Overland is rich with strong females. Half of our office is comprised of women of all different ages, backgrounds, and specialties—designers, architects, accountants, marketers, administrative professionals, project managers, and principals. Not to mention our Sustainability and Urban Design teams are comprised 100% of females. The opportunity to admire such kind human beings who are thriving in their careers is a huge inspiration for all of us.
As a woman in this industry, it is easy to compare oneself and be envious of the success that other women have achieved. It is a curious phenomenon that women can be more critical of each other than members of the other gender. With that in mind, it is incredibly refreshing that every single person, women and men, at Overland are genuinely happy for the success of their peers. If we stand together, the fruits of our labor taste as sweet as a ripe strawberry on a warm summer day.
While there are many women in our office worthy of recognition, my colleagues on the Hemisfair design team and I would like to celebrate the notable contributions that Barbara Warren has made on our workplace and each of us as individuals.
In the short time I have had the pleasure of knowing Barbara, I am constantly inspired by her tenacity and drive. Barbara is so dedicated to her career, prioritizing licensure and developing herself into a well-rounded architect. She takes on any task that is asked of her and exceeds expectations with grace, humility, and attention to detail. I can trust that if Barbara is working on something, it will be done right and on time.
We clicked only a short time after meeting one another because I see in Barbara what I strive to embody as both an architect and a human—dedication to design and detail excellence, conviction to her morals, and compassion for her fellow comrades. When I found it a bit difficult to fit into the workflow of Overland, a process that was much different from my previous experience, Barbara recognized my struggle and offered a shoulder to lean on. In that moment, she took me under her wing. I knew we would be lasting friends. She has taught me so much in a relatively short period of time and I am grateful to call her a friend.
From The Design Team
“During my Architectural Internship at Overland over the past year, Barbara has been a role model and mentor.
On my first incoming project at UTRGV Barbara trusted my skills on a level I did not know I had. With little to no experience, I was coordinating drawings with contractors on my first week of work; I owned it. She challenges me to do things out of my comfort zone and is always willing to help me when I have questions.
I love the way she comes in every morning saying, “Buenos Dias!” with a contagious smile on her face. Barbara has no idea how significant she is as a team member and human being – she is a positive impact in people’s lives.
She is the definition of a hardworking Latina woman. She will speak Spanish to you—proud of her heritage and where she comes from. I can’t think of any better representation of beauty than someone who is unafraid to be herself. Barbara is beauty, passion, courage, inspiration… the list goes on.”—Italia Aguilera, Architectural Intern
“I’ve had the privilege of working with Barbara on a couple of projects now. When Barbara invests into a project and takes ownership of a design, she will strongly advocate for the design no matter who the opposition is. I’ve been in large meetings with seasoned engineers and contractors along with Barbara. She never cowered on any discussions, especially when something needed correction. She is fearless and talented with a very caring heart.
Barbara, you are a dear friend of mine, and it brings me joy to work beside you each day and teach you what I know.” —Steve Bellanger, Architect
“I am truly honored to be working alongside Barbara and learning from her. She has an incredibly sharp mind and a contagious happy spirit that inspires the rest of the team to work with a sense of optimism and joy. Barbara balances a fine attention to detail with a broader sense of design. She can dig into a detail of a curtainwall façade system or step back and look holistically at a whole elevation. She equally excels in both, which is something truly remarkable and inspiring to a young designer. Her analytical mind is always questioning the process and the design, which in the end only helps to drive our team forward in creating a better project. She works tirelessly to go above and beyond. She will be the last one to sync the Revit model when we are PDFing a drawing set. While the rest of us are enjoying a celebratory beer, she will be enjoying her drink while putting the finishing touches on a wall section or an enlarged plan so they can be slipped into the set at the last minute before it is sent out the door. She gives everything her all and does it with humility and grace.
Barbara is not only just working on the Hemisfair project, but the Brownsville Multipurpose Academic Center at University of Texas Rio Grande Valley, which is actively in construction. To see her balance her time and energy spent working on both these projects is a feat in and of itself. Because the two projects are at various stages, design development versus construction, she has to balance two different workflows and design challenges. From being on conference calls with engineering consultants to dealing with the contractor on-site, Barbara does not let her age or gender stop her from being the best architect she can be. She is firm yet respectful when speaking with consultants and contractors. She doesn’t hold back from asking the hard questions or bringing attention to details overseen. Her pride in herself and her work only help to bring the best out of everybody she works with. From our talks, I know she feels that she isn’t able to give either 100%, but from where the rest of the team sits, we are all in awe of her success at managing both.
Barbara not only works hard on studio projects, she plays a big role in educating the rest of the office through our Academy lecture series. The Academy, launched in 2017, has brought guest lecturers, consultants, and product reps into the office to speak and increase the office’s knowledge base. It also capitalizes on the knowledge and experience of those within the office, by offering individuals the opportunity to present a passion of theirs, working off their strengths. Barbara has been crucial to the success of the Academy because she sees the value an individual in the office holds and encourages them to share that with a larger audience. Ben Parker, who has worked closely with Barbara on building up the Academy states, “Barbara is integral to the Academy. The Academy looks the way it does today because of her. Two of her strengths have been especially important to this project: her organization and her drive. Her drive has ensured that the Academy remains a priority within the office, and her organization has been able to transform a lot of diverse perspectives into a cohesive entity.
I am grateful to call Barbara a friend, a colleague, and a mentor. She inspires me every day and I am thankful for the chance to learn from a strong woman in the field.”—Madison Rogers, Urban Designer
“I have enjoyed having Barbara on the Hemisfair team. She is a self-motivated, driven individual and is passionate about architecture, especially the finer details of the profession.”—Michael Monceaux, Associate Principal
“As a new pheasant, I have only known Barbara for a short time, but I have had the great pleasure of joining her project team and being her desk-neighbor. Few people are able to share the type of distinctive first impression with which Barbara greets you. She radiates refreshing authenticity and curiosity, qualities that characterize all her interactions and relationships. Throughout the day, Barbara sets aside moments to pause and focus on others, prioritizing her team over the weight of her own workload or stress. She stops to observe those around her, encourages their efforts, and provide mentorship, guidance, empathy. These gestures of intentionality and sincerity towards others are the greatest insight into what equips her to be a strong leader and teammate. However, she is impressive beyond her qualities of character. Barbara exhibits talent in many ways, including, but not limited to, her personal artwork, technical expertise, attention to detail, and her organizational and management skills. She rises naturally into leadership, and therefore, she has unsurprisingly become a mentor for me and many other young women in the field. If you aspire to any level of success in your life or work, I encourage you to look to Barbara Warren.”—Alisha Burkman, Designer