01 Oct Shelby Russ Jr. Awarded Louisiana Patron of Architecture
AOS Interior Environments is honored to announce that President/CEO Shelby Russ Jr. has received the Louisiana Patron of Architecture Award from the Louisiana Architecture Foundation (LAF). The award recognizes non-architect individuals, corporations, organization or groups whose good works have encouraged, fostered or promoted public understanding and appreciation of quality in Louisiana architecture.
Architects, interior designers, industry partners, family and friends gathered Thursday, September 27, 2018 at the AIA Louisiana 75th Anniversary Gala to celebrate the dedication and contributions of the chapter over the past seven decades. The National World War II Museum’s US Freedom Pavilion: The Boeing Center set the stage for the evening’s ceremony and served as a reminder the cultural events surrounding AIA Louisiana’s charter in 1943. Carl Elefante, 2018 President of AIA, encouraged the audience to “get out of your office and into the community and make the world better.”
Of course, Shelby has championed the same principle over the last 30 years, and his notable efforts and works have certainly positioned him as a leader who inspires and contributes to the advancement of the Louisiana’s architecture. Angela Morton, Principal of Mathes Brierre Architects and 2018 President of AIA New Orleans, expressed her appreciation for Shelby’s outstanding contributions to the Louisiana architectural community: “Without his support, there are many efforts with our organizations that would have not exceeded our expectations as they have. Shelby holds his vision of “Good Design is Good Business” as a guiding principle in everything he does.”
As the President and CEO of AOS, Shelby has devoted his career to the built environment by connecting clients with the commercial products and expertise necessary to turn their designs into reality. His relationships with the architectural community combined with over 38 years of industry experience has fostered a deep understanding of the critical role space plays in addressing human needs.
Throughout his career, Shelby has been a sincere champion for lasting design. Following Hurricane Katrina, he channeled this talent and passion towards securing a safe space for youth in the arts. In his role on the board of Young Aspirations, Young Artists (YA/YA), Shelby led the capital campaign for building a physical space—The YAYA Arts Center—to support those future designers. He was also key contributor to the Dutch Dialogues, workshops that took place in 2008 engaging Dutch environmental experts and their Louisiana counterparts to resolve water management across the region.
Shelby has been a longtime supporter of the AIA New Orleans Chapter and has served as a Director on the New Orleans Architecture Foundation (NOAF) Board. When the chapter was creating the Design Center on Lee Circle, he was quick to donate furniture to fill the future space. Since then, Shelby has become an annual sponsor and participated in many programming, educational opportunities, and community events while encouraging others to do the same.
It was no surprise that when the Louisiana Architecture Foundation brought the Architecture & Design Film Festival to New Orleans theater spaces, Shelby enthusiastically signed on as the first Marquee Sponsor of the event. His early belief in the ADFF led to an invitation to join the planning committee the following year where he helped the festival raise sponsorships for the event, advised on programming and helped secure Eric Saarinen as a speaker.
Then when AOS expanded and renovated the company’s Headquarters, Shelby saw an opportunity to create another space that would foster and inspire the design community. Steve Rome, Principal of Verges Rome Architects, recounts, “Amidst an ever-changing landscape of products and design trends, Shelby has kept AOS at the forefront by embracing innovation, always leaning toward the cutting edge—while maintaining respect and enthusiasm for the time-proven and classic ideas and products of his milieu.” Since the renovation and expansion’s completion in September 2017, AOS has hosted over 50 events that have directly supported architecture, such as the LAF Architecture & Design Film Festival Patron Party, the YAF Happy Hour, the WIA Pechakucha Night, NOAF Board Meetings and the AIA New Orleans CEUniversity series.