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By: Doug Straughan, AIA, Principal, Hussey Gay Bell


nnovative design starts with

knowing the client and knowing

the community. After nearly 30

years in business, I have found that

the benefits of a satisfied client

are three-fold

referrals, repeat

business and a robust community.

Some of our very first clients back

in the 1950s and 1960s are still

with us, and others, like Gwinnett

County Public Schools and the

USG Board of Regents, are coming

up on decades. To us, that speaks

volumes about earning their trust

and teaming on successful projects.

Here are the ways we earned that

trust with our clients:

Know the Client

In the design and construction

industry, relationships matter. A


designer is a good listener and

personalization is at the core of what

we do. We want to understand how

they do business before we propose

design solutions for our clients.

From our origins as a one-phone

office back in 1958 to an ENR Top

500 Design Firm with more than 110

professionals throughout Georgia

and South Carolina, we wouldn’t be

here today without those


Know the Community

In addition to knowing our clients,

Hussey Gay Bell is passionate about

being involved in the communities

it operates in. From Hall County

schools’ STEM book fair to the

Boy Scouts of America Northeast

Georgia Council’s American Values


we believe in giving back.

Hussey Gay Bell’s employees are

involved in more than 100

community-centered organizations

ranging from Urban Hope, United

Way, Kiwanis Club and Second

Harvest to Engineers Without


and I have been a Boy

Scout leader since 1995. Each year

our firm commits a substantial

amount of dollars and hundreds of

hours of volunteer support to the

communities in which we live, work

and play.

Deliver Innovative Design

We are constantly thinking about

what keeps our clients up at night

and how we can better their

bottom line or enhance their

mission through innovative

design. Our energetic and forward-

thinking team blends the wisdom

of experience with young creative

minds which allows us to deliver

solutions that solve real problems

for our clients. A prime example

is the Gwinnett School of

Mathematics, Science and

Technology which blended two

out-of-date schools into a

state-of-the-art STEM high school

that is recognized as one of the best

schools in America.

We are continuing to grow our team

with the addition of talented

architects and engineers. Whether

it’s clean wastewater treatment,

better transportation, improved

public safety or education, we are

here for our clients.