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2019 Staff Promotions

Lisa Knip, Principal

Lisa Knip is promoted to Principal. Lisa is being promoted in recognition for her tireless efforts balancing client needs with HLW needs. She is protective of the craft of design and delivery; well known for delivering the highest quality of work while raising the bar of her teams. She has always been passionate about mentorship and an amazing team leader willing to give others credit for her accomplishments. Lisa is often responsible for clients coming back for more from her work as part of the Google team to clients like Fitch and Omnicom who always want her on their team. At the beginning of 2018 she gracefully took on a new role of leading Studio 115 and bringing to it her natural approach to mentoring, attention to detail and a commitment for excellence. Lisa also actively participates in many in-house activities from our softball excursions to involvement in the Super Groups. She is an integral part of the New York office leadership and well known in the industry. While Lisa’s clients always want her back she has also spent time out at industry events in effort to bring more work into the organization. Lisa embodies the highest level of integrity and work ethic, and is a trusted team member always carrying the HLW flag. We welcome Lisa to the partnership!


Sejal Sonani, Principal

Sejal Sonani is promoted to Principal. Since joining HLW in 2012, Sejal has been a key player in the growth of the Los Angeles office. Sejal has fostered many repeat clients and has helped the firm secure new ones; her depth of experience, positive attitude, and design acumen has earned her the respect and admiration of her colleagues and our clients. We look forward to having Sejal at the table with the LA Operations Team and we look forward to her future contributions towards design excellence.


Heather Hernandez, Associate Principal

Heather Hernandez is promoted to Associate Principal. Heather embodies what we look for in our future leaders: big talent, integrity, a strong work ethic, forward thinking, and a balanced approach to client and HLW success. She has proven her talent as a seasoned Project Manager, always having a thoughtful and measured approach to the most difficult tasks and situations. At the beginning of 2018, she stepped into the role of managing Studio 881, and has taken on the responsibility, bringing a more organized and methodical approach to running the studio. She has worked closely with the profitability team to implement new processes and ideas achieving more clarity to the project management process and efficiency to staffing and managing projects. She is approachable and passionate about mentoring and challenging everyone to do their best. As a core member of the New York office leadership she is highly regarded by her peers and her team. Heather’s tireless efforts to deliver the best possible project experience for our clients and our team is an integral part of who she is. Heather is well known in the industry, and an advocate of our people and HLW globally. We are both thankful and grateful that she is an important part of our HLW Family.


Michele Neptune, Associate Principal

Michele Neptune is promoted to Associate Principal. Michele has developed into a trusted and respected leader to further integrate into our practice and also manage the complex sustainability certification landscape. Michele understands the competitive marketplace and has also led our focus on wellness in the workplace. She has fostered strong client relationships and has attitude, work ethic, talent, and personality to join this leadership group. She is an expert in the industry, a member of the Sustainability Design Leaders, and active in the NYC sustainability community. Over the past year, she has broadened her role internally and externally to promote the practice across our other offices and continues to be an active participant speaking at conferences and panels, being an ambassador and positioning HLW as thought leaders. Michele was also responsible for not just leading but creating and fostering Balance, a relatively newly formed Super Group that brings wellness to the forefront of HLW’s thinking.


Clive Pereira, Associate Principal

Clive Pereira is promoted to Associate Principal. Over the past year, Clive has been vital in supporting Bronte and Adam ensuring the London team continue to grow, increase process and efficiency, and enable the wider team to successfully design and deliver profitable projects. He not only services these projects from a team and delivery perspective, but has been recognized and is valued by his clients as being a key factor in the project success. Alongside reliably delivering large scale projects in an “unflappable” manner, Clive is a keen supporter of HLW marketing and business development. He readily carves out time from his busy project workload and volunteers to help with multiple new opportunities. Clive is truly valued by the team at HLW London for always making himself available to assist others in problem solving, mentoring, and general support.


Melissa Strickland, Associate Principal

Melissa Strickland is promoted to Associate Principal. Melissa possesses an intangible combination of attitude, work ethic, talent, personality, and accomplishments to join the Associate Principal Group. She is seen as an industry expert, strong leader, exceptional team player, and as a trusted and respected member of our team, who always looks out for the best interests of HLW globally. She is a Core Team Member of the NJ office and responsible, along with the team, to develop the culture and manage staffing. She is an exceptionally approachable person who is passionate about mentoring staff individually or as a group during training sessions. She is terrific at nurturing client relationships resulting in positive client experiences as well as increasing our repeat work; Integra Life and Everest Re are two examples. She is very actively involved in new business generation as well as helping to strategize and participate in pitch presentations. She speaks at industry events and is actively involved in CoreNet Committees. Plain and simple- she checks all of the boxes to be an Associate Principal! Professional accolades aside, HLW NJ would not be the same without our Melissa!


Jie Zhu, Associate Principal

Jie Zhu is promoted to Associate Principal. There are numerous traits that define a good Architect: Passion, Creativity, Leadership, Teamwork, Confidence, Adaptability. Jie embodies each of these characteristics with his diverse efforts for a variety of client types. Project types range from purpose built projects for clients such as Fordham University, corporate clients such as Capital One, and Developer clients such as Normandy, Lefrak, and SJP Properties. Jie’s flexibility and commitment to client relations and excellent design has been a key component in further enhancing HLW’s reputation and position in the architecture industry. While providing design leadership, he has also been a mentor to the design staff and also served as the Exchange Super Group champion. Jie’s recent accomplishments also include new business opportunities with DMG Investments, Hongkun USA, to name a couple, and he has been proactive in the marketplace to attract new clients to HLW.

Additional Promotions

Senior Associate

Gary Fox, Suzanne Henry, Melissa Horvat, Mike Iovinelli, Chris Lee, Steve Magee, Ikue Sone, Rebecca Swanner.


Manni Alcala, Nick Armitage, Chanel Dehond, David DeWeaver, Steve Fonseca, Alison Grant, Erick Hernandez, Dawn Hoppel, Jinghang Huang, Kaylin King, Nicole LaPietra, Michelle Lavin, Michelle Marotta, David Palmer, Kelsey Ranson, Wilson Rivas, Chris Sanders.