Christopher Back

Board Member

Christopher brings a varied background to his responsibilities with FORT:LA. A California native, his interest in Los Angeles architecture sprung out of the ground-breaking MOCA exhibition on Case Study houses “Blueprints for Modern Living” in 1989. This led to study at UCLA on architectural history and interior design, along with participation in the LACMA Decorative Arts Council for several years. In 2001, during a three-year sabbatical in Paris, he deepened his knowledge with art and language courses at the Sorbonne, École du Louvre and completed a certificate program in Art, Decorative Arts and Architectural history of France at Christies Education, Paris. Since 2018 he has been a docent at the Gamble House, and is a past board member of Friends of the Gamble House (FOGH). 

His professional experience includes over twenty years in technology sales that included stints living in London, Paris and Melbourne, Australia. He was also the founder of Paris Private Guides, a top-rated bespoke tour company that offered personalized private tours of Paris; including art, architecture, fashion and gastronomy led by noted experts and authors on Paris.

Meghan Brener

Board Member

Born in Knoxville, TN, Meghan made Los Angeles her home after graduating from FIDM and UCLA. She is a comedic actress who came up through the Upright Citizen’s Brigade theater in Hollywood. She also writes for tv, film, and animation and dabbles in directing. Her passions outside of work are her husband, two dogs, and well-stocked craft room.

Victoria Massengale

Board Member

A native Angeleno with roots that go back nearly 100 years, Victoria has a true love of all things Los Angeles, including its rich architectural diversity. This love merged perfectly when she became a Realtor, allowing her to expand her knowledge of architectural styles and the history of her beloved city.

Chris Erric Maddox

Board Member

Chris Erric Maddox attended Winchester, Massachusett’s A Better Chance Program for boarding school, Tufts University for his Bachelor’s Degree, and Columbia University for his Master of Fine Arts Degree. Since completing his education, Chris has worked as an actor, writer, and producer. After touring the country, performing Shakespeare’s canon, and landing numerous roles acting on television shows like “Accidentally on Purpose,” “The Middle,” “Modern Family,” “Mom,” “Castle,” and “Dads,” Chris began his writing career. He was accepted into the Paramount Writers Mentoring Program in 2015 and, afterward, began writing and producing television shows, including “Bull,” “A Million Little Things,” “Monarch,” and “Dynasty.”

Jake Lazere

Board Member

Jake Lazere is a licensed Realtor who is trained as an architect. He brings over a decade of experience in architecture to his real estate clients at DPP Brokerage. Having worked at respected Los Angeles architecture firms including Frederick Fisher and Partners and Koning Eizenberg, he gained a discerning eye for quality design and construction as well as a keen understanding of the regulatory processes of building. For residential clients as well as institutional ones including the Los Angeles Natural History Museum and Princeton University, he honed skills to assist clients in making difficult decisions to achieve their goals. As a real estate agent he works with clients from first-time home buyers to astute investors, helping them achieve their goals with his knowledge of architecture, construction, Los Angeles city and its real estate market.

He grew up in Southern California and loves living in Los Angeles. He’s enamored by the city’s exciting diversity of residential architecture – the homes from the turn-of-the-century Arts and Crafts movement, the Hollywood-inspired storybook houses of the 1920s, the homes of the mid-century modernist boom, and the great contemporary architecture that is being designed and built today. He holds a Master of Architecture from the Tulane School of Architecture, where he graduated with the award for design excellence and currently sits on the school’s alumni council.

Teresa Grimes

Board Member

Teresa Grimes has 30 years of experience in the field of historic preservation. She is widely recognized as an expert in the identification and evaluation of historical resources having successfully prepared dozens of landmark and historic district applications for a wide variety of property types. Teresa graduated from the University of California, Los Angeles with a Master of Art degree in Architecture and has worked in the private, public, and non-profit sectors. Maintaining a leadership role from inspection to completion, Teresa has overseen numerous rehabilitation and adaptive reuse projects as well as expertly guided property owners through the process of securing Federal Rehabilitation Tax Credits and Mills Act Historic Property Contracts. She has managed the preparation of historic structure reports and worked with architects, engineers, and conservators to comply with the Secretary of the Interior’s Standards for the Treatment of Historic Properties. Teresa  also has extensive experience in the preparation of environmental compliance documents in accordance with the California Environmental Quality Act including the identification of historical resources, analysis of direct, indirect, and cumulative impacts, and development of mitigation measures.

Melanie Becker

Board Member

Development Director, California – Sossego, Modern Brazilian Design

Melanie Becker is a brand ambassador, product specialist and an experienced leader who specializes in the integration of European and Domestic brands within the communities of architects, designers and corporate end users in North America. She most recently held the position of Vice President, Western Region at Vitra, pioneering the brand throughout the US since 2000.

Priscilla Fraser

Board Member

Priscilla Fraser, Director of the MAK Center for Art and Architecture, has been working on exhibitions, publications, and projects in the field of architecture for over fifteen years. As a senior designer and project manager for the LACMA, she supervised trail-blazing installations such as Chris Burden’s Metropolis II and a James Turrell retrospective, among others. Prior to joining the MAK Center, Fraser was LACMA’s internal project manager for architect Peter Zumthor’s expansion proposal for the new permanent collection building. In New York, Fraser was responsible for exhibitions and publications at the architectural firm of Steven Holl and worked under Barry Bergdoll in the Architecture Department of the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA).

Photo credit: Lauren Ross

Siddhartha Majumdar

Board Member

Siddhartha joined SPF:a in 2000, and some of his most notable built work includes the recently completed Rainbow Bridge in Long Beach, the 210,000-square-foot Getty Villa Museum renovation and expansion, and two UCLA projects, CENS (Center for Embedded Networked Sensing), a computer science related research facility, and UCLA Stunt Ranch, an off-the-grid reserve and biological field station in Malibu. He has also overseen several single- and multi-family residential projects and has developed expert working knowledge of the city’s various permit and bidding processes. Currently, he is managing two large city projects under construction, the Rancho Cienega Sports Complex, a $40 million, 45,000-square-foot sports facility in Baldwin Hills, and Rumblefish, a 400-foot pedestrian bridge spanning across the LA River connecting Elysian Valley to Taylor Yard.

Siddhartha began his professional career in the Office of the University Architect at University of Cincinnati, and his work on campus involved analyses of space utilization, user-satisfaction surveys, site surveys, construction phasing strategy. He also undertook programming for lecture/auditorium spaces, housing, office and recreation spaces, and prepared the Design Guidelines and Standards Manual, which became the benchmark for all new construction at the University.  He has also taught design studio at the School of Architecture, University of Southern California, Los Angeles. He is passionate about cricket and currently captains the Pickwick Cricket Club of the Los Angeles Social Cricket Alliance. He is a licensed architect in California and India.

Dody Dorn

Board Vice-Chair

Dody Dorn is a film and sound editor, best known for working with director Christopher Nolan on several films including Memento (2000). Dorn was nominated for the Academy Award for Memento, which Variety described as a “…beautifully structured puzzle…” that “…deconstructs time and space with Einstein-caliber dexterity in the service of a delectably disturbing tale of revenge … Dody Dorn’s editing is top-notch as pic — scripted, acted and lensed with precision — smoothly toggles back and forth between sequences in B&W and in color.”

Dorn has worked multiple times with director Ridley Scott as well as having edited SICK: The Life & Death of Bob Flanagan, Supermasochist a documentary film which chronicles the life of a sadomasochistic man who struggles with cystic fibrosis.

Dody believes that experiencing the city and learning about its history is best done in the company of others in “the real world.” She is aligned with FORT: LA’s vision of giving Angelenos an inspired new way to explore all the magic that can be found outdoors.