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Q&A with Alex Fenech, Principal | South Florida

Q&A with Alex Fenech, Principal | South Florida

THIS QUESTION AND ANSWER SERIES WITH SENIOR STAFF PROVIDES VALUABLE INSIGHT INTO THE LEADERSHIP AT HITCHCOCK DESIGN GROUP AND THEIR IMPACTS ON THE INDUSTRY.


Q: As a leader, how do you mentor the designers of today to help them become better leaders for tomorrow?

A: It’s imperative to create a positive and inclusive work environment where everyone feels valued and appreciated. That develops a mutual understanding of respect with everyone in the team. To do that, I need to be present in the moment and every conversation with members of the team. I try to take the time to explain the “Why” behind my leadership decisions, conversations, and thoughts to help our designers choose their own paths as they become leaders. Just because I do something a certain way, doesn’t mean that is THE way, but I’m always open to discussing the logic and reason behind my leadership strategy so they can choose to adhere, aspire, or adapt using their own personality and character to lead in their own way. This is in leadership through design and in client and team relationships. Mentoring the designers of today is probably one of my single greatest passions other than the profession itself. Helping our team grow and develop into tomorrow’s leaders and being successful in their career pursuits gives me more fulfillment than any recognition or notoriety that I could ever receive doing the things that I am doing on the day-to-day.

Q: What are some best practices you have used to develop excellent customer relationships?

A: Being human. While I have a tremendous amount of respect for our clients, their professional success, and a lot of times wealth, at the end of the day they are human beings and most often want to be treated as such. Trying to relate to our clients through things like travel, adventure, sports, and family often breaks the ice early on and starts to create trust and common ground to allow for a fluid, fun, and inspirational design process.

  • Transparency. Opening the door to our thought process through the projects evolution also creates a relationship built on honesty, integrity, and respect. If you can achieve those three things in a client relationship, that will certainly make client’s feel more comfortable and more at ease in leaning into us for future projects and allow us to serve as an extension of their team and network.
  • Communication. Clearly communicating with the client from the early stages of proposal writing through the final punch list can go along way. These projects are their investment and keeping them up to speed on critical aspects, potential delays, successes, failures, etc. will always benefit the outcome to a successful project.
  • Tight Project Management. Delivering a project on time, on budget, and achieving all of the goals of the RFP, Scope or Vision of the client is why they hired HDG in the first place. Doing this and doing it well is business development in and of itself. Making sure that the team knows what is expected and when and communicating the milestones and schedule internally and externally will build trust and satisfaction with our clients.

Q: What is your favorite HDG project that you’ve worked on and why?

A: Leander Springs PAL (Leander, Texas). The project provided many design challenges at different scales throughout the development. Channeling the opportunities and constraints that come with high traffic areas of the semi-private promenade interfacing everything from multifamily to mixed-use and a public amphitheater to a resort hotel allowed for a creative twist in an urban amenity adjacent to an iconic multi-acre swimming pool. The opportunity to implement my hospitality experience at the VIP Amenity Club experience featuring a kid’s waterpark, private access to the lagoon, restaurants, beaches, and exclusive amenities was really fun to weave into the project’s fabric. It’s also special because it was my first project since coming back to HDG and we did most of the design development before we even had an office here in Coral Springs. In fact, the main concept was developed at my dining room table with Senior Associate, Aaron Elswickwhich is kind of a fun story if the project ever gets built!   

Q: What is your favorite thing about the South Florida office?

A: Our team. HDG is about our people, and it couldn’t be truer than here in South Florida. Project Designer, Kendra Teune, Aaron, and I are all aligned in the mission of what we want this office to be, what we want to contribute to the company, and how we want to serve our clients. We also know what it is going to take to get there starting from the ground up. We have a lot of fun here and have no doubt that we are going to be working on some great projects and having a ton of fun doing it as we steadily grow over the next couple of years! I am grateful to be a part of the team here and can’t wait to see what we can accomplish and contribute to the overall success of Hitchcock Design Group and HDG Nation!

MEET OUR SOUTH FLORIDA PRINCIPAL!
Alex Fenech, PLA, ASLA | Principal

Alex has had a wide variety of exposure to a diverse portfolio of projects since entering the landscape architecture profession in 2011. His project experience includes a variety of luxury resort and hospitality properties, master planned communities and multifamily developments. 

Contact Alex at 754.277.4254 or email him here.


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