Greetings NOMA!

I hope that the Summer finds you well and excited about the future. Here at NOMA National, we have been hyper focused on not only the future of NOMA, but also the future of the architecture profession overall. As I pen this message, I am celebrating my 200th day as NOMA President and I look forward to serving this incredible organization to the best of my ability for the remaining 521 days of my term (note: 2020 is a leap year), handing the mantle of leadership over to my successor on December 31, 2020.

President Dowdell, Promoting Project Pipeline
President Dowdell, Promoting Project Pipeline

Between now and then, my hope is to continue to grow our membership as well as the impact that we are having on everyone’s academic and professional careers. If you are reading this message as a NOMA member, I trust that you are seeing value in the work that we are doing. If not, I welcome you to text us at (202) 552-0718 and let us know how we can improve. If you are contemplating joining us, we invite you to peruse our website, talk to our members and reach out to our local and national leadership directly with questions in order to make an informed decision. We understand that you all have many responsibilities to balance and we are so very grateful for your choice to meaningfully engage with NOMA.

As we sail into the second half of 2019, I am thrilled to announce that NOMA is experiencing record growth. Just this week, we surpassed the 1,000 member threshold, an all-time high for our organization. In 2018, our total membership was just above 900, so we are definitely moving in the right direction! Our original goal for membership in 2019 was 1,200. I suspect we will reach this goal and will now set our sights even higher. If you have not yet joined or renewed, please visit https://noma.net/members/ today!

As for tomorrow (a.k.a. the future), here are a few things that we are preparing to offer our members and the building industry more broadly:

  1. A best-in-class conference experience this Fall in Brooklyn. We look forward to hosting you at our 47th Annual NOMA Conference and Exposition, October 16th – 20th. Please register HERE
  2. NOMA will be participating in the 2019 NAAB Accreditation Review Forum, helping to shape the policies that govern the future of architectural education.
  3. NOMA has entered into an MOU with the AIA Large Firm Round Table (AIA LFRT) to pursue the 2030 Diversity Challenge, which is an effort to more than double the percentage of licensed African-American architects from 2% to 5% by the year 2030. With the generous financial support of AIA LFRT over the next five years, NOMA now has consistent seed funding to establish a program geared towards supporting recent graduates in their pursuit of professional experience and licensure preparation, with a special focus on Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs). Note that while our efforts are currently centered on addressing the disparity of African-Americans in architecture, NOMA is open to ALL people. #ALLinforNOMA
  4. NOMA has launched our 2019-2020 President’s Circle Corporate Membership program to help our new corporate members manage their approach to diversity, succession planning, recruitment and other essential business strategies, based on their specific needs. The funds earned through NOMA President’s Circle (NOMA PC) will be leveraged to help us meet the aforementioned 2030 Diversity Challenge and achieve other near-term goals set forth by my administration.
  5. Thanks to the generous support of our partners at General Motors (GM), NOMA has been able to support Project Pipeline programs throughout the country with heightened resources. This Summer, we’re hosting NOMA + GM STEM Summer Success Design Build Camps in Atlanta, Cleveland, and Detroit. NOMA Project Pipeline is geared towards providing middle and high school students with exposure to the design professions through teaching and mentorship from NOMA members. NOMA Project Pipeline has been in existence since 2005 and serves as one of the most important programs in the industry that is geared towards building the future of our profession through youth engagement.

Our National Board is working diligently to deliver the best possible value to you, our cherished members. We are also proud to have several new staff members join us over the past several months to support this work. We are making a lot of changes that will hopefully improve the member experience moving forward. In the meantime, we appreciate your patience with us as we transition into new technology platforms and approaches to managing our workflows. Again, if you have any specific concerns or if you would like to offer support to the ambitious goals that we have set, we encourage you to contact us via text at (202) 552-0718.

Thank you again for your involvement in helping NOMA create greater Access, Leadership and Legacy opportunities for everyone in this amazing profession. It is an honor to serve you. Be well and we can’t wait to see you in Brooklyn!

ALL the best,
Kimberly N. Dowdell,NOMA, AIA, NCARB, SEED, LEED AP BD+C
2019-2020 NOMA President