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Crawford Celebrates 20 Years!

This year Crawford celebrates 20 years of building lasting relationships with our clients and designing places that strengthen communities all over the world. Stacey Jones, Crawford’s part-owner and Senior Principal, reflects on this milestone and shares thoughts on the future in the letter below.

As I packed my bags in Australia, setting out for the US to study architecture, it never occurred to me that this was the turning point—the point at which all I had known before was past and all that awaited me was the future. It was in my master’s degree program in the late ‘80s that I would meet the two great companions of my life: my wife-to-be and my business partner-to-be.

The decade that followed saw momentous events that proved the significance of those (and many other) pivotal graduate school encounters. In 1990, I moved back to Australia with my wife-to-be, Myra, and we were married a few years later. We soon welcomed two children (who are now 25 and 22 years old) and while our lives were quickly filled with swimming lessons, play dates, and preschool, what was to come next in my career would be one of our greatest adventures of all.

While David Murphy was still at Ellerbe Becket, he and I—with equal parts chutzpah, ignorance, and faith—conjured up a project in Branson, Missouri: Branson Landing. It was this challenge, along with the friendships it forged and the success we found, that pushed us to “hang the shingle” of Crawford Architects in Kansas City. That was 20 years ago.

Fast forward to this century, we are each thankful for our loving wives and families, without whom none of this would be possible. Crawford is growing at a tremendous pace, with offices in California and Hawaii and connections back to our Sydney, Australia roots. The relationships we have built with clients over the years remain strong and the projects we have had the privilege to work on have seen positive impacts on the communities they serve. The Crawford team today is made up of talented individuals who represent the heart of who we are as a firm, not to mention our senior leadership group that has been with us for most of the ride.

As I look back and wonder, “Could I have done this or that better?”, the answer is always “yes”. But, given the opportunity, would I change anything? That answer is “no, not for one moment”. I am reminded of a passage from one of my favorite books, The Art of Racing in the Rain. It reads, “that which you manifest is before you.” This has become a mantra of sorts for me, a guiding principle. As I look back on the past few decades, I realize that all the key decisions I’ve faced in life have been made with that thought in mind.

I am confident that the families we have built, both personal and professional, the passion we have for architecture, and the strength of our founding values will guide Crawford Architects as we continue to move forward with the evergreen belief that we mold our own destiny.

Cheers to all that we manifest together in the next 20 years and thank you for supporting us along the way!

Stacey Jones