Hi, Jim Coshow here from Dunn Lumber. Welcome to the Dunn Solutions podcast, where we’re committed to providing cutting-edge industry knowledge for the building contractor and trade professional.

Today we’ll hear from an all-female panel of architects and builders, moderated by the home editor of Luxe magazine, Lisa Bingham Dewart. Each of these women has had their own unique journey to success in the industry, and in this forum they share the stories of how they got started, the challenges they’ve faced—and overcome—throughout their careers, and the advice they have for women in the industry.

women architects and builders

This podcast features:

Lisa Bingham Dewart, Luxe Magazine

As the home editor for Southern California and the Pacific Northwest at Luxe magazine, Lisa Bingham Dewart’s days are spent looking at—and writing about—beautiful spaces. Her love for design started at the age of three (when she hand-selected yellow Holly Hobby wallpaper for her bedroom) and continued through college (where she studied material culture and combined her love for history and design). Prior joining the team at Luxe in 2014, Lisa worked for a number of high-end architecture and design publications.

Allison Ainslie, Ainslie-Davis Construction

Allison Ainslie is partner and administrative construction manager of Ainslie-Davis Construction, a family-oriented business with deep roots and long-term relationships with employees and the community. Allison earned a construction management degree from the University of Washington and has more than 20 years of residential and commercial construction experience. From overseeing estimates to bidding proposals, Allison works with clients and project managers to ensure each project comes in on time and on budget.

Arlene Kisiel-Jermann, AKJ Architects LLC

Arlene Kisiel-Jermann brings more than 25 years of design experience to her company, AKJ Architects. From concept to completion, AKJA’s design philosophy meets the needs of a 21st century lifestyle while bringing regional and historical elements. Arlene holds a master in architecture from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, a master of science in interior design from the University of Massachusetts Amherst, and a bachelor’s from Skidmore College, where she studied art and Spanish. This combination drives Arlene’s holistic approach to residential design.

Meredith Everist, Baylis Architects

Meredith Everist is a principal and associate architect at Baylis Architects, which, for over four decades, has designed spaces that match our local landscapes and meet their clients’ expectations. Meredith is a graduate of the University of New Mexico and has more than 20 years experience in the field.

Sharen Borgias, Fairbank Construction

As the president of Fairbank Construction and a graduate of Western Washington University, Sharen brings decades of project management experience to her role. Sharen has more than 30 years of experience and has ensured projects are delivered on time and on budget for some of Fairbank’s highest-profile projects. Prior to her role as president, Sharen served two years as the vice president of construction services.

Mary Johnston, Johnston Architects LLC

As a founding partner of Johnston Architects, Mary Johnston believes that design has the power to change lives. Through sharing her ideas about ethical, responsible architecture—and the stories behind each project—she does just that. In addition to serving as an architect, she’s a frequent juror, critic, teacher, and board member for cities, park foundations, and conservatories.

Dawn Larson, David Hopkins Design

Dawn Larson got her start in design at a young age, painting and rearranging furniture when she was 10. When she graduated from technical design school, Dawn brought that childhood flair to the real world, specializing in kitchen, bath, and home remodeling before joining the David Hopkins Design team to offer design and build services as partner. As a designer, Dawn loves creating spaces that make people feel inspired and comfortable.

Sheri Olson, Sheri Olson Architecture, PLLC

Over the past 25 years, Sheri Olson has developed and nurtured an extensive network of resources and relationships as she’s brought her construction and project management expertise to her work, whether it’s been on large, public projects or residential ones. Her passion, focus, and business lies in designing homes, and she brings a unique process to every project: sitting with the client and sketching out ideas together on a roll of tracing paper.

To contact any of these panelists, please reach out to Debby Steiner at Luxe Magazine. Debby can be reached at dsteiner@luxemagazine.com.

For information on attending future educational events, feel free to email me at jimc@dunnlumber.com.

all-female panel of architects and builders