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Ranked #37 in Architectural Record

By | Industry, News

Huckabee has been ranked No. 37 this year on the Architectural Record magazine Top 300 Architectural Firms list, moving up seven points from 2018. We are proud to serve students, educators and communities through our work, and we are honored that because of their trust, we have a platform to help improve education for all while excelling in our industry.

At Huckabee, we are committed to, and known for, design innovation, technical excellence and personal service. We have exclusively served educational clients in Texas for 52 years, completing over 3,500 projects and greatly impacting students and educators.

Click here to view the full list of Architectural Record magazine Top 300 Architectural Firms.

GCCISD Tech Center Featured

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Goose Creek CISD’s new technology center—completed in partnership with Huckabee—was recently featured in Civil Engineering, the Magazine of the American Society of Civil Engineers. The magazine’s article highlights the technology center’s unique design, which allows the building to withstand certain severe weather conditions, such as hurricanes. Goose Creek CISD is located just East of Houston, which like any city along the coast, is vulnerable to tropical weather.

The 2-story, 32,400 square foot technology center stores crucial district data and provides space for training and storage. A hardened, 2,000 square foot area within the building protects computer servers and can withstand wind speeds that are roughly equivalent to a Category 4 hurricane. Huckabee served as the architect and the structural engineer for this project. To read the full article, please click here.

Red for Ed

By | News

On May 9th, Huckabee employees across Texas wore red to show our support of public schools. Red for Ed is a nationwide effort that raises awareness about public school legislation and funding.

At Huckabee, our heart is in education. So today and every day, Huckabee will stand with educators across our great state to support a bright future for all students. To learn more about Red for Ed, please click here to visit the National Education Agency’s website.

Kerri Ranney Named POY

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The Association for Learning Environments (A4LE) named Kerri Ranney, AIA, Esq., REFP, the 2019 Southern Region Planner of the Year (POY) at the annual conference in April. A surprise to Kerri, but no surprise to her colleagues and clients at Huckabee! Kerri’s Huckabee family joined her to celebrate the honor. 

Planner of the Year (POY) recognizes dedication and commitment to the growth and overall success of the region and industry. Kerri was nominated by her peers, followed by a committee review of her body of work, personal accomplishments and contributions. With the honor, Kerri will be considered for the International Lifetime Achievement Award competition in 2020.

“Besides being an incredible person, Kerri is the most genuine advocate I know for the planning process. She truly cares about helping clients get to the root of their needs. This diligence has delivered amazing outcomes for school districts time and time again. We are so proud of Kerri.”

Chris Huckabee, AIA, Chief Executive Officer

Kerri has a deep affection for Texas public schools and for the people who make them work day-in and day-out. She believes that the world’s toughest problems can be solved through education, and for Kerri, this means a commitment to help teachers and administrators think differently about how education is delivered and how space is designed. During her time at Huckabee, Kerri has been instrumental in establishing a meaningful and comprehensive planning process; in creating a research lab and subsequent studies focused on education; in working with clients to imagine the impossible; and in being a trusted advisor, mentor and friend to many people across the globe.

ABOUT KERRI

Kerri is Vice President of Educational Practice at Huckabee. She helps clients delve into educational planning, change management, instructional delivery and professional development. Kerri also leads Huckabee’s educational research initiative in partnership with Region 12 ESC and Baylor University.

Kerri joined Huckabee in 2013, bringing 13 years of experience in educational design. She was asked to lead the planning team and crafted the department around providing services that would help schools evolve the learning experience. Kerri’s work with school districts led to incredible innovation not just in the learning environment, but in how school districts approached professional development for educators.

When Huckabee opened an educational research lab, LEx Labs, at Baylor University in 2015, Kerri was instrumental in the long-term planning of the project. Since its opening, Kerri has worked with Huckabee’s research partners to complete four pilot studies and begin a longitudinal study focused on elementary education, flexible furniture and professional learning. Additionally, Kerri brings clients to LEx Labs to facilitate conversations about the future of education. She is a thought-leader in this discipline, and her contribution has allowed Huckabee to combine research, data and outcomes into school planning and design.

In 2016, Kerri joined Huckabee’s shareholder group, taking on an even greater role in establishing the firm’s direction for the future. She joined a team of shareholders that provide leadership to nearly 300 employees across six offices in Texas.

Today, Kerri continues to work with clients while also sharing her expertise with local, national and international audiences. She is actively involved in many professional organizations, including A4LE, and sits on and leads committees focused on school safety / security and educational standards. On a personal level, Kerri is actively involved in her local non-profit sector. She has a passion for organic farming and broadening access to nutritious and fresh options in “food deserts.” She currently serves as the Board Chair of Farmshare Austin, a non-profit organization focused on land preservation, food access and growing the next generation of organic farmers. In addition, she is the proud parent of Cash (10) and Tatum (9), and in her free time, enjoys earning Spartan trifectas.

Huckabee celebrates 2018

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Huckabee celebrated another great year with our annual Christmas festivities. Not one, not two, but three parties took place for our teams across Texas. More than 400 combined guests—which included employees from our five offices and their loved ones—gathered to enjoy food, fun and togetherness.

This is one of our favorite times 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. At each party, there was a deep sense of gratitude in the air. As a firm, we are so thankful for each other, for an incredible 2018 and for the opportunity we have to promote the success of all students.

During the events, our team honored employees for years of service and achievement. Notably, Huckabee recognized Josh Brown, Vice President and Director of Dallas, and Will Smith, Associate Principal, for 15 years of service. Josh and Will have held multiple roles within Huckabee, both providing impact to our team and clients.

Congratulations to Josh, Will and all of our colleagues who were recognized for their years of service!

  • Josh Brown, 15 years of service
  • Will Smith, 15 years of service
  • Devin Wilson, 10 years of service
  • Brian Eilerts, five years of service
  • Matthew Perez, five years of service
  • Becky Petter, five years of service
  • Heather Bryce, five years of service
  • Jason Andrus, five years of service
  • Mike Vermeeren, five years of service
  • Ray Dameron, five years of service
  • Hans Schmidt, five years of service
  • Josh Gomez, five years of service
  • Ricardo Davalos, five years of service
  • Konrad Judd, five years of service
  • David Anderson, five years of service
  • Kerri Ranney, five years of service
  • Crystal Vasquez, five years of service
  • Kenny Martin, five years of service
  • Walter Medrano, five years of service
  • Heather Barksdale, five years of service
  • John Papa, five years of service
  • Susan Carter, five years of service

This year, Mike Hall, our Austin Director of Design, was honored with the Huckabee Achievement Award; this prestigious award recognizes an individual who is characterized by their dedication to our clients and our team. Mike embodies our core values; he consistently demonstrates exceptional client focus and always looks to improve our firm.

This year’s WHOA Award was bestowed on Jeff Bryant, Regional Structural Engineer, in Fort Worth. 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; the award honors the legacy of Jerry Hammerlun, a dear colleague and friend who left us too early in 2017. Jeff was critical to our team this year, and we were pleased to recognize his unwavering integrity, ability to manage challenges and commitment to excellence.

LEsolutions Award

By | News

Huckabee and Georgetown ISD recently received a 2018 LEsolutions Planning and Design Award in the new learning category for George Wagner Middle School. The LEsolutions Planning and Design Awards recognize excellent learning environments that are the result of a thoughtful, thorough planning process. We are honored to receive this award and excited to share it with all the individuals who came together to make this project a reality.

Wagner Middle School was part of a district-wide initiative to redefine the Learner Profile for students in Georgetown ISD. Community members, teachers, students and other stakeholders engaged in meaningful dialogue through educational summits, surveys and interviews to arrive at a new Learner Profile—one that emphasized choice, customization and innovation.

The new Learner Profile ignited an exciting, highly-collaborative planning and design process. The team was fully invested, making sure everything about Wagner Middle School pointed back to the district’s vision of an innovative and inquisitive learner. As a result, the final design embodies a place of purpose and exploration, a place that gives students freedom and responsibility in choosing how they learn.

Within the school, academics are broken into three learning neighborhoods with movable glass walls in the classrooms for maximum flexibility. The campus features multiple collaboration zones—including a large learning stair in the cafeteria and commons—for teachers and students. Outdoor learning spaces, a makerspace and a video lab are just some of the ways students can experience learning and embrace creativity.

To read more and view Huckabee’s winning submission, click here.

About the LEsolutions Awards

The LEsolutions Awards recognize learning environments that positively impact learning and teaching and that inspire change and forward progress. The group behind these awards is the Association for Learning Environments (A4LE), a non-profit whose sole mission is to improve the places where children learn. A4LE believes that great schools are the result of an interactive planning process, and the LEsolutions Awards highlight schools that came about through sound planning and skillful design.

AIA Honor Design Award

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The new Godley High School received a 2018 American Institute of Architecture (AIA) Fort Worth Honor Design Award. AIA is an organization that represents the collective voice of architecture and advocates for a better built environment; AIA’s Awards recognize excellence in contemporary architecture and seek to highlight the ways in which buildings and spaces amaze, inspire and improve lives. Huckabee is proud to share this honor with the individuals who came together to envision Godley High School. We are grateful for Godley’s administration, students and community and their participation and enthusiasm surrounding the project.

Godley High School opened in Fall 2018 and supports a district-wide initiative to evolve educational delivery and create a cohesive learning experience. The design of the school centers around the Center for Learning & Innovation, a large core space that features a café, library, collaboration rooms with movable walls, a film room, learning stair and access to the outdoors. The school also wraps around the district stadium, creating a unique viewing experience for athletic events and allowing the school’s commons and outdoor courtyards to double as public-use space. Throughout GHS, engaging collegiate spaces and flexible elements empower students, emphasize choice and encourage collaborative learning. 

Wagner MS Caudill Class

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George Wagner Middle School in Georgetown ISD was named a finalist for the Caudill Class, the highest honor awarded as part of the TASA / TASB Exhibit of School Architecture competition. The school received four Stars of Distinction in Design, Community, Planning and School Transformation. Within the same district, Purl Elementary School received three Stars of Distinction, situating GISD as the only school district with two recognitions for 2018-2019.

Wagner Middle School opened in 2017. It’s a beautiful and exciting campus that is playing a critical role in Georgetown ISD’s evolution toward choice, customization and innovation in instruction. The design was the result of a comprehensive planning process that unified ideas from school leaders, community members, students and educators. Huckabee is honored to share this incredible recognition with the many people who imagined what Wagner could become.

The configuration of the school emphasizes choice and shared learning. Academics are split into “dens” for 6th grade, STEM and humanities. Each den features classrooms, labs, flex space, a teacher design lab and outdoor patio. The district removed classroom ownership to support more collaborative and customized instruction, requiring the dens to be highly adaptable and suitable for use by multiple teachers with a variety of curriculum needs and student learning styles.

Dens surround a 2-story commons that brings learning, socialization, assembly and collaboration together into one space. The team prioritized transparency as a way to promote personal responsibility for students and passive supervision for teachers. They adopted a use for all common areas and corridors by using furniture to maximize space for learning.

Wagner Middle School is progressive not just in design, but in how educators approach instruction. The learning environment supports autonomy, trust, responsibility and a more project-based approach. The enthusiasm for learning is noticeable in the way students buzz around the building, accessing every nook and cranny to design their learning experience.

About the Exhibit of School Architecture

Wagner Middle School is one of four Huckabee projects to be recognized in the Exhibit of School Architecture competition. GISD’s Purl Elementary School also received multiple Stars of Distinction in the categories of Community, Planning and School Transformation. Fort Bend ISD’s James Patterson Elementary School and Kaufman ISD’s Kaufman High School received recognition for School Transformation.

The Exhibit of School Architecture awards are given at the discretion of a 12-member jury, which includes: four school board members, four administrators, two representatives from the Texas Society of Architects and two representatives from the Association for Learning Environments (A4LE). To be eligible for consideration for the 2018 Exhibit of School Architecture, projects had to be newly constructed or renovated public education facilities completed in the past five years.

About the Caudill Class

The Caudill Class is reserved for projects that received four or more Stars of Distinction. It is the TASA / TASB Exhibit of School Architecture’s highest recognition and is named after Texas architect William Wayne Caudill (1914–1983), whose progressive concepts continue to influence school design. Winners will be announced in January.

Exhibit of School Architecture

By | News

Huckabee is excited to announce that Fort Bend ISD’s James Patterson Elementary School, Kaufman ISD’s Kaufman High School, Georgetown ISD’s Annie Purl Elementary School and Georgetown ISD’s George Wagner Middle School received Stars of Distinction for the TASA / TASB Exhibit of School Architecture competition. It’s a recognition we are proud to share with our incredible partners! The awards highlight excellence in planning and design of learning environments.

Patterson Elementary School and Kaufman High School received recognition for School Transformation. Purl Elementary School received Stars of Distinction for Community, Planning and School Transformation. Wagner Middle School received the highest honor, being noted in the categories of Design, Community, Planning and School Transformation and qualifying for the prestigious Caudill Class. Notably, Georgetown ISD was the only school district to receive honors for multiple schools.

Finalists in the Caudill Class are selected based on receiving four or more Stars of Distinction. The award is the highest level of recognition for the competition and is named after influential Texas architect William Wayne Caudill (1914-1983). The winner will be announced in January.

About the Award-Winning Projects

Each of these schools was the result of a thoughtful planning and design process, and each feature unique attributes that inspire, excite and influence learning.

Patterson Elementary School in Fort Bend ISD is a LEED certified campus. The design creates a more engaging and collaborative space, where students and teachers break out of the classroom for instruction. “Learning pockets” are found throughout, from the 2-story library with flexible furniture, to bench seating in corridors, collab space in classroom wings and an outdoor garden and patio.

Kaufman High School underwent a complete transformation. Multiple buildings were brought under a single roof with unifying elements such as an open and collaborative bistro / library / commons. A new performing arts center, competition gymnasium and CTE wing established a more comprehensive campus. Notably, CTE programs were elevated with the inclusion of a state-of-the-art culinary kitchen, robotics labs and television studio.

The design of Purl Elementary School is inspired by the nearby town square. Classroom wings surround a high-volume commons in the same way storefronts surround the county courthouse, creating a central hub of activity. While interior finishes, furniture and function take a modern form, exterior detailing borrows from the aesthetic of the community’s historic buildings. This community-driven school also features a unique volunteer lab in the secure entry vestibule.

At Wagner Middle School, the configuration emphasizes choice and shared learning. Students have a home base in one of three “dens” for STEM, humanities and 6th grade. They have the ability to spill out from dens into collaborative workspace, outdoor space, the commons, corridors, a maker space and the library. Transparency is critical to the model, and the design of classrooms, teacher design labs and common areas emphasize sightlines and connectivity.

The award-winning projects, along with other projects submitted, will be displayed at the TASA / TASB Exhibit of School Architecture at the annual convention on Sept. 28-30 in Austin. To learn more, visit www.texasschoolarchitecture.org.

About the Exhibit of School Architecture

The Exhibit of School Architecture awards are given at the discretion of a 12-member jury, which includes: four school board members, four administrators, two representatives from the Texas Society of Architects and two representatives from the Association for Learning Environments (A4LE). To be eligible for consideration for the 2018 Exhibit of School Architecture, projects had to be newly constructed or renovated public education facilities completed in the past five years.

Huckabee Profiled by AIA

By | News

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

By | News

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

By | News

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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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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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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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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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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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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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

By | News

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

By | News

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.