Promotion of Valerie Wright
Diekema Hamann is pleased to announce the promotion of Valerie Wright, LEED AP to a Principal of Diekema Hamann Architecture + Engineering. Valerie will join the current partnership team of Norman Hamann, Jr., Vicki Nelson, Warren Schemmer, Karl Kowalske, Nathan Jones, and Andy Becker.
Valerie Wright brings 23 years of experience and has worked with Diekema Hamann for 15 years as Lead Interior Designer. Valerie has taken part of hundreds of successful projects for DHAE as lead interior designer, particularly in the areas of healthcare, education, and non-profit sector. Valerie is a graduate from Michigan State University with a Bachelors of Art with Honor in Interior Design in 1989. She received the Morna Kline Award in 1989 for the student who exhibited outstanding creativity and talent in interior design. She was also involved with Mortar Board, Omicron Nu (her college's honor society), Phi Beta Delta (Honor Society for International Scholars), and the student chapter of ASID (American Society of Interior Designers).
During Valerie's employment as senior interior designer for DHAE, she has been a leader in interior design for all of DHAE's projects. Valerie is a LEED AP ID +C which publicly addresses the ongoing commitment she and Diekema Hamann have for buildings with energy and environmental concerns at the forefront of their designs. Valerie has been a member of the American Association of University Women since 1997. She served on the board of the local branch for many years and was its President for five. In 2008, she received one of her most cherished honors by way of a named gift in her honor for significant contributions to the mission of AAUW to the Educational Foundation by the local branch. The AAUW Educational Foundation is one of the largest grantors of scholarships to women, nationally and internationally.
Also as part of her involvement with AAUW, she testified at a public hearing hosted by the State of Michigan Women's Commission in 2004 about the need for increased support for and access to higher education for women, particularly those in transition and non-traditional students. She used a similar platform to lobby in Washington DC as a delegate to the national convention. On the State AAUW Membership committee Valerie co-produced and wrote a script as a Public Service Announcement about AAUW titled, "Fresh Faces of AAUW: Honor the Past, Embrace the Future." This was shown on Cable Access channels, colleges and universities and other venues statewide and locally on cable access.
Valerie was first elected to the Kalamazoo Public Library Board of Trustees in May of 2005 and is serving her second term. She has served as the President of the board and is currently Vice President. She feels like this is paying it forward for all of the leadership and guidance her mother gave to so many as the librarian at a small town library and now she gets to serve the people in the Kalamazoo Public Library area.
Valerie and her dad oversee an annual $1,000 Sally D. Rumfield Scholarship through the Friends of the Sunfield District Library in memory of her mother in the areas of library science, English, English Literature, and education. This scholarship extends the legacy and importance of education and reading that her mom so believed in and the impact she had on so many in the community.
Valerie states, "This partnership means a lot to me primarily as a validation that my core values as an interior designer and the underpinnings of my MSU Human Ecology roots, which places the main importance of a human and their relationship with the natural, social and built environment, as integral to everything we design, how we design with our collaborations and colleagues and what our experiences are with our clients. It is taking these core intrinsic design values and combines them with a legacy of community leadership and service to the local community and larger communities in which we live, work and play. These values are part of who we are at Diekema Hamann Architecture and Engineering and this partnership opportunity is a chance to continue and lead in these areas and make sure that future generations of architects and interior designers remember that we are designing for the people who heal, learn, worship, and work in our buildings."