Traci charted her own path as a woman in architecture. She’s an experienced drafting technician who turns ideas and sketches into the blueprints for construction. She is also the office mom, but, you know, the cool kind…
How did you decide on your career path?
In high school I was interested in art but unsure what to do with it. My guidance counselor suggested I take a drafting class, and it seems that I liked it. I was the first woman hired at FEH full-time that wasn’t administrative staff. I was also the youngest employee at age 19. I’m very grateful they helped me to grow into the professional I am today.
What is your favorite part of the design process?
The design process is more complicated than people realize. My favorite part is watching the creativity of the design group mixing with the difficult requirements that modern buildings have to meet. The outcome of the process is pretty amazing. When people are using a building that “works” it makes time spent there comfortable and enjoyable.
How are you creating vibrant communities through design?
I have worked on a lot of projects over the years – big and small. I like seeing people enjoy them on a daily basis.
What makes Siouxland a great place to live?
Sioux City is a small, big city. You have the opportunity to find a job, home and have a family here without feeling like you’re getting lost in the crowd.
Where is your favorite place to visit in the Midwest?
My family makes a practice of visiting other cities within a five-hour radius from home so that we can explore and get to know some of our favorite places.
Family: Husband Dale and two daughters.
Pet: Nala, the tabby cat.
Drink: Old Fashioned.
Pantone Color: 19-1664 TCX True Red.
Vacation: Vacations with extended family.
Binge: Ozark. Stranger Things.
Collection: Bears. Dragonflies.
Podcast: The Way I Heard It with Mike Rowe.
Irrational Fear: Spiders.
Breakfast: Eggs, bacon, hashbrowns, and toast.
Zodiac Sign: Sagittarius.
16 Personalities: ISFJ Defender.
First Car: 1977 Monte Carlo.
States Visited: Eighteen.
June 2019: Chances are, if you walk into an iconic Siouxland building or school, Traci has had her hand in it. Over the past 30 years, she has been converting architectural designs into the technical drawings needed for construction. Traci is often called upon to answer any FEH history or past project questions.
“I have worked on a lot of projects over the years – big and small. I like seeing people enjoy them on a daily basis,” said Traci.
Q: What made you decide on your career path?
A: I loved art and displayed artistic tendencies all through school. By the time I reached high school, I found that my skill wasn’t at the same level as some of my classmates on the art path. While this was depressing to me, it also opened me up to new adventures. I feel like a set of working architectural drawings is (and should be) art. It is just art with straighter lines!
Q: When you started at FEH Design in 1989, it was a male dominated field, tell us about your experience.
A: I was the first female hired on full-time that wasn’t administrative staff. I was also the youngest employee at age 19. I was hired as a drafter which entailed many other duties. There were countless hours of running prints and breathing ammonia, time spent on the drafting table and making composites from pin bar drafting. I spent many hours measuring buildings. I climbed ladders to roofs in pumps! In the 80s, we only had one computer with AutoCAD in the office. You can imagine my excitement when the decision was made to buy another computer – even though that “technology thing” was probably just a fad. As years moved along, I was in a constant state of learning from all of those in the office that took me under their wings. Technology grew to the point that one could no longer be considered solely a drafter and became a technician – which really encompassed everything before computers and into the current world of Building Information Modeling (BIM).
What I love about FEH has a lot to do with what they have allowed me to become. They hired me in a very different time, taught me and helped me to grow into more than the drafter I was hired as.