National architecture and interiors firm Dyer Brown & Associates has announced the elevation of two longstanding and successful firm leaders to the rank of principal, both women: The acclaimed firm’s director of workplace, Ashley L. Dunn, AIA, and the director of corporate services, Sara Ross, LEED AP, have been promoted to these key positions. The promotions affirm the essential role each plays in distinguishing the Dyer Brown brand in a crowded marketplace and contributing to its continued growth through innovative, sustainable design work and industry-leading levels of client wins and service.
“Our success depends upon the success of the people and companies we serve,” says president Brent Zeigler, AIA, IIDA, in announcing the key elevations. “Ashley and Sara consistently deliver results for our clients in return on investment, in healthy and sustainable built environments, and in strategic, head-turning designs that singularly reflect their brands and vision. In our firm, where 80% of employees identify as female, it is a welcome fact that our leadership ranks are evolving to reflect that.”
Adds Dyer Brown’s principal and director of operations, Rachel Woodhouse NCIDQ, the promotions are in keeping with the tradition of a “pipeline of leadership” within the 50-plus-year-old firm. “We have maintained a long and successful history of design excellence and unrivaled client service precisely because of our focus on mentoring each new generation of leadership,” she says. “With the elevation of these two natural leaders to the role of principal, we are ensuring our staying power and our continued growth into the foreseeable future.”
As principals, Dunn and Ross will continue to focus on emphasizing approaches to strategy, design, collaboration, practice, and mentorship that reinforce the firm’s commitments to its core values: sustainability, design excellence, client service, diversity, equity and inclusion. Ross and Dunn will also work to enhance on-the-job satisfaction and career development for all employees.
Ashley L. Dunn, an architect and member of the American Institute of Architects (AIA), joined Dyer Brown in 2005 as a designer, rising to the roles of director of workplace in 2015 and associate principal in 2019, managing large teams through complex projects ranging up to 400,000 square feet in size. She has overseen buildouts around the country, using her deep knowledge of workplace strategy to guide clients in undertaking a variety of hybrid work approaches. As a registered architect, she also has extensive experience managing large teams through complex renovation projects. A frequent speaker to professional audiences at major conferences such as NeoCon and IFMA World Workplace, she has written authoritative pieces on workplace trends for Fast Company and Work Design among others. Dunn’s experience includes teaching at the Boston Architectural College and he current service on the Board of Directors for Design Museum Boston.
Sara Ross, a LEED-accredited professional (LEED AP), has served as director of corporate services since joining Dyer Brown in 2012. At any given time her portfolio includes more than a dozen local, regional, and national enterprise client accounts and between 15 and 50 ongoing projects ranging from 2,000 to 200,000 square feet in size. Ross is responsible for ensuring client satisfaction across corporate accounts, primarily through benchmarking of organizational goals, assessing project progress, communication, retention of institutional knowledge, and building on collective experience. Internally she is responsible for office management, business development strategy, and mentorship of emerging professionals. Ross is an active member of commercial real estate networking organization CoreNet, working with the group’s New England chapter to help develop programming and events.