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SOLD OUT: Third Thursday: 50 Years of Chicago Women in Architecture


Join us after work on the Third Thursday of the month to unwind, connect with old and new friends, and learn from one another. Focusing on AIA Chicago members and their innovative and groundbreaking projects or initiatives, each month’s gathering will offer a different theme. Come to learn, eat and drink, and engage in lively conversation with the Chicago architecture community.

AIA Chicago and Chicago Women in Architecture team up to bring you a panel of incredible women who will be sharing their trajectory through architecture and design.  Each panelist has contributed to our city’s progress in distinctly different ways, and for the first time ever, are gathering together to have a conversation about what inspires them, how their vision led to their current success, and what the future holds for them.

Attendees are invited to create their own path with an interactive mural, meeting others with similar experiences and goals.  We invite everyone to bring a mentor or mentee to this event in the spirit of celebrating relationships that support and fuel our successes.


Nancy Abshire, AIA Member Emeritus joined SOM in 1968, and quickly responded to a call to action by Gertrude Lempp Kerbis to the few women in the Chicago architecture community, and became a founding member of CWA in 1974. Described by colleagues as an architectural pioneer, Abshire dedicated her career to activating the human potential within architecture through roles at SOM’s offices in Chicago and London, where Abshire helped establish the UK office.
Her impact on the careers of architects and the architectural landscape over more than half a century is inimitable. To date, her work has been acknowledged by the SOM London Office Award, the Society of Architectural Historians, and her service and leadership excellence was recognized by the Northwestern Alumni Association. CWAF is pleased to present Abshire with the 2021 Lifetime Achievement Award in partnership of CWA—the organization she helped forge in 1974. Originally hailing from Dayton, Ohio, Abshire received a Bachelor of Arts in Interior Design with departmental honors and a minor in French from Northwestern University and a Bachelor of Architecture from the University of Illinois at Chicago. She is a registered architect in Illinois and the United Kingdom, after studying at the Architectural Association, as well as with the National Council of Architectural Registration Boards.

Eve FinemanEve Fineman, Assoc. AIA is a curator, designer, educator, and scholar. As Director of Exhibitions at the Chicago Architecture Center (CAC), Eve oversees the planning and design of public exhibitions. Eve was formerly an Adjunct Professor at Columbia College Chicago and SAIC, and was an Associate Professor of Interior Architecture at The Illinois Institute of Art – Chicago for over a decade. She has an architecture degree from Washington University in St. Louis and the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, where she received an MFA in Interior Architecture. Eve has won numerous awards and has exhibited and been published widely, through her own collaborative, multi disciplinary design practice.

Tiffany Nash is a licensed architect in Illinois, Missouri, and indiana with over 25 years of experience and is an established expert in Library design. She found her passion in library design and opened product architecture + design with Dan Pohrte, where she has primarily focused on public library work for the last 17 years. She believes that the success of any library project relies on collaboration among the staff, community, Library Board, and the design team and that every library should reflect and support the community in which it resides. Tiffany graduated with a Master of Architecture from the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor and received a Bachelor of Science in Architectural Studies from University of Illinois in Urbana/Champaign where she also studied abroad at the Ecole d’Architecure et Urbanism in Versailles, France.

Aylen Pacheco is an architectural designer with a passion for equity in community development. Born in Mexico and raised on the west side of Chicago, she is motivated to leverage her experience and skills to support disadvantaged communities like her own. During university, her passion for inclusive design led her to co-found Human Scale, a 501(c)(3) design-build nonprofit with the goal of using architecture to make a positive impact in underserved communities around Chicago. Aylen’s interest in community-led projects also led her to join Beehyyve as an Associate Partner where she works on adaptive reuse, commercial, and affordable housing projects. As a young woman in architecture, Aylen aims to bridge the gap between innovative design and socially just urban development.

Headshot of Sharon SamuelsSharon M. Samuels, AIA, NOMA, IATSE, is a Chicago based Art Director, Architect, Designer and Artist. In 2015, after an almost twenty-year stint practicing architecture, Sharon expanded her career to design for film and television. Sharon has been recognized nationally for both her design work and her contributions to the architecture and design profession over the years. Like many architecture nerds, she started as a set designer drawing “way too much.” Sharon now works mainly as an Art Director, both in Chicago and nationwide. In 2017, she took a producing turn with the (very) short film “Inside the Box: The Story of Boxville” which was a finalist in the 2017 I Look Up Film Festival sponsored by The American Institute of Architects. In 2023, Sharon established blprint359, a media company that will produce original content for screens (large and small) and print. She continues her work in the Architecture field as a consultant for Beehyyve Collective, a design, engineering and construction firm based in Chicago.

Alexis Stumpf, AIA, EDAC is a mission-driven architect who aims to uplift individuals, nurture communities, and promote equality and inclusion in her work. She is passionate about affordable housing and workplace well-being, and helps to champion several well-being initiatives at LBBA, where she works as a senior project architect. Alexis believes that understanding is the ground needed to build all things, and that understanding can be gained through new experiences and connecting with others. In this spirit, she and her husband organized a sabbatical that spanned 13 months and 20 countries. Her newest adventure is learning to balance parenting with work and life as the mother of a 1-year-old.

Headshot of a woman smiling.

Breah Page, AIA, Panel Moderator, is a native of Waynesville, North Carolina, and received her Bachelor of Architecture Degree with distinction and a Minor in Interior Design from the University of Oklahoma. After graduating 2010, she landed in Chicago, soon emerging as a leader, known for her work in community-centered development, adaptive reuse, and historic preservation projects. She also is involved with numerous volunteer roles in service to the profession, including: the ACE Mentor program, Chicago Women in Architecture, Bridge and Wing Mentorship Programs, the Chicago Architecture Center Newhouse Design Competition, and serves as the co-chair for the AIA 2024 Women’s Leadership Summit in Chicago this October.

Sponsored By

Annual Third Thursdays Sponsors:

Community-Builder Sponsor

Thornton Tomasetti

Influencer Sponsor


Advocate Sponsors

ESD now Stantec
Sherwin Williams Logo

Third Thursdays Host Committee

Lauren Amt, AIA; Searl Lamaster Howe Architects
Susan Brain, AIA; Perkins&Will
Joe Cliggott, AIA; Stantec

Travis Soberg, AIA; Goettsch Partners


Thursday | 06.20.2024


6:00 pm - 8:00 pm



AIA Members/CWA Members: $15
Non-AIA Members: $25
Students: $5
Group Ticket (5): $60


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