Tricia is the Higher Education Studio Leader for SmithGroup, one of the largest, integrated
architecture, engineering, and planning firms in the US. She brings nearly 25 years of proven
leadership capabilities and an innovative eye to the projects she champions. Tricia’s continuing
involvement in multiple corporate leadership groups and initiatives demonstrates her ability to
build consensus while working with diverse constituents and peers. Her experience on
SmithGroup’s Leadership Council, Higher Education Practice, Finance Committee, and Growth
Initiative has focused on both talent and geographic growth as well as increasing gender
diversity and the number of women in leadership roles within the firm. She looks forward to
bringing that dialogue to AIA Detroit to tackle parallel socio-economic, cultural, and gender
Tricia possesses a unique pairing of strategy and empathy within her problem-solving
methodology. Whether she is engaged with a client on conceptualizing a design for a project or
working with a team to develop new approaches, Tricia takes a strategic view. She imparts a high level of empathy in her everyday processes. She seeks to get to know people and understand what makes them tick. By achieving that level of understanding, she can know what their motivators are and works to position them for success. She values and emulates mentorship and encourages others to do the same.
As a passionate coach for the underrepresented in the design profession, she uses the process
of design as a tool to encourage, guide, and open opportunities to women, minorities, and
members of the LGBTQ+ community. She strongly believes that being an architect is a privilege
that carries with it the responsibility to foster justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion (JEDI). The focus of Tricia’s work is in higher education, and that has enabled her to put these beliefs into action while working with clients to solve their JEDI goals.
Tricia is a former AIA Michigan Board Member and participated in the AIA Michigan Educational Facilities Conference Committee for six years. She understands the efficiency of collaboration between Michigan chapters in these challenging economic times. And with career experience gained by working in a small, medium, and large firm in the Detroit region, she also recognizes the challenges and opportunities of Metro Detroit practices in both suburban and downtown locales. Tricia’s background will allow her to help AIA Detroit continue to develop as a more inclusive organization that works to support Architects, the design profession, and all of our allied organizations, all to the mutual success of the other.