Donna Rayson, AIADonna Rayson, AIA

Donna Rayson, AIA

Year Joined: 2014

Professional Registration:



University of Kansas School of Architecture & Urban Design, Bachelor of Architecture, 1988

Donna comes from a family of all girls, and always ended up being the one to get stuck handing tools to her father and uncles as they worked on construction projects. She has always enjoyed discovering how things go together and majored in engineering in college – until she realized she was spending her spare time reading about architecture. To this day, she’s still happiest figuring out how people interact with a space and recommending where to place rooms.

Between graduation and completing the Architect Registration Exam in 1994, Donna worked at Devore & Associates in Ottawa Kansas and continued on there doing a wide variety of projects in rural / small communities throughout Kansas for over 22 years. From 2005 to 2009, Donna worked in KC for a couple of international firms on big projects just to see what it was like.  At SDG, she focuses on Retirement Living and projects for small communities; that’s where her heart lives.

Donna enjoys being a member of the International Code Council as well as her volunteer work serving on The Building Code Board of Appeals for the City of Ottawa and Franklin County. Keeping up to date on the latest in ADA and ADAAG compliance is part of her passion for caring for our aging and disabled population.

In October 2017, she completed AIA’s Safety Assessment Program Training and is certified in Kansas and California.


  • UMCOR volunteer since 2005 (Hurricanes Katrina and Rita)
  • Since 1999, I have been on several mission trips for disaster relief and to work with the homeless and Habitat for Humanity.
  • Daughters of the American Revolution (via Jemima Boone, one of Daniel Boone’s daughters and a Patriot in her own right)
  • Member of the Board of the Ottawa Memorial Auditorium. Friends of the Ottawa Memorial Auditorium is focused on keeping our historic auditorium building in the downtown operating as a community hub for live music, theatre, dance productions and private events.  In early 1919, the City of Ottawa chose to build an auditorium dedicated to the memory of those who had died in World War I and it was dedicated in 1921.
  • Ongoing membership and service on committees and boards at First United Methodist Church in Ottawa.  

Favorite SDG Project:

Apostolic Christian Retirement Village in Sabetha Kansas. This continuing care community is remarkable.

Best thing about SDG:

The depth of experience between the SDG team members.


Reading, genealogy, gardening, and camping.  Home remodeling with the family.  All kinds of fiber arts including, but not limited to, spinning, knitting, and sewing.

Something Surprising About Her:

Donna has worked on two Extreme Makeover – Home Edition houses.  

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