Trailblazer at its best!
By Roberto Hugo Gonzalez
As originally published by Texas Border Business newsprint edition June 2018
Laura Warren is President and Principal of the Warren Group Architect, Inc. with over 32 years of award-winning experience in the design and construction industry in the United States, Mexico, and South America.
During the 2ndAnnual City of McAllen International Women’s Day breakfast symposium, also titled Class of 2818 Female Community Trailblazers in McAllen. Laura participated as one of the panelists and graciously responded to questions of benefit to an audience comprised of women.
The event was designed to convey a message for females, it was said the world of work is changing with significant implications for women.
There were more female community trailblazers as they were called. Aside from Laura, other panelists were invited and recognized like Paula Gonzales, Athletic Director for McAllen ISD; Alma Ortega Johnson, Wells Fargo Bank Region Bank president for South Texas and El Paso; Angela Navarrete, Entravision Senior Vice President of Integrated Marketing Solutions, and Dr. Shirley Reed president of South Texas College.
While Xochitl Mora, Director of the Office of Communications for the City of McAllen was introducing everyone, Jim Darling, McAllen city mayor was waiting his turn to the podium to address the large group of females attending the breakfast.
To be among so many professional women is overwhelming. To get to know and witness the recognition of high ranking females working for the city of McAllen is a unique experience.
Professionals like, Michelle Leftwich, Assistant City Manager; Susan Lozano, finance director; Kate Horan, McAllen public library director; Elizabeth Suarez, McAllen International Airport Aviation director, and Angie Rodriguez budget director. I kid you not, this is a casting of epic proportions.
At the meeting also present, Piedad Martinez, community development block grant director; Julie Rankin; planning director; Carla Rodriguez, Grant director; Christina Torres human resources director; Elvira Alonso, public works director; Rebecca Olaguibel retail and business development director and Yolanda Perez, risk and loss prevention director. Impressive, right? All heavy hitters.
If you ask me who is running the City of McAllen, I’ll ask you to read the list again!
Xochitl had mentioned that one day during a staff meeting they noticed that half of the room were women. “That is pretty remarkable for any organization.” She said, “I think that’s one of the many reasons that the City of McAllen is the leader in the Rio Grande Valley.”
The panelists also left an indelible impression, all of them were also among the best of their field. Today we talk about Laura, as a professional architect, she offers business-oriented design and planning solutions for a wide variety of clients, specializing in the manufacturing, healthcare, and public sector industries.
Her extensive knowledge in multiple construction trades and building codes has placed her at the top of the industry and her services are sought-after nationwide for companies, worldwide.
She’s married to Dan Ogletree and is the proud mother of two children – William Austin and Rebecca Nicole.
Laura graduated with top honors with a degree in architecture and building science from the University Autonomous of Ciudad Juárez. She also studied professional practice urbanism at Auburn University and contemporary art and painting from the National Institute of Fine Arts in Mexico City.
Laura holds numerous industry certifications and affiliations and has served on many local boards in the community.
She specializes in manufacturing, healthcare, and public sector industries. she has architectural projects in McAllen in our community including UTRGV Research Facility United Way of South Texas, McAllen International Airport, Pharr Aquatic Center and STC Student Activities building.
Laura was asked, what advice would you give to your 20-year old self?
Without hesitation, Laura said, “Every life is a book. At the age of 20, I lost my father and became the Chief Executive Officer of a 400 driver, second largest bus company in Mexico, which my father led and owned. I was shaking, I was doubting.” She continued, I guess I would tell myself like I would tell anybody at that age, keep on, believe in yourself, just keep on”.
There were very few people in the audience that knew that she endured losing her father at that age and that she had to face reality equals to taking the bull by horns and keep on.
That is why Laura Nassri Warren, AIA is featured in this article. Her professionalism, dedication and her contribution to the community makes her a true trailblazer.