Name: Vincent Rodriguez
Current Title: Senior Project Manager
Office Location: Denver
Time at Gresham Smith: 3 Months
We’re excited to introduce you to new Senior Project Manager Vincent Rodriguez! When this 20-year industry veteran isn’t helping take our aviation projects to new heights, you’ll find him chasing his five kids and fanaticizing about classic cars. Keep reading to learn who brought him to Gresham Smith and what two words help him be an expert problem solver.
Where did you grow up?
I grew up in Mission Viejo, California.
Where did you go to school?
I earned my bachelor’s degree in architecture from the University of Colorado Boulder. When I graduated in 1996, I was named Most Outstanding Graduate for the School of Architecture and Planning. Go Buffs!
What was your first job?
My first job ever was working in the dental lab of my dad’s dental practice. But, my first architectural job was designing retail tenant improvements with Carlisle Coatsworth Architects in Irvine, California.
What drew you to Gresham Smith?
I worked with Gresham Smith Director of Experiential Design & Wayfinding Jim Harding several years ago on a project at Denver International Airport. He treated everyone with such respect and collaborated for such an innovative and well-developed design solution that I knew Gresham Smith was the team for me. It took me a few years, but I’m glad I made the move!
If Gresham Smith had a theme song, what would it be?
The opening theme song from Laverne & Shirley: Making Our Dreams Come True
What made you choose your profession?
As a child I always gravitated towards building and design. I loved problem solving with my creativity. As I got into high school, I looked for a career path that offered creativity, variety, problem solving, and the ability to get out of the office regularly. Architecture was the perfect fit for me!
What’s the best advice anyone has ever given you?
About 20 years ago, the owner of one of my previous firms gave me a little note card that he had been carrying around in his wallet for years. It said, “DON’T PANIC.” He explained that the world may seem like it’s falling apart around you, but if you don’t panic and approach things calmly, you will be able to figure out a solution to whatever problem is plaguing you. I still have that little card in my wallet.
What advice would you give to people who aspire to be where you are?
Always remain humble and strive to learn from others. No matter how much knowledge and wisdom you attain in life, you can always learn more from the people around you.
What’s your personal motto?
It’s better to keep your mouth shut and be thought a fool than to open your mouth and remove all doubt.
When you were 10 years old, what did you want to be?
A race car driver! My wife calls me “Mario Andretti,” so we’ll just leave it at that. If I wasn’t in my current profession, I would want to be an auto mechanic specializing in classic cars. Driving a car to 200MPH is also on my bucket list.
What are three objects that can always be found on your desk?
A Hot Wheels car, a YETI coffee cup, and my bible.