TZL 1402 (web)


ON THE MOVE WARE MALCOMB ANNOUNCES BILL SOTOMAYOR PROMOTED TO PRINCIPAL IN NORTHEAST REGION Ware Malcomb , an award-winning international design firm, announced Bill Sotomayor has been promoted to principal in the New York office. In this position, Sotomayor is responsible for the overall leadership and growth of the New York office, as well as regional leadership of the interiors practice in the Northeast. Before joining Ware Malcomb in 2014, Sotomayor ran his own company, providing architectural and interior design services to corporate, retail, publishing, media and law firm clients. He expanded his New York City-based firm to a second location in New Jersey, and later sold and merged with a large architectural design firm. He opened the Ware Malcomb New York office as regional director and has led the office’s growth with his expansive regional knowledge and savvy business development acumen.

Sotomayor continues to successfully foster and expand client relationships and has been a key contributor to the success of the New York office, as well as the region. “Bill has led the New York office’s impressive growth, and we look forward to his continued success in New York and leading the interiors practice across the Northeast,” said Kenneth Wink, chief executive officer of Ware Malcomb. “His more than 35 years of industry knowledge and dedication to Ware Malcomb’s vision makes him a tremendous asset to the company.” Sotomayor holds a Bachelor of Architecture degree from the New York Institute of Technology. He is a founding member of the Knights of York, a New York City based nonprofit organization of devoted business leaders helping children in need. Sotomayor is also a past Chairman and Board Member of the National Hispanic Business Group and a member of CoreNet Global.

Established in 1972, Ware Malcomb is a contemporary and expanding full service design firm providing professional architecture, planning, interior design, civil engineering, branding and building measurement services to corporate, commercial/residential developer and public/institutional clients throughout the world. With office locations throughout the United States, Canada and Mexico, the firm specializes in the design of commercial office, corporate, industrial, science and technology, healthcare, retail, auto, public/institutional facilities and renovation projects. Ware Malcomb is recognized as an Inc. 5000 fastest-growing private company and a Hot Firm by Zweig Group. The firm is also ranked among the top 15 architecture/engineering firms in Engineering News-Record ’s Top 500 Design Firms and the top 25 interior design firms in Interior Design magazine’s Top 100 Giants.

TIM SCHROEDER, from page 3

project teams creates a cross-weave of communication, interdependency, and accountability. As our non-hierarchal model developed, we embraced a culture of feedback. Starting with anonymous reviews of the directors, we implemented a 360-review system where everyone receives feedback from the directors and a cross-section of their peers. The success of our internal reviews encouraged us to adopt a similar system with our clients. We began using the Client Feedback Tool to track stakeholder expectations throughout a project’s lifecycle. In 2017, we made client experience our top strategic priority. Less than a decade ago, client experience was in the hands of the principals. Today, it is the overarching goal that guides the entire team’s work. DRIVING POSITIVE CHANGE. Since transitioning to a purpose-led model in 2012, our firm has witnessed many measurable successes. Our design quality initiatives have increased our recognitions with the American Institute of Architects. Since 2013, we have received 34 AIA Iowa recognitions, 22 AIA Central States Region recognitions, an AIA Knowledge Community design recognition, and a COTE Top Ten Award. We have also increased our level of employee engagement. In addition to our recognition from Zweig Group as a Best Firm To Work For, AIA Central States has recognized us as an Emerging Professionals Friendly Firm with an “outstanding” recognition in 2018 and 2019. Perhaps most importantly, we have rallied our team behind a common goal: Client experience. In the last decade, we have received CXps awards for Client Experience, Satisfaction, and Connectedness; our Net Promoter score is in the top 1 percent of 300 firms worldwide. Client experience is built on employee experience. Our path to increasing employee engagement was not easy, but as our story demonstrates, incremental change can lead to astonishing results. TIM SCHROEDER, AIA CDT LEED AP is president with Neumann Monson Architects. Contact him at

member put in his notice, he said five words I will never forget: “You aren’t capable of change.” NEVER CHANGING? So how did we change? After meeting with the principals, we decided to set aside time to focus on internal culture, and I volunteered to lessen my project load to fill this role. Incrementally, we implemented changes that took our firm in a new direction, starting with simple fixes to illustrate our agility as larger changes developed. We removed physical barriers in our Iowa City office, creating an open, collaborative environment. The principals, who sat at the edge of the office, moved to the center, signaling to the staff that we were there to help them. Additionally, we circulated books throughout the office to create a shared language to articulate what we were doing wrong and right. The principals stopped defending the status quo and started listening. We led weekly focus groups where we could receive ongoing feedback from the staff and provided progress reports. FOSTERING AGILITY AND EMPATHY. Incremental change led to an overhaul of our traditional management structure. Instead of siloed teams led by principals, we embraced resource planning software to build our teams around projects. Gradually, we established a layer of self-managed teams that engage the staff in our firm’s leadership. These teams focus on design quality, client experience, quality assurance, and sustainability. Most of the staff is engaged in at least one of these teams, and their overlap with our employee engagement was not easy, but as our story demonstrates, incremental change can lead to astonishing results." "Client experience is built on employee experience. Our path to increasing

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