Build Out Alliance

Meet our Board of Directors

Meet our Board of Directors

Rajas Karnik, President

Rajas is an Associate and Project Architect at FXCollaborative. He grew up in Mumbai, India where he also attended school at the Academy of Architecture, then moved to the United States to attend graduate school at Texas A & M University. He currently lives in the Bronx with his boyfriend, Phil, and their dog, Bacio. When asked the question “Why are you proud of Build Out” he replied, “growing up in India I had never thought I would ever come out, but did so after moving to the US. Since I didn’t see many out professionals in the industry, it took a while. Even today I do not see many out leaders and, on the construction site, I believe there is even more pressure to adhere to “norms” this is even more of an issue Through this group I would like to create visibility for out LGBTQ professionals and help create a safe environment for them to celebrate who they are.”

Aditya Ghosh, Secretary

Aditya is an architect at FXCollaborative where he works on high-rise residential and office buildings, but he really prefers to see himself as a storyteller - for him, the city is a setting for experiences, intentions, and purpose. He grew up in Hyderabad, India, and received his bachelor’s degree from a university in New Delhi, followed by his Master’s from Cornell; he now lives in Williamsburg. When asked the question “Why are you proud of Build Out” he replied, “Build Out has been an organic coming together of professionals based on a need for such an organization in our industry. I am here to be one of many driven individuals who have created a free and safe space for themselves at their workplace and hope to enable others to do the same.”

Ruth Sanchez, Treasurer

Ruth is an Independent Controller Consultant in the construction industry and is our treasurer. She is from the Bronx and graduated from Fordham University, where is also currently pursuing her MBA. She has three beautiful children, Justin, Angelica, and Amanda, and two dogs named Dante and Zuma. Outside of work, she loves anything that goes fast, reading, volunteering, and both classical and hip-hop music. When asked the question “Why are you proud of Build Out” she replied, “We work in an industry where being queer is not easily accepted. I hope that Build Out Alliance will be at the forefront of a metamorphosis in our industry – one that will break barriers and remove misconstructions about what it is to be queer. Identifying as queer does not make anyone part of a different community, it just makes you human.”

Tim Milam

Tim is a Partner and Managing Director at FXCollaborative, and he has over 30 years of experience as an architect. He’s also a member of the AIA New York Finance Committee as well as an active participant in the AIA National Large Firm Roundtable. He grew up in southeastern Kentucky, received his Bachelor of Architecture degree from the University of Kentucky and a Master of Urban Planning from the The City College of the City University of New York. He lives with his partner in Manhattan and calls himself lucky to be able to walk to his office. He was sure that he would only live in New York for one year – 25 years later…  When asked the question “Why are you proud of Build Out” he replied, “Everyone deserves to feel supported and connected. Build Out Alliance fills a void for current and future LGBTQ professionals in the building design and construction industry.  There is a lot of work required to improve diversity, inclusion, and equity and I believe that Build Out Alliance will have a positive impact.”

Jake Andrew

Jake is a structural engineer at Walter P Moore where his focus is on existing buildings with an emphasis in forensic engineering, litigation support, and insurance consulting. He also assists on building enclosure and roofing assessments in NYC. He grew up in the suburbs of Seattle, WA, and went to School at University of Southern California for both his Bachelor and Master’s degrees. He currently lives in Clinton Hill, Brooklyn with his boyfriend, Andy, and their cat, Dorian Gray. Something you may not know about him is that he was a nationally certified ski instructor at the age of 13. When asked the question “Why are you proud of Build Out” he replied, “Throughout college and the early years of my career, I often felt there was a lack of representation for engineers in the LGBT community, and when there was STEM representation, it often did not cover civil engineering. I think this organization provides a forum for individuals in Architecture, Engineering, and Construction to network and share experiences.”

daniel bersohn

Daniel is an Associate Mechanical Engineer with a background in Architecture at Buro Happold Engineering. There he helps develop their technical standards, manage projects, and advance design quality, and sits on the Mechanical Code Committee for the City of New York. He grew up in Los Angeles and then attended Columbia University.     He currently lives in Brooklyn with my two dogs, Olive and Pumpkin, and his amazing roommate, Adam. When asked the question “Why are you proud of Build Out” he replied, “our rights and equality come not just from laws, but from community, visibility, and action. I hope to make the least safe spaces in our industry safer and to make those who feel unwelcome, welcome.”

michael robert cabrera, jr.

Michael is an architectural designer and educator based in New York City, with experience collaborating on buildings and interiors focused in hospitality, and occasionally freelancing as a tutor specialized in computation tools for design. Originally from New Jersey, he received his Bachelor of Architecture from Pratt University and his Masters of Architecture from Cornell. He currently lives in Brooklyn and wishes he could canoe to work. When asked the question “Why are you proud of Build Out” he replied, “I am proud that Build Out has the potential to establish itself as a resource to provide model guidance to industry employers and mentorship to industry professionals. I aim to accomplish discourse and to develop the appropriate balance of attitude and wisdom needed to navigate a heteronormative leaning industry.”

Matt Hyde

Matt is a Project Manager at Turner Construction Company where he specializes in commercial office fit-outs. He is also the co-creator and lead of Pride Alliance, Turner’s LGBTQ employee resource group. He grew up in Fairfield, CT, and now lives in Chelsea with his boyfriend, Miska. He received his Bachelor’s degree from Cornell and his Master’s from Columbia. An avid runner, he’s looking forward to running his very first NYC Marathon in 2019! When asked the question “Why are you proud of Build Out” he replied, “Build Out allows the LGBTQ community to gain more visibility in the design & construction industry. Through additional awareness, I hope we can make a positive impact for those who identify as LGBTQ and are either new to or hope to join the industry.”

seth gamble

Seth is a Knowledge Manager at Arup, but has a background in theatre along with a bachelor’s in Theatre and a master’s from Hunter College in Theatre History and Criticism. He came to the building design and construction industry in somewhat round-a-bout way but now enjoys helping engineers and designers connect dots and write better. He currently lives in Brooklyn with his boyfriend, Evan, and their three cats, Walter, Seymour, and Marnie. When asked the question “Why are you proud of Build Out” he replied, “I’m already somewhat of an outsider in this industry but that doesn’t mean that there shouldn’t be equal representation and opportunities for all. Arup is lucky to have a fantastic LGBTQ employee resource group, but this is not true for every firm and I hope that Build Out can one day help provide this much needed resource for all.”

ted lampa

Ted is an Associate Project Architect in the Urban Design Studio at FXCollaborative. A travel addict, he grew up in Chicago and attended the University of Illinois at Chicago for both his undergraduate and graduate degrees. He currently lives in Chelsea. When asked the question “Why are you proud of Build Out” he replied, “I'm proud of Build Out in that we are the first LGBTQ group in the ACE industry and for all that we have accomplished in such a short period of time. I hope to be a mentor and role model for the younger generation of LGBTQ industry professionals, helping them to become strong leaders within the profession.”

eric schwartz

Eric is a structural engineer and project manager with McLaren Engineering Group. He grew up in Los Angeles, CA, and received both his bachelor and master’s degrees from UC Berkeley. He currently lives in Brooklyn with his husband, Martyn, and grew up playing pretty much only with LEGOS, a pastime he still enjoys. When asked the question “Why are you proud of Build Out” he replied, “I hope Build Out fosters a greater sense of community with my colleagues who identify as LGBT.  It was a wonderful surprise to find out how many of us there are in our industry.”

santiago rivera

Santiago is an Associate at Gensler, focusing on education, culture and not-for-profit clients, and is the Northeast leader for the Foundations, Associations and Organizations practice area.           He grew up in Monterrey, Mexico, and, upon graduating high school, moved to New York to obtain a Bachelor of Architecture from Pratt Institute. He currently lives in Brooklyn, NY, and really enjoys planning things for friends, from a dinner party to an over-detailed trip itinerary. When asked the question “Why are you proud of Build Out” he replied, “I'm proud of the conversation Build Out is creating in our industry and I hope to accomplish a more open workplace with less stigmatization around conversations about identity.”