IBJNews

2011 Forty Under 40: Cynthia Bowen

Back to TopCommentsE-mailPrintBookmark and Share

 
About me...
Cynthia Bowen
Director of planning and
urban design
RW Armstrong
38
Web sites:
Social media:
On my hip:
iPhone
BlackBerry
iPod
Most-used apps:
Indesign
Illustrator
Weather.com
Travelocity
White noise
IndyStar
USA Today
AP Mobile
MSNBC
Favorite stuff:
Wine; my tea mug and peach blooming tea; Kindle; iPhone; "CSI;" "NCIS;" iPod
 

Since launching the Planning and Urban Design Group at RW Armstrong in 2007, Cynthia Bowen and her team have gone from projects designing local subdivisions to planning an entire city in Libya. Bowen estimates she spends 65 percent to 70 percent of her time traveling the globe to meet with clients.

Projects like the $2 billion Libyan deal generate multimillion-dollar revenue and six-figure profits for RW Armstrong, a 50-year-old engineering consulting firm based in Indianapolis.

“I like the culture within our company. It’s very collaborative,” Bowen said. “It’s challenging every day.”

Now 38, the Plainfield native and Ball State University graduate built her reputation locally, working with the Lafayette Square Area Coalition, the Pike Township Advisory Board and Coxall Gardens in Carmel.

These days, much of her work revolves around designing cities or reviewing plans for governments. The challenge, she said, is applying planning principals to create an environment that is socially and culturally acceptable.

On her first visit to Saudi Arabia, she wore an abaya (long dress) and head scarf the entire time, to show respect for the culture. Consequently, the Saudi men she met with to review plans for a new city spoke directly to her and shook her hand.

“There is an advantage to being a Western woman that affords you different liberties than women in that culture have,” she said.

Still, extended travel to faraway lands has its price.

“It makes it hard on relationships,” said Bowen, who is single. “Sometimes it’s frustrating, because it feels like you’re putting your personal life second, and I struggle with that.”

Bowen is an influential voice for her profession as a member of the national board of directors of the American Planning Association.

To unwind, she runs and does yoga, activities she can manage wherever she goes. “As long as I can get in my workout,” she says, she will be able to handle the rest.•

___

Click here to return to the Forty Under 40 landing page.

ADVERTISEMENT

  • beauty and brains
    Wonderfully done. So proud of you.

Post a comment to this story

COMMENTS POLICY
We reserve the right to remove any post that we feel is obscene, profane, vulgar, racist, sexually explicit, abusive, or hateful.
 
You are legally responsible for what you post and your anonymity is not guaranteed.
 
Posts that insult, defame, threaten, harass or abuse other readers or people mentioned in IBJ editorial content are also subject to removal. Please respect the privacy of individuals and refrain from posting personal information.
 
No solicitations, spamming or advertisements are allowed. Readers may post links to other informational websites that are relevant to the topic at hand, but please do not link to objectionable material.
 
We may remove messages that are unrelated to the topic, encourage illegal activity, use all capital letters or are unreadable.
 

Messages that are flagged by readers as objectionable will be reviewed and may or may not be removed. Please do not flag a post simply because you disagree with it.

Sponsored by
ADVERTISEMENT

facebook - twitter on Facebook & Twitter

Follow on TwitterFollow IBJ on Facebook:
Follow on TwitterFollow IBJ's Tweets on these topics:
 
Subscribe to IBJ
  1. I am so impressed that the smoking ban FAILED in Kokomo! I might just move to your Awesome city!

  2. way to much breweries being built in indianapolis. its going to be saturated market, if not already. when is enough, enough??

  3. This house is a reminder of Hamilton County history. Its position near the interstate is significant to remember what Hamilton County was before the SUPERBROKERs, Navients, commercial parks, sprawling vinyl villages, and acres of concrete retail showed up. What's truly Wasteful is not reusing a structure that could still be useful. History isn't confined to parks and books.

  4. To compare Connor Prairie or the Zoo to a random old house is a big ridiculous. If it were any where near the level of significance there wouldn't be a major funding gap. Put a big billboard on I-69 funded by the tourism board for people to come visit this old house, and I doubt there would be any takers, since other than age there is no significance whatsoever. Clearly the tax payers of Fishers don't have a significant interest in this project, so PLEASE DON'T USE OUR VALUABLE MONEY. Government money is finite and needs to be utilized for the most efficient and productive purposes. This is far from that.

  5. I only tried it 2x and didn't think much of it both times. With the new apts plus a couple other of new developments on Guilford, I am surprised it didn't get more business. Plus you have a couple of subdivisions across the street from it. I hope Upland can keep it going. Good beer and food plus a neat environment and outdoor seating.

ADVERTISEMENT