tertuLiAs - a conversation with . . .Latino Managing Principals – Small Firms

Event is free and open to the community.

Registration is appreciated.
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April 11, 2023
6:30 PM
Gage Architecture
5331 Inker Street STE 100
Houston, TX

Brought to you by the Latinos in Architecture

A conversation with Latino managing principals of small sized firms
Tuesday, April 11, 6:30pm
Gage Architecture, 5331 Inker St, Houston, TX 77007

Of the over 116,000 registered architects in the United States only 5.4 percent identify as Latino or Hispanic according to NCARB.  Latinos represent 18.9 percent of the total U.S. population, the nation's second largest ethnic group.  In Houston, Latinos represent 44.5 percent of the population.

Join the Latinos in Architecture (LiA) Committee for a series of intimate conversations engaging leadership from firms of different sizes on their efforts to increase that percentage, empower their Latino employees, develop and support a pipeline of future Latino architects from high schools and colleges, and giving a voice to Latinos.

The series begins with three Latino managing principals of small sized firms, Craig Garcia, AIA (Gage Architecture), Marcus Martinez, Assoc AIA (UltraBarrio) and Vanessa Ortega, AIA (Loe Ortega Architecture). These leaders will discuss what motivated them to start their own firms, their values on hiring practices and how they built a culturally diverse firm and staff.

Happy Hour sponsored by Gage Architecture to follow.


Craig Garcia, AIA
Craig Garcia is founding principal of Gage Architecture, Inc with offices in Houston, Austin, and San Antonio. A native Houstonian, craig received degrees from Texas A&M University in College Station, Texas. Upon graduation, Craig worked in Santa Monica, California for MSI, a firm specializing in hospitals, industrial and research/development projects. Developing a theoretical approach to issues with community, social ethics, adaptive reuse, and ecology, craig
returned to Houston to form Gage Architecture, Inc.

Gage Architecture, Inc. is an award-winning firm providing planning, design and architecture for retail, corporate, hospitality, health care, restaurants, bars, and residential clients.

Gage Architecture, Inc, currently has completed or has on the books, projects in Los Angeles, New York, Colorado, Louisiana and Texas and has been recognized with numerous awards, including, gold brick awards, historic preservation awards, and corporate interiors awards.

Marcus Martinez, Assoc AIA
Marcus is a Partner at Ultrabarrio where his experience in architecture and urbanism is dedicated to topics that foster resilient communities, repurposing infrastructure, and building types that relate to cycles of scarcity, surplus, and obsolescence. 

His lens on these cycles were shaped as a collaborator focusing on mobility at the MIT Media Lab Changing Places group.  There he was responsible for prototyping folding vehicle chassis, incentivized business plans and technological platforms that retooled an urban fabric. These efforts translated into numerous urban core projects in Boston, including the 2024 Olympic Plan – smart city blueprint. 

Vanessa Ortega, AIA
With over a decade and a half experience in leading and growing architecture firms, Vanessa Ortega formed Loe Ortega architecture in 2019. Through challenging years, she has successfully grown her company to an office of nine, on track to double revenue from last year. Loe Ortega architecture specializes in interior architecture, adaptive re-use, and renovations. Their notable projects include Railway Heights Food Hall and Market, PKL Social and upcoming Harlow District adaptive re-use development.

Prior to starting her own firm, Vanessa was a founding Partner & Principal at Method architecture and Director at Three Square Design Group. At Method, she restructured the interiors department and led all interior architecture teams in Houston, Dallas, and Austin. Throughout her career she has established a reputation for reliable and knowledgeable leadership.