Passion For Our Craft

The CR Way

You’ve envisioned it countless times. We’ve made it a reality countless times more. In some ways, space is all about confines. To us, it’s an opportunity to imagine what’s possible within those confines. Every project is a chance to give space life and personality and we’re hardwired to explore its full potential.

A PROCESS THAT PERFORMS

At CR, architecture is not just an art, but a discipline. Our work, our people and our processes revolve entirely around the way space and structure are realized.

DiscoveryConceptionCreationClient Relationships
Discovery

Before we act, we listen. Firmly believing that a space should seamlessly complement the people within and environment without, we begin by understanding our clients’ mission, values, challenges and vision for the project. This forms the foundation of our approach and serves as a baseline against which we measure our ultimate success. Whether recreating a brand image to provide hotel guests with a memorable escape or helping a school system become a leader in education through student-centered design, every project embarks with discovery.

Conception

Responsive design begins with a clear purpose. Once we’re able to paint a view of the big picture, we begin narrowing in on the details by integrating our team’s passion and technical expertise with close client engagement. Bypassing trends or pre-conceived solutions, we encourage a design that balances the imaginative with the practical. Through this iterative approach, we go back to the drawing board until a concept emerges that excites the client and inspires our team.

Creation

We craft dynamic market- and client-centric teams to encourage innovation across practices and weave design expertise and critical thinking into every project. This provides our clients with a dedicated team and a pool of engaged, available resources. Using an array of tools and technology – from hand sketches to full-scale virtual models – we work together to refine all aspects of the design, creating a space where architecture, interior design and engineering come together in a sustainable, cohesive way.

Client Relationships

Great design is just the beginning. Making it work in the real world is the true challenge. We are keenly attuned to the people, spaces and needs we design for. Carefully considering the function and placement of every detail, we finesse our work to ensure it solves a problem or anticipates a need. This awareness guides our process and fuels the strong relationships we build with our clients. Motivated by discovery and a vision for the future, we’re constantly working to uncover holistic solutions tailored to each of our valued clients.

How We Work

We solve complex problems, design intuitive spaces and engineer innovative solutions. From space planning to project delivery services, architecture to project branding and engineering to conceptual design, we provide a vast suite of capabilities. By integrating the experience of our team and involving experts at every level, we bring clients’ visions to life.

CR didn’t just come into this project and submit blueprints. They immersed themselves into our school and our community to meet our needs.

Princeton City Schools, Director of Secondary Schools

Leading with Conviction

Our leaders bring more than passion and conviction to the table. They lead by example, deeply instilling their vision into our teams, culture and practices. They make sure our plans and strategies make it to the most crucial step: execution.

David Arends, AIA, OAA

Chairman + CEO

PJ Hannan, RA

Vice President, Operations

Meghan Hollan, SHRM SCP

Vice President, Human Resources

Kelly Gaddes

Vice President, Hospitality

Leading with Conviction

Our leaders bring more than passion and conviction to the table. They lead by example, deeply instilling their vision into our teams, culture and practices. They make sure our plans and strategies make it to the most crucial step: execution.

Larry Cotner, AIA

Director

Jamie Gamauf, AIA, LEED AP

Director

John Missell, AIA, NCARB

Director

Dean Sparaco

Director

Cain Conner

Director, Marketing Operations

Jeff Evans

Director, Client Marketing

Katy Hug

Director, Talent Acquisition

Jason Reverman

Controller

David Arends, AIA, OAA

Chairman + CEO

Leading CR as Chairman and CEO, David sets the highest standard of client service and satisfaction – one that he considers a personal responsibility to uphold. Equally dedicated to our mission and team culture, he meets with each candidate before inviting them to join the CR team. That level of commitment takes a deep-rooted love for what you do. A life-long entrepreneur, he’s built a reputation for openness and honesty, and for expecting the same in return. “When you make a mistake, which everyone does, come up with a solution. Never an excuse.” But even the most driven leaders need a break every now and then. Epitomizing the “work hard, play hard” motto, David embraces life outside the office with equal fervor, whether on the open water or on the golf course. Describing his personal leadership style as “10,000 feet and 100 MPH,” it’s clear he’s never let up on his vision for CR.

PJ Hannan, RA

Vice President, Operations

As the Vice President of Operations, PJ oversees the effective management and execution of projects and processes firm-wide. An intensely focused, solutions-driven professional who works by the motto that “failure is not an option,” he finds balance by remembering to take a breath. And though he wishes he knew how to juggle, he skillfully juggles the many different aspects of his role. He attributes his decision to pursue architecture to a seventh-grade industrial arts class project. “I designed a ranch house and built a quarter inch foam core model of the house – I absolutely knew I was going to be an Architect.” Despite his passion for developing young professionals and walking a client through the building of their dreams, he’s admittedly happiest travelling with his wife or staying home to groom the lawn.

Meghan Hollan, SHRM SCP

Vice President, Human Resources

“I’m regularly told I’m not your typical ‘HR’ person.” A vibrant HR leader with a fast-paced approach, Meghan may not be your typical HR person, but her naturally progressive style is supported by the two key values she holds dear: ownership and transparency. “Own what you do and make sure you are clear about it.” It was during a college internship that a passion was ignited to impact an organization’s health through Human Resources, and she hasn't looked back since. “When team members are connected, feel valued and are enjoying their work, that’s when I know the work I do behind the scenes is all coming together.” Having been involved in over 17 non-profit and professional organizations in Cincinnati, Meghan enjoys sharing her passions through volunteer work. She's been a board member for the March of Dimes, served on the American Heart Association's Heart Ball committee, volunteered with the LGBTQ community and even volunteered as a manatee diver at the Cincinnati Zoo.

Kelly Gaddes

Vice President, Hospitality

As a hospitality industry expert who's passionate about developing key client and industry partnerships, Kelly possesses excellent leadership, initiative and ability to guide the continued growth of our hospitality expertise. With a keenly attuned desire to do something in the arts, Kelly enjoyed learning the ins and outs of home building in her late teens when her father built their family a new home – “these two interests pointed me in the direction of interior design.” As the guiding force behind the creation of CR’s interior design team, Kelly considers every project significant and, “important to building the design portfolio for CR.” She exudes a personal passion for solving problems, expressing that "it's a great feeling to help a client find solutions that make their job easier.” Equally evident is Kelly's dedication to helping local students achieve success in the hospitality industry through her role as founder and Steering Chair for the NEWH Cincinnati Regional Chapter. A lover of cars and driving from a young age (she had her first accident at 9 years old!), she's developed a joy for a slightly different type of commute – horseback riding.

Larry Cotner, AIA

Director

As Director, Larry leads a close-knit team that serves some of CR’s largest hospitality clients. Living every day according to his personal motto to “embody integrity and lead by example,” he considers the success of those on his team to be a personal achievement and confirmation that he’s doing his job right. Having built a career on a childhood passion, Larry’s found success doing what he loves. “I was always drawing as far back as I can remember. Developing ideas, fixing problems, building models. Bringing ideas to reality was always my goal.” Ask him to describe his work style and you’ll get a simple answer: “methodical and persistent.” It’s that approach and the pride he takes in personally ensuring his clients’ satisfaction that’s made him CR’s longest standing Director. If he wasn’t building spaces to stand the test of time, he’d be devoting himself to an altogether different type of project: building hot rods.

Jamie Gamauf, AIA, LEED AP

Director

Growing up in a construction family, Jamie was motivated to follow a familiar path. “I always leaned more toward the creative side and enjoyed drawing and sketching at an early age. It was my father that suggested I look at being an architect and my passion grew from there.” With a work style described as “big picture with an eye on the details,” and a self-professed love for bringing brands to life, it’s no wonder he’s most proud of his contribution to the flagship Marriott Marquis Washington, DC. “It was a landmark project for the city of DC and a significant statement to the Marriott legacy. I was honored to be asked to represent Marriott and bring this 10-year vision to life.” With a motto to “try everything once and the fun things twice,” he sounds like the friend who’s always up for anything – especially if it’s a heavy metal concert. “I'm a die-hard heavy metal fan. My favorite band is Iron Maiden.”

John Missell, AIA, NCARB

Director

It was John’s college study abroad in political science that motivated him to become an architect, “the architecture overwhelmed me, poli sci…not so much.” With over 35 years of experience, John remains passionate about “creating something from nothing while making a positive impact on the built environment,” – what he calls “The White Paper Syndrome.” Describing his work as both contextual and regional, he approaches every project with the goal to “create a specific sense of ‘place’ that’s appropriate to its context.” Passionate about social justice and the New Urbanism movement, John’s career has allowed him to make a positive impact in educational planning and design both domestically and internationally and included unexpected opportunities like his work “designing regional women’s health centers in Ethiopia for the Ministry of Health” and university facilities along the Persian Gulf. With childhood hopes of being an artist, he’s happiest painting landscapes, playing guitar and listening to jazz – or “making coffee and listening to SportsCenter” on a Saturday morning.

Dean Sparaco

Director

“There was never any question about what I wanted to do with my life,” shares Dean, describing his mother’s creativity and chance to help his father build a second story on their home as aspects of what motivated him to become an architect. Bringing no less decisiveness to his approach, he describes his work style as “aggressive and passionate about providing the platinum level of service to my clients.” If given the chance, we know he’d approach his alternate dream career with equal fervor – “exploring uncharted areas for fly fishing expeditions in South America and New Zealand.” Having the good fortune of working with multiple captains of the revitalization and New Urbanism movement, Dean finds inspiration in the “idea of creating something wonderful out of stone, wood and steel.” A lifelong outdoorsman active in river and resource conservation who’s happiest “standing knee deep in a river,” we admit we were somewhat surprised at his estimation of owning “the largest collection of romance novels west of the Mississippi.”

Cain Conner

Director, Marketing Operations

Driven to identify untapped opportunity in his role as Director of Marketing Operations, Cain has an affinity for bringing teams together to finally solve those tough-to-crack problems. “Every day presents new challenges and I work with a great group of people that approach each obstacle with unyielding determination.” Given the chance to follow 10-year-old-Cain’s dreams of being a detective – or batman – we think he’d have been just as successful. Living by the motto “work smarter, not harder,” he works with efficiency and swift execution through a trial, error, reflect and improve approach. When asked who he admires most, he replies with a swift answer in true Cain form. “My wife! She brought our beautiful daughter into the world.” Thriving on “(mostly) friendly competition and the smack talking that accompanies it,” Cain can always be relied on for an afternoon challenge at the foosball table.

Jeff Evans

Director, Client Marketing

Coming home each night with stories from the office, Jeff was inspired early on by his father’s work ethic and influenced by his goals to solve the tough problems others faced. As the Director of Client Marketing, that commitment is visible in his client-advocate approach. Describing his work style as “investigative,” Jeff learns “everything through a thorough research process to evaluate the right fit for both CR and the client.” Known in the office for his competitive streak, we can’t say we were surprised to learn of his place in the Toronto Hockey Hall of Fame. On Saturday mornings, you’ll find him volunteering as a youth hockey and lacrosse coach. “Today more than ever, I see the importance of providing a mentor outside the family structure.”

Katy Hug

Director, Talent Acquisition

It was during Katy’s first interview for a Recruiter position that she resolved to never forget what it’s like to be on the other side of the table. “I prepped for hours so I could land the job, but the interview only lasted 10 minutes. I left so upset and remember telling myself that when I became a recruiter, I wanted every candidate to walk away having had the best experience with me, no matter if they got the job or not.” Mindful of the significance of a job change, Katy doesn’t take her role in that equation lightly. But once someone joins our team, “it’s exciting to watch them meet their career goals and grow as a professional in their field,” she remarks. Motivated by advice to “get over the fear of rejection and have the courage to ask for what you want,” she’s learned that you don’t get what you don’t ask for. With equal courage, she discovered a passion for solo travel. “It pushes you out of your comfort zone and allows you to discover just how capable you really are.”

Jason Reverman

Controller

“I had the opportunity to work in the accounting department for a local retailer while in high school and thrived in the role. That moment in time affirmed what I wanted to do with my life.” Paired with a natural ability for problem solving and head for business, Jason’s passionate about driving organizational results through his ability to analyze numbers. Never settling for average, he thrives on challenges, while understanding the value of teamwork to get results. When asked who he has admiration for, he describes the impact his father has had on his life. “No one has influenced me, both personally and professionally, as much as my father,” he remarks. “His work ethic was unmatched, and I have mirrored that same mentality in my career.” A man of many talents, Jason balances his analytical abilities with a love for music. “I can play the drums and piano and am currently self-teaching guitar.”