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Guiding principals

image José Eduardo de la Garza, AIA, LEED AP BD+C, is now president of WestEast Design Group.

SAN ANTONIO – As WestEast Design Group (WestEast) celebrates its 20th anniversary, owners Katherine and Christopher Kimm have promoted José Eduardo de la Garza to president.

    “As with families, companies need to have a next generation to continue,” explains Katherine. “Without someone to continue the next generation, that company’s principles will not survive. José Eduardo has demonstrated a commitment to service and quality of work, which are the founding and driving principles of WestEast.”
    Having joined the firm seven years ago as a designer and risen to his new position in the company, de la Garza hopes to be at WestEast to celebrate its 40th anniversary.
    “I feel fortunate for the trust that I have gained in the past seven years,” he says. “These past couple of years, I’ve dealt with the business part of the practice equal to, if not more than, the architectural design portion of it. In doing this, I’ve noticed the effort and dedication that was provided by Chris and Katherine. And now to be provided a major leadership role means that our values and visions were somewhat parallel.”
    His vision for the future of WestEast includes focusing on the federal, higher education and healthcare sectors, noting, “Moving forward, we need to make our presence stronger in these market sectors for us to be able to expand within them.”
    He’s also focusing on questions that guide him on a day-to-day basis, such as “How do we keep everyone excited and challenged? How do we become a more efficient company?” These and other questions guide him going forward as part of WestEast’s leadership and future.
    José Eduardo moved to San Antonio from Austin to pursue his bachelor’s degree in architecture at UTSA. He went on to earn his master’s in architecture.
    After starting at WestEast with projects such as the One Stop at Texas A&M University at Kingsville and Fire Station No. 50 for the City of San Antonio in 2011, he began managing Alamo Colleges as a client, and in 2013, he became the special ops director after taking on several atypical federal projects. Currently, WestEast is working on the Fort Jackson Medical Facility Master Plan in Columbia, SC, and the Alamo Colleges District Support Office Building.
    WestEast Design Group is an architectural firm based in San Antonio that does projects in various markets, including healthcare, higher education, federal and municipal government, and retail and hospitality. –mh

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Mary Hazlett mary@constructionnews.net