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Robert Curtin

AIA, NCARB, LEED GA

At a Glance

Architecture / Design Executive with Global Experience 
Rob Curtin AIA, has 36 years of experience in Architecture, Executive Management and Business Development; experience includes 12 years as the Owner for my own practice and another 19 years of experience in corporate environments and 5 years as a independent consulting expert .

As an Architecture / Design Executive with global experience, my background includes design, technical production, team management, firm leadership, business development, account management, mentoring and strategic thinking leadership. I stress and teach strategic thinking to upcoming professionals emphasizing to think about the “why” and define the “who” before you decide the “how”.  In design, management or client development these skills are the prerequisite to success.

My experience spans market segments in international luxury hotel-resorts, casinos, corporate headquarters, recreation facilities, mission critical centers, justice facilities, multi-family housing, retail, higher-ed, student housing, places of worship and custom homes. My experience covers many locations throughout the USA as well as many international locations including China, Russia, Canada, Saudi Arabia, Mauritius, England, and Australia.

As a savvy negotiator I am an effective communicator with internal and external stakeholders, including government officials. While overseeing and coordinating large scale projects I've managed as many as 50 direct reports and up to 200 indirect reports. My understanding of business models, market positioning  and financial performance  accelerates success.

Considered an expert strategist in building teams; I guide the coordination and positioning of diverse staff, project managers and technical specialists to serve clients, projects and markets. I hone the expertise of leaders, equipping them with the core competencies of business development and the ability to maintain strong trust-based client relationships. I strive to sharpen the team’s professional aptitude, raising the firms’ talent up to its’ best.

Key Abilities:

  • Create & communicate business strategies
  • Hire / Develop / Evaluate Staff 
  • Administer budgets & make value based decisions
  • Navigate local political landscapes
  • Expert strategist developing / maintaining client relationships
  • Manage portfolio of projects, drive timely completion
  • Internal relationship-building across departments 
  • Manage multi-disciplinary teams
  • Assess competitive strategies for proposals
  • Understanding market positioning

   

Detailed Examples of Experience

Design
Experienced as designer-in-charge establishing the overall design philosophy and ensuring the quality of design execution. Led major corporate and institutional design efforts, such as the United Parcel Service World Communication Headquarters, FAA NextGen Headquarters, Atlantic County Justice Complex and won competitions such as Sydney Harbor Casino (Star City) Sydney,  Australia.

Human Resources
Hired, mentored and promoted employees. Takes great pride in the development and growth of staff who joined Curtin Design Group and have worked together for as long as 10 years. As a trusted mentor in matrix organizations I have conducted training sessions, book clubs and sharing sessions to teach young professionals.

Project Management
Monitoring, coordinating and leading all aspects of project management to ensure complete client satisfaction.  Brought complex projects like United Parcel Service’s World Communication Headquarters  in on time and within budget while closely monitoring project status for compliance with schedules, regulatory issues, design, budget and client acceptance criteria.  

Operations
Managed the operations of Curtin Design Group and managed operations as Principal for the Corporate Studio and Hospitality Studio with The Hillier Group, Princeton New Jersey. Additionally, as Vice President of Design & Construction for Showboat Development Company, an international casino/hotel company, handled all aspects of design / build and reported directly to the CEO. Recent work as  COO at Paladino and Co., assumed responsibility for aligning all department strategies to stay on-point with the company mission. 

Administration / Financial Management
Experienced in developing and maintaining business plans emphasizing mission, potency of messaging, quality and quantity of outreach and overseeing financial performance of a business unit. Profit and loss responsibility has been  the cornerstone in  each executive position.

Business Development / Marketing
Applied experience in international business for several firms to open offices in China by writing business plans, setting strategy and spearheading the implementation of operational platforms. Created relationships with high level staff within the US Embassy in Beijing, as well as, local Chinese business leaders. while working in Beijing, Shanghai and Hangzhou. As owner of Curtin Design Group, developed a 10-person boutique design and architecture practice in southern New Jersey as a new  start up company.  Operated this practice successfully for 12 years, cultivating strategic relationships and trusted relationships in local and state government, developers, contractors and engineers. Evolved this practice starting with no clients, no local relationships, and no start up project  into a thriving business in architecture and interior design.

As Vice President of Development at Showboat Development Company was directly involved in corporate expansion strategy and presentations to win and expand new business and market share both domestically and internationally. Efforts were hugely successful, building properties across the U.S. and in several foreign countries.  Success prompted Harrah's Gaming to purchase the company for double the NYSE trading value.

At The Hillier Group ( Princeton New Jersey )  established, maintained and expanded client relationships and projects managed by the Corporate and the Hospitality Studios. Developed the Hospitality Studio into the highest revenue and profit generating team in the company.

CONSULTING BUSINESS LEADER

2011Present

Robert Curtin AIA - Architect - Overview

As an expert consultant to other firms, utilizing my expertise in business Development, team alignments, management and financial reporting, firms interested in my expertise have retained me on a contract basis to assist in assessment of their available employee talent, and how and where to apply those assets in order to increase market share in current locations and to position for future growth in new market segments.

Some of the areas I have been targeting on assignments are as follows:

  • Assessing staff/talent
  • Analyzing strengths and weaknesses
  • Improving participation, utilization and realization rates of employees
  • Introducing new financial software (BillQuick) for project reporting
  • Developing and implementing business plans
  • Creating opening and closing C-suite presentations
  • Analyzing business development and market penetration
  • Mentoring employees and creating educational development plans

In addition, I also have spearheaded international expansions, several of which were to China, where I used my business development expertise to help my clients open new offices.

2014-2016 - Paladino and Co. - Two-year Consulting Contract

Seattle WA, Washington DC

Paladino is a national thought leader in real estate and LEED sustainability. Joining Paladino was a natural extension of my own life-long interest/passion in the organic design principles of Frank Lloyd Wright. At Paladino I have functioned as an expert strategist in building teams; I guide the coordination and positioning of technical staff, project managers and specialists to serve client projects and markets. I hone the expertise of leaders, equipping them with the core competencies of business development and the ability to maintain strong, trust-based client relationships. My skill for sharpening the team’s professional aptitude positions them to offer the industry top talent. My thorough understanding of business models and overseeing of financial performance has helped accelerate success and growth. I prompted/strategized the firms expansion into New York as well as California in order to capitalize on "compliance" based markets that mandate Paladinos' service offerings.

2012-2014 - Oppenheim Architects - Two-year Consulting Contract

Miami, FL
Oppenheim is an internationally renowned modern design practice. The firm’s projects and design theory are recognized with awards all over the world. My contract has been to analyze current partners and their effectiveness in business development, produce a firm-wide talent assessment,and make implementation recommendations for reorganization and realignments. I also set up employee training/teaching and mentoring programs to up-skill the staff.  The overall objective was to prepare the firm for changes so as to set a path for future growth. I realigned the financial reporting systems to aid in project management effectiveness, written position descriptions for needed infill of talent, including a permanent COO, and written employee mentoring and education plans.

2011-2012 - EwingCole Architects - Two-year Consulting Contract

Philadelphia, Washington DC
EwingCole is a 50 year practice with 300 employees based in Philadelphia with expertise in health care and CCRC communities. EwingCole had plateaued; revenues had not grown for about 5 years. As Principal Corporate Strategic Development, I was brought into the company to instill an entrepreneurial proactive business experience into the firm. I wrote the business plans across various market segments, and mentored with my experience. I focused on the re-positioning of the Washington DC office by spearheading a new business plan process working with the President of the company. A major endeavor was to develop a start-up business platform in Beijing, China to enter the healthcare and CCRC markets. I represented EwingCole at international conferences in China and forged their start up relationships.

PRIOR FIRM EXPERIENCE

19982010

Curtin Design Group

Owner - President

Atlantic Counnty, NJ
Prior to consulting for other firms, I was the owner/President of Curtin Design Group (CDG) for 12 years.  CDG was a local boutique practice of architecture and Interior design. CDG was located in southern New Jersey as a lifestyle choice following many years of intense international travel. After designing to large scale budgets and programs for several years, the challenge now was to design to modest budgets, and clients not sophisticated in design theory. I developed new business opportunities in markets including commercial office, justice facilities, hospitality-hotels, restaurants, retail and custom homes. I  maintained a payroll of 10 people for over a decade. Most employees remained at my side for the entire life of the office. As owner I was the designer-in-charge of all projects,  managed senior staff, managed P&L, publicity, HR,  marketing and business development.

As was the case with many small firms, CDG closed after the national economic downturn.

19941998

Showboat Development Co - Hotel/Casino Development

VP- Design & Construction / Development.

Atlantic City, NJ, Las Vegas, New Orleans, Chicago, Sydney
As a wholly owned subsidiary of a Las Vegas operator, this company was formed to expand hotel/casino sites globally.  I assisted in project site research, concept design, and all aspects of consultant hiring including contract negotiation, budget, and schedule administration. I lead design  and project management on a variety of $100-million dollar design / build projects as well as expansions, renovations, and re-theming.  We built 4 major properties in the United States and negotiated gaming agreements in several foreign countries. Our largest project was the $1.2 Billion Sydney Harbor Casino (Star City) which was the result of a  winning design in the international competition which I produced. I then built the team for  the projects development.

This position ended when Harrahs' Entertainment bought our company at twice the NYSE trading price and absorbed our assets.

19851994

Hillier Group (RMJM) Architects & Interior Design

Studio Principal

Princeton, NJ
I was a Co-Leader in the Corporate Studio; we produced major headquarters projects such as UPS Corporation, AT&T Communications, Merck Pharmaceuticals, Beneficial Finance and Bristol-Meyers Squibb. I was a Studio Principal leading mostly the business development efforts of the team. A time came with a relationship opportunity in hand, that I branched into another interest and started Hillier’s’ first ever Hospitality Studio. As the sole design and business development leader in the start-up group I had direct control of management, market growth and profitability.  With my client list growing and a full time staff of 50 people the hospitality group became the highest profit center in the company. 

After many approaches, Showboat Casino asked that I lead their International expansion efforts, and offered me the position of VP of Development – Design & Construction.

HIGHLIGHTED PROJECT ACHIEVEMENTS 

United Parcel Service
World Communication Headquarters
Mahwah, NJ
$200 million project, 400,000 sq. ft. office building & data center with 1,500 car parking.

Sydney Harbor (Star City) Casino Hotel
Sydney, Australia
$1.2 billion project, 120,000 sq. ft. casino; 365 hotel rooms, 140 full service apartments, 14 restaurants, 12 bars, 200 seat theatre, 750 seat dinner theatre and a health club.

Atlantic County Justice Complex
Atlantic County, NJ
$65 million project, 180,000 sq. ft. with Prosecutors Office, County Sheriff's Dept., and court rooms.

Rutgers University
Off-Campus - Student Apartments
New Brunswick, NJ
$36 million project, 360 student apartments plus a health club, 20,000 sq. ft. commercial retail space and parking for 900 cars.

FAA Next Gen Research Facility
Atlantic County, NJ
$15 million project, 70,000 sq. ft. research facility for the conversion of the air traffic control system to satellite digital positioning.

Yushan Xian Ziqin Mountain
5 star resort hotel complex
China
Hotel, Condominiums, retail, apartments major water feature setting.

New Jersey Department of Labor
Atlantic County, NJ
$12 million project with 25,000 sq. ft.

Faith Baptist Church
Atlantic County, NJ
An aspirational and iconic symbol, this facility serves as the spiritual and cultural center of the minority community in Atlantic County. The 300-seat auditorium was designed to function as a choral performing hall as well as a spiritual center.

COMMUNITY & POLITICAL PARTICIPATION

  • Active in past operations of the ARCH—ATLANTIC RIDING CENTER FOR HEALTH. A non-profit therapeutic horse riding therapy center specializing in autistic children. Instrumental in keeping funding in place to operate the center thru hard economic times by providing scholarship opportunities for families that do not have adequate resources to support the child’s connectivity.
  • I am well known for my involvement in county and municipal politics in Atlantic County, New Jersey. My 10-acre property and home were used quite frequently for large fundraisers during previous election years.
  • I also have connections in Washington, D.C. On occasion, I am invited to attend informal meetings with New Jersey congressmen in the U.S. Capitol congressional dining rooms to discuss business and other issues facing business owners in New Jersey.
  • While in Beijing, I developed close relationships with staff at the U.S. Embassy. I introduced the concept of an architect-led U.S. trade mission in China that was subsequently endorsed by former U.S. Ambassador Gary Locke. I organized and co-led the U.S. delegation in China, traveling to multiple provincial capitals with the ambassador and sharing U.S. architect expertise in the areas of health care and CCRC developments.

WHAT AM I PASSIONATE ABOUT

  • Vermont has been our second home for my wife and I for 20 years. It’s a retreat—a place to recharge, ski, snowmobile, hike and enjoy our four-legged children (dogs). In Vermont we’ve faced challenges such as Hurricane Irene, which brought a 500-year rainfall in one day, and last winter we had the lowest snowfall in history. I see the effects of our actions; the bears do not hibernate on time, the moose do not survive long periods of warm weather, insects do not die off in the winter and the trees do not have the vibrant fall colors that are so famous all around the world. Our connection to the environment reminds me that we don’t own the land; rather, we are trusted stewards and are responsible for its well-being. As architects, we must recognize these signs and use our observations to teach responsibility for climate change.
  • Teaching today’s newest professionals is another passion of mine. My career in architecture has taken me all over the world many times, and I have met some interesting people, some famous, some not famous, but all interesting. I have worked on significant projects with big budgets as well as significant projects with small budgets, and I’ve counseled clients who trust in my advice. My clients have taught me to be a better listener. Learning how to connect and communicate with clients as people rather than as recipients of email is critical for today’s millennials. 

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