Building a Better SLO was created to bring new information, ideas and inspiration to San Luis Obispo, equipping our community to discuss, debate and re-imagine our built environment for the future.

Designed for anyone – not just building and design professionals – who cares about the future growth of our community and wants to be part of shaping the future, each presentation in the Building a Better SLO series will examine the ways in which planning and building can impact our community to benefit our economy, culture and environment. Topics will include Arts & Culture, Equity and Inclusion, Innovative Housing, Outdoor Spaces and more.

Building a Better SLO is a non-profit organization, under the fiscal agency of United Way of San Luis Obispo.

Meet the team behind the series.

Andy Pease

Elected in 2016 and re-elected in 2020, Andrea (Andy) Pease serves as council member for the City San Luis Obispo. Throughout her time on council, the city has made significant accomplishments in housing affordability, climate action, sustainable transportation, downtown vitality and fiscal responsibility. Outside of city council, Andy is an architect, business owner and environmental leader.

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Jim Duffy

Jim is an architect and founder of TEN OVER STUDIO, a design firm providing architecture, landscape architecture, interior design and media creation services with offices in San Luis Obispo, San Jose and Bend Oregon. He holds a bachelor’s degree from UCSB in Environmental Studies and Urban Planning and a Master of Architecture degree from the University of Oregon. Jim has served as Architectural Review Commissioner for the City of San Luis Obispo and as a board member on the SLO Chamber of Commerce and Habitat for Humanity. He’s passionate about urban planning and architectural design that makes a positive impact on our communities and the planet.

Greg Wynn

Greg Wynn, AIA is an architect with a small regional practice based in San Luis Obispo and is a lecturer at Cal Poly, SLO. With teaching experience of 20 years and as the faculty advisor for the Cal Poly chapter of AIAS, Greg bridges the gap between the profession and the University. Greg is a past Chair of the San Luis Obispo Architectural Review Commission (ARC) and is on the Executive Committee for the Live Oak Music Festival- an annual benefit for KCBX Public Radio, and is a past president of AIA-California Central Coast.

Molly Kern

As director of governmental affairs, Molly Kern leads the SLO Chamber’s legislative efforts, advocating on behalf of the business community on the local and state level. Molly has a degree in philosophy of public policy and ethics from UCSB and is a graduate of Leadership SLO Class XXIV.

Carolyn Berg

Carolyn is a licensed Civil Engineer with 15 years of public sector experience uniting diverse partners to address critical regional water resources and community development needs. Her time working for the County of San Luis Obispo affords her a unique perspective of how to successfully facilitate multi-agency water projects and lead complex collaborative initiatives. She has also held numerous leadership roles with the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE), locally and internationally, bringing outside perspectives to engineering change in our region.

Will Ruoff

Will grew up in SLO county but studied architecture in Tucson Arizona where he ran a non-profit called Freedom By Design. Today he leads a young architecture forum in SLO and practices architecture at 4Creeks. Outside of work, Will enjoys remodeling and construction.

Advisory Founding Members

Matt Ritter

Matt is a professor in the Biology Department at Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo. On campus he shares his passion for plants with those looking to engage with and understand the amazing world that grows around us. He has published several books and, In his spare time, does construction, masonry, and  woodworking.

Beya Makekau

Beya is the Director of Student Diversity & Belonging at Cal Poly, where she works to support, advocate, and develop students in any way that she can.  Her mission is to disrupt systems of oppression and advocate for equity through education. She has a Master’s degree in Ethnic studies from San Francisco State University and is currently pursuing her doctorate in educational leadership and administration.

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Building a Better SLO is a non-profit organization, under the fiscal agency of United Way of San Luis Obispo County. To support our work, GIVE HERE. Under Donation Designation, click on Building a Better SLO. Thank you!