TZL 1377 (web)



Represent everyone: Shannon Acevedo Improved representation improves our ability to problem-solve, to be strategic with our strengths, and to think critically and comprehensively about topics.

By SARA PARKMAN Senior Editor

A cevedo currently plans and manages development for residential, commercial, and industrial projects with Matthews Design Group. Previously, she led a team of planners in development review for St. Johns County, a government within northeast Florida. She was a member of Zweig Group’s 2020 ElevateHer cohort. Zweig Group founded ElevateHer as a commitment to embrace, promote, and ensure equal opportunities for everyone in the AEC industry regardless of gender, race, age, sexual orientation, or ethnicity. “It is important to ensure that diversity and inclusion in the AEC industry is a priority, as these fields affect everybody,” Acevedo says. “We deal with developing the spaces around which we live and work which should represent everyone, not just a minority.” A CONVERSATION WITH SHANNON ACEVEDO. The Zweig Letter: You’ve had a colorful work history

spanning regional planning work to educational non- profit research. What is something you learned in a previous role that is still valuable today? How is it valuable? Shannon Acevedo: I did a brief teaching stint for a K-8 school in downtown Phoenix. It was the most difficult position I’ve ever had with a high physical and mental demand. It forced me to be prepared, intentional, and to constantly think on my feet. This experience helped me tremendously in my presentation skills and ability to improvise when needed in the planning field. TZL: What made you decide to share your story and apply for the 2020 ElevateHer cohort? SA: Honestly, I was not aware there was such a disparity of women compared to men in the industry and was moved by the statistics shared with me from Zweig Group and Jamie Claire Kiser. I think it is important to ensure that


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