2016 Annual Business Meeting Recap

922iaWia recently held our Annual Business Meeting at RDG Planning & Design in Des Moines. Following a summary of 2015-2016 highlights and a look ahead toward another great year, iaWia welcomed special guest Amy Slattery, Kansas City architect and owner of Odimo, to speak about her professional path.  In 2015, after months of struggling with how to make her career fit into her current life, Amy Slattery experienced a death of a loved one and had an awakening. Six months to the day after this awakening she had a business plan and was ready to further her pursuit of her own north, opening her own architecture firm with the goal to help clients navigate through the crazy of design in construction. Amy’s career to that point had certainly been prolific.  Fresh out of school, she began working in Moshe Safdie’s firm on the Kaufmann Museum in Kansas City as a liaison to her then firm BNIM (of Kansas City).  She worked through that project over the course of seven years, growing and advancing in knowledge and title.  Amy founded Women in Design of Kansas City in 2005, and she and her husband Sean grew their family with two children Finn and Anna.  In 2011, Amy was a recipient of the AIA’s National Young Architect’s award.

Wanting to become a better rounded architect and with the thought in the back of her mind that she would one day to start her own firm, she moved to Burns and McDonnell, an engineering firm with architects to learn more about management and business in general.  Throughout her time there, Amy maintained and enhanced her relationships with clients, other architects and contractors, so when it was time to go out on her own with Odimo she already had a list of contacts and references to call upon.


Amy gave an energetic, open and informational account of her journey thus far.  Odimo is currently looking for more staff.  With Amy at the helm I’d be willing to bet that everyone at the iaWia event would agree the sky is the limit for this architecture firm.  Upon asking about tips to encourage more gender balanced attendance at iaWia events, Amy suggested that we stop having a conversation about life/work balance, and instead just talk about our work.

Article submitted by Naura Heiman Godar.