After receiving her Bachelor of Architecture from Drury University, Rita Baron worked for a large architectural firm. Soon, wanting to express her own style, Ms. Baron decided to open her own firm. Now in its sixteenth 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. Realizing the strong need for housing solutions, Ms. Baron’s passion became focused on building efficient and sustainable, quality housing with useful amenities that provide a foundation for strong communities. She began working to identify communities where she could provide, not only housing solutions to meet the city’s needs, but also jobs to the local economy.
Ms. Baron extended her talents to become a property developer in Missouri, Illinois, Colorado, Oklahoma, Florida, Arkansas, Texas, and 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 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. Her service includes
- Chair of the Drury University Board of Trustees, her alma mater
- Vice-Chair of the Board of Directors at OakStar Bank
- Board Member of the Springfield Chamber of Commerce
- Former Board and Executive Committee member of Isabel’s House Crisis Nursery
- Former Board Member Springfield Symphony Orchestra
- Former Board Member Springfield Arts Council
Recognized nationally, Rita Baron is a member of
- Women’s Business Enterprise (WBE)
- Associate member of the American Institute of Architects
- U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC)
- Young President Organization (YPO)
- Construction Specification Institute (CSI)
- National Council of Architecture Registration Board (NCARB)
She has been honored as
- Springfield, Missouri’s Most Influential Businesswomen, 2011
- Prestigious Missourian Award, 2015
- Women Who Mean Business, Biz 417 Magazine, 2016
Ms. Baron is fluent in Arabic, French and English.