PINNACLE PEOPLE: Featuring Doug Alley
As an eleven-year Pinnacle veteran who will take on any project, Doug is a valued team member and a master multi-tasker. He manages most of our affordable housing projects and travels hundreds of miles a year helping house the vulnerable across Oregon. In between travel, we caught up with Doug for a little Q&A!
You’ve been with Pinnacle for more than a decade. Tell us what inspires you at work every day?
Being part of a firm that focuses on enhancing lives and communities. Through our affordable housing, rural healthcare, and senior living projects we’re helping community members, with the most need, become more independent and self-sufficient. For me, impacting lives is more fulfilling than only practicing architecture.
Few can say they come from a family of 14! How has growing up with twelve brothers and sisters helped you in your professional life?
I’ve learned that each family has its own identity and that each member has their unique strengths and personalities that form that overall identity. The first step in maximizing the potential of teams and projects is learning about each member as an individual and not assuming everyone has the same goals.
You’ve completed over 1,500 units of affordable housing across Oregon in your career. Many include remodeling projects where you must tour occupied apartments. What’s it like walking through so many different people’s homes?
Tenants are often suspicious at first. It is always disconcerting to have a stranger enter your home to measure and record the condition of everything, but once they understand why we’re there and that we want to make this a better place to live, they are much more open. My favorite is the senior housing projects, if I accepted every invitation to stay for coffee and cookies, I think I’d still be working on our first senior housing project.
You’ve worked on a variety of project types – affordable housing, public buildings, clinics, and early learning – what’s your favorite project?
The renovation of Crest Butte Apartments in Bend because of the dramatic transformation that took place. Not just a visual change but it influenced the residents and how the community viewed the affordable housing community. After the renovation, the residents took more pride in their community, and the complex received less emergency response calls. Restoration projects that take challenging areas of the community and transform them into strengths are more rewarding to me than taking empty lots and building new market-rate housing on them.
On one of my final days on site, a woman came up and asked me, “are these condos for sale?” That tells me we had a successful affordable housing project when people want to be a part of the community permanently.
Pinnacle is a small firm that values its company culture. We asked Doug a few questions to get to know him a little bit more:
What is your favorite game or sport to watch and play?
My son’s toddler soccer, it’s the only game where the players don’t know the score…or the rules. Some are only vaguely aware that there is even a ball on the field, but they all have a good time.
If you could only eat one meal for the rest of your life, what would it be and why?
If peanut M&Ms can count as a meal, then I would pick M&Ms!
Who is your favorite author and why?
Christopher Alexander, empowering people by providing them with the tools to shape their environment is a powerful message.
What’s the most daring thing you’ve ever done?
Whitewater kayaking. In hindsight, there was not nearly enough training before my first run, but I loved every minute of it.
Have a question of your own about Doug? Ask! Doug@parch.biz