Each year the editors of Building Design + Construction (BD+C) honor 40 architects, engineers, contractors and real estate developers under 40 years old for their career achievements, passion for the architecture, engineering and construction (AEC) profession, involvement with AEC industry organizations, and community service. Ashley Hoolihan, AIA, LEED Green Associate, project manager and associate at St. Louis-based architecture, planning, urban design and interiors firm Trivers, is among BD+C’s elite 40 Under 40 class of 2023.
“The Trivers team is elated to see Ashley receive this much-deserved recognition,” said Trivers Principal Amy Gilbertson, FAIA, LEED Green Associate. “Ashley’s work ethic, passion for higher education institutions, and dedication to educating emerging professionals, especially young women, have always been a major asset to our firm.”
Early in her career, Hoolihan led construction management for the $41 million University of Pikeville Health Professions Education Building, which won three awards: a Merit Award from American Institute of Architects (AIA) Kentucky, a Merit Award from AIA St. Louis, and Optometry School of the Year from the National Optometric Association. Hoolihan completed this project all while becoming a licensed architect, being promoted to associate at Trivers, and becoming a mom.
She was also the first Trivers employee ever selected to speak at the AIA Conference on Architecture in 2018. Hoolihan said this presentation, “Turning Barriers into Opportunities: Women in Construction Administration,” is her single biggest professional accomplishment so far.
“When my co-presenter and I found out that our submission was selected, we both had newborns that were less than a month old,” Hoolihan told BD+C. “We both worked on the presentation during our sleep-deprived maternity leaves. We ended up giving a great presentation. The entire experience boosted my confidence as a new mother in architecture.”
Hoolihan has also made a positive impact on the culture at Trivers. Having experienced the challenges new parents face in the architecture industry, she helped promote a flexible work policy for all Trivers employees. She also founded and currently leads the firm’s Community Committee, which focuses on employee engagement, wellness and fulfillment. She assists in the hiring of new team members, too.
BD+C also noted Hoolihan’s roles as the Society for College and University Planning 2023 North Central Regional Conference chair and previous adjunct lecturer at Washington University, teaching Graduate Student Design Thinking and Building Systems as reasons for her selection. A resident of the Botanical Heights neighborhood, Hoolihan is one of only two individuals from St. Louis to be included in BD+C’s 40 Under 40 class of 2023.
“Juggling a career as a full-time architect and parent is especially challenging,” Hoolihan said. “As a woman and mother, this recognition is especially meaningful to me. I hope my story helps encourage others in similar situations to keep going and continue their meaningful work both in architecture and raising the next generation. I also want to thank everyone at Trivers for their support. I’m proud of the project teams I’ve been part of and grateful for the people I’ve worked with and met along the way.”