Principal at Sonoma County’s TLCD Architecture wins North Bay Forty Under 40 award
Responsibilities with your company: As a partner, elevating the firm's design standards, upholding the principles of opportunity and equity, engagement in community growth, and helping support and build a great team that service our valued clients are of upmost priority to me.
In 25 words or less, how do you exemplify the spirit of being a top Forty under 40 professional?
Shining a light on equality and opportunity within my profession, as the first female and first Interior Design Principal in our firm's 50+ year history.
Years with company: 7
Length of time in current position: 1 Year, 2 Months
Number of companywide employees: 32
Number who report to you: 4
Greatest professional accomplishment: My greatest professional accomplishment is being entwined into the fabric of my community, by becoming a business owner in a place I want to see developed with care.
Greatest professional challenge: My greatest professional challenge was rebuilding a professional network and continuing to grow connections within Sonoma County after my husband and I relocated, moving from the Chesapeake Bay to the Bay Area.
Best advice received: Advocate for those around you – the success of others doesn't take away from your own, it is reflection upon it.
Single most important event in your professional life in the last 12 months: My most important professional accomplishment over the last 12 months was being selected for the North Bay's 2020 Women in Business Award.
What's the biggest change COVID-19, the restrictions and the economic impact has had on your work and personal life?
Good design is an iterative process and takes teamwork. Rethinking strategy and recognizing results of effective virtual working sessions has presented new tactics for brainstorming and collaborating.
And what’s the biggest lesson you’ve taken from that experience?
I really miss the daily banter, brainstorming sessions, and the importance of human connection with my colleagues. There is a social aspect to the workplace that is important to morale and when we finally can be back together, it will be something to revel in.
What steps is your company taking to sustain your organization and morale in the current economy?
TLCD's balanced portfolio of diverse practice area expertise allows us to weather the ebb and flow of the ever-changing economy. Supporting our remote workforce with investment in technology has maintained efficiency and connection to teammates with ease. Human connection is more important than ever before and we have continued our tradition of gathering all staff weekly to stay in touch, share, laugh, and learn virtually.
Next professional goal: I am looking for opportunities to expand TLCD's interior design presence in our region across all our practice areas. Our integrated delivery of architecture and interior design provides our clients with thoughtful solutions that execute their vision from in inside-out, as well as the outside-in
Education: I have a bachelor of science degree in interior architecture with a minor in fine arts from Ohio University in Athens, Ohio.
Hometown: I was raised on the shores of Lake Erie in the small town of Avon Lake, Ohio, a suburb of Cleveland - home of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
Community/nonprofit activities: I have maintained involvement in committees at the City Center level of International Interior Design Association for 14 years. IIDA is a global non-profit organization that supports, educates, and advocates for design professionals.
Through my involvement with this wonderful organization, I have been able to connect with the design community and support my own local community through fundraising efforts for different charities such as Petaluma Art Center, Sonoma County Museum, Social Advocates for Youth, YWCA and Homes for Sonoma.
I have also volunteered my time leading the planning of course work for the week of hosting Mike Hauser Academy students at TLCD during the summer for numerous years. Participating in the education of students, especially girls, about how STEM applies in the field of architecture has been greatly rewarding.
Mentor/admired businessperson: Cheryl Durst, EVP and CEO of IIDA continues to inspire me as a thought leader and innovator in the design industry.
Throughout the pandemic especially, I have been able to tune into many virtual events that she has hosted to listen and learn from her exceptional and engaging communication style.
What is your most disliked industry buzzword?
Within the design and architecture industry “sustainability” has become an overused term in that it can be defined in a variety of ways.