Fascinated by architecture from a young age, Kelsey moved away from the Green Bay area to a big city to attend The University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee to follow her dream of studying architecture. Now, as an Architectural Designer and employee owner at ISG, Kelsey has realized that there’s no better place for her than Green Bay. Back at home, she not only lives out her dreams designing and managing facilities, but also leads ISGers to events to educate youth about careers in A/E. In fact, Kelsey is so committed to her industry that she takes on architecture projects off the clock—she and her husband are currently redoing their 100-year-old house! Let’s learn out more about Kelsey.
From a young age, I’ve been fascinated by the positive impact quality architecture can provide to its everyday users. We’ve all been in spaces that were poorly designed and it’s incredible to think that we as designers can eliminate that.
I think moving to Milwaukee for college was extremely beneficial to my growth, both personally and professionally. Growing up in a rural suburb of Green Bay, I couldn’t wait to move to a bigger city where I could involve myself in everything. I felt the opportunities that cities offered were endless—walkability, public transportation, locally owned shops and restaurants, volunteering for underserved communities, green space in dense areas, and riverfronts. Ironically, now that I’ve moved back to Green Bay, I actually rediscovered most of those opportunities here, and it’s been exciting to give back to the community where I was raised.
In addition to design projects, I provide facilities management for our Aurora BayCare client. I worked with Aurora internally prior to working for ISG, and now at ISG I’ve been able to build upon that relationship and continue to work with them. Maintaining over 1,000,000 square feet of as-built plan sets is a big undertaking, but it’s been very valuable in understanding the parts of a building and the additional pieces that healthcare facilities require. This insight and expertise is not only helpful in the healthcare market, but also directly translatable to a wide variety of multi-disciplinary facility projects that we work on at ISG.
Future generations inspire me. There’s something about the way kids allow themselves to dream big, use their imagination, and think entirely differently than adults that inspires me every time I am around them. During my time at ISG, I’ve led multiple community engagement/career fairs geared towards students and Science, Technology, Engineering, Architecture, and Mathematics (STEAM). After each event I leave feeling so inspired and full of confidence in the future.
Without a doubt, learning from fellow employee owners! ISG has so many employees that come from various backgrounds and disciplines, and each brings something unique to the table. I love that I can connect with someone who has previous experience in manufacturing or someone who has similar experience working in hospitals that can provide a different perspective.
The A/E field currently has a workforce shortage. Personally, I started pathing out my education and career around the time that the Great Recession hit. This was unsettling to my parents as the A/E field took a hit, but now that things have turned around, the entire industry is struggling to find quality candidates. This is another reason why I continue to be involved with K-12 events. If we can impact younger generations, we can hopefully inspire others to consider architecture and engineering as careers, and help fuel innovation in A/E.
Recently all of my free time was spent planning my wedding with my husband. We got married in November 2018 and spent much of our time creating inspiration boards, arranging flowers, and testing cake. Since then, we’ve spent the holidays with family and friends, planned a few trips, and—most exciting of all—gotten back into the renovations of our house. The previous November (2017), we bought a foreclosed home that was built in 1918. We celebrated the beginning of the house’s second century by redoing plumbing and electrical, updating finishes (while still keeping the original character) and gutting the upstairs, which is still empty and needs a lot of love!
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