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As New Year Gets Underway, Associates Continue Professional Organization Leadership

By Eliza Wireback

February 21, 2019


At RS&H, involvement in professional organizations transcends all practices, regions and associate levels. That overarching involvement is highlighted by the four associates outlined below who are leading the way in their professional groups.

Marjorie Weibe-Reed, American Institute of Architects (AIA) Jacksonville

This January, Aviation architect Marjorie Weibe-Reed took over the mantle as president of the American Institute of Architects (AIA) Jacksonville chapter.

Marjorie has been involved with various AIA chapters for 18 years. She rejoined AIA Jacksonville in 2016, after moving back to the area for her position at RS&H. She took on the role of director in 2016 and 2017 before becoming president-elect in 2018.

As part of her presidency, Marjorie hopes to provide more mentorship opportunities by connecting past presidents and fellows to younger architects.

“Mentorship is really important, especially when it comes to lifting up young women,” said Marjorie. “When I started out, there were very few people who looked like me. At this point in my career, I can help open the door for more diversity and inclusion in the field.”

Melannie Wright, DBIA Florida Region

On January 1, Senior Business Development Representative Melannie Wright assumed the presidency of the Design-Build Institute of America Florida Region. The past recipient of the DBIA Florida Rising Star award and DBIA Volunteer of the Year award, Melannie previously served as chair of the DBIA  Central Florida  chapter, which received the Chapter of the Year award in 2015 under her leadership.

In 2017, Melannie moved up to the DBIA Florida Region executive committee -- which has all DBIA chapters and committees in Florida under its purview -- serving as secretary. In 2018, she assumed the role of vice president and was responsible for chairing the annual conference committee.  That year, the committee surpassed its goals for owner engagement, attendance, and sponsorship. DBIA Florida has increased engagement with public and private partners in recent years, but Melannie sees room for further collaboration throughout the state, across multiple markets and within all levels of public and private sector organizations.

In 2019, the DBIA Florida Region will focus on activities that align with the region’s 2019-2021 strategic plan. Goals include increasing engagement with both public and private owner agencies, expanding partnerships with Florida state colleges and universities, and providing learning opportunities that emphasize the impact of Design-Build Done Right and differentiate between design-build approaches.

Melannie is helping to facilitate this through a reorganized Board of Directors structure, which gives all chapters and committees a direct connection to DBIA Florida Region executives to whom they now report.

Melannie also hopes to help position DBIA Florida Region as a resource for problem-solving.

“Currently, we’re recognized as a strong educational partner when it comes to design-build best practices,” said Melannie. “But we are also a group that can help the industry navigate design-build challenges, facilitate open dialogue, and provide insightful solutions.”

Stephen Park, ASHE Northeast Florida

Six years after joining ASHE – Northeast Florida, Stephen Park became its president. Six months into his two-year term, he has tackled several initiatives, including a revamped website. He also has worked to grow the organization’s scholarship fundraiser for future engineers.

“Involvement in professional organizations allows us to make an impact on society and on the industry,” said Stephen. “And we as individuals grow from it, too.”

Stephen joined ASHE – Northeast Florida in 2012, after current Jacksonville Office Leader Kim Holland encouraged him to get involved in the organization. He served as second vice president and vice president before becoming president in June 2018.

Another RS&H associate, Scott Kroper, also serves on the Board of Directors. Taking his ASHE involvement full circle, Stephen himself encouraged Scott to join the organization four years ago.

Cheryl Freeman, WTS Northeast Florida

This January, Senior Transportation Engineer Cheryl Freeman entered her second year as president of the Northeast Florida chapter of the Women Transportation Seminar (WTS). WTS is an association dedicated to the advancement of women in the transportation industry. The Northeast Florida chapter has garnered a reputation for the providing the transportation community with valuable professional development opportunities.

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About the Author

In her role as a communications professional, Eliza gets to tell the stories of RS&H associates and the amazing work they do for clients, colleagues and their communities.

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