March Professional Member of the Month
Thad Long, AIA
1. Our profession is built on the value of relationships and opportunities; how do you prepare for a meeting with a new client?
Typically, I know ahead of time about a new opportunity, I like to research their business; understand who they are, what they do, what their company values and what SVPA can bring to support or improve all of that. Then I tailor a promotional booklet about SVPA to show our experience that relates to the clients business. Pulling from our nearly 65 years of experience and the longevity of our team members, I highlight our easy-going team and the values we have in common with this potential new client.
2. We often design to improve the health of people and the environment; how do you wind down in the evenings to maintain a balanced lifestyle?
Being completely honest, I recognize this is a constant struggle in our business especially now that I have moved into a leadership and business development role. The amount of passion we have for architecture and for the business itself can dominate our life and be constantly on our minds. To help balance and to wind down, I love cooking with my wife. We like to experiment with new recipes and new flavors. We always make it a point to eat at the table together, with or without all the kids, and I’m fortunate to have a spouse that is interested in what I do and can help me decompress from the day by listening to the good and the bad. We turn on music, whatever suites our mood that day, and deal a few hands of cribbage.
3. In 2018 technology is at our fingertips - what is your favorite app and/or website?
Well, having Outlook on my phone is certainly and blessing and a curse! Jokes aside, I have really enjoyed listening to podcasts lately. It’s a nice break from listening to the news and the political angst in our country lately. Spotify is also great for creating playlists and researching new artists.
4. As professionals we are versed in community interaction and collaboration; what are you involved in outside the realm of architecture/design?
This aspect of life, like most, has shifted at different times of life. Currently, my wife and I are part of the PIGS bicycle club (Paired Iowans Going Somewhere) and I am a member of the Pedal CVT group that hosts an annual ride to raise funds for the Chichaqua Valley Trails. This year I have enjoyed sitting back and watching the Bondurant Marching Band Competitions after being an active Pit Member and trailer driver for eight years. Besides coaching I was the President for the Bondurant Soccer Club for 11 years and involved with Youth Wrestling. As I have taken on more of a business development role at work, I have been more involved in various Chambers in the metro area focused on the east and north side and I am a board member for BDI (Bondurant Development, Inc.) besides other organizations like ICREA, Iowa Bankers Association…..
5. We are Iowa Women in Architecture; who were the female role models that inspired you?
First female role model I have to say is “My Mother.” My mother always worked in more of a professional consulting role. She worked her way up from key-punching without college education. She progressed forward in her career by working hard even when she was taking care of two children as a single parent. This has cultivated in me a respect for women and all they do; their passions, their drive, and the perspective they bring to the table. In my experience, women can be brutality honest, they don’t B-S as much as men. Several women in our profession and in my personal life have impressed with their dedication, honesty and care they put into their family, into their career and into life.