps coordinate various events such as the ARE study groups and networking happy hours.  She hopes the Associate Director position will allow her to bring more collaboration and opportunity for the Emerging Professional community.



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