About

Our Team

 ZŌN Architects has an in-house team of architectural designers, planners, and CAD production experts. We expand our capabilities with a network of highly qualified engineering and design consultants as needed. This blend of core talent and specialty services allows customizing project teams to efficiently fulfill each client's unique requirements. Our collaborative structure facilitates education across disciplines as well.

Additionally, we utilize platforms providing clients with real-time access to project data, facilitating transparent communication throughout every phase.

Our approach leverages technology to share knowledge, streamline workflows, and keep clients informed. Please inquire for details on how our team and tools can effectively realize your vision.

Our Mission

ZŌN Architects strives to deliver design excellence and exceptional professional services, fostering lasting client relationships and a positive experience on every project through collaborative teamwork.

We believe cooperation across all stakeholders leads to the most successful outcomes. Our firm is committed to surpassing expectations by:

By embracing a spirit of teamwork and holding ourselves to the highest standards, we enrich every client experience. Please inquire to learn more about the ZŌN difference.




Our Experience

ZŌN Architects is a privately held California architecture firm. The partners have collaborated for over 25 years, leveraging over 70 combined years of design expertise.

This depth of experience has taught us that open communication is integral to success. One of our primary responsibilities is encouraging transparency between all stakeholders throughout each project phase.

Our consultative approach facilitates education across disciplines as well. We believe cooperative workflows lead to optimal outcomes by allowing a diversity of perspective.

From initial concepts to construction completion, ZŌN simplifies even complex projects with clear coordination. Our longtime partnerships span clients, contractors, and local municipalities as well.

Please inquire to learn how our collaborative ethos and unwavering standards contribute to an exceptional client experience.

Our Leadership

David Elias

David Elias

David Elias, President & CEO of ZŌN Architects Inc. with a bachelor’s degree in Architecture and master's in Land Use Development  has worked in many countries throughout Central &  South America and the Caribbean.   David has directed many large scale residential developments, as well as custom homes and has been responsible for the design & construction administration of diverse projects within the firm.  He manages daily operations of the firm and has led the Telecommunication Division of  ZŌN  Architects Inc.  since its formation.  

With a consultative approach, David aims to demystify complex build processes, simplifying even large-scale undertakings through strategic phasing. His personable leadership focuses on understanding each client’s needs and objectives to deliver tailored solutions.

David directly oversees client relationships, leveraging his background and ZŌN’s comprehensive capabilities to provide both vision and pragmatism. His insight strengthens the firm’s reputation for service, transparency, and adding value.

Contact David at david@zonarchitects.com or via LinkedIn to learn more about transferring aspirations into reality with ZŌN Architects.

Jerry Wilhelm

Gerald D. Wilhelm

Gerald  D. Wilhelm, Vice President & COO

Jerry Wilhelm, a licensed architect for over two decades, operates from Santa Barbara, overseeing operations and strategic growth initiatives at ZŌN Architects. He directly manages architectural engagements for ZŌN across education, civic, commercial, and residential markets in California.

Since receiving his architectural license in 1996, Jerry has delivered diverse projects spanning K-12, university, library, performing arts, municipal, and residential commissions. His portfolio reflects a broad range of building types and specialized services.

As Vice President, Jerry guides firmwide excellence in client-centered service and design innovation. He also leads ZŌN’s projects in the Santa Barbara area and independently manages Wilhelm Architects as Principal.

Contact Jerry at jerry@zonarchitects.com.

Gregory Brader

Gregory Brader

Gregory Brader, Secretary/Treasurer & CFO

Greg Brader oversees finance, accounting, and real estate services for ZŌN Architects. He holds bachelor's and master's degrees in business management, public administration & public policy. Leveraging prior economic redevelopment expertise, Greg guides strategic planning and growth efforts. 

Since assuming the position of CFO in 2004, Greg has been instrumental in overseeing budgeting, analysis, compliance, and reviews. His strategic approach includes streamlining costs through economies of scale across ZŌN's diverse portfolio of sites and clients. 

Greg has been licensed by the California Department of Real Estate since 2003 and is the managing broker for ZŌN’s real estate operations (CA DRE Broker License # 01383958).

Contact Greg at greg@zonarchitects.com or via LinkedIn.

ZŌN's Leadership and Team

The executive leadership team guides our talented in-house staff across architecture, engineering, planning, site acquisition, CAD services, project management, and support roles. We pride ourselves on assembling project-specific teams that leverage our diverse expertise to efficiently execute clients' visions. Contact us at 415-287-0596 or support@zonarchitects.com to be directed to the appropriate specialists for your needs.

As an equal opportunity employer upholding federal anti-discrimination regulations, ZŌN makes employment decisions without regard to race, religion, color, national origin, citizenship, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, veteran status, age, disability status or other protected classes. We value diversity of background and perspective.

Equal Opportunity Employer

As an equal opportunity employer upholding federal anti-discrimination regulations, ZŌN makes employment decisions without regard to race, religion, color, national origin, citizenship, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, veteran status, age, disability status or other protected classes. We value diversity of background and perspective.

Certified Small Business

ZŌN  is certified as a Small Business (SB) by the State of California's Office of Small Business & DVBE Services, Department of General Services (DGS).