Name: Laura Guinan, RA, AIA
Current Title: Quality Control Specialist
Office Location: Tampa, FL
Years at Gresham Smith: A total of 3
Meet Laura Guinan, a quality control specialist in our Tampa office and our latest Faces of Gresham Smith feature. When she’s not baking Christmas cookies or singing along to Peter Gabriel songs, she’s helping us create a culture of continuous improvement. Keep reading to learn where Laura got her start in quality control and what brought her back to Gresham Smith after leaving to pursue a different path.
Where did you grow up?
I grew up in a small town in New York called Constantia. It’s north of Syracuse and located in the snowbelt of the state.
Where did you go to college?
I earned my undergraduate degree from Syracuse University and attended Helsinki University of Technology for my graduate degree.
What was your first job?
I was paid to walk the soybean fields and pull any leftover corn from the previous year that decided to pop through the soil. I guess you could say I got my start in quality control way back then.
What made you choose your profession?
I spent a lot of time on-site while my family’s home was built and I also spent a lot of time in New York City.
You left Gresham Smith for a period, what made you return to the firm?
When I returned earlier this year I came back because of the work environment, the people and the projects. It’s a great mix that’s hard to find in today’s workplace.
How has Gresham Smith helped you in your career development?
When I first worked at Gresham Smith I was a young professional. I worked on numerous projects both large and small and met a wide variety of people in design and construction. Those experiences opened doors for me throughout the Tampa Bay region and I wouldn’t have the knowledge and experience I do today without that foundation.
What’s your favorite project you’ve worked on while at Gresham Smith and why?
I really enjoyed working on The Roederer Chapel and Commissary at the Roederer Correctional Facility. It was a unique, beautiful project and I was able to blend by knowledge of prison and behavioral health design into one project.
What’s one thing your coworkers might not know about you?
I love to bake Christmas cookies!
What’s your personal motto?
“Proceed until apprehended,” meaning don’t wait for others to make decisions for you—make a decision and move on, even if that decision turns out to be the wrong one.