When it comes to saying good-bye to 2018, we can’t let the year wrap up without taking one more opportunity to thank the A in AG, Steve Alexander, for his 50-year commitment to making this architectural and engineering firm a key player in the senior living industry.
As some of you may know, AG Architecture is the evolution of several architectural firms dating back to 1961. Steve began his architectural career in the earliest iteration of the firm, and that’s where he met Gene Guszkowski. It was in 2002 that the firm, then known as Aldrian Guszkowski, moved to the Village of Wauwatosa and was re-branded AG Architecture, reflecting the names and leadership of Steve and Gene.
Steve is a numbers guy, a codes guy and above all a humble guy. But here everyone knows him as the AG leader who set the bar high for construction documentation and project delivery. When it comes to the value proposition of AG—Providing Vision, Building Consensus and Delivering Certainty & Predictability—Steve is the founding father and driving force behind our ability to deliver Certainty & Predictability.
In the late 1990s, he initiated the development of an advanced schematic design package that was meant to better support the client and to reach a sustainable construction budget more quickly. He spent countless hours coordinating baseline details and creating a unique Schematic Design Manual in order to develop a methodology that can be adapted to all AG projects allowing us to speed up the development process. This tool, which has been refined over the years, is what allows AG to bring certainty and predictability to the construction process. This initiative became a passion for Steve because of his belief in giving the extra effort to successfully serve the client.
Steve’s Philosophy on Exceptional Service
“It strikes me that one thing a service-oriented company such as an architectural firm should have as part of their core business philosophy is a solid reputation for exceptional service. It is expected that we should provide aesthetically pleasing designs and functional plans that meet the client’s unique program. Likewise, we believe clients should expect and receive a high level of service and responsiveness.”
- Service means being responsive to your client’s every need.
- Service means checking your ego at the door.
- Service is making each client feel as if they are your only client.
AG’s project teams, and the AG Methodology they diligently follow, reinforce this philosophy. AG is committed to maintaining a consistent team of professionals on the project from beginning to end to instill confidence. The fact that multiple team members are intimately involved with a client project is so that the client knows they can always get ahold of someone. And finally, clients should trust that when they get in touch with someone, whatever their need is, that it will be addressed immediately.
Over the course of Steve’s 50-year career things like technology as well as the scope, size and budgets of projects have changed dramatically. For example, 25 years ago a drawing set for a full CCRC (over 200,000-sq.ft.) was around 45 architectural sheets compared to today’s product with over 124 architectural sheets for a CCRC that might cover 380,000-sq.ft. The thing that never wavered throughout the changes in technology or times of industry economic uncertainty was Steve’s commitment to improving service delivery and providing value to clients. That is Steve’s lasting impact on the AG brand and an important part of his legacy that AG will continue to honor.
But wait, there’s more! Though he has been the humble, quieter partner, it was Steve who recognized the importance of pushing the AG brand forward on a national platform. The now annual “AG Event” has become a “must-do” activity for many clients, board members, consultants, contractors and industry friends. Starting with a dinner cruise in San Antonio many years ago, it grows each year as we always seek unique venues for all to enjoy. How fitting that we brought a little bit of Steve’s Milwaukee roots to LeadingAge Philadelphia this year as we celebrated by enjoying a good ole game of bowling and a classic Wisconsin Old Fashioned. This (and chocolate martinis) will be remembered as Steve’s legacy as well!
We thank you for your service Steve. We salute your red pen as well as your ability to enjoy a great event with clients, especially those who have become friends. And we promise to always remember that sections are up and to the left.