Below are the candidates for each position eligible for election. Please read their bios and proceed to the form below to enter your vote.
Christian has been involved with I-NOMA since 2014, playing a key role in the professional development program, student involvement initiative, and project pipeline camp for the chapter. He champions equality in the profession and beyond.
As a licensed architect, he is currently in charge of the ARE program, motivating professionals to take a giant step in their career. Beyond licensure, he organizes and is host to field trips, bringing continuing education credits and impactful architecture experiences to students and professionals alike. His passion with the future generation has led to his active involvement with the annual project pipeline camp serving as lead mentor, volunteer coordinator, and site developer in different years. His proudest accomplishments with the chapter so far are the students he motives by leading workshops at various schools throughout the Chicago area in underserved communities.
A graduate from IIT and architect at Solomon Cordwell Buenz, Christian is honored to represent the Illinois chapter as the next president.
Smitha C. Vasan is a recent graduate from the University of Miami School of Architecture. Originally from the Chicagoland area, she returned to Chicago upon her graduation in 2017.
Smitha C. Vasan is a recent graduate from the University of Miami School of Architecture. Originally from the Chicagoland area, she moved back to Chicago from Miami upon her graduation in 2017. She has been employed with Chicago Design Network since June 2017. Her interests lie at the intersection of design and community involvement. She is dedicated to good design and intrigued by the potential for good design and tactful development to improve communities for the better. She currently lives in Bronzeville and loves being back in this city.
**See bio above.
For the past decade, Chicago native Jennifer Johnson has worked to better communities through architecture. Having spent time in both the technical design and construction aspects of the industry, Jennifer draws from exposure to all sides of the architectural process, approaching each project with an extensive knowledge base rooted in first-hand experience. Jennifer has excellent communication skills and holds a strong, solution-driven work ethic. Jennifer is an active member of the National Association of Minority Architects, having served as Parliamentarian, Project Pipeline volunteer, and Seminar Chair for the 2018 NOMA conference. She has also been involved with the My Block, my hood, my city, the American Institute of Architects’ Architect Barbie Dream House Design project, and volunteers with a local Chicago women’s shelter. She is running for Vice President for INOMA’s 2019 board and her initiatives are as follows.
•Foster relationships with Chicago firms
•Enhancing the bridge between high school /college/professionals
•ARE Pep and Prep!
•History Tab for the website
Tiara is a graduate from Drury University Masters’ Program. Her current roles in Chicago presume as a Senior Urban Designer at SOM and as a Real Estate Broker for Century21 S.G.R. Inc. Her diverse range of experience and volunteerism has greatly enhanced her skills as a young designer and leader.
“If there is no well to drink from, dig until you create one” - Tiara Hughes
This is the philosophy Tiara lives by. From currently serving on the National Board for NOMA (National Organization of Minority Architects) as the Public Relations Chair to launching First 500 (a research endeavor focused on highlighting African American Women Architects), the hard work and dedication behind this belief has led her to serve in these roles. In addition to leadership and research, Tiara is a hard worker that exudes high energy. If she is in the room, you know she's there. Her humble upbringings paired with the world of obstacles, including being homeless in college just to finish school are the reasons WHY there is not turning back.
She plans to put forth the same effort and determination that led her to graduate into I-NOMA. Her platform will focus on the I in I-NOMA... with the I standing for our identity. She plans to continue the momentum of the previous administration by focusing on advancing our members into leadership roles in their firms and the industry through leadership trainings and interactions with industry leaders giving insight. Furthermore, elevating the NEXT Generation into leadership through mentorship and opportunities for them to take on roles with more responsibility. This group of individuals is vital to the legacy of I-NOMA and the industry because they are the future! Lastly, connecting our members with other industries that can further our knowledge base and lead to future work is another initiative she plans to implement. I-NOMA is Tiara’s family away from home and her passionate leadership will exemplify this. So…
Vote T for VP!
Kim Johnson is an Architectural Designer at Interactive Design Architects. She was born and raised on the south side of Chicago. She received a B.S in Interior Architecture and Design with a minor in Psychology from Indiana State University and her M.Arch and MS-CEE from the University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign. While at Indiana State, Kim became a member of Zeta Phi Beta Sorority Inc., and was active in the SGA. It was through these two organizations she learned and utilized Roberts Rules of Order and understood the importance of them. At the University of Illinois, Kim became involved with NOMAS. Within NOMAS, Kim held the position of treasurer, and co-president and assisted in bringing back the NOMAS symposium in addition to growing the chapter exceedingly. Upon graduation, Kim continued to be active through the INOMA professional chapter, through Design-Build and project pipeline. Those efforts continued as a member of the NOMA 46th annual conference held in Chicago this October. Kim continues to give back not only through volunteering through NOMA’s mentoring programs and initiates, but also through PURSUE scholars, a scholarship foundation aimed to assist the financial needs of Chicago Urban youth. Her zealous attitude toward the built environment and the role people of color play within the development of the built environment fuels her continued desire to learn, lead, and edify those around her.
I am seeking a position on the 2019 I-NOMA Executive Board because I believe in the spirit, initiatives, and goals that we as an organization are fostering.
As a student at the University of Kansas, I was involved in NOMAS but after graduation in 2009, while I was still passionate about architecture, my path led me away from the profession for a time. Seven years ago, I made the decision to move to Chicago and shortly thereafter began working at KOO.
Professionally, I had the chance to work on a number of great projects in a relatively short period of time. As a practitioner, I was growing and learning, but I credit my involvement with I-NOMA over the past 2 years with my growth as a complete professional. The energy and passion I saw during my first Project Pipeline Camp sold me; I wanted to be a part of this community and the more involved I have become, the more committed and motivated I have become to elevating I-NOMA.
I-NOMA has built an organization that truly is a family that supports, mentors, and elevates its members. I see the collaboration and camaraderie in the organization, and know that against the backdrop of forming lifelong friendships, future industry leaders are being built up. I take pride in knowing that I am contributing to this legacy.
During my time with I-NOMA, I have volunteered with Project Pipeline Summer Camp, led a PP workshop, served as a conference volunteer and unofficially taken up the mantle of General Body Meeting Assistant. Over the past year, I have also worked as a member of the marketing team and currently I am serving as the Holiday Party Co-Chair. In addition to showing up, behind the scenes, I am consistently working on strengthening our organizational infrastructure with the I-NOMA legacy and future in mind. If there is a need to get to a goal, be it presence, copy-writing, or coordination, I can be counted on to step up and make sure we get there.
I am an organized, goal-driven, problem solver. With my passion for I-NOMA and the profession, I believe my skillset makes me an ideal candidate for the 2019 Executive Board. It would be an honor to serve and I humbly ask for your vote to give me the opportunity to do so.
Mntambo Fisher is an accomplished project architect who has worked on a variety of healthcare-focused projects in all phases of design and construction, both nationally and internationally. With over 12 years of experience in healthcare design, he has amassed extensive planning and technical knowledge while working on a wide-range of services types that include ambulatory care, inpatient imaging, sterile processing, intervention care and strategic logistical planning. Mntambo's leadership, attentiveness and diligence have guided numerous project teams and has successfully brought to fruition the visions and goals of clients and stakeholders in their communities.
**See bio above.
Lorin is a designer in Chicago practicing quality design and construction to optimally steward the built environment, especially commercial spaces. She is devoted to leveraging her roles to provide community benefit and mentorship to future generations. She has been a member of I-NOMA since 2016 and has served as a Project Pipeline volunteer in various capacities, and the chapter’s Marketing Coordinator for the year of 2018. She originates from St. Louis, MO.
Andres, a spring of 2018 Graduate from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. During his time as President, the UIUC NOMAS chapter won student chapter of the year at the Los Angeles NOMA conference in 2016. He currently works at Harding Partners, a small architecture firm downtown, as a designer focusing of educational, religious, and historical restoration projects around the city of Chicago. Andres has been involved with INOMA for several years and looks to make and impact within the organization throughout his professional career.
**See bio above.