Our People

Celebrating over 74 Years of Gruen Associates’ influence on our industry, our projects and legacy of professional talent.

Our People

Self-Renewing Leadership

The organization of Gruen Associates has been developed to best fulfill two purposes:

  • The rendering of imaginative and effective professional services for projects of any size or complexity.
  • The maintaining of an alert, creative, constantly expanding and self-renewing leadership group.

At the heart of the leadership group are the “Associates”.  This professional core has been developed over many years and contributes significantly to the strength and capability of Gruen Associates.  Its members have generally been advanced from within the organization, and their average seniority with Gruen Associates is in excess of 10 years.  Traditionally, the partners are “graduates” from the Associates. The four partners of today were all promoted from the Associates Group and they represent the fourth and fifth generation of partners here at Gruen.

In maintaining this system, we develop loyalty, identification and dedication that have endowed the organization with exceptional stability at the level of professional direction. The success of this methodology is demonstrated in the fact that during the recent pandemic (2020-2021) we had no lay-offs. Similarly, previously during the deep economic recession in 2006-2008, Gruen Associates suffered no lay-offs in professional staff while our competition suffered 50% or more in staff reductions. 

Gruen Associates is the Training Ground for Future Stars

Starting with the legendary Victor Gruen, Gruen Associates has built an internal community of talented design visionaries, and from its beginning has always attracted many notable and future notable architects to join our ranks. Highly-regarded as an early supporter of young, talented architects, we continue to provide a nurturing place where they can hone their skills, express their design talents and grow their architectural vision.  Among the renowned architects, planners and designers who have learned their craft here at Gruen Associates are three AIA Gold Medalists, two who have also received the coveted Pritzker Prize – Frank Gehry, Thom Mayne, and as Design Partner, Cesar Pelli.

“I went to Gruen, the intellectual watering hole in LA. I really thrived there. They gave young people huge responsibility and that had enormous impact on my own office. I literally set my practice up with huge parallels to Gruen in terms of how I treat young people, the openness of the office and the atelier model. It’s very egalitarian. The youngest person is treated with the same respect as the oldest.”  

Thom Mayne, FAIA 2013
Architect Daily

Others who have matriculated through Gruen Associates include Edward Feiner, GSA Architect, John Melcher, AIA California President, and Fred Clarke, Partner of Pelli Clarke Pelli.

Today, Gruen Associates is led by four partners – Michael A. Enomoto, FAIA, Larry Schlossberg, AIA, AICP, LEED AP BD+C, Debra Gerod, FAIA, LEED AP and Ashok Vanmali, AIA and two Associate Partners – Elaine Carbrey, AIA, AICP and Jill Wagner, AIA, LEED AP.