People

Our culture emphasizes inclusivity and the sharing of ideas. We value education and support a workplace that empowers talented, innovative leaders. We are open-minded, curious, and ambitious.

Jess Smith
Senior Associate, Director of HR & Administration

Jess Smith
Education
  • Connecticut College
Affiliations
  • SHRM Society for Human Resource Management
  • Boston Society of Architects HR Committee Chair

What does successful workplace culture mean to you?

People helping others succeed: by teaching, by supporting, by collaborating, by sharing. Every college admissions office claims they are Collaborative, not Competitive, but the nature of academia doesn’t allow for that. It’s a competitive sport where grades and rankings are the goal. In a Design Collaborative the goal is a collective process yielding a collective result.

What motivated you to become a designer (or current role?)?

As the oldest of 4, I was always a bridge between staff and management; trying to explain the actions and intentions of my parents to my brothers, and vice versa. With a foot in both the Employee camp and the Executive Camp, I try to find ways to communicate the decisions and concerns of each to the other.

What would you be doing if you were not working in this industry?

I would like to have been a perpetual student, getting degrees in literature, and teaching. Exposure to the arts isn’t enough; in 21st Century America we need immersion in the arts. Our survival depends on painting, sculpture, poetry, fiction, film. I would like to be part of spreading that gospel.

In a parallel universe, what is your profession?

Back-up singer in a Motown band.

What is your proudest moment?

Learning to forge my parents’ signatures.

What’s your biggest ambition?

To be able to fit all my belongings in a car.

What valuable lessons did you learn from your parents?

Life is short. Don’t waste time counting your change.

What do you listen to while working?

Bergmeyer employees.

Where do you feel most at home?

With my tribe.

What accomplishment are you most proud of?

My daughter writes thank you notes.

Creative
Connected
Curious