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Leading by Example

Michelle Rossomando, AIA Article by Catherine Gavin Photography by Nicole Mlakar

Michelle Rossomando, AIA, looks you in the eye when she speaks to you; she helps everyone feel at ease in any situation; and she laughs easily, often at her own expense. A natural leader, Rossomando can distill any issue to its essence and has an equally impressive knack for problemsolving, which she attributes to her training as an architect. Her work life is busy, and her schedule outside of the office is jam-packed. But she makes time for it all, affecting many people’s lives in a very positive way in the process. A partner at McKinney York Architects in Austin, Rossomando is a head designer for numerous residential, institutional, and commercial projects. She has fine-tuned her approach to project management and integrated this skill into the culture of the firm and the professional growth of all its employees. Founding principal Heather McKinney, FAIA, describes Rossomando as intrepid: “She has confidence in her problem-solving and the perseverance to see knotty issues through to elegant, clever resolution. This attitude permeates her mentorship of others in the firm. She is the opposite of intellectually lazy — or lazy at all.”

Needless to say, Rossomando’s deft ability to keep communication open while managing huge projects has been an asset to the firm and its clients. Pastors Barbara Ruth and John Wright, McKinney York’s clients for their work at Oak Hill Methodist Church, emphasized that their experience throughout the project centered on

Wright credited “Michelle’s infectious laugh” as key in helping him enjoy the adventures of design and construction. the partners’ ability to listen to them. But Wright credited “Michelle’s infectious laugh” as key in helping him enjoy the adventures of design and construction. “She just laughs and puts you at ease,” said Wright. “She has such a zest for living that it inspires you to have confidence it is not going to be this terrible, burdensome experience. It turns out to be a joy.” Rossomando is good at making things fun, and at the same time, she pays attention to

5/6 2014

Texas Architect 81


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