For almost 20 years Rich Marietta has been my mentor, and my business instincts channel what I’ve learned from him over the years. As I step into his role, I do it recognizing that the profession continues to evolve, and with this evolution comes a new perspective on the realities of our work today and the opportunities and challenges that lie ahead.
When I became a partner in 2007, my day-to-day responsibilities changed. I found that I had to find balance between my love of creating architecture and contributing to the management of a successful practice, just as I am again now in a greater capacity. I am excited to have the opportunity to engage the next generation of leaders on a daily basis, ensuring that whoever follows will be fully prepared to take our firm to the next level.
I will continue to model the behavior I value in others: integrity, positivity, optimism, empathy, inclusion, critical thinking, and working hard to play hard. That’s why we’re engaging the younger generation differently: sending them to conferences, teaching them business development, and encouraging them to participate in speaking engagements. I’m teaching my colleagues about networking, client follow up, and lessons I’ve learned to make yourself heard. As leaders of our firm, we now get to engage staff in a way I never was.
Our employees today are driven, perceptive, and smart, and they deserve the transparency an ESOP demands. Culturally, we’ve made real progress to respect the person not in the room and we’ve prioritized communication and transparency as employee-centric values. We still have work to do, but I am pleased with the recent progress we’ve made engaging with, and listening to, the studio then implementing change on topics that matter most to the studio.
I don’t have to tell you that the pace of our projects is faster and clients’ expectations are higher than ever. How fortunate we are, however, to work in a firm where the work is great and staff engagement is high. I find that our ‘Meet and Greets’ with clients are often effortless because our work, and the finished photos, are so compelling. I often invite people to tour our projects, or visit the gallery walls in the office to explain our collaboration and design process. I love seeing our built portfolio continue to evolve and improve. Design continues to matter here, and we are truly a collective.
I ask all of you to continue to engage with Fred and me to improve our processes, our lines of communication, and our studio culture. I am committed to being every bit the thoughtful listener and mentor that Rich has been. Together, as a team, we will continue to make Design Collective great!
Example searches: LEED, interiors, "Design Collective", etc.
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