Populous Americas Announces Leadership Progression Amidst Largest Growth in Firm History
Populous’ Americas practice today announced it has appointed Bruce Miller as Managing Director. Miller was elected by the firm’s global Holdings Board to a two-year term in the role. He follows Earl Santee, who completed two 2-year terms in the position. Santee will remain on the firm’s Holdings Board and an active member of the firm’s design practice.
“Bruce Miller is a fantastic choice to lead our practice into the next generation. He’s a dedicated and passionate leader who has shown excellent ability in managing highly complex projects. There’s no one who understands the technical aspects of our business better than Bruce, and that, coupled with his ability to motivate staff to excellence, shows he is well prepared for this role,” said Santee. “When our Holdings Board created this new role of Managing Director in 2015, the intent was for the position to rotate among firm leadership in order to provide continual evolution and fresh perspective to the practice. We’re founded on a strong belief in innovation, and this is on display at the very top of our organization in how we have chosen to structure our leadership. I’ve greatly enjoyed my time as Managing Director, but I have missed designing and working with our clients – I couldn’t be more excited to get back into the marketplace and back behind the drawing table.”
Miller assumes responsibility for the Americas’ practice amid robust growth for the firm. Americas staff has grown 50 percent since 2014 and is now approaching 400 employees in nine offices, six of which are expansion markets for the firm. Most recently, the firm hired 14 staff in Dallas, Texas, led by noted designers Byron Chambers and Jonathan Kelly. 2018 was the firm’s most successful year financially in firm history, capping off four years of consistent growth and a 33% increase in revenues in that time. In 2018, Populous was recognized as Fast Company magazine’s Most Innovative Company in Live Events and is currently ranked the 9th largest architecture practice in the country. Populous’ innovation continues to drive the practice forward, including its latest market dominance in the world of esports.
“I’m humbled, pleased and excited to succeed Earl as Managing Director. For those of you who know him well, it’s big shoes to fill, but more importantly, we must keep up the incredible momentum we have built under his leadership,” said Miller. “Technology is rapidly advancing, and sustainability is becoming increasingly important -- the world of design continues to evolve and it’s our mission to continue to push the boundaries of what is possible.”
Recruited to Populous upon his graduation from the University of Cincinnati with a degree in architecture, Miller has spent his entire 30-year career with the firm. In addition to vast client relationships, he has amassed an impressive portfolio of sports projects across the country including recent icons Target Field, Allianz Field and Exploria Stadium. Bruce is a sought-after source on stadium design and has been a guest lecturer at New York University. He was named a Sports Business Journal 40 Under 40 Winner in 2003. Bruce previously served on the Americas’ management team and was named to Populous’ Holdings Board in 2017. He currently leads the Americas’ Resource Council, an internal group designed to educate the professional staff on design best practices. He is a member of the American Institute of Architects and is a LEED Accredited Professional.
In addition to Miller’s appointment, the Americas practice also announced the appointment of Lyle Miller and Brian Mirakian to its Regional Board of Directors. Miller has been with the firm since 1985 and Mirakian since 2005. Miller is one of the firm’s most sought after project managers, currently leading two convention center projects in the US. Mirakian is a noted industry futurist, having most recently led the firm’s efforts around esports facility design.
Populous is a global architecture and design firm that designs the places where people love to be together, like Yankee Stadium, the London Olympics, and the Super Bowl. Over the last 36 years, the firm has designed more than 3,000 projects worth $40 billion across emerging and established markets. Populous’ comprehensive services include architecture, interior design, event planning and overlay, branded environments, wayfinding and graphics, planning and urban design, landscape architecture, aviation and transport design, hotels and hospitality, and sustainable design consulting. Populous has 18 offices on four continents and more than 600 employees with regional centers in Kansas City, London and Brisbane.