culture

2011
 

ROB
Firm Member since October, 2001
"The firm culture changes. It modifies, it hybrids. Not dramatically, but steadily. I believe it is because people who gravitate here have similar passions and beliefs about their purpose, eventhough, their personalities are all so uniquely different. After 10 years of working here, I see that our culture is influenced from the top down by leaders who have I have come to ultimately trust. They give me great challenges and responsibility with effective mentorship. I grew up as a skateboarder (30 years) and snowboarder (21 years) in Las Vegas in a time when it was not widely accepted or nearly popular. It challenged me, there was much calculated risk involved, it opened up my eyes to seek out opportunity in the least obvious places, it tought me to respect our environment and not everyone was doing it.  I did it because it was fun. It is a creative outlet that gave shape to who I am. Architecture and design is a profession where I have been able to use my strenghts and make contributions of where my passion is. I get to work in an enviroment among people that are so different, yet have those similar traits. "

 
JEFF

Firm Member since April, 2008
"Firms always say “we’re like one big family” but I don’t believe those firms now that I’ve been at CSD, because this place is truly like a family reunion on a daily basis. Usually every family reunion you have the nerdy cousins, that crazy uncle, the busy body aunts, the womanizing Brother, but those folks are the ones that make the event fun. CSD is kind of that way we accept everyone’s different quirks, as a matter of fact we celebrate those quirks, tease each other, laugh our asses off,  and end up having a blast. That is really what being a family is all about and this place, CSD, is my family."
 
RAMONA
 Firm Member since May, 2006

"The diversity of people here is what makes CSD unique. Just like the city, Las Vegas itself, we pride ourselves on having something for everyone. We are diverse not only in background and religion, race and culture but also in our talents and capabilities. CSD continues to utilize each one of its team member’s expertise and hone it in a way that is special for each project. I feel very special to be among such talent on a daily basis."

 
ONIDIO
Firm Member since June, 2008 
"At CSD I am always driven to succeed because instead of “just being a passenger, I am allowed to drive the car” which translates to being given the tools to succeed not always being told what to do.  I appreciate those opportunities and will make the most of them."

 
 SHEL
Firm Member from March, 2000 – February, 2005 and since February, 2008

"On a cold winter night, 85 miles outside of Las Vegas…….
 
A trail of blood from the banquet hall kitchen, out the main doors into the elevator (with my Principals & their wives) leaving a puddle, out the elevator, down the hall with a hard right into my room…. Consumed waaay too much at the holiday party, forgot to eat. Trying to figure out where the time went? Party has expired and on the way out asked the meat carver for the thicket, most juiciest, bloodiest piece of prime rib to go. No take out boxes, equipped with a dinner napkin, the transporter of my dinner. Knocks at the door… They get louder and louder. Chomping down the prime rib like a lion and its kill. Finally my better half tells me to answer the door. Equipped with my hanes and the bed sheet wrapped around me, bust out the door, chasing Del Gatto down the corridor to the elevator lobby where I reunite with my trail of blood that brings me back to my final resting place…..
 
Creating memories, lasting memories, that’s how we roll at CSD"

MICHELE
Firm Member since January, 2007
"INSPIRATIONal  leadership, coworkers , team members, friends, projects…
This place has nourished and nurtured me professionally and personally.  It’ll be my 5 year Anniversary in January and I love my office family!"
 
SHAUN
Firm Member since August, 2010
"Company culture is often defined as “shared values and practices of the company’s employees.”  My values and what I value in a company or firm are often blurred together, a shared experience.  My values and what I value are commitment to excellence, feeling a sense of empowerment, and having strong relationship / teamwork with staff and clients.  This firm has demonstrated to me these values mentioned in a short period of time.  After being laid off for over a year, I sought a company that matched my values and presented a good company culture that demonstrates to me a commitment to those values.

 
At Carpenter Sellers Del Gatto Architects, the company culture is not announced or bragged about.  It is sensed and comes intuitively to each employee from the moment you are hired or walk through the door.  As Project Manager working on projects here, you work hand-in-hand with the assigned principle-in-charge, director of operations, director of design (Architectural & Interiors) and full complement of talented staff of people.  Each staff member seems to share my values and a certain bond develops from there.
 
What I value most about working here is that there is always an open door policy whenever a situation arise. In addition, attention and a commitment to excellence emanates from top down management, starting with each principal.  These two values alone demonstrates to me, a passion and commitment to the practice of architecture and provides for a fun place to work.  Knowing that the company supports, encourages, and guides you through the process of architecture is refreshing."
 

JESSICA
Firm Member since December, 2005

"To describe our company culture, one must understand the word culture.  An anthropology professor described culture to me as “the sum total of ways of living, built up by a group of human beings and transmitted from one generation to another.” At CSD you can actually see this definition being displayed.  We are a group that has combined and created a way of living and working together that we pass down from the oldies… J  to the new kids."
 

PATTI
Firm Member since March, 1997
"As a whole this is a positive office, always looking for the silver lining in the dark cloud of this economy. The staff that surrounds me are enthusiast, talented, and creative, I have been fortunate to have all this great talent and good energy flowing through our office over the years. Through the years I have found that as a firm we join together to form a shield around anyone in need; so I guess our office culture is that of family."
 

Ly
Firm Member since October, 2010

"I was just reminded that I’ve been part of the CSD family for a year now.
Yes, I’m not shy to use the word ”family” here.
They’ve given me clean clothes, fed me warm meals, and we all shared laughter and tears together.
All kidding aside, I am happy to be part of the talented, creative and knowledgeable team.  
It was a shock to me how a fast year flew by, but as the saying goes “time flies when you’re having fun.”
            

BRUCE
Firm Member since May, 2004
"What does the company culture mean to you?
COMPANY CULTURE?  It’s different than...  YOGURT! ...   maybe in some ways the same.. CSD is nourishing to the body and mind, especially the creative opportunities. The CSD working environment  is a collaborative non confrontational interchange of ideas, visions, approaches, solutions, relative to creating spaces for various functions. Each endeavor presented to CSD from the outset is considered without preconceived parameters in the attempt to foster new and creative problem solving results.

                What do you like about our company culture?
The atmosphere at CSD is conducive to preparing, assembling and executing the necessary tasks to furnish the project / client an end product that exceeds the expectations. The focus on the relationships and the human skills to establish long term relationship and not product oriented solutions.

                What do you value about working here?
CSD values more than  tasks that each person is employed to perform but the human side of working together and creating an environment to enjoy life at the work place. There are numerous occasions to demonstrate one’s creative solutions to performing the work and receive the acknowledgment for enhancing the firm’s performance and reputation. In addition, it is fun and enjoyable  to share light moments of the firm’s or individual achievements..  ...let’s PARTY!"
 

STEPHANIE
Firm Member since March, 2006
"I am so proud to say that one of my biggest accomplishments this year was making 5 years here at Carpenter Sellers Del Gatto Architects!  It is something I have been looking forward to.  Everyone, especially my principals of CSD, always look forward to whenever someone makes their 5-year, 10-year, and yes, even 15-year milestone here at the firm!  It’s an occasion for CSD to go all out and celebrate!...and celebrating is ONE of the many things we do best!  And if that’s not enough, to commemorate the occasion even more, Steve, Rick and Mike went all out and presented me with wonderful gifts!  Yay!  On that day, we also got to celebrate fellow co-works - Robyn (5 years), and Stacy (10 years) – milestones.  I am so happy and also humbled to be part of an exceptional group of people I enjoy working with and look up to here at CSD!"

 
HUNG
Firm Member from July 2005 – September 2008 and since July, 2009
"I value the opportunities to grow professionally, take on more responsibility, and learning new things along the way.  I think this is one of the most valuable components of our firm culture – the fact that you can see your projects all the way through from design to construction.  This combined with a relaxed atmosphere is a great fit for me."

 
MARCO
Firm Member since July, 2005
"What does the company culture mean to you? 
The fabric that connects us not only as co-workers but as a family that shares our life experiences with each other in and out of the work environment.
 
                What do you like about our company culture?
That we treat each other with respect and understand the support that it takes to be not only a successful business but also successful individuals in our lives outside of the office.
 
                What do you value about working here? 
The support level that we have for one another in work and In our personal lives."
 

STACY
Firm Member since March, 2001

"We got the job! Whoo Hoo!!!! Celebration!!!! We didn't get the job; oh bummer; we did our best and we'll get the next one! We have an interview; let's get ready to try each other on for size and see if we fit! We got another award; I want MORE!! We have great co-workers, clients and consultants. We know fantastic contractors and have great friends that we have met through CSD.  The fact that I can reach out to our database to support the MS Walk-a-Thon and get an overwhelming response makes me realize how fortunate we are to know the people that we do! I truely appreciate all the opportunities I have been given over the last 10 years. (Man, it doesn't feel like I've been here that long!) I can honestly say that I enjoy coming to work every day and love the excitement of every day being a little different from the last."
 
ELENA
Firm Member since September, 2007
"The friendly collaborative work environment and the knowledge that everyone brings to this firm is what I value the most.
Also, the versatility of tasks and the ability to grow here is very well supported by everyone.
I think that there is a great sense of pursuit of a common goal and unique ability to always say “We” instead of “I”
 

ROBYN
Firm Member since March, 2006
“One of the reasons I came to CSD is that I was very impressed with their cool style of Architecture. There is a strong culture and encouragement to “Push the Envelope of Design”.  There is no fear to create something new and untried, in fact it is encouraged.  It is also a joy to work with people who are extremely talented, intelligent, and ever advancing their knowledge and skills.”

 

LINDA
Firm Member since November ,1986
"I love being part of  team who’s continual vision is innovation and excellence. Through leadership, mentorship and continuing education the thinking is always “how can we do this differently and better”. We inspire each other to be the best we can be both professionally and personally. Isn’t that what families are all about."
 
2010
Firm Culture

 

From:  Mike Del Gatto
Sent:  Monday, July 26, 2010 1:07 PM
To: _All Staff
Subject:  Office Culture
 
Good Afternoon Team,
Since it is after noon, I assume you have recovered from the weekend by now.  I am writing to ask a favor of each you.  As you have been informed we are fortunate and honored to be nominated by our peers for the AIA Western Mountain Region Firm of the Year.  As we discussed it is all of you that make up this firm that made this nomination possible.  The submittal has certain requirements we must respond to, but it is important to us that we try to make sure the jury has the opportunity to get a feel for our entire firm and its culture.  You each represent and form each of these aspects. 
 

We are allowed several pages at the end of the submittal to use for whatever we want to use to supplement our submittal.  One of our ideas in this area is to borrow an idea from Zappos.  They publish a company culture book each year, which is an opportunity to for employees to describe what company culture means to them.  Borrowing this idea gives us the opportunity to document all of the things you all mentioned in our meetings the other day. 
 
Please email Stacy a paragraph or two about some or all of these topics. 
                What does the company culture mean to you?
                What do you like about our company culture?
                What do you value about working here?
 
When writing your response, please do not discuss them with anyone else.  Something straight from your mind and heart is what will be best.  There are no wrong answers.  We want to know what this firm truly means to you.  I am going to leave my copy of the 2009 Zappos Culture Book in the break room, if you would like to see an example of what we are trying to create.  Thank you all for your help with this and congratulations again on this nomination!

 
Thanks,
Mike
 
BRUCE
Firm Member since May, 2004
“Designing the environment for human activity to enhance every aspect of life including work, play, introspection, religion, education, “you name it”   is truly a privilege. However, the CSD approach to creating these spaces and emotive environments goes beyond the creation of the end product. CSD design  process and approach envelops and gathers all the available resources within and outside the company to address the needs and success of the individual projects. There is a respect for the past design traditions and a challenge of those traditions to interpret the current and future design needs and formulate that physical reality. CSD is about people and the  need to create stimulating and fulfilling physical environments that exceed the project’s  expectation. Enough said….  what could be better than being part of that process…. and have FUN at the same time! Does it get any better?”
 
MICHELE
Firm Member since January, 2007
“I guess the best way to describe us,  is as the CSD family…. We are a family working towards the same goals, wanting to deliver the best we can but never forgetting who we are, as individuals.  I guess this is what make us so special; we understand that we are all different and we all contribute to this family in our own way, we all have different strengths and weaknesses that when combined make a great mix. The best of it all is that we are never looked down on, if we make a mistake we fix it as a team.  If we don’t make any we celebrate! The feeling is that we are encouraged to grow… on my way to licensure, I feel supported, not only with the study materials I need but also by  those that been through this path and I feel want to see me succeed…  “
 
JEFF
Firm Member since April, 2008
“For decades I worked for firms where it was more important to maintain the bottom line even at the expense of “good design”. I became more focused on managing the business and lost the ability to enjoy the project if it didn’t meet the right margins. I had heard of CSD’s reputation for being a great design firm and more surprisingly past employees (even those that were “let go”) said nice things about the company. 
When an opportunity came to meet with the partners my first impressions were these; Partner #1 - straight shooter, no nonsense, very solid character, understands the bottom line. (“I think I could like this place”) Partner #2 – methodical, hard working, very thorough and well organized (“I know I could like this place”) Partner #3 – walks in, slaps down a stuffed pig in a Redskins uniform on the table and says let’s get serious! (“I’m going to love this place!”)
 This says a lot about our culture, which I think is  a compilation of the United Nations, Pixar, and the Cartoon Network, i.e.: people who come from all walks of life, that are encourage to explore innovation and apply them to the business of Architecture while enjoying the hell out of the process. Most importantly I love this business again, I love great design, and I love that it can work with the bottom line, and I learned my face doesn’t crack if I laugh. The only problem is I laugh so hard my eyes keep watering, (I hope I don’t pee my pants.)”
 
ROB
Firm Member since September, 2001
“I feel that I am as valued by everyone I work with as much as I value them. I feel grateful to be a part of a team of amazingly talented people that are focused on excellence, yet easy going with twisted senses of humor. We reciprocate respect for the ideas that we share, we rely on each other with trust, we mentor each other and give encouragement. Our principles put everything into the firm; honestly, I think we only see half of what they really invest. Our office had a photo shoot the other day to recreate a magazine ad we did over 11 years ago. The ad had all employees bunched together in a tight circle while being Photoshoped in a can with a caption of "Mixed Nuts". It got great response and we were known as the “Mixed Nuts” back then. We could have easily put up sexy shots of our work, but that was not the point. To me, this is a testimony of how much our principles value everyone and our strengths: diversity, openness, creativity, commitment to excellence and passion for architecture. Back then, even to now. Their focus and extraordinary appreciation comes from our staff. When you work with others that make you feel valued it’s hard to not be involved in everything our company does. It’s impossible not to take ownership of everything you do for the firm. “
 
RAMONA
Firm Member since May, 2006
“I think what I enjoy about our company culture so much is that every day is different. There is no “Daily grind” no clock to punch. We are all here because we WANT to be. And every day I am learning something new, whether it’s career related or maybe just something new about one of my co-workers that I didn’t know. But it’s definitely not a static place - I am inspired and challenged every time I walk through the doors here and that’s why I love coming in each day- you never know what or who is going to surprise you today! I am honored to work with such bright, unbelievably creative and FUNNY people that have made each day of the past 4 years here memorable.”
 
ROMEO
Firm Member since January, 2005
“CSD culture to me means a sense of belonging. There is a common bond from everyone to not only belong to the CSD family, but to belong to something that will make Architecture the best it can be. It is such an amazing feeling knowing that I am professionally growing as the years go by with the support of everyone. I am really proud to be a part of an amazing culture. I’m humbled, proud and honored to be part of this family.”
 
PATTI
Firm Member since March, 1997
“Carpenter Sellers Del Gatto Architects original culture was defined by our principals, their backgrounds and philosophy’s. As the firm has grown and expanded we have taken from each past and present employee ideas, dreams, and aspiration, which has expanded our firm’s culture in traditions, customs, ethnicity and philosophy. I believe our culture is ever-changing, as our staff changes our culture will evolve to incorporate those new views, new dreams, and new ideas. 
Although, CSD is not a large in size our talent and dedication to excellence is huge. The staff is allowed and even encouraged to dream big; consequently the team members have been empowered set the bar higher with each ensuing project, this model for success has allowed the firm to succeed in architecture and interior design even in these tough and uncertain time. After almost 14 years with CSD I still enjoy coming to work and enjoy the challenges of each day.”
 
JESSICA
Firm Member since December, 2005
“At Carpenter Sellers Del Gatto Architects we are dedicated to a profession that touches the lives of every person that steps into a building we have designed or been a part of, all while taking the time to ensure that future professionals have the chance to learn and be a part of the culture of architecture.  We are a family that not only looks after our own and is always pushing for further professional development, but takes time to educate, advocate, and encourage students and others in our community.  It is this family that has made my work with CSDA an enriching life experience.  I appreciate the artistic nature of my fellow team mates and take this to be a kinship that holds us together.  Being a student myself, I relish in a direct benefit from having an employer that is flexible with and attendant to my goals and objectives as a student building a career.  Just as I feel that the company has contributed to my life, I can’t help but discern that my own contributions to our team and family have done anything less for the clients and community we serve.”
 
ROBYN
Firm Member since March, 2006
“One of the reasons I came to CSD is that I was very impressed with their cool style of Architecture. There is a strong culture and encouragement to “Push the Envelope of Design”.  There is no fear to create something new and untried, in fact it is encouraged.  It is also a joy to work with people who are extremely talented, intelligent, and ever advancing their knowledge and skills.”
 
MARCO
Firm Member since July, 2005
“When I was first introduced to CSA now CSD, was during my undergraduate architectural studies at UNLV. I was fortunate enough to have been awarded a scholarship that was offered by one of the associates of the firm. This helped establish a relationship that continued through my architectural studies as I would turn to the firm for mentorship and guidance. Upon my completion of my undergraduate studies I was offered a position with the firm. The choice was easy, how can I say no to a job offer for an office that served as mentors, and that have been through the same studies and for some even the same program as I have.
CSD was very supportive of my choice to continue on with graduate school and even worked with me to start a CSD / UNLV tradition. Each year we surprise the students that are working after hours with pizza and drinks to help fuel their bodies with substance before their finals. It has been great to see the students appreciate the food and drinks over the years. One student once asked why we do it, the response was simple “We were students just like you, and we just thought it would be cool to help feed the starving students and wish you good luck on your finals. With no strings attached.”
 
JENNIFER
Firm Member since March, 2007
“Carpenter Sellers Del Gatto has an office culture that I have never experienced in any other firm throughout the years of my career, and one that I never knew could exist.  Not only do I enjoy the levels of integrity and talent throughout the office but the manner that comes along with it.  There is no feeling of competition or one being better or smarter than another individual which is very common within other architectural offices.  Everybody plays a very integral part to this company and that is known and appreciated by all.  Each and every individual has a strength that is shared, ultimately creating a very diverse and unbeatable design team.  I am confident that if I have a weakness that I can lean on one of my co-workers to help me learn and strive to become stronger in any circumstance.  This office is not only a team but a family.  There is comfort knowing that even beyond the parameters of the office environment that I can count on any one of my coworkers if ever needed for support.  There is a high level of compassion for architecture and mankind that is very impressive.  Design is of the essence at Carpenter Sellers Del Gatto and each and every project reflects this no matter how large or small the scale.  Needless to say I am very grateful to be a part of this one of a kind family.”
 
HUNG
Firm Member from July 2005 – September 2008 and since July, 2009
What does the company culture mean to me?
Work hard, play harder…..then do some more work.  I also like it that our company makes a point to be involved with the community.
 What do I like about our company culture? 
 I value the mentoring aspect of this firm the most.  Everybody is willing to teach.  As a young designer eager to learn, this experience has been invaluable to me. 
 What do I value about working here?
Company Christmas parties and Stacy Howell + Michele Brigida!”   
 
ONIDIO
Firm Member since June, 2008
“CSD work environment encourages everyone to want to participate in each project completely, It never feels like your task is minimal, all task directly influence the outcome of each project and everyone is encouraged to take ownership of the project.  By encouraging ownership each project experience gains you more knowledge, self worth, and confidence to bring to your next project.”
 
LINDA
Firm Member since November ,1986
“Carpenter Sellers Del Gatto Architects corporate environment is nurturing to growth. Through inspirational leadership we are encouraged to continually grow in our professional and personal lives.  I believe through thoughtful architecture we can make the world a better place.”
 
STEPHANIE
Firm Member since March, 2006
“The best way I can describe what it is like being part of CSD is that I consider it my second home, and the CSD people as my second family. Here, the office is like a big family room where everyone gathers and together we make things happen. Everyday, when I walk into CSD, it’s a great feeling knowing I’m surrounded by a bunch of talented, fun, creative, caring, hard-working people. On a professional level, we take architecture design very seriously and are passionate about what we do. On a personal level, we thrive on having a good time together, which in turns, often brings out our zany side. Hence, CSD’s great story-telling moments. Yup, laughing out loud is always present here. As far as a family goes, we are committed to each other.  To be able to come together to share the same ideas, goals and purpose, that is why we are CSD.”
 
ELENA
Firm Member since September, 2007
“I hate being bored…and it’s really kind of cool how you never get bored at our office. You are always between new tasks, always juggling new ideas. You feel that you are in an ever growing, ever changing environment and that helps you learn every day from everyone around you…you push others and they push you to always think creatively and grow as a professional. Everyone’s respectful, approachable and pretty much your friend (except for when you’re super irritated by the “blow dryer” people on Wednesdays…today happens to be a Wednesday) I also must mention the great level of acceptance for Bulgarian culture and superstition in this office. We always wear our “martenichkas” until we absolutely see a stork in March…thank you everyone :)”
 
STACY
Firm Member since March, 2001
“Have you ever worked at a job where you just fit, where you really enjoy going to work every day and really like what you do? That is what CSD is to me. I have been here for over 9 years and can’t imagine working anywhere else; I’d miss my CSD family and being a part of what we do. We work hard, play hard, laugh a lot, help each other out and genuinely like each other. That is such a rare a combination but one that is truly facilitated from the top down. Everyone at CSD matters and it really struck me when I first started and noticed that everyone (including the partners) knew the janitor’s name. He’s a great guy, by the way.”
 
SHELDON
Firm Member from March, 2000 – February, 2005 and since February, 2008
“Showing up for work every day here @ CSD requires me to bring my HEART with me and not leave it at home..”