Lawrence R. Armstrong



Lawrence joined Ware Malcomb in 1984 and shortly thereafter was responsible for running the firm’s Los Angeles office. In 1988, he was promoted to Principal of the firm, and then became CEO in 1992. In addition to expanding Ware Malcomb from a Southern California firm to a national and international firm with 28 offices in key markets across North America, Lawrence’s tenure as CEO is hallmarked by an unprecedented 40x revenue growth. In 2020, Lawrence transitioned to the role of Chairman and now leads the Board of Directors for Ware Malcomb.

Lawrence is an accomplished architect and strong business leader. He is well known for his strategic, visionary approach to Ware Malcomb’s management and growth, as well as his commitment to fiscal discipline to ensure the overall health of the firm. His strong design ability and focus on creativity and innovation greatly influenced all aspects of the organization. His philosophy of embracing change and rewarding achievement and innovation has resulted in a highly successful, dynamic firm. In 2008, Lawrence was selected as an award winner for the Ernst & Young’s Entrepreneur of the Year Awards, Orange County/Desert Cities Region and was also a national finalist. In 2018, 2019 and 2022 he was selected to the prestigious OC 500, a list of the most influential leaders in the community by the Orange County Business Journal. Lawrence was also nominated as an Innovator of the Year in the Orange County Business Journal’s program recognizing OC innovators creating game-changing ideas and business models.

Lawrence is a licensed architect in over 45 U.S. states, as well as in the Canadian provinces of Alberta, British Columbia and Ontario. He received his Bachelor of Architecture Degree (1980) and Bachelor of Science in Architecture (1979) from Kent State University, where he also spent a semester studying abroad in Florence, Italy. Lawrence is a member of the National Council of Architectural Registration Boards (NCARB) and is a LEED Accredited Professional.

Lawrence is a guest lecturer for USC Lusk Center for Real Estate, Chapman University Argyros School of Business, and UCI’s The Paul Merage School of Business. In 2013, Lawrence was the keynote speaker at Kent State University’s Spring Commencement for the College of Architecture and Environmental Design. He has been published in a variety of media including OC Metro, OC Register, Orange County Business Journal, Real Estate Business Online, Coast Magazine, Modern Luxury and SIOR’s Professional Report, to name a few.

An accomplished and talented artist, Lawrence’s work includes a variety of mediums such as paintings, furniture design and sculpture. His work has been exhibited in Madrid, Milan, Bologna, Florence, Rome, Vienna, Toronto, New York, Miami, Fort Lauderdale and California. He has also received numerous individual awards for personal art and design, including: the Sandro Botticelli Prize in Florence, Italy, Artavita 9th & 10th Contests, ATIM Masters Award, ATIM Choice Award, AIA Honor Award, OC Design Community Art Exhibition, Terminal Tower Design Competition Award, Shaker Square Circle within a Square Design Competition, and Cleveland Award. To view his portfolio, please visit

Current professional and charity affiliations include: Chair, Leadership Council, United to End Homelessness; Vice Chair, Orange County United Way; Co-Chair, Kent State University Comprehensive Campaign; Past Chair, Kent State University Foundation; Member, CEO Leadership Alliance-OC Executive Committee; Advisory Board Member, Chapman University Real Estate Program at the Argyros School of Business and Economics; Member, Ernst & Young EOY Alumni Advisory Council; Governor, NAIOP (the Commercial Real Estate Development Association) CEO Leadership Forum Member and National Forum Member (Trends in Real Estate Development II Forum); Member, Orange County Sheriff’s Advisory Council; Advisory Board Member, Spaceez; Advisory Board Member, Loko AI; and International Executive Council for the Internet Marketing Association (IMA).

Previous professional and charity affiliations include: Guest Lecturer, USC Lusk Center for Real Estate, Graduate Real Estate Program 2008-2010; Past Member, Vistage; Advisory Board, Hall & Foreman; Past President, Vice President, Secretary, Board Member, CSP, 1999-2008; Advisory Board,; The United Way Real Estate Steering Committee 1999-2006; Vice President, Board of Directors, Ballet Pacifica; Advisory Board Member, UCI Center for Real Estate; Chancellors Club at UCI; CHOC Corporate Partners; 2015 NAIOP YPG Case Competition Judge; SIOR (Society of Industrial and Office Realtors) Member; Member, Visiting Committee, Hoag Center for Real Estate & Finance in the Argyros School of Business at Chapman University and Founding Member, United Way’s Real Estate Community Builders.