Most Influential Business Women 2019: Lorraine Ward, Hastings+Chivetta Architects

By on August 13, 2019

From St. Louis Business Journal: Lorraine Ward grew up in East St. Louis, the 13th of 14 children, assisting her father and brothers with drywall work. That early interest drove her to pursue a bachelor’s degree in architectural studies at the University of Illinois.

“We owned properties and I watched them fix things up and wanted to do that too,” Ward said. “We were brought up on strong values: working hard, doing well in school. My work ethic started at home, and I took that with me as I grew up.”

Ward, 49, currently works as senior associate and director of professional services at Hastings+Chivetta Architects, an architectural firm in St. Louis that focuses on colleges, universities, community and corporate spaces. She has been at the company for 12 years.

“I wanted to really make a difference,” Ward said. “Architecture isn’t just designing for the rich and the famous. For me, it meant trying to make a difference in my neighborhood, try to build better housing for those that couldn’t afford better housing.”

Before joining Hastings+Chivetta, Ward wanted to get hands-on experience in as many aspects of construction, design, and building as possible. She took on roles in a construction department at Laclede Gas Co. (today known as Spire), a structural steel detailer at Alberici, and as a building inspector at the University City planning department.

“I wanted to know how each piece went together,” she said. “I thought that would make me a better professional. Period.”

On her first assignment at Hastings+Chivetta, she worked as a construction administrator, coordinating all design and construction work for a $22 million recreation center at Indiana State University. The team completed the project a month early and within budget. Since then, she has managed $218 million in construction projects for 20 projects across St. Louis and the country.

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