Lynn Carlton, a regional leader of planning for HOK’s Kansas City studio, has been named to the 2019 class of Women Who Mean Business. Organized by the Kansas City Business Journal, the annual awards recognize the city’s most accomplished and impactful businesswomen.
Excerpted from the Kansas City Business Journal:
Responsibilities: Carlton oversees the planning group at HOK’s Kansas City office, which includes planning, landscape architecture and urban design. She also handles all master planning work for the firm’s Kansas City office.
Starting out: Originally from Kansas City, Carlton knew from a young age she wanted to pursue planning as a career. Her dad had an interest in urban design, and they would always tour the downtown areas of cities they visited. She and her father studied the patterns of development together.
“It was my father — he had always had an interest in urban studies.”
Big break: Carlton moved back to Kansas City when she joined HOK in 2012, but her big break came earlier, in 2005 and 2006. Carlton was working at the Boston office of Sasaki, the architecture firm Kansas City contracted to create its downtown master plan. Carlton was an asset to the collaboration because she drew on her career experiences and deep knowledge base of her hometown.
That master plan was integral to the development of the Downtown Council, of which Carlton is now a member. She will be the organization’s president starting in November 2020, about 15 years after she helped create the document that established the organization. She will work with the city in the future as it begins the process of creating a new downtown master plan.
“It’s all coming full circle.”
Women mentoring women: Carlton said she loves working with younger women at her firm and is able to mentor them about balancing career aspirations with family responsibilities.
Little-known fact: Carlton played rugby in college at Colgate University in upstate New York.
Who is your hero? Carlton selected Oprah Winfrey as her hero. She cited Winfrey’s “dedication to children, love of books and lasting friendships.”