Celebrating visionary leadership

by Arlinda Shtuni

We congratulate our CEO, Carole Wedge on being named the 2020 recipient of the Kemper Award. This significant award celebrates the legacy of Edward C. Kemper, the first Executive Director of the AIA. For the past seventy years, the award has been granted to an AIA member who has contributed “continued and significant service” to the AIA. Carole is the fourth woman to receive it.

Throughout her career in architecture and advocacy in the wider community, Carole has challenged conventions and incited organizations to become more transparent and diverse. Carole’s dynamic and collaborative leadership has powerfully impacted cornerstone institutions of our culture— from higher education and civic organizations to the architectural industry. By fostering a culture of inquiry and harnessing the momentum of a changing world, she has brought a clarity of vision on all levels of the profession. As the AIA noted in bestowing the award, “Boston’s architectural community has long benefitted from her influence and energy, and the national leadership roles she has assumed have allowed her to flatten the barriers inhibiting positive transformation.”

“Carole is such a positive and powerful role model, so steadfastly committed to equity, diversity, and inclusion, in her service and in her firm leadership. To take Shepley Bulfinch, a leading, 150-year-old firm, to national certification as a woman-owned business, with majority female leadership, is a hugely important example in and for the profession. She has shown us all what is possible, and that diversity and inclusion are good for business.” –Kate Schwennsen, FAIA, former AIA president

“She exudes passion for the idea that our profession can only be enhanced when opportunities are available to cultivate and include the creative talent currently untapped for reasons long ignored. Carole is helping our profession to see the connections that must be made now and into the future so that we may have a measurable impact and achieve a profession that has the demographic of the communities that we serve.” –Robert L. Easter, AIA, NOMAC