WHY DID YOU JOIN AIA SEATTLE?

I think it’s important to support organizations that are out there promoting our industry. As an engineer, I feel that I should play a part in supporting architects. AIA brings important subjects into focus and we learn from them. I love collaborating and being part of those conversations.

WHAT IS THE VALUE OF AIA TO YOU?

Relationships with people are the most important part of what I do. The people I meet through AIA and the long-term collaborations we create are what make my job fun. I’ve learned a lot from talking to people with different backgrounds and perspectives. We all need to be part of the conversations like the ones they have in the AIA culture cohort. It’s helped me become more aware of diversity in real practice. It’s helped FSi become a more diverse workplace. I get energy from those conversations.

WHAT RELATIONSHIPS HAVE YOU CREATED?

I’ve met so many people through my participation in AIA. I get to strengthen the relationships I already have, which is a great benefit. And I get to meet people I would never come across in the usual course of doing business. Both of those things are important to me, and to FSi.

WHAT PROJECT ARE YOU WORKING ON NOW?

Wow! So many projects. As a principal at FSi, I touch a big percentage of our work. Right now I’m pretty excited about the civic complex for the City of Monroe, the revamp of the Seminar 1 Building at Evergreen, and the Way Station for Unity Northwest, up in Bellingham. Each of these projects is a chance to have real impacts on people’s lives. This is why I do what I do. We create change in the world by changing a community.

HOW DO YOU EXPLAIN WHAT YOU DO FOR A LIVING?

I lead teams that create environments that support people’s health, well-being, and happiness. Every day, I get to work on projects that make a difference in somebody’s life, whether it’s supportive housing, healthcare, a community center, or a transfer and recycling station. It’s satisfying at a really deep level.

IF YOU COULD SUM UP YOUR OUTLOOK ON LIFE IN A BUMPER STICKER, WHAT WOULD IT SAY?

“Keep growing, sharing, and finding joy in the journey.” I guess that’s kind of a long bumper sticker, but I think those are all important to building a great life for myself and the people around me

WHAT INSPIRED YOU TODAY?

We have a lot of engineers who are in the first few years of their careers. I love seeing the enthusiasm and creativity they bring to the team. Their commitment to sustainable design and learning about new technologies makes the work more exciting for all of us. We’re all helping each other to be the very best versions of ourselves.

HAS YOUR CAREER TAKEN YOU ANYWHERE YOU DIDN’T EXPECT?

I never expected to be a building engineer, so really, the whole thing has been a surprise to me. I got into it because those were the jobs that were available when I first started out. I’m so glad it turned out the way it did, because I see the difference I can make.

WHERE IS THE FIELD OF ARCHITECTURE, ENGINEERING OR CONSTRUCTION HEADED?

It’s all about carbon. We need to keep it human-centered. I’m seeing more net-zero opportunities and designs driven by embodied carbon. I see us all in a continuing upward spiral toward healthier buildings and communities. At FSi, this means we’re approaching every project with the idea of getting it as close to net zero as possible. We used to talk about operational carbon, now we’re talking about embodied carbon and true integration. It’s fun to design facilities to ambitious standards. They push the industry forward and help us to be our best in every design we produce.

CAN DESIGN SAVE THE WORLD?

I don’t know that we’re quite that powerful, but we are already showing we can make a huge impact. Just designing with people at the center of our thoughts is improving people’s lives. We had a big opportunity to make an impact during COVID by helping people have safer buildings. When we design something for Sound Transit or the Port of Seattle, we’re helping travelers and commuters be more comfortable. I love looking at places I’ve designed and seeing how people are using them. Are we the most important part of making the world better? Maybe not. But we really do make a difference, and that makes me happy.

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