Job title:
Associate Vice President/Assistant Director of Architect, AIA, Associate VP, Design Manager

What accomplishments are you most proud of?
I enlisted in the military after high school. Only three years of my life for a free college education? Why not? I like to travel. Three years turned into 32 years from active duty working my way up from a private to an Army Reserve officer and retiring as a lieutenant colonel. I did manage to get my degree in architecture while going through ROTC at the University of Idaho.

My last assignment was in a civil affairs unit in which you carry your experience from your civilian career with you to various multi-country exercises and missions. My travels took me to Europe, Egypt, Thailand, Korea, Japan, and Iraq. Iraq in 2004 was my most challenging experience. I was in a country where I didn’t know the language or the culture, and I needed to form working/trusting relationships with people to develop school renovation projects and programs to help bring some type of normalcy into Iraqi society.

What’s an interesting fact about you that people may not know?
I sang backup with two of my friends for a local band called The Dead End while in high school.

What do you like most about working at Salas O’Brien?
We have extraordinary, talented people on the team with varied backgrounds and personalities that add a dimensional layer to our work environment that keeps things fun and always interesting.

What kind of projects do you like to work on and why?
I like projects that challenge our team to “make a difference” in their work environment based on a comprehensive understanding of their needs. I love creating workplaces that speak directly to clients’ culture, contribute to their well-being, and attract and retain valuable talent.

What do you do for fun?
I love winter and summer sports. I’ve snow-skied since I was able to walk. I also love spending my summers at a lake in MN. I enjoy getting my hands dirty in the garden, growing flowers and vegetables, and working on home improvement projects with my partner Bill – where I’m the architect. I experiment with new recipes (at least one to two per week) and am trying to go through my Midwest Lutheran cookbooks searching for the best “hotdish” recipes and Scandinavian desserts. When not at home, I enjoy traveling and experiencing different cultures that put me outside my comfort zone … a little scary, but always a rewarding experience.

Favorite show or movie or book?
My favorite movies are “North by Northwest” with Cary Grant and “Big Night” with Stanley Tucci and Tony Shalhoub. My favorite book is Pattern Language.

Favorite place in the world?
Big Cormorant Lake, MN