DPA Leadership

Douglas Pancake, AIA
President

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Douglas Pancake has developed an expertise in supportive and therapeutic architectural design for individuals with Alzheimer’s disease and related dementia and has been involved in numerous projects and research activities. While completing his Master of Architecture at the University of Arizona, College of Architecture, Doug received private grant funding from The Fountains Companies for a program to develop a social model Alzheimer care facility. Doug received his Bachelor of Art degree in Architecture from the University of New Mexico and his Bachelor of Architecture and Master of Architecture degrees from the University of Arizona. Doug has completed The Johns Hopkins School of Business postgraduate certificate program in the NIC – Business of Senior Housing program. In addition, Doug is a Certified Eden Associate.

Doug has been involved in a state-funded research project where the functional competencies of residents living in an Alzheimer Care Facility, of his own design, were observed under multiple environmental conditions. Doug is also working with CDPH and OSHPD in developing the Household Model SNF Building Code. Doug actively participates in the California Office of State Fire Marshall, RCFE Code Advisory Committee.

Doug Pancake is credited with the design and construction of numerous elder-care environments for clients including: Hillcrest Retirement Community, American Baptist Homes of the West, Retirement Housing Foundation, Redstone/California PEO Home, La Vida Llena, Silverado Senior Living, Atria Senior Living, Vintage Senior Housing, Classic Residence by Hyatt, Birtcher Senior Properties, Kisco Retirement Communities, The Queens Hospital in Honolulu and many others.

Most importantly, Doug is credited with leading the evolution of senior housing and care design, and with enhancing the lifestyles and the well-being of thousands of elders across the United States.

Jonathan Ma, NCARB, AIA, LEED AP
Chief Operating Officer

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Jonathan graduated from California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo, with a Bachelor in Architecture. He is a licensed Architect with over 15 years’ experience in the Architecture industry. Jonathan has worked on a a wide variety of projects including high density mixed use projects, multi-family walk-up and podium projects, medical facility institutional projects, commercial projects, and single family residential projects.

Jonathan plays an integral part in the management team, providing insight for firm strategic planning, workflow management, BIM standards integration and marketing. During his tenure, Jonathan’s unique integrity-based approach has played a key role in the project delivery of various OSHPD intensive Skilled Nursing Facility projects, Memory Care Centers and Assisted Living Facilities. In addition, he continues to oversee and mentor staff in all phases of large scale projects, from project design inception and documentation to construction administration and closeout. Jonathan’s multi-faceted skillsets have made him an invaluable member to the firm in assisting to evolve senior housing design to the next level.

Penny Nelson, CDFA
Chief Financial Officer

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With a keen eye for detail and over twenty years of experience, Penny Nelson oversees all financial, accounting, human resources and administrative functions of Douglas Pancake Architects. Penny brings experience from manufacturing, technology, and advertising firms, making her an essential voice on the forward-thinking leadership team of DPA.  Penny’s penchant for technology and efficiency has allowed the team to increase productivity and company growth. Her implementation of effective systems at the firm has been beneficial not just to the financial department, but to every employee at DPA.

Penny graduated from California State University, Long Beach with a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration: Finance. In addition to her success at DPA, Penny has served as President of the Orange County Chapter of Society for Design Administration (SDA), where she received recognition for her dedication to enhancing the professional development and growth of design firm administrative and management personnel. Penny continues to be an active member of SDA.

Joshua Smith, Architect, LEED AP BD+C
Director of Production

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Joshua graduated from Woodbury University, San Diego, with a Bachelor of Architecture. He is a licensed Architect with 15 years of experience in the architecture industry and a LEED AP with a specialty in Building Design and Construction. Joshua worked on a wide variety of commercial and single family residential projects before joining DPA.

Joshua oversees the Quality Assurance and Quality Control (QA/QC) at DPA, and plays a key role in the project delivery of various Assisted Living and Memory Care Communities. He provides mentorship and coaching to staff in project design and documentation, construction administration, and their personal professional development.

DPA Team

The DPA Team is a close-knit group of compassionate and talented individuals whose passions are focused on creating supportive, meaningful and healing environments for seniors – the frailest and most vulnerable members of our community.

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