Employee Spotlight: Sarah Young

Sarah is part of the lifeblood of our company. She truly embodies our core values of trust, collaboration, and innovation.

Sarah’s honesty and transparency assures that you can trust she has your best interests at heart. She is constantly looking at ways we can improve as a team and deliver the best product to our clients. She elevates those around her with an enthusiasm that is unmatched and makes it a pleasure to collaborate with her on any project.

Sarah and her friends learning to sail in England.

Sarah is a born leader with a strong passion for the Design-Build world. Her effusive personality draws people to her, and her ability to develop a strong team culture both horizontally across owner, consultants, and contractor, and vertically through her support team and management is vital for success in this industry.

— Wayne Corrick, Director of Preconstruction, Portland Office

Sarah and her mom at the Chinese Garden in Old Town.

Q&A with Sarah

 I grew up working with Habitat for Humanity and volunteering my time to similar organizations. The time I spent with others building things had an outstanding effect on who I am, although it took me some time to realize it myself. I am in this industry because I want to change spaces for the better, in ways that are felt by those who inhabit them.

Collaboration! (Surprising answer, I know.) I love learning from others and working on a team that values respect and transparency. I love going to site visits and seeing the tangible reality that was born from lines on a page. It’s been ten years, and that magic has not yet worn off. I hope it never does.

Cho Wines – our full team has struggled through some learning lessons. Even though there is always a reason for something being missed or adjusted, we talk it through and try to find a solution for the betterment of the project rather than pointing fingers. I cannot understate how much I have enjoyed working with (and learning from) Carol and Andre the past few months. Even when we disagree, we find common ground and that is a success in my book.

I work mostly from the Portland office but travel over to the valley office pretty regularly. I ventured over to this side of the country after living in New York for 8 years. During Covid I was let go from one of the largest Architect of Record firms in the city and it was the best thing that could have ever happened to me. I didn’t know where I would go next, but my mom and brother had just moved up to the PNW from Texas for school, so I thought I would give it a shot. I applied to a number of places along the west coast, but this company checked all my boxes. I packed everything up and booked a one-way ticket from NYC. It was love at first sight when I saw Mount Hood out of the plane window, and I can’t imagine living anywhere else.

I’m always looking for more suggestions for swimming holes or kayak river access. Top spots for a walk near the office – Redwood observation deck in Hoyt Arboretum and the cloud forest path in Washington Park. Bhuna for some great Indian food, Limelight for drinks and billiards, Pepino’s for cheap delicious tacos.

Ask. Questions. I have to remind myself of this every day. It’s okay to let someone know that you don’t know, then find who may have the answer or experience with whatever the issue is.

Oh goodness – there are so many good things. I got to travel around Southern England with my best friends, got soaked visiting Stonehenge, and became a very amateur sailor on the Solent around the Isle of Wight. Also, enjoying the simple pleasures of hiking around Portland and spending time with my mom.

Learn as much about Design-Build as you can. This company is unique – you will be offered as much runway as you want as long as you take the initiative and use the tools offered. Our process is in constant development and is not perfect, we need input from those invested in order to adapt it to where it needs to be.

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