Advocacy, service define Hermann’s term as AIA Iowa board president

At OPN, we believe that architects should use their talents and training to contribute in meaningful ways to the betterment of their communities. As a firm, we donate time, talent, and money to many organizations.

Central to this commitment is our belief in supporting the organizations that advocate for, shape, and serve our profession by providing leadership on boards and committees for regional and state American Institute of Architects chapters.

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As 2019 came to a close, OPN Associate Principal Danielle Hermann wrapped up her term as President of the AIA Iowa Board of Directors. She is is the fourth architect from OPN to serve in this role. Joseph Tursi was president of the board in 2015, Richard Seely in 2010, and Steve Knierim in 2005.

Looking back at the last year, Hermann — who has held several positions within AIA Iowa since 2008 and has sat on the board of directors since 2013 — is grateful for the experience.

“My favorite thing about being on the board is that you gain a real awareness of what current issues are, what is going on with firms across the state, and issues for emerging professionals.”

In fact, as past president, in 2020, Hermann will focus on a young leadership program as well as strategies for younger and more diverse board members. As both an AIA Iowa and AIA national Young Architect of the Year, founding member of Iowa Women in Architecture, and a driving force behind the formation of AIA Iowa’s Diversity Committee, Hermann is well-positioned to provide leadership around both emerging professionals and increasing diversity among all demographics.

In her role as president in 2019, Hermann led a delegation to Washington, D.C. to advocate on legislation related to energy efficiency, tax code changes to help support improvements in existing buildings, and funding and structures for information sharing around school safety improvements. Closer to home, she also played an active role in AIA Day at the Capitol events in Wisconsin and Iowa, working with legislators who shape laws that dictate construction industry regulations and standards.

During her time as president, Hermann also oversaw operational matters specific to the local AIA chapter, such as the redesign of the AIA Iowa offices in Des Moines, Iowa, and leading the statewide AIA Iowa business meeting.