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Exciting Leadership Transitions at Perspectus Architecture

Since 2001, Perspectus Architecture co-founder Larry Fischer, AIA, ACHA, NCARB has served as Managing Principal alongside longtime friend and colleague, Bill Ayars, AIA, ACHA, MBA. On September 12, 2018, Larry will be transitioning into a new role as Chairman of the firm’s Board of Advisors.

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Perspectus Architecture co-founder Larry Fischer

Larry’s distinguished career as a prominent specialist in healthcare design spans more than 43 years. He is a registered architect in 21 states and one of just 40 architects in Ohio to achieve Board Certification from the American College of Healthcare Architects. Over the course of his tenure, Larry has led major projects from master planning to implementation for more than five million square feet of healthcare facilities.

Larry builds relationships through exceptional service, dedication, and honesty. This approach, combined with his depth of expertise, has led the firm in establishing many high-profile clients. Under Larry’s leadership, the firm has grown to include more than 50 staff members practicing within eight markets covering Healthcare, Education, Senior Living, Historic, Civic & Government, Hospitality, Laboratory and Commercial architecture.

Larry and Bill’s vision for Perspectus Architecture was to leave a design legacy that would outlast them through a culture of transparency and mutual trust. Over the last 17 years, the firm has been recognized as a national leader in transformational healthcare architecture.

“Since the beginning, Larry has been key in developing our culture, branding, and the markets we do work in. He has helped create a culture of growth where the firm leadership is continually training and developing their successors,” says Perspectus Architecture Managing Principal and co-founder Bill Ayars. Bill goes on to say that Larry has a keen ability to “cut through the noise” to find solutions.

Team building is something that has always been important to Larry, as he believes that every team member plays a role in developing client relationships. By removing hierarchy of communication, Larry has instilled a culture of openness and collaboration both with clients and within the firm itself.  

“Besides our staff being exceptional at what they do, much of the success of the firm comes from forming relationships with clients that go beyond professional and develop into true friendships,” says Larry. 

Passing the Torch

Principals Salvatore Rini (“Sal”), AIA and Michael Lipowski (“Mike”), AIA, LEED AP, NCARB, CDT will be stepping into new roles as Managing Principals with Bill. Sal and Mike have been key parts of the firm’s leadership team since the early years.

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Perspectus Architecture Managing Principals pictured left to right: Bill Ayars, Mike Lipowski, Sal Rini

“They’re active examples of the firm’s culture of honesty, openness and transparency. They’re really good at what they do and will help us get to the next growth phase as a firm,” says Bill of Sal and Mike.

Sal Rini joined Perspectus in 2007 and is a seasoned and creative architect with more than 28 years of experience under his belt. Sal is driven and extremely passionate about architecture and design. His project portfolio encompasses the planning, programming and design of healthcare, education, and government facilities. He loves designing complex structures and knowing that he is positively impacting the people who use the spaces. Sal currently serves as lead architect for Summa Health System’s new West Tower that is scheduled for completion in 2019. He also plays an active role mentoring young architects in the office, supporting their efforts and challenging them to continually improve.

Mike Lipowski has more than 23 years of experience providing exceptional technical design development, construction document and administrative leadership for healthcare, educational and corporate clients. Mike’s background is highly specialized in technical equipment installations and project implementation. Since joining Perspectus in 2003, he has been instrumental in building an exceptional list of clients that include many world-class healthcare institutions.

“Sal and I are very excited to build upon the strong foundation that Larry and Bill have established and intend to expand our existing services within our multiple market sectors,” says Mike, “It is truly amazing what Perspectus has accomplished in less than 2 decades and we look forward to help shape the future of this firm.”

The Road Ahead

The leadership transitions here at Perspectus signal exciting times ahead for us. They come at a pivotal point for the firm as it continues to grow and evolve towards its mission of exceptional design and service.

Veterinary Medical Center at The Ohio State University Wins Brick In Architecture Award

July 2018 – We are proud to announce that the Veterinary Medical Center at The Ohio State University won the 2018 Brick In Architecture bronze award in the category for Higher Education.

Perspectus Architecture served as Architect of Record on the project, with Smith-Miller + Hawkinson Architects as Design Architect.

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Each year, the Brick Industry Association (BIA) “honor outstanding, innovative and sustainable architecture that incorporate clay brick products as the predominant exterior building or paving material.”

Judged by a jury of independent design professionals, 19 projects were selected and “awarded five Best in Class, five Gold, five Silver and four Bronze awards from 88 total entries,” according to a press release issued by BIA.

The full list with details of winning projects is available on ArchDaily, the world’s most visited architecture website.

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Image Credit: Brick Industry Association
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Perspectus Architecture Welcomes Brian Broadus to the Team

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July 2018 – Perspectus Architecture is proud to welcome Brian Broadus, AIA, LEED AP BD+C to our team.

Broadus brings over 30 years of experience in historic architecture and a reputation of strong project management and design skills. His skills and experience add great value to our firm as we continue to grow our historic and education studios. In his new role at Perspectus, Broadus will design and manage restoration and adaptive reuse projects of all building types including higher education projects.

Throughout his career, Broadus has worked on multiple award-winning projects including the relocation and restoration of the 1858 Student Infirmary at the University of Virginia, the restoration of the 1844 Lexington Presbyterian Church in Lexington, Virginia, and the Walter L. Rice Education Building at Virginia Commonwealth University. Broadus formerly served as a member of the Virginia Board of Historic Resources and looks forward to joining similar organizations in Cleveland and Ohio.

Broadus received his bachelor’s degree from Clemson University and his Master of Architecture and Master of Architectural History from the University of Virginia. Most recently, Broadus was a Senior Project Manager with ThenDesign Architecture.

When asked what inspires him, Broadus says, “Considering architecture’s role in the city and as a political act. I enjoy seeing the virtuoso work of earlier architects and builders, understanding construction and maintenance in its full cultural context. I embrace architectural preservation as part of keeping up community life and identity, so work that succeeds in accomplishing that task excites me to try and equal it.”

Welcome to Perspectus, Brian! We’re proud to have you on our team!

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Adaptive Reuse: How Preserving Buildings of the Past Helps Preserve the Future

Historic preservation is itself, a practice of sustainability that benefits communities and our environment. The demolition of a building uses a lot of energy and releases large amounts of greenhouse gasses into the atmosphere. Additional energy is expelled during construction of a replacement facility.

On the flipside, according to the National Trust for Historic Preservation’s 2016 report “The Greenest Building,” saving a historic building for adaptive reuse “almost always yields far fewer environmental impacts than new construction when comparing buildings of similar size and functionality.”

We can see sustainable adaptive reuse in action in the renovation of the historic Circleville High School in Circleville, Ohio. Built in 1916, the high school eventually become the Everts Hill Middle School. When Everts Hill Middle School relocated to a new facility in 2016, the century-old school sat empty and was almost torn down.

Photography by Todd Williams
The front exterior of the historic Circleville High School.
Photography by Todd Williams 
The historic high school was rehabilitated into Everts Hill affordable senior living apartments. The new complex is fully ADA accessible.
Photography by Todd Williams 
Detail above the front entrance.
Photography by Todd Williams  
The historic Circleville High School was built in 1916 and would continue to serve students for the next 100 years.
Photography by Todd Williams
The historic auditorium retains the original proscenium arch and now serves as the gathering area for families and parties.
Photography by Todd Williams
The exterior of the restored historic greenhouse original to the property.
Photography by Todd Williams
The interior of the restored historic greenhouse, original to the property.
Photography by Todd Williams
A view down one of the corridors. The original built-in lockers now function as tenant storage. The terrazzo flooring is also original to the corridors.
Photography by Todd Williams
Historic built-ins that were coat/backpack racks and teacher supply storage are now used for tenant storage.
Photography by Todd Williams
View inside a unit living space. Each unit is designed with open living spaces facing the historic windows, which provides ample natural light. The original slate boards were retained in each unit adding to the historic charm of the unit.
Photography by Todd Williams
View inside a unit living space. Each unit is designed with open living spaces facing the historic windows, which provides ample natural light. Plumbing for the kitchens and bathrooms are configured along the corridor wall.
Photography by Todd Williams
View inside a unit living space. Each unit is designed with open living spaces facing the historic windows, which provides ample natural light. Plumbing for the kitchens and bathrooms are configured along the corridor wall.
Photography by Todd Williams
Plumbing for the kitchens and bathrooms are configured along the corridor wall.
Photography by Todd Williams
View inside a unit bedroom.

The City of Circleville had a demolition contract for the property in place when our historic architecture team put them in contact with the developer, Woda Cooper Companies. Perspectus Historic Architecture, Chambers, Murphy & Burge Studio and Woda Cooper Companies worked together with the city to save the historic high school and rehabilitate it into an affordable senior living community by creative use of the land and existing facilities. The property is now known as Everts Hill Apartments.

“We’re able to place tenants into a building that was about to be torn down, that’s pretty amazing,” says Principal Elizabeth Corbin Murphy, FAIA, Perspectus Historic Architecture, Chambers, Murphy & Burge Studio. “That’s a victory for the city as well as for the developers.” Murphy also stresses that by saving the building from demolition, we have a measurably reduced carbon footprint.

Meeting Green Standards

The project was primarily funded by the developer’s private funding and through federal and state historic preservation tax credits. One of the chief funding sources comes from the Ohio Housing Finance Agency, which will reward restoration housing projects that meet the sustainability standards outlined by the Enterprise Green Community program. The Enterprise Green Community program aligns “affordable housing project investment strategies with environmentally responsive building practices.” To qualify, the sustainable restoration must meet a certain number of points in a required and optional set of standards for certification.

Perspectus Historic Architecture, Chambers, Murphy & Burge Studio and Woda Cooper Companies worked closely to ensure the design of the new Everts Hill senior living community met all Enterprise Green Community certification requirements, even going above and beyond in certain areas, as a sustainable building. Some of the measures taken to meet green living standards include recycling above the required amount of post-industrial waste, using materials that are manufactured and transported from within 500 miles to reduce CO2 emissions associated with transportation, using low VOC materials, as well as efficient heating and cooling systems.

Everts Hill must additionally meet requirements that holistically benefit the health of the tenant through implementing universal design in which the design decision was made to make the building accessible and visitable, a completely non-smoking environment, connected to the community, and available to open space. Residents have access to half the original football field for outdoor leisure and the restoration preserved the historic configuration of the site.

Ultimately, earning Enterprise Green Community certification means the building will cost less to operate and maintain, use fewer resources and contain fewer toxic materials.

Cultural Sustainability

Historic restoration projects also achieve sustainability from a cultural perspective. The buildings are given a new use while the design must respect its past and its emotional ties with community members. The new Everts Hill complex is tied to the community, especially among the older community because they remember going to school there.

Many of the building’s unique features were restored and creatively incorporated to serve the building’s new function while also created to be distinctly reminiscent of the building’s original purpose.  Murphy explains that for a restoration architect, “the biggest challenge in these types of projects is that you want to save everything, and you want to restore everything. But you must remember that people are the clients, not the buildings. And that to make affordable housing, we have to be careful not to go overboard.”

The goal of the design was to maintain the charm of the historic high school, says Dalton Kline, Interior Designer, Perspectus Historic Architecture, Chambers, Murphy & Burge Studio. “We have design stylistically compatible apartments in this historic building.”

Old classrooms are now apartment units, complete with the original slate boards. New unit entry doors were reconstructed to resemble the classroom’s original doors. Plumbing and other apartment amenities were configured along the corridor wall with the living space along the windows, which were restored to their original size allowing for more natural light in the units.

The building features the original corridors and flooring. The historic auditorium retains the original proscenium arch and is now home to the complex’s gathering area for families and parties. At the rear of the historic high school, the original greenhouse that was converted to a fieldhouse has been reborn as a greenhouse for tenants. Also remaining are the corridors built-in lockers that currently serve as tenant storage.

Previously hidden by drop ceilings, contractors discovered the original skylights, that once again provide another source of natural light.

The existing cafeteria is reimagined as a café open to the public. Creating this space increases the quality of life and provides a community connection between the senior residents and the public.

When asked how the Everts Hill was received by the Circleville community, Murphy explained that during the construction phase of these historic adaptive reuse projects, people tend to be unsure since they’ve grown used to the building as part of the city’s landscape. “But once it opens and has a little life pumped back into it, everyone is thrilled.”

Historic preservation provides sustainability for our environment and our communities. Projects like Everts Hill Apartments at the historic Circleville High School demonstrate that preserving the past can go a long way towards preserving the future.

Cleveland Bishop Dedicates St. Sebastian Parish Historic Renovation


The $1 million restoration of St. Sebastian church in Akron, Ohio led by
Perspectus Historic Architecture: Chambers, Murphy & Burge Studio
is now complete. The restoration project marks the 90th anniversary of St. Sebastian Parish, established in 1928.

To kick off the celebration, Bishop Nelson Perez of the Catholic Diocese of Cleveland, celebrated Mass and the dedication of the restored church (c. 1960) on Saturday, June 30th. Joining Bishop Perez was the parish’s pastor, Father John Valencheck; pastor emeritus, Father William Karg; and parochial vicar, Father Anthony Simone.

Posted by Saint Sebastian Parish on Monday, July 2, 2018

The project included cleaning the carved and ashlar stone at the front façade all the way to the bell tower. The St. Sebastian shield just under the peak of the roof has been conserved, reviving its finishes and the gold trim was patched with new leaf. A new wheelchair ramp has been added to access the main entry.

The granite front steps are restored, and the plaza is expanded and repaved with porcelain pavers in a pattern that resembles the ceramic tile pattern at the church entry.

One of the most impressive parts of the project is the magnificent tesserae mosaic behind the altar. The tiles were cleaned, patched, replaced those that had fallen off, and the matrix restored. The lighting that shines on the mosaic was updated to show off its beauty.

Posted by Saint Sebastian Parish on Thursday, June 14, 2018

The ornamental bronze and brass work on both the interior and exterior of the church was conserved with Renaissance wax to improve and protect its natural color.

Over 10,000 square-feet of terrazzo floor has been refinished.

All 113 pews and kneelers were taken offsite where the anachronistic finishes added throughout the years were stripped and the pews restored to their original finish.

The funds for the project were raised through St. Sebastian Parish’s capital campaign, “Cornerstone of our Faith,” launched last May.

Shaping Today’s Laboratories for the Future

Whether testing patient specimens or developing life-saving medical advancements, laboratories play vital roles in healthcare systems. Healthcare providers depend on laboratories to deliver the best possible patient care. Patients depend on laboratories to provide doctors with the proper information for diagnosis and treatment.

It is important that the design of these complex facilities best serves these functions, allowing for maximum utility of the space. Laboratory design varies immensely from project to project, but one aspect is universal: the design must serve today’s needs and adapt to changing demands over time.

Perspectus Architecture delivers expert programming, planning, and project implementation for clinical, research, and educational lab clients. Utilizing cutting-edge design and leveraging our technical capabilities, we understand the relevant issues facing labs today. Our specialized knowledge of common trends in automation, equipment, staff productivity, and workflow helps us address each lab’s unique challenges and provide efficient, sustainable environments that provide value over time.

Clinical Labs

Clinical lab processes prioritize output and efficiency in delivering information to healthcare providers. Clinical lab design emphasizes creating an environment that facilitates the maximum performance of each lab’s unique operating procedures and processes.

Designing for process and flexibility

Leading trends in the design of clinical labs focus on increased automation and lean workflows. It is vital that labs can evolve with implementing continuous improvements in their processes.

Cleveland Clinic Robert J. Tomsich Pathology & Laboratory Medicine Institute (PLMI)

We design flexible spaces to accommodate for future growth, processes, and technological advancements. Perspectus took this long view when designing the Cleveland Clinic’s Robert J. Tomsich Pathology & Laboratory Medicine Institute (PLMI), completed in 2011. Now years later, the building is accommodating proposed renovations as it was designed to do – with flexibility in responding to lean workflow improvements and an increase in testing volume.

Cleveland Clinic Robert J. Tomsich Pathology & Laboratory Medicine Institute (PLMI)

Designing a space that allows for expansion of automation to process and analyze rising numbers of patient specimens increases efficiency, minimizes mistakes, and reduces repetitive manual work.

“A big trend in all the clinical labs is automation. It is a robotic system where you send the sample through and multiple tests can be done on it. The results are shown via computer; it’s not just individual technicians running the tests,” says Vlad Novakovic, Principal and Laboratory Studio Lead at Perspectus Architecture, “It’s less hands, all automated.”

Another key focus in lab design is implementing lean principles and practices. One example of this is designing labs to minimize steps and eliminate waste so that the workflow is as efficient as possible.

Waste is defined as anything not adding value to a process. For example, if a workspace requires a technician to take an extra step when they only need to turn and grab something, our design process to eliminate those extra steps that are a source of “waste.”

Primary Clinical Laboratory for Health Network Laboratories – Lehigh Valley Health Network

This was particularly important when Perspectus was designing a new primary clinical laboratory for Health Network Laboratories in Allentown, PA. Tasked with converting an old call center into a clinical laboratory, we spent time meeting with the users to thoroughly understand their workflow processes. This informed the design of the new space that is optimized for their workflows and the elimination of wasted steps. For instance, the departments with the highest volumes are positioned closest to incoming specimens. A robot moving on a carefully planned path distributes specimens efficiently without interrupting lab technicians.

Research Labs

While clinical labs are directly tied to current patients, research labs are linked to cures and medical advancements for future patients. Through thoughtful, rigorous design, Perspectus Architecture is creating spaces where doctors and researchers can investigate new treatments and cures for diseases.

Designing for flexibility and collaboration

Trends in research lab design are centered on creating spaces that allow for flexibility and improve collaboration among departments.

Many institutions are hindered by the inefficiency of decentralized spaces – various departments conducting similar research, but spread out across different buildings or floors.

“As they’ve grown into their facility over several years, they’re realigning departments with a common research focus.  This also means reallocating spaces to right-size their needs as research labs grow and contract,” says Bradley Fink, Project Director at Perspectus Architecture.

Perspectus is working with our lab clients to bring researchers together while also providing common spaces with shared, centralized equipment universal to their research. Designing the environments to be flexible based on the ever-changing needs of researchers is critical. For example, while the sink and walls are in a fixed position, benches or ceiling electrical outlets can be reconfigured to accommodate other research or equipment.

“There is a focus on re-organizing based on types of research, but also grouping like-minded researchers in direct proximity. Shared common space promotes more interaction, more collaboration and can accommodate more research,” says Novakovic.

This focus on creating spaces that can evolve over time and foster interaction ultimately provides more efficient operations and has the added benefits of increased collaboration. As leaders in cutting-edge laboratory design, we plan for spaces that will help our clients provide the highest quality care to patients today and tomorrow.

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Designing for USP 800: Creating A Safe Healthcare Environment

Exposure to hazardous drugs – such as those used in cancer treatment, antivirals, hormones, and some bioengineered drugs – can put healthcare workers at serious risk of adverse health effects. These can include impact or damage to DNA, cancer, infertility, birth defects, and organ damage, to name a few.

In February 2016, The United States Pharmacopeia (USP) released USP Chapter 800, “Hazardous Drugs – Handling in Healthcare Settings,” to address these risks. Chapter 800 outlines a strict set of standards on the handling of these drugs in hospitals and the design of clinical pharmacies to minimize risk. This poses several design implications for the space planning of pharmacies to achieve compliance.

Meeting the deadline

Facility modifications will need to be implemented before the USP 800 effective date in December 2019, placing pressure on hospitals to act now. Our design team is experienced in USP compliance and healthcare design and can help these facilities reach USP 800 compliance by the defined date.

Perspectus Architecture works with top healthcare institutions improving and reconfiguring their pharmacies to ensure that the environment is designed to meet requirements of USP 800.

Our first step is a site evaluation of the physical space by creating a compliance checklist or gap analysis. Then we speak with the users about their workflow and processes.

“We talk to the pharmacists and pharmacy techs that live in the space to identify where improvements can be made with their workflow and processes,” says Ray Minotas, Project Director at Perspectus Architecture. “That will then impact the overall design and layout while also making sure that all USP 800 guidelines are met.”

Key facility improvements

The new engineering and environment control/quality requirements apply to unpacking environments, preparation and compounding cleanrooms, and storage spaces.

“Previously, non-hazardous and hazardous drugs could be received and unpacked in the space. Sterile and non-sterile hazardous drugs could also be stored together in positive pressure – this is no longer allowable,” says Sal Rini, Principal at Perspectus Architecture.

Pharmacies are now required to have separate cleanrooms – one for sterile non-hazardous, and another for sterile hazardous, with an anteroom between them for access. The receiving and unpacking areas for hazardous drugs must now be under negative pressure with at least 12 air exchanges per hour to assist in the ventilation of potentially harmful gasses or residue.

One of the most challenging aspects of these upgrades can be finding the space within the existing facility to accommodate hazardous drug unpacking and storage rooms adjacent to the compounding room.

Minimizing Public Health Risks

It is important to reiterate that the design modifications expressed in USP 800 are the response to the growing concern of dangerous health risks that can result from the exposure to the over 200 hazardous drugs during receiving and handling in healthcare settings. The design of a new pharmacy will vary widely on a case-by-case basis, depending on the existing conditions of the pharmacy. Perspectus Architecture works closely with hospitals to ensure the least impact possible to their facilities and to maintain full compounding operations.

Perspectus Congratulates Three Newly Licensed Architects

Pictured Left to Right: Chris Dohar, Natalie Shellhorn, Tyler Middendorf

June 2018 – We are so proud to announce that Chris Dohar, Natalie Shellhorn, and Tyler Middendorf have recently accomplished all requirements to become officially licensed architects! Throughout their journeys, Chris, Natalie, and Tyler have succeeded in each stage of qualification, including passing all divisions of the Architect Registration Exam.

Congratulations to each newly licensed architect!

 

 

Welcome (Back) Interns Sam Losi and Katie Wills

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Pictured: Sam Losi and Katie Wills

We are excited to welcome (back) architectural intern Sam Losi and interior design intern Katie Wills to Perspectus for the summer.

Sam previously interned with Perspectus over his winter break this past year. He just completed his first year at Carnegie Mellon University where he is studying architecture.

Katie also previously interned with Perspectus over her winter break. She is a rising senior at Kent State University where she is majoring in interior design and just completed her spring semester abroad in Florence, Italy.

We thought it would be a good idea for everyone to get to know Sam and Katie a little bit, so we did a Q & A with them.

What about architecture/interior design gets you excited?

(Sam) I really enjoy the idea of my future work ‘living’ longer than I do. Someday I want my grandchildren or great-grandchildren to walk into a space I designed and think to themselves “My Pop-pop made this.”

(Katie) There are so many things about interior design that excite me. Mainly all of the possibilities that this field has to offer. I am interested in sustainable design and green design because there is still so much to be discovered. With new innovations in interior design being developed all of the time, it is an exciting time to be in the field. I really enjoy and get excited about being able to change people’s lives and help people visions become a reality.

Who is your favorite architect/interior designer?

(S) My favorite architect is Louis Kahn. I recently had the chance to visit Rochester, New York and, while there, was privileged to experience the interior spaces of the First Unitarian Church of Rochester. The monumental feeling conveyed by Kahn in the church’s congregational hall has stuck with me.

(K) I don’t have one favorite architect or interior designer. But I just got back from studying abroad in Florence, Italy and the architecture was incredible. It was fascinating to see all of the structures and details that are still intact today. It seemed like everywhere you look there is something to see and it is amazing how innovative the designers were and it was all hand built.

What have you always wanted to try and never did?

(S) I have always wanted to try to fly a plane. As a little kid, the giant flying machines amazed me and I’ve dreamt of flying one ever since.

(K) I have always wanted to go on a hot air balloon ride or go bungee jumping.

What is the one thing you can’t live without?

(S) My cats. I have had at least one as long as I can remember, and they have a special place in my heart. Angel, the elder of the two, is 18 years old and is blind and deaf. Patches, the younger, is 8 and really fat. They’re great.

(K) I can’t live without coffee or tea. I drink one or the other all day long.

Anything else we should know about you?

(S) I almost always have interesting socks on. I started collecting them a few years ago and it has gotten to the point where it takes longer for me to decide what pair of socks to wear than it does what shirt. It’s a bit quirky, I know.

(K) Interesting fact- I collect coffee cups. Also, I love to skydive and paraglide