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Here comes the future

With a youth-be-served spirit in mind, IB highlights Madison’s most promising young professionals in its annual 40 Under 40 presentation.

(page 9 of 12)

Rafeeq Asad

Architectural Associate
Flad Architects
Age: 37

Rafeeq Asad learned early on that to be happy at whatever he chose to do for a living, he had to access his creativity. His first job was at the Port of Miami working in cruise operations, where he performed general data entry — not exactly creative work. “It was this job that changed my career trajectory from business related to a more creative field,” he says.

It’s been a productive career move for Asad, who is currently working on a local lab project that is entering the construction phase. Asad will co-lead Flad’s construction administration efforts on an approximately 216,000-square-foot facility. He also is an appointee to Madison’s Urban Design Commission, which allows him the opportunity to have a hands-on role in the growth and development of the city.

Asad is working to expose minority students to architecture as a profession and establish a Wisconsin chapter of the National Organization of Minority Architects.

Lisette Khalil

Operations Director
Wisconsin Women’s Health Foundation
Age: 39

Lisette Khalil considers it an incredible opportunity to have been involved in the Wisconsin Women’s Health Foundation’s First Breath smoking cessation program from its inception to statewide expansion.

The opportunity presented itself 18 years ago when Khalil, who has a law degree from Marquette University, found the organization in the phone book and inquired about an internship. It was around the time Wisconsin received tobacco settlement funds, and once aboard at WWHF, Khalil helped write the grant application that created the First Breath pilot program, which enables women to receive free help to quit smoking, a leading risk factor in negative birth outcomes. First Breath went on to serve 20,000 women.

When it came time to balance work and family, Khalil sought the advice of WWHF Founder Sue Ann Thompson, who told her it’s okay to be a parent and a professional.

Jeff Davis

Vice President, Principal Architect
Angus-Young Associates
Age: 34

Jeff Davis took a leap in 2014 when, with little connection to the Dane County and Madison markets, he volunteered to lead a new Madison office of Angus-Young Associates.

“With zero business development experience or training, I wanted to prove to myself and others that I could grow our business effectively and efficiently through building strong relationships,” Davis says. It’s been working out well so far, as in the past 12 months Davis has been the lead architect on many development projects in Dane County, as well as several smaller scale but impactful local projects including restaurants, retail, and office spaces.

Davis also helped develop AYA’s in-office “Innovation Workshop,” which gives designers of all disciplines a platform to collaborate on projects. One of his roles is to push the envelope “to keep the culture in the office challenging, energetic, and creative.”


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