Jim is an accomplished architect and partner. As DIALOG Chair, his mission is to build a purpose-driven practice founded on great architecture and design. To him, that comes down to one thing: solving problems and contributing meaningfully to the communities a project serves and the environment we all share. As design professionals we not only have an opportunity to contribute, we have a responsibility to contribute. A big-picture thinker by nature, for Jim the core considerations in project work are always the longevity of the built environment and its impact on natural systems.
Jim sees an extraordinary opportunity for design today to make a positive, future-oriented, social, and environmental impact in a rapidly changing world. While he is not actively involved in projects as an architect, he is working full time leading the studio. In that role, Jim is a spirited advocate of our interdisciplinary ethos and believes that the design profession must embrace change, welcome diverse perspectives, and be inclusive in its approach. He is skilled at bringing together the right combination of talented designers to create exceptional and transformational spaces. Weaving together his many talents and passions, Jim is a team builder who works by achieving consensus, effectively motivating team members, and dealing with issues head-on.
Jim takes great pride in our diverse and collaborative culture. As a pragmatic and disciplined senior leader always striving for excellence, Jim’s leadership has helped DIALOG carry the title of one of Deloitte’s Best Managed Companies since 2017. As the Chair, Jim also currently leads the Governing Council, an elected body within the Partnership, responsible for the stewardship in the long-term interests and wellbeing of DIALOG.
What’s your favourite DIALOG initiative?
One thing we do that’s especially important is our carbon action plan. It’s not just the work that we do but the way that we operate that shows our commitment to the environment. Our Carbon Offset Initiative in partnership with Community Forest International (CFI), is a great example of this. We manage our carbon output in a sustainable way by working with CFI to measure our carbon impact, reduce it to the greatest extent possible, and offset our footprint by purchasing tracts of forest in Canada.
What conversation topic could you never resist?
How do we make decisions based on long-term thinking? I think this topic is even more important now, given how quickly the world is changing.
Do you have a passion project outside of work?
My tree farm near Kingston, ON. When I got married 25 years ago, my wife and I bought a piece of barren land and started planting trees. We loved seeing them grow over the years, so much so that we just kept on planting more trees!
The wellbeing of our communities is inextricably linked to the wellbeing of the environment. We can't have healthy communities without a healthy planet.
Bachelor of Architecture
Graduate School of Business, Stanford University