Collaboration Created Headlines

November 18, 2019

LRK Welcomes Over a Dozen Employees Across Markets, Promotes Six

Nationally recognized architectural, planning, and interior design firm Looney Ricks Kiss (LRK) is pleased to announce 6 promotions and welcome 14 new employees to its growing staff of over 140 across eight offices.

The following LRK employees have been promoted to “associate,” demonstrating commitment to the firm and its projects across categories and markets.

  • Chris Astheimer – Orlando – Senior Designer/Project Manager
  • Steven Belflower – New Orleans – Architect/Project Manager
  • Megan Hoover – Memphis – Architectural Designer
  • Lisa Law – Memphis – Architect
  • Caleb Sears – Memphis – Architectural Designer
  • Eli Storch – Philadelphia – Architect/Project Manager

“These architects and designers are independently driven and talented but, above all else, value collaboration,” said Frank Ricks, founding principal of LRK. “Their contributions enhance both our work and our culture.”

LRK’s fourteen new employees include:

  • Garrett Armentor – Dallas – Architectural Designer
  • Yasmeen El-Jayyousi – Memphis – Architectural Designer
  • Christopher Ford Dufreche – Dallas – Project Manager/Architectural Designer
  • Abby Finnegan – Memphis – Interior Designer
  • Jaemi Guieb – Memphis – Interior Designer
  • Rachel Helton – Memphis – Urban Designer
  • Kevin Jones – Celebration – Architect
  • Danielle Lake - Philadelphia – Urban Designer
  • Sydney Matsumoto – Memphis – Architectural Designer
  • Grace Ostdiek - Little Rock – Interior Designer
  • Jessica Schell – Philadelphia – Urban Designer
  • Holly-Lynn Tedder – Memphis – Architectural Designer
  • Ann Wojcicki – Memphis – HR Generalist
  • Chase Wyatt – Memphis – Architectural Designer

“We’re proud to welcome such talent to our team, from Orlando and Philadelphia to Memphis and Little Rock,” said Amy Smith, LRK principal and director of HR. “Four of our new hires previously served as interns in our Memphis and Philadelphia offices. It’s especially rewarding to support their career advancement from the beginning.”

PROMOTIONS BIOS

Christopher Astheimer joined LRK in May 2007 as a Senior Designer/Project Manager in the Celebration studio. His passion is residential design that creates quality neighborhoods of timeless character and value, including custom single family, production single family, multifamily, light commercial, houses of worship, and clubhouses throughout the country. With a diverse background, Astheimer offers more than 25 years of expertise and insight for every component of full community design.

Steven Belflower has supported LRK’s New Orleans studio since 2015, overseeing design and documentation of a growing portfolio of mixed-use, hospitality, and multifamily developments as well as managing internal standards and processes. Belflower graduated from Louisiana State University with a Bachelor of Architecture degree.

Megan Hoover. Since joining LRK in 2015, Megan has proven to be a valuable part of the LRK team in multiple aspects of project delivery, including programming, space planning, concept development, finishes, construction documents, and construction administration. She strives to understand the needs of LRK clients first and then responds by providing design solutions that combine creativity, efficiency and cost effectiveness. Her expertise includes athletic/recreational, educational, healthcare, and corporate.

Lisa Law received her Master of Architecture from University of Notre Dame and joined LRK in 2013, primarily working on local historic rehabilitation/adaptive reuse projects including South Main Artspace Lofts, The Citizen, Marine Hospital, ServiceMaster, Tennessee Brewery, and the Memphis Convention Center as well as out-of-town new build projects, including CityWest and Downingtown. 

Caleb Sears joined LRK in 2016 with five years of architecture experience. His project experience ranges from corporate headquarters to museums and cultural centers. His expertise includes concept design, project design, and construction documentation. He uses computer graphics and hand rendering to effectively present and develop the projects during the design process.

Eli Storch. Focused predominately on community facilities, higher education, and adaptive reuse projects, Eli serves as a Project Architect and Project Manager in LRK’s Philadelphia Studio. A LEED Accredited Professional, he came to architecture through studies abroad in London and Copenhagen and holds a Master of Architecture degree from the University of Pennsylvania.

NEW HIRES BIOS 

Garrett Armentor, Architectural Designer, joins LRK’s Dallas office. For the past two years, Garrett has worked as an Architectural Designer in Dallas. He received his Bachelor of Architectural Studies and Master of Architecture from the University of Louisiana at Lafayette, where he was awarded the Top Thesis Project in his graduate program.  

Yasmeen El-Jayyousi joins LRK’s Memphis office as an Architectural Designer. Yasmeen recently received her Master of Architecture and Certificate of Historic Preservation from the University of Kansas. During her master's program, she served as a research fellow for the KU Institute for Smart Cities. 

Christopher Ford Dufreche joins LRK’s Dallas office as a Project Manager/Architectural Designer. Chris has been recognized in the Dallas area for running efficient projects and challenging his teams to generate creative and unique solutions to complex problems. Chris received both his Bachelor of Science degree and his Master of Architecture from the University of Louisiana Lafayette. 

Abby Finnegan, Interior Designer, joins LRK’s Memphis office from Knoxville, Tennessee. Abby just graduated with a Bachelor of Interior Architecture from the University of Tennessee, where she served as an Interior Architecture Peer Mentor. 

Jaemi Guieb, Interior Designer in LRK’s Memphis office, consistently served as an LRK intern from May 2017-May 2019, contributing to all design phases from conceptual modeling to construction documents and interior finishes. A graduate of the University of Memphis, she brings her BFA in architecture to LRK as a seamless new addition to the full-time staff.

Rachel Helton recently completed her Master of Architecture from the University of Tennessee. She has served as a project designer at an architecture firm in Kentucky and, during her graduate studies, was selected as a graduate research assistant at UT-Knoxville as well as an architectural intern for Benefield Richters company. She joins the urban design and planning team in the Memphis office of LRK.

Kevin Jones, AIA, Architect, joins LRK’s Celebration office. Kevin began his architectural career at LRK as an architectural designer from 2013-2016. During his first stint at LRK, he gained experience working on single family, multifamily, and commercial projects and he collaborated with LRK’s urban planning team on community plans and design guidelines. Kevin has since worked in Orlando, Florida in both the architecture and planning sectors. He received his Bachelor of Architecture from the University of Miami. 

Danielle Lake joins LRK’s Philadelphia office as an Urban Designer. Danielle has served as a project designer for projects in Mobile, Alabama, Washington, D.C., and Beijing, China. She also recently led an architectural documentation team on a UNESCO World Heritage site in rural Turkey. She received her Bachelor of Architecture and Bachelor of Environmental Design in Architecture degrees from NC State University, as well as her Master of City and Regional Planning from the University of Pennsylvania. 

Sydney Matsumoto joins the LRK Memphis office as an Architectural Designer. Sydney received her Bachelor of Architecture and Master of Science in Construction Management from the University of Miami. During her time at University of Miami, Sydney traveled extensively studying international architecture. She has also received her Historic Preservation Certificate. 

Grace Ostdiek, Interior Designer, joins the LRK Little Rock office from Knoxville, Tennessee. Grace recently received her Bachelor of Science in Interior Architecture from the University of Tennessee. At University of Tennessee, her studio work was recognized by Crossville Tile and she was awarded a trip to 2018 NeoCon, a worldwide commercial design conference. 

Jessica Schell joins LRK’s Philadelphia office as an Urban Designer. Schell has served LRK as an architectural and planning intern since the summer of 2018, assisting in plan development and architectural documentation as well as utilizing various programs to develop urban design and conceptual strategies. Jessica received her Bachelor of Architecture from Jefferson University.  

Holly-Lynn Tedder joins LRK’s Memphis office as an Architectural Designer. Holly-Lynn received both her Bachelor of Fine Arts in Architecture and her Master of Architecture from the University of Memphis, where she received the Advanced Architecture Studio Award and Creative Achievement Award. 

Ann Wojcicki joins the HR department of LRK’s Memphis headquarters, applying her Master of Human Resource Management and MBA degrees to the firm. Prior to LRK, Wojcicki served in a variety of HR roles, supporting recruitment, onboarding, and employee relations efforts.

Chase Wyatt is a recent graduate of the Fay Jones School of Architecture and Design at the University of Arkansas and now joins the Memphis office of LRK. While in Northwest Arkansas, Wyatt served as an interactive exhibit designer at the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art.