AEC Trendsetters was started in 2015 with the help of AEC professionals in Palm Beach county. The idea was to make a group for local professionals to learn about current topics, discuss common concerns among other AEC professionals, and collaborate on best practices.
Architects, Engineers, and Construction professionals all work together to make the buildings we envision a reality. So why not build our working relationships the same way, together?
The Board of Directors
Kristina Smith was born and raised in Palm Beach County. She graduated from Florida State
University and worked as a recruiter in the AEC industry for several years. She began her career
in Los Angeles and worked with one of the leaders in Architectural and Engineering staffing
before returning to Florida. During that time she had the privilege of working with large and
small companies which enabled her to learn about a variety of project types and the amount of dedicated professionals it takes to make those projects a reality. She moved back to Palm Beach Gardens and was eager to stay involved in the AEC industry. She discovered that there was no local networking group or organization that she could get involved with that spoke out on current AEC trends in the area. She started asking local AEC professionals if they would be interested in having a group in the area for networking and collaboration. With some guidance she founded AEC Trendsetters and she is always open to suggestions for improving the organization. Currently she is the Director of Business Operations for United Tech Employee Management which specializes in managing all employee related tasks for their clients which includes payroll, workers comp, unemployment, and benefits administration.
Bradley Jackson is the Director of Marketing Coordination and Business Development at
Engenuity Group, Inc. a certified Small, Minority, and Disadvantaged Business Enterprise
specializing in Civil Engineering, Land Surveying, and GIS Mapping. He works with clients
and peers to establish and maintain relationships and create new business throughout
He is in charge of RFQ’s, proposals, bidding for the survey department, social/internet marketing, brand awareness, advertising, attending conferences and meetings, and setting up vendor presentations to benefit clients, as well as many other administrative tasks throughout the office. He graduated with a Bachelor’s of Science from the Dedman School of Hospitality in the College of Business at Florida State University.
Bradley is a Palm Beach County native and the Programs Chair on the Board of Directors for the South Florida Chapter of the Society for Marketing Professional Services (SMPS) as well as a member of the programs steering committee for the Urban Land Institute (ULI) Southeast Florida’s Palm Beach County Young Leaders section. In addition to these roles, he also actively participates in the Florida Engineering Society (FES) Palm Beach Chapter, American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) Palm Beach Branch, the Forum Club of the Palm Beaches, and the Palm Beach County League of Cities. He volunteers for events such as MATHCOUNTS, and Drop It, Build It, Float It, Launch It, Thrill It which engage and invigorate local youth in the engineering profession.
Aida Báez, E.I.
Aida Báez, whom at the age of seven knew she would become a structural engineer,
attended the University of Massachusetts and earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Civil
Engineering. After working as a structural designer for six years in Massachusetts, on many
industrial projects, including Abbott Labs, Stryker and Ocean Spray process facilities, she moved to Las Vegas, NV to expand her design experience. In Las Vegas while working with a top 100 Design Firm, she gained design experience in commercial, healthcare and higher education. There she participated in multiple award winning designs, and LEED Certified Silver and Gold projects. In 2010 she moved to the Palm Beach area and has increased her knowledge even further with projects in hospitality and entertainment, while improving her experience in reinforced concrete framing, and high-velocity wind load design. These include The Breakers Hotel’s new fitness & spa facilities, numerous clubhouses in the Palm Beach, Broward, Miami Dade, and Monroe Counties, as well as a state-of-the-art Performing Arts Center for a private local school in West Palm Beach. She is now in Pompano Beach working at WSP, an A/E Services global corporation ranked in the News-Record top-10. Aida uses BIM design and advanced analysis software for all her projects to ensure a high-quality product for her clients and be able to fully collaborate with other disciplines during design and construction. Her forward thinking and willingness to collaborate with architects, MEPs and contractors is one the reasons she is one of the most sought after structural engineers in the area and why we're proud she sits on our board of directors.
Erik Soderstrom, E.I.
Erik Soderstrom is the Geotechnical Department Manager at GFA International’s Port Saint
Lucie Office. GFA is a family owned engineering firm that provides environmental and
geotechnical engineering and consulting, construction materials testing, inspections as well as
code compliance across a broad spectrum of industries. Erik works to provide geotechnical solutions for residential, commercial and industrial projects of all scopes and sizes from West Palm Beach to Jacksonville.
Erik graduated from the University of Vermont with a B.S. in Environmental Engineering. Since graduating, he has worked in several professional fields including finance in New York City and education in Sun Valley, ID. Erik worked for Universal Engineering in Orlando before accepting a management role with GFA in May, of 2019.
Paula A. Williams, Architect ,AIA, NCARB.
Paula was born and raised in Bogota, Colombia, where she studied in La Universidad de los
Andes to earn her bachelors degree in Architecture. Paula worked with several renowned
architects in Bogota, on the design of high end residences. In 2007, Paula moved to San Antonio,
Texas to live with her husband and began her career in the United States as an Architectural Intern, were she was part of the development of many award winning schools, including LEED certified schools. Paula also participated in projects such as athletic facilities, student residences, and health care facilities.
During the first 7 years of her career in the United States, she acquired much of her knowledge in design, construction documents, and Construction Administration while assisting in the development of projects and through coordination with consultants. Paula has always been eager to try new technologies, and in 2009 she began working with Revit Architecture, which quickly became her main tool in the development of projects, and she has specialized in the use of the program, to a level where the Architectural process and project coordination are now optimized and streamlined. This allows her to obtain excellent results that exceed client expectations.
In 2011 Paula became a mother of a wonderful little boy and in her search to find more independence as an architect and working mom she had the opportunity to collaborate with different offices working remotely which helped her advance in her career goals, while giving her the ability to manage projects in different sectors and scales.
In 2014, she moved with her family to West Palm Beach, Fl, where she began working in Leo A. Daly in the Architecture department, where she has been part of different types of projects such as the Palm Beach Convention Center Parking Garage, Palm Beach Atlantic University Rinker Sports Center, Broward College Planetarium among others. After two years of working in the Palm Beaches and with a lot of dedication she earned her Architectural Registration in the State of Florida, around the same time she participated in the Habitat for Humanity Design Challenge, where with her passion for design and her desire to help others she won first place in the competition, which also led her to learning about AEC Trendsetters and becoming a board member of this innovative organization.
David was born in Peru, but has been living in Florida since the age of 1. He attended the
University of Florida where he received a BS degree in Construction Management and a BS degree in Finance.
David’s was around the construction industry from a young age with his father starting his own fire sprinkler installation company when David was 11. David often visited construction sites as a child and later worked on design and installation of fire sprinkler systems. After completing his Undergraduate degrees, David began his career in Construction Management. David worked in various roles at Suffolk Construction in South Florida from 2005 to 2011 prior to taking a position at KAST Construction. David helped to build the preconstruction department of KAST Construction from 3 to 21 employees as well as implement the policies and procedures that go along with such a large growth. During the 7 years that David has been with KAST, its annual revenues have grown from under $50 million to over $500 million. David has been involved with construction projects worth $100,000 to $300,000,000 that range from small renovations, offices, apartments, condominiums, clubhouses, schools, to fire stations, and hotels.
David enjoys boating, doing manual labor on his property and spending time with his wife, son (James 7), and daughter (Stella 3).
With 13 years of experience in marketing and communications, Rachel Stevens currently
serves as Vice President of Marketing for Suffolk. In this role, she oversees a regional team
responsible for all work acquisition efforts, public relations, communications, events, and
other general marketing support.
Rachel is active within the industry and has held board positions with the Society for Marketing Professional Services and the Construction Association of South Florida, in addition to her current role with AEC Trendsetters.
Her community involvement includes past participation in the Dolphins Cancer Challenge in support of the Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center, the Pie it Forward campaign for Meals on Wheels of the Palm Beaches, and ongoing support to Busch Wildlife Sanctuary.
Rachel is originally from Pennsylvania where she received a bachelor’s degree in Communication and Journalism from Shippensburg University. She now lives in Jupiter with her husband.