We Are QE's 54%, Part IV
by 
Samantha Malott Brown
March 31, 2020

We’re wrapping up the month of March by spotlighting a few more of the women that power our firm.

Women are 54% of the Quinn Evans team – far surpassing the architecture industry average of 31%. Over the past month, we’ve highlighted some of our incredible architects, daring designers, history scholars, biz dev pros, administrative gurus, and operations whizzes.

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 review our channels to see who else we featured this month.

Alexis Cecil, AIA, LEED AP BD+C \\ Senior Architect

What is your favorite part of your role with QE? Helping to usher in new or renewed relevance to so many buildings with such unique character, that are so meaningful to the communities they are a part of. I can wake up every day knowing we are making the world a better place with what we do!

What’s the best advice you’ve ever received? Take care of your clients and consultants first. The mantra my mom always instilled in me was: “Life is all about choices.” And something a family friend asked me as a kid that stuck and has driven me ever since in life was: “Did you do your Best?”

How do you enjoy spending your time outside of work? Watching my kids play sports, and spending time with my family while at home or exploring the world outside.

Shanita Rutland \\ Architectural Designer

What is your favorite part of your role with QE? It allows me to work on projects of all scales through a foundation of Adaptive [re]Use, where every building has a past and a new beginning. The work and passion I contribute to Detroit’s resurgence acknowledges that architecture can act as an engine for change.

What’s the best advice you’ve ever received? Stay humble. Show integrity and authenticity. When you find your voice, people will listen.

How do you enjoy spending your time outside of work? I love being a mentor and educator. I introduce students to architecture, design, and STEAM curriculum, while exploring the built environment and why design matters. I also highlight minority contributions in the profession, while inspiring students to see themselves reshaping their communities. I see these actions as paving the way for the next generation of designers and architects.

Denise Close, AIA \\ Senior Architect

What is your favorite part of your role with QE? It is a privilege to immerse myself in communities, institutions, and historic sites to help guide teams through a renovation or restoration. Having tangible outcomes of our work and creating positive experiences for others to enjoy is why I love what I do.

What’s the best advice you’ve ever received? There is always something to learn.

How do you enjoy spending your time outside of work? I like to explore new places, in town or around the world, I like to watch my boys play sports, and I love a good novel.

Anne Kopf, AIA, WELL AP \\ Architect

What inspired you to become an architect? Growing up just outside of Detroit, I was in awe of the stunning yet abandoned architecture that was just waiting for someone to come in and fix it. I wanted a career that breathes new life into old buildings… and here I am!

What is your favorite QE project you've worked on, and why? Michigan Central Station – a dream project for me (and I’m sure many others). I’m so glad I had the opportunity to work on the team, if only for a short time. Why? See above. Also, DAR projects have been a great experience. It’s wonderful working with the strong DAR women in leadership. I couldn’t have asked for better, more inspiring clients.

What is your favorite part of your role with QE? I love working with such a diverse and humble group of people. Yes, Quinn Evans has awesome projects, but enjoying and appreciating your coworkers is 75% of job satisfaction.

What is your ultimate career goal? Figuring out this whole work/life balance puzzle!

What’s the best advice you’ve ever received? A quote from Maya Angelou: If you don’t like something, change it. If you can’t change it, change your attitude. Words I try to live by every day.

How do you enjoy spending your time outside of work? Being outdoors! We all spend WAY too much time inside.

Ruth Mills, MA, MS \\ Architectural Historian

What is your favorite part of your role with QE? I love to learn! My work at Quinn Evans lets me learn about how people in the past created new places, overcame physical and social barriers, and related to their communities.

What’s the best advice you’ve ever received? To listen to and try to understand other people’s perspectives, especially underrepresented groups both in the past and today.

How do you enjoy spending your time outside of work? By visiting historic places! I also love to garden, fish, and read.

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 I \\ Part II \\ Part III.

Questions or ideas? Let's get in touch.