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Providing opportunities: Mitch Smith CEO and chairman of the board at MG2 (Seattle, WA), a global architecture, design, construction, and branding studio.


A s one of the first 20 employees to join MG2, Smith quickly rose from project manager to CEO and chairman of the board by honing the craft of architecture. He perfectly balances delivery excellence with a design mindset, driving kinetic transformation long into the future. “You can’t wait for a specific opportunity to arise to develop your staff,” Smith says. “You have to continually invest in and provide opportunities.” A CONVERSATIONWITH MITCH SMITH. The Zweig Letter: Your online bio says that “you push boundaries.” Can you tell me more about that? Mitch Smith: I push organizational and individual boundaries; it’s truly a yin/yang approach. A great example of this is the evolution of our Shanghai office. Since its inception almost 20 years ago, I’ve worked closely with the team to fundamentally understand howwe can support our clients across Asia and help them drive growth. This has translated, advanced, and

molded our offering to support the jurisdictional and cultural intricacies of our work overseas, and emboldened the team to really begin pushing boundaries for our clients. TZL: You have a vigorous intern program. Howmany interns do you hire? Fromwhere? Howmany have turned into new hires? MS: Each summer, MG2 offices around the country host a group of design interns. The program includes educational presentations, social events, and design competitions to elevate their understanding of the profession and to test their problem-solving skills. It’s also structured to allow interns to collaborate directly with MG2 architects and designers on real- world challenges. For the last two years, we evolved our programming to virtual, creating our Student Connection series that allowed anyone over the age of 18 – student or otherwise – to participate remotely. We were thrilled to see engagement from across the globe.


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