It is with a mixture of joy and sadness that we announce the upcoming retirements of Rick Burkett and Michele Ponicsan. These two instrumental leaders in our firm have devoted a significant amount of their career to the Denver AEC community, delivering quality architecture and high levels of customer service while shaping the next generation of our firm. Today we wanted to share some background on this transition with you.
These retirements have been a few years in the making. Rick and Michele each have their own motivation for making this change. Rick has big plans for retirement, “I don’t plan to be bored for a second. I’ll spend time with my family, travel, work on my golf game, sleep in a little more, read the paper a little slower, and take up some hobbies like painting. I learned how to paint in college and have executed a dozen paintings since then, hopefully I can double that output.” Michele is looking forward to “a new chapter focused on family and home. I am ready to spend time learning woodworking from my husband and honing my skills in photography, cooking and gardening. I see new adventures; camping (glamping maybe), fishing and canoeing, creating special memories with my family.”
As they prepared for this next step, Michele and Rick have been imparting their over 70 years of combined experience, with heightened emphasis on mentoring and staff development, transitioning responsibility, helping team members step into leadership roles to serve our clients and partners.
Our Denver office is a strong group of talented people who are ready for the challenge. Led Ryan Wallace along with our Principals and Associates group: Jane Crisler, Blake Sabo and Katie Keahey. As well as our entire Denver team: Anne Stukenberg, Ashley Fruhwirth, Bissan Salloum, Bob Eyster, Brittany Hayward, Gretchen Butterfield, Haley Dosch, Jessica Kincaid, Kalpana Mohanraj, Kelly Wemple, Khalil Saufee, Lauren Kritter, Lily Van Buskirk, Lynsey Grace, Meghan Bentheimer, Sara Schesser and Sarah Moser.
We asked Rick and Michele what the hardest thing was about leaving and while their answers were unique their underlying message was the same. Michele talked about how much she has enjoyed being part of the AEC community. “I have been fortunate to have worked with amazingly talented teams on projects that ranged from simple to incredibly challenging. There has been true joy in bringing each client’s vision to reality.” Rick echoed “At the beginning I thought Architecture was all about the design, but I’ve come to realize it’s about the people you meet and the friendships you make. I’ll miss it for that reason. Also, it’s a great profession to be in, the projects and designs are fun, and seeing something built is exciting.” At EUA we share this sentiment, we believe that Architecture is a community, it’s about more than design, but the people we meet along the way.
Michele is planning to start retirement Friday, December 4th, after this time we encourage all her contacts to reach out to Blake Sabo as he leads our Advanced Technology efforts. Rick will be working through the end of the year, for any future correspondence you can reach out to Ryan Wallace.
Please join us in thanking Rick and Michele for all their contributions.
p.s. Yesterday was Rick's birthday. Happy Birthday again Rick! If you haven't tried it yet, check out this post for Rick's instructions on how to make a Manhattan.
p.p.s. As with all things COVID-19, it has put a temporary halt on our celebrations and congratulations to honor Rick and Michele’s contributions. We have big plans to celebrate these milestones in the style they deserve once it is safer to do so, we’ll share more information once things settle down.