Grazia Nalli Aquino has been a professor at Sheridan College since the fall of 2008. She teaches architectural technology courses in the Faculty of Applied Science and Technology.
She is also principal of GNA | Consulting. She believes one of the many benefits of starting GNA | Consulting was the ability to clearly define a vision for the company’s future. With many years of field experience, Grazia now feels that volunteer and pro bono work is high on her list of necessary efforts. GNA has a pronounced culture of pro bono services and volunteer work, from helping young medical professionals establish their offices through design and construction to developing proposal studies for religious or non-profit groups that require funding from the government for accessibility and maintenance of facilities.
As a senior in her field with more than 20 years of demonstrated success in design and construction, retail design, team management and strategic planning, Grazia manages day-to-day design initiatives and is responsible for multimillion-dollar budgets and key decision-making. As principal of GNA | Consulting, Grazia tries to facilitate rapid response to change. Her experience with store openings, expansions and renovations, implementing cost containment and managing large and complicated projects/budgets with aggressive timelines is essential to the company.
Grazia has been designing since 1992, when she began working with Consumers Distributing. She helped develop the “Green Stores” and worked on more than 20 retail designs. In 1995, Grazia moved to the WMI/TJX group. As the store design manager, she maintained control and complete accountability for the designing, managing, orchestrating and coaching of more than 220 Winners stores across Canada, including 70 HomeSense stores, 29 Mega Stores and renovations/expansions on AutoCAD.
Grazia studied architecture at Ryerson Polytechnic University, specializing in project management, which included construction practice, financial analysis and building codes/regulations. She is also a qualified project manager and has experience in the financing of large developments in architecture. In 1992, Grazia successfully completed an architectural study in France, Spain, Italy and England.
Grazia has been involved in many workshops, forums and empowerment groups, including “Management Development Modules,” “Leading Self,” “Performance Improvement Workshop” and “Women in Non-Traditional Roles.” She is passionate about helping to develop strong working professionals in her field.
Outside of the field of architecture, Grazia is also a professional dancer (ballet, tap and jazz) and has an Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) licence and a Security and Private Investigation licence.