DPW's 2021 Women's Month Celebration Spotlights Haewon Kim-LaBroad

Haewon Kim-LaBroad is a DPW Business member, celebrated professional and a registered architect with nearly two decades of healthcare planning and design experience in a wide range of project types and scale. Her strong interest in the psychological aspect of architecture- the impact built environment has on human psyche and behavior- fuels her desire to make a positive impact in architecture, especially for those who are most vulnerable and in need of a nurturing and healing environment.

Her areas of Specialties include: Healthcare Architecture, Healthcare Planning and Design, Outpatient Facilities

During DPW's 20201 Women's Celebration Month, Haewon was nominated to be spotlighted among her peers. In addition to being a leader in her profession, Haewon Kim-LaBroad was currently promoted to Associate Principal of her firm, Hoefer Welker. She is now the second highest ranking female in the company, and the only organically promoted female ever in the company to reach her level. She is truly a leader in her company. She is now also Co-Chair of the AIA Dallas Women in Leadership for the next two years and charged to continue empowering and leading other women in her profession. She is a true leader, mentor, teacher, and also very accredited, accomplished and talented in her field.

Let's learn more about Haewon...

DPW: What’s one thing you wish you had known when you began your career?

I thought architecture was about creating space and a physical building, but learned that it is so much more. Architecture is about community advocacy, social development, and cultural evolution. It’s about bringing people together to work, relax, celebrate, love and heal. Architects not only shape the space that we occupy, but have a hand in transforming the society in which we live and bringing people together.

DPW: What is your biggest failure, and what did you learn from it?

After the birth of my first child, I constantly struggled with balancing the competing demands of a challenging career and my family. I constantly worried about one while doing the other, and always felt like if I was succeeding at one, I was failing at the other. It caused a lot of personal stress and struggle mentally. I eventually learned to separate the two, by learning to focus and give 100% of my attention to role instead of trying to be everything at once. Through this struggle and realization, I realized that I could be successful at both.

DPW: What advice would you give someone wanting to pursue a career similar to yours?

Architecture is a rewarding yet extremely demanding profession. To be successful, you must focus on being good, being curious, and constantly learning and developing your skills. It is a time driven profession, so you must have patience to excel and rise in this industry. Always be proactive and the advocate for your own growth.

DPW: Who are the three people who have been the most influential to you? ∙ Who has been the biggest influence on your career? Why?

I grew up in a family of entrepreneurs who taught me that working hard, having passion and being committed will bring happiness and success. The motto I live and work by, “Do What You Love,” was ingrained in me by my parents and example they set throughout our lives.

DPW: What's the best advice you ever received?

The best advice I received in my career came from my boss right after I had my first child. I struggled with the balance of professional goals and aspirations versus responsibilities and commitments that came with being a new mom. John, being a family man himself, calmly explained that there are two paths I can take to achieve my goals and aspiration: the fast highway or the scenic route. He explained that as long as I maintained dedication to my growth and kept my eyes on the goal, both paths lead to same destination. The only difference is the speed in which I arrive, and it was okay to choose the more scenic route. To this day, when I face struggles of work‐ life balance, I remind myself of this conversation I had with him over a decade ago.

DPW: What lessons have you learned in your professional life?

In order to succeed, you have passion for what you do. If you don’t love what you do, it’s just work. Architecture is a demanding profession, but produces high return on social contribution, self‐fulfillment, and pride. One must always keep site of the passion and the why in choosing architecture as a profession in the first place. My motivation has always been the impact my work has on people lives, both emotionally and physically, particularly in healthcare when people are at their most vulnerable.

DPW: What professional achievement makes you proudest? Why?

I am most proud of the day I received my architectural licensure. It took almost 20 years in the making to take a dream I had as a little 8‐year old girl