Stacey Walker of Santa Rosa’s TLCD Architecture wins North Bay Women in Business award
Stacey Walker says the pandemic has focused her on the importance of human connections. She is a 2020 North Bay Business Journal Women in Business Awards winner.
Professional background: Interior Designer in Baltimore, Maryland for eight years before moving to Sonoma County. Practicing interior design here for seven years.
Education: Bachelor of Science in interior architecture, minor in fine art
Tell us about yourself and your company: I am the Interior Design Principal at TLCD Architecture and have been practicing interior design for 15 years.
After moving to Sonoma County from Baltimore, Maryland, I was seeking an opportunity to practice sophisticated design at a local firm that valued a work-life balance for their employees.
What I found at TLCD is a forward-thinking, technologically savvy, diverse practice with amazing, talented people. TLCD has been rooted in Sonoma County, practicing design and architecture for over 55 years.
With a strong set of skills and shared dedication to a culture of creativity and contribution to the world around us. We build community through collaborative, inspired design.
Is there a major accomplishment in the past year or so that you would like to share?
Becoming the first female and first interior design principal in TLCD firm history.
What is the achievement you are most proud of?
Growth and connection with my family and friends. Maintaining strong roots with those that have challenged, encouraged and supported me throughout my life.
What is your biggest challenge today?
Making time for me.
Words that best describe you: Loyal, considerate, empathetic and dedicated
In what ways have the pandemic and the shelter-in-place orders changed who you are as a person that will be a part of you long after the pandemic has passed?
This pandemic, more than anything, has taught me to appreciate relationships and human connection. To create memorable days, not plan for them.
Also, what ways do you think it will change the way you go about your career and your business?
The freedom to work from home, works! Internal and external teams can efficiently stay connected and collaborate effectively from a distance. We have learned that proximity has taken on a whole new meaning in a virtual setting.
And when it comes to the COVID-19 issue, what are some the lessons learned for the business community?
Our work landscape has indefinitely changed. Investment in digital technology and early adoption of collaborative on-line communication tools elevates business continuity.
As a successful female professional, what were the biggest obstacles you faced and how did you overcome them?
Tactically navigating the industry’s gender gap. Learning how to use my voice, recognizing the importance of my perspective as a female in a room full of men. I have learned to maintain a steady course, and that respect is a two-way street and always earned.
How do you think your profession will change in the next five years?
We will see a shift in the purpose of the spaces we create, as well as a focus on the health and maintenance of those environments. The critical demand of investment in technology to connect people and the value of providing not just a space, but an experience in the built environment, will be realized.
Who was your most important mentor?
My biggest mentor was a senior designer that I worked along-side for the first eight years of my career. A wonderfully creative and innovative designer, who rolled up their sleeves in our project work together.
Always challenging me to find a better solution, championing a team environment, and always giving credit where and when it was due.
What advice would you give to a young woman entering your profession or the work world today?
Be confident and put in the work. Your ideas are valid and necessary. Don’t be afraid to ask questions. Be your own advocate!
Most admired businessperson outside your organization: Art Gensler
Typical day at the office: No day is typical except the last three months – a whole lot of Zoom!
Best place to work outside of your office: Home office
Most want to meet: Michelle Obama
Social media you most use: Instagram
Stress relievers: Exercise
Favorite hobbies: Yoga, hiking, house projects
What would parents or significant others say if asked to brag about you?
They would say I am loving, patient and strong – that I have a big heart and I put 110% into everything I do.