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November 2, 2020

South Sound Business 2020 IDEA Award Winner

By Melissa Frey

Original article from South Sound Business Magazine, November 2, 2020 by Madison Miller. 

Stuart Young has spent the past 22 years guiding the culture and vision of the Tacoma-based architectural firm BCRA. A California transplant and now a managing principal and architect for BCRA, Young said he was instantly drawn to the company. “I was really impressed with them. They’re more of a generalist firm, and I liked that they didn’t focus on any one kind of project.” he said, noting that working on different kinds of projects continues to open doors to new opportunities.

Those new opportunities have allowed BCRA to design with clients such as Tacoma Public Schools, YMCA, Children’s Museum of Tacoma, Metro Parks Tacoma, MultiCare Health System, Tacoma Arts Live, and more.

Young believes BCRA has brought significant value to its clients through its participatory design thinking process that spans all disciplines to integrate form and function equally.

“Seeing clients as partners is key,” he said. “We’re all doing this in collaboration to build the community. That’s one of the reasons we have worked with a lot of nonprofits. They’re community-centric, and we want to be a part of that.”

Being part of the community is personal for Young. He serves as a board member for Tacoma/Pierce County Habitat for Humanity and Graduate Tacoma, as well as the University of Washington Tacoma Urban Studies Advisory Board. He also is a Big Brother.

This passion for community also bleeds into the company culture.

“Stuart has shaped the culture at BCRA so talented creatives can thrive,” BCRA Director of Marketing Dara t’Sas said in her nomination of Young. “He is an amazing boss: motivational, positive, and with high expectations. He’s highly engaged and always looking for ways to make employees’ work fulfilling and meaningful.

t’Sas added, “He also implemented a corporate program that provides employees opportunities to volunteer during the workweek and has established service days for employees at local nonprofits like the Rescue Mission, (Big Brothers Big Sisters), and the Northwest Furniture Bank.” Young said he enjoys helping his team apply its talents and passions to be a resource to the community.

“Seeing young staff bring new ideas, knowledge, and energy is great,” Young said, noting that he is inspired by how eager his team members are to help and make a difference.

Despite the challenges 2020 has brought, Young said true leadership is best expressed during difficult times.

“Now’s the time to lean in and find new ways to engage with the community. Now’s the time to be more open, to take more risks and chances when it feels like we should be doing the opposite,” he said.