Staff Spotlight with Jenna Maier, AIA, cLSGB, EDAC

Jenna Maier

What is Your ROle at Wilmot Sanz?

Architect and Planner

Can you talk more about your area of focus at work?

My primary focus is master planning. What I love most about my work is that I’m able to develop concept design projects and ideas while concurrently working on projects across a wide range of phases of design and construction. Doing both at once provides valuable perspective – understanding a clients’ big picture vision influences decision-making while working through smaller design details and considerations (and vice versa!).

Describe your journey – to architecture, healthcare design, and Wilmot Sanz.

Growing up, I was involved in many extracurricular activities revolving around volunteering and giving back to our community and many members of my family work in professions that serve others (education, healthcare professionals, etc.). I knew in high school that I would pursue architecture but wanted to find a career path that was meaningful as well. I graduated from Virginia Tech and, after briefly working in other sectors, I found that my desire to create a lasting and positive impact through my work wasn’t being met. I quickly shifted gears and have been at Wilmot Sanz ever since. Healthcare design has such a tremendous effect on a really wide range of people – patients, healthcare workers, neighborhoods. I appreciate the opportunity we have at Wilmot Sanz to positively impact the communities around us.

How did these life experiences influence who you are as a designer (and as a person) today?

My parents are both cancer survivors and transplant recipients. Being with them throughout the process opened my eyes to healthcare from both the caregiver’s and patient’s perspective. Experiencing firsthand the doctors and nurses that worked so hard on my parents’ cases was unbelievable. It drives my focus on planning and process improvement – believing that efficient processes have direct impacts on positive outcomes and effective patient care.

Ski Slope

What are some of your passions outside of work?

Outside of the office, I like to travel. It can be anywhere – home to New Jersey, a road trip to explore a new city or flying further distances to slowly check destinations off my bucket list – but my favorite is taking a ski vacation.

Does your love of skiing at all influence how you approach your work?

Skiing is an adventure – I didn’t grow up on the slopes, so it’s never felt like second nature to me. I find that I push myself farthest outside of my comfort zone when I’m on a mountain, and I wholeheartedly believe that you grow in all areas of life when you’re pushed to be uncomfortable. I also find that even short getaways provide the chance to disconnect and bring renewed energy to my work.

I think the planning process benefits from a similar mindset. The best ideas are often rooted in honest, clear-eyed exploration of processes. It’s so important to break out of our comfort zones, take a step back, and challenge legacy thinking patterns to gain fresh perspective.

Jenna on the Ski Slope

What would you say is your superpower?

I have a pretty deep well of energy. I like to be involved and hate to feel like I’m missing out! In addition to daily work and life, I’m a board member for the Women in Healthcare Maryland Chapter, a guest critic for college level architectural studios, and played on the office’s soccer team (until I was forced into retirement when my dog ate my shin guards).

Can you share a few random fun facts about yourself?

  • I have a twin sister!
  • I (oddly) don’t like to sleep – I often wish I didn’t have to!
  • I’m a planner in all sense of the word and love a robust schedule or to-do list, even on the weekend.
  • I still love Legos!


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