Twenty-One HOK Women Making a Difference Around the Globe
HOK employs 829 women (48 percent of our total workforce) at offices stretching across three continents and five nations. In recognition of International Women’s Day, we’re highlighting 21 women architects, designers, engineers, managers and support staff we’re proud to call HOK colleagues.
Betsy Nurse, Director of Interiors
Recent favorite project: The U.S. headquarters for a confidential client that is taking their entire employee base to open work environment, including the CEO. This has been a wonderful experience because the leadership is constantly saying, “If you’re going to do it, you might as well do it right.” It has been refreshing working with a client that understands what a powerful driver the workplace can be for the employee user experience, engagement and connectivity to the brand and mission.
Where I find inspiration: Anyone who knows me will attest that I will talk to anyone, be it personally or professionally. With this passion for people, I love that I get to work with clients every day to understand their business, culture and workplace strategies.
Hui Dang, Senior Project Manager
Recent favorite project: Chengdu Forte Financial Island Mixed-Use Project
Where I find inspiration: I am always fascinated by the sentiment that’s conveyed by architecture or an architectural space.
Leila Ray, Director of Knowledge Management and Justice Knowledge Manager
Recent favorite project: Wayne County Consolidated Justice Complex and San Mateo Maple Street Correctional Complex. You can’t ask a marketer to just pick one!
Where I find inspiration: I’m inspired by the people I get to work with, who really care about what they do and who change what’s possible through strong client relationships, truly integrated teams, great design and hard work! Plus we have fun doing it.
Linda Bernauer, Senior Project Manager – Justice
Recent favorite project: Travis County Courthouse bridging documents (2014-2015); Hays County Public Safety Building (2016-2017)
Where I find inspiration: I find working with talented younger staff in both architecture and interiors both rewarding and inspiring. I can learn as much from them as I can convey through my own experience.
Mira Patel, Architect
Recent favorite project: Msheireb Downtown Doha (MDD), Doha, Qatar
Where I find inspiration: My parents. Talking to them allows me to put things into perspective and bring clarity to my thoughts.
Paean Hui, Project Accountant
Recent favorite project: China Chengdu Forte Financial Island Architectural Project
Where I find inspiration: My little girls inspire me. When we have time, we walk, we talk, we read and we bake. In doing these things we try, we fail, we learn and we laugh.
Cindy Bang, Senior Interior Design Professional
Recent favorite project: A table my partner of 12 years and I built for our own home office.
Where I find inspiration: I find inspiration through everyday objects, people and spaces. When I’m a bit stuck, I find that a conversation with friends and teammates will help spark inspiration.
Claire Campbell, Senior Design Professional
Recent favorite project: Louisville City Football Club Stadium
Where I find inspiration: Every design decision we make has a direct impact on people’s lives. This motivates me to be intentional and thoughtful throughout the entire design process.
Francesca Pintus, Urban Designer
Recent favorite project: Milan Expo Legacy Plan, an urban design competition aimed at converting the site of Milan Expo 2015 into a new S+T hub for the city.
Where I find inspiration: I approach urban design from a human, city-user point of view. I always ask myself: would I like to live and work in the place I am designing?
Edith Bailon, Senior Design Professional
Recent favorite project: It is not recent but it remains my favorite…Big Blue Bus Maintenance Facility.
Where I find inspiration: My family motivates me. I work hard so my children won’t have to and because my parents did the same and more for me.
Cori Cascante, Studio Manager – Rainlight
Recent favorite project: The Rainlight Studio launch; Mannington Origami + Paper Carpet Collections; Arcadia Makerspace Furniture Collection
Where I find inspiration: My dad and my grandfather were both entrepreneurs. They were astute and people-oriented, and established great working relationships throughout their careers. I like applying those skills to every role I play within the firm. I hope I can be as good of a role model for my kids.
Aman Krishan, Senior Project Designer
Recent favorite project: My favorite project is always the one I am currently working on, so right now it is a new research building in Manhattan.
Where I find inspiration: I am fascinated by how buildings influence the city and community around them. It is motivating to build for people, enriching lives and inspiring through innovative design.
Cheryl Jefferies, Senior Data Management Specialist
Recent favorite project: An upgrade to V34 IWMS (Integrated Workplace Management System) for a global financial institution. This project has been especially challenging due to the fact that the company was an early adopter of this software and there have been a number of situations where we have had to work diligently with the software vendor and the client to ensure that the functionality is working as expected.
Where I find inspiration: Lately I’ve become more enthusiastic about my health. I’m learning to try alternative sources of nutrition and have become empowered by more regular physical activity. I’m learning it’s never too late to try something new and that having a new perspective is always a good way to keep positive momentum towards what’s in store!
Jen Pittenger, Senior Project Interior Designer
Recent favorite project: I would have to say both Nasdaq and a project for a university football team. They are my favorites for different reasons.
Where I find inspiration: What motivates me are people and their capacity and potential to do great things, not only to empower themselves but also their capacity to help others. I think we have so much to learn and offer to each other, so aspiring to be a great listener and seeing the beauty around me at all times really inspires me.
Lisa Cassedy, Senior Project Engineer
Recent favorite project: Salt Lake City Airport Replacement. This has been the largest, most challenging project of my career. I’ve learned so much about the aviation industry; time, people and project management; good design and detailing, construction; and working on a large team.
Where I find inspiration: I love knowing that the structural systems I design keep people safe and contribute to the resilience of our communities. It is especially rewarding when the structure can complement the architecture for an elegant solution.
April Sun, Design Professional
Recent favorite project: USF Health Morsani College of Medicine and Heart Institute
Where I find inspiration: It’s so cool and thrilling to point to a building and say, “That’s my baby. I designed that!”
Leesa Coller, Senior Project Designer
Recent favorite project: Tampa International Airport MTAC
Where I find inspiration: I’m inspired by the creation, motivated by smart people who listen, compelled by those with a heart and refreshed by gardening.
Misty Yanko, Firmwide Controller
Recent favorite project: Mercedes-Benz Stadium. But it is so hard to choose because there are so many. I’m consistently blown away by the creativity and imagination our folks possess.
Where I find inspiration: I am a big believer that growth occurs outside of your comfort zone. That is where the magic happens. It can be uncomfortable sometimes, but it is in that space where we find our true talents and sometimes make our best contributions.
Kashela Major, Senior Design Professional
Recent favorite project: BayCare, St. Joseph’s Hospital Main Addition
Where I find inspiration: I am motivated by my family and the burning desire to produce the best work possible. One of my favorite quotes is from Jim Rohn: “Don’t wish for less problems, wish for more skills. Don’t wish for less challenges, wish for more wisdom.”
Farida Abu-Bakare, Design Professional
Recent favorite project: LaGuardia Airport Central Terminal B
Where I find inspiration: I am constantly inspired by the global nature of our practice. HOK fosters a culture of collaboration and knowledge-sharing that makes our colleagues our greatest assets. Across offices we are constantly learning from one another while diversifying our skills to produce groundbreaking and innovative projects that are transforming the world we live in.
Anica Landreneau, Director of Sustainable Design
Recent favorite project: Sealed Air. We worked with the local and state jurisdiction to make changes to transit options for their employees relocating and consolidating to this site. We moved bus stops and even added a new bus line. And while we preserved as many site trees as possible, any trees that were cleared were fabricated into furniture for the site and staff cafeteria. Most importantly, the client’s operations team was thinking through operations, maintenance, performance optimization from the beginning of design. It makes me so happy when we know we’re handing over a project that will be cared for and managed well.
Where I find inspiration: I recently met a woman who works in the National Cancer Institute, which HOK designed. It has living green walls, daylight autonomy, green roofs, a fitness track around the amenity/stormwater pond and really cool backlit wood burl panels in the lobby. She said she took the job there because of the building design. To be a part of bringing talent into an organization like that is such an honor!