Contributed by:
Sonya Shah
Assoc. AIA

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Emerging Leaders: Being a Citizen Architect

The 2017 Emerging Leaders Program’s October session recapped previous sessions discussing key elements and points as we emerge as leaders. The class concluded with a panel discussion of being a Citizen Architect.

This month’s session- our last session- held at the Old Church in Jubilee Park, focused on what we have learned through the program and how we have attributed those elements to our everyday growth both personally and professionally. From the basics of communication to leadership effectiveness to conflict and stress, Pete DeLisle, Hon. AIA Dallas carried the dialogue on the correlation and integration on how prevalent the exercises of building relationships are impacted.  We elaborated on the importance of open-mindedness, blind self, and experience tiers with acknowledging that it is okay to not know things and to encourage to ask questions. 

The take- away:
Each of us were given an opportunity to close the class portion on how we have been impacted and what changes and internal growth we have developed since January. With such a broad scope of topics, we all relate to one another sharing our similar experiences, developed lingo, and leaving with this year’s program with irreplaceable relationships among each other. 

Being a Citizen Architect
Our Panelists:  Ben Leal- CEO- Jubilee Park, Bob Meckfessel, FAIA- Principal – DSGN, Bud Melton – Special Project Manager – Halff Associates, Chris Sano, AIA, Design Director – BRW Architects. 
The panel discussion opened up with a brief introduction of our panelist and how their involvement through the profession has influenced the notion of being a Citizen Architect.  Having a diverse group of areas of expertise, the wide variety of knowledge shared between designers and cities shows us how anyone can advocate to do the right thing. The strategy of hosting the discussion in Jubilee Park, brought sight and understanding of how to rethink the build environment in a positive way and how we as architects can play a heavy role in development.  We discussed the importance of getting involved with various organizations to advocate and influence our community in the right direction defining the title Citizen Architect.