AO Expands Leadership With Appointment of New Partners

New partners position AO for strong future growth as the firm approaches its 50th anniversary 

ORANGE, Calif. January 20, 2023 – AO, a leading full-service architecture firm with design expertise spanning the full commercial real estate spectrum, today announced the first of several company promotions with the elevation of three new partners: Diego Alessi, Ioanna Magiati and Trevor Morales. These new partners are advancing internally from the previous role of Principal to join the AO’s executive leadership team as the firm expands its services and markets across the country. This past year’s growth with new offices in Orlando, FL and Oakland, CA, as well as growing expertise in retail repositioning, modular design, data centers, healthcare and wellness centers, affordable and attainable housing, casino and gaming, interior design, planning, and senior living are all signs of the firm’s upward trajectory. 

“AO’s three new partners will help lead the firm into an exciting new stage of growth, said Rob Budetti, managing partner at AO. “They possess technical expertise, knowledge, and leadership that are essential to the evolution of the firm and exemplify AO’s commitment to innovative design as we approach our 50th anniversary next year.” 


  • Diego Alessi, PLA, ASLA has the unique ability to author a story through Landscape, executing projects to completion, thus strengthening AO’s ability to deliver a comprehensive and well thought out vision for our clients. With nearly three decades of experience, Diego’s landscape design and placemaking solutions have shaped world class retail, mixed-use, resort, residential, recreation and entertainment destinations, both domestically and abroad. Some of his notable projects include 2nd & PCH in Long Beach, and the Thompson and Tommie Hotels in Hollywood, CA. He is a Professional Landscape Architect (PLA) and member of the American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA), Urban Land Institute (ULI), and International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC).  
  • Ioanna Magiati, Architect brings more than a decade of experience to her work leading multidisciplinary teams within AO’s Multifamily and Mixed-use studios, specializing in market-rate, affordable, senior, modular, and retail repositioning projects. She is the first female partner in the firm’s history, earning that distinction through her strong leadership, project management and client relationship skills. Her notable projects include Coliseum mixed-use in Los Angeles, Harvest at Terra Vista in Rancho Cucamonga, and VRV in Stanton, CA. Magiati is a registered Architect and NCARB-certified. She is a member of the Urban Land Institute (ULI) and sits on the ARC Alumni Advisory Board for Cal Poly Pomona, and the Design Professional Council for the Modular Building Institute (MBI).  
  • Trevor Morales, Architect has over 20 years of architectural experience leading highly skilled production teams on projects ranging from multifamily apartments and mixed-use communities, to complex commercial and civic projects. Morales provides strong leadership and project management with a thorough understanding of building systems. His strength in managing technical processes such as code compliance, quality control, budget management, construction administration, field methodologies and core constructability requirements ensure the delivery of quality-built projects from design through construction. His recent project highlights include 30th Street Apartments in San Diego; Anton Aspire and Anton Ascend in Milpitas, and Vita and Aura Apartments in Orange, CA 

“AO’s newest partners embody the firm’s vision for the future, leading with collaboration and innovation,” added RC Alley, managing partner.  “We are excited to see each of them take on new challenges, strengthen the organization, and build more meaningful relationships with our clients and team.”  

About AO  

AO is a relationship-focused, design-driven architectural, interior design and planning services firm helping clients create places where people and business flourish. In its 49th year, the firm boasts diverse expertise across multifamily, retail, hospitality, mixed-use, science and technology, data centers, restaurant, healthcare, office, industrial, parking, landscape, interiors, global design, modular and transit-oriented development. AO is known for its ardent collaboration with developers and owners, and deep expertise across various building types. AO operates from offices in the cities of Orange, San Diego, Oakland, Sunnyvale, California, and Atlanta, Georgia, Orlando, Florida, and New York, New York where it serves clients across the Americas, Asia and beyond.