Melanie’s bright personality and dedication to design are seen in Pinnacle’s office daily. She continues to learn and shine in all her projects from local affordable housing projects to a training center for teaching U.S. Forest Service staff to fight wildfires.

You’re originally from Philly. How did you make your way to Bend?

It’s an interesting story. In September 2017, I decided to participate in a 10-day design competition done annually in the state of Pennsylvania, the John Stewardson Memorial Fellowship in Architecture. My proposal for that competition was selected as the winner, and I received a $10,000 architectural travel scholarship. I used this scholarship to study how the built environment can learn from the unbuilt, and found myself traveling throughout the American West, Thailand, and Japan. That’s how I wound up in Bend and quickly grew to love the incredible scenery, the good-natured culture, and the inherent connection between the people and the environment.

You have excelled quickly in your architecture career, obtaining your license just four years after graduating from Philadelphia University. Why attracted you to this career path?

I wanted to pursue a career that appeased both sides of me: the technical and creative. I’ve found that my favorite part of being an architect is creative problem solving, all while making a beautiful space.

Our staff must connect with our mission of Enhancing Lives and Communities. We’re not in the business to only win design awards but to serve our community. How do you connect to our mission?

I love that Pinnacle focuses on working with individuals and organizations who devote themselves to serving their communities. While working at Pinnacle, I feel like it’s our duty to design the best possible space for those people, because they deserve it.

You’ve lived in Bend for over a year now, what’s your favorite thing about Central Oregon?

I love the variety of landscapes here; within the same day, I can feel like I’m in Lake Tahoe or southern Utah!

Pinnacle focuses on four key markets (Multi-family Housing, Healthcare, Senior Living, and Community Enhancement). We don’t organize staff into market-specific studios to ensure we’re all exposed to a variety of projects. So far, what’s your favorite project you’ve worked on and why?

I’ve really enjoyed working on the Deschutes Rim Health Clinic. Working in a remote spot of Oregon has definitely opened my eyes to the variety of communities in the state. Coming from the east coast I’d never designed a wood-framed building. Jumping onto this project was a really great learning experience!

At Pinnacle, it’s important to get to know our staff. What better way than to ask a few off the wall questions!

If you could choose to do anything for a day, what would it be?

Travel anywhere I haven’t been to before.

What did you want to be when you were a kid?

An English teacher! I get this craving out now with my book club.

What would you sing at Karaoke night, and why?

“I don’t want to miss a thing” by Aerosmith because who doesn’t love this song and already know all the words?

What’s the most daring thing you’ve ever done?

Uproot my life and move to Bend!

Have a question of your own for Melanie? Ask!