Our leadership team has grown. We are pleased to announce the promotion of four members of the firm to the role of Principal. The new Principals—Chandra Robinson, Doug Sheets, Jonathan Heppner, and Sara Martin—join Founding Principal Thomas Robinson and Chief Operating Officer Pamela Kislak in leading LEVER.
Since its formation in 2009, our practice has collaborated with mission-driven organizations and communities to design cultural facilities, affordable housing, academic environments, and campuses for leading creatives. As a team of 35, we have developed a national reputation for making design excellence accessible to projects regardless of budget and positioned ourselves as leaders in mass timber construction. Today, we look towards the next 10 years as a firm with the kind of culture and capacity to lead civic projects that are more just and sustainable. Establishing a leadership team with distinct perspectives and skills reflects our process and the values we bring to design.
“The name LEVER speaks to design as a tool for positive transformation. The idea of the firm is much bigger than one person, and it was always intended to be that way. After 12 years leading the practice, it is thrilling for me to see the office evolve into a collaborative team that contributes innovative architecture to places throughout Oregon and beyond,” Thomas Robinson said.
Each Principal leads a specific practice area at LEVER and during their time with the office has significantly impacted its trajectory.
Chandra Robinson leads civic and community projects. She recently completed a new campus for Meyer Memorial Trust and is currently leading the Dekum Court affordable housing redevelopment. Chandra serves on the Portland Design Commission and is the Treasurer and a founding board member of the National Organization of Minority Architects’ Portland chapter.
Doug Sheets foregrounds design excellence at LEVER and collaborates closely with teams on the development of each design. One of the original members of the firm, Doug led many of the office’s most significant completions including DisneyToon Studios, Albina Yard, and The Nature Conservancy’s Oregon Conservation Center, among others.
Jonathan Heppner directs the firm’s research and innovation practice. He is a wood design specialist whose ground-breaking research and testing for the Framework project influenced US building codes and timber high-rise designs internationally.
Sara Martin brings a strategic framework to growth at LEVER. Her work in business development and communications forged opportunities for the firm to grow in new markets and increased awareness of the practice on a national level.
In addition to four new Principals, we have elevated seven individuals to Senior Associate or Associate. Together, this broader collective will guide the firm’s strategic development and culture.
George Michael Rusch
Please join us in welcoming our new leadership team.