President, Southern California Chapter of NOMA
Drake Dillard specializes in managing large, multimillion dollar programs in the design and construction phases. Some of his projects includes: Saudi Arabia Ministry of Interiors Medical Facilities (MOI), Los Angeles Unified School District School Bond, New Orleans School Parish School Bond, Chicago Public Building Commission, Kaiser Permanente Health Care, Los Angeles County Hospitals, and Medical Centers in Iran. He has worked on projects in the United States, Middle East and Africa. Drake has assisted in successful negotiations of complex construction disputes and has provided expert testimony in arbitration.
Mr. Dillard severed as President of the National Organization of Minority Architects (NOMA) in 2003. During this time he signed a contract with GSA which proved to elevate the awareness of minority architects in the U.S. He is an active member of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity. Graduate of Howard University, Masters of Architecture, University of Illinois, Bachelor of Architecture. He serves on many boards. He is a mentor and a Big Brother. Mr. Dillard has received the US Congressional Honor Award.
Reuben E. Jacobs
Events Coordinator & Social Media Director
My exposure to and love of architecture began around the young age of ten. At that time, my father returned to school after working approximately 2-1/2 decades as an architectural draftsman. He earned a bachelor’s degree in architecture and then a master’s degree in urban planning. During those years, our home’s dining room was transformed into a design studio as the walls were adorned with building design sketches and drafted plans. And the dining room table often displayed cool developmental and finished models of the projects he designed. I was hooked. From then, I knew I wanted to be an architect. I carried out my dream to attend the University of Southern California’s School of Architecture and earn a bachelor’s degree of architecture in 1988.
The first 17 years of my professional career were spent working for corporate architecture and interior design firms. It was then that I cultivated and exercised my cutting-edge computer aided drafting (aka CAD) techniques. Those skills coupled with God’s gift of instructional abilities empowered me to teach collegiate CAD classes. Since 1994, I’ve taught part-time at several community colleges and have also gone into corporate firms and conducted training seminars. In recent years, I also taught a school-year course on the principals of civil engineering & architecture to 11th & 12thgraders. During that experience, I attained a full-time teaching credential for grade school instruction in design and engineering. And since leaving corporate employment in 2005, I’ve continued providing architectural services by doing CAD consulting and design project collaborations through my sole proprietary company, Modern Designs Unlimited.
SoCalNOMA Summer Camp Assistant Director & Website Administrator
As a Charter Member of the USC Student Chapter of NOMA, I have been involved with NOMA since 1990. I often reflect on how the professional members at that time helped us, by reviewing our final project each semester two weeks before making our final design presentation for a grade. Now, I am equally committed to helping the next generation of African-American youth discover this unique field that allows you to earn a decent living, while leaving a legacy of improving our community.
After receiving my Bachelor’s Degree in Urban Planning and Architecture from The University of Southern California in 1995, I have had a successful career at notable Southern California architecture firms. I have worked as a architectural project manager on many schools for Los Angeles, Pasadena (for Past President of LA Chapter, Charles Bryant), and the Ontario-Montclair Unified School Districts. I have also worked on several restaurant and hospital projects, including Arrowhead Regional Medical Center for the County of San Bernardino.
Today, my company, Urban Design Studios, LLC (www.urbandesignstudios-llc) offers residential design, space planning, BIM model rendering and construction document (blueprint) services, website design, as well as a host of marketing tools and services for real estate agents, owners, investors, developers and property management companies.
Monica Douglas has 19+ years in retail construction management, purchasing, and maintenance including takeoffs, estimating, budgeting, contracting, and invoicing. She has successfully provided construction management and procurement functions in national rollouts up to 40 projects annually with budgets ranging from $500,000 to over $ 1 million.
Monica specializes in negotiation of savings on fixtures, visual displays and audio video equipment and services in excess of 40%. She also has background experience in working effectively with architects, engineers, developers, contractors, inspectors, city officials, designers, agents, and store operations.