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Trailblazers: Stephanie Ireland

Owner, Ireland Architects Inc.

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Stephanie Ireland says she was destined to be an architect.

The daughter of a high school woodshop teacher and an interior designer, Ireland became involved in construction at an early age. She went into design at Missouri State University and earned a master’s degree from Boston Architectural College. Later, she formed Ireland Architects Inc. in 2000.

“My dad always told me I could do anything,” she says. “Once you prove yourself to the contractor or whoever you’re working with, they tend to give you the respect you deserve.”

With that attitude, her firm gained traction working with Mercy Hospital Springfield, and now, multiple types of commercial work are within her grasp. Current projects include The Kitchen Inc.’s homeless shelter, a Camdenton clinic for Central Ozarks Medical Center and a fire station in Fair Grove.

“If that’s what you want to do, set your mind to it and do it,” she advises other women. “So what if it’s hard? It just means it’s more rewarding on the other side.”

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