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 our team 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, AIA, NCARB

Project Manager • Designer

Andrew Stephens

Interior Designer

Jean Kijko

Project Architect

Dixon Jelich, RA

Project Architect

Emile LeJeune, NCARB

Architectural Designer

Sara Beaman

Architectural Designer

Morgan Conner

Architectural Designer

Kaylan Mitchell

Finance and HR Manager

Jennifer Morales

Administrator

Laura Williams

Architectural Designer

Mackenzie Laxton

Principal Architect

John C. Williams, AIA, NCARB


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.

Project Manager • Designer

Andrew Stephens


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. 

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 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.

Interior Designer

Jean Kijko


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.

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
Project Architect

Dixon Jelich, RA


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.

EDUCATION

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

CERTIFICATIONS & ORGANIZATIONS

  • National Council of Architectural Registration Boards
Project Architect

Emile LeJeune, NCARB


Emile LeJeune is a registered architect raised near the strawberry fields of Tickfaw, Louisiana. He was fortunate enough to travel frequently to Italy to visit family, where he developed a passion for the blending of contemporary and traditional architecture of Europe. He earned his Master of Architecture degree from Tulane University, focusing on design-build studio classes and gaining skills in woodworking and fabrication in the process.

In addition to his hands-on knowledge of building and millwork construction, he is also technologically proficient in BIM, 3D rendering, clash detection, and is always seeking more knowledge of the latest technologies in design and construction. His project experience covers a broad range of project types, including many contemporary residences, high-rise hospitality, and performing arts centers.

EDUCATION

  • Master of Architecture, Tulane University, 2013

CERTIFICATIONS & ORGANIZATIONS

  • Registered Architect: Louisiana
  • American Institute of Architects (AIA)
  • NCARB , National Council of Architectural Registration Boards
Architectural Designer

Sara Beaman


Newcomer to New Orleans, Sara found a love for architecture through playing with and learning various spatial modeling programs in high school.

Following the 2016 Louisiana Floods, Sara supported her parents in restoring and renovating damaged homes. She also served as a consultant for the FDA and as an intern at non-profits. Inspired by the environmental movement, she hopes to incorporate resilient and sustainable design in each project at Williams Architects.

EDUCATION

  • Bachelors of Art in Architecture, Louisiana State University, 2022
Architectural Designer

Morgan Conner


Born and raised in Bourg & Montegut, Louisiana, Morgan recently returned home to join Williams Architects and begin her career in architecture. Morgan completed a Master’s of Architecture program and participated in an internship with Karoline Becker Architektur (Heidelberg, Germany) before offering her skillset and drive to the Williams Architects team.

Growing up fascinated by built spaces and those occurring in the natural environment and landscape around her, Morgan translated this curiosity into a passion for sustainable design and material incorporation, purposes, and fabrication.

EDUCATION

  • Master of Architecture, SRH Hochschule Heidelberg (Germany), 2021
  • Bachelor of Architecture, University of Louisiana at Lafayette, 2015
Architectural Designer

Kaylan Mitchell


EDUCATION

  • Master of Architecture, Preservation Studies, Tulane University 2023
  • Bachelor of Arts in Communication Studies, LSU 2019

A native of Franklin, Louisiana, Kaylan is passionate about people, placemaking, and material history within design. Kaylan holds a Master of Architecture and Graduate Certificate in Historic Preservation from Tulane University. There she received both the graduate leadership award and equity diversity and inclusion award for her dedication to her roles in student leadership and creating community within the school.

Growing up on the rural Gulf Coast, Kaylan is inspired by meaningful gestures and enjoys trying to find ways to implement that in design. She is committed to understanding how to continue the stories of historical buildings through sustainable renovation and restoration.

Finance and HR Manager

Jennifer Morales


Originally from New Orleans, Jennifer has 23 years of experience with Full Cycle Accounting, Payroll, and Benefits Administration. She also has expertise with budgeting, payroll/human resources, and business planning. Jennifer’s primary function at Williams is to oversee the company’s financial operations and reporting. She is responsible for handling all ledgers accurately. Her goal in the future is to become a Project Manager with the firm. In her spare time, she loves to catch up with family and friends.

EDUCATION

Bachelor of Science in Business Management with a Concentration in Human Resources, 2022.

CERTIFICATIONS

  • Quickbooks
  • Excel

              

Administrator

Laura Williams


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.

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
Architectural Designer

Mackenzie Laxton

Born and raised in St. Louis, Mackenzie received her Master’s in Architecture from the University of Kansas with certifications in both Historic Preservation and Design-Build. During her time at the University of Kansas, she participated in Studio 804, and comprehensive design-build course where she was challenged with the design and construction of tiny homes for the local community shelter; this fueled her love for community-based projects and serving those in need. Her passion for historic architecture and adaptive reuse brought her to New Orleans and eventually to work with the Williams Architects team.

Mackenzie hopes to use her construction and carpentry knowledge in unison with her proficiency in technical modeling to excel with Williams Architects. She is always eager to learn more advanced and efficient ways to work and always strives to exceed client expectations.

EDUCATION

-Master of Architecture, University of Kansas, 2021

-Certificate of Design-Build

-Certificate of Historic Preservation

-Associate Architect, AIA