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Heather Mosley | SBJ

2023 40 Under 40: Megan Eli

Buf Architecture Studio LLC

Posted online

Megan Eli says a supervisor once described her as a silent leader, noting traits like listening deeper, thinking longer, maintaining a level head and remaining humble. That approach to work has served Eli, 36, well in her career in architecture.

She’s used her design skills on projects like Hotel Vandivort, Park57 Lofts and the pediatric emergency room renovation at Mercy Hospital Springfield.

In 2020, when the Lamar Johnson Collaborative suddenly closed its local office, Eli says she found herself out of work for the first time as an adult. But hours later, she got a call from former colleagues asking her to join their efforts to open a local office of Bentonville, Arkansas-based Buf Architecture Studio. It’s now a 20-person firm in Springfield, and Eli oversees health care, higher education and civic projects, and supervises and mentors younger staff.

She says her goal is to bring beauty to the world.

“Hopefully, the buildings I design will stand the test of time and help make Springfield a more beautiful place to live for generations to come,” she says.

What about your job would shock people? There is not near as much math involved as you’d think.

Your professional aha moment? Asking for permission is not the way to get ahead. Trust your instincts; they’re usually right. 

Favorite hobby or creative outlet? I love to bake. I run a bakery out of my kitchen called My MeggieCakes.


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