Christopher Walker was named a DJC Phenom in 2018. Chris is an Associate Architect with CIDA Architects & Engineers and has worked with the company since 2004. Below is what everyone had to say about him to lead to his nomination and award.
What positive changes has the nominee spearheaded within the company?
Chris has simply become CIDA’s go-to person – an invaluable resource to his peers and a role model for younger staff. He will help anyone at any time, no matter how big or small and no matter how inconvenient it is to him at the time. He not only rolls up his sleeves to help meet deadlines, but is also able to slow down, listen, answer questions and provide guidance.
Chris leads our internship mentorship programs and provides mentoring for multiple staff through the licensure process. He also adapts this program for people who are in it and their individual learning styles.
In the words of a current intern:
“Chris is approachable professionally and personally. As his intern for over 3 years he’s helped me finish my IDP/AXP, supported me as I’ve begun my ARE exams and transition into a project manager role within the company. Being in an industry that’s dependent on the architect/intern relationship, I feel fortunate that Chris’s guidance has shaped my career and his support will continue as I become a licensed, practicing architect.”
The guidance Chris provides is multi-faceted. Having a brain like a vault, you can go to him at any time and he will remember everything about a past project. It is simply remarkable. He leads the office in technical expertise, spearheading and expanding multiple departments that contribute to CIDA’s portfolio. In addition to traditional architectural services for new construction, Chris has been foundational in creating CIDA’s strong portfolio in existing building evaluations and water intrusion remediation. Chris has also established himself as an expert in land use and property acquisition – expanding new project types and opportunities for CIDA.
During the heart of the recession an opportunity came to CIDA to assist owners when their property faced condemnation. Chris took this roll on with the blend of design and analysis required of these very specific projects, and to date has assisted 46 owners.
Beyond exceptionally growing his own loyal client base, Chris directs CIDA’s marketing efforts. He is the first point of contact on reviewing possible projects, discussing what we can offer and how to best approach projects for success. With his impressive organization skills, Chris has developed and implemented the system by which CIDA tracks and evaluates RFP’s. This process helps us to determine viability, understand efforts required and provides follow through once proposals are submitted. Additionally, Chris often steps up and writes a good portion of the required responses.
The positive changes Chris has spearheaded within the company are a challenge to fully quantify. He has embraced CIDA’s founding principles of universal respect, trust, and accountability such that he embodies and advances CIDA’s team-oriented culture. His contributions are ingrained in the fabric of CIDA’s ongoing success.
What are the significant accomplishments of the nominee within the company?
Chris is driven. This is proven by the fact he was licensed in Architecture as soon as he was eligible and completed the testing within a six-month period concurrent with him and his wife raising twin baby boys. Since that time his progress has not slowed.
His list of successfully completed projects is long and varied. Most recently, he has completed the Peterson Machinery Campus in Hillsboro. The projects included a 22-acre site development with six buildings totaling 216,055 square feet supporting heavy machinery sales, services, employee amenities, and showroom. The new campus provides Peterson a distinctive visual presence from Highway 26. Chris’s skillful management of the project and exemplary design were fundamental to the successful project outcome – a success that has led to the design of two additional properties for Peterson.
This type of project success is typical for Chris’s projects. Last year another of his projects – Daimler Proving Grounds – was honored with first place in the industrial category by DJC’s Top Projects. Beyond the award recognition, the success of the project was born out through the development of fruitful working relationships that led to a subsequent Phase two project, multiple tenant improvements at other Daimler facilities and new constructions throughout the state.
Chris’s commitment and belief in CIDA was recognized by his promotion to Associate Architect in January 2013. Chris is the youngest team member in CIDA’s 27 years to be promoted to this position.
What is the nominee’s involvement in the community?
Chris is committed to his community, as is demonstrated by his participation in the following:
- Our Lady of Lourdes, Vancouver WA Strategic Planning Committee
- Knights of Columbus Council 1327
- The Salvation Army – including professional architectural services, food box preparation and Can food drive organizer
- Volunteers his time to visit and bring food to people that are home bound.
- Little league baseball coach.
Why do they deserve this award?
Chris embodies all that CIDA stands for. He is insanely committed to CIDA, his family and church. He finds balance in a world of go, go, go. He commutes from Vancouver, so his family could stay in the school they wanted. Somehow, Chris gets more done in day then most people we know get done in a week. Given his career trajectory thus far, Chris’s potential for future impact is vast. As he continues to develop working relationships he is actively expanding CIDA’s principles to other sectors of the industry and will no doubt impact industry standards far into the future.
“I’ve worked with Chris for more than a decade on dozens of projects and he has always remained a standard of integrity and practical design. I find it an honor to know him and to work on projects with him. Chris deserves recognition for his ability to lead a project team through design in a way that is collaborative and productive.”
Erik Timmons, President/CEO