This Holiday Season We Thank Our Generous Corporate Donors


ELS Architecture & Urban Design




This article is one in a series about some of our lead Golf Tournament donors. The Foundation had the opportunity to speak with these generous companies about their business successes, how they embrace philanthropy, and their histories with the District and the Foundation. 


ELS Architecture & Urban Design has been a preeminent architecture and design firm in Berkeley, CA for over half a century. The company’s work has enhanced the experience of urban life while being mindful of the environment. Their thoughtful compelling designs have translated emotion, excitement, vision, and connection into places that engage people and nurture community. This year, the company was ranked among the ARCHITECT 50 by Architect in Business and Sustainability, one of the 25 largest architecture firms in the Bay Area by San Francisco Business Times and one of the top 300 architecture firms in the United States by Architectural Record.

“We like to do interesting and fun work, which is why we’re delighted to be part of Cañada College’s new kinesiology and dance project — it is a real honor to be a part of a project that gives so much back to its community,” says Clarence Mamuyac, who is the president and CEO of ELS. Clarence went on to mention that ELS specifically pursues projects that contribute to the communities they serve.

Cañada College’s kinesiology building is ELS’s first project with the San Mateo County Community College District and they are working closely with long-time District partner Blach Construction. The relationship between the two companies goes back nearly 25 years when Clarence met Dan Rogers, president of Blach Construction, while ELS was master planning Stanford University’s Athletics Region.  At the time, Dan served as Stanford’s project director on a number of projects for intercollegiate athletics.  Blach Construction invited ELS to partner with them on the kinesiology building and the rest, as they say, is history!

“A project delivered under a Design Build model is what makes this project special. Under this model, a contractor (Blach Construction) and an architecture firm (ELS) team to offer the client (the SMCCCD) a single proposal where both design and construction are included. This type of partnership allows for greater design and construction efficiencies, as well as providing the client the best value for their investment.  The delivery model provides a platform for collaboration, which builds a positive atmosphere in which everyone has the same goal of delivering a successful project for the entire team.”

Giving back to the workplace community and to the communities where their projects occur is core part of ELS Architecture & Urban Design’s ideology. Leadership at ELS feels a responsibility to improve the community, particularly in the area of public education, which needs the continued support from partners in the private sector. “We’re proud about giving back, particularly in the area California pubic education.” 

Participating in the Foundation’s Golf Tournament is ELS’s way of giving back to the San Mateo County Community. “It is a fun vehicle for supporting SMCCCD and student scholarships, while spending time outside with our project collaborators.” When asked what he liked best about the tournament, Clarence responded “the mulligans!”

Over the time working on this project, the relationship with the District has certainly grown for ELS. The last thing Clarence said: “The Foundation is doing a great job — keep up the great work!” We will and we look forward to a long relationship. 

For more information about the SMCCC Foundation's Golf Tournament, contact Dafna Kapshud.