Women are 54% of the Quinn Evans team – far surpassing the architecture industry average of 31%. And for the month of March, we’re taking the opportunity to highlight some of the incredible experts that power our firm.
They responded to a few questions to offer insight on what inspires and fulfills them. Take a moment here and get to know QE’s 54%.
Be sure to visit our channels throughout the month for more employee spotlights.
What is your favorite QE project you've worked on and why? Working on projects that I am able to see the long-term impacts of on the building up of Detroit. When I committed to pursuing architecture in college, I wanted to be doing work that would have long-term impact on communities and people that they serve. Although I have been here for a short while, I have had opportunities to be working on projects and working with clients that have a long-term vision for their organization or their community to move forward and honor the past.
What’s the best advice you’ve ever received? Investing in yourself will inevitably be an investment into your communities and organizations you are a part of. Especially as I have various leadership positions (currently within my church, Project Pipeline, and NOMA-Detroit Board [National Organization of Minority Architects – Detroit chapter]), it is tempting to invest in the work that each of these organizations are doing without taking a step back and to holistically invest in myself. It’s a ripple effect; by investing in my leadership/ professional/tactical skills, leisure activities, health, and rest, it makes my leadership and my role in various teams more effective and healthy. I’m a better leader, teammate, friend, and daughter through these intentional investments.
How do you enjoy spending your time outside of work? Buying and nursing my plants, making + art (watercolor, dip-pen, chalk pastel, ceramics, kitchen table, hairstyles), dancing (salsa, bachata, swing, urban), playing music (trombone), thrift shopping, leading my church, and mentoring.
What is your favorite part of your role with QE? Fieldwork in incredible cultural landscapes is the best part of my job. I feel honored and lucky every time I find myself out at a project site – on the top of a bluff, in a beautiful garden, in expansive rolling fields – and am able to say, “This is my job!”
What’s the best advice you’ve ever received? Ask questions all the time, even if whatever you are working on is not “done” or “perfect.” You learn through the process and communication.
How do you enjoy spending your time outside of work? I try to get outside in nature as much as I can – hiking with my dog, exploring Colorado, and learning more about plants!
What is your favorite part of your role with QE? I like finding new, colorful information about the history of a building or site that the client didn’t know that makes them excited about its history.
What’s the best advice you’ve ever received? Trust your instinct. I tend to overthink things, but my initial gut feeling often leads me in the right direction.
How do you enjoy spending your time outside of work? Hanging out with my almost 6-year-old and husband, cycling, swimming, hiking, and reading. Being outside makes all of these activities even more enjoyable!
What woman inspires you, and why? Right now, I’m writing about Helen Pitts Douglass, who was at the forefront of historic preservation movement in the 19th century, particularly in the preservation of African American history sites. Her foresight and fortitude, as well as the determination of the organization she founded, are the reasons why we can visit and be inspired by the Frederick Douglass National Historic Site today.
What inspired you to become an architect? In 5th grade, I decided I wanted to be either an architect or a cartographer. I started with architecture and haven’t been bored enough to look into the other yet. My favorite jobs are the ones I’m currently working on. Someday I’ll design a building that is in perfect harmony with the environment. Until then, I’m working on aligning my expectation with the environment.
What is your favorite QE project you've worked on, and why? Every day is different, we’re always working on new pursuits and it’s never a dull moment.
What’s the best advice you’ve ever received? Have fun with what you do or move onto a new job.
How do you enjoy spending your time outside of work? Up until about a year ago, I was a Girl Scout leader for many years and loved working with the girls as they matured and took on their own worlds. Now we’re getting ready to raise a puppy for Canine Companions for Independence to help someone in need of an assistance dog.
What inspired you to work at Quinn Evans? When I graduated college, I had four career goals - one of which was to design in the practice field of historic preservation/renovation. Working in my old office with many of my past colleagues for a firm that is an expert in the field of historic preservation was fate.
What is your favorite QE project you've worked on, and why? I’m currently working on a project that is in a historic building where the historic fabric has been covered over time. Exploring the evolution of the building has been fascinating, and working with the end-users has been a very rewarding process.
What is your favorite part of your role with QE? The part of my job I enjoy the most is seeing the transformation of existing spaces into something new and spectacular that adds to the story of the building.
What is your ultimate career goal? My ultimate career goal is to do exceptional work, build relationships, and continue to grow in my profession as it continues to evolve.
What’s the best advice you’ve ever received? To speak up; whether it’s to ask questions or stand up for what you believe in, speak up.
There are plenty more experts you should get to know. Go here to meet the team members featured in We Are QE's 54%, Part II \\ Part III \\ Part IV.