- Senior Associates
Kirk is a planner. By that, we don’t mean that he keeps a clean calendar. We mean he’s got binders, color-coded systems, and seven pages, front and back, of goals, both personal and professional. We know –we’re jealous, too. Lucky for us, and our clients, Kirk shares his next-level planning skills with all of us. He says his proudest accomplishment during his 32 years at Hollis + Miller is honing our focus on learning environments, becoming the firm in town who knows education. At the office, Kirk is known as our biggest advocate, inspiration and champion. Lucky for our clients, he channels that same energy and passion into the relationships he builds with communities. In fact, he says that’s the best part of the job – working with “the cream of the crop” in education.
Kirk attributes his success to his teammate, wife Kelly. As an architect herself, Kirk says she understands what it takes and has always supported his dreams for Hollis + Miller. Around the office, we all feel like we know their three children, Keane, Kelsi and Kellan because Kirk loves to share how proud he is of them. Honestly, we’re pretty proud of them, too. Kirk’s ideal day starts with fishing on the lake behind his house. His love of the outdoors led to a passion for the Boy Scouts, a love of sailboat racing and even a dream to one day hike the Appalachian Trail.
John rolls with the punches. No matter the situation, John is the partner who is sure to stay calm, cool and collected. He’s weathered quite a few storms since his college internship at Hollis + Miller Architects in 1983. He says he was blessed to be invited back full time after graduation, and we feel pretty blessed to have him here, too. At Hollis + Miller, John is primarily responsible for managing our Higher Education relationships, as well as K-12 public education. He’s passionate about the work he does because he understands that kids are our future and helping them to be successful is the most rewarding part of what he does.
John’s roots run deep in Kansas City, with all his family being Kansas City natives. He and his wife, Patty, recently celebrated 30 years of marriage. Though they share a lot together, you won’t find Patty in the Southards’ garden. That’s Johnny’s baby. Their two sons, Clayton and Justin, are both in college – Clayton studying graphics at the University of Kansas after finishing a four-year tour with the Marines, and Justin at Johnson County Community College studying video production. For John, his life is about the people in it and the experiences they share together. He believes you need to have fun and enjoy the journey with those around you.
Around Hollis + Miller’s office, Chris pretty much always has his music streaming, door open and a Diet Coke in hand. He thinks it’s simple: If you’re spending the majority of hours at your office, you should make it feel like home. We whole-heartedly agree. Chris says working at Hollis + Miller is always fun because of the clients he gets to work with. He sees that our clients are endlessly passionate about what they do, and that passion is contagious.If you can’t find Chris in the Kansas City office, he’s probably at our office in Castle Rock, Colorado, leading our charter school market development, largely focused in Colorado.
At home, Chris and his wife, Laura, are busy trying to keep up with their three, yes three, teenagers, Mark, Becca and Krista. The family enjoys getting outdoors. Chris and Laura escape to the golf course for a little break from the bustle at home. He says that while raising three kids three years apart has been crazy, looking back it’s been really cool watching them grow up as a close knit trio. One daughter is also considering architecture, so we may see another Heinz around the office someday.
John stayed up until the wee hours of the morning working on his Lego creations as child, and his parents let him. If that doesn’t make them the coolest parents, we don’t know what does. It paid off – John says he knew from seventh grade on that he would be an architect. Around the office, he’s known as the quiet, thoughtful guy. John is sure to think it through, which is what makes him perfect to lead project delivery and man power resources for the firm. He also fittingly leads business development efforts for the Missouri and Oklahoma markets, the two places he calls home. John loves Hollis + Miller because of the family atmosphere and the freedom allowed our team members to be unique and pursue any passion they think will better themselves and the firm.
At home, John and his wife, Terry, enjoy cheering on their three children, Spencer, Katie and Alex, at their sporting events. John is an athlete himself, playing pickle ball, soccer and trying to get out to the slopes to ski whenever he can. John is very active in his Lee’s Summit community and believes a community is more vibrant and alive when its individuals give back.
Michelle finds passion contagious. It doesn’t matter if you’re talking about your love of classic cars or data mining, if your passion shines through, Michelle is on board. It was the profound passion of educators that inspired her to step into her role as Educational Design Director, where she focuses entirely on enhancing learning through research and design.
As an architect, Michelle found herself drawn to educational projects because it was an opportunity to work with people that were driven to create lasting impact through the success of kids and communities. As an Accredited Learning Environment Planner, she works with key stakeholders early in the process talking about a lot of topics your average architect doesn’t cover: brain development through various ages, how social and emotional support is provided to students, and opportunities to expand on each client’s unique curriculum through design. When Michelle isn’t working with clients, she’s leading research on educational advances and a qualitative understanding of spatial impact on how the brain learns, sharing her findings with our team.
Michelle continues to help people realize their passions at home. She and her husband, Ed, chase after their very busy 3-year-old daughter, Emma, and work to keep up with her equally busy teenage stepdaughters, Lindsey and Haley. She says she gets to continue her work at home, watching both ends of the educational spectrum affect her kids. If she wasn’t working with us, she would be helping her parents grow their living herb company, housed on her family’s former dairy farm. She helped them develop the business over 10 years ago, and while we love their basil pesto, we’re happy she chose to lead our team here. We think our clients are, too.
AIA, CSI, CCS, LEED AP