This year, CCCA has promoted eight accomplished members of our team, all of who bring a strong sense of vision, leadership and exceptional design talent to the firm.
Louise Labus, ASID, has been promoted to Associate Principal. Louise joined the firm in 2014 as a Senior Associate, and has exhibited an unwavering commitment to clients since she stepped foot in the office. In addition, she has devoted herself to providing strong mentorship within the firm to help advance current talent and capabilities. Her devoted work with healthcare and education clients includes Life University, Skyland Trail, Christ the King School, Global Ministries, UCB, Inc., the YMCA of Metropolitan Atlanta, Atlanta Women’s Health Group and North Atlanta Primary Care.
What was your first job, and what is something you learned that you still apply today? I started working at age 13 for a “mom and pop” ice cream stand near the lake. I loved ice cream so it was the perfect job for me. It became my diet on a daily basis with fresh raspberries or butterscotch hard coating on a soft serve. Similar to Dairy Queen, but the butterscotch was so much better. Other than really enjoying the ice cream, it taught me how to deal with people from all walks of life and all types of personalities. Since this was a summer vacation destination, it was a great place to meet people from all over the United States and beyond.
Who is someone you really admire? My Dad.
Quote to live by? Always ask for what you want in life, because the worst thing someone can say is “no” – and is that really a bad thing?
Brett T. Norton has been promoted to Senior Associate. With 30 years of experience under his belt, Brett has contributed significantly to the growth of the Atlanta community through his work with public and private K-12 and higher educational clients, including Atlanta Public Schools, St. Pius X Catholic High School, Whitefield Academy, Georgia Southern University and Atlanta International School. He was also an integral part in the success of the SGI-USA Atlanta Buddhist Center, located in Atlantic Station.
What do you hope to accomplish in your new role? We’ve made great strides here at CCCA to backdrop a creative live/work workplace, and my goal is to keep that at the forefront as we grow into new markets, opportunities, deadlines, and everything that comes with the mechanics of designing buildings.
Who is someone you really admire? This is going to sound forced, but it’s completely true. I really admire my barber – David Alexander. When I met him, he was a fan of my band living in Athens and would cut hair on the side. He now owns (or co-owns) a chain of successful local barber shops, and in recent years has relocated to LA to follow his dream of being an actor. I’ve since seen him on TV several times and the roles keep getting better for him. He’s just one of those people that obviously was never told ‘life is just that way,’ and seems to pilot his life instead of letting it steer him.
What’s your earliest memory you have of working at CCCA? Dave Roberts hired me in 1989 at the opening of Rio Mall. At that time the firm was called Broyles Roberts Collins. My first drawing was the site plan for St. Joseph’s Catholic Church in Marietta. All hand drawn on mylar, and I specifically remember Mike showing me how to draw trees in plan. I still draw some kicka** trees, which isn’t as easy as it sounds. No mylar though.
Don Whitten, AIA, has been promoted to Senior Associate. Born and raised in the south, Don has committed himself to the growth of communities in Georgia and the Southeast with his significant work with the YMCA of Metropolitan Atlanta, Danville Family YMCA in Virginia, St. Francis Springs Prayer Center in North Carolina, the Boys & Girls Clubs of Metro Atlanta and Emory University.
What was your first job, and what is something you learned that you still apply today? In the early years of my career, I held many short-lived “first jobs.” Each experience taught me life is too short to devote yourself to work which lacks passion.
Jennifer Alfaro has been named Associate. Since joining the firm in November of 2014, she has had a profound impact on the innovative aspects of CCCA’s institutional design, and continues to be a focused, hardworking talent for the firm. Her efforts include work with Ogeechee Technical College, Mount Vernon Presbyterian School and Mercer University.
What was your first job, and what is something you learned that you still apply today? I was once a CSR Representative; I learned how valuable it is to connect with people.
What do you hope to accomplish in your new role? I hope to be able to help mold the culture of the company.
Who is someone you really admire? My mother. She achieved so much with significantly fewer advantages than I have had in my life.
Katie Mitchell, IIDA, a vital member of CCCA’s interior design team, has been named Associate. Since joining the firm in 2014, she has been an integral part of many transformative, innovative interior design efforts including her work with Ogeechee Technical College, the University of Georgia, Mount Vernon Presbyterian School, Peachtree Road United Methodist Church and the Boys & Girls Clubs of Metropolitan Atlanta. In addition to serving mission-driven and community-based clients, she also volunteers for many local organizations around the Atlanta area.
What was your first job, and what is something you learned that you still apply today? CAD drafter for Tennessee Valley Authority, copying old electrics schematics into digital CAD files. I learned not to take everything at face value. You can learn and engage at every level and it will make you a better person and designer.
What do you hope to accomplish in your new role? I hope to bring a fresh perspective with an eye towards interiors and mentoring our department to be a bigger part of the design dialogue on a project.
Who is someone you really admire? Ruth Bader Ginsburg
Ian Reves has been named Associate, and contributes sustainable initiatives with an innovative influence to the firm. Since he joined the firm in February of 2014, he has brought thoughtful and talented design to each of his projects, some of which include work with the Georgia Institute of Technology, Boys & Girls Clubs of Metropolitan Atlanta, Mount Vernon Presbyterian School, UCB, Inc., Whitefield Academy and Ogeechee Technical College.
What was your first job, and what is something you learned that you still apply today? I started working at my neighborhood bike shop when I was 13 so I could buy a crazy race bike and, more importantly, learn how to keep it running. Bicycles are machines and it was a fundamental skill to be able to learn to trouble-shoot and see how one complex system affects other systems in interconnected ways. This is exactly the kind of orchestration we practice as architects – making sure balance is achieved across different engineering disciplines, construction elements and creating buildings clients enjoy.
What do you hope to accomplish in your new role? While I can’t wait to forge new markets, build great new projects and help further establish CCCA as an industry-leading firm, the thing I’m most excited about is pulling up those around me. Getting our younger employees more excited about the endless opportunities we have. Getting our veteran employees equipped with newer, better tools of the trade. And getting clients we’ve worked with for years thinking about new ways forward.
What’s your earliest memory you have of working at CCCA? My first CCCA memory is from before I worked here. I was having coffee with a CCCA principal who asked what I was looking for. I said, people I can trust who respect each other. They said, ‘I’m confident you’ll find those people here.’ They were right.
Natalie LaHaie, Marketing Manager, has been named Associate. She has been integral in the implementation of CCCA’s 2015 rebranding, the launch of [ THREE ], the firm’s new blog, and played a vital role in the firm’s revamped content marketing strategy. She also leads project teams in the preparation and execution of each project pursuit. She also plays an important role in many of the firm’s environmental graphics and signage teams.
What do you hope to accomplish in your new role? As I’ve grown as a marketing professional, I’ve realized that many of my strengths lie in the realms of teamwork, organization and communication. I hope to hone, strengthen and offer these skills as a leader of the firm and help facilitate conversations that elevate and ignite growth that we’ve never seen before. With the strong foundation comprised of 30+ years of experience, talent and hard work, I think we can accomplish great things – together.
Who is someone you really admire? My sister, no contest. She is an unbelievably strong and motivated individual who I am so lucky to call a sibling, and she has taught me more about perseverance and hard work than I could have ever learned from another. She leads by example in her personal and professional life, and I cannot wait to see what she accomplishes next – because then I’ll have to try and top it. We aren’t competitive at all…
Quote to live by? The phrase “No great thing is created suddenly” by Epictetus is pinned up at my desk, as well as on a huge banner at my apartment. They are words I live by, especially knowing how impatient I can be – many have called me ‘the racehorse.’
Garth McIntosh, RA, has been named Associate. With a background in building construction, Garth has worked with many local non-profit organizations in his commitment to help grow Atlanta communities in positive ways. He has played a vital role in many projects at CCCA, including his work with Clarke Central High School, the Boys & Girls Clubs of Metropolitan Atlanta, the University of Georgia, Mount Vernon Presbyterian School, Woodward Academy and the YMCA of Metropolitan Atlanta.
What was your first job, and what is something you learned that you still apply today? I mowed lawns and maintained backyard pools. This taught me at an early age the value of a hard days work.
Who is someone you really admire? My mentor, Eric Pinkney of The Integral Group. Although a very successful and savvy businessmen, he is extremely humble and modest. This combination is very rare to find.
Quote to live by? My father once told me to…”Never bring me a problem without an applied solution.” This taught me at an early age the critical thinking necessary to tackle issues within a team-centered environment.