Aeron Hodges, AIA
Principal, Stantec Architecture
This is the second profile of an ongoing series that profiles WLI members. WLI’s mission is to increase both the number and visibility of women leaders throughout ULI’s vast network and the CRE industry.
How many years have you been in the CRE/architecture industry?
- 14 years. I studied mathematics and physics in college but knew I wanted to be an architect since a young girl.
What’s your motto that motivates you?
- The most successful designs are also agents of positive social change.
- Design solutions should be societal solutions, either through sustainability, affordability, or equality. This motto is inspired by one of my alumni at University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Patricia Saldaña Natke, FAIA, ALA, NCARB. Her Chicago-based firm UrbanWorks does beautiful affordable housing projects.
If there’s one piece of advice that you would give to someone entering CRE, what is it?
- Be opened-minded and never stop exploring. There are so many different roads that lead to a fulfilling career, so it is imperative to remain curious.
- There’s more than one way to solve every setback. It’s important to recognize the root of each challenge and to think of alternative, new ways of tacking it.
What’s your favorite thing about real estate?
- The people! I love working with a diverse group of clients who come to me with different sets of challenges every day. I also love working with my team at Stantec and feel thankful to be part of a creative, and collaborative super-team.
What’s your biggest career accomplishment?
- I led the research team that helped former Boston Mayor Martin J. Walsh’s administration rollout Boston’s Compact Living Pilot. Before this policy, innovation units were only present in the Seaport and now opportunity has opened in other neighborhoods throughout the city. The purpose of the plan is to help Boston build more apartments that are well-designed and more affordable. It intends to help create living spaces where people have easy access to work and play.
Name one – two fun facts that people may not know about you.
- I’m a computer gamer and love playing strategy and RPG games. Games are full of problem solving in an immersive world where your imagination can run fee. I find it very invigorating when finding inspiration or when switching gears.
- My parents named me “beautiful melody” in Chinese and started my formal piano training at age three, hoping that I would become a concert pianist one day. Sorry mom and dad!
Why do you find ULI/WLI valuable?
- Exposure to women in real estate can be so limited and we have few women in leadership roles. The work of WLI to promote women/ensure our voices are heard is invaluable and the more people that join, the better.
- Personally, ULI/WLI have been an outstanding way for me to connect with other industry experts. The organization is unique in that its heavily focused on networking and getting connected, as well as meaningful content. It’s fascinating to read through the ULI’s studies/papers – it’s clear a passionate knowledge-based network is behind and involved in the organization.
Learn more about WLI here: https://americas.uli.org/programs/leadership-network/womens-initiative/wli-executive-committee/ and connect with Aeron on LinkedIn here: https://www.linkedin.com/in/aeron-hodges-aia-31832222/