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The City of Pico Rivera, California, has hired Sandra Julie Gonzalez, FASLA, as its new director of Parks & Recreation. Gonzalez has worked for more than 20 years in the public sector, with more than 18 years for the Los Angeles County Department of Parks & Recreation and the City of Long Beach
Parks, Recreation & Marine, and Public Works Departments. 

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Gonzalez received her Bachelor of Science degree in Landscape Architecture from Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo, and her Masters Degree in Public Policy and Administration from Cal State University, Long Beach. In 1994, she was appointed by former Governor Pete Wilson to the State Board of Landscape Architects and served a second term on the Landscape Architect Technical Committee. She subsequently served as National President for the Council of Landscape Architectural Registration Boards (CLARB). Gonzalez has also taught at UCLA and Cal Poly Pomona. Sandra also holds a license to practice in California and Arizona and is a licensed contractor.

At en event during its 2013 Grassroots Leadership & Legislative Conference, the American Institute of Architects (AIA) celebrated 15 recipients for the 2013 AIA Young Architects Award. Among the recipients this year is Susannah C. Drake, ASLA, AIA. AIA’s statement reads, “Design of ecological solutions to aging infrastructure and buildings is at the heart of her practice. Drake is the founding principal of dlandstudio and her design work is culturally relevant, ecologically productive, and logically constructed. She is a leader of and mentor to a talented, interdisciplinary team of architects, urban designers, artists, scientists, and landscape architects.” Young Architects are defined as professionals who have been licensed 10 years or fewer regardless of their age. This award, now in its 20th year, honors individuals who have shown exceptional leadership and made significant contributions to the profession early in their careers. You can view images and get more information regarding the recipients here.

SPURLOCK POIRIER ¬Landscape Architects, a San Diego firm, has promoted project managers Rocio Gertler and Yu-Ju Liu to associate principal positions. Gertler and Liu will play key roles in shaping the overall direction and operations of the firm, as well as project management.

Gertler’s passion for protecting the earth’s resources has influenced her use of sustainable and multifunctional landscape materials in urban environments. Joining SPURLOCK POIRIER in 2006, she has led projects such as the New Children’s Museum Park in downtown San Diego, the Mercado del Barrio ULI Open Space, and Virginia Avenue Park, the nation’s first LEED certified community park in Santa Monica, Calif. She is currently designing the Pico Branch Library within that park.

She has worked for landscape and architecture companies in both Mexico and the U.S, including the Workshop of Ken Smith in New York and the Office of James Burnett in Solana Beach, Calif. With a Bachelor of Arts degree in architecture from the Autonomous University of San Luis Potosí in Mexico and a master’s of landscape architecture from Rhode Island School of Design, she was awarded fellowships from Rhode Island School of Design and the National Council for Science and Technology, and also served as a professor at the Boston Architectural Center and San Diego’s NewSchool of Architecture.

With a strong focus on urban and regional planning, Liu has also been with SPURLOCK POIRIER since 2006 and has managed some of the firm’s largest and most complex projects, including UC San Diego’s Charles Keeling Apartments – the first LEED Platinum housing project in the University of California system – and Palomar Hospital in Escondido, Calif., with the largest vegetated roof in Southern California. For the past six years, Liu has guided the design and construction of the North Embarcadero Vision Plan Phase 1 Implementation – transforming parking lots and degraded seawalls along San Diego Bay into major civic space.

Liu’s professional experience includes positions with Wallace Roberts & Todd in San Diego and Design Workshop in Denver, where she received an award from the Congress for the New Urbanism for urban design work on downtown Denver’s The Commons Neighborhood. She holds both a Bachelor of Science in urban and regional planning from National Cheng Kung University, Taiwan and a master’s of landscape architecture from University of Colorado Denver.

The Harvard University Graduate School of Design has appointed Laura Solano, ASLA, and Matthew Urbanski, both principals with Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates Inc. adjunct associate professors of Landscape Architecture for the spring 2013 term.



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