DLA Architects’ Dedication to Mentoring Leads to a Smooth Transition in Leadership
DLA Architects, Ltd. in Itasca, Illinois, announces the promotion of Carrie Matlock as President following Bruce Dahlquist’s retirement.
In 1993, Founders Bruce Dahlquist and Dwain Lutzow started planning for a smooth transition far before any thoughts on retirement. The two leaders believed in investing time in the next generation of architects rather than focusing only on today’s workload. That meant not only finding new business opportunities and expanding DLA’s portfolio but also devoting time to their team of next generation architects. In 1995, Carrie was hired at DLA (known then as Dahlquist and Lutzow Architects) as an architect intern, but it wasn’t long until she was promoted to the next level.
Soon after she was hired, Bruce and Dwain saw great potential in Carrie and took her under their wing. Their enthusiasm for teaching and mentoring and Carrie’s eagerness to learn led to her rapid growth. By 1997, she was promoted to job captain and soon after to project manager. By 2007, she became the first woman partner and vice president at DLA.
Carrie is LEED AP BD+C-credentialed, an Illinois School Code expert, NCARB Certified and is passionate about transforming buildings to help inspire learning.
DLA Architects’ unique differentiators are their culture of mentoring and the common values they share with their clients. DLA’s niche is in educational design for 21st-century learning. They excel at designing learning spaces that can shift from instruction to engagement to collaboration, which embodies DLA’s “form follows learning” design philosophy. Today, the firm has completed almost 5,000 education and recreation facility projects.
Six years ago Carrie began a tradition for DLA. Each year, the team takes a client to Learning Environments for Tomorrow (LEFT), a program jointly designed by the Harvard Graduate School of Education and the Harvard Graduate School of Design, where they collaborate with educators and architects from around the world and ultimately learn more about the connection between the built environment and the educational delivery process. For DLA Architects, it’s a chance to educate their clients on how innovative design can enhance learning.
During the early stages of transition, Carrie was given freedom to set a vision for the company as its president. Her goals are to:
Become more intentional in designing DLA’s culture; make adjustments to internal and strategic operations
Look at what DLA has done well and facilitate further improvements
Grow into a national firm
DLA Architects’ partners share the same vision for the firm. This March, when co-founder and CEO Dwain Lutzow announced that architect Ed Wright would be the firm’s seventh partner he said, “It’s been a year of transitions. What we pride ourselves on is mentoring for future leadership. We are constantly looking toward the future.”
“DLA Architects is built to self-sustain,” states Carrie. As was the plan all along, DLA is in good hands as the next generation of architects for 21st-century learning.