Austin and San Antonio, Texas — A new leadership structure will position O’Connell Robertson, a 66-year-old Texas architecture and engineering design firm, to support a vision of growth, innovation and enhanced expertise. Founded in 1950, O’Connell Robertson has evolved and grown over the years, with more than 50 employees in Austin and San Antonio now providing comprehensive architecture, interior design, MEP engineering, commissioning, sustainable design, and bond planning and communication services. The Firm is consistently ranked among the top design firms in Central Texas and has built a reputation for providing client-focused solutions.
For nearly 30 of those years, Rick Burnight, AIA, ACHA, has served as a Principal and for 12 years as president and CEO of O’Connell Robertson, providing stability and vision that has resulted in the Firm’s growth and success. But Burnight says it is now time to adjust the leadership structure to accommodate a changing marketplace and workforce. He announced today that while he will continue as the Firm’s CEO, the leadership responsibilities will now be shared with Amy Jones as President and Kim Cochran as Chief Operating Officer.
“Our Firm has achieved a high level of success over 65 years and this leadership transition will provide even greater capacity to accommodate growth, develop internal expansion of operational knowledge, and maximize the unique strengths of key leaders to further enhance the Firm’s success,” stated Burnight.
Amy Jones becomes the Firm’s fourth president in its 65 year history, and the first woman to serve in that role. She has been with O’Connell Robertson for 19 years and has served as the Principal overseeing business development, marketing, communications and community relations since 2004. She also serves as Principal-in-Charge on a variety of projects and actively supports regional education initiatives and local nonprofit organizations through committee membership and leadership roles, including as a past President of the Board of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Texas and the Society of Marketing Professionals (SMPS) Austin Chapter, and as Chair of the Austin Chamber of Commerce’s Education Progress Task Force. She is an alumni of Leadership Austin, an AARO McBee Fellow, has participated in numerous thought leader presentations and has received multiple awards of recognition for her contributions to education and the community.
As President, Jones will oversee the communication and implementation of the Firm’s vision, mission and strategic plans; lead the development of corporate policies, plans and programs; and provide strategic direction of the Firm’s business development and community relations activities. She will also continue working directly with clients and projects as a Principal.
Kim Cochran has more than 35 years of experience in the design and construction industry, including 22 years with O’Connell Robertson. A Certified Construction Contract Administrator, he has been a Principal in the Firm since 2000 with primary responsibility for the Construction Administration Team. He also serves as Principal-in-Charge for numerous projects, especially for higher education clients, including the Bobcat Stadium Expansion for Texas State University and the Texas Advanced Computing Center now under construction for The University of Texas. In addition, he has overseen the Firm’s IT and business functions.
As COO, Cochran’s business and operational responsibilities will expand. He is charged with enhancing the internal organizational processes and infrastructure, including overseeing all financial and business planning activities; business policies; contract agreements; organizational performance metrics; and the daily operations of the Firm’s offices. Cochran also will continue to serve as Principal-in-Charge on higher education and athletic projects.
By sharing the operational and leadership responsibilities, Rick Burnight will be able to concentrate more on the Firm’s practice. With more than 35 years as an architect, planner and interior designer and specialized certification as a healthcare architect, Burnight’s focus will be directed on professional staff development, healthcare and higher education clients and projects, and the Firm’s efforts to continuously improve execution of professional services and project delivery. He also will continue to provide strategic input and leadership on issues affecting the Firm’s growth and operations.
“This is a critical time in our Firm’s history,” said Burnight. “We are strong and continue to grow but we know that remaining competitive requires adaptive leadership. This new structure maximizes the strengths of each member of the Executive Leadership Team and supports a progressive and collaborative leadership style that will position our Firm for even greater success in the future.
“Amy, Kim and I are proud to lead a great team of professionals who are truly committed to our clients and our Firm,” he added. “We believe we now have the people and the structure in place that will enable us to make a greater impact on our Firm culture, our community, and the built environment.”