Join us on Thursday, February 11th at 11:45 a.m. for the AIA Central Oklahoma February Luncheon! This program will be held virtually via Zoom. We're excited to announce that our guest speakers will be Wardell Ross, Jr., AIA and Drew Deering, AIA of the AIA National Architecture Firm Award Winner, Moody Nolan.
Wardell Ross Jr., AIA, NOMA, NCARB
Moody Nolan, Inc.
Wardell has gained extensive experiences in the healthcare, educational (Collegiate & K-12), civic, and hospitality markets over his 23 + year career in Architecture & Community engagement working in Ohio and Texas. Through those experiences as a registered architect, he has developed a sensitive approach in identifying client needs early in the project delivery timeline, from the most well-established institutional clients to the clients of undeserved communities.

Wardell’s work is grounded in service, efficient project management, professional integrity, and appropriate design. This approach was developed from the integration of his military service, extensive community outreach, and ministry experience. Architecture is his profession, but more so a tool connecting him to his passion of supporting under resourced organizations, communities, and individuals committed to the development of vulnerable or marginalized populations, as a result of his foundational faith in God. 
Drew Deering, AIA, LEED AP
Drawing from over two decades of his architecture experience across a diverse spectrum of architectural projects, Drew approaches architecture to ensure the careful execution of projects at Moody Nolan. Informed by his great passion for creating buildings that positively impact people and communities, Drew works closely with clients to realize their project visions. His in-depth project management and construction administration experience have driven the successful completion of projects from colleges, K-12 schools, arenas, and recreational centers across the country.

Mr. Deering currently serves as the First Vice President / President Elect for AIA Chicago where he has served on the Board of Directors since 2017. Drew has served as the Chair of the AIA National Regional and Urban Design Knowledge Community. He served on the inaugural members of the National Associate Committee, as the AIA Central States Regional Associate Director, and as the Associate Director for AIA Missouri. For AIA Chicago, he has served as Treasurer, Director, and Chair of the Regional and Urban Design Committee. Drew is active in his Chicago neighborhood of the Logan Square serving on multiple community organizations and continues his involvement with his child’s school non-profit organization “Friends of Brentano”.
2021 AIA National Architecture Firm Award

For Moody Nolan, diversity has been at the core of the firm’s philosophy since its founding. Much greater than a recruitment plan, the firm’s complete embrace of talent that hails from diverse cultures, races, and socioeconomic backgrounds allows it to nimbly address complex problems through its staff’s myriad points of view. The nation’s largest African American-owned and operated design firm, it has a long history of serving clients with its trademark navigation of cultural sensitivities and keen understanding of the impact its work has on individuals and communities.

As a young man, Curt Moody, FAIA, NOMA, was regularly challenged by those who did not see architecture as a viable career path for an African American man growing up in a working class neighborhood. Undeterred, Moody completed his architecture degree and founded Moody and Associates in 1982 in a struggling economy, staffing the firm with himself and just one graduate student. A year later, Moody joined forces with the late engineer Howard E. Nolan, both of whom had directly experienced Whitney Young Jr.’s assessment of equal rights in the profession. The founders’ belief that diverse perspectives foster creativity and more responsive solutions echoes throughout its 11 offices nationwide. Women comprise 42 percent of the staff, while more than 30 percent identify as minorities.

In cities like Chicago, Seattle, and Columbus, Ohio, Moody Nolan’s work is reflective of the people who will live, learn, and heal in the spaces it creates. Its work has been lauded with more than 320 design citations and significant awards, including Moody’s receipt of AIA’s Whitney M. Young Jr. Award in 1992, its AIA Ohio Gold Medal in 2007, and the National Organization of Minority Architects’ (NOMA) President’s Exemplary Service Award in 2008. The firm was also named NOMA’s firm of the year in 2000.
Beyond the compelling design of buildings, the firm views its work as a way to encourage architecture careers in diverse communities and carry on the firm’s legacy. That ethos is made clear in projects such as Columbus’ Martin Luther King Library Branch, a vibrant community center that responds to both the character of the surrounding community and the powerful legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Though it is only 20,000 square feet, the unique facility makes a powerful and uplifting statement. In Chicago, the firm worked with City Colleges of Chicago to further its commitment to the city’s troubled South Side and replaced the aging Malcolm X College and School of Health Sciences. Despite inheriting budget issues and a very tight timeline, Moody Nolan provided the school's predominantly low-income student body with a technologically advanced learning environment that is focused on allied health professions.

“Moody Nolan’s buildings are often the transformational centers of activity at the colleges and universities that they serve,” William J. Stanley III, FAIA, NOMAC, wrote in support of the firm’s nomination. “Their projects become the signature buildings that set the standard for others to follow. Numerous campuses have been enhanced by their thoughtful, cutting-edge solutions. Moody Nolan's culture of excellence has resulted in multiple highly successful collaborations with other nationally acclaimed design firms on museums, schools, and other ventures of national significance.”

In 2017, as a way to further its commitment to the community, Moody Nolan launched the Legacy House project. Fully funded by the firm and select partners, the project is committed to designing and constructing a home in each of the 11 communities in which the firm operates. The first house, in Columbus, Ohio, was completed in 2018 and was gifted to a single mother with three young children. The home sparked a renewed interest in the neighborhood, prompting neighbors to clean up their properties and spurring new development. Other homes have broken ground or are planned in Nashville and Chicago.
Plan to grab your lunch and join us on February 11th at 11:45 a.m. via Zoom to learn more about the work of Moody Nolan. AIACOC Members attend free and the nonmember cost is $10.00. The deadline to register is Wednesday, February 10th.