Creating a Healthy and Equitable Firm Culture
Forum 1: African American Perspectives
Friday, August 28, 2020
12:00 p.m. - 1:00 p.m.
What holds us back and what are we going to do about it? In this time, we need to have open and honest discussions. We need to understand each other and act to build a more equitable and diverse profession. In a series of forums, AIA Orlando will consider the formation of a diverse and inclusive practice as an essential element of healthy firm culture. These forums are intended to influence, inspire, and challenge current and future firm leaders.
Forum 1 Panelists:
Max Brito, AIA
Briana Johnson, Assoc. AIA
Tim Johnson, AIA, NOMA
Daya Taylor, PhD
Dan Kirby, FAIA, FAICP, NOMA
Members of the Equity, Diversity & Inclusion (EDI) Work Group include the following persons:
Dan Kirby (Co-chair), Briana Johnson (Co-chair), Tim Johnson, Ruffin Rhodes, Nathan Butler, Hernan Rivera, Gary Scarboro and Ronok Nichols
Maximiano Brito, AIA
For 35 years of his life, Maximiano (Max) Brito, AIA, has lived and breathed architecture. His passion for delivering exceptional design, quality leadership, and giving back to the community was the inspiration for starting Rhodes+Brito Architects, Inc. in Downtown Orlando in 1996 with his partner Ruffin Rhodes. R+B was designated 'Firm of the Year' by the Orlando Chapter of the American Institute of Architects (AIA) in 2016. Since the founding of our company almost 25 years ago, Max has worked closely with local clients, non-profit organizations, esteemed peers, local government, and community leaders to help shape the future of Central Florida.
As someone who enjoys working directly with clients, he functions as a “hands-on” Designer and Project Manager on many of our largest and complex projects. His portfolio of 35 years includes extensive design experience in the delivery of large-scale aviation, mixed-use developments, and education projects. At his core he treasures the time he spends in the studio mentoring the next generation of architects.
Highly respected in the Central Florida community, Max serves on the Board of Directors for several charitable organizations. In 2019 Max was the recipient of the Orlando Chapter American Institute of Architects (AIA), Nils Schweizer Community Service Award.
Briana Johnson, Assoc. AIA
Briana is a graduate of the University of Florida’s City Lab – Orlando where she earned her Master of Architecture through the CORE program. Since 2018, Briana has participated in AIA-Orlando by way of the Young Architects Forum (YAF) the committee designated for young emerging professionals. For the last few years she has worked with her peers to develop the Next event; an evening dedicated to highlighting up-and-coming professionals and businesses in the community. Simultaneously, she acts as the Co-Chair of Black Architects in the Making (BAM)-Orlando; a grassroots organization dedicated to educating and inspiring minority youth on the importance of architecture. Most recently, Briana graduated the Jacobs Leadership Institute (JLI) with the Class of 2020 and was recently appointed to the AIA – Florida Board for the year 2021-2022. Currently employed with DLR Group, she continues working on the path to licensure and serving in our local community.
Timothy Johnson, AIA, NOMA
Tim Johnson attended Florida A&M University School of Architecture- Two Degrees in Architecture. He moved to Orlando in 1988, and was hired by VOA on the first interview. He later went on to start his own private practice in 1991 - TimJohnson Architects. In 2002, Tim joined the City of Orlando as the first City Architect. Two years later he was appointed to Division Manager for Permitting by Mayor Dyer in 2004. Recently, Tim was promoted to his current role as Deputy Director of Economic Development in 2017. He is a charter member of NOMA Orlando and serves as the President. Tim is married with two adult sons and a daughter who is an entering freshman at UCF.
Daya Irene Taylor, Ph.D., RA
Daya Irene Taylor is a registered architect in the State of Florida. She earned a Bachelor of Science in Architectural Studies from Florida A&M University before attending Clemson University to gain a Master of Architecture degree. Additionally, she has a Ph.D. from Alabama State University with a focus of Educational Leadership, Policy, and Law. In the last decade, her career in architecture and design education has included serving as Interim Dean of the Robert R. Taylor School of Architecture and Construction Science at Tuskegee University contributing to the built environment as a Project Architect for various firms.
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