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MC Harry & Associates

Making “Firm of the Year”: Insights from AIA Tampa Bay

By Tatyana Brown, Manager, Public Policy

As an architect or component leader, how do you build outstanding architectural practices? With support from the final 2012 round of Component Assistance Leadership Grants, AIA Tampa Bay continues to share lessons from the Miami-based MC Harry & Associates, 2012 AIA Florida Firm of the Year.

During AIA Tampa Bay’s 2012 annual meeting, MC Harry & Associates made a presentation to chapter members highlighting their involvement in the community and the profession, mentorship initiatives, and methods to advance excellence in design. For instance, how might you make over 60 percent of your firm’s projects meet energy consumption targets for the 2030 Challenge? MC Harry & Associates reached this goal last year by requiring project managers for LEED developments to be involved at every step of the process.

MC Harry & Associates also supports both clients and staff by regularly submitting for award recognition. Its policy for requesting letters of recommendation upon a project’s completion asks clients to mention individual employees by name. The firm also encourages giving back to the profession by elevating the value of design in the community and joining local governing boards. As part of its commitment to mentorship, MC Harry & Associates has built a strong intern development program in partnership with the Florida International University’s School of Architecture.

“Highlighting the benefits of giving back has encouraged others to do the same,” says Dawn Mages, Executive Director at AIA Tampa Bay. “We captured the presentation on video and distributed it to chapter members with information on getting involved, giving back, how to submit for the AIA Florida Firm Award. We have been receiving inquiries about volunteering on our committees and the board of directors.”

For additional information, please contact Tatyana Brown at or 202.626.7385.

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