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Navigating an ever-changing professional landscape is a fundamental part of an architectural career. This year, the profession has continued to evolve, leading us to ask: Where we are and where do we stand? Join the AIANY Emerging New York Architects Committee (ENYA) as we host a panel to help emerging professionals leverage the market to enter the workforce, find new opportunities, and pivot their careers. This diverse panel of firm leaders, HR professionals, career advisors, and recruiters will explore how emerging professionals can best position themselves to advance. Questions of firm culture, best practices in negotiating better terms, identifying opportunities, and more will be addressed, followed by a Q&A with our panelists.

Brian Baxter, Senior Consultant and Recruitment Specialist, Bespoke Careers
Drew Paul Bell, Founder, Design Lab Reviews; Project Architect, Resolution: 4 Architecture
Sarah Capichioni, HR Manager, Morris Adjmi Architects
Vivian Lee, FAIA, Design Director, Gensler
Amanda Lehman, Director of Personnel Development, COOKFOX Architects
Devin Ratliff, AIA, LEED AP, Project Architect, Job Captain and Project Manager, Kohn Pedersen Fox Associates

About the Speakers:

Brian Baxter is a Senior Consultant and Recruitment Specialist at Bespoke Careers, specializing in architecture and interior design professionals. A graduate of the Syracuse University School of Architecture, he spent ten years in the profession before parlaying his passion for architecture into consulting by joining Bespoke New York, where he uses his considerable knowledge and experience to place architects with practices in New York City.

Drew Paul Bell has been a noteworthy leader in the architecture community for over a decade, building an eponymous YouTube channel with over 20,000 subscribers around mentorship and professional development. He is dedicated to addressing the challenges that emerging architects face in the profession by sharing his knowledge and experience via online platforms. In addition to his YouTube videos, Bell provides professional resume-writing and portfolio creation services, and one-on-one career coaching through his website, He has been a keynote speaker, lecturer, and advisor across the US at architectural conferences, universities, and student groups. His commitment to creating unique and exciting architecture has led him to contribute to several award-winning projects. Bell was formerly an architect at Robert M. Cain, Architect, an award-winning architecture and design firm in Atlanta, GA, and continues to work with the firm as an independent contractor. He has also worked with Meridian Design Associates, contributing to office space designs for multiple Fortune 500 companies. Bell is now a Project Architect at Resolution: 4 Architecture, an internationally published, highly acclaimed ten-person firm in New York City. He is a registered architect in New York and Georgia.

Sarah Capichioni is the Human Resources Manager for Morris Adjmi Architects, an internationally acclaimed architecture and design studio. Dedicated to ensuring both performance and the wellness of the team, Capichioni strives to create a quality work environment through the development and implementation of firm-wide policies, processes, and initiatives. She is responsible for all areas of HR, including talent development, performance management, recruiting, and onboarding. Her role offers her a unique insight into the firm, as she is the only person who works with each employee, serving as a direct resource for guidance and mentorship.

Vivian Lee is an accomplished architect of more than 30 years, translating design excellence to communities around the world. As Design Director at Gensler, she leads creative vision with aesthetically balanced, practical solutions that drive sustainability and human-centric spaces across commercial, residential, education, and cultural projects. Lee’s passion for design is seen in her work and in her mentorship of students and emerging architects. She is Co-Chair of AIANY Women in Architecture Committee, through which she develops programs and events to promote design and professional development, helping advance women to leadership roles. Lee is a frequent panelist at industry events, speaking on her work, the current architectural climate, and what is to come. In 2021-2022, she participated as a juror for the AIA National Latrobe Prize, a grant awarded for research in significant advances to the architecture profession. From her early life in Taiwan and Paraguay to her professional practice in the U.S., China, and Italy, Lee’s experiences are a boundless collection of cultures, histories, and consciousness. Her exemplary design portfolio awarded her elevation to the American Institute of Architects College of Fellows and her project achievements are models in the built environment.

Amanda Lehman is Director of Personnel Development at COOKFOX Architects, which she re-joined in 2020 after having worked in the studio from 2006 to 2017 as a firm leader and project architect on 130 West 12th Street and the Friends Center at Angkor Hospital for Children. She brings a deep understanding of both architectural practice and the firm’s culture as well as a dedication to COOKFOX’s mission. Her responsibilities now include recruiting, staffing, and stewarding programs and processes that enable the firm’s architects to excel. She has a keen interest in architectural history and preservation and has worked at the NYC Landmarks Preservation Commission and several architectural restoration projects in Europe and Southeast Asia. Lehman also served as a Co-Chair of the AIANY Historic Buildings Committee and a Director of The Fine Arts Federation of New York.

Devin Ratliff has worked on a number of high-profile office, civic, residential, hospitality, and repositioning projects domestically and internationally. In his tenure, Ratliff has managed many community-oriented, civic projects and is a leader of collaborative, multidisciplinary teams.

Ratliff’s portfolio includes major commercial towers such as 30 Hudson Yards, Goldman Sachs’ London headquarters, and Prudential’s new headquarters in Newark. As Project Manager for several of KPF’s signature repositioning projects, Ratliff manages the varied technical requirements of transforming existing building stock into updated commercial properties. Ratliff managed the repositioning of Realogy’s Headquarters in Madison, New Jersey, Conrad New York, and National AIA Award-winning Centra Metropark in New Jersey. Currently, Ratliff is managing the replacement of the Port Authority of New York & New Jersey Bus terminal and the expansion of Penn Station.

An active member of his professional community, Ratliff is involved with many professional organizations, has spoken at the AIA New York chapter on multiple occasions, and has been a guest critic and guest lecturer at Cornell University, his alma mater.

This event is offered virtually; you will receive an email with a Zoom link to access the program. 

Organized by
AIANY Emerging New York Architects Committee
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