Brittney’s management skills and can-do attitude enhance all her projects. She is passionate about building up rural communities and jumped at the opportunity to take key roles in renovating her hometown’s library and private school. Brittney is a creative force in her professional life AND at home – coordinating life with three young children and a dog, of course!
How did you decide on your career path?
In high school I discovered I had a gift for art and also loved numbers, but I wasn’t sure how my interests would intersect. It was during a trip to Washington, D.C. that I became fascinated with absorbing everything about the buildings around me – from the materials to layouts. I realized then I could utilize my talents and my passion in a career in architecture.
What is your favorite part of the design process?
I love helping people bring their ideas to life. That starts by helping our clients interpret a project’s blueprints and then walking them through each step as the building or space is taking shape. When everything starts to come full circle, you see the joy and excitement on people’s faces, because it’s truly their dream becoming reality.
How are you creating vibrant communities through design?
Many of FEH Design’s projects are in the public sector which means we have such a beautiful opportunity to impact our communities. We use our signature Spark Sessions as a way to listen to people in the community, because they are the ones who will be impacted. I love listening and seeking to understand what community members want and working directly with them to start to conceptualize the project.
Where is your favorite place to visit in the Midwest?
My family’s favorite places are the Black Hills and a family friend’s cabin in Wisconsin. Both are locations where we can unplug from technology and daily tasks and just enjoy Mother Nature and all its beauty.
Family: Husband and three kids.
Pet: Remi the Mini Goldendoodle.
Drink: Dr. Pepper & Chi Tea.
College Mascot: Cyclones.
Paint Color: SW7616 Breezy.
Bucket List: More of Europe.
Hobby: Biking/UTVing/Farming – anything outside.
Karaoke: You will never find me here!
Breakfast: Breakfast Burritos.
First Car: 01 Chevy Lumina.
States Visited: Thirteen.
Siouxland Woman Magazine | Written by Jenna Rehnstrom-Liberto
August 2022: Being a driven, young team member in an innovative firm is an exciting place to be, according to principal architect Brittney Ruba.
Brittney joined FEH Design in 2014 and last year expanded her role to include leadership as well as design and project management. For Brittney, it’s her ability to be a quick and agile learner, plus a willingness to dig into any project, that makes her position on the team both vital and fun.
“I’ve designed banks, I’ve done business buildings, a lot of schools, military projects, corporate projects, so I’ve done a wide variety, but even though it’s a variety, there are things that you learn from yourself and learn from past experiences that I incorporate into future projects,” Brittney says.
Her creativity has served Brittney well in her growing role. A native of Le Mars, Brittney has already left her mark on her hometown, working on the redesign of her alma mater, Gehlen Catholic, and the Le Mars Public Library.
Now, it’s her own children she has in mind when she takes on a new project. At one, three, and five years old, Brittney says she looks at things differently now that she has a family of her own – whether that’s safety, functional design, or creativity.
“I see how much schools have changed even since I was a student and those changing needs of teachers and students are really influencing the way we’re designing for education,” shares Brittney. “We’re looking to create more collaborative spaces that are still functional. And we’re designing with an eye on ‘what’s next?’”
The daughter of an educator herself (Brittney’s mom is an art teacher at Gehlen), she knows it’s important to listen to teachers and understand their needs and dreams for educating their students. Maybe that’s where Brittney got the bug to be a lifelong learner. She’s passionate about keeping up with the changing needs of her clients and new methods and technology available to meet those needs. She’s also inspired to help the younger generation of architects and team members at FEH absorb the expansive knowledge of those who’ve come before them.
“I understand the younger generation and how they like to learn and utilize technology,” Brittney says. “Taking established knowledge and getting it into our newest minds is what we’re trying to do, because we know young people are the future of our profession.”
February 2021: The board of directors of FEH Design recently promoted Brittney Ruba, AIA to associate principal.
Ruba, who joined FEH in 2014, is a licensed architect in the firm’s Sioux City office. As associate principal, Ruba’s role will expand to include leadership in business actions. She will continue to be a designer and project manager at the firm.
Ruba graduated from Iowa State University in Ames, Iowa where she received a Bachelor of Architecture and Environmental Studies degree in 2014. After college, she joined FEH Design immediately.
Ruba has been involved in many impactful projects, including the design and construction of Okoboji Middle School, Mount Marty University, Siouxland Federal Credit Union Dakota Dunes, Henjes, Conner & Williams, P.C., and the historic restoration of the Warrior Hotel. She has also designed in her hometown at the Le Mars Public Library and Gehlen Catholic School.
“I have loved working at FEH and the people I work with have become family to me,” said Ruba. “The clients are all great individuals that each have their own challenges for us to solve creatively together.”