2020 Young Architect Award Recipient
Emerging talent deserves recognition. The AIA Young Architects Award honors individuals who have demonstrated exceptional leadership and made significant contributions to the architecture profession early in their careers.
Ever enthusiastic and positive, Stacey Z. Keller, AIA, works tirelessly to advance the cause of architects and serve her community. Skilled in the art of building consensus, she works with numerous stakeholders to maintain the legacy of the country’s historic buildings. Keller is also a vital mentor to Wisconsin’s young architects and, as a lifetime member of the Girl Scouts, encourages young women to pursue careers in STEM-related and nontraditional fields.
As an architect, Keller’s professional work is rooted in her passion for historic preservation and the understanding that older buildings enhance the communities in which they are located. She is a recognized leader in Mead & Hunt’s government architecture group and serves as the historic preservation market leader in her hometown of Madison, Wisconisin. At the outset of every project, Keller endeavors to build trust among all stakeholders, recognizing that success relies on buy-in from all parties.
Keller’s engagement with AIA began during her time in Topeka, when she was recruited by AIA Kansas’ executive director to pursue leadership roles in the chapter. In 2007, she was tapped to serve as the Kansas representative for the AIA Central States Region with a mission to improve the experience of the region’s emerging professionals. Remembering her own struggles with licensure, she laid the foundation for what is now one of the most active emerging professional committees in the country. She was also AIA Topeka’s vice president from 2011 to 2012 and AIA Kansas’ convention chair. For the convention, she dedicated a day for the public to come and learn about community building and urban development economics.
Within six months of her return to Madison, she committed to serve in a series of leadership roles for AIA Southwest Wisconsin: vice president, president, and past president. Her service coincided with her engagement in AIA Wisconsin’s long-range planning sessions, which led to diversity goals; disaster preparedness work; and the launch of the Architect Mentor Program (AMP) leadership institute, which Keller co-founded. The seven-session AMP program is focused on enhancing the value of professional growth and development among the state’s young architects. Its first class completed the program in May 2019, and Keller continues to build awareness of it.
Since 2014, Keller has had a hand in developing AIA Wisconsin’s Disaster Preparedness and Assessment Program, organizing trainings and establishing a memorandum of understanding with the Wisconsin Emergency Management Group. She has presented the program to the state’s regional and county emergency managers and, in doing so, broadened the perception of architects and the profession in the greater community.
A true role model for the profession’s future leaders, Keller’s zeal for architecture’s many facets is infectious. She is an important ambassador for the profession and is always willing to go above and beyond in service of her fellow young architects.