Hord Coplan Macht Principal Appointed as First Black Chair to Maryland State Board of Architects

Cynthia Shonaiya Scaled

Cynthia Shonaiya, AIA, NCARB, Principal at Hord Coplan Macht (HCM)

By AIA Baltimore

Baltimore, MD – (February 2024) — Maryland Governor Wes Moore has designated Cynthia Shonaiya, AIA, NCARB, Principal at Hord Coplan Macht (HCM), as the first Black Chair of the State Board of Architects. This distinction is a celebration of her 30 years of leadership and dedication to advancing design across the state, and serving the best interests of all its citizens.

“It’s an honor to receive such an esteemed recognition, especially from the place I call home,” said Shonaiya. “My passion for architecture began at a young age, and throughout my career I’ve remained committed to advocating for the next generation of architects, particularly women and minorities. As both a woman of color and an immigrant, myself, I understand the importance of the representation that my identities provide. I look forward to continuing to uplift a diversity of voices during my time as Chair.”

Since joining Hord Coplan Macht in 2000, Shonaiya has devoted much of her career to enriching the lives of senior citizens. She has designed over 250 senior living projects, including independent and assisted living, memory care, active adult, and affordable senior housing developments, as well as university retirement communities. As Market Sector Leader of HCM’s Senior Living and Affordable Housing practice, Shonaiya oversees the nation’s fastest-growing senior living market practice, now #2 in the US. Her award-winning work has contributed to many innovations in the design of senior living communities nationwide, including integrating sustainable practices that enhance indoor environments, health, longevity, and wellness. Her design vision revolves around her conviction that “growing older is not an illness, it’s an aspiration,” and that architecture can provide places for people to age with dignity, vibrancy and enjoyment.