Team

Since our firm was founded in 1983, our collective philosophy has always been that an organization is only as good as its experts. Building on this fundamental principle, Williams Architects has cultivated a team of professionals who share a passion for revitalizing communities through the thought and talent that goes into each successful project. With a team of 19 professionals Williams Architects has the diversity of experience and dedication to meet any client’s needs regardless of the size and scope of the project.




Principal Architect

John C. Williams

Architectural Designer

Calla Bardwell

Architectural Designer

Caleb Boulet

Architectural Designer

Calvin Gallion, III

Project Manager • Designer

Ashley Dove Greene

Project Architect

Mark Heck

Project Architect

Carrie Hunsicker

Project Manager • Designer

Dixon Jelich

Interior Designer

Jean Kijko

Office Manager

Shonna Lang

Project Manager • Designer

Juan Lara

Bookkeeper

Carol Mcmillen

Marketing Coordinator

Chris Plattsmier

Executive Assistant

Sarah Schiro

Interior Designer

Rachel Smith

Project Manager • Designer

Andrew Stephens

Architectural Designer

Jakob Surber

Administrator

Laura Williams

Principal Architect

John C. Williams


EDUCATION

  • Master of Architecture, Tulane University, 2004
  • Bachelor of Architecture, Tulane University, 1978
  • Bachelor of Science, Psychology, Tulane University, 1973
  • Certification as Psychology Group Leader, De-Paul Mental Health Center, 1972

CERTIFICATIONS & ORGANIZATIONS

  • Registered Architect: Louisiana, Alabama, Mississippi, Florida, North Carolina
  • Past-President – American Institute of Architects, New Orleans Chapter
  • Member – Vieux Carré Commission, Design Guidelines Committee
  • Past-Chairman – Vieux Carré Commission, Guidelines Drawing
  • Committee Member – Vieux Carré Commission, Architectural Awards Committee
  • Past President – Tulane University Alumni Association
  • Member – Governor’s Commission on Coastal Conservation and Restoration

As principal of Williams Architects, no one embodies the values of “spaces for moments” more than John. An architect since 1975, he puts this principle forth using a broad range of experience including planning, design, project management, and master planning of projects in the hundreds of millions of dollars.

John has more than 35 years of experience with historic preservation and new construction. Since he founded Williams Architects in 1983, the firm has completed over 500 historic renovation projects. John has instilled this focus on preserving and adapting historic buildings in the architects in his firm, and the results speak to Williams Architects’ commitment to making a positive impact on communities. Williams Architects has been honored with design awards from the Historic District Landmarks Commission, the Vieux Carré Commission, the American Institute of Architects, and others.

John has built a diverse and impressive body of work over his career including the Port of New Orleans, the New Orleans Regional Medical Center, and the Research Park at the University of New Orleans. John takes pride in all his projects, no matter how big or small. From a delicate iron gate to a new multi-story building to a residential golf community, John’s dynamic work can be viewed all around the southeast.

There are few more engaged in the local architecture community than John is. He served as treasurer and president for the New Orleans chapter of the American Institute of Architects. As president, John organized design charrettes for stakeholders and planners of the New Orleans riverfront, Oak Street commercial area, Algiers, New Orleans downtown, the Lower 9th Ward and the French Market. John’s tenure with AIA also led to the organization of the Riverfront Awareness Workshop, from which came many great developments such as the riverfront streetcar.

John’s engagement also extends to the deep relationships he has cultivated with local, state, and federal government regulatory agencies. As a result of his dedication and professionalism, these agencies trust that Williams Architects always has the community’s best interests at heart. John and his fellow architects at Williams continue to actively develop these relationships as part of their ongoing commitment on behalf of clients.

Further demonstrating an active dedication to our city, John was very involved after Hurricane Katrina in planning several projects in the Lower 9th Ward to help establish the community as the most sustainable neighborhood in the United States. John was one of thirteen (only two local) that was selected to help as recovery planners. John’s leadership in the firm provides experience and knowledge in a profession that he is passionate about.

Architectural Designer

Calla Bardwell


EDUCATION

  • Masters of Architecture, Tulane University, 2017
  • Masters of Sustainable Real Estate Development, Tulane University, 2017
  • Bachelor of Architecture, Tulane University, 2016

CERTIFICATIONS & ORGANIZATIONS

  • LEED Green Associate, U.S. Green Building Council

Calla Bardwell’s favorite childhood toy was Lego. This early love of miniature building led her down the professional path of becoming a master Lego builder, so to speak, or the next best thing: a Designer here at Williams Architects.

She left the suburbs of Connecticut on an academic pursuit and found another true love: New Orleans. Her dual masters in Architecture and Real Estate Development from Tulane University have instilled a commitment and passion for the historic fabric of this great city that continues to grow day by day.

In the summer of 2019, Calla transitioned to a full-time position at Williams Architects, enjoys being a part of the innovative, collaborative and dedicated design team and is always excited to be involved in all phases of architectural services.

Architectural Designer

Caleb Boulet

  • Master of Architecture, University of Louisiana Lafayette, 2017
  • Bachelor of Architecture, University of Louisiana Lafayette, 2015

Caleb was born and raised in Lafayette, Louisiana – the heart of Cajun country. As early as fourth grade, his future career objective was to work in the field of architecture – constantly reconfiguring interesting spaces when playing with Legos, wood cabin logs, and wood building blocks.

Caleb holds both a Bachelor of Architecture and Master of Architecture from the University of Louisiana at Lafayette. While attending school, Caleb worked for multiple architecture firms in the Lafayette area; this allowed him to have a better understanding of life within the profession. He discovered his passion for historic architecture while studying abroad in Florence, Italy.

Shortly after graduating, he moved to New Orleans and immediately fell in love with the dynamics of the city – creating a strong desire to help revitalize, restore, and adapt the historic architecture. He values the idea of neuro-architecture, focusing on the perspective of the individual by constantly considering how one interacts and feels within a space.

Architectural Designer

Calvin Gallion, III


EDUCATION

  • Master of Architecture, Tulane University, 2017
  • Bachelor of Architecture, Tulane University, 2016

Originally from Natchitoches, Louisiana, Calvin discovered his love of architecture and design at an early age. He grew up in a large family of artists and designers and fell comfortably into that mindset very quickly. Even as one of the youngest members of the team, he’s made his impact in the office and within New Orleans.

Growing up in Natchitoches instilled a sense of historic preservation that shows in Calvin’s work, but can transition to modern designs seamlessly. He has worked on projects of varying sizes and has even led teams for larger programs and designs, including single family residential, university work and restaurants.

Calvin has cultivated respectful working relationships with numerous regulatory agencies, most notably the Vieux Carré Commission and State Historic Preservation Office. He approaches the agencies with the same values he applies to client engagement: listening and communication.

Project Manager • Designer

Ashley Dove Greene


EDUCATION

  • Bachelor of Architecture, Minor of Interior Design, Savanah College of Art & Design, 2008

CERTIFICATIONS & ORGANIZATIONS

  • American Institute of Architects (AIA)
  • New Orleans Architecture Foundation
  • Women in Architecture (AIA)
  • Preservation Resource Center Member

Ashley joined Williams Architects in Summer of 2020. She brings with her 10+ years of New Orleans, Baton Rouge, and Gulf South experience in the fields of architecture, construction, and interior design with a specialized focus on renovation and restoration. Her initial years with Design Build firms cemented her capability as a resilient project manager no matter the task. Hailing from Baltimore, Maryland and a graduate of The Savannah College of Art and Design, she has a love for historic industrial cities as exemplified through her work in adaptive reuse, preservation, and historic renovations. She cultivated a unique skill – born from extensive time in the field – to see the bones of construction beyond the façade and create works that honors the past, present, and future at once.

Project Architect

Mark Heck


EDUCATION

  • Master of Architecture, Tulane University, 2006
  • Bachelor of Architecture, Tulane University, 2006

CERTIFICATIONS & ORGANIZATIONS

  • Registered Architect Louisiana
  • American Institute of Architects (AIA), New Orleans Chapter
  • NCARB, National Council of Architectural Registration Boards
  • Past-Board President, Zoning Committee Member- Bywater Neighborhood Association
  • Board Member, Facilities Committee, Finance Committee – Foundation Preparatory Charter School

A Tulane-educated, New Orleans-area native, Mark Heck is as local an expert as they come. Mark is a versatile, creative architect who has seen New Orleans both pre- and post-Katrina and continues to be committed to the city’s vitality through his work. Mark has worked on commercial spaces such as Parlor Recording Studios and a multitude of residential projects from single family homes to an 87-unit multi-family housing project. Mark’s institutional work includes the NOCCA Forum Expansion and W. Smith Jr. Elementary in St. Bernard Parish, which was the area’s first government-funded new construction project after Hurricane Katrina. This project — like the rest of Mark’s work throughout the city — helped him understand the contribution that new and/or improved buildings can make in creating a visual representation of a community’s growth.

Mark’s longevity in the area has led to strong working relationships with many state and local regulatory agencies, most notably the Historic District Landmarks Commission and the State Historic Preservation Office. Mark’s extensive experience and ability to navigate the many disparate aspects of a project always reflect the client’s needs, which he ensures are the focal point through which he bases all decisions on a project. Mark understands the importance of client engagement, making it as paramount as a structure’s characteristic when adapting a building. Mark’s approach is founded on the integration of the client’s needs with a deep understanding of design development. This foundation helps him maneuver through the diverse details of construction, documentation, and regulatory agencies to successfully turn a client’s concept into reality.

Project Architect

Carrie Hunsicker


EDUCATION

  • Master of Architecture, Washington University, 2004
  • Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy, Sewanee: The University of the South, 2001

CERTIFICATIONS & ORGANIZATIONS

  • Registered Architect: Louisiana, Georgia
  • American Institute of Architects (AIA), New Orleans Chapter
  • NCARB , National Council of Architectural Registration Boards
  • LEED AP, U.S. Green Building Council
  • New Orleans Women in Architecture Member
  • Junior League of New Orleans
  • Preservation Resource Center, Heritage Club Member
  • The Historic New Orleans Collection, Caillot Circle Member

A native of Oxford, Mississippi, Carrie sees the practice of architecture as a creative synthesis, grounded in people and place, and is sensitive to the art and poetry of the built form.  She approaches each architectural challenge with an open mind and is a natural problem solver, thinker, collaborator, and leader who integrates effortlessly with multi-disciplinary teams of clients, developers, institutions, engineers, planners, and team members to bring projects to fruition.  Her understanding of complicated architecture and her ability to work with programmatically complex design gives her the ability to approach each project, and to master the complexity of its details, in order to ensure that the project runs smoothly from start to finish.

Over her nearly 20-year career, she has practiced at prominent and internationally renowned firms in Chicago, Atlanta, and Memphis, where she gained vital experience on a broad range of projects including civic, institutional/education, corporate, office/retail/restaurants, healthcare, government, master planning, interior design, adaptive re-use, multi-family residential, and single-family residential work. In the past two decades, her projects have been honored with nearly 30 design awards, including the National AIA Honor Award for Architecture for the Gates Center for Computer Science and Hillman Center for Future Generation Technologies at Carnegie Mellon University. Her contributions have earned recognition in Architectural Record, Architect, Detail, Dwell, The Chronicle of Higher Education, and Texas Architect. Carrie has also been a visiting lecturer at Georgia Tech where she taught Undergraduate architecture studios.

Carrie is a member of the Junior League of New Orleans where she serves on the 100 Year Impact & Celebration Steering Committee.  She is also a member of the Krewe of Iris.  In her free time, Carrie enjoys walking in Audubon Park, photography, painting, and traveling.

Project Manager • Designer

Dixon Jelich


EDUCATION

  • Master of Architecture, Tulane University, 2012
  • Bachelor of Architecture, Tulane University, 2011

CERTIFICATIONS & ORGANIZATIONS

  • National Council of Architectural Registration Boards

Dixon Jelich began working for Williams Architects in the summer of 2016 and has become a valuable team resource to his projects and colleagues. With architectural and construction experience, Dixon thrives in a hands on approach to develop a better understanding of the project and its needs to be successful. He believes initial code and zoning review is integral to the successful start of any project. As part of facilitating a favorable experience for the community and clients, Dixon has cultivated solid and meaningful relationships with numerous state and national agencies, as well as departments within New Orleans City Hall, such as HDLC, VCC, Zoning, Downtown Development District, Parks and Parkways, and the Departments of Property Management and Public Works. This emphasis on planning extends to Dixon’s constant client engagement and efforts to keep the client informed throughout the process. It has also reinforced a deep respect for the importance of government partners.

The results of this fundamental belief are evident in Dixon’s dynamic and diverse body of work. Dixon has been an intrinsic part of residential projects like the condos of 1031 Orleans Avenue, institutional projects such as the Blood Center at 2609 Canal Street, and commercial projects like the Aveda Paris Parker Salon, which the client believes set a new precedent for upscale salon design.

With his extensive planning and practice of client collaboration, Dixon is proud of his work in revitalizing blighted properties and improving the aesthetic and property value of New Orleans neighborhoods.

Interior Designer

Jean Kijko


EDUCATION

  • Bachelor of Fine Arts, School of Art and Architecture, University of Louisiana at Lafayette, 1986

CERTIFICATIONS & ORGANIZATIONS

  • Registered Interior Designer Louisiana #1072
  • National Council for Interior Design Qualification Certified #10565

Jean Kijko is dedicated to her goals of identifying the project from the customer’s perspective, determining their unique needs and values, and conceptualizing solutions through innovative and creative design services, product selections and follow-up.

Jean’s expertise is indisputable with over thirty-five years of proven organizational skills such as Programming, Conceptual and Schematic Design, Design Development, Space Planning, Construction Documents, Cost Proposals and FF&E Budget Analysis, Finish Plans, Interior Specifications, Purchasing, Expediting and Coordination of Delivery and Sub-contractor Installation.

Jean is a respected and self-motivated professional who consistently demonstrates thought-leadership and a collaborative approach to teamwork and providing a high level of service to clients.

Office Manager

Shonna Lang


EDUCATION

  • MBA, University of Phoenix, 2002
  • Bachelor of Arts, Business Administration, Dillard University 1993

Ms. Lang is a native from New Orleans, Louisiana.  She attended high school at St. Mary’s Academy.  She received her Bachelor degree from Dillard University in Business Administration and Human Resources and a MBA from the University of Phoenix.  Ms. Lang has over 10 years’ experience in Consumer and Business Banking at local banks here in New Orleans, including Capital One and Regions Bank.  In addition to her banking experience, Ms. Lang has recently worked at several different charter schools in the New Orleans area in Operations, Finance and Human Resources. 

Project Manager • Designer

Juan Lara


EDUCATION

  • Bachelor of Architecture, Louisiana State University, 2001

Juan Lara has demonstrated his vibrant and diverse experience on a number of commercial projects with Williams Architects including City Park Amusements, Walk-On’s, 411 Bourbon Street and the Foundry. Juan has also brought his particular area of expertise, adaptive reuse, to residential spaces such as 1201 Baronne Street, where he conceptualized converting an existing historic structure into condominiums along with the addition of a new two-story building with four additional condo units. Juan’s commitment to collaboration is demonstrated in his respectful working relationships with local and state agencies such as VCC and Fire Marshall and extends to his client engagement, where he strives to listen, understand, communicate, and implement. Understanding the client’s approach to both the business and romantic sides of architecture, Juan hopes his adaptive work helps preserve New Orleans’ unique history and gives New Orleanians more opportunities to experience that history in their built environment.

Bookkeeper

Carol Mcmillen


Carol McMillen joined the firm with over 40 years of committed experience in strategic finance and accounting and oversees Williams Architects’ financial data and compliance. With a dedication to maintaining accurate books on accounts payable and receivable, payroll, and daily financial entries and reconciliations, Carol performs daily accounting tasks such as financial reporting, general ledger entries, and record payments and adjustments.   Additionally, Carol handles basic HR duties such as new hire documents and compliance.

Marketing Coordinator

Chris Plattsmier


EDUCATION

  • Bachelors of Art in English with a minor in Political Science, Loyola University of New Orleans, 2015
  • Masters of Science in Publishing: Print and Digital Media, New York University, 2017

As Marketing Coordinator, Chris Plattsmier brings over five years of digital media and communications experience to the job. Before joining Williams Architects, Chris primarily worked in scholarly communication and non-profit spaces in various roles including content production and management, marketing, recruiting, and communication strategy. 

A native of South Louisiana, Chris is pleased to join an organization dedicated to creating dynamic, functional, and sustainable architecture for Louisiana communities and beyond. Passionate about local history and culture, Williams’ reputation in historical preservation and renovation drew him to the role, and he is excited to apply his expertise to grow Williams Architects’ footprint throughout the region.

Executive Assistant

Sarah Schiro


EDUCATION

  • Bachelor of Science in Hotel, Restaurant and Tourism Administration, University of New Orleans, 2009

Sarah is the Executive Assistant to the Principal and Executives at Williams Architects. She brings over ten years of administrative experience to the table with expertise in office management, human resources, and accounting. Her flexible skillset will be used in various critical support roles required for her position. Sarah likes to use her positive attitude and outlook on life to encourage others to work hard and live in the present. 

Interior Designer

Rachel Smith


EDUCATION

  • Bachelor of Interior Design, Louisiana State University, 1992

CERTIFICATIONS & ORGANIZATIONS

  • Registered Interior Designer Louisiana LA Registered Interior Designer #1104

Rachel Smith never loses sight of the big picture. She works collaboratively and respectfully with regulatory agencies such as the State Historic Preservation Office throughout her process to ensure the most efficient and favorable outcome. This commitment to collaboration extends to all aspects of a project as Rachel maintains a healthy relationship with contractors and other third-party professionals, and keeps clients involved and informed every step of the way.

Rachel’s focus on the big picture shows in her diverse and innovative body of work. Projects Rachel has been a key, dedicated team member on include commercial spaces like the Villa in Lake Charles and famed New Orleans staple, Brennan’s, residential projects such as a home for Horst and Karen Pfeiffer and institutional work on the Audubon Insectarium and Whitney Bank branches on Transcontinental and Gentilly. Rachel’s results stem from a deep appreciation of the design process, particularly the problem-solving that defines historic restoration and renovation projects. Rachel is passionate about what she does and how she does it, a sentiment that resonates in her thoughtful and dynamic design work.

Project Manager • Designer

Andrew Stephens


EDUCATION

  • Bachelor of Architecture, University of Kansas, 2009

CERTIFICATIONS & ORGANIZATIONS

  • Board Member – Historic Green
  • Past Board Member – Holy Cross Neighborhood Association
  • Founding Board Member – Lower Ninth Ward Neighborhood Association

Andy Stephens has been a Project Manager and Designer with Williams Architects for a decade and has been an instrumental team member on projects at vastly different scales, various programs, and a range of budgets and timelines.

As a Project Manager, Andy has an acute understanding of the importance of a client’s vision for the site and the critical roles community, local agencies, and historic context play in a project’s viability, success, and longevity.  Andy believes in the power of collaboration and is adept at connecting and building a critical sympatico between the various team members that are a part of any project’s success. Through his years of experience, Andy has cultivated strong and respectful relationships with local and state agencies that are essential for building consensus on a project’s design. Andy has also served as a team member on several local neighborhood organizations, including a Board member of the Holy Cross Neighborhood Association, a founding Board member of the Lower Ninth Ward Neighborhood Association, and as a Steering Committee member for the 2018 AIA RUDAT in the Lower Ninth Ward. 

Andy has a diverse and dynamic body of project experience in single family, multi-family, commercial and institutional work, with local examples such as Bellegarde Bakery, the One11 Hotel, NOCCA Forum, 6324 Chef Menteur Hwy renovation and the redevelopment of Charity Hospital.

Architectural Designer

Jakob Surber


EDUCATION

  • Master of Architecture, Tulane University, 2020
  • Bachelor of Architecture, Tulane University, 2019

Jakob Surber joined Williams Architects after completing his education at Tulane School of Architecture in 2020. A native of New York, Jakob moved to New Orleans for college and has fallen in love with the culture, music, and food of our unique and vibrant city. Jakob has worked on a diverse group of projects for the firm in his tenure, including modeling the new Xavier University addition and the redevelopment of Charity Hospital.  He enjoys rendering and utilizing various digital software to delve deeply into the projects he is working on.

Administrator

Laura Williams


EDUCATION

  • Masters in Education, UNO 1996
  • Elementary School Certification
  • Architecture School, 3 years Tulane University 1978
  • BA Art History, Tulane University 1974

CERTIFICATIONS & ORGANIZATIONS

  • Member of Phi Beta Kappa
  • Board Member – Waldo Burton Home for Boys

Past Board Member:

  • LA Children’s Museum
  • Planned Parenthood of the Gulf Coast
  • Kingsley House
  • Unity of Greater New Orleans
  • The Bright School
  • The Parenting Center of Children’s Hospital
  • Make Music NOLA
  • The Junior League of New Orleans
  • Trinity Episcopal Church – Mobile Loaves & Fishes, Rummage Sale, Baptism Committee, Guild of the Christ Child

After graduating with a BA in Art History from Tulane University, Laura went on to study at the Tulane School of Architecture for three years. Since then, she has worked in architecture as well as completing a Masters in Education at UNO.

Laura is a founding partner of Williams Architects and has spent the past 37 years cultivating a thought-leading and collaborative firm that defines expertise and innovation in architecture, planning and interior design. Laura’s skill set extends to the administrative side of the business as well as managing transformative and dynamic residential projects.