HERstory – Reflections from CREW KC Past President, Amy Slattery

March 23, 2023

HERstory – Reflections from CREW KC Past President, Amy Slattery

Amy Slattery is an entrepreneur, an industry leader, and an architect. She created Odimo in 2015 as a collaborative of leaders focused on serving clients in affordable housing, office, higher education, and non-profit with a vision driven design approach. The firm received the 2019 AIA KC Firm of the Year Award and was a 2019 Top 10 Finalist for the Greater KC Chamber Small Business of the Year. 

Amy was the founding director of Women in Design Kansas City, a committee of AIA Kansas City, and is a Past President of CREW KC. She was recognized by the Kansas City Business Journal as a Woman Who Means Business in 2020 and as a Next Gen Leader in 2018. She received the AIA National Young Architects Award in 2011 and is the immediate past chair of the AIA National Trust. Amy is a design advocate in the Kansas City community, currently serving on the Riverfront Advisory Board for the Port Authority of Kansas City and the University of Kansas School of Architecture & Design Advisory Board. 

1.    How do you celebrate Women’s History Month? 
We have been so busy; I honestly haven’t been able to pause and celebrate this year. Making time to honor our shared history is important, and I’m thankful for this opportunity to share with CREW KC. That’s how I’ve celebrated in past years - sharing and amplifying the voices of the women we collaborate with and who inspire us in our city. 
Our deep history of women leading is undocumented. What has been recorded is really only in the last few hundred years and that is brief and unfortunately fragmented. Our history is now, which is what I love to celebrate. The future. Our potential.

2.    Do you have a woman in history that you look up to or emulate?
Right now, I’m interested in reading more about Mary Magdalene. I think she’s such an interesting, mysterious woman in history. What we do know of her was her strong faith. That’s something to emulate. But in business, I really want to be Art Gensler

3.    How have you paved the way in architecture and how have you paid that forward to other women in the industry?
I didn’t think there was a way to be paved when I graduated from KU in 2001, but I quickly found the profession very different from the university experience. At the time, women accounted for 50% of architecture graduates but just barely 20% of licensed architects. We started Women in Design with AIAKC in 2005 and established a collaboration with Women in Design and CREW that first year. 
I will always be committed to organizations like Women in Design and CREW, but also to one-on-one conversations with anyone looking for ideas or connections. Just drop me a note! And with Odimo I work to create opportunities for our staff to grow and be professionally fulfilled. We’re working to be an example – to be the change needed in our industry.

4.    Do you have favorite CREW story to share?
I’ve been a CREW member since June of 2005, and I think I have been attending CREW events since 2003, so there are too many good stories to share! Even the first luncheon I attended was memorable – the speaker was the Jane Flynn, an incredible Kansas City Preservationist. She spoke about the women in her book ‘ Kansas City Women of Independent Minds’. The experience of being in a room full of that many influential women for the first time, the fabulous business lunch atmosphere, combined with the candor and stories Jane shared, made a huge impression on me. I remember thinking – This is the place to be. These are my people.

5.    Is there a CREW woman that has made a huge impact on you and how so?
So many women come to mind. So many CREW KC women have been my advocate throughout my career and as I’ve started my business. I think it’s all of you – the Network. You all continue to impact me, inspire me, and drive me to keep doing more for the women in our industry.