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2017 Year In Review – Board & Vellum – Happy New Year 2018 Card


A Year in Review: Looking Back at 2017

Jeff Pelletier looks back on 2017 in his annual Year in Review blog post. From fun family times, to fun times at work, 2017 was a year to remember. So many things happened, but here are 10 highlights that leave us excited for what’s coming up in the new year.

January 4, 2018

Even after the New Year's celebrations, it never feels official until I dedicate some time to my favorite post of the year: the Year in Review! 2017 was another fantastic year for the firm (and for me) and here are some of my favorite highlights.

  1. We grew (again) to a staff of 28 people from 23 people in early 2017 and we just sent out an offer letter for 2018. The “Class of 2017” as we’ve come to call them are a fantastic and dynamic group of people who are already making an impact on all that we do. Meet Leslie, Marissa, Fabiola, Michelle, Chris, Breanna, Ciera, and Abby!

  2. On the home front, our boys are now 5 and 3. Kellen is entering kindergarten in the fall and constantly amazes me with his insight and care of others. Zachary does nothing but make us laugh and warm our heart. Our dogs Helo and Athena are entering their sunset years but still get around and are always happy to keep us company.

    2017 Year In Review – Board & Vellum – Pelletier Pasco Family Holiday Photo
  3. During our company retreat (where I somehow managed to trudge through while suffering from pneumonia), we tracked the progress on our company goals and created our action plan for the year ahead. We’re halfway through our “Oil The Machine” action plan, have made tremendous progress on our internal training program, “B&V Learns,” and are continuing to systemize and clarify our processes.

    Board & Vellum Company Retreat 2017 – Team pointing at the camera.
  4. Being a design firm, you would think I would care more about design awards, but it has become clear that I’m far more passionate about re-defining what it means to work in a design firm. For the second year in a row, Seattle Business magazine honored us as one of the top ten small businesses to work for IN THE STATE. Craziness. Coupled with our third year as one of the top 100 firms to work for by Puget Sound Business Journal, I couldn’t be more proud of the culture we have created.

    Firm Culture – Topics Archive – Board & Vellum
  5. Two of our favorite projects were featured in publications. The Queen Anne Craftsman was featured in Pacific Northwest Magazine, and Bungalow West got a multi-page spread in Fine Homebuilding.

    2017 Year In Review – Bungalow West in Fine Homebuilding – Board & Vellum
  6. I was once again, somehow, named one of the Top 200 Influencers in the Construction Industry by I am hoping to focus more of my time this coming year in continuing to spread the benefits of treating your employees well and re-thinking how a design firm is structured.

    Fixr Top Influencers in the Construction Industry – 2017 Year in Review
  7. We launched a brand new website which we couldn’t be more proud of. A lot of our blog content has served as very helpful resources for people around the country and now our website is structured to handle the growth we are seeing. We couldn’t be more excited to have an online presence that matches our values.

    Board & Vellum Website by Emerald Seven – 2017 Year in Review
  8. We continue to try and move the needle on employee benefits and creating a fair and rewarding place to work. We have had numerous discussions about clarifying our mentoring and training program alongside our traditionally flat hierarchy. On top of that, we have increased our benefits again this year to include not only paid parental leave but paid family leave to help take care of sick family members, up to a week of time off to take your professional licensure exams, fitness class reimbursement, and even better health insurance than we had last year (our broker finally told us to stop looking that there wasn’t a better plan even if we paid double). We want our team to not be distracted by challenging benefits that don’t let them focus their time on delivering awesome service and great design.

  9. To accommodate our growth we have remodeled our office (which is only 1.5 years old), twice. We expanded our upstairs workstations by four and added eight additional workstations to our Below Grade space (along with two additional conference rooms and a flexible lounge area). It continues to be a comfortable and great place to work.

    Board & Vellum Below Grade Remodeled – 2017 Year in Review
  10. Often times we work on projects where we don’t see final photographs until years after we start design and we often can’t wait to share the news. This year we’ve had a collection of fantastic clients and amazing projects and we’re so proud of them. Take a look at the Colonial Restoration On The Hill, The Hidden Alley Apartment, Urban Yard at The Seattle Box, Morning Light Tudor, Craftsman in Blue, and Magnolia Maison. Then, spend some more time on our portfolio page checking out all of the other great new projects with far more to come in 2018!

Overall, it was a wonderful year of growth and refinement over here at Board & Vellum. I couldn’t be more proud to come to work, and to work with what I think is the most talented and friendly bunch of people in the industry. It is the best gift year after year, and I wish you all a Happy New Year!

Would you like to read more from the team?

If you enjoy reading our blog as much as we enjoy writing it, that just makes our day! You might also enjoy a few of the related posts below. And, if there is a topic that you wish we would cover, let us know!

Teaming Up: A Message From Terry Phelan

As a leader in sustainable and green design, Terry has dedicated her 30-plus-year career to finding ways to expand the deep green space. As her retirement approaches, Terry is looking forward to continuing to focus on educating the public and mentoring the next generation of designers to carry on the amazing work she and Living Shelter have started.

Teaming Up: A Message From Jeff Pelletier

When the opportunity to advance our plans to expand our green and sustainable practice arose, it was too good to pass up. We feel fortunate to welcome Living Shelter Architects to our team — a dedicated group of designers whose mission and values align so well with our own. Sometimes, things just fit!

Living Shelter Architects and Board & Vellum Join Forces

We’ve been keeping a secret, but it’s for a good reason, and we’re pleased to finally get to share! We’ve always been dedicated to bringing our clients the best we have to offer in our services, approach, and design philosophy. Now with Living Shelter Architects joining the team, we’re excited to be able to provide even more to our community.

Considering a project? Or, just curious about something?

Send us your questions about design, architecture, interiors, landscape, LEGO rooms… Anything, really. We’re always eager to meet new people, and we’d love to get to know you, your project, and your goals.

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