VOA Chesapeake & Carolinas Welcomes Cynthia E. Shonaiya to Board of Directors

Contact: Nicholle Granger

DECEMBER 8, 2023

Volunteers of America Chesapeake & Carolinas is delighted to announce the addition of Cynthia E. Shonaiya to its esteemed Board of Directors. With 30 years of professional experience spanning three continents, Cynthia is an Architect, a Senior Living & Affordable Housing Specialist, and a Market Sector Leader at the Baltimore-based design firm, Hord Coplan Macht (HCM).

Throughout her career, Shonaiya has demonstrated excellence in team leadership and project management, overseeing award-winning projects such as Brightview West End, Bethesda, Grosvenor, and MonteVerde, as well as Clare Court Convent & Apartment. Her strengths lie in integrating outstanding design and sustainable practices while exceeding clients’ budget expectations.

A passionate advocate for the next generation of architects, Shonaiya leads HCM’s Student Engagement Committee and actively participates in events such as Design Discovery Day and Resume & Portfolio Workshop. She serves on the Maryland State Board of Architects, the American Institute of Architects Design for Aging Leadership Group, and the National Council of Architectural Registration Boards Examination Committee. Recognized as one of Maryland’s Top 100 Women by the Daily Record, Shonaiya regularly serves as a jury member at the Morgan State University School of Architecture.

We asked Cynthia a few questions…

What about VOACC inspired you to join the Board of Directors?

As an architect who leads a team of 55 passionate professionals who are solely focused on projects that benefit the old, the frail, and the economically disadvantaged in our society, I am inspired by the important and impactful work that VOACC does for and with the less privileged in our region.

Additionally, back when I joined my current firm in 2000, we were the architect for VOA’s Transitional Housing building at 1701 W. Pratt St in Baltimore.  It was just being constructed, and I remember being struck by how much care went into designing the home to make sure it would be a welcoming place for those who resided there, no matter the length of their stay.

When the opportunity came to join the Board of Directors, I was therefore honored to be considered.

What are you looking forward to the most in your role on the Board?

I look forward to the opportunity to bring my expertise and experience in managing complex projects and large multidisciplinary teams to bear in the decision-making process. I look forward to supporting the staff in their mission. And I relish the opportunity to participate in the mission of impacting more families and individuals in these difficult economic times.

What does being “Called to Care” mean to you personally?

“Called to Care” is a personal reminder that challenges in our society will not solve themselves without the intervention of dedicated organizations like Volunteers of America supported by passionate individuals like me. These challenges often fall on deaf ears. But those of us who are moved to respond to the calls for help, do so simply because we care.

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