Associates Employee Profiles
Farhad Ashrafi, Associate Architect
Farhad was born in Iran and graduated from the College of
Architecture and Design at the University of Michigan. Prior to relocating
to California in 1985, Farhad's architectural experience was in capital
improvement projects in the mid-Western United States and in Iran. Over
the past 20 years he has been engaged in residential architecture and has
been at Stewart Associates since 1997. He is licensed both in California
and in the Middle East and is a Certified Green Building Professional.
He loves to snow ski when he can get away from the office.
Chris Ruffat, Designer
Chris was born in Chile and lived overseas for many years
finally settling in San Mateo. He attended San Jose State and received a
Bachelor of Architecture Degree from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo. He has worked
in the field of architecture for almost 20 years. His outside interests
include ice hockey, downhill skiing, and playing the guitar. Chris has been
with the firm since 1996.
Alfredo Reyes, Designer
Alfredo was born and raised in The Philippines. He received
his degree in Architecture at the Cogswell College School of Architecture
in San Francisco, California. He also has a Fine Arts Degree from the University
of Santo Thomas, and studied engineering at the University of The Philippines.
He is a licensed architect in The Philippines. He owned a very successful
restaurant, Tito Reyes, before he decided to return to his first love, architecture.
He has been with Stewart Associates since 1997. In addition to his design
work at the firm, he has remodeled and developed several of his own homes
on the mid-Peninsula.
Richard Leitzinger, Designer
Rick was an art major before his interests led him to architecture.
He has worked for prominent architects on the mid-Peninsula and in Arizona
over the past 20 years. He also taught design at Canada College in Redwood
City, California. In addition to his design work, he is responsible for
preparing the impressive renderings at Stewart Associates where he has been
employed since 2002. He has been very active in the local chapter of the
AIA, acting as the Associate Director for two years and planning many of
Debra Kaufman, Designer
Debbie was born in San Francisco and grew up in Millbrae.
She received a Bachelor of Architecture Degree from University of California
at Berkeley. She has worked at Stewart Associates two different times, the
latest stint beginning in 2004. Her other passion is gourmet cooking and
baking, which enables her co-workers to be the eager recipients of her tasty
Monica Liang, Designer
Monica was born and raised in Taipei, Taiwan. She came
to the Bay Area to attend high school and later attended the University
of California at Berkeley, where she received her Bachelor of Art Degree
in 1999, majoring in architecture. She has been with Stewart Associates
since 2002. In addition, she has been developing homes in Hillsborough and
Burlingame with her father and is currently preparing to take her architecture
exam. She is the proud owner of the office mascot, a Wiemaraner named Sam.
Surita Degan, Designer
Surita was raised in Bombay, India where she received her
degree from the J.J. School of Architecture. She immigrated to the US in
1988 and has worked for several firms on the Peninsula. She has designed
and built two homes of her own, one where she currently lives in Palo Alto.
Surita has been with Stewart Associates since the beginning of 2006.
Julie Carlson, Draftsperson/Office Administrative Assistant
Julie grew up in Minneapolis, Minnesota and graduated from
San Francisco State with a Criminal Justice Degree. She then worked as a
flight attendant for 15 years. After hiring Stewart Associates to design
a major remodel of her home in Burlingame, she became interested in the
design process and attended classes in Interior Design at Canada College.
She has just completed the successful reconstruction of her home, acting
as general contractor with her husband, Dennis. Julie has been with the
firm since 2006.
Carolyn Larsen, Office Manager
Carolyn was born and raised in Long Beach, California.
She has a Bachelor of Music Degree from Brigham Young University, sings
professionally and teaches piano and singing in Half Moon Bay. During the
past 25 years she has also worked in a variety of administrative positions
and has been at Stewart Associates since 2005. She is responsible for the
office operations and accounting.