CIDA Hits 30 Year Milestone!
CIDA was founded in 1991 by David Welsh to provide commercial, industrial and institutional clients with a source of design professionals focused on the uniqueness of each user. CIDA’s design purpose is its clients’ success.
In its 22nd year, CIDA became woman-owned when Jennifer Beattie, AIA, took over as the company’s president. While the official transition happened in 2013, her leadership started several years earlier during the climb out of the Great Recession. Her active role strengthened CIDA’s business foundation while relentlessly reaffirming the company culture, both before and after the formal transition. This led to a seamless process for employees and clients alike, as well as continued and steady company growth.
CIDA still serves the commercial and industrial sectors it was founded on. However, its project portfolio has expanded and is now heavily represented on an annual basis by PK-12 education, healthcare, hospitality, multifamily residential, civic, nonprofit, retail, mixed-use and the senior living sectors.
CIDA works throughout the United States and its services include architectural and interior design, structural engineering, land use planning and property development. Beattie said the firm’s growth happened naturally as its team focuses on client collaboration to design innovative and unique structures that respond to the function and purpose of the project.
“We design with the intent for our clients to have exactly what they need at the end of the day. We make beautiful buildings but if they aren’t functional for the client, they aren’t successful, so our intent is to strike a balance between beauty and performance,” she said.
In addition to exemplary client service, CIDA is proud of its corporate culture. With its focus on people and emphasis on diversity, by building upon people’s strengths, passions and needs CIDA has not only been able to expand market sectors and increase revenue but redefine its corporate reach.
Beattie described the culture as one that fosters its employees’ success and serves as a foundation for future leadership. “Our staff is what makes us who we are, their passion, their hard work and their creativity make CIDA a strong, thriving place to be.”
Beyond a high representation of women in ownership – three of the six owning partners are women – CIDA strives to improve access to the industry to other underrepresented groups. This desire to see diversity has led CIDA to be one of the first architectural and engineering firms to take the Associated General Contractors of America’s Culture of CARE pledge to support diversity measures and early education interventions.
CIDA believes its community is part of CIDA, just like CIDA is a part of the community. CIDA’s goal is to find avenues to serve and help others and has always made a critical part of the company’s focus to encourage all to give back. That includes corporate giving, pro bono services, and employee volunteering both in and out of the office.
Noting that CIDA has recently added staff, Beattie said the firm is extremely grateful to its clients, contractors and consultants, who have helped it not only survive during the pandemic and recession but thrive.