This month we thought it would be great to feature one of our favorite architects and Associate Principals, Alan Crotwell. Most would describe Alan as hardworking, fun, sincere, and the "go-to-guy" in the office. One can usually find Alan at his desk feverishly working on a Revit model, talking on the phone with his clients, discussing soccer or beer, or helping someone in the office with a problem. He's currently leading one of the largest projects in the firm's history, and he's the perfect project architect to do so. He's detail oriented and doesn't hesitate to jump in to solve a problem. In addition to being a wonderful project manager, architect, and part owner of the firm, he's a husband, father to two boys, and helps out with Boy Scout groups and soccer teams. We're excited that Alan took a moment out of his busy schedule to answer a few questions for us.
We were surprised to learn a few new things about him as well.
What made you choose architecture? "I was always fond of building as a kid. We spent our summers building tree forts and hideouts from scrap wood. I never designed anything that we built, but I always had the idea in my head from the start. In middle school and high school I really enjoyed art classes and took as many as the school offered. To be honest though, until my junior year, I really never put the pieces together until my guidance counselor mentioned that it might be a good fit for me. I applied to the program at Mississippi State and was accepted as an incoming freshman. I was apprehensive after I realized the time involvement but I stuck with it and I was glad I did."
Have you ever had any other career in mind? "Of course. I thought about Engineering, or being a contractor, but neither of those careers would have fed my creative side."
What sort of music do you listen to? "I like a lot of different music. Alternative, Rock, Southern Rock, older country music and a little Rap also."
What was your first job? What did you learn from it? "My first job was cutting grass and raking leaves for several of my neighbors as a kid, but I don’t count that. The first real job I had was a stock boy and cashier at Big “B” drugs at age 16 in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. It allowed me some independence and instilled a healthy work ethic in me. It was a good way for a kid to branch out and learn how to interact with customers."
What’s the simplest thing you ever learned to do? "Develop an effective or efficient use of my time."
Where would we find you on a typical Saturday? "Either playing with my kids, watching them play sports, playing a little golf or watching some college football. I often find myself in the middle of an overwhelming project around the house also."
What is your favorite vacation spot? "Because I don’t get to go any more than every few years, I have to say the mountains. I love to snowboard so any mountain with snow works."
What traits do you most value in your friends? "Loyalty, honesty, generosity and humor."
What scares you? "I am not a fan of tight spaces."
Who is your role model and why? "I have many roles models. My father is a big influence in my life. He has all of the qualities that I mentioned previously. I have learned though that most people in my life hold a special trait that I admire. I try to learn from those people and use it to better myself."