CIDA is honored that the DJC (Daily Journal of Commerce – Portland) and the Architecture, Engineering, Development and Construction community recognized Rich Brooks, Lead Architect as a DJC Icon for 2020. With over 44 years in the industry, Rich joined CIDA in 2002 to help cultivate a strong mentorship atmosphere and help CIDA grow into the company we are today.
What positive changes has the nominee spearheaded within the company?
Rich joined CIDA nearly 20 years ago on a mission to complement our fast growing company by impacting our staff through mentorship of all levels, especially our youth. As a company, we had drive and brilliance but we were self-proclaimed naive, inexperienced, and focused on simple building types. With the addition of Rich – his construction understanding and collaboration – CIDA was able to stretch our reach far beyond simple structures and into a wide variety of genres.
While spearheading these projects, he has consistently shown a drive to create good products for our clients, to meet their needs, and to do it all the while supporting his main mission which is to train our up and coming staff to illustrate their brilliance.
On top of this Rich is a great architect. He loves to be involved in every aspect of the project by coming up with well thought-out, efficient and beautiful designs. Designs that are based on industry knowledge of tried and true styles and methods, with the added need for pushing the project forward with well placed innovation or compositions.
What leadership and mentoring efforts has the nominee shown?
“A great leader possesses a clear vision, is courageous, has integrity, honesty, humility and clear focus” – Forbes
Rich brings all of these in spades:
Clear Vision: Comprehensive understanding of the industry with a drive to see the end result even as the project is initially spawning.
Courageous: Within his team-oriented framework, each person under Rich’s tutelage has been encouraged to be inquisitive, challenge assumptions, and work hard. Rich believes in people and pushes them to their limits. He understands to learn is to experience and while that might mean bumps and bruises, he is there to help course correct when needed.
Integrity / Honesty: His scout nature shows through into all he does. Rich’s decisions are based on fact and he will stand for those to ensure that the client’s interests are met, the building code is adhered to and the contractor leads their construction with the same high standards of accountability to which he holds himself.
Humility: Fundamental to this learning process, Rich empowers people to make decisions but remains a steadfast safety net; he is always available steer the helm and dedicated to the learning process. Rich understands that growth is often the result of finding our way back after exploring roads less traveled.
Clear Focus: Rich teaches through a roll-up-your-sleeves approach: get things done BUT get them done correctly and completely. We joke in the office that Rich is a work-horse…if a project needs him, no matter what phase it is in and whose project it is, he is there quickly, correctly and collaboratively to get the project to each and every finish line.
Rich has a desire to see growth in understanding of the company and sees himself as a guide for younger architects and those interns just starting with the company. He leads in-house lunch-and-learns including guidance on specification writing and technical details. In company meetings, vendor presentations and consultant coordination, Rich expresses his desire for education, both for himself and others in attendance, through inquisitive questions and offering additional explanation.
What are the significant accomplishments of the nominee within their company?
Rich’s partnership has led to vastly expanding our client base, our product types, and our project locations.
It is easy to lose sight of the big and the little things Rich has brought to CIDA as he is just one of the team, but reflection is key. He led our first LEED Project, making our name synonymous with sustainability. He worked on our most remotely located project in the far reaches of Florida. He designed our largest building (750,000 square feet). He has managed our most hazardous occupancy buildings. And, he has led our multi-family portfolio, balancing the fiscal needs for housing development with the rigorous requirements of development and building codes.
Rich’s background in design and technical understanding extends to his work with our interiors and structural team members. He is dedicated to aiding and advancing a collaborative approach to the whole building design with a goal of bringing greater understanding of how engineering impacts the architecture and how the architecture impacts the engineering.
What is the nominee’s involvement in the community?
Rich’s mentorship doesn’t stop at CIDA’s doors. Honestly, it didn’t start at CIDA’s doors…Rich has been dedicated to the development of youth for decades. His community involvement is centered around mentorship and guidance through engaging scouts in the outdoors.
- His most recent focus in these efforts has been with Troop 22 CPC Foundation. His 10-year involvement includes 6 years as president followed by an active role offering guidance and support to the current president.
- Troup committee chair for 2 years
- He was a Scout Master for 7 years and Assistant Scout Master for 5 years, for which he is still active.
Rich has been an active voice in Scout inclusion and acceptance of people and believes his troop is a model for the direction’s scouts should go.
In addition to the time Rich gives to the youth in Scouts, he has also served as an adjunct professor for PSU as a professor of construction technologies and sustainable heating, cooling, and lighting. The passion he showed for these areas and the education of young aspiring professionals is exactly the depth he brings to CIDA through application of sustainable practices and construction expertise.
Why do they deserve this award?
As a “young architect” I’ve had the pleasure of working under several senior architects early in my career. Nobody gave me the leash to experience the industry like Rich did. He instilled confidence in me to question and practical guidance to learn the profession in a way that I hadn’t been exposed to before. To this day I know what an invaluable resource he is to our newest interns, our tenured staff as well as our in-house multi-discipline team members.
Rich is a model icon with knowledge that he is willing to impart, history with which he guides and strong desire to shape the built environment today through his projects and tomorrow through the mentorship he has shown to so many.
- Chris Walker – Principal Architect, 2018 DJC Phenom
“Rich is an architect that opens his door to questions, jumps in when needed and buoys the entire company with his knowledge, experience, and willingness to teach. Staff at our office are encouraged to be mentored by Rich and his willingness to devote time to the staff is unsurpassed. As an architect you are tasked with training the future leaders of the industry, you are tasked with the safety of people and buildings and both of these Rich takes with the upmost care. So often I have run into architects that lack the ability or desire to teach, and to each of those, Rich makes up 10 fold in what he does for young staff. His unsurpassed enthusiasm to mentor has also allowed us to shift staff to his team that weren’t thriving elsewhere and he, like magic, finds a path to make them all they can be. We are blessed to have Rich on staff but more so to have him be a part of who we are.”
~ Jennifer M. Beattie, AIA CIDA President (Former – Women of Vision & 40 under 40 recipient)