Gordon R. Carrier, FAIA, NCARB, Chairman and CEO of Carrier Johnson + CULTURE, a leading 44 year old Architecture, Interior Architecture, Landscape Architecture and Urban Planning firm in Southern California and the Pacific Northwest, has announced the promotion of Claudia Escala, Principal, and Ray Varela, Design Principal, to positions as Co-Presidents of the firm.
“Claudia Escala and Ray Varela have long displayed a strong legacy of project performance and client leadership,” says Chairman and CEO, Gordon R. Carrier, FAIA, NCARB. “I am proud to announce them both as the future leadership of our 44-year-old award-winning San Diego-based design firm. While I will continue as CEO and Chairman of Carrier Johnson + CULTURE, their inspired day-to-day leadership as Co-Presidents, will ensure inspired design focus going forward. I am proud to announce their elevated roles within the organization and look forward to the enhanced capacity they offer our design CULTURE.”
In their new roles, Ms. Escala and Mr. Varela will lead collaboratively in conjunction with Mr. Carrier. Both bring to Carrier Johnson’s leadership team their solid business acumen, creative design thinking, and unique ability to connect with people while mentoring colleagues. The duo will be responsible for overall firm vision, project leadership, as well as design and business development strategy across all 3 of the firm’s offices.
As Design Principal, Mr. Varela has worked alongside Mr. Carrier for 23 years. He has been an integral part of the firm’s most high-profile corporate office developments and higher education buildings. Ms. Escala is a Principal and project leader for numerous high-profile mixed-use developments while leading the firm’s establishment and growth of Carrier Johnson’s Seattle office.
With a Master of Architecture from UCLA, Mr. Varela has been an integral part of the firm’s design thinking, serving as the lead design architect for Corporate, Educational, Mixed-Use, Residential and Scientific Research facilities. With 33 years of experience in multiple project types, his award-winning work includes Point Loma Nazarene University’s Sator Hall, and the Tidewater Community College Joint-Use Library in Virginia Beach.
As a project leader and principal at Carrier Johnson, Ms. Escala has 25 years of experience in the design, execution, and project management of the firm’s major mixed-use development projects. Having earned a Master of Architecture from UC San Diego, she has been influential in the evolution of Downtown San Diego’s skyline. Her many years of practice, interaction with clients, and management of teams on large-scale projects of various types and complexities, have allowed her to become an expert in overseeing high performance teams to deliver projects with successful outcomes.