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Margaret McDonald Named One of St. Louis’ Most Influential Business Women

The St. Louis Business Journal recognized the marketing principal of HOK’s St. Louis studio for her career designing spaces for the region’s most notable companies and for championing the city.

The annual list honors St. Louis’ most accomplished women for their impact on their industries and the community.  McDonald and the other honorees were selected from nearly 240 applicants.

Excerpted from the St. Louis Business Journal:

Margaret McDonald remembers her first project as a designer quite fondly.

The Boeing Leadership Center in Florissant, as McDonald tells it, was a comprehensive experience—incorporating elements of hospitality, office, dining and living—to create a destination for the aerospace company to train legions of new leaders. (Boeing, on its website, said it has trained more than 20,000 employees at the center.)

“For that first job, to be able to draw and then see something built, and even call it out if it was incorrect, was just incredibly valuable,” she said.

It was the kickoff to what would be a 20-plus-year career in which she worked on projects for storied local employers such as Spire, Washington University, Cortex, Enterprise, Ralston Purina and many more—first with HOK, then with Arcturis and now back with HOK as senior principal and one of three members (and the only woman) of its St. Louis leadership team.

Her longtime work on projects in the region has cultivated a civic pride that extends to her personal life as well.

Missy Kelley, CEO of Downtown STL, has known McDonald for six years and said she’s a strong connector. McDonald chairs the board of the Downtown STL community improvement district, which strategizes and funds the maintenance and development of the downtown area.

“The thing about Margaret that really stands out is her positive approach to every initiative. She’s one of those people who, no matter the situation, has the ability to kind of inspire people to be their best,” Kelley said.

Apart from her focus on downtown, McDonald also sits on the board of Perennial, a nonprofit that works to re-purpose items that would typically go to a landfill.

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