When we are challenged, there is an opportunity for growth.
I fear, therefore, I climb a mountain.
Climb a mountain and find out something about yourself.
I was tasked to come up with a marketing e-mailer to announce my promotion as partner. I could have gone in numerous directions: project images, cleaver graphics, a large head shot with a fading phrase, a deep meaningful word cutting across the page. But, instead I visualized the first of the many hikes with my fellow office comrades through our local mountains here in the Inland Empire. Fresh from the thought of being a business partner and feeling the lack of air in my lungs, for some reason my mind went towards the trails that lead to the mountain peaks. Maybe it was the fear of the unknown and not knowing if I could physically hike up to the top of a mountain. Growing up in Hollywood I had never hiked or camped for the first 35 years of my life. The walk up to the Griffith Observatory was maybe the hardest climb I had ever done. However, all that changed when I arrived at PCH over 14 years ago. The Principals, Greg Chapman and Ralph Pacini, offered me a job and an opportunity to experience the PCH culture beyond the office walls. Greg enjoys running, Ralph enjoys cycling, and together they enjoy conducting annual office hikes. Back then the majority of the office had not hiked before, but we collectively agreed to experience this new endeavor. We all came from different backgrounds, various levels of physicality, experiences and talents. Ralph and Greg scheduled, plotted and prepped us for the challenge ahead. Our first hike was a three day two-night trek up to San Bernardino Peak and back. I had many doubts. Am I ready for this? Did I prep enough? Do I have enough supplies? Do I have the right equipment to make this trip? As the doubt and fear crept in and the lack of air in my lungs became inescapable, I learned to inhale and steer my mind towards an encouraging yes! I had my friends and experienced leaders to guide me towards the summit. I look back at the other hikes that my dearest comrades at PCH and I have been able to experience and accomplish together. We all agree to take a journey, collaborate, and accomplish a goal. Our challenges have taken us up and over San Gorgonio and San Jacinto Peaks and to the depth of the Grand Canyon and others to the summit of Mount Whitney. I never imagined myself hiking to the top of a mountain or becoming a partner at an architectural firm, now at its 30th anniversary. There are mighty big shoes to fill, much to learn, and new challenges to experience and surmount. I think the photo captures the philosophy and the culture of PCH. There will always be challenges, but together we collaborate, mentor, and encourage each other to achieve and conquer our mountains. I look forward to being called to lead. We have a great team, a family, and I see us continuing to provide excellent personal service to our clients, while enhancing and changing lives through architecture.