About Us

Our firm is deeply rooted in the Central Coast. Kasavan Architects was founded in Salinas in 1949 and has been designing projects in the region ever since. Most of our staff is native to the area. Our firm and its employees are well grounded and active in our community, we feel a special responsibility and commitment to each of our clients. Each member of our team brings a unique background and varied interests to the table. Read our individual biographies below to learn more about us.

Peter Kasavan, AIA

President

Peter Kasavan is the president of Kasavan Architects which has been a leading architectural firm in the Monterey Bay area since its founding by his father, Jerome Kasavan, in 1949. Peter serves as principal in charge of all Kasavan Architects projects.

Mr. Kasavan has a background in the Fine Arts, having earned a BFA from California College of Arts and Crafts.  He was then a Journeyman Carpenter with the UB of C and J of A Local 925 working on educational projects and serving as superintendent on a new school library.  That experience gives him an uncommon understanding of the nature and character of materials, tolerances, staging, sequencing and constructability. This specialized expertise has been recognized by the legal profession which has retained Mr. Kasavan as an expert witness on many construction litigation cases.   Peter earned his Masters of Architecture University of California Berkeley.

He has been recognized with many design awards, including local state, national and even international awards. Kasavan Architects is among the most recognized award winners in the region. He was recognized by the AIAMB for his contributions to the field of architecture with its Robert Stanton Award.

Mr. Kasavan is also committed to his community and giving back through his volunteer services. This service has been recognized with some of the top awards from the Salinas Jaycees, Salinas Valley Chamber of Commerce and the Central Coast Builders Association.  He served as President of the Salinas Jaycees, Chairman of the Salinas Valley Chamber of Commerce and served by mayoral appointment on 3 separate task forces.

His pro-bono service extends to the design for the Monterey County Vietnam Veterans Memorial and the Monterey County Sheriffs Memorial.

L. Jonathon Strnad

Principal

As a Principal, Jonathon works closely with Peter to oversee projects at Kasavan Architects. With a Masters of Architecture from Rhode Island School of Design Jonathon has over fifteen years of experience in sustainable architecture.  He approaches each project with thoughtful dedication to creating beautiful and inspiring sustainable projects. He’s worked on an extensive range project types, both new and renovations, including DSA schools, OSHPD health care, LEED projects, Commercial retail, Restaurants, Mixed-use Affordable Housing, Residential, Master Planning, and Eco Resort Facilities.  Jonathon received his Bachelor of Environmental Studies from the University of California at Santa Barbara.

As a native of the Central Coast Jonathon will not hesitate to tell you that we live in paradise. Prior to joining Kasavan Architects, Jonathon began his career with Blackbird Architects in Santa Barbara, HB Design Build in Rhode Island and, just prior to returning to the Central coast, as full-time faculty of Architecture Technology at Galway Mayo Institute of Technology in Ireland. Outside of the office Jonathon enjoys getting his hands dirty with landscaping and building projects at his home in Corralitos. With a family of five (all girls) they stay busy with soccer, cross-country, camping, hiking, mountain biking, in the snow or afternoons at the beach.

Barbara Chagnon

Senior Planner & Project Manager

Barbara brings a highly detailed approach to each project and has an exceptional ability to manage and lead teams of diverse people and interests while balancing design, schedule, and budget to meet the client’s expectations.  A member of the Kasavan team since 1994, she is involved in all aspects of the design & construction process for our commercial, educational & medical projects.

A local product of the Monterey Bay area, Barbara earned her Bachelor of Architecture from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo.  Early influences in her career include a work study program in San Francisco with internships with the City of San Francisco Planning Department and Anshen + Allen Architects and a summer work program with the National Park Service (NPS) / Historic American Building Survey (HABS) in which she was part of a team which documented one of America’s oldest active baseball parks, Rickwood Field in Birmingham, Alabama.

Professional endeavors aside, Barbara enjoys being outside as much as possible.  She enjoys cheering on her children in their various activities and is a long-time assistant coach of track & field at Salinas High School.

Cerisa Skinner, AIA, LEED AP

Architect

Cerisa brings her expertise in BIM and her dedication to creating user oriented spaces to Kasavan Architects.  As a project manager, she works with the whole project team and the clients to produce a successful project from start to finish.  With experience in project types ranging from DSA and OSHPD projects to restaurants to high-end custom residential homes, she brings a unique perspective to every design problem.

Earning her Bachelors of Architecture with a Minor in Sustainable Environments at California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo drove home the school’s motto: “learn by doing.”  As a child, Cerisa followed her dad around small construction sites with great curiosity.  As an adult, whether it has involved spending a day volunteering for Habitat for Humanity or remodeling at home, she still delights in learning firsthand about how things go together.  A year spent studying abroad in Copenhagen, Denmark helped cement a deep interest in sustainable design and the successful marriage of contemporary and historic architecture.

A native of the Monterey Bay, Cerisa is grateful to be back in the area and practicing architecture in such a beautiful place.  Outside of the office, she enjoys hiking, going to the beach, baking, sewing and serving on the board of AIA Monterey Bay.