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By Sarah Pittman
During a time that has been isolating and full of uncertainty for many, Sherri Privitera, senior architect and senior principal at Populous, has come up with new ways to communicate with clients and partners.
In response to an article written by one of Privitera’s clients on how he was nervous about revenue during the pandemic and what’s to come, she created the idea of the collegiate think tank.
“Architects are not just focused on design. We’re facilitators, we’re listeners, we’re problem solvers in innovative ways,” Privitera said.
“I imagined a few clients, maybe four or five, would be interested in having discussions around concerns, how we can help,” she said. “It grew, and over nine sessions over two months we had close to 100 participants. … We were able to gather folks together and have conversations in a confidential way.”
She has also recently created the “cross market group,” bringing together 20 partners in other professional markets who meet every other week and have created some task forces to “look at mechanical systems, materiality, what should we be recommending to our clients. We’re learning things every day just like everyone else.”
Privitera’s work is focused on the college sports world, and she has nearly 24 years of experience on more than 80 projects at more than 50 universities. Highlights in her career include serving as the project manager on four projects at Baylor University, including the $266 million McLane Stadium, which she calls “a project near and dear to my heart.”
She’s now designing Baylor’s experience center, which is “the front door to Baylor University and will become the home for alumni, but also the main recruiting center for the general student body.” Privitera is also working on projects at the University of Texas and University of Nebraska-Lincoln.
“I love collegiate,” Privitera said. “The people that we work for, everybody is so genuine, very family-oriented. They genuinely care for others. And that’s why they’re in that business, because they care for student athletes.”