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Ronnie McGhee, FAIA, NOMA, LEED AP; R McGhee & Associates and Michael Marshall, FAIA, NOMA, NCARB; Michael Marshall Design
On October 22, Michael Marshall, head of Michael Marshall Design and Ronnie McGhee of R. McGhee & Associates shared their experiences and stories from their combined 60+ years in the architecture profession as part of virtual programming for NOMA’s 50th anniversary.
Architects McGhee and Marshall have each built their own successful practices in the nation’s capital with sheer determination and vision. Both practices are known for iconic work in historic preservation, architecture, urban planning and urban design. In this inspiring and candid exchange, they talked best practices, shared honest stories of successes and failures, and imparted lessons learned from their combined 60+ years in practice. Architects on Entrepreneurship was a starter kit for architects in the early stages of their careers, a primer for those thinking about going out on their own, and a guidebook for those who aspire to become leaders in their current firm.
Among Marshall’s words of wisdom: push past the expected, take every conversation, collaborate and pay it forward. McGhee spoke about the importance of defining your niche and creating your professional narrative, and taking time to build awareness for your work, as well as your professional profile. Both architects spoke of the importance of building the right infrastructure early, from investing in technology to finding the right professional resources (accountant, attorney, insurance broker, etc).
Both expressed that they are passionate about “giving back” because they did not have many mentors who gave them sage advice about how to go out on their own. They would like to see the next generation benefit from those who went before them.