Hosted by AIA Indiana
Local Contact: Jason Shelley, Lisa Gomperts, AIA, and Jenelle Smalgala, AIA


Paired with the National Plenary, Indianapolis based participants will engage in local sessions designed to support attendees as they build skills and learn about leadership in this full day program. Utilizing the resource, "Living Your Life as a Leader" as a workbook resource, panel and workshop style presentations will demonstrate how leadership can be learned and applied in the practice of architecture. Highlights from our program include:

  • Jetpacks and Other Ways to Design the Future of Architectural Practice by Peter Exley, FAIA
  • Creating an Entrepreneurial Perspective with Kristian Anderson, Michael Bricker, Jenn Hoffmann, and Brandon Farley
  • Leading our Cities into the Future with Deputy Mayor of Community Development Jeff Bennett of the City of Indianapolis, Mayor Pete Buttigieg of the City of South Bend, Mayor Sherry Carran of the City of Covington, and former State Architect for the State of Indiana Jason Larrison.


Register by November 4, 2016 to attend this event in Indianapolis | Sold out >


The event will take place on Friday, November 18, 2016. The schedule below subject to adjustment. Download a PDF version of the schedule here.


Local Host

Lisa Gomperts, AIA
Lisa is a principal at Schmidt Associates in Indianapolis, and a lead project manager for the higher education studio. She has successfully led and facilitated the completion of over 50 projects of significance around the state of Indiana. Through her service to the AIA over the last 24 years, she has impacted thousands of members nationally and regionally and countless clients through her passion for creating and implementing quality educational programming and learning opportunities towards building better educational environments through transformative design.


Jenelle Smagala, AIA, NCARB
In 1998, Jenelle took a leap of faith and started her own firm, where she could test that philosophy to bring engineers, contractors and vendors into the design-building phase early on. The risk paid off. Before its 4-year-anniversary in 2002, the firm had been involved in projects totaling more than $20 million. And, today, her firm of nearly 20 professionals has designed corporate research labs, neuroscience suites, award-winning civic buildings and healthcare facilities. Her firm – Synthesis Incorporated – has designed spaces for Eli Lilly, Methodist Hospital, Purdue University, Indianapolis International Airport, IU Health, City of Indianapolis, Eskenazi Health and the list goes on. In addition to growing a thriving, reputable design firm, Smagala was president of the American Institute of Architects Indiana in 2015, and has served on the board since 2008.  

KEYNOTE: jetpacks and other ways to design the future of architectural practice


Peter Exley, FAIA, RIBA
Peter is an architect, designer and advocate for play, public space and participatory experience. Hailing from Yorkshire, he arrived in Chicago for a year in 1985. He has mostly been there ever since, and founded Architecture Is Fun on April Fools' Day 1994. He is a Full Professor at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, the co-host of PechaKucha Night Chicago, winner of the Benjamin Moore HUE Award, was the 2013 President of AIA Chicago and currently serves on the national Strategic Council of the American Institute of Architects.

PANEL: creating an entrepreneurial perspective


Kristian Anderson
Kristian works with entrepreneurs and business leaders to design compelling brand experiences, create new business models, and innovate new products and services. He co-founded High Alpha, a New Venture Studio that conceives, operates and scales enterprise cloud companies. He founded and serve as the CEO of Studio Science, a design + innovation consultancy and is also an active angel investor and co-founder of Gravity Ventures, a seed-stage venture fund that invests in tech-focused startups. Kristian co-founded a few startups, including; TinderBox, Lessonly, and Pathagility. He also sits on a few start-up and non-profit boards, co-founded The Speak Easy & Indy Made, and serve as a mentor at The Iron Yard, RunUpLabs, and the ARK Challenge accelerators. 


Jenn Hoffman
Jenn leads the Pivot team in strategic planning and market research. Her attention to detail and commitment to strategy make her a trusted resource and adviser for our clients. She also serves on the boards of the IPS Education Foundation and Indianapolis Parks Foundation, is the Past President of the IABC Indianapolis Board of Directors, and teaches a fifth grade Sunday school class at St. Matthew Catholic Church.  Prior to Pivot, Jenn graduated cum laude from the University of Notre Dame with degrees in marketing and graphic design and led marketing strategies for Print Resources and the Stutz Art Gallery.



Michael Bricker
Michael is the Founder and Chief Innovator of PEOPLE FOR URBAN PROGRESS (, an Indianapolis-based non-profit and urban design do-tank. Through PUP, Michael served as the Steering Committee Co-Chair of Indy Rezone, the city's first zoning ordinance update since the 1970s. In addition to being featured in Dwell Magazine, Michael has presented PUP's work at DesignBoom in New York, Brightworks Innovation Day in Toronto, and Creative Mornings in Indianapolis. Additionally, Michael is a production designer and filmmaker whose work has recently been featured at TriBeCa, Sundance and SXSW film festivals, as well as in several national television commercials.


Brandon Farley, AIA - Moderator
Brandon is the Higher Education Design Director at American Structurepoint, and has spent his last dozen years in the architecture profession focusing on education in his volunteer and professional work. He’s proud to have happy clients at every major University in Indiana, including his alma mater, Ball State University. He has served as committee member and Chairman of AIA Indianapolis’ Young Architects Forum, and has introduced thousands to the profession of architecture and the importance of design through his work with the Indiana High School Architecture Design Competition and architecture summer camp at the Indianapolis Art Center. Brandon is honored to have been an AIA Special Service Award Recipient, an Indy’s Best and Brightest Finalist, and most recently, the 2016 AIA Indiana Young Architect Award winner.

PANEL: leading our cities into the future


Jeff Bennett, LEED GA
Jeff is the Deputy Mayor of Community Development for the City of Indianapolis. Jeff joined the administration of Mayor Joe Hogsett with two decades of experience working in and with neighborhoods, and Indiana nonprofit organizations. Jeff works to restructure and coordinate city departments to better serve neighborhoods, aiming to increase ease of interaction, break down bureaucratic silos, and improve customer service.



Mayor Pete Buttigieg
Mayor Buttigieg is the chief executive of the City of South Bend, Indiana. The city's 32nd mayor, he was sworn into office on January 1, 2012 and was re-elected for a second term of office on November 3. As mayor, Buttigieg is responsible for the city work of over 1,000 employees and an annual budget over $300 million. Buttigieg is working to strengthen the local economy by retaining and attracting businesses, partner with the local public school system, manage a cutting-edge city administration, improve neighborhood quality of life, and use proven methods to enhance public safety. Elected at the age of 29, he is one of America’s youngest mayors of a city with over 100,000


Mayor Sherry Carran
Mayor Carran is Covington Kentucky's 41st Mayor, serving three two-year terms as a City Commissioner starting in 2007 before becoming Mayor in January 2013.  Her focus has been to build on the strengths of Covington that she believes is the City’s location to the Ohio and Licking Rivers, the beautiful hillsides of Devou Park, and the City’s wonderful historic architecture. Mayor Carran represents Covington on: Housing Authority of Covington Commission; Ohio Kentucky & Indiana Regional Council of Governments;  Planning and Development Services (PDS) of Kenton County Management Board; Northern Kentucky District Health Board; Northern Kentucky Area Development District Board; and Kentucky League of Cities Board.


Jason Larrison, AIA - Moderator
Jason is Director of Indianapolis’ Business and Neighborhood services, has been a champion for design and proactively promotes quality design throughout the city. He developed new procedures and standards for temporary structures for public and private events, which has become a model that other cities have adopted.  Prior to his current position, Jason served as the State Architect for the State of Indiana. He was awarded the AIA Indiana Young Architect Award in 2015 for his work to initiate improved communications between architects and the government bodies that employ and regulate them, promoting public design, and protecting public safety.


The Platform at City Market 202 East Market Street, Indianapolis, IN 46204

Reception to follow at: Tomlinson Tap Room, Mezzanine level of the Historic Market House



Detailed information about the National Plenary
and learning objectives.

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