Relaxing, relationships and reminiscing might aptly sum up the “three Rs” of the CNH Architects’ 50th Anniversary Open House.
“It was really fun to see old clients, consultants, employees and our vendors,” said Principal Wayne Hilbert. Many had responded that they couldn’t make it, so Hilbert guessed that a second night of festivities would also have attracted a crowd.
With catered appetizers from Roasted Pear restaurant and live music, the late September event was held at Valleywood Golf Course. “The whole office, our entire staff, participated in planning and making this,” said Principal Quinn Hutson. Like the company’s building projects, it had some interesting aspects.
Famous buildings were designed and built by CNH staff. Well, OK, they were sweet models made from sugar cubes. C&H Pure Cane Sugar placards poked fun at oft used jokes tying the firm to the brand. Three sheet cakes of different flavors, hand packed ice cream and 1919 root beer brought on other sweet elements of the evening.
There were small reunions, as people who hadn’t seen each other or worked together in a while reconnected, said Hutson. Former firm Principal John Natwick, the “N” in CNH, was on hand, as was Gary Bressler, who trained Natwick in the early days. A handful of past employees also came. One long retired client traveled more than 100 miles to attend.
Signs featuring past CNH newsletters were placed around the room and a long slideshow with building designs and people ran on screens. A number of guests said they were unaware of the scope of CNH’s projects, said Hutson.
“We spend so much time with our clients in the design process,” said Principal Wayne Hilbert. “We become very familiar with each other and with our staff.”
Company logos printed on stainless steel straws were offered with cleaning brushes and storage sleeves. Some partygoers wore tape measures with the CNH logo on their hip. A framed “thank you” welcomed visitors to help themselves to these “CNH swag,” items that included lip balm and sturdy black-handled bags with the customary logo.
Hilbert said the late Glenn Cording, founder of CNH Architects, would have been proud. “When Glenn was alive, he was very happy that the firm was still prospering and expanding from what he started,” he said. “And, doing projects he never thought we would,” said Hutson.
In picking the event venue, the architects had some background knowledge. They designed the three “Green Globe” certified Valleywood Clubhouse building.