I grew up wanting to be a cartoonist, but by the time I hit college, everything had evolved to being done digitally. After my first internship in that field I quickly realized it wasn’t for me, but I was missing that human aspect and connection to people. I switched to architecture and interior design to combine my creative passion with the ability to connect and impact others.

I am inspired to create new spaces that improve people’s work life and help businesses flourish through company culture. As leader of HLW's workplace sector, I have seen first-hand the impact of a well-designed workplace tailored to a specific organization as an empowerment tool for employees and the company as a whole.

Women with 15-20 years more experience than me faced more challenges and helped pave the way for my journey in this industry. I have also been fortunate enough to work at firms that all had strong women leaders that I could look up to and find mentorship with. I tried to look at any challenges that I faced as opportunities to grow by looking at things from a different perspective.

I am fortunate to have a very supportive family behind me and to have worked for three amazing firms in my career. Once I joined HLW, I found a firm that embraced me for who I was––a pivotal moment in my career. This firm has a lot of amazing people in leadership who have all been a part of my mentorship and growth, but Kimberley Sacramone, who I was fortunate enough to work alongside for seven years, is someone who supported me, challenged me and taught me to believe and trust in myself. She has been the biggest role model and influence on my career.

This is an industry of passion, it is not for the faint of heart. Learn your voice early on, ask questions, learn from your mentors but don't be afraid to challenge ideas and speak up to advocate for your goals. No one else is in charge of your career, it's yours, but your support system can help guide you to where you want to be.  

My favorite designs tie to pivotal moments/accomplishments in my career. Nato’s HQ in Brussels was a big moment for me, as I was on this project from programming through completion of construction documents. It is also the project that I met my husband on, so it’s a little extra special to me. BASF was my first project in the New Jersey market and the relationships I made on that project are with people who I still work and collaborate with today. This project was also my start in the life science field. Kering Americas HQ was an amazing client team and a project that was pivotal to changing how they work and how design can impact their employees' lives. 

Lastly, Crow Holding Development’s office in New Jersey was the last project that I was lead designer on prior to shifting to my new role at HLW. It also connects two of the prior projects I mentioned as people from the Nato Team and BASF project all now work for this firm in New Jersey.

Building Enclosure Celebrates International Women's Day

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Jacqueline Beckingham Melvalean McLemore Lisa Haude Erin McDannald Ashley Smith Samantha McCormack Rachael Lewis Taylor Starr Stephanie Lafontaine Christine Faverio Erin Carlisle Melissa Strickland Lisbeth Jimenez Ula Bochinska