Karen VanWinkle

Karen VanWinkle

San Diego, CA, US



California licenced architect with nearly twenty years of multi-faceted experience in mixed-use, multi-family, residential, schools and hospitality. Experience encompasses forensic investigation and reporting, architectural consulting, developer representation and owner perspectives. Currently woking in the UAE for a prestigious develope and seeking next new challenger.


Tourism Development Investment Company (Abu Dhabi, UAE), Design Project Manager

Responsible for multiple projects ranging from the design of Master Planned Communities to overseeing the design and construction compliance of a single mixed-use waterfront development with a budget of $580M, encompassing a five-star hotel, three separate apartment projects with retail, food and beverage offerings.
• Thorough interface and communication between all internal departments of a highly complex organization, with culturally diverse individuals from over twenty five countries
• Quick adaptation to changing demands from both leadership and authorities
• Detailed consultant negotiation from initial selection through clean-up of numerous outstanding Variation Orders
• Code compliance review including accessibility and sustainability comparisons with new Estidama requirements

Jul 2010 - current

Sweetwater Union High School District, Planning & Construction Project Manager,

Accountable for overseeing Proposition O Bond Program entailing modernization and new construction of all campuses throughout California’s largest secondary school district with a budget of $644M. Advise and direct program and project managers to ensure construction is completed on schedule and budget and in the best interests of the District. Responsible for additional independent projects as needed throughout fifteen campuses including development of design and contract documents, public bidding, and project management through DSA closeout.
• All new construction was LEED Gold or Platinum
• Full coordination between district staff, contractors and program managers to ensure continuous use of facilities during construction and inter-department awareness
• Review and approval of all Field Work Directives and Change Orders
• Active participation in weekly update meetings with the Assistant Superintendent of Facilities and Operations

Jun 2009 - Jul 2010

Fairfield Residential, Design Project Manager

Supervision of over $650M in multi-family and mixed-use projects throughout California. Projects have included a 527 unit, LEED silver, mixed-use podium development, and 833 unit multi-product master-plan.
• Identify and implement requirements to gain LEED certification of 527 unit, mixed-use development mid-stream. Monitor and track progress of certification through construction process.
• Complete process management from initial contract negotiation of design phase and entitlement documents, through construction documents, permit process and construction administration.
• Value Engineering with construction department and consultants to continually monitor cost-effective design while preserving overall building character and compliance with entitlement documents.
• Re-organized and authored builder’s specifications for corporate use and standardized specifications to aide in cost analysis and tracking of both standard and upgraded building features.

Oct 2007 - Jan 2009

Pardee Homes, Senior Architectural Manager

Responsible for the architectural side of the development process across four divisions in California, including complete design development of over thirty projects ranging in price from $350,000 to over $1,900,000. Manage and oversee architectural, structural and mechanical design consultants to develop working drawings through permit process and construction.

• Evaluated, co-authored and monitored Energy Smart program including solely managing rebates, tax credits and costs associated with green building to save the company over $8.5M while improving market perception.
• Coordination with team members ranging from the Directors of Corporate Development, sales staff, marketing, purchasing, options, and construction
• Verify all fieldwork for homes built in the San Diego, Orange County, and Sacramento regions.
• Continually research new and existing building materials and monitor specification levels to employ the best available products to achieve high quality product at the best value for Pardee moreover, our customers.
• Architectural Manager of the Year 2004, TWIN Award Winner, 2005

Sep 2003 - Oct 2007

ARK Architects, Project Manager

Comprehensive work in all areas of production including: design development, working drawings, construction documents, permitting, city negotiations, full coordination with consultants of all disciplines, detailing, etc.
• Construction administration including field observation and coordination with general and sub-contractors, RFI tracking / documentation.
• Projects have included mixed use, apartment complexes, clubhouses, leasing offices, remodels of existing clubhouses, custom homes and tenant improvements of Types II, V. Locations included sites throughout California, Arizona, and Oregon. All work performed on Auto-CAD, Mini-CAD.

Apr 1995 - Sep 2003

JR Bardin & Associates, Architectural Assistant

Full analysis of construction defects including: site inspections, intrusive testing and documentation, determining the nature of defects, compliance with applicable codes, drawings, and specifications, interpolation of issue scope, and responsibility allocation per analysis of contract documents. Also, report writing, development of repair recommendations and details, quantity take-offs, and estimated repair costs.

Jun 1993 - Sep 1995


California Licensed Architect, Arcitect

Mar 2009 - current

LEED AP - US Green Building Council, AP

Jan 2008 - current

Construction Quality Management Training, Construction Quality Management Training

Feb 2009 - Feb 2009

University of Washington, WRECO Finance Education Program

Jun 2006 - Jun 2006

WRECO Leadership Institute, Leadership and Development Program

May 2006 - May 2006

Six Sigma Green Belt Training - Green Belt Certified, BArch, Green Belt Training

Sep 2005 - Oct 2005

Karass Seminar, Effective Negotiating

Jan 2004 - Jan 2004
Jan 1986 - Dec 1992


Architectural Manager of the Year (Pardee Homes), 1st Place


Tribute to Women in Industry, Award


Golden Nugget, Honorable Mention

Camden Tuscany


Areas of Specialization