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Flag Flown in Honor of 50 Yrs

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NEWS // 09.07.17

United States flag flown over Capitol to honor Huckabee’s golden anniversary

Huckabee was recently honored with a special surprise—the flag of the United States of America was flown over the Capitol to honor our firm’s 50th anniversary. Coordinated by U.S. Congressman Michael Burgess, the honor was bestowed, “to celebrate Huckabee’s Golden Anniversary and to recognize their leadership in becoming the No. 1 education design firm in Texas.”

2017 marks the 50th anniversary of Huckabee. Our firm opened in 1967 in Andrews, Texas and has grown to become one of the leading educational design firm in the nation. To read more about the Huckabee story, click here.

We asked, #whatsyour50

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NEWS // 07.03.17

We asked our colleagues, what does Huckabee’s 50th anniversary mean to you? What’s your 50?

Huckabee is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year, and over the past five decades, our team has made our firm a family. We have many employees who have been with us for 10, 15, 20, 25 and even 35 years, and many more who joined us in the past decade as we experienced record growth. Our shared memories and personal experiences have shaped friendships and inspired career and life changing moments. We have become more than a workplace.

To recognize our golden anniversary and celebrate the personal milestones achieved by our team, we asked: “What does Huckabee’s 50th anniversary mean to you…what’s your 50?” From project stories to first day impressions to the development of friendships, our team had some great moments to share.

#whatsyour50

Remembering Jerry Hammerlun

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NEWS // 06.20.17

Jerry Hammerlun – A Legacy Larger than Life

An accomplished business leader — A legacy of excellence
Jerry Hammerlun began his professional journey in 1978 after completing his education at the University of Nebraska. He received two degrees – his bachelor’s degree in architecture, followed by his law degree. After 20 years in the architectural and engineering industry, he joined Huckabee in 2001 and assumed the role of President less than a year later. Jerry served numerous roles in that capacity, from managing the business finances, acting as General Counsel and running the day-to-day operations of the firm, to personally managing projects and advocating for his clients.

True to form, in 2009, Jerry passed the torch to a young leader at Huckabee and focused on a new role as the firm’s Chief Financial Officer. An exceptional planner with a strategic mind and incredible foresight, he had seen challenges ahead of the 2008 recession and was instrumental in moving Huckabee into a strong financial position. As a result of his leadership, Huckabee flourished as most A/E firms struggled during the downturn. Instead of laying off staff, we grew and continued to grow, opening offices across the state, increasing our market share and increasing staff by over 85 percent. He led the firm through the most prosperous growth curve in our history.

Jerry was recognized for his outstanding leadership in 2011 when he was named CFO of the Year by the Fort Worth Business Press. His leadership also led Huckabee to be nationally recognized for six consecutive years as a Hot Firm for consistent revenue growth and ranked as a top design firm by industry organizations year after year.

After nearly 40 years in the business, Jerry’s professional achievements are impressive, but for those who knew him or worked with him, he was so much more than a list of accomplishments.

A mentor, champion and friend – A legacy of love
Jerry greeted his colleagues every day with a resounding “good morning!” You could hear it bellow across the office, announcing his presence. He always said, “there’s no substitution for enthusiasm,” and he demonstrated this daily to each of us – even in a simple greeting.

He was a wise coach and mentor to many. He believed one of his key roles as a leader was to mentor future leaders, create opportunity for others and support them each step of the way. He guided our team with wisdom, strength and candor. Jerry coined “Collective Wisdom” at Huckabee, which today is a hallmark strength of our team. He believed we are stronger together than we are individually, and he established and engrained this way of thinking into the fabric and culture of our firm.

Jerry was a man of great discipline and focus. No matter your tenure at Huckabee, you knew the “10:30 rule.” Jerry began his day at 6:00 am and focused quietly in his office on daily tasks until 10:30, asking not to be interrupted during this time. He believed preparation was the key to success, and attention to detail was the path to excellence.

He was a man of passionate conviction. Jerry believed you should shine your shoes because they represented a person’s character. He believed eating alone was a missed opportunity to build relationships. He believed you should surround yourself with people who don’t always agree with you, but challenge you to be better. He believed in taking care of others’ checkbooks – whether it was Huckabee’s or our clients’ – like they were his own.

Jerry was a servant leader. He believed in giving back to his community and volunteered countless hours to organizations like the Boys & Girls Club, Junior Achievement and The Red Cross. An unwavering Husker fan, he served on an advisory board at his alma mater and was asked last year to give the commencement address. He was also elected to the Georgetown City Council, where he worked to make lasting improvements to the city he loved. He was a person of action and encouraged others to get involved. He didn’t talk about it, he did it. If he didn’t like it, he changed it. If he believed in it, he brought it to fruition. He made a difference.

Lastly and most importantly, Jerry was a family man. A husband to Vickie for 43 years and father to two amazing children, Greg and Lindsey and their spouses, Lacey and Aaron, Jerry’s eyes would light up whenever he talked about his family. He became a grandfather seven years ago and since that time, has welcomed five more grandchildren to “Papa J’s” house and heart. His office was proudly lined with pictures of his family and artwork from his grandkids. He loved to share the latest photos he had on his phone and loved to see family photos on ours. Just like his own, Jerry loved his Huckabee family the same. He showed this best by continually investing in others and growing them in areas needed to push the firm forward. He was very much a proud father in recent days as he watched a capable and talented team take flight.

An incredible man, an incredible life – A legacy that will live on
We got a call early Saturday morning, June 17, letting us know that Jerry was gone. I sat down to craft a statement to the Huckabee team and our business partners about the unspeakably difficult news of Jerry’s passing.

It is with great sadness we must share with you that Jerry Hammerlun passed away on Saturday morning

I stared at my computer screen, my finger hovering over the period. I couldn’t press it. I couldn’t hit the period. That made it real. This couldn’t possibly be real. I couldn’t end the sentence – end his story.

As I reflected on this moment and on his life, it became clear what he would want me to say to everyone reading this today. And so, I will pick up where I left off…

It is with great sadness we must share with you that Jerry Hammerlun passed away on Saturday morning; the Huckabee team is heartbroken but united in resolve to honor the legacy of this incredible man and to move forward, serving each other like he served us – with integrity, focus and enthusiasm.

There is no need for a period. Instead, I honor Jerry with a semicolon because this isn’t the end of his story. I will keep it going. Huckabee will keep it going. We are heartbroken by this irreplaceable loss but will continue to work hard, chase excellence, stay focused and disciplined, love what we do and who we get to do it with – enthusiastically, in his honor.

Remembering Jerry Hammerlun

Services to remember and celebrate the life of Jerry Hammerlun will be held on Friday, June 23 at 2:00 pm at the First Presbyterian Church at 703 South Church Street in Georgetown, Texas. A visitation will be held on Thursday, June 22 from 5:00 pm to 7:00 pm at the Ramsey Funeral Home at 5600 Williams Drive in Georgetown, Texas.

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Georgetown Education Foundation.

A celebration of #50more

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NEWS // 06.13.17

Huckabee employees and families celebrate 50th anniversary at Huckapalooza

Huckabee is midway through a yearlong commemoration of our 50th anniversary. Our team marked the occasion Saturday with an employee + family celebration, which brought together more than 300 people from across the state. The event, aptly named Huckapalooza, featured food trucks, lawn games, kids activities, dancing, a performance by Wade Bowen and Huckabee’s signature swag. It was an opportunity to celebrate together as a family and with family—something that has been important to us since day one.

For five decades, Huckabee has served Texas students, educators and communities with an exclusive focus on education. We started as a small architecture firm in West Texas and have grown into a multidiscipline A/E firm with offices in Fort Worth, Dallas, Austin, San Antonio and Houston, as well as an educational research center in Waco at Baylor University. We’ve been around for 50 years, and we can’t help but look forward to 50 more!

#LoveMySchoolDay #TxEdTuesday

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NEWS // 04.11.17

Huckabee team shares grade-school memories as part of #TxEdTuesday’s #LoveMySchoolDay

At Huckabee, we are advocates for education and life-long learning. As part of #TxEdTuesday’s #LoveMySchoolDay, we asked our employees to share their school memories and the impact education has had on their career, life and family. From elementary school to college, our team recognizes the shared hard work educators, coaches, friends and community put into our students each and every day.

Kerri Ranney
My two kids love learning! That love of learning is fostered at Raye McCoy Elementary School in Georgetown ISD. Go Bobcats!

Roberto Zuniga
I have three Coppell ISD graduates and one 9th grader. My graduates have gone to prime east coast private universities with almost full scholarships. Among the many opportunities that Coppell has given them, two of my kids have taken me to be the father, four times, of state champions and one made a proclamation on the floor of the Texas Senate. You’ve got to love public education!

Jennifer Brown
I am a proud graduate of Sherman High School in Sherman, Texas! Some of my favorite memories include Friday Night Lights in Bearcat Stadium where generations of my family watched and continue to watch football games, great teachers like Verna Sharer who taught me and my two baby sisters how to sew (sorry, Ms. Sharer—this didn’t stick), one-act play competitions and being voted “Most Likely to be Famous” and lifelong friendships that so easily pick up where we left off. I am so grateful for the commitment and selflessness of so many people along my learning journey who helped shape me into the person I am today. I love that I am able to give back in such a profound way through our work at Huckabee. Go Bearcats!

Kevin Billings
I grew up and went to school in the great state of Kansas. I am proud to say that I went to Washburn Rural HS. We had ‘Rural’ in our name because we had wheat fields beside the school and cattle in the field across the road. I love what I do because of my drafting teacher named Harold Bryan. I had taken all of the drafting courses my school had to offer, but he knew I wanted more. He used his own money and purchased a simple CAD program for me. We acquired a computer from another teacher and started the CAD drafting program. We developed a class syllabus, and I was the first person in my high school to receive credits for a CAD class. He did not know the software, so part of my grade was to help teach him. This happened because a teacher could see my passion and love for drafting. Today there is an entire CAD lab with over 20 computers dedicated to CAD, 3D and design software in my alma mater. Thank you Mr. Bryan for teaching me that the ‘best’ way between two points is not always a straight line. Take the curves and enjoy life! Auburn-Washburn Unified School District #437, Topeka, Kansas

Emmie Bennett
Proud to be a product of the Texas Public Education system, specifically Carrollton-Farmers Branch ISD. I was a Kent Cardinal, a Rainwater Hurricane, a Blalack Bear and finished as a Creekview Mustang. I associate each school with each mascot because athletics was my guiding light. However, I’ve always known my career was going to be in art. I had the same art teacher in elementary school and then again during high school. I owe everything to Mr. Bob Thomas, who sat at his desk with art books and artwork stacked so high he had to stand up to see us.

Bergen Hashemian
I attended public schools all throughout K-12, starting off in Grapevine-Colleyville ISD and finishing n Carroll ISD. What I loved most about my school district was not only did the teachers push students to achieve their full potential and provide us with the opportunities to do so, but as a community, we all came together to support our football team!

Katie Bevan
I am SO PROUD of my Texas education. I went to public schools in Richardson ISD from K-12, and I loved every minute of it. We had amazing teachers and great opportunities. In high school I was part of a magnet as well as an internship program—all preparing me for the real world! Go Eagles!

Josh Brown
I am a proud graduate of Pottsboro High School. Getting the privilege to attend a small-town public school made me who I am today. From the teachers and coaches who tirelessly invested in our success as young men and women, the victories and heartache experienced with my teammates in sports, the relationships developed with those in the community. . . I will forever be humbled by those who invested in a young kid and continued to motivate and challenge me to get better each day, to believe that I could accomplish absolutely anything with proper preparation, and to help me understand that failing forward was a good thing.

Markita Richardson
“Education is a passport to the future, for tomorrow belongs to those who prepare for it today.” —Malcolm X. I am PROUD to be a product of the Texas Public Education System. I started off as a Lakeview Viking, then became a Sugarland Titan and to end it all, a Kempner Cougar! What I loved most about attending these schools was not only did I make lifelong friendships with great people, but I had passionate teachers who went above and beyond to push their students to achieve their full potential.

A Golden Anniversary

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NEWS // 02.03.17

50 more years: A celebration of Huckabee’s golden anniversary

In 2017, Huckabee commemorates our 50th anniversary. We have proudly served Texas students, educators and communities for five decades. Our legacy is one we are honored to uphold.

We have a year of celebrations planned, and we look forward to the opportunity to reflect on the people, projects and moments that shaped our firm. Follow along at www.Huckabee50.com or #50more on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

From our roots as a small architecture firm in West Texas, to being named the #1 educational design firm in the state, it’s been an incredible journey. Here’s to 50 more years … we’re just getting started!

A FOUNDATION OF INTEGRITY

Fifty years ago, Tommie Huckabee saw an opportunity to bridge the gap in the architect and contractor relationship. He grew up working with his father, a general contractor, and knew the importance of a solid set of construction documents. As a result, he believed he owed it to his clients to do detailed drawings that bid more accurately and delivered more value. In 1967, Tommie and his colleague, Herman Riherd, opened Riherd & Huckabee in Andrews and Lubbock, Texas. The philosophy that inspired their vision is the foundation for what we still believe today—above all else: quality, integrity and service.

From the beginning, our work focused on education. We primarily served West Texas school districts, earning a reputation for excellence in the region. One of our first projects was a new gymnasium for Denver City ISD. More work followed, with Huckabee schools popping up across the plains. At the time, Riherd & Huckabee was designing some of the most innovative facilities in the region, including a new middle school for Andrews ISD that had a planetarium, three gymnasiums and an open concept learning environment. Another project, in Monahans-Wickett-Pyote ISD, was one of Tommie’s favorites; it was selected in 1976 to exhibit at an International Design Competition in Basel, Switzerland.

In the mid-70s, Riherd retired, and a new partner, Larry Donham, joined Tommie. Huckabee & Donham had 10 employees. For the next 15 years, they continued to build the firm’s legacy. During this time, Tommie opened an office in Stephenville, where the firm relocated after Donham’s retirement.

In 1989, Huckabee was short-listed in Mansfield ISD. The district was small, and they were looking for a partner to grow with. Huckabee fit the bill, and we kicked off a 28-year relationship that has resulted in more than $1.75 billion in school projects. It was one of the most significant moments for our firm. Today, Mansfield ISD serves more than 33,000 students. Their legacy is one we are proud to share.

In 1990, we became Huckabee & Associates. Tommie’s son, Chris Huckabee, graduated from Texas Tech University and joined the firm.

Chris had learned from the best. In second grade he attended his first board meeting with his father. Soon after, he started riding along to visit construction sites and meet with clients whenever the opportunity arose. He was entrenched in Huckabee, and when graduation came, eager to make his mark and work alongside Tommie.

A VISIONARY FUTURE

In 1995, Chris opened an office in Fort Worth, another significant move for Huckabee. It provided more opportunities for the firm to compete in a larger market. In 2000, Tommie passed the torch to Chris, leaving behind a legacy of excellence and a foundation that continues to sustain us.

Over the next nine years, Huckabee focused on the work, establishing a presence in new markets to the east, north and south. We developed new relationships and started working with school districts that remain our partners today.

When the recession hit in 2009, we doubled down on our commitment to Texas education. Huckabee invested in hiring talented leaders in the educational design field. We diversified our offerings and focused on being a trusted advisor for our clients. We took the time to reflect on our role in education and work with school districts to develop comprehensive plans for the future. We embodied the concept of being “More than Architects,” a vision that allowed us to do more, be more and give more to our clients. It was a defining moment for Huckabee, and it led to an incredible period of growth.

We are Huckabee Texas
happy hour Huckabee Texas

By 2011, Huckabee started expanding. We opened offices in Austin, Dallas, Houston and San Antonio. Notably, we also opened the Learning Experience Laboratories (LEx Labs) in partnership with ESC Region 12 at Baylor University. LEx Labs is an educational research center and test lab used by Huckabee, our clients and the university to explore 21st century classrooms and learning spaces. As education moves toward project-based learning and creating authenticity in the learning experience, we are standing beside Texas schools and helping lead the way for incredible facilities. LEx Labs represents this commitment, and it’s our way of investing in research and training that supports long-term student engagement and performance.

In 2016, on the eve of our 50th anniversary, Huckabee was named the #1 educational design firm in Texas by Engineering News Record. The recognition was a testament to our employees, clients and our commitment to education. Today, we have over 200 employees across the state, with more than 3,500 educational projects under our cap. We have worked with more than 150 school districts in the last few decades alone, and impacted thousands of students and educators throughout our shared journey.

Now in our 50th year, Huckabee still stands for the values that Tommie instilled: quality, integrity and service. We still stand for education and the success of all students. And we still strive to be more every single day, because education is worth it and our kids deserve it. As we celebrate our golden anniversary, we can’t help but look forward to 50 more years.

It’s been an incredible journey, and we’re just getting started.

Child-Centered Learning

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NEWS // 09.01.16

Child centered learning starts with empowering educators

Kerri Ranney, Huckabee’s Director of Learning & Strategic Development, talks about child centered learning and empowering educators in a recent guest column in School Planning and Management magazine.

“In architectural design, we follow the foundational concept that form follows function, believing that instructional environments are most successful when approached methodically, as opposed to delivering a one-size-fits-all learning space. As customizable learning experiences come to prominence, more focus than ever is being put on child-centered learning philosophies, in which multiple pedagogies and diverse learning needs are used to inspire educational design.

However, focusing solely on the child-learner often misses a key opportunity: the professional development of educators. As educational facilities continue to evolve, expanding the planning and design conversation to include educator development and space needs will impart far greater success in the classroom, for educators and students alike.”

Click here to read the full article.

BD+C: #25 in Giants 300

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NEWS // 07.26.16

Huckabee jumps to #3 K-12 Architecture Firm, #25 Architecture / Engineering Firm in 2016 Giants 300 Report

Building Design + Construction magazine released the 2016 Giants 300 Report, naming Huckabee #3 K-12 School Sector Architecture Firm and #25 Architecture / Engineering Firm in the nation. Of those recognized, Huckabee is one of the only firms that exclusively serves Texas educational clients. The annual list is determined based on market-sector revenue, BIM revenue, green building work and other criteria. It represents the largest and most innovative firms in the architecture, engineering and construction fields.

The publication also featured Kerri Ranney and LEx Labs, Huckabee’s educational research lab, in an article about the future of K-12 educational design. To read more, click here.

West ISD rendering Huckabee Texas

#1 Educational Design Firm

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NEWS // 06.19.16

Huckabee named #1 Educational Design Firm, 2016 Design Firm of the Year by Engineering News Record

Engineering News-Record Texas & Louisiana named Huckabee its 2016 Design Firm of the Year, “…for its commitment to employees, clients and enhancing learning environments across the state, as well as its dedication to the community.” Click here to read more. Huckabee also received the top nod as the #1 Educational Design Firm. Click here to see the lists.

ENR: Design Firm of the Year

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NEWS // 05.10.16

Engineering News Record names Huckabee 2016 Design Firm of the Year

Engineering News Record Texas & Louisiana named Huckabee its 2016 Design Firm of the Year. Huckabee jumped nearly 150 spots in this year’s ENR Top 500 Design Firms to land at No. 213 on the list. Huckabee will celebrate its 50th anniversary in 2017 and has experienced exponential growth since the firm opened in 1967. Notably, in the past five years, Huckabee has opened multiple offices in thriving live / work / play communities, recruited the best of the best in educational planning and design and expanded service offerings to provide clients with a more holistic approach to designing the learning environment.

Huckabee will be featured in the June 13 edition of ENR Texas & Louisiana. Click here to read more.

Alvarado Junior High Huckabee Texas
Dripping Springs Middle School Huckabee Texas
school architecture Huckabee Texas
Learning Commons Huckabee Texas