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Purdy-McGuire’s Family Business

Purdy-McGuire’s Family Business

No, Purdy-McGuire isn’t family-owned. But in a way, maybe it is. Employees of any firm have a vested interest in seeing their firm succeed. However, at Purdy-McGuire, it’s personal. Our actions represent not just a firm, but a family that celebrates our collective and individual successes together. Our mission statement says it best:

TO CHALLENGE OURSELVES INDIVIDUALLY AND COLLECTIVELY,

TO STRIVE TOWARD EXCELLENCE IN:

*SERVICE TO CLIENTS

*QUALITY OF TEAMWORK

*ENVIRONMENT IN THE WORKPLACE

THE ACHIEVEMENT OF WHICH WILL BE SHARING IN THE SUCCESS OF OUR FIRM

 

At PMI we’re serious about our work, and everyone – everyone – is working toward a deadline. Each deadline represents another opportunity to have a happy client. From the beginning though, we were meant to be a family and treat each other as such. (You can learn more about our history here.) We’re also serious about our respect and care for each other. When I ask a busy designer for information that will help me meet my deadline, he or she responds asap, despite having a deadline too.

With all that serious work, we also find time to enjoy the company of each other (and families) outside of PMI work hours. The picture above was taken at the recent Form Follows Fitness event and is a good example of our family-ness. Six in that photo are PMI employees, but all are part of the PMI family. In the last 10 years, we’ve had seven weddings and 12 babies (if my count is correct). People don’t leave the firm often, so we have a collective tenure at PMI of over 400 years. To me that means stability – and that someone is doing something right. When I began my tenure at PMI, my plan was for this job to be transitional since I was searching for a leadership position in Human Resources. Eleven years later, I am still here and an integral part of the family. And in Marketing, not HR!

In general, I think we all want each other to be successful. But when it’s family, maybe a bit more effort goes into everything we do. The clients we serve become part of our extended family. It’s one of the reasons we hold ourselves to a higher standard, and indeed why our business continues to flourish. Reach out to us at dallas@purdy-mcguire.com. We would love to have you as part of our extended family of clients!

/rhh

 

 

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We’re Baaaaack…

We’re Baaaaack…

Whew! 2020 was a real bugger for most of us. Everyone has a story or two about how the events of 2020 affected them in good and bad ways. At Purdy-McGuire, we started working remotely on March 13, 2020, and returned to work on June 1, 2021. That’s 445 days of working from home. 445 days of rolling out of bed at 6:30 and making it to work before 7 o’clock. Who knows how many hundreds of ZOOM meetings were attended – many of which we prepared for by donning professional garb from the waist up!!

At Purdy-McGuire, our leaders worked hard during the pandemic to keep our wonderful and unique culture intact. It wasn’t easy, but they persevered and let their (Kip’s?) imagination run free. They’ve worked just as hard to welcome us back to the office, with a variety of activities planned for this first week back. We thought we’d poll the employees to see how they felt about returning to the office – enjoy the slide show below. No matter what the pictures depict, we’re glad to be back “home.”

How are you welcoming your employees back to the office?

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Don’t Forget to Celebrate!

Don’t Forget to Celebrate!

At Purdy-McGuire, we do believe in celebrating! Seems like we celebrate every major holiday, but more than anything, we celebrate each other. Employee anniversaries are celebrated every month, and each celebrant is rewarded with a gift. Certain milestone anniversaries require big celebrations, and … well … let’s just say that some images from those celebrations are best left “company-private,” which was once a term in old corporate America (I even had a stamp!). Taken out of context, some people might think we’re nuts.

Of course, birthdays are celebrated, and milestone birthdays are something special. 2020 presented unique challenges for keeping our celebration-loving culture intact, but we had plenty of celebrations anyway (most documented with ZOOM screenshots…).  As a firm, we’ve managed to remain connected during this COVID Conundrum. So how do you celebrate PMI’s own King of Celebrations and Costumes on his milestone birthday? We wanted (needed) to see his smiling face. We wanted (needed) him to see our smiling faces too.

So we all masked up, traveled in small groups (by teams), and celebrated him in person. Outside his home. With costumes and signs and balloons, plus food and drink to share with his family. Yep. Five back-to-back drivebys. I think Kip was surprised by the first driveby; but when the 2nd driveby started, I’ll bet he had figured it all out and waited for the next group with birthday-ish anticipation!

2020 was tough for everyone in some way.  New loved ones were ushered into the world while existing ones were ushered out, either because of COVID or because it was just their time. COVID-19 changed how we live across the board, and how we socialize may be different forever. But we made it to 2021, and are already three months in. That alone is worth celebrating!

So please don’t forget to celebrate! Celebrate your wins, but also celebrate what you learned from your losses. Celebrate the sunshine in its blazing glory, but celebrate the rain for its cleansing and nourishing effects. Look for that silver lining and celebrate it – find a reason to celebrate something or someone every day.

/rhh

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What Are You Thankful For?

What Are You Thankful For?

Thanksgiving is traditionally a time when people come together with family and friends, but for many, this year will be different. Most people I ask say they are having a scaled-down version of the holiday in hopes that by Christmas, family gatherings will be safer.

2020 has been full of surprises, to put it mildly. Most people I talk with have been impacted in some way by the Coronavirus Conundrum. Corporate and personal families are taxed with trying to find a normal that fits. And oh, the isolation! For many, that is the hardest part of all.

In the midst of a nasty virus, businesses closing, and job losses in the millions around the world, it can be hard to find a reason to be thankful. We are forced to be alone with our thoughts, so why not turn those thoughts to the positive?

Back in April this year, I asked PMI employees, “What Are You Thankful for?” At the time, COVID was still pretty new, and we had been working remotely for a little more than a month. Topping the list of most responses was thankfulness for our firm and leadership. But more than that, the common thread was gratefulness for the people of Purdy-McGuire. We’re a family and are thankful for the ZOOM meetings and the other activities that keep us connected.

Below, see what employees and leaders are still thankful for some seven months later. These reasons to be thankful will be popping up throughout the holiday season here, as well as on our other social media channels. And enjoy the photos from our mini-retreat in October. It was a mask-wearing, socially-distanced event, and was loads of fun for all!

What are you thankful for?

  • … to work for such a wonderful firm as Purdy-McGuire, I love how we are treated not only as a valued employee but as FAMILY!!! And so thankful for such wonderful PARTNERS who took HARD times and turned them into POSITIVE times! – KF
  • … for God’s grace, my family and the ability to do a job that has provided for me since I was 18 years old.  I’ve been at this a long time and have learned from and met so many people that I respect and owe a lifetime of gratitude to. And I’m thankful for the “non-essential” workers who are keeping this country going while so many are jobless. – DW
  • For the transparency that the leadership has with us during these difficult times and keeping us up to date with profits and new projects on the horizon. – JG
  • For the country we live in and the efforts of everyone from all areas is making to keep us safe and get us through this as soon as possible, especially medical professionals and other essential workers. CW
  • I’m thankful that I can work from home, that we HAVE work, …and that we have some flexibility. And I’m thankful I can “go to church” online; I’m thankful I have all I need. JL
  • I’m thankful that our leadership and company lead the way in helping us do our part to keep folks healthy. And I’m thankful for Hope beyond physical illness….BS
  • I’m thankful for time that I would have never gotten to spend with (sons) Caldyr and Breckyn, and for more family time in the evenings. And I’m definitely thankful for no commute! LP
  • I’m thankful for the way everyone in the office has attacked this Coronavirus challenge and coming up with new creative ideas to look out for the total health of the company. And, even though my two college kids stay up and make noise well past 2:30 am every night, exponentially increase our food budget, and totally ignore social distancing guidelines – I am so thankful to spend a couple more months with my adult boys that I thought would not happen again. DT
  • Walks outside on break are awesome, and I have more time with my wife and dog. Plus the bathroom is 10 steps away from my desk! – BI
  • I have a newfound thankfulness for the following: iPads and kids apps; the “touch-up” filter on Zoom (it’t a real thing…); grocery delivery/pickup, and finally, Texas’ amazing decision to allow alcoholic drinks to be included in take-out.! CB
  • Thankful for being part of a group and family that thinks about and helps others.
  • I’m thankful for all of the PMI family and the principals that have the foresight to make the right decisions to protect the company and us. – DR
  • The fact that working from home allows my day to be a little flexible.  I can enjoy a relaxing morning cup of coffee or a quick walk around the block if I’d like. And I’m thankful PMI let us take our larger screens and other gadgets home because it sure does make me much more efficient! – KS
  • That I have a job and a paycheck to go with it; that I can do my job from home; that I have a home to work from! – RH

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Powerful, Cohesive Leadership When We Need It Most

Powerful, Cohesive Leadership When We Need It Most

On Thursday, March 12, we received an email from our Partners advising that effective Friday the 13th, we would have a period of mandatory working from home to test our VPN to ensure it was robust enough to accommodate everyone working remotely. Initially, we were to work Friday and Monday; within just a few days our leaders extended that to the end of March. By the time the rest of Dallas and surrounding counties started working remotely, we were well into our groove and being very productive.

We’re approaching another Friday the 13th which means eight months to the day that we’ve been working remotely. Wow. Who knew?

Throughout these eight months, we have seen what our leadership is really made of. We began our fiscal 2020 (October 1, 2019) with a renewed commitment to having 2020 vision – to see ourselves, our work, and our clients clearly so we can better provide the services we offer. But the events of 2020 caught everyone off guard. Without warning, our four Principals had 26 scared children representing 26 families, looking to them for guidance and reassurance about their livelihoods. They rose to the occasion immediately, as evidenced by their foresight regarding the testing of our VPN.

Camille Barton, Kip Hanzlicek, Dan Thien, and Scott Brown worked together tirelessly ‘behind the scenes.’ They always had a plan – a fluid plan that evolved as needed in this nasty COVID environment. It’s clear this team is a cohesive unit with common goals for our firm.  When Dianne Fletcher retired in 2016, I expected to see some changes (hey, I’m old and this ain’t my first corporate rodeo), and that’s ok. They don’t necessarily think alike – but are good at candidly talking through the pros and cons and reaching decisions that are palatable for all. What a wonderful balance!

Our Partners’ actions have been bold and unapologetic, and I think are part of national leadership in our industry and beyond that’s not afraid to grow and change to remain relevant. They have made it clear that our well being is their priority. They’ve even managed to sustain our sometimes wacky but always comfy culture, despite the fact that we haven’t all been in a room together since February. We continue to have monthly employee meetings, and we celebrate birthdays and anniversaries and many other milestones for employees. PMI’s leaders have been creative and unafraid to try something new. Heck, how many of you have leaders who get your personal pizza order and have it delivered to your home for a monthly zoom meeting? Plus, we’ve probably played every zoom game imaginable (Thank. You. Kip.). Teams and disciplines still meet regularly. The workouts that were once in person at the office after hours three days a week are now virtual 30-minute workouts five days a week. (Of course, randomly-selected teams are competing to see who wins the fitness prize. For now.)  Leadership has done an incredible job pivoting when necessary to keep us motivated and connected. We try to be gracious beneficiaries of their efforts.

I think one secret of our leadership team’s success is that they know and respect each other, our employees, and our firm. Employees share this respect, and we appreciate that they lead by example.

At the beginning of our fiscal year, we have an all-employee strategic planning retreat where we discuss and set goals for the coming year. This year, the ‘Rona version included lunch then a bit of archery and axe throwing during the afternoon. No overnight stay, but a chance to see faces in person (it’s been sooooo long), and recommit to our firm, each other, and our clients. Typically at our retreats, the employees coordinate something special to … well… honor and thank our leaders in true Purdy-McGuire fashion. But we couldn’t do that this year.

So on behalf of all of our employees, I say a simple “thank you” to our Partners, though that seems inadequate. Your passion for Purdy-McGuire and all it entails is evident and appreciated.  Your compassion for the personal plights of your 26 children (plus your own families!) is more than I expected because it’s over the top and not necessarily “normal.”  But what is “normal” anymore? Well, I don’t know but I have confidence that our Partners will find our path and lead our business through it.

/rhh

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Employee Spotlight – Chase Zamulinski

Employee Spotlight – Chase Zamulinski

Chase joined us in 2019, and he came by way of Texas A&M (What? Not K-State?). He is a great fit for our culture, and we’re glad he found his way to Purdy-McGuire. Here are a few things Chase would like to share in his own words.

  • I was born in San Antonio, but I moved to College Station and lived there for 8 years. I was the first graduating class of College Station High School, and I accidentally ended up attending Texas A&M University and earning a bachelor’s degree in Electrical Engineering.
  • I’ve won a national award for my photography skills during a 3-day photography competition.
  • I ran a photography club at A&M for 3 years, and we went on many adventures to try to get cool pictures.
  • I used to make pens, and I won a few state awards for them in middle school.
  • I was the mascot for my middle school, high school, and occasionally for HEB.
  • I’m an only child, but I have a cat named Gooby. His original owner called him Goobert, so I just shortened it.
  • My parents are both in the medical field, so I’m the first engineer in the family.
  • My dad is Canadian, so naturally, the cold doesn’t bother me. Texas heat is another story.
  • I’m a big cinephile, and I try to stay up to date on the latest movies and shows. I’ll get so caught up in a story that I can often binge a show over a weekend.

 

 

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Employee Spotlight – Bridger Schwasinger

Employee Spotlight – Bridger Schwasinger

Bridger joined us in 2017 and we are so glad he did! He helps bring sunshine to our office with his genuine – and dimpled – smile. Here are a few things about Bridger in his own words.

  • Graduated with a bachelor’s degree in architectural engineering in May 2017 from KSU.
  • Grew up in Gretna, Nebraska, but was born in Omaha.
  • Spent three years playing the trombone in the KSU Marching Band, visiting the Fiesta Bowl, Alamo Bowl, and Buffalo Wild Wings bowl.
  • Spent two months in Indonesia learning the language and culture, and creating relationships with Indonesian students. While there climbed a mountain all night to see the sunrise on top of Mt. Lawu on the Island of Java.
  • I was a part of the Navigators Campus Ministry for all 5 years at Kansas State University. This is where I met my wife, Breann!
  • Married May 19th, 2017 to Breann Lehr, now Breann Schwasinger.
  • Spent week-long trips canoeing the boundary waters in Minnesota and Canoeing down the Green River in Utah.
  • Week-long hiking trip in Maine along the Appalachian Trail.
  • Greatly enjoy board games – such as Risk, Pandemic, Ticket to Ride.

 

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Employee Spotlight – Zach Bennett

Employee Spotlight – Zach Bennett

In 2019, we added three people to our family. Zach was the last to start, but he’s the first to be featured. I thought his dogs were huge, given the names they have – picture an Australian Shepherd or Husky. Zach says they’re “fun-sized” and from their pics, he’s absolutely right. Here are a few things about Zach that he’d like to share in his own words:

  • I was born at Medical City Dallas and went to Jesuit High School where I was a captain on the robotics team and played rugby
  • I graduated with a Degree in Mechanical Engineering from Arizona State University
  • For my Senior Capstone class, I designed and built a fully functional wind and solar emergency generator
  • I grew up with love and appreciation for music so I taught myself how modern producers make music using only their laptops and I now have a couple of songs on SoundCloud with thousands of plays.
  • I try to work out every day and love skateboard and longboard when I have free time
  • You can find me at any electronic, R&B, or rap concert
  • My parents are Andrew and Lynnette Bennett. My dad is an architect and gave me my love of music and design. My mom is a physical therapist and a small business owner
  • I have one younger sister, Hannah. She recently finished her first year at Saint Louis University and plans to study abroad in Spain next semester
  • I have two dogs, Koa and Makai, who I love to take to the dog park and throw the frisbee




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Purdy-McGuire’s Vision 2020 – The Future is Bright!

Purdy-McGuire’s Vision 2020 – The Future is Bright!

At Purdy-McGuire, we like to think we take good care of our customers. Our goal is to design a custom MEP solution for each building, each client. We believe what we do gives the space a heartbeat that, in most cases, needs to beat for generations to come. Working with architects, developers, and other subconsultants we help create magical environments for all kinds of spaces. What a great job to have! The work can be stressful and is deadline-driven; but in the end, knowing that our clients are satisfied with our service makes it well worth it. We’re good at what we do, yet we are constantly learning. Our goal is always to exceed customer expectations.

So to our leadership, it’s worth it to close the firm for a couple of days at the end of our fiscal year so we can go offsite to regroup and rejuvenate. We need to be at our best so we can give our clients our best! When you look at our pictures, you may think we’re playing hookey – having a little fun. And maybe we are. But spending a couple of days together away from the office strengthens the bond between employees and within teams. As we fortify our relationships with each other, we’re also exploring ways to have stronger relationships with our clients.

Throughout the year, we help each other and our community. And we always try to make it fun. Take a look at what 2019 looked like for us at Purdy-McGuire – and enjoy!

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Employee Spotlight – Mitchell Henton

Employee Spotlight – Mitchell Henton

Mitchell is one of our newest family members, and we’re glad to have him on our team!

  • I was Was born in Dallas and attended Lake Highlands High School. Played football throughout my high school career and into college.
  • Fun fact: I scored the first points in the renovated Jesuit stadium! Continued after high school and played college football.
  • Started as punter for Midwestern State University all four years in college. Won two conference rings and was All-Conference all four years. Received Special Teams Player of the Year from my team during my freshman and senior years. AND I have the highest single-season punting average for the school.
  • Graduated MSU with a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering.
  • Enjoy working out and being active when I have free time.
  • Big movie buff!
  • Parents are John and Debbie Henton. My dad is also an engineer and works for Childress Engineering. My mom is a flight attendant for Southwest Airlines. I have one older sister, Caroline Henton. Caroline recently got married and her husband Parker is in our family picture above (that’s me on the right).

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