November Professional Member of the Month
Heidi Pollmann, ASLA, LEED AP
Ryan Companies US, Inc.
Regional Marketing Manager
1. 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?
As designers, we learn the value of clear communication, the importance of listening and how to build consensus. I think this training has helped me in my role as marketing manager where I frequently work with very different personality types to craft a message, sell ideas and meet (often stressful) deadlines. I try to see the other person’s perspective, weigh all the options, pick my battles and stand up for what I truly believe.
2. Sometimes our careers can be demanding; how do you wind down in the evenings to maintain a balanced lifestyle?
There are few things more relaxing to me than cooking. In an industry where projects can take a very long time to come to fruition and where sometimes we never get to see the end user experience a space, cooking provides instant gratification, a creative outlet and a way to connect with others. I try and start my day with a workout (either bootcamp at the Y or a run with friends)—and sore muscles are the perfect excuse to take a warm bath with a good book.
3. In 2018 technology is at our fingertips - what is your favorite app and/or website?
Pinterest is definitely a favorite of mine as it allows me to save and share recipes, design inspiration, gift ideas and travel plans. I maintain a long ‘Want to Read’ list on Goodreads and by using the Buy Me a Pie app, my husband and I are able to share a real time grocery list (so that I have more time to read!)
4. As professionals we are versed in community interaction and collaboration; what are you involved in outside of your profession?
I’m honored to be serving as Chair of Iowa Women in Architecture this year. I also serve on the WIRED (Women Interested in Renewal, Education and Discovery) committee at St. John’s Lutheran Church which provides networking, education and outreach opportunities. Recently I served as a coach for Girls on the Run, a program for 3rd-6th grade girls focused on developing self respect and healthy lifestyles through lessons and running. Ryan Companies also encourages community service through partnerships with Bethel Mission, Rebuilding Together and Meals for the Heartland.
5. We are Iowa Women in Architecture; who were the female role models that inspired you?
I originally became a landscape architect to design golf courses (which I did for the first 4 years of my career). Even more than traditional design professions, golf course design is male dominated with Alice Dye known as the “first lady” of golf architecture and not many after her. While I never met Alice, I was fortunate to meet and caddy for several LPGA professionals (Kathy Whitworth and Pat Bradley) who actively encouraged me to pursue my dreams.
After our move to Kansas City in 2002 I worked for Patti Banks Associates (now Vireo), a woman-owned business. In addition to the owner, Patti, I worked with many talented, strong and influential women including Lynnis Jameson who I am proud to call a role model, mentor and friend. She sparked my interest in walkability and mass transit and over the years has helped me to keep my priorities straight, set boundaries and maintain a work/life balance (and she shares my love of food and travel).