Member Spotlight: Monica deLaGarza

Monica deLaGarza does it all – 40 Under 40; TCU Executive MBA class of 2022; member of SMPS, Leadership Fort Worth, PRSA; and board member for CREW Fort Worth – all in addition to her position as Director of Marketing and Communications at OWT Architects. We sat down with her to find out what motivates her and how she successfully juggles family and professional commitments.

How did you get started in the A/E/C industry? I have been in the industry for 13 years. I started in New Jersey at SYSTRA Consulting, a rail transit engineering firm owned by SNCF, the high-speed rail company of France. I have worked on all three sides of the industry, engineering, architecture and construction. 

How long have you been a member of SMPS? What do you enjoy most about it? I have been a member since 2013. I love the educational opportunities and connecting with people that understand the complexities of my work.

Tell me about your new position at OWT Architects. I love working at OWT Architects, a full-service design firm in Downtown Fort Worth. Three principals, Andrew Oxley, Richard Williams and Jim Tharp founded the company. They curated a team that is creative, energetic, and passionate about delivering high quality designs regardless of project constraints. I am delighted to be part of this team. 

What led you to joining the Executive MBA program at TCU? I am a journalist by training and that is how I approach my work. I decided to pursue an MBA to deliver more expertise and value to my employer. I wanted to impact the whole business. In order to gain the knowledge and credibility to do so in a reasonable amount of time, an intensive MBA program was the best solution. 

You’re very involved in local professional organizations in addition to SMPS, your full-time job, and your MBA program. How do you find balance between your many commitments as well as work/life balance? At home, work, school and community I am surrounded by wonderful people that take the collection of days I’m alive and make those days a fulfilling life and adventure. My significant other and parents are very supportive of my endeavors. My daughter wants to be an entrepreneur so she gets that work and business school are important. She is getting exposed to valuable business lessons at 10 years old, that she can apply to her business someday. I get to apply what I am learning at OWT daily. I am the treasurer for CREW Fort Worth. They believed me and gave me an opportunity to lead, even though I had no accounting experience. I am learning as I go and applying the MBA lessons there as well.

What are you currently reading?   The last non-textbook I read was called Art of the Start by Guy Kawasaki, for my entrepreneurship class. 

What’s your favorite restaurant in Fort Worth?  I love Little Red Wasp and Press Café and Uncle Julio’s has been a fave since I was a kid.

What’s on your bucket list? Finishing the MBA, and in terms of hobbies I want to learn how to play the harmonica, travel to Australia, Africa and Alaska.

What can you not live without? God and my family.

What’s your favorite weekend activity? I love going out for walks at the ranch and spending time with my family including our two golden retrievers. I get to the spa as often as possible for some self-care which I highly recommend!

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    Member Spotlight: Monica deLaGarza

    Monica deLaGarza does it all – 40 Under 40; TCU Executive MBA class of 2022; member of SMPS, Leadership Fort Worth, PRSA; and board member for CREW Fort Worth – all in addition to her position as Director of Marketing and Communications at OWT Architects.
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