Operations Manager/Project Architect Wannemacher Jensen Architects
Lindsay Evans grew up in a family of engineers, but it wasn’t until she was getting ready to head off to college that she decided what she wanted to do for a living.
It wasn't engineering.
Evans was a senior in high school and applying for the University of Florida. She was the kind of student who enjoyed the arts but also excelled in mathematics. Her calculus teacher, who was writing a letter of recommendation, suggested Evans combine her artistic and mathematical talents and consider a career in architecture.
“She thought I’d be good at it,” Evans says. “I never looked back. It was just a perfect fit.”
The teacher’s advice served Evans well. She graduated from the University of Florida and went onto the University of Michigan to complete her graduate work. And today, at 32, she is an operations manager and project architect at Wannemacher Jensen Architects in St. Petersburg.
In that dual role, she does the architecture work but also has the administrative responsibilities. This, Evans says, allows her to get in touch with her creative side on designs, being hands on with materials and research and pushing concepts further.
The project management side is more about scheduling, staffing, assignments, meeting with clients and budgets — tasks some may find mundane but that she enjoys.
“At a lot of bigger firms those are two separate roles,” she says. “But where I’m at now, I’m able to do both, which is why I really enjoy working in a medium-sized firm.”
Evans’ leadership extends beyond work on projects as she mentors younger employees, a lesson she learned from one of her own mentors, Jason Jensen, president and CEO of Wannemacher Jensen Architects. Jensen, a 40 under 40 winner in 2015, has given her responsibilities often reserved for architects with many more years of experience. Evans says he's taught her “the power of leadership through empowerment of mentees.”
He’s also teaching her how to better achieve a work life balance.
Evans learned this lesson working on a difficult project that, at times, left her questioning her abilities and career choice and pushed her to her breaking point. Jensen, she says, wants people who aren’t simply great workers. “He finds you’re better at work if you are happy at home.”
Years in the area: 7
Marital Status/Children: Single / no children
Alma Mater/Degree: undergrad - University of Florida, graduate school, University of Michigan
What community group or organization are you most involved with? American Institute of Architects
What's the weirdest job you've ever had? bubble scout - server at a restaurant on Captiva Island called the Bubble Room
What's your top tip for being productive? Keep a list. My to-do list is the first document I open everyday when I get to work. I prioritize and organize this list every morning and set goals each day for what I will accomplish off the list. This helps keep me on task and as new tasks come up through out the day, they get added to the list in order of their priority. A prioritized list with honest daily expectations helps keep on task and focused.
If you could have a side hustle, what would it be? Travel Blogger
What's your favorite off-hours activity? Spending time on the boat
Have you gone to the movies in 2021? If yes, what did you see? I have not been to the movies this year, favorite show released in 2021 is Loki
What's the top item on your bucket list? Travel to the Maldives
What's your favorite podcast? I don't listen to podcasts, N/A
Where is your happy place? Sanibel Island - back home with family
Describe yourself in three words: Driven, assertive, sociable
Who is your mentor for your career and why? Leadership role model because he manages with confidence and poise, which I seek to do the same
What are the biggest lessons you have learned from your mentor? Poise - Jason has taught me the importance of life balance. Work is important but what makes the best employees are employees who also prioritize family, friends, health, and hobbies. This is a work hard, play hard mind set. It took me years to find balance in life and now that I've found it, I can truly say I am the best architect I've ever been while being the happiest I have ever been.
Empowerment - Jason has taught me the power of leadership through empowerment of mentees. By empowering, people you motivate them to become the best they can be and allow them to flourish as they take ownership of their career. This is a leadership style that I have flourished under and adopted myself.