VOL. 114 | NO. 104 | Tuesday, May 30, 2000
Hnedak Bobo creates master plan for firms future
Hnedak Bobo creates blueprint for firms future
By LAURIE JOHNSON
The Daily News
In an effort to ensure its success into the 21st century and beyond, Memphis architecture firm Hnedak Bobo Group has expanded its leadership.
HBG, one of the largest architecture/interior design/construction management firms in the city, has finalized its first ownership transition plan.
By extending partnership in the firm to HBG principals Mark Weaver, Rick Gardner, Ron Johnson, Barry Marshall and Dan Elias, firm founders Greg Hnedak and Kirk Bobo say they have secured HBGs future for the next generation.
"We are excited about adding this new step to the HBG career track," Hnedak said. "The transition plan not only ensures firm stability, but also gives these dedicated employees the opportunity to play a key role in the future of the company.
"These five employees represent the force behind the success HBG has seen through the years."
The five new shareholders have all been HBG employees for at least 15 years, with the exception of Gardner, who joined the firm through the merger of Taylor Gardner Architects and HBG last fall.
The collective team of leaders represents a wealth of design and technical expertise, including exceptional project directors, award-winning designers and experienced operations managers.
Elias, a graduate of Ball State University, is a project director at HBG, and is responsible for managing the daily operations of corporate projects and coordinating his project team. As both project manager and architect for the firms corporate and financial projects, he has guided project teams through all aspects of design, including programming, planning and relocation management.
Marshall, a graduate of the University of Tennessee, is a project architect with the firm, with more than 25 years professional experience in the architecture industry. During his career, he has been involved in the design and development of numerous award-winning projects, and is selected regularly by HBG to oversee projects for the gaming/entertainment market.
Johnson, a graduate of William R. Moore School of Technology, is operations manager/regulatory reform/codes specialist for HBG. He has 32 years experience in the architecture field, including 10 years of service with the city of Memphis as chief building inspector. With HBG for the past 15 years, Johnson most recently has been involved in the development of guidelines for construction and life safety issues for casinos and other facilities built on barges.
Gardner, an honors graduate of the University of Tennessee, is a project director with HBG. For the past 14 years, he has been principal of Taylor Gardner Architects Inc., and his experience includes design projects for Opryland Hotel and Convention Center, FedEx and Hyatt Regency Hotels.
Weaver, who graduated second in his class at the University of Arkansas, is project architect for HBG, and has served as lead architect on many of the firms largest design projects, including Peabody Place, the Main Street Trolley/Light Rail Pedestrian Mall, the city of Memphis Fire Museum, the Crump and Allenberg buildings, Grace St. Lukes Episcopal School and FedEx World Headquarters.
"An expanded shareholder group will better serve the needs of our expanding firm," said Hnedak, noting that within the past year, HBGs staff has mushroomed from 90 to 120 employees.
The addition of the new principals increases the number of firm partners to 13. In addition to Hnedak and Bobo, HBG principals include Terry E. DeWitt, Jerry W. Durham, Janet Smith-Haltom, Granville Taylor, Tom Thillen and Doug Warren.
HBGs new ownership plan represents the culmination of a stock transfer process in the works for several years.
Hnedak and Bobo said as they evaluated different transition options, they elevated these individuals to a level they termed "stakeholders." The firm essentially has been operating under the leadership of these five individuals for the past few years and is now formalizing their roles, Hnedak said.
"We chose to implement an internal ownership transition plan because we were confident that we could find the strong future leadership inside the firm," Bobo said. "Because these employees have grown with HBG through the years, they have made this firm what it is today and are committed to its continued success.
"Strategically, it just makes sense for this seasoned group of design professionals to transition into the firms key leadership roles."
Another component of HBGs new leadership plan is the creation of the new "senior associate" level, a designation given to those associates who are strong candidates for future principal positions.
HBG has promoted three employees to senior associates: Terri Struminger, director of administration; Craig Conrad, entertainment/hospitality studio project leader and Rob Lee, entertainment/hospitality studio project manager.
Urban/civic studio architect Danny Valle and entertainment/hospitality studio architect Steve Trott were named associates of the firm.
HBGs employee roster now includes 27 registered architects and 42 licensed design industry professionals within its two operating divisions Hnedak Bobo Group Architects and HBG Management, its construction management and consulting arm.
HBG staff includes specialists in architecture, master planning, strategic facilities planning and programming, interior and graphic design, landscape architecture, regulatory/codes enforcement, cost consulting, plans examination and computer applications.
The firm has completed projects in 27 states for corporate, entertainment/hospitality, health care and public clients, such as FedEx, AutoZone, Arthur Andersen, Belz Enterprises, Boyle Investment, Morgan Keegan, International Paper and Thomas & Betts, and has received more than 70 awards for its designs.