Bohlin Cywinski Jackson

Get to Know the ‘Wellness Elevating Design Excellence’ Speakers

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Joanna Frank is the Founding President & CEO of the Center for Active Design (CfAD), where she advances design and development practices to foster healthy and engaged communities. CfAD is the operator of Fitwel, a unique certification system originally developed by the US Center for Disease Control and Prevention. Fitwel has translated the global public health evidence base into practical design and operational strategies for buildings and communities to optimize health. Prior to launching CfAD, Ms. Frank worked for the City of New York during the Bloomberg Administration, where her positions included Director of Active Design and Director of the NYC FRESH program. Ms. Frank’s career started in real estate development as a partner at Bright City Development, LLC where she was responsible for mixed-use residential projects that prioritized sustainable design. Ms. Frank is a member of the Urban Land Institute’s Affordable/Workforce Housing Council and the National Council of State Housing Agencies’ Advisory Group on Financing Healthier Affordable Housing, as well as an active partner in ULI’s Building Healthy Places initiative.

Emilie Hagen is an Associate Director of Atelier Ten and an expert in the firm’s daylight practice. Her expertise in green buildings marries technical excellence with a strong design and environmental ethos. She advocates for innovative designs that balance embodied carbon reduction, energy performance, and human health and comfort. She has consulted on projects ranging from one of the most complex Net Zero Energy buildings in the U.S. to the largest public-private partnership project in U.S. history at the University of California Merced. As the public member of the City of San Francisco Green Building Task Force, she advocates for positive transformation for the built environment for her local community. She co-authored Urban Green Council’s “Baby It’s Cold Inside” report about the relationship between resilience and high-performance building envelopes, and has spoken around the country at conferences including Greenbuild and Living Future.

Allen Kachel has managed a wide variety of projects for Bohlin Cywinski Jackson, from small commercial and residential renovations to major corporate and academic facilities. His detailed problem-solving skills at both the conceptual and technical levels, along with his ability to effectively manage and lead diverse project teams and client user groups, have been key to the success of many of the firm’s most distinguished projects. Allen’s interest in environmental design issues and technologies has allowed him to serve as a key contributor in several of Bohlin Cywinski Jackson’s most sustainable projects, including the Environmental Education/Visitor Activity Center, recipient of an AIA Committee on the Environment Top Ten Green Building Award. As a Leader of BCJ’s 2030 Commitment Committee, his understanding of the interrelationship between people, nature, and our built environment drives him to create humane and memorable architecture that is both environmentally and socially responsible. His academic experience includes the programming and design of collaborative environments that support experience-based learning, such as active design classrooms and makerspaces. He is currently serving as project director for the Rodale Institute Master Plan.

Jeff Tkach serves as the Chief Impact Officer for the Rodale Institute. Jeff is responsible for expanding Rodale Institute’s global influence in healing people and the planet by unlocking the transformational power of regenerative organic agriculture. As Chief Impact Officer, Jeff leads the development and execution of the Institute’s core strategies, overseeing opportunities for partnership and co-investment. Jeff served on the Rodale Institute’s Board of Directors in 2016, where he was instrumental in fostering relationships between the organization and business leaders in the organic food industry. With the commencement of his role as Chief Growth Officer, Tkach resigned from his position as a Board member. Previously, Tkach served as Vice President of Sales and Marketing at Life Time Fitness and as Group Publisher at Active Interest Media (AIM) from 2013-2015, overseeing Yoga Journal and Vegetarian Times.

Assal Yavari is the Senior Director of Global Workplace at Okta, Inc., an identity and access management company that brings simple and secure access to people and organizations everywhere. At Okta, Yavari has been integral in leading efforts to optimize a distributed workforce – a process that began well before the pandemic, in a practice called “Dynamic Work.” Using this model, Okta has carefully built a more flexible and responsive way of working into their company culture. Previously, Yavari served as Senior Director of Corporate Real Estate: Master Planning and Workspace at Gilead Sciences.