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21CE - Advocating for Architects

24 May 2018 10:30 AM - 12:00 PM

1.5 ConEd Learning Hours

This workshop will address ways in which architects can raise their profile and promote themselves by engaging with public buyers, politicians and industry stakeholders to advocate for architects, and for architecture. Using social media, networking and communication strategies to raise awareness of the role of architects in society, the economy and culture, the workshop will draw on personal experience to illustrate methodologies for engagement including the digital tools and tactics.

Learning Objectives

    1. Identify themes that start conversations with the community, politicians, media and procurement authorities–tell a story of what matters to everyone when it comes to great design.
    2. Learn how to advocate for a position by championing an idea, focusing on a particular topic of interest or angle.
    3. Understand how to listen to media messaging and correlate the connection between what others speak about and your story to build a relationship.
    4. Identify key messages, and a media for communication, to build momentum and credibility.


Toon Dreessen, OAA, PP.OAA, FRAIC, AIA, LEED AP, and Shelley True

Toon Dreessen is a graduate of Carleton University and recipient of the Alpha Rho Chi graduation medal. He became a member of the OAA and a member of the Architecture Canada (RAIC) in 2005. Toon is a certified LEED AP and a member of the American Institute of Architects (AIA). He is the president of Dreessen Cardinal Architects Inc, a 14-person, Ottawa-based practice serving the Ottawa and Ottawa Valley region, with a company history going back more than 40 years. As the face of the company, he responsible for ensuring excellence in the quality of the work and continues to ensure ongoing ISO 9001 Certification. He leads the company in project development and is responsible for award-winning projects in infill development, as well as laboratory, research, industrial and high-profile projects. He began volunteering with the OAA in 2006, serving six years on the Practice Committee. He was a member of OAA Council from 2012 to 2017, serving on numerous committees, including representing the shareholder interests as a board member of Pro-Demnity Insurance, VP Communications, SVP-Treasurer and President 2015-2016. In 2016, Toon was honored with membership in the RAIC College of Fellows.

Shelley True is a trail-blazer in Ottawa’s business community. Never one to take the easy route or just wait for doors to open, she took the bold step of acquiring the award-winning Ottawa-based firm Avenue Design and has successfully merged the two companies under the TRUEdotDESIGN brand to build on two decades of experience while seamlessly integrating the culture, approach, mission and values of both firms—no small feat! At TRUEdotDESIGN, Shelley oversees a team of 14 vibrant and talented women, and continues to lead the way as the award-winning agency of choice, providing strategic marketing, branding, design and social media for companies within the architectural, engineering, property development and construction sectors. Known as a natural connector, Shelley is a champion of women entrepreneurship and women in business, believing that mentorship and encouragement is the role of all business leaders (not just women). She is on the board of directors for the annual Women in Business Conference and co-hosts Fore-Play for Charity, a women’s golf tournament which connects women leaders in the construction industry, while raising funds and awareness for Women’s Mental Health Programs at The Royal. Innovative and energetic, Shelley is leading the TRUEdotDESIGN team onto the national stage as they support the business growth and impact of their clients across Canada.