Ron Fisher, AIA, LEED AP
July 25, 1956 – April 5, 2023
Ron Fisher, AIA, LEED AP, our friend, mentor, and long-time principal at Schmidt Associates, passed away on April 5 at the age of 66. Born and raised on Indianapolis’s Southside, Ron was drawn to architecture from an early age, spending countless hours drawing, building, and impacting the world around him. He graduated from Southport High School and received dual bachelor’s degrees in Architecture and Environmental Design from Ball State University in 1979.
After graduation, Ron received a call from Wayne Schmidt, AIA, LEED AP. Schmidt Associates had been hired by Indianapolis Public Schools and needed design help. This call led to a 43-year career at Schmidt Associates, where he served in many roles, finally as Principal-in-Charge and Chairman of the Board. He committed early to developing a team and was instrumental in hiring and mentoring countless architects and engineers, including CEO and Principal Sarah Hempstead, AIA, LEED AP; CFO Brett Quandt; and COO Kevin Shelley, AIA, LEED AP. Ron’s commitment to the profession and the firm’s core value of servant leadership will live on through everyone he influenced.
Throughout his career, Ron’s leadership and business acumen led to many significant contributions in the Midwest, including notable projects such as the Indianapolis-Marion County Civil & Criminal Courthouse, NCAA Headquarters and Hall of Champions, five residence halls on the Ball State University campus, the West Perry Library, and many K-12 projects across the state of Indiana, including for Indianapolis Public Schools, Franklin Township Community School Corporation, Muncie Community Schools, and Perry Township Schools. He repeatedly stated that education projects were his favorites because of the lasting impacts they left on young people.
Ron believed “What gets measured gets done.” He constantly pushed the Schmidt Associates team to create new systems and processes that improve accuracy, to automate wherever possible, and to create better long-term solutions built on understanding foundational data. He believed creativity and collaboration were imperative to running a successful business, and he was never satisfied with business as usual.
An advocate for the Ball State University College of Architecture and Planning (CAP), Ron served on numerous planning and advisory committees and supported more than 130 CAP student interns during his tenure at Schmidt Associates. He was also a board member for various organizations, including WFYI Public Radio, East Tenth United Methodist Children and Youth Center, the Franklin Township Education Foundation, the Greater Indianapolis Progress Committee, and the Indianapolis Sunrise Optimist Club. Ron’s operational leadership resulted in the firm receiving industry-wide recognitions from TRC Companies, the Michiana Area Construction Industry Advancement Fund, the Indianapolis Business Journal, the Engineering-News Record, the Architectural Record, AIA Indiana, the Indianapolis Chamber of Commerce, and the Indiana Chamber of Commerce.
Ron is survived by his wife of 44 years, Susan, their children, Aaron Fisher (Nichole), Lauren Fisher, Nikki Landes (Brandon) and grandchildren, as well as his mother and siblings. He was recognized for his exceptional work and contributions to the Midwest architecture and design community with numerous awards, including the Ball State University College of Architecture and Planning Outstanding Achievement Award in 2005, the Distinguished Alumni Award in 2021, and the 2022 Edward D. Pierre Award from AIA Indiana.
Ron’s passion for design and data, his love of working together, and his mentorship will be deeply missed. Rest in peace, Ron, and may your memory always be a blessing.