A Grand Sendoff for a Grand Dame

By Beth Geraci

You’d be hard pressed to find someone as committed to the San Diego Architectural Foundation (SDAF) as outgoing SDAF President Margit Whitlock, AIA.  After three years at the helm, Margit is stepping down as president to let Pauly De Bartolo fill her shoes. And she’s doing it on the very same day that another president happens to be moving on (It’s purely coincidental, trust us.).

We’d be remiss if we did not take this opportunity to acknowledge Margit’s achievements over the past three years and honor the incredible presidential legacy she leaves behind. This is our way of saying thank you, Margit, for the exceptional dedication and passion you brought to the role as president and to San Diego’s built environment as a whole.

Margit has served on the SDAF Board of Directors since 2012. In every moment of the journey, she has given of herself. She has done so while running her own business, Architectural Concepts, Inc.; being a single mom to her daughter and son; and perpetually showing up to support causes she cares about (AIASD awards, career days, and NewSchool of Architecture & Design among them).

Margit and her son at Orchids & Onions

“At SDAF, Margit will be remembered for her incredible ability to multitask and for managing a flow of emails that would drown the average person,” says outgoing SDAF Vice President Kathy Breedlove in jest. “Margit took her responsibilities as president of the organization very seriously. She cares about SDAF like it’s a member of her own family, because in her eyes, it is.”

Margit also will be remembered for her bottomless well of creativity — the driving force behind so many innovative fundraising tactics and SDAF events. And for her tenacity, which Margit herself notes as her calling card.

“Looking where I am and the schedule I’m leaving behind, I can’t help but ponder that it’s all gotten accomplished with fortitude, a sense of keeping on, pushing forward and making things happen,” she says.

Along with her tenacity, at SDAF Margit may have left her biggest mark on the Context program, an annual SDAF forum aimed at preserving excellence in the built environment. During her tenure, Margit organized some of the program’s biggest events, including two architectural trips South of the Border that stand among SDAF’s most memorable.

Inspired by her parents’ example, Margit long has gravitated toward volunteerism, and she has kept the tradition alive not only on behalf of SDAF, but also for the good of the American Institute of Architects (AIASD), Habitat for Humanity, and National Executive Women in Hospitality (NEWH) — all places Margit has served as a board member. Twenty years of board experience has taught her about codes and regulations, running a meeting, and most of all, people.

As she steps away from the demands of SDAF President for the first time in three years, Margit looks ahead to focusing on her business, supporting SDAF “in the background,” and God forbid, having more down time.

“It’s been a great run,” Margit says. “I’m looking forward to new energy, new ideas and a new generation of leadership. I have no regrets.”

Photos courtesy Margit Whitlock

Contact Us

San Diego Architectural Foundation



P.O. Box 122228
San Diego, CA 92112-2228
Federal Tax ID: 95-3513927

Sign Up

Stay on top of your Architectural news

San Diego Architectural Foundation is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization dedicated to education and promotion of outstanding architecture, planning and urban design throughout the San Diego region.

Get in the Mix