Arrington Watkins celebrates 25th anniversary with new leadership team

Above: Arrington Watkins’ principals, from left, Mike Conder, Mike Quinn, Patte Thornton, Matt Gorman, Peter Sangiorgio, Kyle Swanson and Michelle Diaz. (Photo by David Schacher) Real Estate | 10 Mar |

Arrington Watkins Architects, a locally-owned design firm built on the foundation of values and performance, recently celebrated its 25th anniversary with a new leadership team.

Founded in 1994 by Lynn Arrington and David Watkins, Arrington Watkins embarks on its next 25 years with seven principals that include:

• Mike Conder, RA, LEED AP, AIA, Managing Principal;

• Matthew Gorman, RA, LEED AP, Managing Principal;

• Mike Quinn, RA, Managing Principal;

• Michelle Diaz, Principal/Business Manager;

• Peter Sangiorgio, RA, LEED AP, Principal Architect;

• Kyle Swanson, RA, Principal Architect;

• Patricia Thornton, DBIA, RA, LEED AP, AIA, Principal Architect.

Our focus is to continually get better at what we do,” said Conder, who has been with Arrington Watkins for over 10 years. “In my role, I help facilitate that; the pursuit of perfection. David (Watkins) and Lynn (Arrington) built a great foundation. Now it’s up to the new leadership to take it to the next level.”

Conder’s focus is on managing the business side including overseeing finance, accounting, contracts and legal issues. He also manages projects for specific clients.

Gorman, who has been with the firm for 25 years, oversees marketing and business development. He also continues to help build the public safety sector of Arrington Watkins’ work.

“My vision is to strengthen our resume in the markets that we choose to pursue,” Gorman said. “To continue to grow our expertise and to become the go-to experts in the markets in which we perform. The government construction project market is back in full swing and we are there.”

Quinn, who has been with Arrington Watkins for 24 years, oversees operations, project delivery and staff development (as part of human resources). Quinn will continue to oversee public and criminal justice projects.

“My goals are to improve efficiency in project delivery and incorporate staff development opportunities to support the growth of all of our staff,” Quinn said. “The more we can train and promote staff from within, the stronger the company culture and the stronger the quality of the product.”

Diaz oversees policy development and implementation, accounting and day-to-day office management. Using the skills from her MBA, she is also involved in HR, strategic planning, tax planning and projections.

Sangiorgio joined the firm 25 years ago and was Arrington Watkins’ first employee, starting just a few months after the company was started. He oversees business development strategies for the firm’s federal and military market sectors. Sangiorgio also manages out-of-state justice and military projects.

Swanson, a 17-year veteran at Arrington Watkins, serves as head of technology overseeing the BIM and IT managers. He continues with is work on overseeing public safety projects. Kyle is involved with industry groups including the International Association of Property and Evidence, the National Council of Architectural Registration Boards and DBIA.

Thornton joined the firm in 2007 and is focused on project management for projects around the country. Recently the Design-Build Certification Board (DBCB) conferred upon her DBIA (Design Build Institute of America) credential. It identifies Thornton to design-build end-users and the community at-large as a professional in the design-build field. Thornton is just 1 of 32 professionals who have achieved this certification in the State of Arizona. Thornton also leads the firm’s Sustainability Committee, where she oversees the efforts to educate the office on the incorporation of sustainable principles and systems.    

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