TZL 1456 (web)


Orcutt | Winslow’s Vi at Cavasson project, an upscale residential health care facility in Scottsdale, Arizona.

ownership started in 1995. Be careful about buying ownership when someone leaves as it changes structure. Having a vested interest helps. TZL: A firm’s longevity is valuable. What are you doing to encourage your staff to stick around? NT: Employee engagement. We stress that this is more than just a place to work. We have things like Good News Thursdays and Taco Tuesdays. We’ve had some people leave the firm, but they’ve come back because they miss the culture and camaraderie. We also have competitive salaries and benefits. programs and systems being offered in living buildings, working with the Green Building Council, and blending it all together into one healthy living concept with the end goal being a ‘well community.’” “A sustainability action plan should be an overarching goal for all. We’re constantly updating it with new

MATCHMAKER, from page 7

with teams to make sure all is running smoothly and check in with my partners to ensure our strategic goals are being met. Business management is not what I went to school for, so I continue to learn and really enjoy the project planning aspect. From time to time, I may layout some designs and ideas that help to drive a design forward. TZL: How are you balancing investment in the next generation – which is at an all-time high – with rewards for tenured staff? This has always been a challenge, but seems heightened as investments in development have increased. NT: When I first joined the firm there were still certain levels. You got paid more as you put in your time and rose through the ranks. The younger generation wants to know how to advance quickly. We follow the AIA’s system pretty closely where they identify different roles and levels. It holds their feet to the fire. TZL: Ownership transition can be tricky, to say the least. What’s the key to ensuring a smooth passing of the baton? What’s the biggest pitfall to avoid? NT: We’ve been very fortunate to have founding partners from 50 years ago who came up with a clear path forward to ensure longevity through a performance bonus system. A buy-in to

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