SDA History
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SDA History

Who is SDA?

For over 50 years, the Society for Design Administration (SDA) has promoted education and best practices in management and professional standards of design firm administrative personnel. SDA Membership stretches across the United States and Canada and is composed of personnel in the design profession, including architecture, engineering, construction, landscape and interior design.

What is SDA?

SDA enhances the professional development and personal growth of its members, and consequently the development and growth of their respective companies. To accomplish this, SDA provides a host of networking opportunities, as well as educational resources in the areas of: Finance, Human Resources, Information Technology, Marketing, Office Administration, and Project Management. 

The SDA has a rich, long history with founding roots in Miami, Florida in 1959. SDA began with just 5 architectural secretaries as the Architectural Secretaries Association, Inc. (ASA), to enable them to further benefit the architectural profession and the community. Since that time, it has grown into the Society for Design Administration consisting of over 800 members. In addition to expanding in size, SDA has expanded in scope to include individuals holding many different positions within architectural, engineering, interiors, and related design firms.

The mission of SDA has always been one of education, while the vision has been to promote good practice management and the professional standards of design firm administrative personnel. To that end, SDA provides educational opportunities, accredited through both SDA and AIA continuing education criteria, for members of the organization and the design community.

The SDA Story

To preserve our SDA heritage, 1988 National President Wanda G. Holcombe, SDA/C, dreamed of tracing our roots and the aspirations of our founders from the beginning to the present. A committee chaired by Mildred Arnold, SDA/C (Dallas), accomplished this goal by publishing The SAA Story in 1989. Since that time our organization has evolved and the SDA Story has been updated to record those changes. To read the entire SAA/ASA/SDA story, see the links to the right.


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