Joseph C. League, Jr., AIA, a Principal of The S/L/A/M Collaborative (SLAM), nine-year member of the Board of Directors, and Managing Principal of SLAM’s Atlanta Office, has announced his retirement in order to spend more time with his family and pursue other interests including travel. “Joe League joined SLAM in 2001, at a crucial point in the Atlanta Studio’s history,” says Sidney Ward, AIA, LEED AP, a Principal and Board member of The S/L/A/M Collaborative. “Joe brought exceptionally broad experience in virtually all areas of design and project development and in all aspects of firm management as well, providing stability and leadership to the Atlanta Office allowing the practice to grow and thrive.”
Joe came to SLAM after 32 years at the mid-sized Atlanta firm of Jova/Daniels/Busby Architects & Interior Designers (J/D/B) where he began as an intern architect with a bachelor’s degree in Architecture from Georgia Tech. He advanced through increasing levels of responsibility for design and document production support, project design, project management and administration, design direction, and construction administration. The firm’s general practice led to involvement in a wide range of project types, from commercial development, corporate headquarters, and resort facilities to higher education and healthcare facilities.
Early attainment of Associate and then Principal roles at J/D/B allowed Joe to engage concurrent interests in the various aspects of firm management and administration in addition to those that were project related. In these roles, he directed the acquisition and implementation of the firm’s first computerized integrated Project Time and Expense reporting and management, Payroll, and Billing systems; directed and coordinated selection, purchase and implementation of two different CAD systems; implemented a computer-assisted in-house specifications system; an approach to and implementation of procedures for staff performance appraisals; and a computer-assisted open items management system for projects. In addition, he was heavily involved in business development and marketing activities, particularly in the higher education market and in the firm’s branding initiatives as well.
Joe’s project and firm management experience, combined with his particular strengths in the planning and design of adaptive re-use of contextually-sensitive settings were excellent preparation for the role he would fill at SLAM. The firm’s first project awarded and performed under his direction was the adaptive re-use, renovation, and restoration of Emory University’s iconic Candler Library, which preserved and restored the building’s former architectural character and integrity while providing additional, state-of-the-art classroom and faculty office space. Concurrently, the firm was planning and designing a large new Health Sciences Education Building for what was then the Medical College of Georgia in Augusta. The two projects proved to be milestones for the Atlanta Office and the firm, enabling a transition to larger, more complex and technically demanding projects such as the Emory Pediatrics Clinic and Research Building, the new Medical Education Building for the Emory School of Medicine, and the new Claudia Nance Rollins Building for Emory’s Rollins School of Public Health. “Joe’s overall direction of these projects during the ensuing ten years defined the culture of the Atlanta Studio and helped it to sustain its growth and scope of work by paving the way for large capital projects,” said Ward. “The expansion of the University of Georgia Wilson School of Pharmacy, a new comprehensive Master Plan and new Academic Building at the Marist School, the New Science Building at Clayton State University, a new Biological Sciences Building at Georgia Southern University, and more recently, the large new Multi-Disciplinary Science Teaching and Research Building at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville are examples of such projects.”
“Joe’s personality and sense of humor contributed to the positive dynamic of the studio. He is able to take tense situations and in a calm, reasoned way, relieve anxieties and conflict; challenging situations don’t fluster him,” says Sidney. “He’s been a tremendous mentor to me personally, a strong advocate for the Atlanta Office, and a committed professional.” According to Sidney, “his personal and professional ethics and conduct are indisputable, and he has always been a staunch advocate of our firm and of the profession.”
Sidney Ward has been appointed as the new Director of SLAM’s Atlanta Office.