On the heels of a successful conference in Brooklyn (October 16-20th), NOMA is excited about what is in store for the year to come. We welcomed over 1,200 registrants to our 47th annual conference and we now enjoy over 1,400 total members, an organizational all-time high. We must build upon this momentum, not just for the sake of the numbers, but for the impact that we can have as a robust body of members who will catalyze positive change in our profession and the built environment.


I truly hope that you had a wonderful time at conference. If you weren’t able to make it to Brooklyn, we look forward to seeing you in Oakland next October. Between now and then, I would like to encourage you to get involved with your local chapter and help advance our Access, Leadership, and Legacy programming. Let’s help our young people Access the profession through NOMA Project Pipeline and NOMA Foundation Fellowship. Let’s cultivate Leadership opportunities at every level. And last but not least, we must help build and sustain the Legacy of our elders and ancestors in the profession. This work must remain steady from conference to conference.

While there were many things to celebrate in Brooklyn, we acknowledge that there were also some lessons learned relative to conference logistics. Our team worked very hard to deliver a dynamic conference, but frankly, many of the core team members have not served in this role previously and we experienced a few bumps along the way due to inexperience with certain aspects of conference delivery. We see this as a growth opportunity. The insight that we now have based on the stress points of this year’s conference are being documented in an effort to improve your experience in Oakland. We thank you all for your patience with us and your continued support of NOMA as we add new staff and grow, learning so much along the way.

The most important lesson that I learned from conference is that sharing space and being intentional about curating meaningful interactions is so empowering. In my current role as president of NOMA, I am generally unable to spend the amount of quality time I’d like with people individually because of the demands of conference pulling my attention in different directions. Not having those interactions makes it clear to me how important they have been to me in the past. Once my presidency is over, I will look forward to more deeply engaging with my mentors, old friends, new friends and most importantly, our student members at conference. This year, I really appreciated the opportunity to see so many people connecting in Brooklyn and having a good time. The feedback we’ve heard about conference has been overwhelmingly positive. Many thanks to all of the many volunteers who made it possible and to our small, but mighty staff who brought us through the finish line in Brooklyn.

It’s an honor to serve as your president and I’m delighted that you have all been so supportive of my leadership journey. We have accomplished a lot 2019 and we are poised to do much more in 2020. With your help, the best is yet to come. If you’re interested in supporting our efforts next year, please reach out via our text only hotline: 202.552.0718.

ALL the best,

Kimberly Dowdell

2019-2020 NOMA National President