Our Team

Our employees are our greatest asset

KOA presents our clients with talented & diverse multi-disciplinary teams in order to create vibrant and dynamic neighborhoods. We are wholly invested in our employees, our company, and the communities we serve!

Leaders with a Vision

Min Zhou, PE

CEO

Min Zhou has 28 years of transportation engineering and planning experience with both private consultant companies and public agencies. She is knowledgeable in roadway design, traffic design, transportation modeling and studies, non-motorized transportation, database management, and statistical analysis. Min has managed several large-scale projects involving multiple stake holder groups and has a reputation of delivering projects on-time and under budget.

Favorite Way to Spend a Weekend: Hiking, yoga, and afternoon tea with friends
Newest Hobby: Planting/Gardening
Favorite Word: Smile
Favorite Project: 3rd & Broadway Cycle Track Study & Design, Long Beach, CA

A person who feels appreciated will always do more than what is expected.

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Juan Gutierrez, CMA

Chief Financial Officer

Juan Gutierrez has more than 20 years of financial and fiscal management experience, and has knowledge of Generally Accepted Accounting Principles. He is responsible for the firm’s strategic financial planning, including profit/loss, capital financing, cash flow operations, merger and acquisitions and he ensures compliance with local, state and federal reporting requirements. He also provides leadership and coordination in the administrative, human resources, budgeting, and project management efforts of the company. He also has extensive knowledge of accounting system conversions, and has developed and implemented finance, billing and auditing procedures for KOA.

Favorite Way to Spend a Sunny Day: At the pool
Newest Hobby: Bike Riding
Secret Talent: Latin Style Dance
Spirit Animal: Dog

The greatest amount of wasted time is the time not getting started.

Dawson Trotman

Carlos Velásquez, AICP

Managing Director of LA Office

Carlos Velásquez has experience in transportation planning, transit planning/operations, traffic circulation, bicycle/pedestrian planning an economic development. He has worked on projects addressing transit operations, pedestrian circulation and safety, bikeway planning, traffic studies, and economic revitalization and as been involved in the development of numerous bicycle and pedestrian plans, including the City of South Gate Bicycle Plan and the City of Lancaster Bicycle and Pedestrian Plan. He has experience in working with downtown associations and businesses to develop and implement strategies to improve the physical appearance and livability of the commercial district. He also has experience in a number of planning studies that have addressed transportation planning for existing and planned rail transit stations and transit-oriented districts. Carlos is a certified Transportation Planner with the American Institute of Certified Planners (AICP), #026845.

Favorite Movie: Batman Begins
What did you want to be when you were six years old? Astronaut
Guilty Pleasure: Pro Wrestling
Claim to Fame Moment: Becoming a dad

Life is 10% what happens to us and 90% how we react to it.

Charles R. Swindoll

Stephen Bise, PE

Managing Director of OC Office

Stephen Bise has managed numerous civil and traffic engineering projects for several municipalities throughout Southern California. His project experience consists of preparing final plan, specification, and estimate (PS&E) packages for various improvements to roadways/highways, intersections, drainage, low impact development (LID) implementation, traffic signals, ITS, lighting, signing/striping, and planning for future development. He also has extensive experience in complete streets design and implementation, which include safe multi-modal integration with aesthetic elements such as landscape and street furniture. Stephen’s keys to success include clear, concise communication and diligent quality control.

Favorite Way to Spend a Sunny Day: Playing with my kids at the park
Secret Talent: Juggling
Favorite Treat: Anything chocolate
Favorite Project: Foothill Blvd Master Plan, Claremont, CA

Luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity.

Seneca

Ming Guan, PE, TE

Managing Director of IE Office

Ming Guan has 14 years of experience with work in street, highway, freeway, and interchange design including extensive experience in urban street intersection design. She has worked on a number of roadway alignment and drainage studies and the design for these projects. She is very well experienced in the use of AutoCAD Civil 3D and Microstation, and has been instrumental in completing some of KOA’s design projects in accordance with the stringent requirements of Caltrans. Ming is the co-author of a technical textbook entitled “Highway Geometric Design using InRoads” along with Professor Xudong Jia of Cal Poly Pomona. Her recent projects include multiple federally-funded safe-route-to-school projects where she was responsible for preparation of technical memorandum and final PS&E packages.

Newest Hobby: Coding with my kids and the Dash & Dot Robot
Secret Talent: Remembering everyone’s birthdays
Guilty Pleasure: Ice Cream
Favorite Thing About California: Sunshine

To be a good professional engineer, always start to study late for exams. Because it teaches you how to manage time and tackle emergencies.

Bill Gates

Charlie Schwinger, PE, TE, PTOE

Managing Director of SD Office

With over 40 years of experience in applying practical engineering solutions to the transportation planning process, Charlie Schwinger approaches each of his projects holistically, incorporating client goals, public values, and technical excellence. His responsibilities include project management, design, analysis, data collection and surveys, and production of construction plans, specifications and technical reports. His experience in transportation includes: street and highway design; intersection and interchange design; trail and sidewalk design, signal design for isolated, interconnected and coordinated systems; street lighting design; signing and marking design; traffic control plans; accident analysis; traffic impact studies; capacity analysis; parking studies; public involvement; traffic circulation studies; origin-destination studies; transportation modeling; and citywide and corridor transportation studies.

Favorite Thing About California: Mountains, Ocean, Clouds, Sun
Favorite Movie: While You Were Sleeping
What Did You Want To Be When You Were 6 Years Old: Superman
Favorite Project: Escondido Creek Bikeway Missing Link, Escondido, CA

Asking dumb questions is easier than correcting dumb mistakes.

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Jim Faul, PE, QSD

Director of Engineering

Jim Faul is a California licensed Professional Engineer and has acquired over 35 years of experience in the areas of project management, civil design plan preparation, specifications, and quality control covering all aspects of civil engineering design. He is a veteran at working with boards, councils, commissions, staff and residents, and is comfortable in this role. He has given presentations to Congressional Representatives, County Board of Supervisors, City Councils, Planning Commissions, Harbor Commissions, School Districts, Neighborhood Councils and resident groups as well as being an expert witness in court. The versatility of Jim’s project experience has given him a unique understanding of how best to address project and client needs with his project experience encompassing the urban development, public works and transportation markets that includes all types of residential developments (including complex hillside and coastal), commercial centers, campuses (educational, corporate and institutional), hospitals, aviation facilities, and numerous public works projects (infrastructure, streets, parks, buildings, freeway interchanges, marine facilities (ports & harbors) and rivers/channels/lakes). His project experience includes many high profile and political projects that have high expectations on completion schedules and creative, team, problem solving. In recent years, Jim served as Chair of the Workforce Development Board of Ventura County and served as President of the Citizen’s Advisory Committee on Bond Measures for the Oak Park Unified School District.

Favorite Word: Go
Favorite Way to Spend a Weekend: With my love
Guilty Pleasure: Floating on a lake in a boat
What did you want to be when you were six years old: An Engineer

There is no limit to the amount of good you can do, if you don’t care who gets the credit.

Ronald Reagan

Joel Falter

Director of Planning

Joel Falter is a Principal with KOA with 39 years of experience in the field of transportation planning and engineering. He has worked on a wide variety of transit corridor studies for bus and rail projects and has worked on many of the rail transit projects in operation today in Southern California or in the planning phase. He has prepared many area-wide transportation plans, traffic engineering studies as well as parking, complete streets, active transportation, neighborhood circulation, goods movement and pedestrian studies for agencies, cities, counties, and private development projects. He has also participated in the preparation of numerous CEQA/NEPA documents Joel has developed and applied a wide range of travel forecasting models for a variety of planning studies. He is experienced in working with the public to help develop consensus on controversial and/or challenging projects. He has also published articles and led webinars on a variety of transportation subjects.

Favorite Way to Spend a Sunny Day: Out and about
Spirit Animal: Elephant
Favorite Word: Please
Newest Hobby: Making coffee

Everything will be okay in the end. If it’s not okay, it’s not the end.

John Lennon

Roger Pelayo

Director of Active Transportation

Roger Pelayo is a Senior Planner at KOA with over 13 years of experience specializing in a wide range of studies. He has prepared circulation elements for general plans, community plans, mobility studies on neighborhood and community scales, parking studies, and impact studies throughout Southern California. Roger has helped in the data collection and graphic design for many of the studies undertaken by the company, is proficient in intersection capacity software, and has experience in General Plan assessment and Project Study reports. His academic and work experience provides him with a background in ArcGIS for mapping, research and analysis. Roger is an avid road and trail runner as well as a bicyclist which has provided him with an understanding of the safety issues a pedestrian and bicyclist will encounter. He has been a key contributor in preparing various studies that provided a framework to guide the growth and development of the transportation infrastructures of jurisdictions with the goal to provide a balanced, multi-modal transportation system that addresses both short and long term needs.

Favorite Song: Hay Unos Ojos (my wedding song)
Secret Talent: Dancing
Newest Hobby: Coaching a group of friends for a half marathon
Favorite Project: SCAG Go Human Inland Empire

When you are not practicing, remember somewhere someone is practicing, and when you meet him, he will win.

Peter Bergman

Chuck Stephan, PE

Managing Director of CM Division

Chuck Stephan has 38 years of experience in civil engineering design and project management on projects for many municipalities and private firms. He has diverse project experience in planning, design, management, and construction of transportation, educational, institutional, industrial, aerospace, municipal, residential and commercial projects. He works in multiple capacities as Principal-In-Charge, project manager, project engineer, lead engineer, design engineer, and construction engineer in both the civil and construction management disciplines. Chuck specializes in Project Management, Civil Engineering Design, and Construction Management for municipal Capital Improvement Projects, including pavement design and rehabilitation; ADA improvements; water pipelines; storm drain and sanitary sewers; medians and landscaping; parking lots; site improvements; plan checking; NPDES requirements. He provides staff assistance to municipal engineering departments on temporary or part-time basis as needed; provide staff training in project management, design, and construction management skills, and manages various funding sources including local, state, and federal-aid projects; SR2S; SRTS; STPL; various grant applications and reimbursement requests.

Favorite Thing About California: The amazing geography and biodiversity
What Did You Want to be When You Were 6 Years Old: Seven years old
Favorite Vacation Location: Anywhere worth exploring
Favorite Word: Bumptious

Jimmy Lin, PE

Management Executive

Jimmy Lin has over 45 years of experience in transportation engineering and planning at the national and international levels. He has served as Principal-in-Charge or Project Manager on challenging and large-scale planning and design projects including traffic engineering, regional transportation planning, railroad engineering, ITS planning and design, and highway and freeway design projects with more than $500 million in construction. He has managed more than 15 highway interchange design projects in his career.

Spirit Animal: Mouse (I was born on the year of the Rat)
Karaoke Go-To: I Left My Heart in San Francisco
Favorite Movie: The Godfather
Claim to Fame Moment: Being elected to the city council of Leawood, Kansas

Be fearful when others are greedy and greedy when others are fearful.

Warren Buffett

Join Our Team

Our employees are our greatest asset

At KOA we know the success of our clients’ projects is determined by the skills and abilities of our people, and we are dedicated to their professional and technical development.

Our Careers