On June 16, 2022, VANOMA hosted Willie Cooper, AIA, NOMA – VANOMA board member and Principal with Clark Nexsen. Willie shared with us the story of his career path, broken into four chapters and including 10 lessons that define him as an architect. Take a listen to this phenomenal conversation, below, about his experience as an "air force brat" living in Japan as well as an architecture student and working professional in the States.
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The main distinction between a draftsperson and an architect is that the architect is willing to take responsibility for their vision. All progress by minorities in this country comes from special people who stay focused on the job, not the glory. They accept responsibility for their progress. WILLIE COOPER, AIA, NOMA
Celebrating Willie Cooper
Willie Cooper currently serves as a Senior Architect and Principal with Clark Nexsen in Virginia Beach, Virginia, and brings more than 38 years of design experience to his role. Spanning multiple markets, his expertise includes federal and municipal work as well as office space, public housing, residential, academic, and entertainment projects. Willie has designed and managed complicated public and private projects, building a reputation as a team player who remains focused on achieving the client’s goals. He holds a Bachelor of Architecture from Virginia Tech and started his career with Sims Varner (now SDG Associates) in Detroit.
In addition to being a VANOMA board member, Willie also serves as a member of AIA Virginia's Inclusivity Into the Profession Task Force, which focuses on the role of transitioning students of various pathways into the profession of architecture. This includes inclusivity of
community colleges, four-year architecture programs, and K-12 engagement.
In 2021, VANOMA nominated Willie Cooper for NOMA Member of the Year for his efforts in helping VANOMA implement a strategic plan as well as encouraging the development of our chapter website.
Learn more about Willie Cooper
Read more about Virginia Tech's School of Architecture
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