James Walbridge to Develop HDR's Lincoln, NE Studio

(May 3, 2016) As principal and manager of HDR's Omaha architecture studio extension in Lincoln, James will develop relationships with business, academic, and government leaders in an effort to gain work in the Lincoln area.

An award-winning architect with 35 years of experience, James most recently owned and managed Tekton Architecture, an architect-led design-build firm, in San Francisco for 21 years. Since 1995, he has been involved in leadership roles on the local, state, and national levels for the AIA, including various AIA National Presidential Committee appointments from 2012-2015. James was recently elected to the AIA National Strategic Council, and he has lectured extensively at events including AIA national conventions.

Having known since he was 5 years old that he wanted to be an architect, the built environment has always fascinated him. "The effect of a structure on both its inhabitants and its natural surroundings can have a tremendous impact," James says. He adds that he is inspired to work for HDR because the firm is employee-owned, has strong leadership with a clear vision, and encourages a culture based on shared values.

"James has an unwavering energy and passion for everything that he touches," says Matthew DeBoer, managing principal of HDR's architecture practice in Omaha. "His vision and values align perfectly with the Lincoln community, and I have no doubt that he will have immediate success growing our practice there."

Starting out as a draftsman, James worked both in the field and "on the boards" for architectural and engineering firms in Florida. He later worked for an architect-led design firm in Oakland, California, while at the same time earning a general contractor's license. He formed Tekton Architecture after further developing his construction project management skills.

James considers his best talents to be strategic thinking, emotional intelligence, and team-building. Of the latter he comments, "Not only has this skill been invaluable for me, but it has nourished a lifelong passion for striving to maintain an environment where joint effort, collaboration, and the concept of a team are held in the highest order."