VLK Announces Various Promotions to Senior Associates
(Fort Worth/Dallas/Houston/Austin, Texas) – VLK Architects proudly announces that Jason Blanks, Lloyd Condon, Brad Ewing, John Novak, Rudolph (Rudy) Starks, Jr., and Jim Wallace have been promoted to senior associates. The criteria to become a senior associate at VLK are individuals with significant experience and qualifications relative to their role within the firm. Senior associates are self-motivated leaders who consistently take the initiative and use their capabilities, talent, and commitment to assume significant leadership roles. These dedicated individuals constantly serve and demonstrate the importance of participation in the community, making their professional and personal contributions to national organizations and meaningful industry causes.
A project director passionate about design details, Jason Blanks offers our clients extensive expertise in designing and producing large-scale and complex projects. He has extensive specialized experience designing and delivering ideal environments for learning, on time and within budget.
Blanks received a Bachelor of Architecture from Mississippi State University and has been at the Dallas office for almost four years serving clients throughout the DFW area. He has worked on many of VLK’s prominent projects, such as the Frisco ISD elementary school playground renovations, which received the Recreational Award for the 2020 SYNLawn® Projects of the Year, and the Denton ISD projects: Carrico Athletic Complex, Braswell High School, New Denton High School, Ryan High School, Guyer High School, and Sherman High School.
“Jason has shown incredible initiative in serving our clients and managing projects for VLK. He never ceases to seek out knowledge that benefits his development as an architect and the growth of our firm. He’s truly passionate about the profession, our firm, and our client’s success. I’m so very proud of his leadership for our teams and our firm as a whole,” said Sloan Harris, CEO | Partner of VLK Architects.
As project director, Lloyd Condon’s character and commitment to clients represent VLK’s values ultimately. His extensive knowledge and a relentless focus on service exemplify the rare and elevated client experience we strive to provide daily. Overseeing many of our largest and most complex projects, he brings steadfast guidance and expertise that deliver the best solutions to our clients’ needs.
Condon received a Bachelor of Architecture from Andrews University in Berrien Springs, Michigan, and is a registered architect in Indiana, Michigan, and Texas. He is considered a K-12 expert and has worked in the education practice sector since 1993. Condon’s experience has been a significant part of the Azle ISD bond projects and overseeing the Arlington ISD and Fort Worth ISD projects. He is currently working on the Keller ISD bond, which includes designs for the Florence, Parkview Heritage, and Whitley Road elementary schools.
“Lloyd has exhibited an incredible amount of resilience in managing a large platform of projects for some of our most valued clients. He’s been highly successful in navigating very complex issues on large-scale projects and understands the service we provide our clients communities. He doesn’t shy away from the challenges our profession brings and always strives to ensure our clients’ success,” said Harris.
Brad Ewing received a Bachelor of Architecture from the University of Oklahoma and has been with VLK Architects since 2008, becoming a respected senior designer within the firm. In addition, Ewing consistently represents VLK with his involvement as a mentor to high school students in the Houston area enrolled in architectural-related classes since 2010.
Managing VLK Houston area architectural photography for VLK Architect’s portfolio, Ewing is a relentless leader in design mentorship concerning Preliminary Design and Environmental Graphic Design. Ewing’s professionalism and insightful approach to providing innovative designs that impact education continue to impress during each project phase. His notable projects include the Gerald D. Young Agricultural Sciences Center and the award-winning prototype elementary schools within Katy ISD and Brazosport ISD.
“I have had the pleasure of working with Brad for many years, and he has always been one of the most dedicated and imaginative designers that we have on staff. His enthusiasm and ability to not only solve the design problem but to mentor and educate his team members is what makes Brad one of the people we rely on at VLK to guide our clients through our process,” said Todd Lien, AIA, Managing Partner of VLK Architects.
John Novak’s outside-the-box thinking leads to an efficient collaboration between the client and the project team. He received a Bachelor of Environmental Design from Texas A&M University and has been an essential part of the VLK Architects for over 12 years.
Novak is detailed, efficient, and has produced many construction documents for award-winning projects such as Katy ISD’s Catherine Bethke Elementary School, Houston ISD’s Condit Elementary School and Energy Institute High School, and Cypress-Fairbanks ISD’s Sue Gratehouse Pope Elementary School.
John Novak is responsible for pre-construction meetings, construction progress meetings, field observation, communication with the contractor, application for payment review and approval, contract compliance, punch lists, and project closeout.
“John Novak personifies leadership, integrity and trust amongst his team, contractors, and clients across the state. His professionalism in administering our projects in the field is consistently met with gratitude, creating an environment for success. With a fervent interest in the built community that extends beyond the construction site, John serves as an educator of the latest construction technologies to many at VLK,” said Tim Kunz, AIA, Principal of VLK Architects.
Rudy Starks has emerged as a trusted mentor and leader for almost five years at VLK. His enthusiasm and loyalty to the project teams and clients are remarkable, building stronger relationships and creating successful project outcomes throughout the Houston metroplex.
With a Bachelor of Arts in Architecture and a Bachelor of Architecture from Iowa State University, he elevates relationships for significant school districts, such as Cypress Fairbanks ISD and Lamar CISD, as a project architect and director. Starks is a member of the National Council Architectural Registration Boards (NCARB) and has served on the National Association of Industrial and Office Properties membership committee. His leadership and professionalism from the beginning of a project to the end, ensuring client satisfaction and project success.
“Rudy’s commitment to mentoring everyone on his teams from bottom to top is just one of the many reasons he is considered a leader in our firm. From our most important long-term clients to the newest emerging professionals in our firm, Rudy is a trusted resource and advisor to everyone on his teams,” said Lien.
A crucial contributor to VLK’s highly creative, highly collaborative environments, Jim Wallace is an architect who devotes his designs to elevate client vision. Wallace holds a Bachelor of Science of Architectural Studies from the University of Nebraska – Lincoln. He has more than 26 years of experience designing K-12 and higher education projects.
Wallace is a key player at the VLK Dallas office, and he is an expert in crafting inspiring learning environments. He brings fresh concepts to large-scale projects within Allen ISD, Keller ISD, Dallas ISD, Denton, ISD, and Arlington ISD over the last two years.
“Jim is a thoroughly experienced architect with a passion for designing engaging learning spaces. He has invested his career in serving educational clients and has helped to create award-winning solutions for a variety of project types. He is always seeking ways to improve his craft and to help improve the team around him as well,” said Jonathan Aldis, AIA, Principal of VLK Architects.
At VLK, we value our employees and realize that they are our single greatest asset. In appreciation of that, we strive to provide a work environment that fosters professional development and allows our staff to excel in architecture practice.