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Public-Sector Hire Brings Renewed Focus on Client Advocacy

Source: Brinkley Sargent Wiginton Architects

Brinkley Sargent Wiginton’s planning practice welcomes longtime deputy city manager

DALLAS — Carol Zolnerowich, for more than 30 years a city management staffer in Lubbock and Mesquite, Texas, joined Brinkley Sargent Wiginton Architects, a firm with offices in Dallas, Waco and Austin, Texas, in February. In announcing the addition of Zolnerowich, the planning and architecture practice reaffirmed its commitment to client-centered planning. Zolnerowich, named the director of strategic planning services, will help perform needs assessments, site analyses, space-utilization studies, master planning, predesign planning services and, in general, lend an in-house municipal perspective to ongoing planning and design efforts in the public sector. She will also assist in public sector marketing.

Zolnerowich became familiar with Brinkley Sargent Wiginton, and vice versa, through the years-long process of the planning and design of the phased Mesquite Municipal Complex, which includes a police facility, city hall and municipal court. Zolnerowich’s experience with public buildings included new construction, but also adaptive reuse and historic preservation projects, and she found Brinkley Sargent Wiginton to be a good fit with her organization. “The firm is very customer-service oriented, and it was clear they were trying to understand the city’s expectations up front,” Zolnerowich says. About her role now, she characterizes it as “scaffolding” — something that can support the team during planning, design and construction.

“Their regular team of architects and planners are there to do the technical analysis, but in weighing options sometimes it’s helpful to have a client perspective,” Zolnerowich says. “Obviously the client is there to speak for themselves, but having somebody like me to work parallel to the regular team will help bring that in-house municipal perspective to the work that they do. Another added benefit is to help support communications with the client, which is extremely important to a successful project. Lots of subs — structural, mechanical, other technical consultants — come on board these projects, and they all speak their own language, so it’s helpful to have someone who really speaks the client’s language.”

Zolnerowich’s North Texas history, as well as her involvement with numerous organizations such as the International City/County Management Association, Texas City Management Association, North Texas City Management Association, Texas Association of Municipal Information Officers and Mesquite Preservation Foundation, means that she comes to Brinkley Sargent Wiginton with a large network of contacts in the municipal government field. “I see this as a way to use my government background in a new and exciting way, and I’m looking forward to helping the firm’s clients reach their goals,” she says.

About Brinkley Sargent Wiginton Architects

Brinkley Sargent Wiginton Architects has a 40-year history of award-winning design, specializing in public architecture with a broad range of project types and clients that span the country. From high-tech projects like recreation centers, natatoriums and cancer treatment centers to high-profile projects like city halls, courthouses and public safety buildings, the firm strives to go beyond expectations and design buildings that are unique, beautiful and functional.

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