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Starting an Architectural Practice - Speaker Bios

Donald Ardiel - Moderator


Donald Ardiel is the Director, Practice Support/Director, Syllabus at the Royal Architectural Institute of Canada. Don has worked in large and small practices, and prior to joining the RAIC in 2016, operated his own architecture practice in London, Ontario. Don has delivered professional development workshops in many areas of project management, practice management and adult education. He has been extensively involved in educational program development for universities, colleges and not-for-profit groups. Don is the past Director of Certification and e-Learning for the Project Management Institute's South Western Ontario Chapter.

Roberto Chiotti


Lesson 5C - Project Management: Project Planning

Roberto has been a licensed member of the Ontario Association of Architects since 1981. After interning with firms such as Arthur Erickson Architects and Lett Smith Architects, he joined Larkin Architect limited in 1986 as Senior Associate and became principal in 1994. Since then, Roberto has been responsible for marketing and business development in addition to his design and management duties.  His firm’s widely published St. Gabriel’s Church is the first worship space in Canada to achieve LEED® Gold Certification and is the recipient of several awards including an international AIA/IFRAA Merit Award and the 2007 City of Toronto Green Design Award.
Roberto has mentored interns in both the RAIC Syllabus Programme and the Internship in Architecture Programme.  He has also taught Core studios and Professional Practice courses for Environmental Design Students at OCAD University.

Raymond Chung



Lesson 1 - Architectural Practice in a Contemporary Context

Raymond  is a registered Architect in Ontario, Professional Project Manager (PMP) , Professional Facility Manager (FMP)and Sustainable Facility Professional (SFP). He specializes in construction project management and with over 30 years experience in the design, supervision and project management of various industrial, commercial, municipal and post-secondary institutional projects.
His completed projects includes a $60 million, 260,000 square feet, new Cambridge campus School of Engineering and Informational Technology complex, $15 million, 70,000 sq ft Health Science Building at Doon Campus, $2 million HRAC Building and $3 million Roofing Centre at Conestoga College in Kitchener, Ontario. Raymond worked on various consulting engagements for some of the Canadian most respected architectural, engineering, design-build, real estate and telecommunication organizations.
Raymond is currently Professor of APFM at Conestoga College, Instructor and Subject Mater Expert at Ryerson University Chang School and Project Advisor at Conestoga College.

His current research interest includes the application of Agile Project Management Methodology in design and construction.

Naomi Kriss


Lesson 4A - Practice Management: Operational Systems – Brand Marketingroject Management, Marketing and Fees

Naomi Kriss is a passionate authority on public relations for the architecture and design industries. She founded Kriss Communications in 2006 with the aim to broaden awareness of quality contemporary design in Canada and expand recognition of work by Canadian designers abroad.

Representing many of Canada’s most noteworthy architects, interior designers, design hotels, restaurants as well as noteworthy cultural projects and institutions coast-to-coast, Naomi helps her clients to understand what makes them unique from their often similarly perceived competitors, to find ways to present their stories beyond a press release, and to become regular participants in a global dialogue about innovative design.

Raised in Toronto, Paris, London, Oxford and Jerusalem, Naomi presents a broad vision and an international perspective. For over 20 years she has applied strategic thinking and creativity to help architectural practices transform their communications and drive new business.

Naomi graduated with a bachelor’s degree in the history of art from the Courtauld Institute of Art, University of London and a master’s degree in post-war and contemporary art from Sotheby’s Institute, University of Manchester.

Moe Latif


Lesson 5A:  Project Management, Marketing and Fees

Moe Latif is a licensed architect.  With eighteen years of experience in Management, Planning and Architectural Design, Moe has demonstrative and comprehensive understanding of management, architectural design and technical constraints. He has extensive and specialized experience in mega and diversified projects through a number of challenging and award winning projects including medical & healthcare facilities, mixed use developments, residential, commercial complexes, hotels, resorts, office building, governmental, security and new community developments. Many of his mega projects had integrated technical, economic, social and environmental objectives.  He has coordinated and managed mega projects on budgets exceeding $2 billion US.


Yew-Thong Leong

 B.Tech.(Arch.), B.Arch., OAA, FRAIC

Lesson 4D - Practice Management: IT

Yew-Thong attended Ryerson University and the Pratt Institute, New York, where he studied architecture and urban design with New York Grey theorist Raimund Abraham and US Main Streets guru Norman Mintz.
In practice since 1986, he has designed and managed over 150 projects personally, spanning North America to Asia and Central/South America. His past Canadian projects include the award-winning projects Sharp Center, OCAD; the Schulich School of Business, York University; the Aviva National Tennis Centre, the Life Sciences Building at York University, and is completing a multi-phased expansion to a historically designated building.

A full-time professor at the Faculty of Engineering and Architectural Science, and the Yeates School of Graduate Studies at Ryerson University, Yew-Thong has been concurrently teaching since 1987.
Currently a Managing Director of SSG Architecture Inc. and SSG Beijing, Yew-Thong has also served on numerous boards and awards juries, including the Architizer A+ Awards 2016 + 2017 (New York), the 2017 WAN Awards (London), and the International Hi-Rise Awards 2014 (Germany). He is a professional member of the Ontario Association of Architects, a Scientific Member of the IAC (Belgium), a Fellow of the Royal Architecture Institute of Canada and IIAS (Germany), and was the millennium Chair of the Toronto Society of Architects.

Domenic A. Meffe

B. Arch., OAA, RAIC, Assoc. AIA, and OPPI

Lesson 2:  Developing a Business model for your practice

Domenic brings a broad range of experience in the areas of commercial, industrial, non-profit housing, institutional, and academic design. His extensive experience: from design concepts to construction and detailing that provides in-depth real world knowledge. This experience includes planning and development work on numerous non-profit projects, perhaps as many as 100 commercial developments, and institutional projects throughout the province, including a provincial design award in 1995.

Michael Miller


Lesson 5B:  Project Management: Client Agreements

Michael graduated from the University of British Columbia and started his career with Arthur Erickson, working in offices in Vancouver, Montreal and Toronto. He subsequently joined Ron Thom Architects, and was a partner there for five years. He established his own practice in Toronto, and shortly thereafter opened a second office in Dallas, Texas.
His practice has focused on large housing projects, commercial projects, single family residences, renovation work and exhibition design, including the entire exhibit program for the Ontario Pavilion at EXPO 86 in Vancouver, B.C.
He was author of The Canadian Guide to Home Renovation and subsequently re-wrote the book for publication in the United States. His architectural work has been published and has won several design awards, and he has been a member of the selection jury for a number of significant buildings in Ontario. As well as maintaining his architectural practice, he was Chair of The Department of Architectural Science at Ryerson University for ten years and has been continually involved with teaching as a part-time lecturer and studio critic at universities and colleges in Canada, the United States and Europe.

Christie Mills

B.Arch, B.Comm, CSC, OAA

Lesson 3A: OAA Regulatory Requirements: Ontario Architectural Practice

Christie Mills is an Ontario architect and was recently appointed to serve as the Deputy Registrar at the OAA.  She holds a Bachelor of Commerce from McGill University and is a graduate of the University of Toronto Faculty of Architecture.  She practised for 15 years and was a Principal with Moriyama & Teshima Architects (MTA) before commencing work with the OAA in 2017.   Her current work with the Office of the Registrar allows her to explore the relationship of the OAA’s regulatory framework with the practice of architecture and how it influences the future of the profession in Ontario.

Tania Oppedisano


Lesson 4C - Practice Management: Human Resources
Tania has been an integral part of DIALOG’s success.  Recently appointed as National Director of Human Resources, Tania plays a valuable part of DIALOG’s diverse culture, having worked in the Toronto Studio as both a Human Resources Manager and Studio Administrator.

After starting in 2009, she immediately took on challenges and grew the Toronto studio from 37 to 130 in just two years with her keen ability to find the right hire to fit the studio culture. She brings big picture thinking, enthusiasm, and energy to her daily work and has provided leadership to DIALOG’s administrative team, while working with Studio Directors and Team Leaders across studios on human resources strategy and initiatives. Most recently, she led the way remodeling the firms’ annual performance review of employees into a more progressive, ongoing development program focused on individual goal setting and professional development with the aim of enhancing performance, retention and making the firm stronger.

Tania is actively involved within the community, having been a key contributor to the company’s support of the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH), The United Way, and many other community and charity initiatives. Tania completed her Executive Masters in Human Resources Management, a BA in Sociology, and certification in Human Resource Management.

Elaine Pantel

Principal, Assurance and Business Advisory, ShiMMERMAN PENN

Lesson 3B - Mandatory Requirements: Business Structures in Ontario and Canada

Elaine provides business advisory, assurance and accounting services to a broad range of owner-managed businesses and not-for-profit organizations. She advises clients in areas including succession planning, ownership agreements, business financing, cash flow management, bench-marking and managing business operations and compensation strategies for employees and owners.

Elaine is responsible for the firm’s Marketing and Business Development programs and co-leads the firm’s industry specialty groups for Architecture, Engineering and Design (AED) and Investment Management Firms. Elaine is the firm’s expert for not-for-profit organizations. She has written widely and spoken regularly at the firm's industry seminars and workshops. Shimmerman Penn is a long-time supporter of the design community and has presented at events and conferences for the OAA, IIDEX, SDA Canada and the OALA.

Elaine is the Vice-Chair of the North American Board of Directors of PrimeGlobal, and is also a member of the World Board of Directors, which is focused on supporting the regions, governance, strategy, communications, member interaction and business development. Over the years Elaine has represented the firm at many PrimeGlobal conferences.

Basima Roshan


Lesson 4B: Practice Management: Operational Systems – Finance 

Basima leads Innovia Partners’ change and transformation practice. She joined Innovia after leading complex internal projects for a Fortune-500 company that delivered enhanced capabilities and increased effectiveness and profit. Basima guides Innovia’s clients through the changes in structure, processes, and people they need to meet business and market challenges.
Currently, Basima advises several leading architectural firms and creative businesses. She also serves as Interim Director of Finance of a large Canadian architectural practice, providing focused counsel and leadership with the goal of optimizing operational and financial performance.
Basima has a Queen’s MBA, holds a Bachelors of Commerce (Finance), and is a Chartered Public Accountant (CPA).

Lesson 4A - Practice Management: Operational Systems – Brand Marketing