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New leadership builds upon core values

June 9, 2017

Architecture Incorporated was founded in 1976 by Dick Dempster, Marv Peterson, and Leroy Bean - three driven young architects with a passion for excellent design. The first office was located in the basement of Dr. Montoya's Dental Clinic on East 10th Street in Sioux Falls.

Not even a year had passed when Mark Aspaas joined the firm and immediately began spreading the word about Architecture Incorporated. The team had a big vision for what they wanted to accomplish, and felt strongly that excellent design was a result of strong communication skills, working collaboratively to develop solutions for each client's unique needs.

It didn't take long for things to set into motion. In 1979, the team moved to Soo Square at 335 North Main Avenue in Sioux Falls. The principals purchased the building, built in 1892, and became part owners in its renovation and restoration. Steve Jastram entered the mix in 1980 during this transition and played a part in the firm's growth over the following decade. 

Over the years, Architecture Incorporated continued to grow and solidify its position as a top architecture design firm in the state and region. In 2000, the team purchased the old Masonic Library at 415 South Main Avenue in Sioux Falls and renovated the space into a design studio. The space was renovated again in 2016 to accommodate our growing team. The latest design seamlessly integrates and blends the historic lobby with a more modern and flexible studio in back.

Fast forward to present day and we have a staff of 28, including 11 architects and three interior designers. We opened a second office in Rapid City in 2010 and continue to grow and diversify our extensive portfolio. But even with the growth and change, we have made it a priority to stay true to our roots. We listen to our clients and each other. Our reputation as a regional leader in innovative and award-winning design is a reflection of that priority. The fact that we are continually selected to do more work for the same clients is a testament to the ease of the process and quality of our work.

We recently announced that Mark Aspaas retired in January 2017 and Dick Dempster is transitioning from his role as Board President and Principal Architect to a part time role as mentor and adviser to the team. Steve Jastram is stepping up to be the new President in his place, ensuring that the founders' vision and core values remain intact moving forward.

Steve will have Andrew Eitreim by his side as Vice President and Principal Architect. Andrew joined the team a decade ago and has quickly ascended the ranks, proving himself a talented architect and business leader.

Patti Monson, who has been with the firm 30 years, will serve as Corporate Secretary and Principal Architect. Patti is in charge of managing the production schedule and works closely with our IT consultant to keep all of the technology running smoothly. 

Lastly, Lisa VandeVoort will continue in her role as Treasurer and Principal Business Manager. Her 27-year tenure with the firm highlights a trend you likely have begun to notice. Historically, there has not been a lot of turnover at Architecture Incorporated. We recruit the best talent and have created an environment for innovation and teamwork that results in people wanting to stay here. In fact, of our staff of 28, closet to half have been working here for a decade or more. The remainder of our Partners / Principal Architects reflect that: Elizabeth Squyer (25 years), Sarah Aldinger (25 years), Mitchell Aldinger (20 years) and Kristine Bjerke (7 years).

The leadership team will continue to evolve as we move into the next 40 years, but you can be assured that the values which made this company great will remain intact. The foundation has been laid for the next generation and we hold ourselves accountable to preserving the firm's legacy while simultaneously improving the firm with each opportunity that presents itself.