After receiving her Bachelor of Architecture from Drury University, Rita Baron worked for a large architectural firm. Later, Ms. Baron wanted to express her own style and created her own firm. Now in its thirteenth year and growing fast, her architectural firm, Baron Design and Associates LLC, is known to have made its mark in the landscape of Missouri, Arkansas, Florida, Illinois, Texas, Oklahoma, Colorado, Georgia, Nevada, Nebraska, Kansas, Ohio, Indiana, Minnesota, Massachusetts and New Hampshire with a diverse array of structures that include medical, financial and government institutions; corporate and university facilities; senior and family affordable housing as well as restaurant and hospitality establishments.
Ms. Baron spread her talents to become a property developer in Missouri, Illinois, Colorado, Oklahoma, Florida as well as in California with projects ranging from hospitality, residential subdivisions, retail centers and affordable housing. She is experienced in all facets of development, including new construction, historic, adaptive re-use, and acquisition/rehabilitation. She recognizes the need for the preservation of existing structures. Ms. Baron is very involved through all phases of a project from the planning, zoning issues, government/technical regulations, design, bidding and construction phases of a project to its final inspections in order assure the highest quality.
Ms. Baron and her architectural firm were the first in the nation to achieve the LEED Gold certificate in a hospitality industry project for Hilton Hotels. In addition, two of her projects received prestigious awards for senior housing that involved renovation and, through her efforts, received historic registration on the state and national levels.
Ms. Baron is a franchisee of Marriott International and previous franchisee of Einstein Brothers' Bagels in Springfield, Missouri and downtown Chicago, Illinois.
In addition, she gives to her community and university. She serves on the Drury University Board of Trustees, the Executive Committee of her alma mater. She serves as chair of the Campus Operations and Sustainability Committee. Over fifty percent of her employees are fellow Drury graduates.
She is the former Board and Executive Committee member of Isabel’s House Crisis Nursery, Springfield Symphony Orchestra and Springfield Arts Council. She also serves as Vice-Chair of the Board of Directors at OakStar Bank.
Recognized nationally, Rita Baron is a member of the Women’s Business Enterprise (WBE), Associate member of the American Institute of Architects, U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) and the Young President Organization (YPO), Construction Specification Institute (CSI) and the National Council of Architecture Registration Board (NCARB). In 2011, she was honored as one of Springfield, Missouri’s Most Influential Businesswomen and was a 2015 recipient of the prestigious Missourian Award. In 2016, she was named one of the Women Who Mean Business in Biz 417 Magazine.
Ms. Baron is fluent in Arabic, French and English.