Community & Culture
At Fentress Architects, we work in collaborative teams with clients, stakeholders and associates. We cultivate individual leadership within each person, from “front desk to back office,” believing people of all ages and experience have knowledge and skills to share in design, innovation and service. We value our team, and reward extraordinary effort through internal awards:
Touchstone Award recognizes exceptional talent and outstanding contributions by a Fentress team member (yearly)
Fentress Vision Award (FeVA) rewards professional growth by a new member of the architectural and interior design team (yearly)
Fentress University, our continuing education program, provides opportunities throughout the year to learn and to earn AIA credits in five areas: architectural and interior design, sustainable design, technology and innovation, project management, and leadership. The Fentress Young Interns group (FYI) meets regularly for fun and learning, employing our Mentor Partnership program to support the licensure process, learn the business of architecture, and explore the studio’s design philosophy. Several other committees also meet regularly to build competency, consistency and camaraderie throughout the studio.
At Fentress, we believe physical and mental well-being is essential to strong team performance. A fitness room is available 24/7, offering weights, treadmills and stationary bikes to keep us healthy and energized. Many of us bike to work regularly to trim our carbon footprint, taking advantage of indoor bike storage and shower facilities. We also commit time and resources to philanthropic causes, such as the 1% Pro Bono Design Program (www.publicarchitecture.org), hiking 14,000 foot peaks to raise money for youth treatment, or building schools in developing countries.
Diversity and Inclusiveness
Fentress Architects recognizes the power of diversity and inclusivity when it comes to strengthening workplace culture, building our talent pool, and fostering connections with our communities. Our Diversity and Inclusion (DI) Program showcases our efforts to invest in initiatives and programs that promote DI within our practice, encourage people of all backgrounds to enter the profession, and support minorities and disadvantaged communities.
Fentress leads these efforts by setting clear goals to:
- Diversify Talent: Foster a diverse workforce through recruitment, professional/personal development, and retention.
- Advance Leadership: Promote inclusivity, equity, and cultural sensitivity among our leaders while providing all employees with the resources to become strong leaders.
- Cultivate Respect: Encourage and maintain an inclusive, empowering, and respectful environment where people from diverse backgrounds feel supported.
- Encourage inclusivity: Reinforce inclusive practices through companywide policies and systems to maintain and advance an inclusive, diverse, and supportive culture.
Our DI initiatives include:
- We allocate a significant portion of our annual budget to diversity and inclusivity, including $2 million on retaining a diverse workforce, and $30,000 on programs such as workshops, trainings, and conferences/events.
- We are currently organizing a Diversity in Architecture Committee.
- We have a Women in Architecture Committee that meets monthly to provide leadership development and career resources.
- Our team members actively participate in the National Organization of Minority Architects (NOMA)
- We have enacted diversity training at the leadership level, and we will continue to offer this program each year.
- We provide annual harassment prevention training.
- In 2019 we held our first Trust and Civility in the Workplace, Unconscious Bias, and Generations in the Workplace trainings.
At Fentress we believe community involvement is integral to designing a more inspired environment and living a more inspired life. We are committed to listening to the needs of our global community and giving back by being a positive advocate for design, education, and architecture. Our design philosophy is based on logic, beauty, and humanism, which also serve as the basis for our philanthropic outreach.
Here is a sampling of the many causes in which we participate:
- Canstruction: a design and build competition in which large sculptures are made entirely from canned food that is then donated to local food banks.
- Cleworth Architectural Legacy (CAL) Project: a nationally recognized, award-winning educational program that teaches elementary classroom teachers how to better educate their students about design, architecture, and the built environment.
- Doors Open Denver: an annual event that introduces the public to the built environment through tours of local architectural treasures including civic, educational, historic, and museum buildings.
- Nathan Yip Foundation: which seeks to provide educational access through building schools in underserved communities in developing countries.
- We Care, in conjunction with the Boys & Girls Clubs of America: a program that introduces creativity and design to underserved school-aged children through the creation of handmade holiday gifts.