When Julie’s husband, Russ, began working at Wier Boerner Allin, she knew it was the kind of work environment she wanted to be a part of. This Project Manager and Architect brings more than a decade of experience in educational, commercial, healthcare, technological, residential, governmental and athletic architecture to WBA. When she’s not poring over a new building, she’s spending time with her family, reading, cooking, entertaining and cheering on the Colts.
Tell us about yourself.
I was born and raised in Columbus, Mississippi, but left town when I was 14 to go to boarding school in Virginia. I was ready to come home to Mississippi for college, though, and happily decided to go to Mississippi State University for architecture school and to be close to home again. After 5th year, Russ and I got married and decided to make the Jackson area our home. We love being close to both of our families, while enjoying the constantly-growing benefits of this city and area. We’ve now got two boys – Johnston, who is almost 5, and George, who just turned one.
What made you interested in a career in architecture?
When I was young, my family traveled a lot and I grew up with the great fortune of visiting a lot of different places around the world. Those travels, as well as spending four years in and around Washington D.C. for high school, exposed me to so much architecture. I always felt in awe of the built environment and its impact on all aspects of life. At some point in high school, I realized that I wanted to have a part in creating this environment that has such a strong ability to affect lives in so many ways.
What has been the most challenging aspect of your job?
This profession is never static. Every project is unique, every team is different. We have to adapt to new situations on a daily, and sometimes hourly, basis. The biggest challenge of my job is that I never know what a day is going to bring. But that’s also one of the things that keeps this job exciting and interesting. Practicing architecture is a constant education.
What has been one of the most rewarding projects you’ve worked on?
I loved being a part of the transformation we made to the Morgan White Group building, which finished construction last year. To see an existing building take on a whole new character and life is remarkable, especially considering all of the challenges we faced over the course of that project. While it’s still under construction, I’m also so excited to see the new Mississippi Trade Mart take shape. That was the largest project I’ve ever managed and to see it inch upward in real life is so rewarding for all of the hard work our team did, and continues to do.
When you need inspiration, where do you turn?
I’m going cliche on this one — maybe because it’s finally Spring. I turn to Nature, when I need inspiration. I can usually re-ground myself by standing still outside and taking in what the world has to offer. It’s so beautiful out there.
When you aren’t at work, what can we find you doing?
Since I’ve got two small kids, this answer isn’t very interesting: packing lunchboxes, laundry, cleaning. When I get some time to myself though, I love to read, run, cook, and spend time with family and friends. Nowadays, we’re trying to teach Johnston to ride a bike, so we’re taking advantage of the longer days and beautiful weather to get outside with the boys.