Staff: Firm veteran, new hire appreciate variety, have engaging interests

A veteran staff member and a new face in the office each bring special talents to the fore for clients of CNH Architects.

Architect Brooke Jacobson, an associate principal with the firm since 2013, came to CNH

Architect Brooke Jacobson

in 2005. Her projects have ranged from car dealerships to fire stations. She’s especially noted for managing each budget and producing comprehensive construction documents.

New to CNH is architectural designer Emily Nelsen, who has a passion for green architecture and a rural background. She grew up in Atwater, Minn. As part of her work toward a Master’s in Architecture from South Dakota State University, she designed a passive house that reduced energy use by 72 percent.

Nelsen said she appreciates the CNH organization, its low stress environment, the variety of work and the staff. Jacobson also likes the variation.

“CNH is small enough that you can work on a project from start to finish and big enough to get a variety of project types,” she said. “Each day is unique and interesting, since no two projects are alike.”

Jacobson said there’s a focus on understanding the needs of each client. Smiles and excitement often come when a project is complete. “You realize that you were working to make a difference for them.”

The architect’s love for the industry began with her grandfather, a retired architect. The two carried on many discussions and were always assessing buildings wherever they went. Raised in Minnesota, Jacobson earned her Bachelor’s in Architectural Studies from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and a Master’s in Architecture from Iowa State University.

The two CNH staffers also have some engaging interests outside of work.

Architectural designer Emily Nelsen

Nelsen sings soprano and joined a small ensemble choir which toured Russia in 2012. She’s a flutist, as well. And, she’s assisting a humane society near the family farm with a long-term project to control the cat population. Kittens that are about two pounds and eight weeks old are trapped, then spayed or neutered.

For Jacobson, college involvement in the Gamma Phi Beta Sorority set the stage for roles in international leadership today. She volunteers for Gamma Phi Beta and is president of the Twin Cities Alumnae Panhellenic Association, a group of sorority alumnae organizations in the Twin Cities. Jacobson also volunteers for “Girls on the Run,” a program to enhance self-esteem for young girls.