About QKA

  • Mark Quattrocchi, AIA | Partner

    Mark Quattrocchi

    Master of Architecture | University of California, Berkeley | Berkeley, CA
    Bachelor of Arts, Architecture | University of California, Berkeley | Berkeley, CA

    A son of an artist and cabinet maker, Mark Quattrocchi grew up surrounded by drawings and sawdust, influencing his decision to take drafting as his seventh-grade elective. From this early age, he knew he was going to be an architect. Paying for his architecture education by his carpentry work, he graduated equipped with a Master of Architecture degree and a keen understanding of construction, perfect for opening his own firm, Quattrocchi Architects, in 1986.

    Soon after, Quattrocchi got the opportunity to design a new classroom building at Mendocino Community High School in Mendocino, CA. He was so moved by the passion of the teachers and school administrators that he completely immersed himself in the process of educational design. To this day, this ranks as one of his favorite projects because it inspired him to veer the firm to be educationally-focused. Later, Steve Kwok joined as partner in 1993, and together they built Quattrocchi Kwok Architects (QKA), a thriving K-12 and higher education firm with two office locations and a staff of more than 60 people.

    With his educational design experience spanning more than 35 years, Quattrocchi is a renowned industry authority on designing environments for 21st century teaching and learning. His passion for creating sustainable learning environments is realized through QKA’s keen attention to energy-conscious design and its driving desire to prepare students for the global marketplace. Quattrocchi happily shares his expertise by frequently publishing substantive architecture-related articles and speaking regularly at events, and is a sought-after expert often quoted in media interviews.

    Quattrocchi also volunteers on numerous community boards and committees. A true dog lover, he is Vice President of the Board of Bergin University of Canine Studies, which offers accredited degrees in a variety of canine-related fields of study, as well as currently serves as the Chairman of the Board for Paws for Purple Hearts, a nationwide program dedicated to helping heal returning combat veterans by teaching those with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) to train service dogs for their comrades with physical disabilities.

    Outside the office, Quattrocchi exercises his love of adventure as a licensed pilot of airplanes and hot air balloons, and is a certified scuba diver.

  • Steve Kwok, AIA | Partner

    Steve Kwok, AIA - Partner at QKA

    Master of Architecture | Montana State University | Bozeman, MT
    Bachelor of Architecture | Montana State University | Bozeman, MT

    At 16 years old, Steve Kwok decided he would become an architect in his high school drafting class. Much more than a job, it was simply what he wanted to spend his time doing. Now, as Co-Owner and one of five Principals at Quattrocchi Kwok Architects, Kwok has nearly 35 years of experience leading teams in the planning, designing and construction management of large-scale public education projects. He loves designing schools for the tremendous opportunities to create a wide variety of learning spaces – from science labs to art studios, theaters to gymnasiums, libraries to cafeterias. He feels strongly that providing students with high quality learning environments sends a powerful message that they are valued and that going to school to learn is important and something to look forward to.

    In addition to design experience, Kwok is also a skilled carpenter. This experience has given him a genuine appreciation for the intellect and craftmanship required to construct a building, which has undoubtedly helped him become a better architect. Kwok also possesses considerable knowledge of public agency approval and funding agencies and is well known for his expertise in implementing bond programs and master plans.

    Active in the community, Kwok volunteers on numerous boards and committees, including Homes for Sonoma, an organization providing solutions to address the loss of housing in Sonoma County from the 2017 Northern California wildfires. When outside of the office, you’ll find him fly fishing or riding his motorcycle.

  • Jim Theiss, AIA | Partner

    Jim Theiss, AIA - Partner at QKA

    Bachelor of Architecture | California Polytechnic State University | San Luis Obispo, CA

    With over 30 years of experience in the field of architecture, Jim Theiss is one of QKA’s five principals and head partner of the Construction Administration department. Prior to joining QKA in 2000, Theiss specialized in multi-family residential, worship, and retail facilities, but soon realized his passion for designing educational spaces – finding it a privilege to be able to create environments that inspire, enhance the community, and continually live in students’ positive school memories throughout their lifetimes. With a background in the construction industry, Theiss also developed and ran a non-profit that offered hands-on construction training via renovation projects to cultivate employment skills for its participants.

    Today, Theiss serves as principal for numerous comprehensive campus projects, including several new facilities for Liberty Union High School District in Brentwood, Calif. For several years, he has served as a board member for the American Institute of Architects Redwood Empire Chapter (AIARE), where he spearheaded and continues to facilitate the new AIARE Leadership Development program, introducing leadership concepts, networking opportunities, and creation of a personal development plan for each participant.

    Outside of the office, Theiss enjoys getting outdoors via mountain biking, backpacking, and camping. He also dedicates time to studying the Bible and participating in homeless outreach at his church.

  • Aaron Jobson, AIA, ALEP | Partner

    Aaron Jobson

    Bachelor of Arts, Architecture | University of California, Berkeley | Berkeley, CA

    Aaron Jobson, one of QKA’s five principals, comes from a family of educators and has a passion for creating dynamic, sustainable learning environments. He is known for his innovative projects, including American Canyon High School (American Canyon, Calif.), one of the highest scoring Collaborative for High Performance Schools (CHPS) Verified projects in California. He is also one of the creators of Folia, a pre-fabricated two-story steel classroom building that dramatically reduces design, permitting and construction time on projects to market. Jobson’s work, passion and advocacy has garnered his reputation as a thought leader on how school facility design directly impacts academic success – a subject on which he has spoken about at national education conferences.

    A founding member of the School Energy Coalition, Jobson is a legislative advocate for energy efficiency measures affecting schools and a leading voice on sustainability. He contributed to the California Division of the State Architect’s “Handbook for Grid Neutral Schools” and serves on CHPS’ board of directors. He also volunteers for Homes for Sonoma, an organization providing solutions to address the loss of housing in Sonoma County from the 2017 Northern California wildfires.

    In 2015, Jobson was certified as an Accredited Learning Environments Planner (ALEP) by the Association for Learning Environments (A4LE), currently held by less than 250 of the nation’s most qualified designers and planners of school facilities.

  • John Dybczak, AIA, LEED AP | Partner

    John Dybczak

    Bachelor of Architecture | California Polytechnic State University | San Luis Obispo, CA

    John Dybczak began his career working for a contractor, and still uses the knowledge he gained from working in the field on a daily basis. His construction experience, coupled with a love of drafting, led Dybczak to pursue a career in architecture. Now, as one of QKA’s five Principals, Dybczak brings strong leadership and project management capabilities to all of his projects, guiding his teams professionally and personally in order to help them succeed and achieve their goals. Vowing to never take himself too seriously, he is valued by clients and colleagues alike for being a clear communicator who is dedicated and approachable and possesses the ability to readily adapt to changing and challenging circumstances.

    Dybczak’s passion for school design stems from the profound impact educational facilities have on our children and communities, and he takes great pride in the responsibility to “get it right” for the next generation. In his 23 years of architecture experience, K-12 projects have always been his favorite because of the opportunity to work with the inspiring people pushing the envelope for education advancement. Seeing the joy on the faces of the students after a project completes makes all of the hard work worth doing and reminds him why he has the most rewarding career in the world.

    He has managed the successful completion of numerous modernization and new construction projects for public schools and community colleges throughout Northern California, including a major historic renovation at San Mateo High School and as project lead for the new Lila Bringhurst Elementary School in Fremont, Calif.

  • Debra McGuire | Associate

    Debra McGuire - Associate at QKA

    Bachelor of Architecture | California Polytechnic State University | San Luis Obispo, CA

    Debra McGuire has nearly 40 years of architectural experience, including work in areas such as residential, hospitality, day care facilities and shopping centers. One of her favorite projects is McCloud Hotel in Mt. Shasta, Calif., a historic renovation that brought an old abandoned building back to life. However, she has focused on educational architecture since joining QKA in 2000, and loves the real and lasting results and the personal connections that develop from working so closely with school faculty, educators, and students.

    McGuire’s proficiency in project coordination and construction documents is complemented by her ability to listen to clients and translate their aspirations into built form. She also serves as an in-house resource for building and accessibility code compliance and DSA requirements, and is an integral part of developing office standards, including new quality control review procedures. Currently, McGuire serves as Associate/Project Manager for several new projects for the Mountain View Los Altos School District (Mountain View, Calif.).

  • Nick Stephenson, AIA, ALEP | Associate

    Nick Stephenson

    Bachelor of Science, Environmental Design | University of California, Davis | Davis, CA

    Drawn to the field of architecture by a love for drawing, Nick Stephenson has been a licensed architect since 2002 and has been with QKA for over 20 years. Well-versed in consultant coordination, green building practices and construction administration, Stephenson’s experience includes educational, residential, hospital, winery and commercial projects; but his favorite projects are those that have a connection to the community and enhance education. In 2016, he was certified as an Accredited Learning Environments Planner (ALEP) by the Association for Learning Environments (A4LE), currently held by less than 250 of the nation’s most qualified designers and planners of school facilities.

    A skilled communicator and leader, Stephenson has managed several projects, including a new classroom and science building complex utilizing QKA’s Folia building solution at Cupertino High School (Cupertino, Calif.), and the restoration of the Historic Alameda High School (Alameda, Calif.), a 1924 structure listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

    The son of two truck drivers, Stephenson was the first in his family to attend college. While attending the University of California, Davis, he played on the varsity football team and got the opportunity to design his own Bachelor of Science degree in Environmental Design. A Sonoma County native and parent of three boys, Stephenson enjoys coaching youth sports, volunteering at his children’s schools, and training for triathlons with his wife.

  • David Hansen, NCARB, LEED AP | Associate

    David Hansen

    Bachelor of Architecture | California Polytechnic State University | San Luis Obispo, CA

    With more than 30 years of education design experience and a licensed architect since 1986, David Hansen has an impassioned focus on sustainable design practices. He has extensive experience with complex projects with a wide variety of building types and project delivery methods. Hansen is recognized as a thought leader and demonstrated innovator in the areas of natural lighting, energy conservation, zero net energy (ZNE) and 21st century school design, and is known for delivering high-quality service to his clients.

    In addition to being the office leader at QKA’s Pleasanton location, Hansen is currently QKA’s lead designer and project manager for the development of new science and classroom facilities at San Benito High School (Hollister, CA), as well as the lead designer on the complete campus conversion of Thornton Middle School in Fremont Unified School District (Fremont, Calif.).

    Hansen holds architectural licenses in California and Utah and is certified by the National Council of Architectural Registration Boards (NCARB) and Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design (LEED).

  • Kevin Chapin, LEED AP | Associate

    Kevin Chapin

    Master of Architecture | Montana State University | Bozeman, MT
    Bachelor of Environmental Design | Montana State University | Bozeman, MT

    Growing up building forts and playing with Legos, Kevin Chapin dreamed of being an architect since a small child, and got his wish when he started working at QKA at just 18 years old as a drafter. Chapin continued to work for QKA during college breaks, and got hired full-time in 2005 after receiving his Master’s Degree in Architecture.

    Since joining QKA at the beginning of his architecture career more than 20 years ago, Chapin is now an expert in educational design, and most enjoys designing spaces that help shape students’ educational experience. Well-versed in managing large-scale projects with a big community input, he has served as the Project Manager on numerous large projects, including the $120 million Measure E projects for the Sonoma Valley Unified School District (Sonoma, Calif.), and the $23 million new King Elementary School (Richmond, Calif.), which was designed as a highly energy efficient campus. But his favorite project so far has been transforming the run-down facilities at Healdsburg High School (Healdsburg, Calif.) into modern, 21st century learning spaces. No matter the project, the most rewarding aspect is watching students experience and explore the space for the first time.

    Born and raised in Sonoma County, Chapin is committed to staying involved in the community, and currently volunteers for the Active 20-30 Club North Bay Chapter, a non-profit focused on helping local underprivileged children. In addition, Chapin is a recent recipient of the North Bay Business Journal’s 2016 “Forty Under 40” award. An avid runner and tri-athlete, he has completed over 50 half marathons, and several Ironmans to date.

  • Andy Dale | Associate

    Andy Dale

    Andy Dale began his career in carpentry, giving him the unique ability to fully understand construction issues and effectively communicate to his team to find solutions. Later as a Project Manager for contractors, he managed commercial and public works projects, school renovations and new construction, as well as private tenant improvements. This background provides him with the insight to know how to apply skillful direction to the development of complex projects involving exacting technical specifications, quality standards, cross-functional team coordination and stringent time constraints – an ideal skill set for delivering quality education facilities.

    With over 20 years of experience in construction administration, Dale enjoys the combination of office and field work, and loves visiting the sites to help develop solutions to construction challenges. Currently, he manages QKA’s Construction Administration Department and is working on several multi-million dollar projects for Healdsburg Unified School District (Healdsburg, Calif.), Fremont Union High School District (Sunnyvale, Calif.), and Mountain View-Los Altos Union High School District (Mountain View, Calif.).

    Drawn to Sonoma County by its climate and seemingly endless possibilities, Dale moved from New England at age 21 and has never regretted the decision. When not at the office, he puts his carpentry skills to use by remodeling his home.