Whether it’s because of the Wonder Woman Barbie at her desk, the occasional client gift of glittered boots, or possibly the abundance of chicken stories, one conversation with Sarah Hempstead, AIA, LEED AP, and you will know she isn’t just a typical female in a male-dominated industry. Below, we sit down to have a conversation and get to our CEO a bit more.
Where did you go to school?
I’m a Catholic school kid—St. Teresa’s Elementary and then Catholic Central High School in Springfield, Ohio. I went to Ball State to study architecture and I also studied for a short time in Russia, at the Volgograd State University of Architecture and Civil Engineering.
What inspires you?
Art, literature, lots of traveling, and even other people’s work!
If you could go anywhere in the world, where would it be?
I would love to return to the Greek Islands. I traveled there as part of an architecture trip in college and fell in love with the place. Because of their constant exposure to multiple cultures at the International School of Indiana, I think my girls would really appreciate being able to see and experience the beauty.
What do you do in your free time?
I’m usually really easy to find—either at work or on the soccer field or cross country course watching my daughters. We are also really blessed to have a close friends and a large extended family nearby, so free time is rare but fun!
This is like picking your favorite child—it’s too hard! My recent favorites are All the Light We Cannot See and American Gods.
Do you have any pets?
My brother-in-law bought my husband six chicks for his birthday one year. He just showed up on our doorstep out of the blue with these chicks in a box. It took us a couple of months to construct a coop for them and they have been good entertainment ever since. Though we are down to only four, we eat a lot of eggs! We also have an Australian Shepard that I like much better than the chickens.
You have a lot of unusual “treasures” at your desk. Tell me about your favorite?
I think my favorite is the Wonder Woman Barbie (in disguise as a secretary in the navy). My mother in law gave her to me knowing I have always loved Wonder Woman. Growing up, I made my own bullet proof bracelets out of aluminum foil!
When not at work, Sarah can be found about town with her husband, Greg (also an architect at Schmidt Associates) and her two girls, Norah and Caitlyn.