Malorie Hepner earns Young Architect Award

Congratulations, Malorie Hepner for being recognized with a Young Architect Award from the American Institute of Architects Wisconsin chapter!

A project architect at OPN, Malorie is a leader in our Madison studio, in the Madison design community, and in the organizations to which she gives of her time and talent. As a result, she has made positive impacts that reverberate beyond her practice.

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The Young Architect Award recognizes individuals who, in an early stage of their career, have demonstrated exceptional leadership and contributed significantly to the profession of architecture and the community at large. The award also acknowledges architectural talent in relation to design excellence, practice, education, and service. Malorie received the award at the AIA Wisconsin Spring Conference on April 28.

“Malorie is an invaluable member of OPN and this community. A consummate problem solver, she is a strong strategic thinker with the ability to communicate clearly and concisely. I cannot imagine a more deserving individual for this honor.” – Wes Reynolds, OPN Principal

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With a passion for her practice, Malorie leads OPN project teams, both internal and including subconsultants from kickoff to closeout. She excels in combining creativity with functionality, particularly in complicated renovations. Clients request Malorie as their project architect for her pragmatic problem solving and exemplary customer service. Malorie’s diverse skillset, from pre-design to project visualization to construction documentation, makes her an extremely self-sufficient and efficient project architect.

“Malorie’s focus is not only to design beautiful spaces that greatly exceed a client’s expectations, but also to maintain a strong partnership between the architectural firm, construction team, and client at all times.” – Frank Gorham, Ideal Builders Senior Project Manager

Malorie has been a critical asset to the growth of OPN’s Madison studio. She cultivates repeat clients by fostering genuine relationships with a passion for her practice and a genuine care for exceeding everyone’s expectations, including her own. Her clients and industry colleagues also frequently become her friends over the course of a project. Her impact on OPN’s Madison studio and the firm as a whole operationally has been significant. Malorie’s support also extends to the next generation of architects through coordinating externs from UW-Milwaukee SARUP, participating in critiques at Madison College, and lecturing at UW-Madison’s Interior Architecture Program. She also participates and encourages colleagues at OPN to mentor high school students through Madison Metro School District and Boys & Girls Clubs of Dane County outreach and mentoring programs. She is a repeat volunteer and advocate for Terrace Town, encouraging students to think about how cities are planned and how they impact users.

B&GC 6Malorie’s personal philosophy of service above self is directly aligned with OPN’s commitment to giving back to the communities that have given the firm so much. She is always the first to organize events that focus on giving back. She is currently an active member of the Rotary Club of Madison and Downtown Madison Inc., along with sitting on the Boys & Girls Clubs of Dane County’s Facilities Committee, Board of Directors, and Executive Board.

Malorie’s relationship with the Boys & Girls Clubs of Dane County is a testament to her ability to foster connections that generate positive outcomes and continue beyond a project’s close out. She was part of the club’s decision to invest in its new workforce development center, which Malorie is spearheading for OPN and the organization. These projects have and will make our community better and in turn they have helped Malorie grow as an architect and leader.

“She truly embodies what it means to be a civic minded individual as a committed community member attentive to clean energy, a champion for youth, and an engaged volunteer that prioritizes giving back. Her civic commitment to community is not to garner recognition but for the common good. She is not the volunteer that just shows up, she intentionally engages.” – Sarah Ghee, Boys & Girls Clubs of Dane County Chief Operating Officer and Executive Vice President