W Partnership Team

Our Team

Jim Wallace

Jim Wallace

Partner | Founder

For over 40 years, Jim has specialized in the design and planning of multi-family housing developments. He has won multiple design awards, has been a frequent speaker for the Urban Land Institute and the Multi-Family Housing World Conference, and has held membership in numerous industry organizations — serving as an appointed member on the American Institute of Architect’s National Housing Committee. Jim graduated from The Ohio State University with a Bachelor of Architecture in 1971. In 1975, he received his Architecture License in the State of Texas, and in 1987 Jim founded Wallace + Associates, renamed W Partnership, Inc. in 2018. With hundreds of thousands of multi-family units spanning across the U.S., he is a leader in the profession and remains active in the management of the firm. As an adventurous person and curious traveler, Jim has visited 48 states and 63 countries. He enjoys classic cars and values spending time with his family.

Fred Wilson Jr.

Fred Wilson Jr.

Partner

Fred’s leadership has created a company culture with respect at its core, one that sparks collaboration and encourages individual potential. Through his commitment to quality, he develops close client relationships and helps continue W Partnership’s reputation for excellence. The firm has evolved during Fred’s tenure, his guidance and vision advancing innovative and intelligent design. He began working with Jim Wallace in 1993, became a partner in 2006 and an executive of the firm in 2012. He has held his Texas Architect’s license since 1999 and has since gained licensure in thirteen additional states. Fred is a LEED Accredited Professional, holding membership in AIA and NCARB. He enjoys spending time golfing and traveling with his family. In partnership with Agape Development, Fred has helped in their mission to revitalize a local neighborhood by designing affordable housing for an inclusive community.

Michael Gonos

Michael Gonos

Principal | Director of Design

Coming from a family background in building, Michael has a natural interest in structure and design. He graduated from the University of Missouri with a Bachelor of Environmental Design and from the University of Kansas with a Master of Architecture. Michael joined W Partnership in 2011, became a licensed architect in 2014, and is a member of NCARB and a LEED accredited professional. As Director of Design, Michael guides the conceptual and schematic design for new projects. He works closely with clients to develop their ideas, crafting an architectural program that suits both practical and contextual needs. He also plays a key role in the leadership team to help manage the firm’s current endeavors and its future development. Michael appreciates spending time in nature, going hiking, backpacking, and camping at different locations across the country.

Carl Hay

Carl Hay

Principal | Director of Quality Control

As Director of Quality Control, Carl works jointly with the project managers to ensure that all design and construction documents are fully refined before construction begins. Previously working as a Design Manager with The Hanover Company, Carl joined W Partnership in 2010 and has maintained our firm’s long-established collaboration with the company, specializing in complex high-density projects. He is also an active member of the leadership team, assisting with firm management and planning. Carl attended the University of Texas at Austin, where he earned his Bachelor of Architecture. He has over 30 years of experience in the profession, is a member of AIA and NCARB, and is a registered architect in Texas, Colorado, and North Carolina. He pursued this career path thanks in part to his father, a fellow architect (now retired). An outdoors enthusiast, Carl enjoys vacationing in the mountains.

Phuong Nguyen

Phuong Nguyen

Associate Principal

Phuong has been with W Partnership since 1988 and credits his long tenure at the firm to its warm and respectful culture. He finds satisfaction in his role as a Senior Project Manager, specializing in high-density projects. He directs his team with clear communication and mentorship, organizing meetings and collaborating with clients to ensure success. As part of the Leadership Team, Phuong assists with the firm’s project planning. Phuong originally became fascinated with architecture after taking a drafting course in high school. After briefly studying computer science, he went on to receive a Bachelor of Architecture from the University of Houston’s College of Architecture and Design. Phuong is inspired by historic architecture, particularly that of Gothic and Renaissance cathedrals. He enjoys photography, traveling, and spending time with his family.

Candice Tape

Candice Tape

Assoc. Principal | Dir. of Prof. Development

Candice joined W Partnership as an intern in 2007 while studying at The University of Houston’s College of Architecture and Design. She graduated with a Bachelor of Architecture, a Bachelor of Science in Environmental Design, and a minor in International Business, and began working for the firm full-time in 2010. Since then, she has advanced to become an Associate Principal and Director of Professional Development. As a licensed architect, she performs feasibility studies, conducts site planning, and helps produce concept and schematic designs. In her role as Director of Professional Development, Candice ensures that all employees have the resources that they need to succeed. She leads the Marketing Team and serves on the firm’s EDI Action Committee. Recently, she has helped to design affordable housing for a local community with Agape Development. She enjoys calligraphy, playing guitar, and water gun fights with her family.

Mark Causey

Mark Causey

Senior Project Manager

After Mark graduated from Texas A&M with a degree in Environmental Design, he moved to Houston and got a job building townhouses. Finding the work unsustainable due to the Gulf Coast’s weather, he decided to join a structural engineering company as a draftsman, and in 1987 Mark was hired by Jim Wallace for a new business venture. Mark has stayed with W Partnership through name changes, office moves, and major shifts in the industry and holds the longest tenure at the firm second to Jim. His focus is on garden-style projects, where he uses CAD to help manage the Construction Documents phase. Mark’s hobbies include playing with his two dogs and enjoying the countryside at his weekend place in New Baden, Texas.

Lauren Christian

Lauren Christian

Project Manager

In addition to her role as a Project Manager of mid- and high-rise podium projects, Lauren serves as the firm’s Summer Intern Supervisor and Coordinator of the Architectural Experience Program and Architect Registration Examination groups. She is a member of W Partnership’s Standard Ops Committee and is fondly known as the office’s Unofficial Revit Guru. Originally from Philadelphia, Lauren attended the Catholic University of America where she earned a Bachelor of Science in Architecture and Planning. Lauren then achieved a Master of Architecture at Texas A&M. She joined W Partnership in 2014 and earned her Architect and Interior Design Licensures in 2017. In her free time, Lauren enjoys playing board games with friends, biking, and exploring local parks with her husband, daughter, and dog.

Alberto Gonzalez

Alberto Gonzalez

Project Manager

Alberto has had an interest in design and building as far back as he can remember. Originally from Indiana, Alberto moved to Texas and attended the University of Houston’s College of Architecture and Design to receive a bachelor’s degree in Architecture. He is a licensed architect in Texas, Wisconsin, and South Carolina; a member of AIA and NCARB; and has been working in the industry for over twenty years. Alberto joined the team at W Partnership in 2021. In his role as a project manager, he collaborates with consultants and guides his team on multiple projects from design development to final construction. He is learning Taekwondo as a new hobby. On the weekends, Alberto coaches youth soccer and restores vintage bicycles.

Irini Kotelou

Irini Kotelou

Project Manager

Irini has always had an aesthetic appreciation for space and design. Her interest in the impact that architecture has on our visual environment, on society, and on the individual experience guided her decision to enter the profession. Irini studied Architecture at the National Technical University of Athens and moved to the United States for post-graduate studies at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. In 2013, she joined W Partnership and is now one of the firm’s project managers, specializing in high-density projects. She works with the design team as they collaborate with clients on schematic design and develops the drawings with her team, coordinating with consultants and clients through the completion of the project. In her free time, Irini enjoys walking in nature, cooking, reading, listening to music, watching movies, and traveling. She loves the arts in all their forms.

Victoria Kulbick

Victoria Kulbick

Project Manager

Due to her father’s advice and encouragement, Victoria chose to earn a Bachelor of Science in Architecture and went on to achieve a graduate degree from Miami University in Ohio. She joined W Partnership in 2015 and now serves as a Project Manager, coordinating with clients and consultants and leading her team from Design Development to Construction. She is a member of several office committees: Standard Operations, CAD Standards, and the Events Committee. She is also the Community Outreach Coordinator, organizing W Partnership’s participation in local fundraisers and volunteering events (such as AIA’s Sandcastle Competition and Houston’s CANstruction Food Drive). Victoria is currently working toward earning her architect’s license, but in her free time she enjoys running 5ks, touring breweries, and traveling to the East Coast to see her friends and family.

Joel Njenga

Joel Njenga

Project Manager

Joel always knew that he wanted to have a career that utilized his creative skills. When he discovered that he could pursue architecture as his profession, he developed his artistic and technical skills and attended Kennesaw State University for his Bachelor of Architecture. Joel joined W Partnership in 2011 and currently serves as a Project Manager. In this role, Joel is in constant communication with clients, consultants, and colleagues. He is responsible for organizing the project schedule, reviewing drawings, monitoring project scope and budget, and, most importantly, leading and mentoring his team to ensure their success. He also assists during the construction phase as needed. Joel enjoys painting, drawing, and spending time in the outdoors. He is a strong supporter of Habitat for Humanity.

Kurt Reyna

Kurt Reyna

PM - Construction Phase Architect

Kurt joined W Partnership in 2012 and earned his Texas Architect License in 2015. He is in AIA, NCARB, and is a LEED BD & C Accredited Professional, currently serving as Construction Phase Manager. In this role, Kurt handles construction administration submittals and RFIs. He collaborates with clients and consultants, performs preliminary research, leads site visits, and finds solutions to any challenges during the construction phase. Kurt first became interested in architecture and construction as a kid while exploring new housing developments near his childhood home. As a young adult, he was inspired by the 80’s international style seen on Miami Vice reruns, and he graduated from Texas Tech with his degree in architecture. Kurt enjoys cinema of all kinds, finding construction and cooking videos online, and spending time with his family.

Francia Velez

Francia Velez

Project Manager

Francia joined W Partnership in 2015, and now serves as a Project Manager. She leads her team to coordinate drawings for multiple projects in the Construction Documentation and Administration phases, collaborates with clients and consultants, and studies code in various states and municipalities to ensure compliance. She also researches appropriate materials, products, and systems; reviews shop drawings and project submittals; and uses creative thinking to refine designs. Francia has always had an interest in drafting by hand, and her aptitude for technical thinking meant that architecture was a natural fit for her talents. She attained her degree at Universidad de Caldas in Manizales, Colombia and moved to the U.S. in 1993. Francia enjoys hiking, gardening, and spending quality time with her friends and family.

David Brown

David Brown

Interior Designer

After growing up in Longview, Texas, David attended the University of Houston’s College of Architecture and Design where he earned a Bachelor of Architecture degree. He then joined a firm focused on interior design, and he soon found that he was very interested in this aspect of the industry. He became a Registered Interior Designer in 2020 and joined W Partnership in 2021. He works on all phases of the interior plans; his favorites being material selection, lighting design, and confirming project details. He uses a variety of software for visualization, communicating design intent with clients, and final documentation. David is WELL Accredited Professional, a Fitwel Ambassador, and a member of the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ). He enjoys staying active by taking his two dogs, Jake and Beau, on long walks.

Silvana Batllori

Silvana Batllori

Assistant Project Manager

Originally from Merida, Mexico, Silvana is an avid traveler. She attended the Universidad Autónoma de Yucatán and École Nationale Supérieure d’Architecture de Saint-Etienne in France, where she earned her degree in Architecture with a minor in Landscape Architecture. Silvana then gained her master’s in Technology in Architecture at Escola Tècnica Superior d’Arquitectura in Barcelona, specializing in Restoration and Rehabilitation of existing buildings. In her role as assistant project manager, Silvana coordinate projects from schematic design to construction and, helps to ensure code compliance. She also serves on the firm’s EDI Action Committee. Silvana is a member of NCARB, a LEED Green Associate, and she earned her Texas Architect’s License shortly after joining W Partnership in 2020. Silvana enjoys reading, bike riding, and spending time in nature with her husband Alejandro and her pet Pomeranian, Buddy. Still fascinated by historic architecture, Silvana volunteers with local preservation associations.

Tim Everett

Tim Everett

Assistant Project Manager

After growing up in Haymarket, Virginia, Tim attended the Catholic University of America in Washington D.C. where he earned a Bachelor of Science in Architecture. He joined W Partnership in autumn of 2010 and is currently an assistant project manager, working mainly with garden-style projects. In this role, Tim works closely with project managers to assign tasks, set project deadlines, and organize meetings. He also reviews project documents to ensure the firm’s high standards of quality are met. Tim enjoys toying with Legos, collecting shot glasses, and travelling to places that have historic value. Embracing his new life in Texas, Tim is an active member of the Houston Rodeo Express Committee.

Ashley Hesser

Ashley Hesser

Assistant Project Manager

Jose Juarez

Jose Juarez

Assistant Project Manager

Jose has had a fascination with architectural drawing ever since childhood. With his family’s encouragement, he went on to attain a degree in Drafting Technology and Project Management, and now has over 20 years of experience in the industry. He joined W Partnership in 2018, currently serving as an assistant project manager. He helps to lead the project teams by coordinating with designers, communicating with clients, and distributing architectural background drawings to the consultants. Jose also assists with construction administration once the project has reached the construction phase. He enjoys working on home improvement projects and tinkering with vintage audio equipment. As a parent volunteer at his children’s school, Jose participates in PTO activities and serves as a teaching assistant whenever he can.

Monica Ma

Monica Ma

Assistant Project Manager

Monica pursued a degree in architecture after a studio visit to a friend inspired her to enroll in the University of Houston’s College of Architecture and Design. After graduating with her B.A. in Architecture and a B.S. in Environmental Design, Monica moved across the globe to Hong Kong. While there, she gained over a decade of experience in commercial and industrial projects. In 2020, Monica returned to Houston and joined W Partnership, where she now focuses on construction and design development. Monica is an avid traveler, enjoys rock climbing, and spends most of her free time with her pet dog, Mocha.

Heba Rahwan

Heba Rahwan

Assistant Project Manager

Heba was born in Damascus, Syria, where she earned her Bachelor of Science in Architecture and then completed her NAAB Accreditation in the United States. She has 25 years of professional experience, both in the U.S. and abroad, and is a member of the National Council of Architectural Registration Boards (NCARB). In 2014, she joined W Partnership and now serves as an Assistant Project Manager. Working primarily with Hanover, Heba assists in managing projects from Schematic Design to the Issue for Construction. She reviews shop drawings, works closely with upper management, and coordinates with clients and consultants. Heba enjoys traveling, gardening, and spending quality time with her family and friends. She also works with her local church to volunteer for humanitarian causes in the global community.

Edgar Saucedo

Edgar Saucedo

Assistant Project Manager

Edgar became interested in architecture after taking an Architectural Drafting class at his high school in Chicago and knew immediately that he wanted to study architecture and build his career in this profession. After relocating to Houston in 2001, he attended the University of Houston’s College of Architecture and Design, where he majored in Architecture and Environmental Design. In 2013, Edgar joined the team at W Partnership, where he now serves as a Project Coordinator. In this role, Edgar develops Revit models and drawings from Schematic Design through the Construction Development phase, specializing in podium and mid-rise project types. He has a strong interest in music and the arts, and he enjoys traveling and remodeling his home whenever he can.

Michael Agurcia

Michael Agurcia

Project Coordinator

When beginning his studies at the University of Houston, Michael chose to pursue a career in architecture out of an appreciation of art and a fascination with technical composition. He achieved a Bachelor of Architecture with a minor in Construction Management and then joined W Partnership in the spring of 2021. As an architectural intern, Michael supports project development by helping to produce slab plans and building elevations, updating unit design, and editing construction document sheets. A member of the National Council of Architectural Registration Boards (NCARB), Michael is currently studying to attain his Texas licensure. He is an avid fan of the Houston Dynamo and Manchester United and enjoys getting onto the pitch himself when he’s not busy with his chow-chow/husky mix, Lilo.

Lester Alba

Lester Alba

Project Coordinator

Lester’s interest in architecture began after taking a course in Building Construction in high school. He then studied at The Mapua Institute of Technology, where he earned a Bachelor of Science in Architecture. Lester moved to the U.S. from the Philippines in 1989, joined W Partnership in the fall of 2010, and has over 20 years of experience in the industry. In his role as Project Coordinator, Lester prepares construction documents, collaborates with engineers and project consultants, and helps to ensure that projects are in compliance with state and municipal regulations to achieve client satisfaction. In his free time, Lester enjoys using his strategic thinking through playing chess, and stays active by playing table tennis.

Erick Bretana

Erick Bretana

Project Coordinator

Lulieth Cardona-Mejia

Lulieth Cardona-Mejia

Project Coordinator

Thomas Clifford

Thomas Clifford

Project Coordinator

Simon Cruz

Simon Cruz

Project Coordinator

Richard Fernandez

Richard Fernandez

Project Coordinator

Richard holds fond memories of seeing architectural drawings at a young age, which inspired him to join the profession. After gaining his education in architectural drafting, Richard initially worked for an engineering company. However, when the opportunity arose for him to pursue his true passion, he jumped at the chance, moving to a new city to join an architectural firm. Richard has over 30 years of experience in the industry and has been with W Partnership since 2010. He works in CAD and Revit to create drawings for construction in order to accurately convey the designs to contractors. In his free time, Richard enjoys spending time with his family and pet dog, Lola. He is currently restoring a vintage 1969 Chevy truck.

Augustine Koomson

Augustine Koomson

Project Coordinator

Augustine’s interest in architecture is fueled by the dynamic and collaborative nature of the profession; he values working with a team to bring creative ideas into reality. Augustine attended the University of Science and Technology in Ghana where he earned his undergraduate degree in Architecture and went on to achieve a master’s degree in Project Management. He has experience in corporate interiors and workplace design, and he joined W Partnership in the summer of 2021. In his role as a Project Coordinator, Augustine translates the schematic designs into detailed documents for construction. He coordinates with consultants and his team throughout this iterative process in order to ensure that all plans are feasible and complete. When not watching sports, Augustine stays active by playing tennis and soccer, and going on bike rides with his family.

Maria Martinez-Cisnado

Maria Martinez-Cisnado

Project Coordinator

Maria graduated from the University of Houston with a Bachelor of Science in Architecture and a minor in Anthropology. She joined W Partnership as an architectural intern in 2019 and became a Project Coordinator in 2020, contributing to projects’ schematic design and assisting in construction coordination. As part of the Marketing Team, Maria helps prepare award submittals and company publications. She is a strong advocate for minority representation in the industry, holding memberships in NOMA, AIA’s Women in Architecture, APX, and W Partnership’s EDI Action Committee. She also supports AIA Houston’s MGMC Scholarship, Project Pipeline, and is secretary of UH’s Alpha Rho Chi Alumni Association. Her recent community outreach efforts include volunteering at STREAMS Summer Camp and designing affordable housing for Agape Development. In her spare time, Maria loves to hike, watercolor, and read.

Rondah Mostafa

Rondah Mostafa

Project Coordinator

A native Houstonian, Rondah travelled to Egypt to attain her degree in Architectural Engineering with minors in Architectural History, Sustainable Architecture, and Architectural Research. Rondah is now working toward her goal of earning her architect’s license and is a member of NCARB. She has designed for the commercial, retail, hospitality, and multifamily markets, and joined W Partnership in the summer of 2021. Her responsibilities include producing and coordinating construction drawings, developing and managing models in Revit, and collaborating with the project team, clients, and consultants. Rondah enjoys travelling, reading, and spending time in nature. She loves to volunteer at her community center to encourage girls in their aspirations and achieve success.

Sonia Olivares

Sonia Olivares

Project Coordinator

Sonia attended the University of Houston originally with the plan to become an engineer due to her fascination with technical design. However, she soon felt that the architectural industry’s diverse and creative culture would be a better fit for her and went on to achieve her Bachelor of Architecture in 2013. Sonia joined W Partnership in the spring of 2021 and is one of the firm’s project coordinators. Her experience ranges from single family homes, townhomes, rental apartment houses, to Multifamily mid-rise buildings and Condos. In this role, she collaborates with her team and consultants to ensure production documents are complete and accurate during design development and through construction phase. In her spare time, Sonia enjoys taking walks with her daughter and listening to audiobooks.

Wael Salman

Wael Salman

Project Coordinator

Wael’s passion for architecture led him to experience different cultures. Originally from Michigan, Wael spent his childhood in Iraq where he attained his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in Architecture. After working as a professor at his alma mater, he practiced architecture in Iraq, Jordan, Arizona, and now Texas. Wael has over 20 years of experience in commercial, hospitality, and residential projects, and he joined W Partnership in 2021. He is currently working toward his Texas licensure and to become a LEED Green Associate. As a project coordinator, Wael assists in the design development phase through to preparing construction documents. He has several creative pursuits, including graphic design, hand sketching, and photography. Wael is also a big soccer fan— supporting the Arsenal team and playing in weekly games with a crew of six.

Andre Smith

Andre Smith

Project Coordinator

Vilma Umanzor

Vilma Umanzor

Project Coordinator

A true creative, Vilma developed an interest in digital art and graphic design, but she pursued a career in architecture due to her fascination for seeing a design’s impact on the built environment. She earned her Bachelor of Architecture from the University of Houston’s College of Architecture and Design and joined W Partnership as an architectural intern in 2021. In her current role, Vilma uses Revit to assist designers and project managers during a project’s Construction Development phase. Her hobbies include travel, trying new foods, and playing with her two dogs: Bruno and Renzo. Whether she’s kayaking, canoeing, or just relaxing by the beach, Vilma loves connecting to nature by spending time on the water.

Rachel Williams

Rachel Williams

Project Coordinator

Rachel has always had a respect and fascination for architecture. She initially studied drafting at HCC and has gone on to pursue her degree in Architecture at the University of Houston’s College of Architecture and Design. She joined W Partnership’s summer internship program in 2018 and has returned to the firm each year to gain experience in the field. As a Student Intern, Rachel assists with interior elevation detailing, dimensioning, and ensuring that final documents are tidy and ready for the next project phase. She is also a member of W Partnership’s Marketing Team and helps to manage the firm’s social media presence. When she’s not busy at school, Rachel enjoys visiting national parks, camping with her dogs, and going on trail rides with her family’s horses.

Negin Nayeri

Negin Nayeri

Architectural Intern

Negin has always held an interest in architecture and spent her childhood sketching and painting. Originally from Iran, she received her Master of Architecture from UCLA Architecture and Urban Design where she was part of the Entertainment (Film & Animation) studio. Prior to that she graduated with a professional degree (NAAB) in Architecture and Urban Design from the University of Houston. Negin joined W Partnership in the summer of 2021. As an Architectural Intern, Negin assists the project teams with the Schematic Design and Design Development phases. Her hobbies include cooking, watching movies, and playing tennis. Ever a creative at heart, she writes narratives as a part of her filmmaking process to transform the role of the architect.

Colin Taylor

Colin Taylor

Architectural Intern

Originally from Galveston, Colin attended Prairie View A&M University where he double majored with bachelor’s degrees in Architecture and in Construction Science as well as earning his master’s in Architecture. Before joining W Partnership in the summer of 2021, Colin’s focus was mainly on K-12 Educational projects. He now works with our Revit team producing working drawings of site plans, floor plans, building sections, and elevations. Colin is a member of the Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, an organization that meets the needs of its community through active and impactful engagement. He is an avid photographer (Colin captured the staff photographs seen here!). He is also a fan of cinema and sports, supporting the Los Angeles Lakers and the Houston Texans.

Sara White

Sara White

Architectural Intern

Sara is inspired by the effects that the built environment can have on human emotions. In 2016 she moved to Texas from Cedar Rapids, Iowa and to attend the University of Houston’s College of Architecture and Design, where she earned a bachelor’s degree in Architecture with a minor in World Cities. She then joined the W Partnership team in the summer of 2021. As an Architectural Intern, Sara is learning various skills in the profession. She assists with each project phase by maintaining project files; researching and developing architectural plans, elevations, sections, and details; and participating in meetings where she is gaining experience and insight. In her free time, Sara enjoys road biking, swimming, and yoga, as well as playing her saxophone and solving jigsaw puzzles.

Melody Wright

Melody Wright

Office Manager

As Office Manager, Melody wears many hats at W Partnership. She joined the firm in 2015 and was promoted to her current role in 2018. Her leadership responsibilities include preparing client proposals and project contracts, organizing accounts payable and receivable, ensuring licensing compliance in sixteen different states, maintaining business insurance coverage, managing the payroll system, coordinating benefits, and providing guidance on human resources for the office. Melody also manages staff records and onboarding, and she works closely with principals and partners to help direct the firm. She is a notary of the public and has had years of experience through her administrative work at other architectural firms. She serves on the Events and EDI Action Committees in order to build a warm and inclusive office environment. Melody loves to relax in the outdoors, visit wineries, and spend time with her family.