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Our People

Spread across over 60 cities, our team is a global collective of urban experts in design, architecture, engineering, civil, transportation, urban geography, real estate, landscape, communications, software development and so much more. These are the people defining the cities of tomorrow.

Supporting our global team of 2,600 difference makers is IBI’s Leadership team, setting out a compelling vision and guiding IBI Group towards the future.

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John Ariens

Associate Director | Practice Lead, Planning
Hamilton, ON

John Ariens
#Associate Director | Practice Lead, Planning# #All# #Brownfield Development# #Development Engineering# ## #Development Engineering# #Municipal Services# #Civil Infrastructure# ## #Planning & Urban Design# #Subject Matter Expert# #Water Resources Management# #Industrial# ##
Hamilton, Ontario, Canada

John Ariens is independently responsible for representing the interests of development clients, both public and private, through the planning and development process for the Hamilton office. He coordinates all aspects of the development process starting at the initial design through municipal approval to engineering design, registration and construction. John is responsible for negotiations and liaison with the various levels of government and technical review agencies as well as coordinating the efforts of professionals, such as lawyers, engineers, and surveyors. This area of practice has brought John before many Municipal and Regional Committees and Councils, Conservation Authorities, Niagara Escarpment Commission and the Ontario Municipal Board as an expert witness.

#North America#
Maarit Heinonen-smith

Architect
London, UK

Maarit Heinonen-smith
#Architect# #All# #Design Build# #Green# #Healthy New Towns# #Healthcare# ## #High Rise Residential# #Residential# ## #Hotels & Resorts# #Commercial# #Hospitality# ## #Low Rise Residential# #Residential# ## #Mental Health Care# #Healthcare# ## #Mid Rise Residential# #Residential# ## #Mixed Use# #Commercial# ## #Parks# #Institution# #Civic & Government# ## #Placemaking# #Planning & Urban Design# ## #Policy & Design Guidelines# #Residential# #Seniors Communities# #Residential# ## #Spiritual Places# #Institution# #Civic & Government# #Church# ## #UK Regional#
London, United Kingdom, Europe
https://www.linkedin.com/in/maarit-heinonen-smith-65a3b4b6/

Maarit is an experienced, Chartered Architect with years of experience in high profile and award-winning sheltered and extra care housing, retirement villages and care homes located throughout the UK.

Maarit specializes in architecture and design for over 55’s, designing bespoke and inspiring residential architecture which allows for flexibility within the design for changing needs and individuality of the residents with a consideration to their health and well-being. Each design is a unique response to the site and brief, and developed through a dialogue with clients and end-users. During her career, her designs have achieved several awards for design quality, most recently at Healthcare Design Awards 2018 and Housing Design Awards 2017.

Maarit has designed retirement living developments worth £20m+ in value. Working with some of the largest local authorities, charities, housing associations and private developers in the UK, her knowledge has provided her with the best practice knowledge and innovation in this sector.

#Europe#
Alexandre Haddad

Director | Sr. Practice Lead, Civic/Industrial Buildings
Toronto West, ON

Alexandre Haddad
#Director | Sr. Practice Lead, Civic/Industrial Buildings# #All# #Automotive# #Industrial# ## #Design Build# #Energy# #Engineering# #Industrial# #Leader# #Manufacturing# #Industrial# ## #P3# #Project / Programme Management# #Retail# #Commercial# ## #Subject Matter Expert#
Toronto West, Ontario, Canada

Alex Haddad is a professional engineer with a background in mechanical and aerospace engineering, with over 25 years of experience. Alex is currently responsible for Business Development activities for the Automotive, Manufacturing and Commercial and Government sectors in Canada. His experience includes design and development of various complex projects for a wide range of building types including commercial, institutional, and industrial facilities. His clients have included General Motors, Ford, Toyota, Air Canada, Toronto Hydro, telecommunications firms, and post-secondary education institutions. Alex has been involved in master planning design, management and business development activities. His experience encompasses Construction Management, Design-Bid-Build and Design Build projects.

#North America#
Rares Caraba

Associate Director | Practice Lead, Geomatics
Calgary, AB

Rares Caraba
#Associate Director | Practice Lead, Geomatics# #All# #Geomatics / Land Surveying# #Subject Matter Expert#
Calgary, Alberta, Canada

Rares Caraba, Alberta Land Surveyor, Canada Land Surveyor, and Engineer, is responsible for acquiring accurate field data, quality control, and applications for land development to the City of Calgary and surrounding Counties and Municipal Districts.

Yong Kang

Director | US Sector Lead, Buildings
Los Angeles, CA

Yong Kang
#Director | US Sector Lead, Buildings# #All# #Architecture# #Design Build# #Hospitality# #Commercial# ## #Leader# #Living+# #Residential# ## #Mixed Use# #Commercial# ## #Office# #Commercial# ## #Office Lead# #Policy & Design Guidelines# #Project / Programme Management# #Residential# #Retail# #Commercial# ## #Strategic Planning#
Los Angeles, California, United States of America
https://www.linkedin.com/in/yong-j-kang-aia-60281a11/

As the US Sector Lead, Buildings, Yong Kang is responsible for overseeing the strategy, growth and development of the company’s new and existing business for IBI Group’s architectural, engineering and interior design practices nationwide. Bringing over two decades of proven experience in leading and managing major projects, Yong is a recognized leader in his profession. He is internationally recognized for having led the design of more than 15 million square feet of complex building environments for his clients throughout North America and Asia including multi-national conglomerates.

Yong is a licensed architect and is actively affiliated with numerous professional organizations including: the American Institute of Architects (AIA), the Urban Land Institute (ULI), the Southern California Development Forum (SCDF) and the International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC) amongst others. Yong holds a Master of Architecture from Syracuse University.

Stephen O’Brien

Director | Sr. Practice Lead, Intelligent Systems
Toronto, ON

Stephen O’Brien
#Director | Sr. Practice Lead, Intelligent Systems# #All# #Data Analytics# #Engineering# #Leader# #Operations# #Revenue / Tolling# #Transportation# ## #Software as a Service# #SaaS# ## #Subject Matter Expert# #Systems# #Systems Engineering# #Systems# ## #Systems Integration# #Systems# ## #Transit Technology# #Transportation# #ITS# #Intelligent Transportation Systems# ## #Traveller Information# #Transportation# #511# #ATIS# #Advanced Traveller Information System# ##
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
The culture here is unique. We attract talented people who are intrinsically motivated by challenges and creative problem solving. When we work together as a group to solve those problems, our clients benefit, and the appreciation they express rewards our efforts.

Stephen O’Brien specializes in requirement analysis, design and implementation of real-time software applications, particularly in the area of toll collection systems. He has extensive experience in client requirement analysis; systems development; real-time software design; and device integration.

Daniel Whelan

Associate Director | Principal, Education
Binghamton, NY

Daniel Whelan
#Associate Director | Principal, Education# #All# #Architecture# #Education# #School# ## #Higher Education# #School# #Education# ## #K-12 Education# #School# #Education# ## #Learning+# #School# #Education# ## #Office Lead# #Project / Programme Management# #Residential# #Retail# #Commercial# ## #Spiritual Places# #Institution# #Civic & Government# #Church# ## #Subject Matter Expert#
Binghamton, New York, United States of America

Daniel Whelan has more than 30 years of experience with particular areas of specialty that include architecture, project management and master planning for commercial projects, housing developments, K-12 schools, colleges/universities, banks and credit unions, and religious facilities.

#North America#
Guy Pearson

Studio Director
Manchester, UK

Guy Pearson
#Studio Director# #All# #Architecture# #Green# #Master Planning# #Planning & Urban Design# ## #Mixed Use# #Commercial# ## #Planning & Urban Design# #Project / Programme Management# #Residential# #Sustainability & Environmental Management# #Green# ## #UK Regional#
Manchester, United Kingdom, Europe

Guy Pearson is a qualified architect and urban designer. His interest and skills lie in the links between the two disciplines, including master planning and designing mixed use, high density urban neighbourhoods. Guy is an advocate of sustainable design to create liveable, healthy communities.

#Europe#
Ross Fleith

Associate - Manager, Architecture
Toronto West, ON

Ross Fleith
#Associate - Manager, Architecture# #Airports# #Transportation# ## #All# #Architecture# #Data Centre# #Commercial# #Office# ## #Energy# #Industrial# #Light Rail Transit# #Transportation# #LRT# ## #Living+# #Residential# ## #Low Rise Residential# #Residential# ## #Mobility+# #Transportation# ## #Office# #Commercial# ## #P3# #Retail# #Commercial# ## #Transit Facilities# #Transportation# ## #Transportation#
Toronto West, Ontario, Canada
https://www.linkedin.com/in/rossanofleith/

Ross is an Architecture and Urban Planning alumnus from UFPR – the Federal Brazilian University in Parana, the state in Brazil where Ross was born and raised, and where he worked as a Licensed Architect for 23 years before moving to Canada in 2010. He joined IBI Group in 2014 and is currently an Associate – Manager, Architecture, working on several jobs within the infrastructure, industrial and transportation sectors. He has recently worked as the architectural lead for the new Metrolinx Go Transit Control Centre in Oakville, and for the EMSF, the maintenance and storage facility for the Eglinton LRT.

#North America#
Grace Gao

Associate | Manager, Urban Design
Toronto, ON

Grace Gao
#Associate | Manager, Urban Design# #All# #Civic & Government# #Institution# ## #Green# #Master Planning# #Planning & Urban Design# ## #Mixed Use# #Commercial# ## #Mobility+# #Transportation# ## #Planning & Urban Design# #Project / Programme Management# #Transit Oriented Development# #TOD# ## #Transportation#
Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Grace Gao has over 16 years of multidisciplinary experience in urban design, planning and architecture. Her approach to urban planning strives to create healthy, meaningful, balanced and connected communities in a sustainable framework. Grace contributes to a broad range of local and global projects including: urban design and place making; mixed use master planning; TOD neighbourhood development; open space and streetscape, and sports events, on behalf of private, public and institutional sector clients.Her architectural and planning background combined with extensive work experience in a landscape architectural firm have strengthened a comprehensive academic knowledge and a keen sense of scales/ coordination for various type developments. Her effective project management skills, team collaborative spirit, multitasking efficiency and creative design capabilities, are a constant asset to her projects and teams.

Saif Zaidi

Associate, Sr. Project Manager
Dubai, UAE

Saif Zaidi
#Associate, Sr. Project Manager# #All# #Architecture# #High Rise Residential# #Residential# ## #Hospitality# #Commercial# ## #Hotels & Resorts# #Commercial# #Hospitality# ## #Interiors# #Interior Design# ## #Living+# #Residential# ## #Low Rise Residential# #Residential# ## #Mid Rise Residential# #Residential# ## #Mixed Use# #Commercial# ## #Project / Programme Management# #Residential#
Dubai, United Arab Emirates, Middle East
https://www.linkedin.com/in/saif-zaidi-oaa-49158422

Saif Zaidi is an Intern Architect (OAA) with over 15 years of comprehensive experience in architectural and interior design projects, responsible for concept and design to drawings through to execution. He has demonstrated expertise in conceptualizing, designing, contract management, project management, and business development.

Saif is the team lead for Hospitality & High-Rise Residential Interiors and has designed projects ranging from small residences to large scale mixed-use, retail, corporate office interiors, high-rise residential and hospitality. Working on design-build module projects has enabled him to provide practical design solutions and coordinate with multidisciplinary trades more effectively. His attention to detail and excellent problem solving skills ensure that every project he works on is completed on schedule and to the highest possible standard.

Luc Deniger

Associate, Landscape Architect
Edmonton, AB

Luc Deniger
#Associate, Landscape Architect# #Airports# #Transportation# ## #All# #Bridges, Roads & Highways# #Transportation# ## #Community / Recreational Facilities# #Institution# #Civic & Government# ## #Green# #High Rise Residential# #Residential# ## #Hotels & Resorts# #Commercial# #Hospitality# ## #Landscape Architecture# #Living+# #Residential# ## #Low Rise Residential# #Residential# ## #Mid Rise Residential# #Residential# ## #Mixed Use# #Commercial# ## #Parks# #Institution# #Civic & Government# ## #Placemaking# #Planning & Urban Design# ## #Planning & Urban Design# #Police Stations# #Institution# #Civic & Government# #Police & Fire Stations# ## #Project / Programme Management# #Residential# #Retail# #Commercial# ## #Spiritual Places# #Institution# #Civic & Government# #Church# ## #Wayfinding & Signage#
Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
https://www.linkedin.com/in/luc-deniger-aala-aapq-csla-79259116/

Luc Deniger has over 14 years of experience and has worked on numerous urban design and rehabilitation projects, from plazas and parks to large scale, high profile district design and rehabilitation master plans. Luc has developed experience in pedestrian circulation plans, signage and wayfinding strategies, building and streetscape interface strategies and public spaces. Through his projects, he has gained experience in green roof technologies, native eco-system rehabilitation and environmental design practices. His knowledge of, and talent for, urban landscape architecture and design has earned him awards for innovative approaches to Landscape Architecture. His experience includes urban design and rehabilitation and streetscape projects in Victoria, BC, Montreal and Quebec City.

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