Engaging Employee-Owners Across Multiple Locations by Sarah Callahan

Employee engagement is important not only to foster the shared sense of community and ownership within an ESOP, but also for the success of the company as a whole.  Employees who are engaged are passionate about their jobs, committed to the organization, put discretionary effort into their work, and understand the impact they make on company performance.  It can sometimes be a challenge to keep employee-owners located in a single centralized office engaged.  When the employee-owners are dispersed across multiple locations the challenge becomes even greater.  Physical dispersion of employees means that interpersonal connections resulting from ad hoc meetings, water cooler conversations, after hours activities and similar types of engagements don’t occur. 

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How Continuous Improvement Strengthens Ownership Culture by Sarah Callahan

At the 2016 Annual ESOP Association’s convention in Washington D.C., Aaron Moberger of Harpoon Brewery and Matt Hancock of Praxis presented a workshop on continuous improvement programs.  Continuous improvement programs address the question many employee-owners have: ‘What can I do to create value for my ESOP?’  All employee-owners in an ESOP have a vested interest in the overall performance of the company because they all share in the profits.  Often times at a staff level it is not clear what employee-owners can do to help improve performance and increase profitability, outside of continuing to perform their job to the best of their ability.

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ESOP Introduction, AACE Awards by Sarah Callahan

Back in May, a team from JCJ’s ESOP Communications Committee attended the 49th annual ESOP Association’s convention in Washington D.C.  The convention celebrated ESOPs around the country and fully packed two days with seminars on everything from ideas for team building activities to legal and regulatory updates impacting ESOPs.

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JCJ looks to inspire children through America themed Table for Tots design by Sarah Callahan

JCJ has had the pleasure of participating in San Diego’s local Tables for Tots annual design competition since its first year. JCJ employees Sara Miller, Kaylee Miner, Allison Louret, and Ryan Labrum got together with new San Diego co-worker Sarah Giardini to discuss the fundraiser, the process behind our submission, and its impact on the community. The JCJ Table for Tots team is made up of a handful of San Diego office employees and takes about 2 to 3 months of preparation and coordination. This year the theme was America, so JCJ was challenged to design their table and two chairs to represent a road trip across the country. With a set of remote operated cars, the road passes many of America’s iconic buildings including the Empire State Building, the White House, and the Sears Tower. Each Architectural and Design Firm's designs will be auctioned in August and all proceeds will be given directly to the Ronald McDonald House of San Diego.

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Insights from PHIL-AIA-DELPHIA: Architecture in the Information Age by Sarah Callahan

In the final keynote of this year’s AIA Convention, Rem Koolhaas not only discussed Architecture as a collective memory of our past  but also established a launching point for consideration of the profession’s future.  Koolhaas pointed out that architecture faces a significant challenge in the Information Age; architecture is historically slow to make impact, but new technology and unprecedented availability of information is catalyzing continuous and rapid change.  When buildings take multiple years to complete, how can architects possibly keep pace staying relevant?

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30 Days of Design: The Thinking Pencil by Sarah Callahan

Drawing is one of the primary visualization tools available to us as Architects and Interior Designers. Traditional techniques of quick sketching and rendering familiar to many late 20th century designers’, are being challenged by the advent of increased computer usage. Computer aided visualization programs offer the designer unprecedented opportunities for understanding three-dimensional spatial relationships, especially in the area of material and light rendition. The spectacular nature of these images is compelling and intimately connected with the perception of cutting edge design and technology.

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Insights from PHIL-AIA-DELPHIA: Architecture and the Natural Context by Sarah Callahan

As long as we have been building, architecture has wrestled with humanity’s relationship to the world around us.  As our perspective changes, architecture has expressed supplication, cooperation, inspiration, dominance, indifference and just about every other mediation of the builders to the local context. So it comes as no surprise this topic would arise in many forms at the AIA Convention in Philadelphia.

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A trip to Germany, the latest trends in V/S education furniture design by Sarah Callahan

In 2006, I had an amazing opportunity to visit a small town in Germany called Tauberbischofsheim. V/S Furniture, a company on the leading edge of design and production/fabrication of school furnishings, is located there and each year they offered designers from America the chance to visit the showroom, tour the manufacturing plant, attend presentations, and experience a taste of German culture.

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Insights from PHIL-AIA-DELPHIA: Take Risks and Innovate by Sarah Callahan

Last weekend, thousands of architects and construction industry professionals descended on the City of Brotherly Love to share their common passion for architecture and imagine “What’s Next?”  Over the next three weeks, I’d like to share a few insights from my experiences at the AIA Convention in Philadelphia, exploring the future of the profession as it relates to Design Innovation, the Natural Context, and Developing Leadership.

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An Architect's Balancing Act: Balancing Program with Budget by Sarah Callahan

There is a balancing act an architect experiences from the Design Development (DD) phase through the Construction Documentation (CD) phase that those outside of our profession may not see.  We’re walking a tight wire - determined to reach solid ground with our client – as we balance our client’s budget and their desired program. Sometimes it can seem daunting, but it doesn’t need to be.

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Why Architects should take time to revisit the places they worked so hard to create by Sarah Callahan

In our fast paced and hyperfocused profession, we rarely get a chance to slow down and reflect on everything we’ve accomplished. It seems that no sooner do we finish up design and documentation on one project we are moving onto the next one. Design blurs into documents, documents blur into construction, construction blurs back into the next design. I recently had an opportunity to visit a project that I spent almost five years working on when I was invited to speak to a group of colleagues from the Connecticut Chapter of the Green Building Council during their monthly meeting at the Fairchild Wheeler Multi Magnet Campus

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JCJ ACE Mentors guide students beyond the construction of Dunkin' Donuts Park by Sarah Callahan

Each year, the ACE Hartford Chapter arranges a construction site tour as part of its program to expose high school students to firsthand experiences with the construction industry.  Despite the pressures of an aggressive schedule, Jason Rudnick, President of Centerplan Development, generously agreed to not only hold the tour of Dunkin’ Donuts Park, but to lead the students through the project himself. ACE Mentors Dante Balassone, Ersa Llakmani, and Dan Thornton of JCJ Architecture and Lewis Pia of RZ Design Associates completed the guide team and provided commentary regarding the various architectural and engineered systems.

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What to consider before implementing independent school expansion plans by Sarah Callahan

JCJ Architecture and K12 Independent Market Sector Leader Peter Bachmann were recently mentioned in this week’s NBOA Bottomline e-newsletter titled “Pay-It-Forward Independent School Construction” attached below. In the message, Jeffrey Shields, President and CEO of NBOA, discusses independent school construction and the importance of strategic sequencing in future campus expansion plans. Peter recently shared some thoughts on how to approach this process and examples of how it can create additional opportunities for institutions.

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The True Potential of Effective Design-Build Teams by Emily Koehler

With architect and builder working together, the role of the architect as trusted advisor is reinforced with the owner. A complementary rather than adversarial approach by the design-build participants allows the architect to be viewed as an objective advocate of aesthetic issues and an experienced and valued voice in the facilitation of program related goals. While no team is flawless, it can be argued that an effective design-build team represents a more perfect union.

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JCJ Participates in the 24th Annual Santa Ana Star Benefit Pro-Am by Emily Koehler

On July 13, JCJ’s Mark Griffith, Julie Kim and Joe Baruffaldi along with co-sponsors Chaves Grieves, Jaynes and EXP, participated in the 24th Annual Santa Ana Star Benefit Pro-Am. The tournament took place at the Santa Ana Golf Club in Santa Ana Pueblo, NM.  All proceeds are being used to benefit deserving groups from the Pueblo of Santa Ana Tribe. Some of these groups include Pueblo Summer Youth Programs and the Santa Ana Junior Golf Academy. The Anita Salas Foundation provides support and funding for uninsured and underinsured women in New Mexico who summer from breast or cervical cancer.  Other sponsors for this event included Twin Warriors Golf Club, Santa Ana Golf Club, and the Santa Ana Star Casino.

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