Michelle Acosta Installed as 2016 President of AIA Pasadena + Foothill Chapter

Michelle Acosta, AIA, EDAC, an architect specializing in healthcare design and planning in HDR’s Los Angeles office, is the sixth female president of the AIA Pasadena + Foothill chapter since it was established in 1948. At 32 years old, she is the youngest woman ever to hold the position, which involves leading a 13-member board and nearly 400 members.

Covering a large area encompassing Pasadena and the surrounding cities, one of Michelle’s focuses has been to tie the organization’s programming to industry-wide issues. The current issue being addressed is the shortage of architecture industry professionals post-recession. “We’re all shorthanded in the 10- to 15-year experience range,” she says. Meeting topics covered this year include creating a multigenerational workplace, mentoring, and diversity and inclusion.

Michelle is no stranger to the AIA. She most recently served on the regional executive committee for the Western Mountain Region from 2011 to 2013 when she worked out of HDR’s Phoenix office. She was transferred to HDR’s Los Angeles office in 2013, and initially served as president-elect of the Pasadena + Foothill Chapter. Michelle also holds a board position on the AIA California Council, which advocates for the 22 AIA chapters in the state.

“An extraordinary young professional, Michelle exemplifies the continuing legacy of the architecture profession to be of ever-increasing service to society,” says Paul Welch, Jr., executive vice president of the AIA California Council. “Michelle is passionate about the value of design, and she is thoughtful, pragmatic, and very collaborative. As president of the Pasadena + Foothill Chapter, her calm and effective leadership will be both welcome and effective at the national, state, and local levels of the AIA.”