Mentor. Leader. Friend.
Those are just a few of the many great words we use to describe Craig Slocum, Architect Principal and Vice President of Business Development at CSHQA. Effective January 14, 2022, Craig is retiring after 34 years with the firm, and his many colleagues, clients, and CSHQA family will miss him dearly. Craig spent his entire career, over three decades, with our firm; his service and his contribution are incredibly appreciated. This is Craig’s story…
An Exciting Career Blossoming
It all began in 1986 when Richard Holtz, Architect and father of one of my best friends (David Holtz) in junior high and high school, recommended to a fellow architect, Jeff Shneider, that he should hire a third-year architect student to intern at CSHQA to help run the print room. I must have done okay that summer (or was cheap enough) because they rehired me the next summer and I got out of the print room and got to do some drafting. Prior to my graduation from the University of Idaho, I was offered and accepted a full-time Architect-In-Training position at CSHQA. Over the next few years, I was mentored by Jeff Shneider, Otis Lemmon, and Patrick McKeegan working initially on the original Micron Administration Building, the Bank of Idaho Tower remodel and FedEx projects throughout the Western US.
A Brand-New Office
In 1990, I was offered the opportunity to relocate to Sacramento, California to open a satellite office for CSHQA. The driving force for opening an office in Sacramento was the relationship we had established with FedEx (their Western Region Headquarters was located in Sacramento) and CSHQA’s ongoing relationship with Albertson’s (Northern California Real Estate Division was located just outside Sacramento). Myself along with John Daly, an architect out of Stockton, CA (my birthplace, oddly enough) met for the first time as we unloaded the U-Haul with the office furniture that I had brought from Boise to establish our office in Sacramento in a shared office suite.
During my initial time in Sacramento, I continued to work on FedEx projects and some banks, but as our Albertson’s work increased in Northern California and Nevada, I was mentored by Herb Winters from our Boise office and established a relationship with Mike Emmert of Albertson’s. Herb mentored me on client relationships and architecture, and Mike took me under his wing and taught me everything he knew about site selection, due diligence, project entitlements and creating relationships that would last a lifetime. I would spend the better part of the next 10 years with a focus on project entitlements for large grocery anchored retail developments throughout the Western United States.
A Very Special Beginning
During this time, I had begun to play golf with some acquaintances who worked at other companies located within our office suite. These friends invited me to a Halloween party, which I attended dressed as a cowboy. It was there that I had the opportunity to meet Robbyn, who was dressed as an Indian, the daughter of Harley Vegele, an envelope salesman whose office was adjacent to CSHQA’s. And that is how I met my wife of nearly 30 years, with whom I have two beautiful daughters, Stephanie (27) and Samantha (22).
A Return to Idaho
Following nearly four years in Sacramento (Jeff Shneider had convinced me it would only be six months), I relocated back to Idaho to raise our soon-to-be family in the Treasure Valley. I received my Idaho Architectural license in 1994 and became a Principal Architect with CSHQA in 1996. Over the next ten years, I focused primarily on Land and Project Entitlement projects throughout the Western United States and supervised CSHQA’s Civil Engineering and Landscape Architectural Teams. Projects of note during this time include Albertson’s developments in the town of Jackson, WY and Eagle, ID as well as McMillan’s Corner. As large retail projects waned in the late 2000s, my focus became more diversified to include local Hospitality, Restaurant, Financial, Office and Multi-Use projects. Projects of note include the Inn at 500, The Broadway, 119 Condos, Chandler’s Steakhouse, and KeyBank.
A Resume of Leadership
During this time, I also took an active management role with CSHQA, being elected to the CSHQA Board of Directors in 2001 and subsequently serving as Corporate Secretary from 2002-2016, and Corporate Treasurer from 2012 – 2016. Outside of CSHQA, I maintained a very active role within the community, including serving as the Chairman of the Meridian Development Corporation (Meridian, Idaho’s Urban Renewal Agency) for over ten years; being a member of the Urban Land Institute (ULI) since 2004, including involvement in the early Steering Committee and most recently as a member of the Advisory Committee; and being a member of the International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC) for nearly 30 years, including serving as the Government Relations Chair for Idaho. Other positions included Past Chair of the Ada County Historic Preservation Council, Past President of Hillcrest Country Club, and Past President of the Boise Executive Association (BEA).
A New Opportunity Arises
The final chapter begins in 2018 when CSHQA successfully transitioned to being 100% employee owned as part of a long-term succession strategy anticipating a transition from past leadership to new leadership. I took on a new role as Vice President of Business Development in 2019, moving away from being an active Principal Architect and passing my studio group on to Jim Marsh, whom I had mentored and worked with hand-in-hand for over 20 years. The opportunity was rewarding as we established the future of CSHQA’s Business Development and Marketing team and endeavored to educate both current and future leadership of CSHQA on Business Development and Marketing strategies.
A Message of Hope
CSHQA is thriving and will grow and prosper in the future. I wish CSHQA the best and I wish each of you many successful and profitable projects in the future.