2017 Board of Directors

2017 Board of Directors

 2017 NOMAtlanta Board of Directors

“Celebrating Diversity in The Atlanta Design Community.”

President – Sophia Tarkhan, AIA, NOMA, LEED AP


Sophia has more than 20 years of experience in the building industry. She was with Cooper Carry from 2007-2009, returned in 2014, and was named an Associate in 2015. She has practiced as a Project Architect, Program Manager (Owner’s Representative) and Construction Manager. Her first-hand experience in the different building disciplines gives her an edge in negotiating through the design and construction process. In addition to planning and design, Sophia has an in-depth understanding of construction processes and uses her management skills in project collaboration with owners, consultants, contractors and governing authorities for successful projects. She strives to translate the owner’s visions into the built environment in the public and private sector for K-12 Schools project types. She practices in the K-12 Education Studio, but has worked on projects relevant to Government, Office and Mixed-Use. Sophia graduated from the University of Florida with a Master of Architecture and a Master of Science in Building Construction. She is a registered architect, a member of the American Institute of Architects (AIA), of the Council of Educational Facilities Planners International (CEFPI), and is a Leadership in Energy and    Environmental Design Accredited Professional (LEED AP).



Treasurer –Ralph Raymond, NOMA, AIA, NCARB,


Ralph Raymond, Haitian-born Architect, artfully integrates architectural design and knowledge of construction technology into project delivery. His myriad of project types, through all phases of design and construction contract administration, makes his experience instrumental. He is able to manage and implement artistic, programmatic, schematic, and pragmatic skills in the competent delivery of project execution. Proper communication and careful reflection and consideration of client goals aid in his understanding of a well-accomplished design. He is geared toward successful design performance through rigorous means and methods.







Secretary- Nekia Strong, NOMA, NCARB, LEED AP


Nekia Strong is currently Vice President of Barrett Symone Property Managers, an Owner-operator property management company with a portfolio of commercial retail shopping centers and restaurant land leases primarily in the southwest Atlanta area.  She leads operations, building management and leasing duties for the office.  In the near future, Nekia hopes to reactivate the new development arm of the company to diversify the real estate holdings into other areas of the city.

Nekia is a licensed architect and holds registrations in the states of Alabama and Georgia.  Prior to moving into property management, she spent nine years working as a designer and project architect for HOK in Atlanta and Grimm+Parker Architects of McLean, Virginia.  Her passion is in community-based and cultural projects, and her working portfolio reflects that having been involved in several high education buildings, recreation centers, and museums.






Parliamentarian- Jereme A. Smith, NOMA, AIA, Revit CP


Jereme Smith is currently an Architect for ASD|SKY an Architecture, Graphics, and Interiors Design firm headquartered in Atlanta GA with offices across the US specializing in commercial office, retail, restaurants, branding, and motion graphics to say the least. Jereme leads teams in preparing design concepts that integrate programmatic requirements, codes/regulations and the overall client vision into a cohesive design. Through this process Jereme prepares contract documents, renderings and presentation graphics, utilizing BIM (Building Informational Modeling) and related software. Jereme is an Autodesk Revit Certified Professional and has presented at RTC, a national conference on Revit and taught various courses at ITT Tech and online exploring the technical aspects of Architectural design and Technology.

Jereme is also very passionate about mentoring and service to the profession and is currently serving on three boards; the Drew Charter Engineering Advisory board, the National Organization of Minority Architects Atlanta chapter board and the American Institute of Architects Atlanta chapter board. Through these means and many others, Jereme continues to promote a wholistic approach to design utilizing technology and collaboration as a catalyst.




Past President – Marc Johnson, NOMA, AIA, NCARB, LEED AP BD+C



Marc Johnson is an Architect and Designer accumulating a broad range of experience in Cultural, Retail, Office, Institutional, Hospitality, and Mixed-Use projects.  He works from project inception and design and through to construction providing oversight to final completion.  He has worked on notable projects including the Porsche Experience Center and the Center, Hartsfield-Jackson Airport and the Center for Civil and Human Rights where he served as the project architect for global design, architecture, engineering and planning firm, HOK.

Since his years in college, Marc has always found a way to give his most valuable gift of time to his community and to the generation of architects and students making their way through the ranks.  He shares his passion for architecture with  3rd graders on up to college students wherever he encounters them.  He does this as an active participant leader on the NOMA and AIA Atlanta boards.

Through his many experiences working with diverse personalities and challenging projects, he has developed unique skills which have served him well over the last 19 years.

email: marc.johnson@nomaatlanta.org; Twitter @marctheodore;


NOMA National | South Region Vice President – Garfield Peart, MBA, NOMA, AIA, LEED GA



Garfield Peart is currently a Program Management Officer and Construction Project Manager with the Renew Atlanta Infrastructure Bond, City of Atlanta. Garfield Peart is a career project manager and architect for both the public and private sector. He is a Lieutenant Colonel with the Air Force Reserves. He received his Bachelor of Architecture Degree at Howard University in Washington, DC, and a Master of Business Administration (MBA) Degree in Sustainability Business with a concentration in Green Development from Marylhurst University in Portland, Oregon.

Garfield is passionate about protecting our natural resources while ensuring the availability of those resources for future generations. Garfield is President of his own sustainable design practice, Syntony Design Collaborative LLC. He uses his architectural design, project management, sustainable business practice and military leadership skills to address long-standing development and building design issues in our communities. Garfield hopes to facilitate collaborative efforts on all levels to create more fully integrated, healthy and sustainable buildings and communities not only for the Atlanta metropolitan region but the nation. Garfield has been a featured speaker for sustainability on both the local and national levels. He participates in a number of professional, educational and nonprofit associations.

Garfield serves on the National NOMA Board as the South Vice-President. His honors include the 2012 Ford Freedom Unsung Heroes Award, by the Ford Motor Company and National Center for Civil and Human Rights and 2013 Member of the Year for the National Organization of Minority Architects.

NOMA Atlanta – Subcommittee Leaders

Membership – Corey Riley, NOMA, AIA, MBA

An accomplished Project Manager/Architect, I have 20 years of progressive experience leading large-scale, multi-phase capital construction, renovation and rebranding initiatives for international luxury hotels and resorts. Blending creative inspiration with acute business acumen, I achieved notable results delivering innovative, high-value modernization, revitalization and rebranding projects which have garnered industry awards and accolades. Over the past 13 years with Atlanta-based C+TC Design Studio (formerly CMMI, Inc), a national architecture firm specializing in luxury hotel/hospitality projects, I have progressed from Assistant Project Manager to my current role as Senior Project Manager. Since 2007, I have held led numerous high-visibility, multi-phase capital projects for leading hotel corporations, including Omni, Hyatt, Marriott and International Hotel Group. Key projects have ranged from the design, renovation/modernization of a 1916, 20-story Omni Hotel to the rebranding conversion of a 232-room, 21K s.f. Intercontinental Hotel in Tampa, Florida and subsequently selected as the Official Team Hotel for Super Bowl XLIII.


Community Affairs -Farida Abu-Bakare, NOMA, AIA, NRAIC, AAA

Farida Abu-Bakare (M.Arch ’12), AIA, NOMA, MRAIC, AAA is the Community Affairs Director at NOMAtlanta. Farida is a Design Professional at HOK here in Atlanta, Georgia. HOK is a global design, architecture, engineering and planning firm that has 23 offices around the world. Her focus at HOK is in the Science and Technology sector of Architecture where she is involved in variety of higher education and institutional projects. Farida earned a Bachelor of Architectural Studies from Carleton University, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada and a Masters of Architecture from Ryerson University, Toronto, Ontario, Canada. In addition to NOMAtlanta, she serves on the board of HOK Diversity Council, whose mission is to promote an inclusive business environment and a culture where people with varied backgrounds, perspectives, skills and experience can work to meet global client needs with creative and innovative solutions.



Academic Affairs -Christine Gregory, NOMA Assoc.

Christine Gregory is a graduate of the University of Notre Dame and is currently serving on the Architectural staff at Cooper Carry.






Marketing -Patricia Brown, NOMA Assoc., AIA Assoc.

I am an architectural designer, currently working for cooper carry, focusing on retail designs. I received my Master’s degree in Architecture from Savannah College of Art and Design in Savannah, Georgia, a school that believes in a holistic approach. I am also a recipient of the Dorothy P Memorial Scholarship AFGA 2014.
Being born and raised in a vibrant, multi-cultural environment in India, I understand the importance of design pertaining to origin, culture and sustainability. I became a licensed architect in India and have three years of diverse work-experience across India and United States.
Apart from work, my hobbies are traveling, playing tennis, sketching, cooking and baking. I do a lot of free hand sketching during my free time which constantly keeps me in touch with the architectural world.



Membership -Ashley Hernandez, NOMA, AIA, NCARB, LEED AP

Mr Hernandez is a project architect at Cooper Carry in the mixed-use department and is responsible for managing the production of construction documents and construction administration on projects for various clients. The projects range in size with retail, residential, and parking deck components. In addition to his responsibilities of coordinating with lead designers, interior designers, production staff, and engineering consultants to achieve integrated design delivery, he is an integral team member to the production working in AutoCAD, Revit, Sketch-Up, and Photoshop.




Professional Development – Robin Maxim,

Robin Maxam, Principal of Maxx Union, a specifications company, has served as Continuing Education Chairperson for NOMAtlanta since 2015.  Over the past 30 years, Robin worked in private architectural firms as well a federal and state agencies before to starting her own company in 2013.





Communications- Raphael Johnson, MA, NOMA Assoc.

A highly experienced professional who has demonstrated the ability to manage construction projects individually or collaboratively amongst diverse groups. Strong technical and business qualifications with an impressive track record of more than 10 years of hands-on experience in construction documents, master planning, business procurements, budget management, life cycle cost analyses, and project management,Proven ability to successfully analyze an organization’s critical business requirements, identify inefficiencies and potential opportunities, improving organizational effectiveness and develop innovative and cost-effective solutions for completing projects on-time and within budget.


NOMA Student Chapter Leaders

Georgia Tech NOMAS -James Waldon


Kennesaw State Univ. NOMAS – Didier Porter


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