Wayne Mortensen
Neighborhood Progress, Inc.


“The Enterprise Rose Architectural Fellowship allowed me to play an integral role in the Cleveland community as a neighbor, collaborator and partner in its continued recovery, and physical and social advancement. What some may regard as an extended service opportunity, I hope to make my life’s work.”

\Upon completing his fellowship, Wayne was hired into the newly created position of Director of Design and Development at Neighborhood Progress, Inc. In addition to serving as project manager of the 85,000 square-foot, $16.2M historic Saint Luke’s Hospital retrofit (Phase III), he also serves as an owner’s rep to the adjacent 139-unit affordable senior housing project. As the National Associate Director for the American Institute of Architects he works to foster emerging architects and expand the future of the profession.

As a fellow with Neighborhood Progress, Inc. in Cleveland, Ohio, Wayne supported the development of affordable housing and facilitated community planning efforts for sixteen different neighborhoods within the city, working intimately in five different urban geographies. He was also able to play a significant role in the repositioning of his host organization as well as a few different roles in City-wide design and policy discussions. Neighborhood Progress, founded in 1988, serves a unique function as the only local intermediary in the region. Its emphasis on promoting best practices in community development aligns with Wayne’s philosophy that architects can make a tangible difference in peoples’ lives.

After graduating from the University of Nebraska, Wayne was elected President of the American Institute of Architecture Students (AIAS), which brought him to Washington, DC where he also served on the boards of the AIA and National Architectural Accrediting Board (NAAB). While at AIAS, he initiated Freedom by Design, a program that trains architecture students to address everyday struggles of recently-disabled low-income individuals and families through modest design and construction solutions. Wayne left DC to earn graduate degrees in Architecture, Urban Design and Social Work from Washington University in St. Louis where he continued on as a lecturer and joined H3 Studio as a Planner and Public Engagement Specialist, working primarily in disadvantaged communities such as Central City New Orleans and North Omaha. Wayne also worked with the National Endowment for the Arts to coordinate a regional Session of the Mayors’ Institute on City Design.

Wayne regards the Enterprise Rose Fellowship as the “perfect opportunity at the perfect time” and is convinced that it provided a route into not-for-profit community development with an impactful organization in a worthy community that would not have been apparent without the structure of the fellowship.


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