The Dallas office opened the doors of its new office to guests on Feb. 12. All photos by Cathy Zaccarello.
It’s been a busy start to 2015 for Thornton Tomasetti’s Dallas office. The team has been settling into its new space, and Vice President Jeff Elliott has been settling into his new role as office leader. To introduce both to clients, colleagues and industry peers, Dallas staff last month put out the welcome mat and hosted an open house party.
“There was a lot of excitement in the room,” Managing Principal Wayne Stocks, who oversees the mid-Atlantic and South U.S. region, said. “Clients were impressed with our new space and location. More importantly our Dallas staff and leadership from across the firm had great time entertaining clients, making connections and making new friends.”
Approximately 70 guests, including architects, developers, contractors, insurance adjusters and other project partners, turned out for an evening of cocktails, nibbles and networking. “We reached out to a lot of people and had good response,” Jeff said. “There were a lot old friends and people who we recently connected with. I think everyone was pleased by the number and range of guests.”
The entire Dallas team was on hand to show off its new digs and to mix and mingle. The party provided an opportunity for younger staff to introduce themselves to our clients and to Thornton Tomasetti leadership, including Wayne, managing principals Joe Burns, Gary Panariello and Bruce Gibbons, Senior Principal Steve Hofmeister and Principal Robert Treece. Also on the guest list was future Thornton Tomasetti engineer Katherine McCaskey, who is set to join the Dallas office in June as part of the Structural Engineering practice.
In keeping with the “new” theme, poster boards of recent Dallas office projects were on display. “We limited it to projects that we are currently working on or those that have been recently completed,” Jeff said. These included the Minnesota Multipurpose Stadium in Minneapolis, the Fairmont Austin Hotel and closer to home, a pair of Dallas office buildings: 1920 McKinney and the Richards Group headquarters.
The party was organized by Jeff and Associate MacKenzie Ross-Fidler, who is based in the Ft. Lauderdale office, with assistance from Dallas Accounting Clerk Cathy Zaccarello.
Guests seemed to be impressed with the new office at 8750 North Central Expressway, located in the city’s popular NorthPark area. “The old space didn’t have the look or feel of a typical Thornton Tomasetti office,” Jeff said. “Our goal was to create a collaborative and interactive work environment that is in tune with the rest of the firm.”
Although the new location is roughly the same size (7,000 square feet) as the previous one, it appears much larger thanks to its open floor plan. The space can accommodate as many as 35 workstations, allowing room for growth, and includes three individual offices, two conference rooms and collaboration space, a kitchen and reception area. All workstations are along the glass line and offer unobstructed views of downtown Dallas.
The building is located near Northpark Mall, a high-end retail complex with several restaurants, as well as other shopping and entertainment venues. It is also situated between two of Dallas’ main thoroughfares, Highway 75 and the Northwest Highway. “We are really in a nice spot and our visibility from an office building standpoint couldn’t be better,” Jeff said.
Senior Associate Joel Barron was responsible for coordinating the build out and move, which took place in early December. Office Operations, led by Dorian Soler, and the IT team of Steve Ross, Christopher Bartoszek, Michael Cogan and Frank Reilly helped to ensure that the relocation went smoothly.
With the move and the open house out of the way, the Dallas leadership team has now turned its attention to growing the business. Jeff, who has been with the firm since 2001, took over as office leader from Pat Coleman, who retired in December 2014. “Pat did a great job. She was a steady hand during some difficult times. Nick Saenz, John Aniol, Joel Barron and I are looking forward to building on what she helped put in place.”
High on the list of strategic goals is to expand and diversify the business in Dallas. The office has a strong history in Structural Engineering, but there is opportunity to expand its client base and extend its reach. A focus over the past few years on the Building Performance practices has yielded good progress, but there is room for significant growth. In the immediate term, the emphasis will be on the further expansion of the Renewal, Forensics and Property Loss Consulting practices. “Right now things are good and everyone is busy, but we need to become more broad in the type of work that we do,” Jeff said. “The growth of Thornton Tomasetti’s practice areas within the Dallas office will be key for our long term success.”
The Dallas staff will also be reaching out to new clients and reconnecting with those we haven’t worked with in a while. The leadership team, along with Senior Vice President Ed Kasparek, has been making the rounds in the Metroplex in an effort to get the word out on all of the services Thornton Tomasetti has to offer. In addition, they have begun to chase types of projects that are a bit outside of the box for the office, such as federal government work.
“I’m optimistic about our future. This may be a new start, but we are building on some great history,” Jeff said. “We are excited to move forward and expand Thornton Tomasetti’s presence here in Texas. We had a great turnout at the party and heard many positive comments about the new space and our projects. Now it’s time to get down to business.”
Steve Clay of TDIndustries and Vice President Jeff Elliott.
Current and future staffers Engineer Jennifer Broyles, Katherine McCaskey, Engineer Holly Baird, Senior Project Engineer Robert Rogers and Engineer Garrett Jones.
Vice President John Aniol with Kevin Taylor and Jay Caddell of HKS.
Cheryl and Dutch Wickes of CEC with Project Engineer Dustin Swart.
Garry Becker and Ian Wright of FabriTec Structures and Managing Principal Wayne Stocks.
Senior Associate Joel Barron and Ron Stelmarski of Perkins+Will.
Ruben Castilla of RGL Forensics and Senior Associate Nicolas Saenz.
Dutch Wickes of CEC and Principal Robert Treece.
Associate MacKenzie Ross-Fidler with Bob Patton and John Johnston of HJA.
Andrew Schendle of AECOM and Managing Principal Joe Burns.
Engineer Payden Johnson and Shawn Morgan of KPost.
— Cynthia Hoffman, Editor
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