New Hires & Appointment

         Recent KAI new hire Chris Upton, AIA, brings a unique perspective to his position as education practice leader in the firm’s Dallas-Fort Worth, Texas, office, having previously managed construction for Grapevine-Colleyville Independent School District in Grapevine, Texas.  In his new role, Upton will focus as a practice leader in the educational market and directly lead major projects and programs.  He is responsible for comprehensively managing client relationships, driving design delivery, and ensuring quality performance and successful business results.  Upton has a Bachelor of Science Degree in architecture from Texas Tech University and attended Midland College for pre-engineering.  He is a licensed architect in the states of Colorado, Utah, Washington, and Texas.  In his spare time, Upton enjoys cars, barbecuing, and watching action and historical movies.            

KAI Enterprises president Darren L. James, FAIA, has been appointed by Texas Governor Greg Abbott to the Texas Board of Architectural Examiners.  The nine-member board governs a multi-profession regulatory agency that oversees the examination, registration, and professional regulation of architects, interior designers, and landscape architects.  James has a Bachelor of Architecture Degree from the University of Kansas and is a Fellow of the American Institute of Architects, one of the highest honors bestowed on architects for their contributions to architecture and the community. 

KAI has also announced the hiring of Eduardo Ponce, RA as senior project architect at its Dallas-Forth Worth, Texas, office.  Ponce has 22 years of experience and is responsible for developing, implementing, and coordinating the overall design and documentation of projects from start to finish.  Ponce has a Bachelor of Architecture Degree from the University of Oregon and is a licensed Texas State Architect.  He lives in Plano, Texas, with his wife and daughter and enjoys photography, travel, and the visual arts. 

         “Ponce is well-versed in every aspect of the craft, from project design, documentation, and detailing to client interaction, project management, and construction administration,” said KAI Enterprises president Darren L. James, FAIA. 

         KAI has also announced the expansion of its design group with the hiring of architectural associates Amanda Sullivan in its St. Louis, Missouri, office and Moriah Sims and Jeremy Sims in its Dallas-Fort Worth office.  As architectural associates, each will work on all phases of project design, from conceptual/schematic design through the construction documents.

         Sullivan has nearly 15 years of design industry experience, and has a Bachelor of Architecture Degree from Kansas State University, where she also studied abroad at Czech Technical University in Prague, Czech Republic, for a semester.  Sullivan is a member of NCARB, STL Women in Architecture Forum, Young Architects Forum St. Louis, and the Saint Louis Revit User Group.  In her spare time, she enjoys gardening, hiking, traveling, and reading.

         Sims has a Bachelor of Science Degree in architecture from Prairie View A&M University and a Master of Science Degree in architecture from Texas A&M University.  She is an associate member of the AIA and the AIA Houston’s Kids + Architecture Committee.  When not working, she enjoys reading, gardening, cooking, traveling, and decorating.  She and her husband, who is also an architectural associate at KAI, live in Irving, Texas.

         Sims has a Bachelor of Science Degree in architecture from Prairie View A&M University and a Master of Science Degree in architecture from Texas A&M University.  He is an associate member of the AIA.  When not working, he enjoys furniture and clothing design, sports, and photography.

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