Elvina Beck was born in the former Soviet Union, grew up in Brooklyn, and studied politics at Pepperdine University. Initially, she pursued a career in entertainment with clients like Randi Zuckerberg, Avril Lavigne and Jeff Dunham. After the recession, Elvina found herself in an unstable housing situation and asked why commit to one household with a set of roommates instead of a rotation of people and places. She recognized the rise of the freelance economy, increased wanderlust as transportation costs decreased, access over ownership, and the correlation of loneliness to technological advancements. In 2012 Elvina took a chance by leasing a ground floor live/work building in Hollywood where no one wanted to live. Her hypothesis was that if she could divide the rent by multiple people to provide one fixed rate including cleaning, food and utilities, with unlimited transfers across a housing network, then people would be willing to share. Today PodShare offers a shared collaborate living option with flexible payment plans in 7 highly walkable neighborhoods across California. Elvina hand-built over 220 “pods” with her small team for over 75,000 roommates. Elvina believes that this shared model is a necessary disruptor in the future of housing, where we can afford the flexibility to live anywhere across the globe.
Angela Brooks, FAIA is a recognized leader in the field of environmental and sustainable design and construction. She is responsible for BROOKS + SCARPA’s development in the area of housing and policy, leading the firm’s sustainable initiatives and overall design staff management. Angela believes that it is not enough to create great buildings and has worked to create complete neighborhoods- she co-founded a non-profit that worked with the City of Los Angeles Planning Department to change zoning to promote density and livable communities. She served on the board of Solar Santa Monica promoting renewable energy on all development until the city integrated this work into their Office of Sustainability. She was 2018 Chair of the National AIA’s Committee on the Environment (COTE), developing programs and advocating for policy changes at the Federal level-promoting design that achieves high levels of performance. Her firm BROOKS + SCARPA has received over fifty major design awards including five AIA COTE “Top Ten Green Building” Awards.
Michael Maltzan, FAIA founded Michael Maltzan Architecture, Inc. in 1995. His projects cross a wide range of typologies, from cultural institutions to city infrastructure. Michael’s notable projects include the Moody Center for the Arts at Rice University, MoMA QNS, Star Apartments, the Pittman Dowell Residence, the new Sixth Street Viaduct, MIT Vassar Street Residential Hall, and the Winnipeg Art Gallery Inuit Art Centre. His work has gained international acclaim for innovation in both design and construction and has been widely featured in publications and exhibitions worldwide. Michael received an M.Arch from the Graduate School of Design, Harvard University, and BFA and B.Arch degrees from the Rhode Island School of Design.
Rochelle Dynes Mills joined Innovative Housing Opportunities (IHO) in 2006 and was promoted to President and CEO in 2018. She is responsible for guiding IHO’s vision and building the portfolio of high-quality housing with services and economic empowerment opportunities. During her tenure with IHO, she has seen the company grow its portfolio 350% with another 500 units in the pipeline since she took the helm. Prior to joining IHO, she and her husband formed mills studio. Their architectural design projects were featured nationally on television, in newspapers, and books. Rochelle also formed architours, a boutique company recognized internationally for its art and architecture tours, symposia and events. A former editor and writer, Ms. Mills also lectured at UCLA and Otis extension programs. Appointed to two terms on the South Los Angeles Area Planning Commission and the Crenshaw Community Design Review Board for the City of Los Angeles, she was elected president of both by her peers. She is past president of Southern California Association of NonProfit Housing (SCANPH) and currently serves on the boards of The Kennedy Commission, California Association of Local Housing Finance Agencies (Cal-ALHFA), and Arts for LA.
Rebecca Rudolph, AIA co-founded Design, Bitches with a bold and irreverent vision to make architecture significant in daily life. Their multidisciplinary firm draws inspiration from the their eclectic expertise in the areas of design, art, and pop culture. Each design transforms a collage of influences into architecture that is beautiful and layered with meaning, but also welcoming—spaces and landscapes where people want to hang out. Design, Bitches work has been recognized with multiple awards from the AIA/LA, Surface, Architect’s Newspaper, shortlisted for the Moira Gemmill Prize for Emerging Architecture, and selected as the 2017 recipient of AIA/LA’s Emerging Practice Award. Rebecca has taught at the University of Oregon, and lectured at Columbia University, Yale University, CalArts, and George Washington University.