The BPA family has grown quite a bit over the past couple of years and we’re thankful for it and the powerhouse of talent that we have working here.  Because we have broadened our base, both in staff and project types, we feel it is important to reintroduce everyone to our family in a series we’re calling “Meet the Team”.

First up, we caught up with one of our fearless leaders, Charles E. Penuel, better known as “Chuck.”  For those who haven’t caught on, he’s the “Penuel” in Birchfield Penuel.  Most would describe him as smart, kind, and designer extraordinaire.  He’s usually found seated at his drafting table working on the next great detail, fielding client phone calls, or he’s patiently listening to one of our staff and providing them counsel on a project issue that has arisen.  If you’ve ever attended a meeting with Chuck, you understand why he’s one of the guys running this place.  He may be quiet, but not to worry, he’s thinking while everyone else is talking.  So, when he finally does decide to speak, he’s formulated the perfect thought or solution that usually leaves everyone nodding their head in agreement.  He was kind enough to answer a few questions for us.  Heck, we even learned a few things about the guy we all love!  Enjoy:

What are you most proud of in your career? "My greatest source of professional pride is less about a specific building or design and more about in seeing the 30 year growth of BPA to include a staff of really talented design professionals collaborating on design solutions and the long term relationships we have enjoyed with so many quality clients."

What sort of music do you listen to? "Most of my music enjoyment occurs while relaxing at the lake or beach where my musical preferences include artists such as Bob Marley, Jimmy Buffet, Jennifer Nettles (Sugarland), Darius Rucker and more recently the Dirty Guv’nahs and Drive by Truckers."

Favorite TV show? "My most recent 'appointment TV' interest has been the Netflix series Bloodlines which features the unraveling of an old admired Florida Keys family who turn out not to be who and what they seem."

What was your first job? What did you learn from it? "My first “show up and work all day” job was the summer I turned 16. I labored for a brick and block mason which included mostly lifting, carrying or throwing heavy things all day long. I did learn on my first day that there is a top and a bottom to a concrete block after stacking 100 units upside down and then re-stacking each one. That summer I learned that I could make a living with either my muscle or my mind."

If you could walk in someone’s shoes for a day, whose would they be and what would you do? "For me, I think viewing the green and blue of earth from space as the astronauts have would be a rare sight to see."

What is a book that shaped your career or life and what was your big take-away from it? "I read the Agony and the Ecstasy, the biography of Michelangelo, as a 3rd year architecture student traveling in Italy. The combination and timing of those three things shaped my attitude about art, architecture and design."

What scares you? "One of life’s scariest challenges is on the job training as a parent and hoping you get it right."

Who is your role model and why? "So much of what I learned that was meaningful about life and how to face the challenges it presented I witnessed in how my Mother lived it. So I would have to pick her."

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