Born: Bremerton, Wash.
Education: Bachelor’s and master’s degree in architecture from Virginia Tech University
Whom have you admired most in business and why?
That would be Friedrich Bohm, founder of the Columbus office for NBBJ. From a business standpoint, he had a well-rounded perspective. He believed in creating a good working environment so people could succeed, and he also valued good client relationships.
What is the greatest business challenge you’ve faced, and how did you overcome it?
I think it’s been overcoming the obstacles to growth in the last 10 years. I’ve learned that the best growth is smart growth, so I’ve learned how to evaluate projects that fit the vision of the organization. I’ve also learned that effective teamwork was the solution to solving the firm’s growth limitations. Now I hire people who have an orientation toward teamwork and ask candidates about their team-playing experiences to evaluate their team-playing abilities. People who have played on teams in the past seem to be good team players in their professional lives.
What is the greatest business lesson you’ve learned?
That would be the lesson of trust. To achieve success as a leader, you have to learn to trust the people you work with as well as clients and consultants and create an environment of trust where people are free to express their opinions.