October Professional Member of the Month

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Shannon McGee

INVISION Architects


1. What is the most exciting and energizing aspect of your current position?

For my position on the iaWia board co-chairing with Heidi we are pretty excited about the opportunities for this year’s Impact theme. We are excited to try to get more involved in the community and open up membership to some additional volunteer opportunities available to us in our community. At work, I love that I am given the opportunity to work on different project types - it lets me carry over lessons learned from project to project and keeps everyday interesting.

2. What was the last interesting book you read?

I’ll be honest, my reading habits ebb and flow with business of life so I’m having trouble remembering the last interesting book I finished. Currently I am reading The Hidden White House: Harry Truman and the Reconstruction of America’s Most Famous Residence, which is a pretty interesting non-fiction book about White House’s nearly complete reconstruction due to years of alterations not intended in the original structure. As someone who is not usually a fan of non-fiction books or history I would highly recommend it.

3. What professional accomplishment are you most proud of?

I’m pretty proud of completing my architectural license. Everyone that has or is going through that process knows that it requires a lot of work and dedication (going home from work to study is hard!) to complete. I am of course also proud of the projects I’ve had the opportunity to work on alongside team members. It’s always fun seeing months of hard work come to life.

4. How do you define success? And measure it?

Happy clients are a great measure of success for architecture. They’re the reason why we do what we do and without them we wouldn’t have work. Being able to meet and hopefully exceed their expectations is something I strive for. Many people we work with may not be familiar with the construction process and may only go through the process once during their careers so it’s important that as architects we make the process straightforward and clear so that they have a positive experience. I think success on this level can be measured through comments or feedback from them as we go through the process.

5. We are Iowa Women in Architecture; who were the female role models that inspired you? 

At INVISION, with over 50% of our staff being female, I’ve had the opportunity to work with many great role models. I’ve worked closely with Tonia Householder and Becky Hansel on many healthcare projects so far and it has been great to be able to learn from them and observe how they handle different situations throughout the design process. Another female who is not in the field of architecture, but also a role model would be my mom. She was and continues to be a great role model growing up that instilled in my sister and me that anything is possible and not to limit ourselves.