Member Spotlights

Lisa M. Grau

Tulsa Technology Center

  1. Give us a short bio...

I was born in Nebraska and grew up in the mid-west. I graduated from Oklahoma State University College of Architecture in 1992, and became a licensed architect in 1996. I remember the day I got my exam results – I cried. I had passed the whole (old school, no computer, exam) first time – shocked and amazed – I did it! I spent 17 years working in several architectural firms in Tulsa and one short stint in Florida, working on everything from prototype architecture to private homes and corporate offices. In 2009 after working on Tulsa Tech’s first new building in decades, the Health Sciences Center; I was asked to join the Tulsa Tech team. My role as owner is different but oh so rewarding! I have the opportunity to work with the best professionals in Tulsa, rebuilding and rejuvenating a school district that is vital to our community and future economic development while inspiring our students with amazing facilities.

  1. How long have you been a member of AIA? 

I joined AIA after becoming licensed in 1992, so 28 years!

  1. Why did you join AIA? Are you involved with the chapter?

I joined to keep current with our profession, learn new things and network with others with like minds. I think it’s important to understand where our profession is heading and the issues that will direct its future. I have not been very involved with the chapter but have always been tuned in to what the local chapter has going.

  1. What’s your favorite AIAEOK event?

I enjoy the annual state convention the most. I get to reconnect with others I don’t have the opportunity to see elsewhere and usually learn something along the way.

  1. What’s your favorite thing about AIA?

I really enjoy the AIA National Convention. I like to get away from Tulsa and enjoy meeting new people from other cities.

  1. What or who inspired you to become an architect?

I guess I would have to say my Mom inspired me to be an architect. In high school I thought I wanted to be a doctor. My Mom encouraged me to do something that I really enjoyed not to just follow the making money goal. I changed my future plans my senior year and decide to go into architecture because ‘I liked drawing house plans’. After the culture shock of college wore off, I settled into what it meant to be an architect and knew it was right for me. I have never regretted my decision. I still love what I do and (most days) I love my job. To me – that’s professional success.

  1. What do you think/hope your occupation will look like in 10 years?

Architecture in 10 years? Who knows! It certainly has changed in the past 20 years – I imagine the future will bring holograms of buildings so the client can actually walk thru the project. I hope that the profession remains as vital to the project design and delivery method as it is now.

  1. What has been your most exciting project and why?

My most exciting project to date has been the Tulsa Tech Lemley Memorial Campus Master Plan. We are literally rebuilding the heart of Tulsa Tech, the entire original campus! I have worked on many significant projects in Tulsa and the surrounding area but the overwhelming size of the campus rebuild and knowing that I will be an influential driver in seeing it come to fruition and the number of people the project and building will impact, is exciting!

  1. What’s your favorite piece/place of design in Oklahoma?

Favorite place of design in Oklahoma - I would have to say the Price Tower. The geometry and mathematics intrigues me. The renovation into a hotel was nicely done and my husband and I celebrated our 19th anniversary there – so it has a special place in my heart.

  1. On a Saturday morning, where could we typically find you?

 I like to take my Saturday mornings slow. If I don’t have somewhere to be, I will be curled up in my pj’s drinking coffee and watching the news.

  1. One piece of advice you could give architects in general, women-architect in specific?

Advice for future, fellow female architects – Don’t let anyone make you think you can’t accomplish anything or everything. Just because you may be the only woman at the table – doesn’t mean you can’t be the lead! Listen– A LOT!

12. What are you listening to/reading/or watching these days?

 I have started reading “Answering Why: Unleashing Passion, Purpose and Performance in Younger Generations” by Mark Perna. I’m also a closet fantasy book reader and I am currently enjoying “Queen of Air and Darkness” by Cassandra Clare, waiting for the next season of Jack Ryan on HBO.

Holly A. Bergman

Dewberry

 
  1. Give us a short bio...

 I grew up moving all over and have lived in eleven different states. I spent the most amount of time in Colorado, though, and consider that where I am from. I went to school at Kansas State, work at Dewberry and have been living in Tulsa a little over two years.

  1. How long have you been a member of AIA? 

 I have been a member since 2015.

  1. Why did you join AIA? Are you involved with the chapter?

 I joined because I wanted to become more involved in the profession and the influence it can have in a community.

  1. What’s your favorite AIAEOK event?

 I really enjoyed the Women in Design - Mentorship Mixer.

  1. What’s your favorite thing about AIA?

 I enjoy how the AIA brings professionals together with shared interests, provides a way to explore new ideas, and celebrates good work.

  1. What or who inspired you to become an architect?

 I made the decision in fourth grade when I did a mentorship program in school. I discovered I was not suited to be a veterinarian, which was who I shadowed, when I almost fainted watching a surgery.  Instead I got jealous of the cool model that some other kid built when shadowing an architect and my interest just built from there.

  1. What do you think/hope your occupation will look like in 10 years?

 I think there will probably be an increased focus on technology and virtual reality in whatever way that interfaces with production of drawings as well as client interaction.

  1. What has been your most exciting project and why?

I don’t know if I would call it exciting but I have been most influenced by working with the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner. I have learned so much and have a much greater appreciation for a profession I never gave much thought to before.

  1. What’s your favorite piece/place of design in Oklahoma?

Right now I am really liking the Gathering Place and the attention it is bringing for the city and state. A lot of times Oklahoma doesn’t get much credit and it is nice to see how we can create spaces for our own benefit as well as prove that we have a lot to offer.   

  1. On a Saturday morning, where could we typically find you?

 Usually I will be at home, drinking coffee, and spending some time with my dog before I start the day.

  1. One advise you could give architects in general, women-architect in specific?

 That’s a tough one because I don’t have that many years of experience myself but I would probably say to not lose your passion. Most people get into architecture because something about it excites them and it is so easy to forget that in the day-to-day tasks. When the passion is gone it is hard to grow as an individual and as a profession.

  1. What are you listening to/reading/or watching these days?

I am currently reading “The Goldfinch” by Donna Tartt and will probably see the movie when I am done.