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Corporate Champion: McGillin Architecture, Inc.

Howard Lebold, center, working with members of the MAI staff.
Howard Lebold, Principal of McGillin Architecture, Inc. (MAI), was in the room where it happened. He helped launch the Community Design Collaborative in the early ‘90s. Since then, he’s supported the Collaborative as a project volunteer, a board member, an advisory board member, an event sponsor and, now, as a Corporate Champion.

At MAI, we consider ourselves generalists in a specialized world. In our work, relationships come first. We focus a lot of time and attention on making sure we understand the client’s needs in terms of vision, program, schedule, and budget. Our solutions are driven from that information. We take the time to solve small problems, even when they’re not our problem.

We do have some core markets—education, corporate, and retail—but it’s the relationships we develop that lead us into new areas, like designing a cryogenic gene storage facility that’s a key part of the Human Genome Project.

One of our unwritten corporate values is that we generate enough revenue to allow us to do pro bono work for organizations that need our support. It’s a meaningful way to give back that makes use of our skills and experience. It’s bigger than what we do from 8 to 5.

MAI is fortunate to have clients who can afford our services and learn from the design process. The Collaborative makes that experience available to everybody

MAI is fortunate to have clients who can afford our services and learn from the design process. The Community Design Collaborative makes that experience available to everybody. They get to see and understand the value that design brings to the development process… how design contributes to the sustainability of their community.

It’s also wonderful to see how good the Collaborative has become at being the convener. The Collaborative puts the right people in the room to talk about an issue and hear other people’s perspectives.

If someone asked me about the thing that I’m proudest of, the Collaborative would be at the top of my list.

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