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Wayne Schmidt, founder and CEO of Schmidt Associates, died June 1, 2024.

Obituary: Wayne Schmidt, founder and CEO of Schmidt Associates

June 14, 2024
He started Schmidt Associates in 1976, founded on the belief that an architectural firm should facilitate and understand — not impose and dictate.

PRESS RELEASE

Wayne Sam Schmidt, 78, FAIA, LEED AP, Schmidt Associates founder/CEO and prominent Indianapolis community leader, died peacefully June 1 surrounded by his family.

Born and raised in Evansville, Ind., Schmidt graduated in 1970 with a bachelor’s degree in architecture from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. He started Schmidt Associates in 1976, founded on the belief that an architectural firm should facilitate and understand — not impose and dictate. He felt that the client was best served when included as a partner in the design process. His most notable projects  left his mark on Indianapolis’ built environment (learn more about those projects here).

Professionally, Schmidt taught classes at Ball State University, served as the president of the American Institute of Architects’ (AIA) Indianapolis and Indiana chapters, and regularly mentored emerging designers. He also authored “Indianapolis Architecture” in 1976 and was a featured presenter for many organizations, such as the Midwest Association of Higher Education Facilities Officers, the Indiana Construction Industry Conference and the Midwest Association of Higher Education Facilities Officers.

For his contributions to the profession,  Schmidt received an honorary doctorate from Martin University in 2007. He was the recipient of numerous awards, including the 1982 AIA Indiana Edward Pierre Award; a 1985 fellowship from the AIA national organization, making him the youngest architect in Indiana to receive the designation at age 40; the 2008 Distinguished Service Award from AIA Indiana; the 2010 Juliet Peddle Award from AIA Indiana; the 2010 Legends IN Design award from the Indiana Design Coalition; the 2014 Gold Medal Award from AIA Indiana; and the 2015 Wings Award from Martin University.

Schmidt also was named a 2006 Finalist - Entrepreneur of the Year by Ernst & Young, and to Indianapolis Business Journal’s 2011 Who’s Who in Construction, Design and Engineering list.

As Schmidt Associates’ founding CEO, his leadership resulted in significant wins for the firm, including being named a Best Places to Work in Indiana company nine times from 2007-2017; and to the Indianapolis Business Journal, the Engineering-News Record, and the Architectural Record lists for largest architecture and design firms. Under Schmidt, the firm also won the 2010 Distinguished Firm of the Year and the 2013 25-Year awards from AIA Indiana.

Schmidt had a deep passion for community service and was never shy about stepping up when he saw a need. He served in leadership positions for countless community organizations.

He is survived by his wife of 54 years, Susan, and their sons Phillip (Johanna) and Daniel (Jennifer) Schmidt, daughter Stephanie (Scott) Sego, 10 grandchildren  and countless architects and engineers who considered him their personal mentor and friend.