OPN women lead effort to build inclusive industry

OPN Architects will be represented by three of the four newly elected board members nominated to lead Iowa Women in Architecture in 2019-2020.

Eli Goll

Eli joined OPN in 2014. She has a passion for experiential learning and design innovation as it relates to the natural, social, and cultural environment. Eli has worked on a vast array of project types, most notably the Polk County Courts master-plan in Des Moines. Her passion for volunteering and travel has led her to Nicaragua and Haiti for pro bono work, but she equally loves being involved in her local community.

Q: What inspires your work?

A: My design style is inspired by the power of materiality, light, and good programming. On a higher level, I’m inspired by our clients who deserve a built environment that reflects their values. Every project deserves thoughtful attention to detail, no matter the location, budget, program, or scale.

Holly Ernst

Holly joined OPN in 2018. She has a bachelor of architecture and environmental studies from Iowa State (2015), Holly’s role as a creative strategist in OPN’s marketing department combines her background in architecture with an interest in art and communication. Holly sits on the board for the ACE Mentor Program, and also volunteers for AIA Iowa, and the Iowa Architectural Foundation. She recently graduated from the Greater Des Moines Leadership Institute’s Community Leadership Program (class of 2019).

Q: What do you like about your industry?

A: It’s collaborative and creative, and there’s always more than one way to end up at a solution. It’s rewarding to be part of an industry that creates change, directly impacting the places and spaces that shape our community.

Annamarie Snider, AIA

Annamarie’s passion for art, design, and the built environment led her to move across the country to Iowa and pursue a degree in architecture at Iowa State University. She is driven to learn and engage in all processes of design with a dedication and commitment to excel. She believes design is an iterative process not defined by project type. While Annamarie has worked on projects of many sizes and scopes across multiple market types, her work on civic structures stands out.

Q: What inspires your work?

A: My work is inspired by the desire to create spaces that elevate the human experience and better the world around me.

Founded in 2011 by OPN Associate Principal Danielle Hermann along with three other women architects,  Iowa Women in Architecture encourages firms to support women and a work-life balance  through mentorship, education, and policy. While women make up roughly half of all students in American graduate schools and, according to the American Institute of Architects, the professional organization for practicing architects, women account for only 15 percent of its licensed members.

Iowa Women in Architecture is just one of the ways OPN Architects realizes its commitment to support a culture of diversity. Our staff sits on several regional and state American Institute of Architects boards and committees and has long supported the Iowa Architectural Foundation. We also serve on many local community and nonprofit boards. We believe that representation builds the future of the profession and allows us to better reflect the population and clients we serve.