Nichole Culak in Kirksey's North Texas Office is an experienced senior project manager, fortifying the office's roster of talented leaders and amplifying the firm's interior architecture design depth.When the firm hired Nichole in 2022, it was a bit of a return rather than a new beginning. She began her career as a designer with Kirksey | th+a Executive Vice President and Director-North Texas, Todd Howard. They worked together again when Nichole joined Todd's firm, th+a, in the late 90s and have remained good friends throughout their careers. When Kirksey and th+a joined forces at the start of 2022, the venture offered an exciting opportunity to grow something new and to work with Todd again. "We've seen each other grow up, so to speak, and the new Kirksey | th+a office was an exciting move for Todd and the company; I wanted to join the ride," Nichole noted when asked about joining the firm.
Her experience encompasses various sides of the AEC industry, resulting in a strong network of relationships and a dynamic leadership style that yields innovative solutions. Nichole credits her leadership style to two specific skills: decoding and listening. She approaches each project with intention and begins by really listening and breaking down what is important to the client or team member. By listening with intent first and getting to the root of each goal or issue, Nichole begins each project with a deeper understanding and a clear path to the finish line.
One of Nichole's most memorable projects helped her hone the listening skillset she employs. Earlier in her career, Nichole worked with a nationally acclaimed acoustician, where she learned the fine art of listening, both to the client and for unwanted sound in a space. She cites working on Public Radio Broadcasting stations among her favorite projects because the people who worked at the station were energetic, creative, and interested in a wide variety of topics, which was contagious over the project's life. "People really are the heart of the project, and that's what drives the design and me," said Nichole.
On the opposite end of the project size scale, Nichole noted working on the NFL Film Headquarters as one of her most prestigious projects. The 200,000-sf building included an auditorium, control rooms, studios, and more. Her ability to work on projects that range from small radio stations to massive headquarters is a skill she brings to her role as a Senior Project Manager in the North Texas office. Todd Howard credits Nichole's experience and expertise as one of the firm's strengths and said, "Nichole's role reinforces our position as leaders in interior design and brings a fresh perspective and voice to our office. She is an excellent leader and we are excited she is running our interiors in North Texas."
Nichole finds creative and exciting pursuits in her personal life as well as her professional life. She is an avid reader and loves to be outside hiking or at the ranch with her husband and two children. She is passionate about her community and where she lives, which fuels her desire to be part of Dallas' growth. Nichole's love for her hometown and her passion for design are what excites her about the Kirksey | th+a North Texas office. "Kirksey is a fresh, exciting player in the North Texas market, with an outstanding reputation in Austin and Houston for great design and as a wonderful place to work," said Nichole, "I'm excited to shake things up!"