The San Jose Downtown Association (SJDA) has named Katia McClain, a managing partner at architecture firm Steinberg Hart, as its new board president.
According to her official bio, McClain boasts three decades in her field and presided over some of Steinberg Hart’s largest and most complex projects.
Over the years, McClain—a Mexican native—has worked on hospitality and commercial developments in the US and her home country while volunteering her leadership to the Design-Build Institute of America and the SJDA Downtown Design Committee. She is also a founding member of the AIA SV Women in Architecture Committee.
“Born in Mexico City and an avid traveler, McClain embraces an international outlook in her work,” the SJDA wrote in a press release about her new position. “Drawing upon her extensive travel experience, her design approach reflects a belief that architecture respects the language of the past while inspiring future development.”
McClain’s appointment came Friday along with that of Facebook policy manager Jarrod Jenkins to McClain’s prior role as vice president of operations. Continental Bar and Lounge owner Sam Ramirez will continue to serve as vice president of marketing. Oracle Director of Real Estate and Facilities Doug Bartl will keep his post as treasurer while Nick Nichols, of Symphony Silicon Valley, will stay on for another term as secretary.
In the wake of controversy over a speech by SJDA Executive Director Scott Knies that was criticized as racially insensitive, the board’s top three positions are now occupied by a woman and two men of color. The trio will preside over the SJDA’s 32-member board for one-year terms that begin on Jan. 1, 2020.
Since 1989, SJDA has overseen a Business Improvement District, which taxes about 2,000 downtown property owners to fund clean-ups, security, beautification and ongoing improvements to the heart of the city. It also produces a number of signature events, including Music in the Park, Dine Downtown, a farmers market and Downtown Ice.