Each month of our 50th anniversary we’ll feature two Mackey Mitchell employees to show how they embody our four key values – curiosity, innovation, drive, and discovery.
What does drive mean to you?
The constant and ever-present need for improvement. The awareness to see a better way to accomplish things. Efficiency. I am my absolute worst critic and the drive I feel to constantly be adapting, changing, taking on more tasks, committing to something that makes me terribly uncomfortable… sometimes just to prove to myself that I can do it…that is what drive means to me.
You love historic renovations and preservation. Give some insight into your thought process when starting one of these projects.
Researching a site/building/location and searching for every piece of information out there is something truly satisfying. I love to learn not only about the history and the architecture when it comes to historic projects, but learn about the people who have used the space and find out about the lives that the building has touched. I then think about every piece of the building, what is left if the property is in poor shape, and what are key elements that must be preserved/restored to bring back life to the building. I do a little digging to see what has been added over the years. So much of the historic fabric of our communities is a testament of the true craftsmanship that is so rare in today’s world.
Describe a project where you had to do a little digging to find the best design solution.
A personal labor of love: my own home. Before we owned it there were pieces that deteriorated and were lost due to lack of maintenance. For example, I am very passionate about restoring and re-installing the shutters on my home (built in 1920). There are less than 5 homes in my community that have original shutters and hardware that are still intact today. I have searched all over the St. Louis and the Southern Illinois region for hardware that matches. I am down to locating only 8 more pieces. Believe me, I will find them!
What do you find most interesting across the projects you’ve worked on at Mackey Mitchell?
My entire working career has encompassed many different project types. You name the project type, I have probably worked on it! The thread that I value that stretches between them all is the opportunity to make personal connections with people. I love getting to know our clients and find out what they are passionate about. I want to know what is most important for them in the project. I want them to trust that I have their best interest at heart. I want them to feel like they can pick up the phone and discuss anything with me without fear of judgment.
What project has most inspired you?
I wouldn’t say that a particular project has inspired me more than any other. I have been more inspired by the process. Being able to work with clients and end users who have never gone through the process before. Being able to see their range of emotions—fears and joys. Seeing how excited they are at the project completion when it turned out exactly as they needed it to. Being able to see their successes because they have a great space that allows them to do what they do! That is what makes this all worth it.