Name: Erika Reuter
Title: Project Manager, Interiors
Company Name: HOK
What do you consider to be your greatest professional accomplishment in the past 12 months?
I was the project manager for the recently completed 700,000 s/f WPP Offices at 3 World Trade Center. It was the most complex project I’ve managed in my career to date. WPP, a creative transformation company, co-located 4,000 employees from its world-leading media investment company, GroupM, including six media agencies, and also Kantar, WPP’s data information firm. We’re very proud of WPP’s new vertical campus and have already won several design awards since its completion. Our team designed branded offices for each agency with two floors of shared amenity space so it was essentially seven projects in one. To incorporate each unique brand, we assigned a different lead designer for each space while creating a consistent aesthetic across all 13 office floors within the 80-story tower. We’re very proud of WPP’s new vertical campus and have already won several design awards since its completion.
Who or what do you attribute to your success?
I’m lucky to work with such a great group of people at HOK—a huge testament to why I’ve been here for more than a decade. The success of each project is wholly dependent on the dynamics of the team and our ability to work through some really complex challenges. Clear communication between team members is a key component. I also never get too comfortable on a project. It’s what keeps me on my toes.
What advice can you offer to someone who is interested in a career in your industry?
My advice is to keep learning and continuously invest in your professional development. After graduating from New York School of Interior Design (NYSID), I went back to pursue my MFA and have since become a registered architect along with LEED AP and NCIDQ accreditation. The design industry is always evolving so it’s critical to keep up with technological, materials and process advances.
If you have a mentor, who is it and how have they influenced your personal & professional growth?
I feel there are learning opportunities from everyone I meet. Sometimes those lessons are in what not to do, but I think that’s equally important to recognize. I was lucky enough to have supportive mentors throughout my design education and at every stage in my career. I have always enjoyed mentoring and teaching as well. I participate in HOK’s internal mentorship program and am still involved with my alma mater as an MFA curriculum board member and thesis mentor at NYSID. I’ve also served in past positions as an instructor and adjunct professor at NYSID as well as a Colorguard teacher at my high school alma mater because I enjoy working with students.