For the month of June, we’re celebrating Pride Month by highlighting local businesses owned by members of the LGBTQ+ community. Below you’ll meet Eric Gartner, AIA, LEED AP at SPG Architects based in New York City.
Let’s start from the beginning
SPG Architects was founded in the 1980‘s and Eric joined as a partner in the mid-nineties and recently became the primary principal. He’s been running the practice with the SPG team for about eight years now.
When asked what inspired him to join the business, Eric told us:
“I joined the practice as an employee because I believed in the client-driven ethic that was the basis for the firm’s design methodology. As I considered my next professional steps, I realized that there were many advantages to joining a firm with an existing infrastructure of professional support with accountants, insurance agents, and lawyers in place, as well as precedent for drawing standards and computer programs that could serve as a basis for on-going growth. That said, the notion of practicing architecture was a childhood dream and the idea of practicing in NYC was part of my thinking ever since I started graduate school at the University of Virginia. I feel grateful to be where I am and doing what I love to do for a diverse group of clients in a wide array of locales.”
Eric continued, “I think when I first joined the practice as a partner in my mid-30’s, I worried about my credibility as a team leader, being both young and gay and just wanting to be my best self, but have realized over time that steady leadership and a more firmly held belief in myself has lead to productive in-house teams and happy clients.”
Finding the right support systems
Support is key when you’re on the journey to hit a goal, whether it be professional or personal. And Eric agrees. Thankfully, his experience was a positive one, stating:
“Truthfully, we need the support of everyone that we surround ourselves with, and over time the professional and internal teams that are the critical infrastructure for practicing architecture have morphed and changed as I developed my own relationships, so that I now have incredible internal support here at SPG, support in my personal life from friends and a partner, and strong and capable accountants, IT teams, engineers, contractors, and yes, incredible banking support from Valley Bank. Perhaps most importantly, our clients have long embraced our efforts and our design methodologies and without them, we wouldn’t have a practice.”
Sharing some wisdom
“All things will come to be with perseverance and time. Don’t let set-backs define you and maintain a belief in the arc of experience.” – Eric Gartner
We are grateful that Eric was willing to share his story with us, including his words of wisdom.