LEO A DALY Expertise Featured in July’s American School and University

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LEO A DALY Expertise Featured in July’s American School and University

Irena Savakova and Anya Grant Share Insights About the Design of the University of Maryland’s Thurgood Marshall Hall

The July issue of American School and University features an article from LEO A DALY’s Irena Savakova and Anya Grant, sharing the design successes for the University of Maryland’s Thurgood Marshall Hall.

Home to the university’s School of Public Policy, Thurgood Marshall Hall was designed to create connectivity between students, staff and visitors to campus. The design incorporated ancient Greek architecture with today’s technology to support that goal, and the results have been validated by a post-occupancy evaluation. In the article, Savakova and Grant share how LEO A DALY was able to overcome a limited budget to create this inspirational facility.

“The democratic ideals of equality, visibility and transparency served as organizing principles that guided the design of every element — from the interior program to the exterior expression,” they wrote.

Irena Savakova

Savakova, RIBA, LEED AP BD+C, is a global design principal and Grant, AIA, is the education market sector

Photo of Anya Grant

Anya Grant

leader for LEO A DALY’s Washington D.C. studio.

Read the July issue of American School and University here. The magazine featured a photo of Thurgood Marshall Hall on the cover of the magazine, and the article starts on page 20.

LEO A DALY’s Gunner Riggert Selected as a Health Facility Institute Fellow

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LEO A DALY’s Gunner Riggert Selected as a Health Facility Institute Fellow

The FHFI designation highlights professional skill and competence

Gunner Riggert, AIA, NCARB, EDAC, LEED AP BD+C, received a fellow designation from the Health Facility Institute at the Health Facilities Symposium in April.

The FHFI designation is the highest level of individual affiliation for the Health Facility Institute. It reflects the professional skill and competence gained through education, training, experience and demonstrated accomplishments at least nine areas of expertise.

Riggert, a LEO A DALY senior associate and senior project manager, has more than 25 years of experience in healthcare planning and architecture. Based in the Omaha studio, he has led many major LEO A DALY healthcare projects, including most recently large, multifaceted federal health projects for the Department of Veterans Affairs.

“It’s an honor to be recognized by, and associated with, other healthcare design professionals involved in HFI,” Riggert said. “Although working on federal healthcare projects is often complex and challenging, they are also the most rewarding.  It’s inspiring knowing our work has such a positive impact in the lives of our active military, our nation’s Veterans, their families, and caregivers.”

“Gunner’s commitment to excellence, passion and technical expertise have elevated many of our private and federal healthcare facilities in the past two decades,” said Joshua Theodore, LEO A DALY global health practice leader. “This is a well-deserved recognition of all his contributions to the industry.”


Pam Bothwell Named Director of Business Development in Washington D.C.

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Pam Bothwell Named Director of Business Development in Washington D.C.

Bothwell is a long-time, local professional with deep experience in architecture, engineering and construction.

Pam Bothwell is Director of Business Development for the Washington, D.C. studio of LEO A DALY

LEO A DALY is pleased to announce Pam Bothwell as director of business development in the Washington D.C. design studio. Her experience living in the capital city and working across the design industry for decades lends extensive value to client relationships and projects that impact the economic and social fabric of the community.

“Pam understands and connects with the people and the complex processes involved with building projects in the capital city,” celebrated Rauzia Ally, managing principal of the Washington D.C. studio. “As a local business owner who has also held board positions for CREW, IIDA and IFMA, Pam is known for her dedicated service, valuable knowledge and integrity.”

Bothwell is honored to join the integrated team of designers, architects and engineers. “I have been deeply engaged in the community and have heard the resounding respect for LEO A DALY’s 60 years of service and work here.” A collector of local art, Bothwell also crosses paths with many who appreciate design from several different perspectives.

LEO A DALY’s long list of projects impacting the city include the recent redesign of the award-winning 20 Massachusetts Avenue.

Ivan O’Garro Joins LEO A DALY to Lead Atlanta Studio

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Ivan O’Garro Joins LEO A DALY to Lead Atlanta Studio

Accomplished architect, practice leader and BD+C 40 Under 40 honoree, Ivan O’Garro, AIA, is the managing principal of the LEO A DALY studio in Georgia

We are pleased to welcome Ivan O’Garro, AIA, as a vice president and the leader of our Atlanta studio. 

O’Garro has extensive experience leading teams to successfully deliver major projects across markets including museums, federal buildings, and housing. In higher education, he has led teams on major projects at the University of California, Irvine and University of Texas at Austin. 

He was responsible for establishing the SmithGroup office in Atlanta in 2021. As design principal at SmithGroup, he managed project teams, staffing and billing for $100 million in projects. Among many major roles, he is the lead designer of the Gilcrease Museum, a 90,000-SF fine art museum, and project manager for the master plan for the Andy Warhol Museum, leading the visioning process and developing the plan. 

An industry leader, O’Garro is a Building Design + Construction Magazine 40 Under 40 honoree, and he’s been a frequent presenter at industry conferences. In 2015 he founded a nonprofit, SamanHaus, to provide pro bono architecture services in Haiti.  

O’Garro holds a bachelor’s in architecture from Louisiana State University, and while there he completed a yearlong fellowship at the Washington Alexandria Architecture Consortium. A native of Trinidad and Tobago, he has held a passion for design since his mother bought him a copy of AutoCAD at age nine. 

He joined LEO A DALY on May 6. The award-winning Atlanta studio’s portfolio includes projects for major institutions in Georgia and beyond, including on the medical clinic at Seymour Johnson Air Force Base, the Reid-Cofer Library and the Georgia Gwinnett College Daniel J. Kaufman Library and Learning Center.

“I’m excited to join the incredible team at LEO A DALY in Atlanta,” O’Garro said. “I believe in the power of design to change communities and to change lives. LEO A DALY has been doing that for more than 100 years, and I look forward to spearheading the success of this important studio.” 

“Ivan brings a passion for architecture and a track record of leadership and innovation,” said LEO A DALY President Steven A. Lichtenberger. “I’m thrilled to welcome him to the LEO A DALY leadership team and to the Atlanta studio.”

Leslie Suhr promoted to Commercial Market Sector Leader

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Leslie Suhr promoted to Commercial Market Sector Leader

The experienced architect excels with client service and consensus building


Leslie Suhr is promoted to Market Sector Leader for the Commercial sector in the Omaha studio of LEO A DALY

LEO A DALY celebrates the promotion of Leslie Suhr, AIA, NCARB, LEED AP BD+C to Commercial Market Sector Leader for the Omaha design studio. The dedicated and successful architect continues her remarkable 17-year career with the firm.

From intern to licensed architect to senior architect, Leslie’s broad project exposure and experience confirms her passion for serving the commercial market. Her long list of work includes Carson Group Headquarters, JE Dunn Omaha, and the Capitol District Marriott and multi-family development.

“Leslie is an exceptional architect and collaborator with nearly two decades of project experience and proven leadership with the firm,” emphasized Managing Principal Chris Johnson. “She has worked on multiple award-winning corporate headquarters and on several projects recognized as “Omaha’s Best Places to Work.”

As Commercial Market Sector Leader, Leslie effectively leads commercial, corporate headquarters, workplace and tenant improvement design teams through all types and sizes of commercial builds and renovations including hospitality and mixed-use developments. Deep experience allows her to quickly uncover value for commercial developers and owners across the dynamic market.

“My long career with LEO A DALY involves many mentors who influenced my success,” shared Leslie. “This opportunity is a meaningful milestone that allows me to lead from experience and example. I respect this established team and we are passionate about designing efficient solutions with sensitivity to occupant wellness and performance.”

Leadership, discipline and dedication drive Leslie’s life outside the office too. She is an active member of the American Institute of Architects and serves on the board of directors for Commercial Real Estate Women (CREW) Omaha. Leslie also is a Staff Sargeant and highly skilled musician in the 43rd Army Band – Nebraska National Guard with 21 years of service.

Zach Klebba Picked for Building Design + Construction’s 40 Under 40 Class of 2023

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Zach Klebba Picked for Building Design + Construction’s 40 Under 40 Class of 2023

The national award places this LEO A DALY architect among the nation’s top young AEC professionals

An architect sitting on a blue couch, looking in the distance and smiling.
© Amber Klebba Photography

Zach Klebba, AIA, has been selected as one of the distinguished recipients of Building Design + Construction Magazine’s “40 under 40” Award, chosen from a competitive pool of 170 entrants in the architecture, engineering, and construction field. This national accolade acknowledges emerging leaders under the age of 40 who exhibit exceptional dedication to their profession, active involvement in AEC organizations, significant career accomplishments, and a strong commitment to community service.

Zach expresses his gratitude for being acknowledged as an up-and-coming figure in the AEC industry, particularly for the recognition of his combined professional contributions and community involvement. He emphasizes, “Deriving inspiration from diverse experiences has been a driving force in my work. I believe we bear a significant responsibility to the communities we inhabit and serve. This is why I have made giving back a cornerstone of my life.”

A love for design is all in the family

His passion for design was kindled by his father, who transitioned from carpentry for Air Force One to the world of construction, unrolling blueprints on the family kitchen table. From a young age, Zach was captivated by these drawings, envisioning how lines on a page would ultimately materialize into tangible architecture. After a brief stint in journalism school that left him unfulfilled, he embarked on a six-year master’s program in architecture at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Armed with a Bachelor of Science in Design and a Master of Architecture, he joined LEO A DALY as a designer. Within the firm, he brings a unique perspective, contributing innovative thinking and creative direction to projects across various market sectors, while also providing insights for new business ventures and participating in proposal design and client communications. Presently, he is narrowing his focus towards business development and the commercial market sector.

Throughout his decade-long tenure at LEO A DALY, Zach has not merely accepted challenges, but confronted them head-on. He underscores, “Embracing a teachable spirit is the most valuable trait a leader can possess, as it paves the way for a lifetime of boundless learning, opportunity, growth, and success.”

A group of architects working collaboratively at a desk, looking at plans.


Digging into the industry

Giving back to the industry that fuels his creativity is of utmost importance to Zach. In addition to founding and actively participating in several community organizations, he served a three-year term on the Greater Omaha Chamber’s Young Professionals Council and was chosen to be part of the esteemed Leadership Omaha program, becoming one of its youngest ever members. He also served as Associate Director on the AIA Nebraska Board for two years, where he initiated a mentorship program called the AIA Power Hour, revolutionizing engagement with industry professionals.

Committed to his community

Zach dedicates his spare time to his church and various charitable organizations. He established a non-profit called the Omaha Midnight Run, which organized a midnight 5k race through downtown Omaha. The mission was to stand as allies to the true superheroes in the community by partnering with groups already making a difference. As Executive Director of the non-profit, he orchestrated the efforts of over 150 volunteers and helped raise over $80,000 for the Hope Center for Kids and the Abide Network. Additionally, he collaborated with city police to create another event, the 5-0 Fitness Challenge, to raise funds for Special Olympics Nebraska and Omaha Crimestoppers, encouraging citizens to anonymously report crime. Among Zach’s career highlights are notable projects such as the Omaha VA Ambulatory Care Center, Blackstone Hotel renovation, Abu Dhabi Zayed Military Hospital, Carson Headquarters, and Aksarben Curling Club. He was previously honored with a 2020 Midland’s Business Journal’s 40 Under 40 Award.

Healthcare Design Magazine Taps LEO A DALY’s Jenn Ankerson to Discuss her Unique Perspectives

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Healthcare Design Magazine Taps LEO A DALY’s Jenn Ankerson to Discuss her Unique Perspectives

She shares her views on using empathy when designing healthcare spaces, the challenges that keep her up at night and her must-have book for successful workplace relationships. 

A woman standing in an office setting smiling at the camera.


Editor’s Note: This article was originally published online at Healthcare Design Magazine.


The associate, senior interior designer at LEO A DALY (Omaha, Neb.), talks about her introduction to healthcare design, love of creating order out of a mess, and uncanny sense of direction.

What drew you to a career in healthcare design?

While at the College of Architecture at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, our professional practice class was taught by adjuncts, one of whom was Aneetha McLellan (now the executive director of health system engagement and design-thinking at Kimball International Health). She spoke with such passion about healthcare that it was hard not to be drawn into healthcare design.

What was your first healthcare project?

Working for HDR under the mentorship of interior designer Bob Holm for the design and construction of the Methodist Women’s Hospital in Omaha, Neb. It included a hotel-like experience for patients and families and comprised labor/delivery rooms, mother/baby patient rooms, and private neonatal intensive care unit rooms.

What lesson from that project do you still carry with you?

At the time of the project, I was a 25-ish year-old that had grieved the likely prospect of not being able to bear a biological child. We adopted our first son and then, several years later, gave birth in one of the labor and delivery rooms (LDR) I had designed at Methodist Women’s Hospital. Becoming a patient, I realized I had never put myself in the LDR while designing it. Empathy is critical to positive outcomes and we as healthcare designers must always put ourselves in the shoes of our users.

A medical office building with succulent art pieces on the wall. A nurse is checking in a patient.

Three healthcare design projects and your role

  • Nebraska Medicine Specialty Clinic at Village Pointe, Omaha, Neb., senior interior designer.
  •  VA Hospital, Tulsa, Oklahoma, a public-private partnership project for the Veterans Administration, interior design team in collaboration with GH2 and LEO A DALY.
  • West Los Angeles VA Critical Care Center, Los Angeles, senior interior designer. collaborating with an interdisciplinary team.

What do you like best about working in healthcare design?

Being able to have a positive impact on the relationship between people and the environment they inhabit. Effective design is even more important in a healthcare environment where patients and their families are at their most vulnerable.

What challenges about your work keep you up at night?

I spend my bouts of sleepless nights scrutinizing interactions from the previous day. Was I able to communicate design intent clearly while building consensus among the team? Did I find words that were more constructive than critical? Was I vulnerable and authentic in my ability to show my peers that they matter to me? I want to ensure that I am a good steward of the role of healthcare designer, which means holding myself accountable for how I mentor young professionals, teach students, listen to clients, and ultimately create healing environments within multidisciplinary teams of people.

An unexpected item on your desk?

A 24-inch-long vintage, metal wallpaper roller, which was used to print repeating wallpaper patterns on paper. Whereas sometimes they are made of wood with metal patterns, this one is made completely of metal and is adorned with a simple repeating floral pattern. I love its fine craftmanship and get lost thinking about the quantities of wallpaper it must have mass-produced.

A vintage wallpaper roller sitting on an office desk. A metal filing cabinet is in the background.


Outside the office, we’ll likely find you …

Organizing something—anything really. I love creating order out of a mess.

Dog or cat?

I love big dogs! We welcomed a 1 1/2-year-old Leon Berger, named Moose, into our family last November and he’s such a good dog. He has a beautiful and quiet connection to our 12-year-old Charlie but conversely finds ways to get into mischief with our 4-year-old Emmett.

A brown dog sitting on a hammock, looking at the camera

Coffee or tea?

Unflavored iced tea, all day long. Lots of ice.

Morning person or night owl?

I’ve become a morning person over the last several years. The house is quiet, especially in the summer, and I enjoy the stillness of the morning as the sunrise begins to peak over the soft sloping landscape of crops directly outside my door. The dew begins to lift as a gentle and short-lived fog settles into the low areas and bands of trees. Wisps of clouds take on dramatic colors, then quickly dissipate to white when the sun rises above the horizon.

Favorite fashion trend?

I adore this age of “love your body.” The 1980s was full of a lot of things, but “loving yourself as you are” was not one of them. While we undoubtedly have a ways to go, I’m thrilled that my kids can grow up with visible role models of all sizes, gender identity, and diversity.

How did you make your first dollar?

My identical twin sister and I worked as “shadows” for a then-budding car museum in Lincoln, Neb., which started as the private collection of “Speedy” Bill Smith, who founded Speedway Motors in 1952 with his wife, Joyce. The company has become the country’s longest running speed shop, providing race car parts and aftermarket accessories to classic car enthusiasts. Along with my fearless mom, Joyce secured her place in my life as a strong female role model. She spent countless hours building a business, raising four sons, and managing staff and vendors, and she did it all with grace. Joyce began conversations with a fun story and ended them with a kind word.

Your go-to karaoke song

Totally showing my age, but “Ice Ice Baby” by Vanilla Ice. It gets all the Gen-X and seasoned Millennials singing, but “Sweet Caroline” by Neil Diamond gets everyone singing.

First album you ever bought

“Very Necessary” BY Salt-N-Pepa.

Cocktail of choice

Vodka with cranberry. It’s easy-peasy and tastes as anticipated regardless of strength.

Your hidden talent

My twin sister coined me as “JPS,” which stands for “Jennifer Positioning System.” I have an uncanny sense of direction and confidence if dropped into an unknown city. Digital tech makes everything easier but even equipped with a paper map, I can find my way.

If you weren’t an interior designer, you would be …

A care provider. My mom thought that I would become a nurse due to my grandpa’s progression of Alzheimer’s. When I was young, he moved into a memory care unit in Lincoln, Neb., where we learned about caring for someone who would slip in and out of the past. My dad visited him daily under the belief that if he was visible and friendly to the staff, that everyone would work as a team to provide better care. That’s a lesson I use daily: get to know the people within my reach. I strive to create authentic connections that build trust and create effective teams.

Favorite …

Quote “Courage starts with showing up and letting ourselves be seen.” –– Brené Brown

Movie character Real-life professional racer and TV personality Jessi Combs, who was profiled in the documentary “The Fastest Woman on Earth.” She put in the time, effort, and sweat-equity to earn a respected place within a male-dominated industry.

Show to binge watch “Only Murders in the Building.” Actors Martin Short and Steve Martin make me cackle, and I enjoy the freshness of actress Selena Gomez opposite the two legends.

Weekend activity Tackling renovation projects on our 1960-era house, tending to our large vegetable and wildflower garden, or working on my 1934 Ford Tudor Sedan hot rod, or any other classic car we’re lucky to be stewards of, to get ready for the next road trip.

Band/musical artist I’m into a bit of everything including the 1960s tunes playing on the old radio in my dad’s personal mechanic shop.  My son is always slightly offended that I can sing the lyrics of just about any classic song he’s recently “discovered.”

Guilty pleasure Listening to podcasts, generally news sources that explain the economy, politics, and climate change. When that gets too gloomy, my favorite escape is “SmartLess,” hosted by Jason Bateman, Sean Hayes, and Will Arnett. It features a surprise guest each week that can make me roar with laughter while I learn something new.

Snack when you travel I pack fruit snacks for the kids, but they’re secretly for me.

Sport Racecar building. I grew up in my dad’s shop with hotrods and racecars. My dad and his friend built a land speed racecar called the MacKichan/Schulz Streamliner to race on the salt at the Bonneville Salt Flats in Utah. The project started in 1988 when I was 6 years old, and we all quickly became part of the race crew. It became a core part of my life and taught me to work diligently to realize success, regardless of the barriers.

A red streamliner race car in the desert.


Team I grew up in Lincoln with Nebraska Cornhusker Football. Go Big Red!

Book The 5 Languages of Appreciation in the Workplace” by Gary Chapman and Paul White. I re-visit it each spring semester when I ask students to read it as part of my professional practices curriculum. It reminds me to not only show appreciation to the people around me each day but also to tailor appreciation to each person so that it’s meaningful.

City to visit Omaha, Neb. We are the world headquarters to several top A/E firms, boast many wonderful award-winning projects, home to several Fortune 500 companies, and known as Silicon Prairie. Omaha has also cultivated a spectacular art scene with the Kiewit Luminarium, Bemis Center for Contemporary Arts, and Joslyn Art Museum, just to name a few, along with some of the best foodie-sought restaurants, distilleries, breweries, and wineries in the region.


Enrique Greenwell joins LEO A DALY as Director of Design

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Enrique Greenwell joins LEO A DALY as Director of Design

The second-generation architect Enrique Greenwell brings nearly 30 years of experience to lead design strategy, visioning and implementation for the Dallas studio

Enrique Greenwell joins LEO A DALY as the Director of Design for the Dallas studio.

Enrique Greenwell, Intl. Assoc. AIA, LEED AP, IDSA, ADI, joins LEO A DALY as Director of Design. In this new role, he leads strategy, visioning and implementation for the Dallas studio. A second-generation architect with nearly 30 years of experience, his portfolio shows an array of award-winning projects spanning multiple markets and the globe. With a determination of creating a strong sense of belonging, Enrique’s primary focus is Hospitality design. He also offers valuable experience in healthcare, mission critical and transportation/aviation.

“Enrique’s energy and excellence match perfectly with the collaborative approach and level of service our clients expect,” celebrated Managing Principal, Don Hensley. “He has an exceptional ability to generate concepts that capture the client’s vision and then translate them into meaningful architecture.”

Enrique’s enthusiasm and commitment to design are compelling. He has an extraordinary ability to sketch which complements his collaborative leadership style. “My passion for design goes well beyond buildings and furniture,” said Enrique. “I’ve always been drawn to the balance of speed and excellence and the slight adjustments or tinkering that translates to high performance.”

Paying homage to his favorite sport, Formula 1 racing, Enrique Greenwell designed a Console-Compatible Racing Simulator, reflecting the technology and complexity of today’s car racing with the beauty and raw nature of its lines.

A custom, console-compatible F1 racing simulator designed by Enrique Greenwell

Enrique has served as a design critic for the College of Architecture, Planning, and Public Affairs at the University of Texas at Arlington, and recently spoke on “Universal Design, Sustainability and Cultural Adaptation, keys of International Architectural Design” for EXPO CIHAC’s “The Construction Summit” in Mexico City. He is an active member of Latinos in Architecture in Dallas.

Rauzia Ally Featured in Washington Business Journal Special Edition

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Rauzia Ally Featured in Washington Business Journal Special Edition

The Managing Principal of the Washington, D.C. studio is featured in the Women’s History Month edition of WBJ’s People on the Move.



Rauzia Ally, AIA, leads the public and institutional market sector in LEO A DALY's Washington, D.C. studio

As part of the Washington Business Journal‘s special edition of People on the Move highlighting Women’s History Month, Rauzia Ally, AIA, NCARB, is being featured in a Q&A. Below are some of the questions and responses Rauzia shared with us and WBJ on her life, inspirations and thoughts as a woman in the AEC industry.

How do diverse backgrounds advance better design?

I grew up in Guyana, where mangrove swamps are kept under cultivation by an elaborate system of dams, dikes and canals. The alligators in canals, massive lily pods, and a canopy of palm trees were fertile ground for dreaming.  There were blurred lines between indoor and outdoor spaces. Those experiences influence my design process to this day. I love to go places where I can see the stars fully at night, like Jamaica, and listen to the lapping water as I stare at the stars, all from a structure that harmonizes with the nature of the place, like a stone pavilion with thatched roof. Like me, every designer brings their own influences and when these different influences and ideas come together creatively for a common goal, innovative design follows.

If you could trade places with one person for a day, who would it be?

Emily Dickinson. Her ability to so concisely tell very rich stories about such everyday things—a dream, something she felt, a feeling in a garden, with such depth and beauty is remarkable.

Which woman leader or mentor has inspired you in your career, and how did they inspire you?

For me, Marie Curie was one of the greatest testaments to the will of women that ever lived. I respect her legacy so much that my daughter was Marie Curie for Halloween when she was 2 and she built a model of Marie Curie’s lab for one of her projects when she was 8. Madame Curie sacrificed and suffered for science, never wavering in her dedication to unlock nature’s secrets. Her struggles and physical pain caused by her work was always for her belief in the greatness of knowledge and the betterment of humanity.

Best lesson from a mentor?

My father and my mother’s mother understood innately that there are far greater issues than the mundane annoyances, and always handled pressures with ease and poise.

What advice would you give a young woman professional in your field?

For my recent MBA, I often had to write self reflections and I found them invaluable. Reflection is critical to better understanding our actions so that we can act with more insight and effectiveness in the future. It allows us to articulate varying perspectives and assumptions on issues and politics and allows us to explore direct and indirect skills to navigate issues. Reflection will often help to articulate the direction or focus for the future and how to effectively emerge as a leader.

On the lighter side, cultivate great friendships at work. Being surrounded by friends is always more fulfilling.

How does your firm support you personally and/or professionally?

LEO A DALY helped me professionally by giving me purpose. That our work is so dedicated to civic purpose gives me great fulfillment. I also feel everyone shows great passion for what they do and it makes it easy to feel a part of a greater aim. I think the leaders are also not afraid to show vulnerability; that humility is always easy to connect with deeply.

What do you want to accomplish next in your career or personal life?

I want to make the Washington, D.C. studio a great success, with prolific projects that show the love of the people that worked on them.

Which businessperson, living or past, would you most like to dine with? And what one question would you ask?

I would like to dine with any of the robber barons, Carnegie, Rockefeller, or Morgan. And I would ask about a time when they did not trust themselves, and what did they do in that instance?

What’s one thing you can’t live a day without?

I can’t live without sunshine.