MKDA Celebrates Women's History Month: Amanda Hertzler

In honor of Women’s History Month, let’s shine a spotlight on Amanda Hertzler, our dynamic Regional Managing Principal, Southeast, who leads our Miami studio!

Amanda serves as the driving force behind our interior design and architectural studios in Miami. Her visionary leadership, intelligence and diverse skill set have propelled MKDA into new sectors such as multifamily, hospitality, and mixed-use developments, significantly broadening our impact. All the while, she continues to steer the success of our workplace studio.

Let’s commemorate Amanda’s extraordinary accomplishments in design and influence as a woman leader and mentor as we celebrate Women’s History Month!

Who are your female role models or sources of inspiration in the field, and how have they influenced your approach to design and leadership?

I’ve always had strong female mentors throughout my career that have shown me compassion and kindness while being strong and assertive. I’m now surrounded by females in my office everyday that continue to remind me of those attributes and inspire me to be a respectful leader, a more conscious professional, and most importantly, a trusted friend.

What steps do you believe the architecture and interior design industry can take to further promote diversity and inclusion, particularly for women?

Hire women. Promote women. Pay women. And then, most importantly, step back and trust them to do their job their way.

What do you think makes women strong leaders?

For centuries, women have been asked to “stay in their place and be quiet”. In doing so, we’ve learned how to read rooms, people, and situations. With that comes an inherent diplomacy for negotiation and empathy for our neighbors. We build communities as we build our families. We teach our colleagues as we teach our children. We earn respect through hard work, not bullying. We gain trust through giving it, not demanding it. And finally, always in our quietness, we listen and continue to be more informed and successful.

What advice would you give to young women aspiring to pursue a career in architecture or interior design and eventually reach leadership positions?

Everyone has a boss, including your boss. And everyday, your boss(es) will ask you to contribute in some way to the overall success of the firm. You may not always understand the bigger picture, but a roll-up-your-sleeves work ethic will go a long way in your career. And one day, when you’re in that leadership role because of that work ethic, you’ll see the bigger picture!

What achievements are you most proud of during your tenure at MKDA?

I’m most proud of the growth that I’ve seen in my team. I’ve had the privilege of knowing most of them for almost 10 years and observing their contributions to this office and the industry makes me so proud of what we’ve accomplished together and gives me confidence in the future of this firm and the industry as a whole. The longer I’m in this industry, the more I realize that my legacy is not the projects or the awards. The happiness and success of my team is my legacy.