Houston Architecture Firm Adds Two Women Owners As It Furthers Work In Native American Communities
Houston-based Method Architecture has named two women to its ownership team as the firm takes steps to be more representative of the community and its staff.
Chief Financial Officer Melissa Pasche and Houston Market Principal Jackie Rye have been appointed partners, joining Jake Donaldson, Eric Hudson and Keith Holley at the head of the company. Pasche, who has worked at Method since 2016, was hired as CFO in April 2021. Rye was hired in 2011 as a project manager and was also appointed to her current role in 2021.
Method, known for designing trendy breweries and its work in retail, schools and offices, is pushing more into public sector work as it grows. Method labels itself as a Native American-owned firm, and it has upcoming projects like the Asta Biyaazh Dorm, a dormitory for Shiprock Associated Schools at the Navajo reservation in Shiprock, New Mexico.
"With the tribal work and public [work], we're also really trying to focus on our efforts on increasing our mixed-use and retail sectors," Rye told Bisnow. "I think both that and industrial are really growing right now. And so we can capitalize on the knowledge that we do have to kind of move us forward in those sectors."
Both Pasche and Rye are Hispanic and highlighted the firm's diversity in its leadership and staff. Pasche also says adding two women to the ownership team is more representative of the firm.
"I think we have a very diverse firm, and we have a lot of female, not only employees, but females in leadership," Pasche said. "I think it's kind of nice to put that forward in our ownership group, along with our leadership group."
Architecture remains a predominantly White and male industry, much like the rest of commercial real estate. Data released in November 2021 by the American Institute of Architects states that, among its members, 16.4% identify as an underrepresented racial or ethnic group, while 25.1% were female. In comparison, 40% of members who received an architect's license in 2020 were female.
"We are a Native-owned firm, which does give us some opportunities to work in different Native communities across the country through the Bureau of Indian Affairs as well as with the tribes," Method Architecture Director of Marketing Corryn Williams said. "But if you're looking at more internally, what are we trying to do? … [Diversity] is not this huge external campaign. We already do this through our recruitment."
The firm has aggressive growth plans, including several mixed-use projects, still in the design stages, that Rye said would be comparable in density to CityCentre. The pandemic has created pent-up demand, Rye said, adding it's bringing companies out of the woodwork.
"I think our main goal is to be open to what comes ahead," Pasche said. "On the one hand, [that] is a little bit terrifying to me personally, being an accountant who likes to know what's coming and control the future. But it's been really eye-opening for me, working here, to live in that space and let myself grow as the company grows and be the right person to help us go in the right direction."
Pasche was previously a certified public accountant and worked at Air Liquide USA in financial and operations roles. Rye was previously project manager at Three Square Design Group and a project coordinator at Edgecomb & Associates.