May Professional Member of the Month

Deborah L Baeder

RDG Planning and Design

Intern Lighting Designer/Electrical Engineer

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Our line of work is built on the value of relationships and opportunities; what have you found is the best way to communicate in times of conflict?  Seek to understand so you can be understood. It’s important to remember that everyone works towards a goal. If both parties work to respect the other’s efforts and interests, while keeping a calm demeanor and intently listening to the other’s needs, coming to a resolution is much easier. It’s about compromise and sticking to your word. Reliability is also very important.

Sometimes our careers can be demanding; how do you wind down in the evenings to maintain a balanced lifestyle?  My favorite evening habit is to stream music and practice painting or calligraphy. There’s something about pen to paper that really lets your mind breathe. Other times, it’s very relaxing to take a walk outside or discuss the day with friends. I think that nature is one of our best resources for finding an inner peace.

In 2017 technology is at our fingertips - what is your favorite app and/or website?  It’s probably a close race between the Minimalism Amino and Snapchat apps. I like to blog about minimalism and simplicity, as well as play around with the filters and spam my friends with too many snapchat images. It’s a balance of the calm and the silly.

As professionals we are versed in community interaction and collaboration; what are you involved in outside of your profession? RDG offers so many community events to attend; I’m involved in the Build Days for Habitat for Humanity, am a part of a team for CANstruction, and enjoy smaller office events as well - like National Walk Day. Outside of work, I’ve recently started volunteering at the Animal Refuge League of West Des Moines – it’s heartwarming to help out.

We are Iowa Women in Architecture; who were the female role models that inspired you? I admire Emma Watson and Michelle Obama. They are both strong and independent leaders. They stand up for what they believe is right and they persevere. They also set an example for young women today: they can (and should) work towards all that they want to be without hesitation or denial.