Happy 10-Year Work Anniversary, Amy Tobia!
In a design firm, there are people who like to design things, people who like to teach and people who like to manage the process. FS Design Group Senior Project Manager Amy Tobia likes to do all these— which makes her so valuable to the team!
This is also why we are celebrating her 10-year anniversary with FS Design Group!
Amy is a can-do person and says her favorite part of her work is making all the pieces fit together. “It’s like playing Tetris and seeing the screen light up when you have everything aligned,” she says.
Her determination gets projects over the finish line, even in the face of daunting challenges. At one point in her career, Amy worked hard to solve a ceiling beam alignment challenge with the project’s construction manager. When the duo couldn’t secure a builder to execute their solution, they constructed and installed the beam themselves. [Disclaimer: no designers or construction managers were harmed in this endeavor, and both are more than happy to leave the construction work to the builders whenever possible!]
Amy is an amazing team player because she loves working with teams. She is skilled at creating a supportive environment of collaboration and mutual respect over ego.
Construction can be a grueling process, even when it goes without a hitch. “When you can survive construction with a client and contractors over and over again, that’s a great sign,” Amy says. “The biggest testament to the nature of our projects is that so many of our firm’s earliest clients call us back project after project.”
Amy feels like some of this client retention secret sauce comes from the comprehensive cross-training of the FS Design Group staff, too. Instead of compartmentalizing skills, all designers learn every aspect of designing and managing a project. Someone is always available to run with the baton, meaning less delays and more efficiency for FS Design Group clients.
It’s just one example of how Amy espouses the staff development philosophy of her mentor and FS Design Group Founder Bre’an Fox, which is exactly what attracted Amy to the firm in the first place.
“As soon as I met her, I knew Bre’an valued the people around her and supporting their professional development,” Amy says. “I also loved that everyone I spoke to in the A/E/C community used the same word to describe Bre’an: ‘integrity.’”
Amy is quite enthusiastic about maintaining the diversity of design that FS Design Group has become known for over its 30 years in business.
“When I first looked at our firm’s portfolio of work, I immediately saw how diverse the aesthetic of each project was.” she says. “I really respect the ability it takes to create an extensive portfolio like this, even if it might be more challenging to run a business that way.”
Amy feels that it’s the clients’ wishes and unique brands that should dictate a design approach. She also thinks this attitude has helped diversify the firm’s clientele, too. She will always love working on office projects, but Amy is excited about FS Design Group’s expansion into retail, healthcare and multifamily projects as well.
Amy always strives to be technically and professionally excellent at what she does, including the team training she provides for the FS Design Group team and the productive relationships she forms with clients. As Amy describes it, “This is how I stay grounded and motivated.”
Amy is also raising two amazing kids with her husband Paul. This perspective helps her prioritize FS Design Group’s balanced work environment, which regards family and outside endeavors as valuable to nurturing the creativity of the design team so they can provide the best ideas and solutions to their clients.