Danielle Hermann
Danielle Hermann

Age 33 | Project architect, OPN Architects Inc.

It’s difficult to miss Danielle Hermann’s handiwork.

An architect with OPN Architects Inc. and, before that, Herbert Lewis Kruse Blunck (HLKB) Architecture Ltd., Hermann has participated in the renovation of Hoyt Sherman Place auditorium, the Salisbury House & Gardens and Terrace Hill.

But her involvement goes beyond what we see in brick and stone.

Hermann was a founder of Iowa Women in Architecture, an organization aimed at bringing women out of the shadows and keeping them in the profession. Prior to that, she founded a mentorship program and helped launch the Iowa chapter of the American Institute of Architects’ diversity committee.

She also found time to lecture at Iowa State University. Hermann and her husband, Joe, have two daughters: Lily, 6, and Claire, 4. Spare time is reserved for the girls and spending time with relatives.

Hermann’s interest in historic places started in college, where she also examined the role that women play in architecture. For one, they have few role models when they are young to suggest that they might find a career in architecture. And those who do make it into the profession often leave, frustrated by long hours that interfere with family time.

Hermann wants to set an example.

“I just feel a need to give back. I was pretty lucky in having good role models and strong influences in my life,” she said. “You think back and think about where you might have landed had you not had a few key people supporting you.”

Five reasons she’s a 40:

• Founder and chair of the Iowa Chapter of American Institute of Architect’s diversity committee.

• Founding a mentorship program with Iowa State University.

• Founder and charter member of Iowa Women in Architecture.

• I Have a Dream Foundation board member.

• Salisbury House & Gardens capital campaign committee.

Fun fact:

“Most people are amused by the fact that I am an identical twin.”