Gresham Smith’s Valarie Franklin Appointed to MDHA Design Review Committee
Gresham Smith is proud to announce that Valarie Franklin, AIA, NOMA, an architect in the firm’s Corporate + Urban Design studio, has been appointed to the City of Nashville’s Metropolitan Development and Housing Agency (MDHA) Design Review Committee. As a committee member, Franklin will review plans for new construction and renovations in redevelopment zones in the downtown Nashville area, using her nearly 20 years of architectural experience to help guide the city’s growth.
“As a native Nashvillian, I’ve had the opportunity to witness our city’s transformation first-hand. I’m excited about the opportunity to give back to my hometown and look forward to using my knowledge and experience to shape the future of Nashville,” said Franklin. “By carefully considering each project’s unique requirements, and understanding that cost-effectiveness, efficiency and functionality matter as much as aesthetics, context and culture, we can create spaces that appeal to the communities they serve and contribute to the vitality of Nashville.”
Franklin is passionate about using her voice, talents and time to help solve problems for underserved and underrepresented members of her community. In addition to her involvement with the MDHA Design Review Board, she founded the Nashville chapter of the National Organization for Minority Architects, mentors students in the Tuskegee University Architecture and Construction program and has volunteered with the Architecture Construction Engineering (ACE) Mentor Program of America program at Nashville’s MLK Magnet High School. Franklin also co-chaired Gresham Smith’s 2018 United Way campaign and regularly helps host fundraisers for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. In April 2019, she was honored with the firm’s annual Community Impact Award for the positive impact she’s had on her community.