Join us on Tuesday, December 15 from 12-1 PM as we hear from John Poole, RA, AIA, LEED-AP, President of Poole & Company Architects, LLC and Anne Wright Rygiel, Executive Director of The Firehouse Shelter. John will talk about his firm’s project at the shelter, and Anne will provide an overview of the organization.
John founded Poole & Company Architects and has been practicing architecture for more than 34 years. His practice includes a broad range of project types. He has a reputation for listening to his clients and developing creative building solutions. John loves spending time with family. He also enjoys playing golf and guitar, but is thankful for his day job.
Anne Wright Rygiel is the Executive Director of Cooperative Downtown Ministries, a nonprofit that provides comprehensive services to over 5,000 men, women, and children that are experiencing homelessness every year. Anne is a native of Birmingham, Alabama and received her BA in Legal and Justice Studies in 2003 from Burlington College. After several years living in the Northeast and working in the nonprofit sector with vulnerable populations, she returned to Alabama and received her Master of Social Work from the University of Alabama.
Anne has worked at The Firehouse since 2011, successfully implementing a low demand, client centered service model focused on the chronically homeless population. Throughout her tenure at The Firehouse, she has moved the agency into a state of the art emergency shelter, expanded capacity for permanent housing, and implemented research focused programming to help stem the spread of communicable diseases.
Anne serves on several Boards and advisory committees dealing with Mental Health Issues, Veteran’s issues, and Homelessness, and is very involved in raising public awareness about topics surrounding systemic poverty issues in the Deep South. Anne was announced as part of the 2020 class of Top 40 Under 40, participated in Leadership Birmingham, and has been nominated and won several Leadership based awards including Nonprofit of the Year. She is also active in TEDx Birmingham, first as a speaker and now as a speaker’s coach. Anne is married to her husband, Steve, and together they are raising their 16 year old son, Hunter, two dogs and two cats.