09/02/20 USC School of Architecture Board of Councilors Welcomes New Members


USC President Dr. Carol L. Folt has appointed seven individuals to the USC School of Architecture Board of Councilors who possess extraordinary industry expertise, social values, global perspectives, and a deep passion for the mission of USC Architecture. New Councilors this year, who will provide tremendous leadership and partnership, include:

Gary A. Brennen, Co-President, Syska Hennessy, PE, LEED AP

Gary Brennen co-leads the global engineering, consulting and commissioning firm, with more than 500 employees across 16 offices, acclaimed for innovation, technical design excellence, and dedication to client service. Before becoming co-president in 2007, Gary served as managing director for the Western region, overseeing the firm’s geographic expansion by opening new offices in San Diego and San Francisco, and strengthening the firm’s capabilities in aviation, convention centers, critical facilities and healthcare. Notable projects include United States Courthouse Los Angeles, Long Beach Civic Center including Port of Long Beach headquarters, Long Beach Courthouse, Los Angeles International Airport, University of California, Los Angeles, L.A. LIVE, Phoenix Convention Center, Minneapolis Convention Center and Orlando International Airport South Terminal. Syska Hennessy is a longtime generous sponsor of the Architectural Guild. Gary is based in Culver City, CA.

Andy Cohen, Co-CEO, Gensler, FAIA, IIDA

Andy is one of two Gensler co-CEOs whose collaborative leadership model sets itself apart in the marketplace as a leading global design firm. A hands-on leader, Andy oversees Gensler’s global platform and day-to-day operations, 6,000+ people networked over 50 offices, serving clients in 120+ countries. A champion of design, resiliency and sustainability, Andy is a member of Gensler’s Board of Directors, spearheading design excellence strategies across Gensler’s diverse practice areas. Acknowledged by Fast Company as one of the World’s Most Innovative Companies, the Pratt Institute alumnus and registered architect is an active Young President’s Organization (YPO) Gold member and is also a board member of the UCLA Institute of the Environment and Sustainability and longtime generous supporter of the USC Architectural Guild. Andy is one of the Los Angeles Business Journal’s Most Influential People in Los Angeles, and a Fellow of the American Institute of Architects. He has been sought out as a speaker at many premier industry conferences, and frequently contributes commentary to national and international media. Andy is based in Los Angeles, CA.

Patricia Tung Gaw, Co-Owner and Partner of FERA International Corp.

Patricia “Patty” Tung Gaw specializes in apparel development, production, and retail trendspotting. With a dual-degree with honors from Brown University to an early career at Goldman Sachs in New York, Singapore, and Hong Kong, Patty then pursued project management for UA Cinemas, digital media for ELLE Greater China, and later joining her family’s active apparel company, FERA International Corp, and cofounding a lifestyle brand, GA1NSCLUB. Patty, along with her husband Kenneth Gaw, co-founder and managing partner of Gaw Capital, support a number of fitness, sports, and facilities improvements to Public Housing Communities in addition to supporting the Young Presidents Organization in Hong Kong. Patty is an active alumni interviewer for Brown University and active in the schools of her three sons, including the USC Hong Kong Parents’ Association. Patty and Kenny Gaw are based in Hong Kong and have generously supported a USC Architecture interdisciplinary scholarship endowment.

James House ’81, FAIA, Founding Principal and President of House & Robertson Architects, Inc.

Jim House’s unique practice focuses exclusively on working as executive architects in collaborations with world-renowned design firms. Jim’s early mentors included several outstanding USC Trojan architects, notably Gin Wong and Hans Mumper. Now encompassing offices in Culver City, San Francisco, and Houston, HRA has completed 120 projects in alliances with nearly 90 diverse design collaborators, including four Pritzker Prize winners and three AIA Gold Medal winners. Notable global entertainment company clients include Walt Disney Company, NBCUniversal, Sony Pictures and technology companies Google and Snap. Jim received his B.Arch in 1981 from USC Architecture and is a member of the AIA since 1985 and elevated to Fellowship in 2018. For many years, Jim has been a sponsor and volunteer of the USC Architectural Guild, serving on its board of directors and chairing committees, and provides personal major support to scholarships at the School. Jim is based in Culver City, CA.

Jeffrey Hyland, Co-Founder and President of Hilton & Hyland

Jeff Hyland is a real estate expert, architectural historian, author, and the co-founder and president of Hilton & Hyland. In 1993, Jeff Hyland and Rick Hilton co-founded Hilton & Hyland with the original intent of creating a highly personalized real estate firm that today is the highest grossing single office in the world. As a young adult, he was accepted into the prestigious Cornell School of Hotel Administration in New York. Ultimately, however, California’s siren call beckoned him back. He attended United States International University in San Diego, graduating with a degree in Business Administration. Jeff has been referred to as “The Gatekeeper of Beverly Hills” by Town & Country and has served as president of the Beverly Hills Board of Realtors, president of the Los Angeles County Boards of Real Estate and state director for the California Association of Realtors. He recently received the Institute of Classical Architecture and Art’s Legacy Award and The Will Rogers Real Estate Lifetime Achievement Award from the City of Beverly Hills. Jeff and Lori Hyland provided generous leadership support to the Paul Revere Williams Archive Initiative. Jeff is based in Beverly Hills, CA.



Bryant Lu is vice chairman of Ronald Lu & Partners (RLP) and has been instrumental in leading development and driving changes at RLP over 20 years. Under Bryant’s leadership, RLP was ranked one of the world’s top 44 architectural firms by the UK’s “bd” magazine in 2020. He sets a new standard for urban sustainable development of the region and has led the firm to more than 250 international design awards. With more than 600 trusted advisors in multiple locations, RLP has been involved in major projects throughout China, including the Xiqu Centre, Asia World-Expo, Victoria Dockside, and Ocean Terminal Extension. A graduate of the Cornell University School of Architecture, Art and Planning, Bryant is a civic-minded architect actively involved in a number of social organizations in Hong Kong, including the Arts Centre and Chinese Orchestra. Bryant is based in Hong Kong and he and his firm have provided major support to the School’s Asia Cities Initiative.

Steven F. Matt, Chairman and CEO of MATT Construction

A co-founder of MATT Construction with Paul and Al Matt, Steve Matt has been instrumental in setting the company’s vision and contributing to its growth. As one of California’s top commercial general contractors, MATT has collaborated with some of the most exciting architects in the world including RPBW, OMA, and Diller Scofidio + Renfro to create meaningful spaces. Steve is a graduate of the University of California at Berkeley with a degree in civil engineering. He also has LEED accreditation. He is a member of the board of the Colburn School of Performing Arts in downtown LA. His professional organization affiliations and community involvement include World Presidents Organization (WPO/YPO), the Fellows at the Natural History Museum of LA, American Concrete Institute, American Institute of Architects, and Structural Engineers Association of So. California (SEASOC). In 2017, Steve was awarded the AIA|LA Presidential Award for Design Advocacy. In addition to his family, Steve’s personal interests include cycling, model railroading, rocketry, snow skiing and hiking. Steve, the Matt Family, and MATT Construction are longtime supporters of the School, University, and the Architectural Guild. Steve is based in Santa Fe Springs, CA.

Maria Warner Wong ’87, SIA, APEC

Maria Warner Wong is design director and co-founder of Warner Wong Design and WOW Architects, setting strategic objectives and overseeing the development of the WOW team. Maria leads the design and implementation of residential, health and wellness, hotel and restaurant architecture and interior design. Projects include the Singapore High Commissioner’s Residence in London, the Bishopsgate House and Chiltern House in Singapore. Maria has taught sustainable architectural design at the National University of Singapore and speaks and publishes globally on the topics. Along with her husband and business partner Chiu Man Wong ’88, Maria’s extensive portfolio of work is governed by a commitment to creating spaces for extraordinary sensory experiences rooted in culture, memory, and place. Maria Warner Wong and Chiu Man Wong are based in Singapore and support the USC Architectural Guild and the Global Traveling Fellowship program.

In fulfilling their board terms, the School thanks Reza Safavi ‘84, Leslie Young (B.Arch ’95), and Nabih Youssef for their dedicated leadership and partnership.

The Board of Councilors of the USC School of Architecture is composed of dynamic individuals representing various facets of the architectural profession and related design fields, real estate development and investment interests, business and retail, construction, museum and convening institutions, and nonprofit and civic organizations. The board is appointed by the president of the university upon the recommendation of the dean of the USC School of Architecture.

Related Links: USC School of Architecture Board of Councilors


Latest News

In anticipation of our 61st Annual USC Architectural Guild Dinner, we spoke with Perkins+Will managing director Zena Howard, FAIA, who will receive the School’s inaugural Citizen ...
Every year, the Emerging Professionals Committee of the USC Architectural Guild–the USC School of Architecture’s volunteer-led support group–hosts Explore! events, giving ...
Our virtual faculty exhibition series continues with a new exhibition on rethinking “manufactured homes” from associate professor of practice Olivier Touraine. The intent of the ...
The USC Architectural Guild has been named Volunteer Organization of the Year by the USC Alumni Association. The annual Volunteer Recognition Awards, hosted by the Alumni ...
By Marianne Wenzel/Originally Published in Casa Vogue magazine/@casavoguebrasil CO-FOUNDER OF THE AWARD-WINNING STUDIO SUMO, YOLANDE DANIELS is not an architect of postcard ...
The June 30 announcement of the Paul Revere Williams archive acquisition by USC Architecture & Getty Research Institute was celebrated by professionals in the design industry ...