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AIA Dallas Emerging Leaders Program: Final Session

For the last general meeting of the ELP 2021 class, we had a panel discussion with a variety of leaders in the Dallas built environment including Audrey Maxwell, AIA, Ben Reavis, AIA, Jason Roberts and Amy Meadows. The topic was Leadership Engagement, and how engaging in a variety of extracurricular community-based projects and councils enhances the way we look at the particular job fields we inhabit.

Audrey is a partner with Malone Maxwell Dennehy Architects and recently served as the President-Elect of the Texas Society of Architects. Ben is a partner at Oglesby Greene Architecture and is an active participant in the AIA on multiple committees as well as the AIA Dallas/DART D2 Design Review Committee. Jason Roberts is the Founding Director of Better Block and has been a community advocate for a more walkable city for most of his career. In addition to his community efforts, he is an active restauranteur, urban designer and former US Congressional nominee. Lastly, Amy is President and CEO of Parks for Downtown Dallas which is dedicated to raising funds and constructing public spaces for all in the middle of downtown.

Given that these four individuals have varying degrees of involvement, both personally and professionally in how our city is formed, it was a very engaging discussion allowing for a variety of topics to be discussed, such as work/life balance, when to engage, and how this impacts the way they look at architecture. All panelists stated that there are so many opportunities to get involved and it is important as young professionals to jump in and provide new, fresh perspectives on current events. They also stated that these are some of the most rewarding endeavors they have pursued in their careers.

From this meeting, we prepare to make our final presentations for Camp Summit and pull together a cohesive design package to give over to leadership in order that they can begin pricing and understand what their current grant money can get. The project has been so rewarding, and such a unique typology to explore and has certainly impacted the way we design spaces.