There is an inherent optimism to architecture; the belief in a brighter future, more vibrant communities, and the potential for improvement in our lives. People here never lose sight of those goals. The ethic at Neumann Monson captures some of what I learned from my parents – the importance of integrity, respect, and hard work – and from what I’m learning from my husband and daughters – empathy, standing up for what you believe in, and laughter in large doses. I’m exceedingly proud of my three daughters. They are strong, smart, compassionate, and funny! They make a positive impact every day.
What do you do in your spare time?
Rehabilitate furniture cast-offs. I see the potential in a past-its-prime piece of furniture and can’t wait to roll up my sleeves and make it great again. Every part of the project is enjoyable from searching thrift stores to envisioning the finished product to doing the actual work. My current project: refinishing and reupholstering a set of Mid-century walnut chairs. Some people rescue stray animals; with me it’s stray furniture.
What excites you most about Neumann Monson?
NM-ers are brilliant, friendly, and dedicated people with a wide range of interests. We’re a bunch of artists, film buffs, cyclists, musicians, mountaineers, philosophers, and comedians that also produce great architecture. Egos and titles are left at the door, which makes for great collaborations and discussions. And we like to laugh – a lot – so there are plenty of shenanigans. Plus we’re all really good dancers.
What's your favorite place in Iowa?
Northwest Iowa, where I was raised. It will always feel like home no matter how many years I’ve been away. The earth is black, the lakes are blue, the skies are big, the winters are cold, the people are warm, and pragmatism abounds.