Sara Herman | Age 31, Associate and director of interior design, SVPA Architects Inc.
Saturday, February 20, 2010 7:00 AM
Sara Herman is a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design Accredited Professional and an associate and director of interior design at SVPA Architects Inc. But she's used her design skills for more than her career.
As Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Iowa made plans to grow, Herman provided her expertise to help the organization better utilize the space at its current location.
"She listened carefully and provided a plan that would help us to accommodate more staff," wrote Althea Holcomb, CEO of Big Brothers Big Sisters. "She provided this service pro bono, but the manner and care in which she delivered this service suggested that she is highly successful with every client with whom she works."
In her role with SVPA since 2003, Herman has had the opportunity to work on a variety of projects, including the new Pella Christian High School and jobs with the West Des Moines Community School District. Currently, Herman is working on the Aviva USA corporate headquarters in West Des Moines.
"I think we try to look at everything holistically and work as a team between the architects and the designers," Herman said of her approach to a design project. "We want to carry through the overall context from exterior to interior so that the building has one identity throughout the entire building."
Herman has also been a mentor with Big Brothers Big Sisters, and helped mentor a girl from fourth grade through the eighth grade by meeting with her weekly. After that, Herman remained in the girl's life by meeting with her at least once a month to hang out and do activities.
Herman serves as alumni co-chair of the Greater Des Moines Leadership Institute, is a past president and current member of the International Interior Design Association Great Plains chapter, and is a member of the Young Professionals Committee.
"I think I have had a few mentors here, and the principals that we have here have kind of molded us," she said. "Ever since when I started as an intern here, I've been influenced by how they approach clients and how they approach design, and I think that has kind of meshed with how I deal with people, and that's really helped guide me in my career."