2021 Annual WIELD Event

  • Date

    Wednesday, October 20 2021

  • Time

    5:30pm - 7:30pm

  • Location

    Virtual

The AIA|DC Equity Committee by WIELD is celebrating Five Years of WIELD (Women/We Inspire Emerging Leaders in Design)! The committee is honored to celebrate the diverse stories of speakers and their journeys to success through a night of virtual storytelling and conversation.

This inclusive and inspiring storytelling event engages diverse industry leaders sharing their stories of empowerment and resilience through the lens of Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion. The stories will highlight how each individual overcame pinch points and career dynamics that hinder career progression while sharing the opportunities that encouraged their growth and success.


Presented By Guest Panelists:

Adaeze Cadet, AIA, NOMA, NCARB, LEED BD+C Design Principal, HOK Adaeze Cadet brings over 16 years of experience as an innovative, successful, and dedicated design professional. As Design Principal, Adaeze shapes the design culture and framework at the Los Angeles studio. In addition to being a talented designer, she is also a registered architect, which allows her to effortlessly switch between Project Designer and Project Architect to provide outstanding service for clients. She proudly uses her creativity to compose beautiful, functional, and sustainable projects which give back to the communities that surround them. Her work to infuse sustainable strategies into the design process and commitment to justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion result in productive teams that meet the needs of the client, users and the community. Adaeze is also a speaker, personal and group mentor and leader, and juror for Prairie View A&M University and California State University Long Beach.   Chris Morrison, FAIA, LEED AP BD+C Managing Director, Principal, Perkins & Will Chris Morrison FAIA leads the 75-person, Perkins&Will Washington, DC studio. He has more than 30 years of experience in architecture, historic preservation, resilience/living design, adaptive reuse and planning.  His projects have received numerous design awards, including, The Catalyst Award and The Award of Excellence from AIA Washington Chapter, the D.C. Mayor’s Award for Excellence in Historic Preservation, a Merit Award from the General Services Administration’s Design Excellence Program, and the Custom Home Award from Custom Home Magazine.  He continues to be deeply motivated by design excellence, the development of young architects, and advocacy for LGBTQ+ rights.  Kelley Oklesson, LEED AP, CBLP, CPH, ASLA Founder and Principal, Groundsmith Collective Lecturer, University of Maryland  Kelley Oklesson is the founder and principal of Groundsmith Collective, a local design studio based in Hyattsville, Maryland. Her studio provides conscientious landscape des

Adaeze Cadet, AIA, NOMA, NCARB, LEED BD+C, Design Principal, HOK 

Adaeze Cadet brings over 16 years of experience as an innovative, successful, and dedicated design professional. As Design Principal, Adaeze shapes the design culture and framework at the Los Angeles studio. In addition to being a talented designer, she is also a registered architect, which allows her to effortlessly switch between Project Designer and Project

Architect to provide outstanding service for clients. She proudly uses her creativity to compose beautiful, functional, and sustainable projects which give back to the communities that surround them. Her work to infuse sustainable strategies into the design process and commitment to justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion result in productive teams that meet the needs of the client, users and the community. Adaeze is also a speaker, personal and group mentor and leader, and juror for Prairie View A&M University and California State University Long Beach.

Chris Morrison.jpg

Chris Morrison, FAIA, LEED AP BD+C, Managing Director, Principal, Perkins & Will

Chris Morrison FAIA leads the 75-person, Perkins & Will Washington, DC studio. He has more than 30 years of experience in architecture, historic preservation, resilience/living design, adaptive reuse and planning.  His projects have received numerous design awards, including, The Catalyst Award and The Award of Excellence from AIA Washington Chapter, the D.C. Mayor’s Award for Excellence in Historic Preservation, a Merit Award from the General Services Administration’s Design Excellence Program, and the Custom Home Award from Custom Home Magazine.  He continues to be deeply motivated by design excellence, the development of young architects, and advocacy for LGBTQ+ rights.

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Kelley Oklesson, LEED AP, CBLP, CPH, ASLA, Founder and Principal, Groundsmith Collective

Lecturer, University of Maryland 

Kelley Oklesson is the founder and principal of Groundsmith Collective, a local design studio based in Hyattsville, Maryland. Her studio provides conscientious landscape design services with a focus on promoting responsible social and environmental change.  Kelley has twelve years of experience in the landscape architecture field focused on identifying, facilitating, designing, and managing an inspiring assortment of sustainable projects. The design studio lives by the words of thought leader Mickey Fearn, "innovation, creativity, and systemic solutions grow in the gaps between the disciplines.” Kelley's true passion is to discover and reveal opportunities for supporting environmental kinship while building relationships between people through the design experience. 

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Melissa Ferchill, Founder and President, MCM Company Inc.

Melissa Ferchill is the Founder and President of MCM Company, Inc. Over the course of the last two decades, Ms. Ferchill successfully guided MCM to expand its body of work to include program management, strategic planning, pre-development services, project consulting, historic preservation, owner’s representation, and real estate development. The firm is nationally recognized for its expertise in historic tax credit redevelopment. MCM’s extensive experience in historic adaptive reuse development includes commercial, residential, and mixed-use projects as well as not-for-profit institutional restorations and off-balance sheet financing for medical/research facilities. MCM has completed over $4.5 billion in development and construction since its inception. Clients include Bedrock Real Estate Services, PNC Bank, Nottingham∙Spirk Design Associates, Cleveland Clinic, University Hospitals, Alleghany Health Network, Case Western Reserve University, Baldwin Wallace University, Butler University, and the Cleveland Institute of Art. MCM is currently developing projects in Cleveland, OH, Pittsburgh, PA, Kansas City, MO and Chicago, IL as well as providing development consulting services for projects at Wittenberg University, Baldwin Wallace University and Muskingum University in Ohio. Melissa’s career began in 1991 as an estimator/project manager with the Acme Arsena Company. Her accomplishments at Acme Arsena include Key Tower and Progressive Field. Melissa graduated from Boston University with a BA in Art History. 

Ms. Ferchill’s civic and community service projects are lengthy. She serves as Treasurer on the Executive Committee of the Board of the Downtown Cleveland Alliance, a Board Member of the Group Commission Plan, and a Leadership Advisory Board Member for the College of Arts & Sciences at Boston University.

 

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Peggy Van Eepoel, PE, Senior Principal & Washington DC Office Director, Thornton Tomasetti

Peggy Van Eepoel is a member of Thornton Tomasetti’s (TT) board of directors. She leads TT’s Washington, D.C. office and is a leader in the Protective Design & Security practice there. Peggy has been involved in the design and structural hardening of more than 200 buildings, including facilities for the U.S. Department of State, General Services Administration, Department of Defense and Veterans Administration. Her diverse portfolio also includes master-planned facilities, office buildings, educational facilities, laboratories, military housing, courthouses, museums and hospitals. Working in close collaboration with clients and other members of the design team, Peggy develops appropriate and practical protective-design approaches for new construction, renovations and historic restorations. Her expertise includes the identification of applicable security standards, site security planning and determination of the blast-loading environment, dynamic analysis of structural and envelope elements and progressive-collapse analysis. Peggy is a Licensed Professional Engineer in DC, MD, NY, and VA. She received her M.E. in Structural Engineering from Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and her B.S. in Civil Engineering from Polytechnic University.

Peggy is co-editor of the recently released “Structural Design for Physical Security,” a new ASCE manual of practice (142) to help engineers and other design professionals identify and mitigate explosive, ballistic, forced entry and hostile vehicle threats for both new and existing facilities.


Learning Objectives:

  • Discuss the process of developing your personal career roadmap
  • Describe how emerging professionals can connect their passions with different specializations to find their niche within the profession
  • Explain the pinch points and career dynamics that can affect professional growth; and
  • Envision the future of the architecture profession and how emerging professionals can contribute

Sponsored By: Tarkett, HKS, WSP, Milliken, Howard + Revis