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Nancy Hooker

Motivated by the desire to do better and to help others achieve their goals, Nancy followed in her family’s footsteps after admiring what they had accomplished.  She strives thoroughly in everything she does professionally and personally. Nancy has raised two children who are also going to school, both studying in the Engineering field. Her daughter will be graduating from Michigan Tech, and her son is a first-year student at Iowa State.  

Nancy strives daily to be a team player; she wants to help assure that the projects she works on run smoothly and gives the client the highest quality product they deserve. Nancy was a part of the Caro Center Psychiatric Hospital team, which she helped complete the construction documents. Nancy said, “This project was challenging due to all the anti-ligature requirements that needed to be met to provide the end-user with the safest possible facility.  

When Nancy is not working, she enjoys snowmobiling, skiing, and spending time with her friends. Nancy also likes to spend time with her family, including her twin sister, who lives in Reno, Nevada. 

  “The greatest glory in living lies not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall.” – Nelson Mandela 

Randi Paananen

Judging from the fact that she jumped out of an airplane, you might think of Randi as a bit of a thrill-seeker. But these days, her passion is helping people with her work. Randi gets the most satisfaction when a client is pleased with the level of care that she puts into her electrical engineering projects. A recent highlight for her was designing the electrical systems for the MSU STEM Teaching Facility and working with its unique mass timber structure. She enjoyed designing the electrical systems but said the challenging part was when construction started while the designs were still being developed. This made her and the design team prioritize and be flexible.

Randi entered the engineering field hoping to help reduce the consumption of fossil fuels. She started out by studying renewable energy sources before deciding she might have a greater impact by focusing on improving energy efficiency. One of Randi’s top achievements was passing her Professional Engineering license exam two weeks before her first child was born.

Randi’s professional goal is to ensure that clients know they can always trust IDS with their projects. This holds true whether she is the lead designer or is helping her teammates. In her personal time, Randi loves to take vacations with her family, preferring to use airplanes as transportation instead of jumping out of them.

Stacy Marra

When Stacy was a student at CMU, she worked with the facilities department, where her boss showed her that the engineering field is a way to use her technical skills. This would give her the ability to help people as a result of working in the profession. Stacy is motivated by being able to help people solve their problems. She enjoyed working on the Caro Centershe believes that this project would help many people. Stacy has had many outstanding achievements, but her biggest ones were moving to Grand Rapids and receiving her Engineering degree from Centra Michigan University.  

On top of assisting people, Stacy wants to make her clients satisfied and happy. She wants them to not only be happy but to enjoy working with IDS. Making clients happy and seeing to it that they enjoy working with IDS can be easier when you are strong with communication. Stacy believes that communication is vital because it makes people feel heard and listened to. She strives to continue improving and advancing her communication skills, resulting in a better and more creative product. 

Stacy, like any other pet owner, treats their pets like children. However, Stacy’s cat Lou is a sassy one who she treats like a child. In Stacy’s spare time, she likes to spend time with her sassy cat, friends, and family. 

 “Everyone is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid.” – Albert Einstein 

Katy Litwin

Drawing, imagining, and designing buildings, spaces or objects has been a part of Katy’s creative outlet for as long as she can remember.  Katy was always drawn to the architectural profession. As she learned more about it, she was inspired by how spaces can impact people, culture, and society in diverse and meaningful ways.  As she learned more about an architect’s work, which extends beyond the process of designing physical spaces to involve research, collaboration, and ideation about how that physical space will function today and, in the future, she knew this is was the right career for her. Projects that promote more significant opportunities for their occupants to engage and be inspired have always motivated Katy.  Whether Katy is at work or home, her passion for design never stops. The opportunity, big or small, gives her the chance to imagine something new and think creatively.

Katy’s passion for design translates into her ability to mentor and lead others in the design field.  Katy wants to positively impact the people she works with and the projects she is a part of. She is motivated by designing spaces that inspire, engage, and support the communities for which they are built. Katy’s commitment to the profession was recognized in 2018 when she received the AIA Michigan Young Architect award.

When asked about her biggest strength, Katy said, “She believes it is her ability to understand and share the feelings of others through her work.” Katy continued to say, “As experts in the design role, we bring a lot of knowledge to the projects in which we engage, however without empathy and an understanding of our client’s needs and goals, these projects are not complete.”

 “To create, one must first question everything.” – Eileen Gray, Architect and Designer

Aubree Robichaud

As a kid Aubree always enjoyed the creative process, art, drawing, lego-building, you name it.  She is detail-oriented and was curious to understand how buildings were made.  In High School, she took a drafting class and had the opportunity to learn about building and construction, and she was instantly hooked.  Working in this profession has allowed her to blend those interests in a delightful and rewarding way. She strives to continually evolve and improve upon her professional abilities to provide successful project-specific solutions that will leave meaningful impressions on the built environment.

Aubree continuously seeks the new and unique design challenges that come with each project. ; it motivates her to approach each day as a problem solver and always remain inquisitive. But being able to adapt to any situation is Aubree’s biggest strength. She has been with IDS for almost nine years; she has worked on multiple projects at that time. Becoming a licensed architect and an Associate at IDS has been her most outstanding achievement thus far. She believes, however, that there are still many exciting milestones ahead of her.

When Aubree isn’t working on all of the fantastic projects at IDS, she enjoys being outdoors whenever possible. She also enjoys playing piano and spending time with her family.

“Use your fear; it can take you to the place where you store your courage.” – Amelia Earhart

Taylor Easthope

Taylor has always been obsessed with the idea of potential. Whether it is of things, people, objects, or spaces, she believes that Interior Design lets her develop the possibility of a client’s current space or creates an opportunity to develop a brand new one. Interior Design allows Taylor to do something different each day, and as much as she does not want to admit it, she secretly enjoys multi-tasking. One of her greatest strengths is being organized and a fantastic planner. Not only does Taylor enjoy the potential of things, but she also enjoys cooking with her husband. She says that he likes to go rogue in the kitchen, where Taylor herself likes to follow the recipe.

One of Taylor’s most significant professional achievements was receiving her NCIDQ. Since then, she has learned so much, paving the way to become a better presenter to clients, both in-person and virtually. But in the past year, Taylor has been investing in her mental health, making her a better friend, wife, daughter, and sister. Taylor feels the best space to be in professionally is one that allows her to learn and grow. She finds motivation in being able to make an impact or difference in a space, on a process, or with a person.

When not working on designing new spaces or cooking with her husband, Taylor enjoys vintage hunting; she has found some of her favorite items by going to estate sales and shopping on the Facebook marketplace.

“The role of the designer is that of a very good, thoughtful host, anticipating the needs of his guests.” – Charles Eames

Michael DelPup

Michael is a first-generation Italian who keeps his family traditions alive, making salami, sausage, and prosciutto with his sons.  As a teen, he worked as a laborer and bricklayer for his father’s construction company.  He would find himself looking at the buildings and wondering how they were put together, leading him to pursue a career in architecture.  Keeping a calm, unruffled demeanor while working through stressful situations is his greatest strength. 

You can tell that Michael’s proudest personal achievement is raising his three sons and seeing them turn into healthy, hard-working individuals.  He hopes that they continue to believe in the importance of family.  When Michael is out of the office, he enjoys golfing, tailgates and getting together with family and friends.   

At work, Michael is motivated by the satisfaction he gets from his clients’ approval after a project is completed.  Although he has worked on many projects throughout his career, Michael’s most outstanding achievement was being the Construction Administrator for the Michigan State University Spartan Stadium North End Zone Addition.  At this stage in his career, Michael’s goal is continued successful project management and to be a resource and mentor. 

 

“Watch your words; they become your actions.  Watch your actions; they become your habits.

Watch your habits; they become your character.”   – Vince Lombardi 

Todd Nemecek

Todd held the high jump record of 6’ 6 1/4” at his High School for 34 years, but that is not his most outstanding personal achievement. Being an amazing dad to his daughters is his most outstanding personal achievement. Holding the high jump record could tell you his greatest strength is reaching the top shelf in most kitchens, so if you need something on the top shelf, ask Todd.  

But his real strength is being able to communicate and work with anyone. He says that he always finds a way to have a good working relationship with everyone. Having these good relationships relate to all the great projects he has worked on for the University Of Michigan, like UMMA, Law School South Hall, Law School Commons, School of Architecture, U of M Union, and North Campus Recreation. All these fantastic projects Todd has worked on motivates him to continue to work on the next project. Todd wants to leave the world a little better than it was when he came into it. He is continually working towards his goal to be good at what he does and share what he has learned over the years. 

When Todd is not at work, he enjoys cooking just about anything. On top of cooking, he just finished a home renovation project. But he enjoys doing just about anything with his fiancé.  

 

I’m growing older, not up”  – Jimmy Buffett 

Tracie Withrow

Tracie is a woman of many talents and hobbies.  At one time, she was enrolled in a culinary arts program before transferring to Las Vegas to work on Las Vegas City Center Project as a Construction Administrator. Over her years as a Construction Administrator, she developed and has refined her most significant strengths of handling multiple tasks at a time and knowing where to find answers/resources for often unique Project challenges as they arise.  Tracie has worked on several projects at Michigan State University, Notre Dame, and has provided professional services for various other clients over the past 15-20 years, with her primary role as the lead Construction Administrator. When she first started in the industry, she initially found architecture intriguing and later discovered that construction administration suits her since it brings something different regularly, like Mass Timber Construction. She looks forward to this ever-changing industry, never ceasing to amaze her.

Tracie’s most outstanding professional achievement in her career at IDS is the positive relationships with her team members. She appreciates and values the positive relationships she has created working as a project construction administrator. Tracie built these relationships by vital communication with her project-specific teams and working with team members to accomplish tasks during critical (And non-critical) times of a Project. Working on multiple projects has shown Tracie that one of her favorite periods of a project is when she meets with the Project Designer, Architect, Engineer, etc., at the start of construction administration.  She finds it necessary and beneficial for a CA to be aware of the Designers Intent, necessary project technical or performance criteria, the reasonings behind Design decisions, materials selections, etc., as construction progresses. Tracie’s goal is to practice and demonstrate ways to close the communication gap between AE professionals and the construction community. She believes that there is so much that can be learned if team members communicate and work together.

Tracie’s work relationships are not her only achievement, just her professional achievement. She served as an active board member and volunteered for a local Dog Rescue group outside of work. One day soon, she hopes to do this again and get together with her group of seven girlfriends that she has known since Elementary School. When she is not spending time with her friends, she thinks of ways to make her friends laugh or new foods or drinks to make for them to try.

 

“I work hard so my dogs can have a better life” – Unknown

Scott Smith

You cannot look at Scott Smith and tell that there was a time when he was at Disneyworld and was hit in the head by a duck. If you have ever talked with him you might know about his passion for the technology design industry. He may have gone into his profession as an accident, but it is undoubtedly the right profession for him. Through the years at IDS, he has worked in the HR/Accounting department, IT department, and Electrical department. Today he specializes in Technology design and has grown that group. Scott’s ability to listen to a customer’s wants and needs and translate that into reality is his greatest strength. You could call him a Technology Translator. 

When asked about his greatest professional achievement Scott stated, “I like to think I haven’t reached my greatest professional achievement yet.” He says his ultimate professional achievement will be reached at the end of his career and being able to look back on how many students and teachers his technology designs have touched and the impact on helping teachers teach and students learn in a safe and fun environment. Scott wants to provide technology customers with designs and project management that goes beyond their expectations.  His favorite memory was completing a 1:1 device rollout and being able to walk around an elementary school with the technology director and peer into the classrooms and see the kids genuinely excited to learn with their new iPads, Chromebooks, and interactive projectors. 

If you are ever lucky to be invited over on a Saturday night be ready for a family pizza night in Scott’s home theater. Scott also enjoys spending time with his kids doing 3D printing projects, doing science kits/experiments, and anything virtual reality.  Recently Scott was a mentor for his daughter at the Science Olympiad. She received first place in her school district and the county. She also received a participation medal and gave it to Scott and said, “Thanks for participating Dad.”   

 

“Work the locks, don’t look at the dogs” – Magnum PI