Women in Design Series Starts New Season!

By VMDO Sustainability Coordinator, Sara Teaster, LEED Green Associate

After a year long hiatus, the Charlottesville chapter of Women in Design (WiD) has kicked off a new season of programming with a big bang!  Spearheaded by VMDO associate principal Kim Smith, AIA, LEED AP, the Charlottesville Chapter of this organization hopes to inspire women to come together to advance the overall mission of design-related fields.

WiD’s first event featured a trip to Richmond to hear Helene Combs Dreiling, FAIA reflect on her career, collaboration in the workplace, and the importance of work-life balance. Sheryl Sandburg’s book Lean In was featured as a salient case study of how women are able to make their voices understood and valued in the workplace, especially in fields dominated by men.  Ms. Dreiling will be just the third woman in 157 years to serve as president of the AIA when she begins her term in 2014.

Restarting a group takes some planning, and a WiD start-up team has met over the past two months to consider possible discussion topics as well as outreach opportunities in the community.  We have selected the third Tuesday of each month for our meetings/ talks/ social gatherings. Our first formal gathering will be on September 17th at 6:00 pm at the offices of VMDO Architects on 200 East Market Street.  Our special guest speakers will Michelle Barry Franco http://www.michellebarryfranco.com/  and Michelle Braden  http://msbcoach.com/ who will give a talk on effective communication, presentations, and leadership.

The WiD group has also been selected as the 2013-2014 partner for cooking classes with the Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Central Blue Ridge and the PB&J Fund, the latter of which just so happens to be the new neighbor of VMDO Architects! The PB&J fund’s mission is to connect Charlottesville Youth with knowledge about healthy eating and to teach children and their families how to cook nutritiously on a budget.

PB&J Fund’s Market Street Teaching Kitchen

If you would like to be a part of the Women In Design mailing list, or have ideas for events or volunteering opportunities, please contact Regina Davis at rdavis@vmdo.com!

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