Leadership appointments confirm glass ceiling absence at ABC, AIA

Sources: Associated Builders and Contractors, American Institute of Architects, Washington, D.C.; CP staff

Associated Builders and Contractors Directors have elected Stephanie Schmidt, president of Poole Anderson Construction, State College, Pa., as 2022 national chair, while their American Institute of Architects counterparts have named Lakisha Woods successor to Chief Executive Officer Robert Ivy. 

“As the fourth woman to serve in this role, I am honored to lead ABC to deliver value to our members, prioritize safety and open competition, and invest in and develop our most valuable asset—our people,” says Schmidt. “ABC’s team mentality is a distinguishing aspect: We can be the fiercest of competitors in the field, but we unite as one for ABC, the merit shop and betterment of our entire industry and the 7.4 million individuals it employs.”

“The leadership and institutional knowledge the ABC Executive Committee brings to our 21,000 member companies will further advance an industry that builds the places where we work, play, worship, learn and heal,” adds ABC President Michael Bellaman.“It is an honor to work alongside Stephanie and our 2022 elected leaders to continue to strengthen fair and open competition, ensure contractors win work based on merit, and create the conditions for all workers in the construction industry to thrive.”

Schmidt and the 2022 officer slate begin their terms on January 1. At AIA, Woods will transition January 31 from her post as National Institute of Building Sciences president and chief executive officer. She will manage the Institute’s national office; oversee a payroll hovering 200; work with AIA directors and 200-plus North American and overseas chapters; and, maintain duties as 2021-2022 U.S. Green Building Council vice chair.  

“[Lakisha Woods’] breadth of experience in the building industry combined with her leadership in making the built environment more sustainable, equitable, and safer for Americans makes her a natural fit for advancing AIA’s strategic priorities,” says 2021 President Peter Exley, FAIA. “I look forward to seeing her further empower architects to improve society and transform the built environment as well as inspire the next generation.”

While at NIBS, a private Washington D.C. organization convening industry, design and government officials, Woods has fostered relationships with Institute members, clients, partners and public stakeholders such as the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and Department of Housing and Urban Development, plus the Federal Emergency Management Agency. Prior to her current post, she served as National Association of Homes Builders senior vice president and chief marketing officer. 

“I look forward to working with the AIA team, volunteer leaders, and most of all, AIA’s passionate and engaged members to take full advantage of this dynamic moment in history to secure a future for the association that is as diverse as our society, as inclusive as everyone deserves, and as sustainable as the next generation demands,” affirms Woods.