Az Business and AZRE magazines announced the publications’ lists of the Most Influential Women in Arizona of 2021, including LuAnn Thoma-Holec, principal and founder, Thoma-Holec Design. In celebration of the 10th anniversary of the Most Influential Women program, azbigmedia.com is profiling one of the Most Influential Women of 2021 each day leading up to the Most Influential Women of 2021 dinner and reception.
The Most Influential Women for 2021 will be honored at a reception on August 26 at Chateau Luxe in Phoenix. For sponsorship information, email [email protected]. For information about the event honoring the Most Influential Women, email [email protected] or click here.
To buy copies of the Most Influential Women in Arizona issue, click here.
Today’s spotlight: LuAnn Thoma-Holec
Principal and founder
Thoma-Holec’s experience and passion for senior living interior design inspired her to launch a company exclusively dedicated to it. Founded in 2006, Thoma-Holec Design’s award-winning communities are known for their unique, welcoming and meaningful spaces designed to enhance resident and staff experiences throughout the U.S. and Canada. LuAnn has earned numerous national, regional, and local awards. Her expertise enhancing the social model of senior living contributes to the marketability of newly constructed and remodeled communities, resulting in faster lease-ups and strong ROIs.
Lessons learned in 2020: “First and foremost, I learned that my team and I could adapt to change very quickly. As a design firm, we work from coast to coast and in Canada, and since our construction documents and design are digital, we never missed a beat in productivity or creativity. A morning “Team Huddle” via zoom was initiated, and it began as a method to ensure that everyone was mentally and physically healthy and to catch up on our projects and workload. But we determined that it was so beneficial to our company’s culture to communicate as a group each day, we will continue the morning huddles for the long term.
“Having outgrown our current office space, I thought we could not continue to hire and grow until we had a new larger office space but working from home enabled us to grow by four designers this past year.
“On a personal note, I recognized that I enjoyed not being on flights every week and that it was okay to take a moment to breathe and worry about wellness and safety for myself and my employees. I also learned that it’s okay to let my hair go natural and be confident with who I am, but most importantly, I learned to appreciate the human connection we all once took for granted, whether it be with friends, family, employees, or clients.”
Source of pride: “Designing for seniors touches my soul. I am so grateful that I fell into this design specialty and incredibly proud that my firm has created environments that provide senior residents a safe, functional environment that allows them to socialize, have purpose, dignity, and respect. Not only that, but it is so much fun to design spas, salons, fitness gyms, theaters, saloons, tea rooms, coffee shops, bistros, kraft beer corners, all within a senior community.”
Surprising fact: “I grew up on a small farm outside of a town of 5,000 in Wis. My first goal was to be a dental hygienist (why? I have no idea, I now find that gross). When I was not selected for a lottery system at the community college, I was attending. I decided to change my major to interior design. Upon graduation, with $500.00 in my pocket, a college friend and I packed up a Ford Econoline van from top to bottom, front to back, and took off for Arizona. Luckily, I found a job before the $500.00 ran out.”