Rebeca Aristizabal and RNN Architects
Rebeca Aristizabal didn’t let a significant professional challenge derail her dreams.
Aristizabal is the president and CEO of RNN Architects, an architectural firm that’s worked on projects across the Denver metro area, including plenty of significant ones at DEN. A native of Columbia, Aristizabal has always known that she wanted to work in architecture, to plan, design and build works that had a significant impact on real people.
“I’ve been following the architectural path since I was in high school,” Aristizabal said. “I’ve been working in architecture all of my life, and I have been working to move up in the field since I arrived in the U.S.”
That vision and determination has carried her through plenty hurdles. Aristizabal now oversees a firm of 11 with five licensed and accomplished architects, but not very long ago, she faced a professional crossroads. Aristizabal was laid off from a big architectural firm in 2008, and she had to find a way to forge a path forward.
“I never thought I was going to have my own business,” she said, “But after losing my job, I decided I was going to work for myself. I started my own company. I went to the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce and I made connections; I went the Hispanic Contractors of Colorado, and that’s how I started working on projects for government organizations.”
That included work at DEN, where Aristizabal and her firm have contributed to the current construction on the Great Hall and other significant projects. In her role at DEN, Aristizabal has also been committed to expanding her professional experience and know-how. She’s a graduate of Business Development and Training Academy Concourse 100 and 200 pilot programs, and she continues to seek out ways to grow and advance in her profession.
“We are now a firm of 11 teammates with five licensed architects in our practice. We provide excellent services. We care about our clients and we always strive to go one step further,” she said, adding that one of her next goals for RNN Architects is to become a prime at DEN. “We have the experience now to be a prime. We are confident about the next solicitation that the airport puts out.”
Aristizabal is confident about her future at DEN and she’s just as confident about the guiding mission of the airport as it strives to meet the demands of the coming years. Specifically, Aristizabal sees a solid path forward in the precepts of Vision 100, as well as the added metrics of Operation 2045. These strategic approaches see adding infrastructure to DEN to meet the demands of an ever-expanding passenger base.
“DEN CEO Phil Washington has talked about the airport’s new vision, what he’s envisioning is amazing. There are a lot of opportunities for the community, and I would like to be part of it,” she said. “It’s going to be great for the community and great for the architectural businesses involved."