WHAT IS THE VALUE OF AIA TO YOU?

Relationships. Through AIA Seattle, I have made professional connections and found mentors whose insights I truly value. I have also strengthened existing relationships, made new friends, and both broadened and strengthened my professional network and community.

WHY DID YOU JOIN AIA SEATTLE?

As an Allied Member, my initial contact with AIA Seattle came in 2016 when I was asked to join the team that developed the Materials Matter series. I really enjoyed working with this group of diverse professionals and AIA staff. I was impressed with the thoughtful approach the multi-disciplinary team took to developing this educational program, and the incredible support provided by staff. This experience made me want to be a part of the organization, and given my background in education, I was ultimately asked to be a part of the Professional Practice Steering Committee.

HOW DO YOU EXPLAIN WHAT YOU DO FOR A LIVING?

I try to drive sustainable innovation through education, empowerment, collaboration, and advocacy.

WHAT INSPIRED YOU TODAY?

I am continuously in awe of our natural world. My close friends know that I take every opportunity to get out in the beautiful Pacific Northwest – biking, hiking, running and swimming. I am constantly reminded of how beautiful, intricate and fragile our world is.

HAS YOUR CAREER TAKEN YOU ANYWHERE YOU DIDN’T EXPECT?

Everywhere. I am very much an “accidental lawyer,” in that I never thought I would end up practicing law. But I found my way to construction law, where I quickly fell in love with buildings. A former paralegal once said that I was an architect trapped in a lawyer’s body. That comment always stuck with me, and I think it ultimately led me to see the value of becoming a new type of multi-disciplinary practitioner. I am grateful and privileged to have had so many opportunities to explore new ideas, relationships, and partnerships, as my career continues to stretch and evolve.

WHAT DO YOU HOPE TO CONTRIBUTE FROM YOUR WORK?

I hope to change the way we look at our educational and professional institutions. We need more collaboration, across industries, and a much broader spectrum of experiences and perspectives in all roles. I hope that my work inspires others to try new things, to innovate, and to challenge the way things “have always been done.” If I inspire one person to step out of their comfort zone and say, “I can do that,” I’ll consider my work a success.

WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE SEATTLE-AREA STRUCTURE?

Apologies to the designers, but it’s trees. All the trees.

IF YOU COULD SUM UP YOUR OUTLOOK ON LIFE IN A BUMPER STICKER, WHAT WOULD IT SAY?

One of the best life lessons I ever received was from my dog: “Never turn down an adventure or a snack.”

I grew up in rural Wisconsin, had the opportunity to study at BioSphere 2, and graduated from the University of Michigan’s School of Natural Resources and Environment. Through these experiences, I gained a deep appreciation and reverence for our natural world, which directly translates into my work.

I began my career as a construction and insurance coverage attorney, practicing law for more than a decade in the Seattle area. During this time, I learned how construction projects succeed – and how they fail, and how contractual, legal, and regulatory frameworks can impact project success. In 2020, I saw the opportunity to leverage this experience to effect greater change and launched my own consulting company – Sustainable Strategies.

I am a LEED Green Associate, WELL AP and Faculty, Fitwel Ambassador, and EcoDistricts AP. I am also a proud Affiliate Instructor at the University of Washington, Department of Real Estate, where I teach my course, Risk and Reward in Sustainable Development. Teaching is an incredibly rewarding experience, and I learn so much from my students.

I believe that sustainable spaces should be inclusive and accessible, and I am passionate about empowering communities to advocate for healthier spaces to live, learn and work. Much of my work focuses on creating safe and collaborative spaces and uniting diverse groups to mitigate climate change through the built environment.

WHY ARE YOU INTERESTED IN SERVING ON THE AIA SEATTLE BOARD OF DIRECTORS?

I am interested in serving on the AIA Seattle Board of Directors because it presents the opportunity to support an industry and an organization that is positioned to drive real change. I have truly enjoyed co-chairing the Professional Practice Steering Committee, and look forward to applying the skills I learned, and the relationships I built in that role, to a leadership position with the Board.

The design community, and related industries, play a significant and important role in shaping our communities. I believe that diverse perspectives, and collaboration across industries, are some of the keys

to solving big challenges like climate change. I want to lend my personal and professional perspective to this role, and the Board’s work. I also know how much representation matters and I would bring my whole self to Board service.

As an organization, I believe AIA Seattle should be working on driving deeper and broader equity through the built environment. And while I recognize and appreciate that the as an organization the AIA has already prioritized this work, I know that there is a long way to go and a lot of work to be done – I look forward to diving even deeper into this work.

I want to be an active voice in this critical dialogue, even if these conversations are uncomfortable or awkward at times. Equally important, I look forward to actively listening and learning from my peers.

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