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Ernesto Vasquez
Partner & CEO
SVA Architects

An experienced proponent of healthy communities and revitalized urban centers, Ernesto M. Vasquez, FAIA, NCARB is a renowned community advocate and leader. He is known for creating environments that are socially and environmentally responsible, as well as economically viable. His architectural designs incorporate smart-growth principals and promote public transit, improved educational environments, and mixed land uses. Earning the title, “architectural diplomat,” he is particularly adept at forging together the goals of both public and private community interest groups into successful developments, helping cities create healthy community environments for all residents.

Vasquez’s expansive portfolio includes projects for student housing, civic, multi-family residential, affordable, transit-oriented, design-build, and mixed-use. As the CEO of SVA Architects, Vasquez oversees and supports the company’s design teams in new construction, restoration, asset management, expansion and modernization programs, as well as planning efforts for private and public institutions.

With a career that spans multiple decades, Vasquez has been recognized for his innovative work. As the design lead for the nationally-lauded Celadon at 9th & Broadway, he was honored to accept the prestigious ULI 2016 Global Award for Excellence, as well as the inaugural Healthy Places Award from the San Diego-Tijuana ULI in 2016 and the Grand Orchid from the San Diego Architectural Foundation’s annual Orchids & Onions program in 2017. He has received numerous additional awards from the Urban Land Institute (ULI), the Building Industry Association, the American Institute of Architects, over a three dozen Gold Nugget Awards, and nearly four dozen awards from the National Association of Home Builders, to name a few.

Vasquez is an active community advocate involved in supporting various nonprofit and educational organizations. He currently serves as a board member for BRIDGE Housing, a major nonprofit organization that addresses affordable housing in the State of California, and has served in leadership roles with several nonprofit agencies including ABODE Communities, The Wooden Floor, and The National Park Foundation. He has also served as a member of the President’s Council for the College of Architecture at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, the College of Architecture and Environmental Design for Don Bosco Technical Institute, and the UC Irvine Foundation Board of Ambassadors. He was also part of the founding effort to create the Orange County Hispanic Education and Endowment Fund.

Vasquez has authored numerous articles appearing in Builder and Developer, the Los Angeles Business Journal,, and Builder’s Digest, to name a few. He has been quoted in dozens of articles, and his projects have appeared in dozens more. He is a frequent speaker and regional and national conferences, and has participated in numerous ULI Technical Assistance Panels. Recent Panels include: East Palo Alto – Waterfront and Commercial Mixed-Use (2012), Los Angeles – Whittier Boulevard Retail and Commercial Corridor (2010 Panel Chair), and East Los Angeles – Recycling of the Sears Building in Boyle Heights (2009).