Oswaldo Ortega

PRESIDENT

Oswaldo was born and raised in New York City and earned his B.A. in Architecture at Syracuse University, followed by a M.S. degree in Architecture & Urban Design from Columbia University. He later continued his education at Johns Hopkins University through the Leadership Development Program where he honed his project management and leadership skills. As a new resident to Chicago, Oswaldo has quickly dove in head first into local community engagement efforts and volunteer program services. He is dedicated to serving and developing underserved communities and mentoring the next generation of architects and designers. 

 
 
 
 
 

Darin Triplett

Co-vice president

Darin Triplett is an artist and designer. He attained his professional degree in architecture from the University of Louisiana at Lafayette where he studied art, architecture, sociology, and sustainability.  He currently works as a Project Manager for the Public Building Commission of Chicago and is a partner at SolQuest Design Unlimited.  As an artist and designer, Darin strives to improve the quality of the built environment.  He believes in the power of space to connect people to ideas and emotions, and that good design is essential to create effective relationships among spaces, materials, functions, resources and especially people.  He also believes in honoring the broader goals of society by way of being a good citizen that is genial to the social and natural environment. 

 
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Kareem Cousar

Co-vice president

Kareem Cousar is a Project Manager with the Facilities Services group at the University of Chicago focusing on construction and design-related projects. His most notable project was managing the construction of the Laboratory School’s Gordon Parks Arts Hall, a 90,000 GSF facility dedicated to the visual and performing arts. Originally from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Kareem earned his B.A. in Architectural Studies from the University of Pittsburgh, M.A. in Architecture from Illinois Institute of Technology, and completed a Post Graduate Fellowship at Carnegie Mellon University. Kareem became a dedicated member of NOMA in 2010, and has played an integral role in the Project Pipeline Summer Camp since 2015. In his role as Co-Vice President, Kareem plans to help I-NOMA further develop the already successful Project Pipeline model.

 
 
 
 
 

Richard Hands

Co- secretary

Richard Hands was born and raised in Madison WI and earned his BS in Architectural Studies from the University of Wisconsin Milwaukee and his Masters of Architecture from the Illinois Institute of Technology. Richie firmly believes that architecture and design has the unique ability to change the way people interact with space and influence their emotions. With that, he take great pleasure in mentoring the next generation of designers and thinkers and is heavily involved in multiple mentoring programs, including Project Pipeline as the Program Director and Co-Host of the camp.

 
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Ameera Ashraf-Oneil

CO- SECRETARY

Ameera Ashraf-O’Neil has been a continued member of the National Organization of Minority Architects (NOMA) and the local chapter of Illinois (INOMA) since 1989.  Prior to being secretary, she has various positions on the I-NOMA board. She feels NOMA is family, she honors and respects the past, celebrates the present and guides and encourages the future of minority architects and the organization. Additional, since 2006, Ameera has been  employed as Senior Project Manager at UrbanWorks, Ltd.

 
 
 
 

Kristin Ortega

Treasurer

Kristin earned her B.A. in Economics from Rutgers University and graduated from the Robert H. Smith School of Business at the University of Maryland with her MBA.  Kristin has over 14 years of Finance and Project Management experience specializing in financial, logistical, and operational controls for account and portfolio management. Since moving to Chicago in 2014, Kristin has participated as a Mentor in the Project Pipeline Architecture Camp in 2015 and 2016. As the new Treasurer for I-NOMA, Kristin will provide financial and management counsel to the I-NOMA Leadership team while ensuring the quality and integrity of the Chapter’s accounts.

 

 
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Errol Oneil

CO- historian

Errol O’Neil Assoc AIA, NOMA has been involved in NOM since 1985. He has held nearly every board position including Treasurer, Historian, Parliamentarian, Vice-President and , most recently served as Historian from 1999 to 2013. Errol has also been a NOMA National board member, serving as Historian from 2006 to 2012. Errol has served on the 1994 and 2003 National Convention conference committees, as well as several local awards banquet committee’s . NOMA has long since become a way of life for Errol, and as a family oriented organization, NOMA has led to various employment opportunities as well as life-long friendships and relationships, including his wife of 17 years, fellow architect Ameera Ashraf-O’Neil.