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Huckabee Profiled by AIA

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NEWS // 05.21.18

AIA interviews Huckabee about culture, commitment and opportunity

AIA National featured Huckabee in its most recent newsletter, interviewing our CEO, Chris Huckabee, about how our focus on education led to record growth over the past couple of decades. In the article entitled, “This Texas firm survived a downturn by solving problems beyond design,” Chris shares about Huckabee’s culture of learning, our commitment to Texas education and how innovation in our service offerings led to more opportunity. Read the article, here.

Huckabee Ranked in ENR Top 500

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NEWS // 05.03.18

Huckabee moves up in rankings in ENR’s Top 500 Design Firms

This year, Huckabee again ranked amongst Engineering News Record’s Top 500 Design Firms, climbing 13 spots. The list ranks A/E firms across the nation based on revenue for design services performed in the past year. Huckabee continues to see growth throughout the company, and we have increased our staff, expanded our offerings and grown our regional office presence in recent years. Notably, in the past year, Huckabee relocated our Dallas office to Granite Park in Plano, a thriving live-work-play community that will allow for future growth and encompasses our culture of creative and engaging work environments. We also launched the second iteration of our educational research lab, LEx Labs.

In 2017, Huckabee celebrated 50 years of business. Starting off with only 10 employees in the company, Huckabee has grown to over 250 employees in 6 offices throughout Texas, completing over 3,500 projects. Our dedication to Texas education has led Huckabee to be a leader in learning environments and a trusted advisor to many. Huckabee’s growth is due to the trust our clients impart in us and our unwavering commitment to students, educators and communities. We love what we do and who we do it for!

Click here to view the full list of ENR’s Top 500 Design Firms.

Huckabee Opens New Office

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NEWS // 02.01.18

Huckabee Dallas opens new office in a booming live, work, play community

We’re excited to announce the re-opening of our Huckabee Dallas office, located in Granite Park in Plano, a vibrant live, work, play community. The location is near the epicenter of booming development in North Dallas and provides easy access to our clients across the region. It is the latest of our office spaces to be redesigned and relocated to meet the needs of our team and our partners. Our new base provides us with more space to grow, more space to collaborate, more space to engage with clients and more space to gather and enjoy a cup of coffee.

“The opportunity to grow in this way, to offer these environments to our team and our clients is a direct result of their shared work and commitment to Texas education,” said Josh Brown, Vice President and Director of Dallas. “We practice what we preach. Schools today are more collaborative and more personalized than ever. Our efforts to re-think our work environments embrace the same ideals we talk to our clients about—shared experiences, flexibility, opportunity and a holistic approach.”

In true Huckabee style, the design embraces our brand in form and function. From the signature neon “More Than Architects” sign and pops of red to an open work environment, sit-to-stand desks and a custom crit bar. A coffee bar sits up front, leading into a large workspace with floor to ceiling views. A premium is placed on shareable spaces that feature writable surfaces, technology and comfortable seating. Environmental graphics, signage and design touches elevate the space. Reflective film lines the glass of each conference room, creating a spectrum of colors that change as you move.

Above all, the space represents Huckabee’s commitment to creative and engaging work environments; places where Huckabee-ans and our partners can be inspired.

“Our workspaces are important to us,” said Josh. “They are places for our team and our clients to bring their ideas to life. We have a very connected and collaborative culture; it’s one of the first things you recognize when you walk into any one of our offices.”

Huckabee has offices in Dallas, Fort Worth, Austin, San Antonio and Houston, in addition to an educational research facility at Baylor University. The Dallas office is located at Granite Park Building 5, 5830 Granite Parkway, Suite 750 in Plano, Texas.

Inaugural WHOA Award Presented

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NEWS // 12.20.17

WHOA Award recognizes wisdom, integrity and spirit

At this year’s Christmas party, our leadership team presented the inaugural WHOA Award, a recognition created in memory of our friend and colleague, Jerry Hammerlun. Jerry joined Huckabee in 2001 and served our firm, our team and our clients with integrity, focus and enthusiasm. He was an incredible man whose legacy lives on in so many ways.

The WHOA Award is a special distinction that recognizes an individual who “took hold of the reins” and expertly guided the team with wisdom, integrity and spirit—in the same way that Jerry guided our team throughout his tenure at Huckabee. The honor was bestowed on Larry Cousin in our Fort Worth office. Larry was critical to our team this year, and we were pleased to recognize his contribution, commitment and wisdom.

The award was originally presented to Jerry many years ago by Chris Huckabee in the form of actual reins. Our founder, Tommie Huckabee, felt the reins needed a place to rest, aptly, a horse. Tommie, a skilled woodworker, sculpted the piece as a gift to Jerry. The reins were a perfect fit, and the award became a legacy, referred to as others at Huckabee exhibited similar fortitude and ingenuity. Its resurgence is one of the many ways that Jerry continues to touch our lives.

Huckabee Achievement Awards

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NEWS // 12.19.17

Huckabee celebrates 2017, recognizes employees at annual Christmas party

As our 50th year came to a close, we took one more opportunity to celebrate as a family at our annual Christmas party. More than 350 people gathered for the celebration, which brought together employees and their loved ones from each of our five offices. It’s one of our favorite events of the year, a time when we reflect on the incredible people we’ve met, projects we’ve embarked on and experiences we’ve shared. 

During the event, our team honored employees for years of service and achievement. Notably, Huckabee recognized Daren Kirbo for 20 years of service. Daren joined the firm in the summer of 1997, working first in Stephenville and later in Fort Worth before opening our Austin office in 2011. He is beloved by our team and clients, and he is known for his spirit and deep care for each of the communities he serves.

Congratulations to Daren and all of our colleagues who were recognized for their years of service!

  • Erin Evans, five years of service
  • Courtney Foster, five years of service
  • Brian Green, five years of service
  • Lauren Hoyle, five years of service
  • Laura McCollum, five years of service
  • Megan Smith, five years of service
  • Levi Swinney, five years of service
  • Roberto Zuniga, five years of service
  • Jay Graham, 10 years of service
  • Pam Riley, 10 years of service
  • Daren Kirbo, 20 years of service

During the event, our team had the privilege of recognizing a dear colleague and friend who left us too early in 2017. In memory of Jerry Hammerlun, we established the WHOA Award, a special distinction that recognizes an individual who “took hold of the reins” and expertly guided the team with wisdom, integrity and spirit—in the same way that Jerry guided our team throughout his tenure at Huckabee. The honor was bestowed on Larry Cousin in our Fort Worth office. Larry was critical to our team this year, and we were pleased to recognize his commitment and wisdom.

Other employees were honored with the Huckabee Achievement Award and the Best Practices Award. The prestigious Achievement Award recognizes an individual who is characterized by their commitment to excellence and dedication to our clients and to our team. It was presented to Les Reddin from our Austin office, an individual who represents all of these attributes and more. The Best Practices Award was given to Javier Rosero in Houston for taking an innovative approach to establishing new ideas and processes.

Huckabee Wins Trifecta Award

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NEWS // 12.05.17

Huckabee receives Zweig Group Trifecta Award

Huckabee was one of only nine firms to accept Zweig Group’s esteemed Trifecta Award at the 2017 Hot Firm Conference. This distinction recognizes companies that have received Best Firms to Work For, Hot Firms and Marketing Excellence awards within the same year. We are happy to share this special honor with every member of our team.

Notably, Huckabee was proud to rank as the #1 Best Firm to Work For in the architecture category. A combination of employee surveys and corporate evaluations were conducted to determine rankings for the award. Huckabee is continuously dedicated to being more than a workplace, and you can learn more about what this award means to us here.

Zweig’s Hot Firm Award recognizes the fastest growing companies in the architecture, engineering and planning industry. This year, Huckabee was ranked #8 out of 100. 

Huckabee also entered into the Special Event Category for the Marketing Excellence Award, submitting our campaign for the internal launch of our 50th anniversary celebration. The event was recognized for its “outstanding and effective” marketing effort. It featured spontaneous launch parties at each office with a “swag grab” and branding campaign focused on the meaning of 50 years. The campaign continued throughout the year, culminating in a 50th anniversary celebration, Huckapalooza, for our employees and their families.

Chris Huckabee, Chief Executive Officer; Kim Hopper, Chief Human Resources Officer; and Kenny Martin, Director of Project Practice, travelled to Seattle to accept the awards on behalf of the team.

“Receiving the Trifecta Award in our 50th year is the icing on the cake. This kind of recognition is the perfect way to kick off the next 50 years,” said Kim.

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!