Drury Class of 1999
Year of Election as Trustee: 2007
Rita Baron, a 1999 graduate of Drury’s Hammons School of Architecture, is owner of Baron Design and Associates, LLC, an architectural firm in Springfield, Missouri. Her firm is known for a diverse array of structures that include medical, financial and government institutions, corporate and university facilities, senior and family affordable housing as well as restaurant and hospitality establishments. She is a property developer in several states and has experience in all facets of development, including new construction, historic, adaptive re-use, and acquisition/rehabilitation. Her architectural firm was the first in the nation to achieve the LEED Gold certificate in a hospitality industry project for Hilton Hotels. Her passion focuses on building efficient and sustainable, quality housing with useful amenities that provide a foundation for strong communities, providing housing solutions to the city’s needs and adding jobs to the local economy.
Baron is a franchisee of Marriott International and a previous franchisee of Einstein Brothers’ Bagels. She currently serves as Chair of the Drury University Board of Trustees, is Vice Chair of the Board of Directors at OakStar Bank, and Board member of the Springfield Chamber of Commerce. She previously served on the Board and Executive Committee of Isabel’s House Crisis Nursery and was a Board member of Springfield Symphony Orchestra.
Baron received the Springfield Business Journal’s Most Influential Women award in 2011, The Missourian Award in 2015, and in 2016 received the Biz 417 Women Who Mean Business award. She is fluent in Arabic, French and English.