Monday, October 31, 2016

Candelaria Design - Giving Back

Happy Halloween to everyone – I think it is eventually going to cool off….we’ll see! Thank you to you all for the wonderful birthday wishes over the last month – I am so blessed by you all.

Well it’s definitely been busy and we are so appreciative of all the amazing projects we are working on and more importantly the fun and creativity we have with our clients.

We are also so proud to be a part of so many opportunities to give back and we are so intensely involved in some wonderful projects that contribute to those in our community – and trust me there are many – who are in need. It is so easy to just write a check or go to a dinner or ball and be done – and all of those contributions are so appreciated and necessary - but to physically participate with sweat and effort when you can’t write the big check is just as rewarding.

I have never been able to write the big check but throughout my life I have found ways to do my best to make a difference – even if it’s a small ripple in the pond….it can transform one life and become a sunami! I have seen this in action for myself. I love seeing this become an integral part of our Candelaria Design culture and the young members of my firm embrace this spirit of giving back.

In fact tonight, my Project Manager, Mathew Grove is attending a grand opening for the Phoenix Teen Challenge  where we donated our time and energy to create the plans for their new kitchen. Teen Challenge helps members of our community making their way back from drug and alchohol addiction.

Meanwhile, on the same evening, my Associate and fellow Principal, Vivian Ayala and Project Architect, Meredith Thomson, are attending The Bright Night gala at the Phoenix Art Museum supporting the Arts.

Last Monday, I had the honor at the invitation of Jimmy Walker, Founder and CEO of Celebrity Fight Night to speak at the Monday morning breakfast  at St. Vincent DePaul and 600 homeless people. What a humbling experience and honor that was, to give a speech about Not Giving Up….. an easy topic for me to talk about that is for sure. The magnitude of people who are in need right under our doorstep is eyeopening and it definitely puts things in perspective as we worry about how we are going to squeeze ten more feet into a closet or figure out how to add just two more garages onto a home.....The fact of the matter is it really should not take that much to make us happy and give us what we really need especially when there are so many others who just need the basics. My talk however was not about giving a man a fish but teaching a man to fish which I totally believe - again its easy for those on the fed side to just hand over an extra fish but it takes time, effort and love to tach a man to fish. The focus in this country has been just giving the fish and that needs to change.

Meanwhile, Project Manager, Tim Mathewson, and his team are making great progress working with founder and our amazing client, Charles Keller, on the Colten Cowell Foundation Crime Fighting Cave !!! We are getting excited to be breaking ground soon and we will be inviting our entire repetoire of clients and design/construction community to help out! This will be an amazing facility and we have donated all design services for this state of the art Bruce Wayne Manor.

At the same time, our Project Manager, Damon Wake, is diligently designing along with my wife Isabel and her team at Earth and Images on donating our design services for the new addition to the Gigi’s Playhouse we designed a couple years ago in Scottsdale. This will be spectacular and such a fabulous addition to those families dealing with the needs of children with Down’s Syndrome.
Finally, I am now on the Board of Habitat for Humanity and we are working on our Spring Gala where we are hoping to host a wonderful evening at one of our projects to raise money for this fabulous organization! Let me know if anyone is interested in hosting about 200 to 300 guests for this wonderful evening.

Well that’s a complete list of projects to keep any office busy and these are just our “give back” projects and yes they take time, effort, and dedication along with the normal pressure and stress of any project but it’s what you do when you are part of a community and have a talent and service that can serve others.

On a final note, the earthquakes continue in our beloved Italy. Please go to our Community Page and make a donation to the Red Cross on behalf of the Italy earthquake victims. At this moment they just need funds for blankets and housing for those whose homes have been destroyed.

I strongly urge all of you to help out – even if it’s a donation of money or time to any of our efforts and causes. Trust me we can find a place for you where you will instantly make a difference but more importantly experience first hand, the joy and grace of making a difference…….Text, email, or call me and we will plug you in to a spot where you can instantly impact our community. Who is in????

Sunday, October 23, 2016

Client Appreciation Party

I want to thank our clients who made it to our Client Appreciation Party on Friday night! What a fantastic evening and it was so great to see so many of you there – especially some of you I had not seen in some time!

We are so blessed to be a part of your lives and create something as personal as your home. What amazing memories and experiences we share and it is so gratifying to know that so many of you live and experience our creation every day….that is what makes what we do so motivating to us as architects.

I want to thank my staff and especially Evelyn Jung who spearheaded the event and put it all together. I hope those of you who came walked away with one of our farewell party favor bags and our invite to my Photography show set for November 17th at 6pm at Isabel’s store and studio, Earth and Images. I will be featuring a series of various photos from my travels during the Scottsdale Art Walk.

So – the rest of this blog is a look back as some of those memories with our clients over the years. In the 17 years of Candelaria Design we have designed over 1000 homes all across the country and we currently have projects in design or under construction from Long Island to the coast of Oregon. We have been blessed to work and design homes for rock stars, athletes, Hollywood stars, politicians, restaurateurs, CEO’s of Fortune 500 companies, and just moms and dads and their families.

We have designed 60,000 sf homes down to 650 sf Guest Houses, whole house remodels and something as simple as a courtyard ramada. We love them all but what we love most are the people behind these projects and their unbelievable stories. We have so many fabulous projects on the boards or under construction now and we look forward to the years and projects and most importantly, friendships, ahead. A special thanks to my Mom and Dad who many of you met at the party. I know they had a fantastic time with everyone. Thank you for letting us be a part of your lives and for being a part of ours!