Architecture Firm AO Elevates Nine Team Members to Principal


The promotions strengthen the leadership level of the firm as it approaches its 50th anniversary 

ORANGE, Calif.  January 30, 2023 – AO, a leading full-service architecture firm with design expertise spanning the full commercial real estate spectrum, has announced the promotion of nine of its employees to the position of Principal.  

The promotions reflect the continued growth of the architecture firm and rewards the longtime employees for their continued work in architectural design, project management, and client service. The new principals will join the existing leadership team as the company grows its studios and practices, further expanding into markets such as health and wellness, modular construction, affordable housing, interiors, planning and senior living. 

“With AO’s 50th anniversary approaching, we are excited to see our leadership team grow along with our projects and practice areas,” said Rob Budetti, managing partner at AO. “Each of AO’s new principals have played a key role in the evolution of our firm and we are eager to continue that trajectory.” 


  • Mike Connell brings three decades of technical expertise to AO, leading teams in the development of multifamily and mixed-use projects. 
  • Scott Jones has 20 years of experience collaborating with clients on dynamic mixed-use, commercial, and retail developments.  
  • Greg Kruse has led multidisciplinary teams on diverse retail, commercial, and industrial projects for nearly 30 years. 
  • Paolo Leon, AIA, NCARB provides leadership and technical expertise within AO’s Multifamily studio. He is currently Vice President of the AIAOC chapter. 
  • Glenn Man, LEED AP ND has 20 years of experience leading planning and urban design efforts for award-winning developments worldwide. 
  • Jeff Stuyvesant, Architect has nearly four decades of industry expertise, currently leading high-performance teams within AO’s Commercial and Retail studios. 
  • Kara Sutch, Architect, LEED AP BD+C has 25 years of experience working on high-density residential and mixed-use assignments, leading teams within AO’s Multifamily studio. 
  • Lalaine Tanaka, AIA, NCARB, LEED AP is a licensed architect and creative director with more than 25 years of hospitality, retail, and mixed-use experience.  
  • Edward Wu, Architect brings 30 years of industry expertise to AO’s Multifamily studio, leading modular, senior, and apartment projects. 

“This new group of Principals bring with them years of experience and expertise, which our clients value and rely upon,” added RC Alley, managing partner. “It feels great to promote these talented employees, as most are longtime AO team members who have greatly contributed to AO’s success, demonstrating leadership, creativity, and innovation.” 

About AO  

AO is a relationship-focused, design-driven architectural, interior 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, restaurants, healthcare, office, industrial, parking, landscape, interiors, planning, global design, modular, public utilities 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, Sunnyvale and Oakland, California; Atlanta, Georgia; New York, New York; and Orlando, Florida, where it serves clients across the Americas, Asia and beyond.