New Travois Design team member – meet Jerad!

Jerad Jessee has joined the Travois Design team as a project manager. He will provide support through all of the phases of the design and construction process, conduct design charrettes, coordinate drawings and specifications sets, complete work-in-place reports and more!

Jerad is originally from Smithville, Missouri, and is planning a big move — to New York City — next year. We’re glad he can help Travois Design clients before he embarks on his next adventure.

Learn more about Jerad and his future plans below!

1. In your own words, what do you do for Travois? 

I work as a project manager. In that role, I strive to create a balance between our clients’ wants and needs while providing a high level of design and the experience necessary to take a project from initial design through the end of construction.

I believe there is no better way to get to know a place than to live there, only then can you begin to understand the people and the culture. After a recent trip to New York City, I decided to make plans to move there. Something about the city drew me in.

Between the museums, the art, the architecture, the city life and the diversity of people – I knew just visiting wasn’t going to be enough. I am planning to move there in April of 2019. Though I will miss living near my family, while I’m there, I want to explore what New York City has to offer.

2. What are some of your strengths and how do you use them in your position?

I am highly organized and detail-oriented. I enjoy learning new things and I’m great at listening. All of these play an important part in my position. Being organized and detail-oriented go hand in hand and are essential in project management. It’s important to make sure nothing is overlooked or missed and staying organized and focusing on the little things keeps a project running smoothly.

In architecture, things are constantly changing — from codes, to materials and techniques. In order to bring the best work to our clients, it’s important to know what those changes are, which means we are constantly learning.

I believe one of the most important things we do is to listen. It’s our responsibility to listen to our clients and try to truly understand what their wants and needs are. Only then can we provide them with the highest level of service.

3. What do you find most rewarding about your position?

The most rewarding thing about my job comes after the project is complete, because for me architecture is about bringing people together. Seeing community members come together in their new place of worship, knowing a family is making a house into their new home, or seeing a group of neighbors who are strangers coming together to celebrate in their new community center and getting to know each other. Becoming a community, that is what architecture is to me and what my job allows me to do.

4. What higher education have you completed?

I have a master’s degree in architecture from Kansas State University and I am currently taking the exams to become licensed in the state of Kansas.

5. Do you have any family details you’d like to share?

I am proud uncle. I have six nephews and one niece. The youngest of the seven is a 2-year-old and the oldest is an 18-year-old.

6. What accomplishment are you most proud of?

One of my first volunteer projects I worked on was a small place of worship for a children’s camp out in western Kansas. It was a small project but took quite a bit of time to pull together. It was all worth the effort though, especially after seeing the campers come together for the first time and listening to them singing and having fun in their new place of worship. It’s a feeling I can’t completely describe and will stay with me forever.

7. What community programs are you involved with?

In 2011, I helped start a nonprofit called Wounded Warrior Athletics, now called Heroes in the Rough. Heroes in the Rough works to provide athletic programs and athletic training to disabled veterans in Nevada. The idea behind the program is that most veterans, before going into service and during, are quite athletic and involved in sports.

This program is a way of getting them back out into the world and around people through something familiar, sports. The program shows them they can still be active and enjoy the things they did before. Through training, mentorship and community, they strive to improve the quality of life for disabled veterans and show they have not been forgotten.

My oldest brother is currently active duty in the U.S. Air Force and a veteran. Through him, I was exposed to many disabled veterans and the problems facing them. With his idea for the program, we were able to launch Wounded Warrior Athletics and help start the healing process for many disabled veterans.

8. Who has the most influence in your life?

My family. My brothers and I keep each other in check and provide support for one another, and my Mom is my rock. I go to her for advice.

9. Who makes you laugh the hardest?

My two older brothers. When we get together and have the opportunity to play games or just sit and talk, I always end up laughing so hard my face hurts.

Fill in the blank:

On weekends, you’ll find me: Hanging out with friends poolside or spending time with my family.

My favorite place I’ve traveled was: Italy, during my graduate year of school for my master’s thesis.

My worst travel experience was: Sitting on a plane for three hours, without air conditioning, at the Heathrow, London, airport waiting for the plane to be fixed so we could take off.

My favorite holiday is: Christmas, when all my family gets together for several days and we play games, watch movies and just spend time with one another.

My favorite book and movie of all time is: Favorite book: “Atlantis Found” by Clive Cussler. Favorite movie: “The Mummy,” which I’ve watched countless times!

One of my happiest memories is: Walking around in the basement of my mom’s house, away from everyone, holding my infant nephew and singing him to sleep. He just turned 12 this year.

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