Today our friend and colleague Chris Rhea will retire from BRR after serving this firm for 34 years, 6 months, 3 weeks and a few days. Over the past couple of weeks, we’ve reflected upon and celebrated the profound impact he made on the business and on the people with whom he shared these hallways.
Chris began working at what was then Franklin-Frieze Architects on May 21, 1984. It was a summer job after his fourth year at University of Kansas, and it paid $4.38 an hour. Chris continued his internship while being a student and received a full time job upon graduation.
In the years that followed, Chris blazed a trail in his work. He was instrumental in bringing the firm its first CAD station, which came on an NEC computer with a built-in monitor and 8” floppy disk drives. He traveled nationally and internationally with key clients. In 1993, he became a principal, and the firm changed its name to Boice-Raidl-Rhea Architects.
Anyone who has worked with Chris knows he has a genuine passion for people. He takes the time to get to know the individuals on his team, and works with each to bring out their personal and professional best. He believes in continuous improvement and leads by example.
His dedicated leadership of the firm set the baseline – a standard to which all of us aspire to achieve. We can always count on Chris to say, “Hey we should try this, because this will make us better.” He asked, “have you thought of…” and “what if…” in ways that made us stretch for and achieve our goals as a company. We strongly believe he was instrumental in the development of the firm and pivotal in pushing our firm’s trajectory to the next level.
Chris has made it clear to us that he won’t become a stranger, and we’re glad for that. We know Chris will continue to walk these hallways from time to time, asking us questions, cheering us on and making us better.
We congratulate our Chairman, Chris Rhea, on his much-deserved retirement and we hope he enjoys the next chapter in his adventure.