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HOK Announces New Leadership in Kansas City Studio and Sports Practice

Chris DeVolder will help lead the global Sports + Recreation + Entertainment practice and Paul Jacob will be the Kansas City studio’s managing principal.

HOK has announced leadership changes in its Kansas City studio.

Chris DeVolder, AIA, LEED AP, currently managing principal in Kansas City, will shift to a new role as a director of HOK’s Sports + Recreation + Entertainment practice with an emphasis on the soccer market. DeVolder brings more than two decades of experience leading project teams on complex professional and collegiate sports facilities. He served as principal-in-charge for St. Louis CITY SC’s CITYPARK stadium and training facility, which opened in 2023. He is currently leading the HOK team designing New York City FC’s stadium, which will be the first dedicated professional soccer stadium in New York.

Other notable projects in DeVolder’s portfolio include Mercedes-Benz Stadium, home of Atlanta United FC and the NFL’s Atlanta Falcons; PayPal Park, home of the San Jose Earthquakes; Lynn Family Stadium, home of Louisville City FC; and stadium design guidelines for Major League Soccer and the United Soccer League. A recognized thought leader for sustainability in sports facilities, DeVolder has contributed to the design of some of the nation’s ‘greenest’ venues.

Succeeding DeVolder as managing principal in Kansas City is Paul Jacob, AIA, LEED AP, who had been a senior leader in HOK’s St. Louis studio and brings four decades of industry experience. Before joining HOK, he was a principal and co-owner of a mid-size architecture firm and vice president of a construction management and real estate development company. This diverse background enables Jacob to unite teams by emphasizing shared purpose and common understanding among owners, designers and constructors to achieve successful outcomes on complex projects. He worked closely with DeVolder and the Kansas City studio on projects including St. Louis CITY SC’s CITYPARK stadium and training facility, for which he was the executive project manager.

“This transition will enable us to better serve our clients and highlights the evolution and growth possible at HOK,” said Eli Hoisington, AIA, LEED AP, HOK’s co-CEO. “We are excited for Chris to grow his role and build on HOK’s impressive soccer facility design work. We are also confident that Paul will expand and diversify the Kansas City practice, leveraging his unique background to serve clients and our internal teams.”

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