02-06-20 | News

Southern California Architecture Firms Boosts Leadership

Adds New Principal/Director and Director of Finance and Accounting

Besides being a licensed architect, Paolo Leon sits on the board of directors of Think Together, a nonprofit that works with school districts and local communities to implement and scale innovative academic solutions that address the needs of children throughout California.

AO (formerly Architects Orange) an architectural services firm that attests to having 10 distinct areas of expertise including landscape design, recently announced adding Paolo Leon, AIA, NCARB, as a principal and director of AO's Global Design studio, and Lara McKissick to the position of director of finance and accounting.

"It's an exciting time for AO as we continue to grow our services and nurture trusted relationships with our valued clients," Darrel Hebenstreit, partner says. "The additions of Paolo and Lara enhance our commitment to client excellence, both as our Global Design studio expands into new domestic and international markets across the Americas and Asia, and in our commitment to best-in-class financial stewardship across all 10 design studios."

Leon is a licensed architect with experience that spans across mixed-use, residential, education. retail and civic projects. Notably, he worked on the renovation of the Woodbridge Village Center in Irvine, Calif., transforming the outdoor retail center through place making amenities and entertainment uses. Leon sits on the board of directors of the Orange County chapter of The American Institute of Architects (AIAOC), where he also serves as director of emerging professionals. He earned his Bachelor of Architecture from University of Southern California and holds a Master of Business Administration from Chapman University.

"I'm honored to join AO, a firm that boasts a 45-year legacy of world class service," states Leon. "As director of the Global Design Studio, I look forward to contributing to AO's remarkable body of work and to the advancement of our clients' development goals."

Lara McKissick brings more than 15 years of architecture and engineering industry knowledge and a decade of experience managing accounting and administrative teams according to the company.

"I look forward to working alongside AO's leadership to keep building upon the firm's legacy," McKissick comments. "I'm inspired that AO is constantly seeking ways to improve, and I value its collegial approach to tackling new challenges and coming up with creative solutions."

Sign up for
LAWeekly newsletter. Get exclusive content today.