‘David Hewitt sells ownership stake to a new team of leaders at HEWITT’ -DJC

Article originally published February 17, 2017 in the Daily Journal of Commerce. Written by Lynn Porter, Architecture & Engineering Editor.

David Hewitt has sold his ownership interest in HEWITT, the Seattle architecture firm he cofounded in 1975. Paul Shema has taken over the president’s role from Hewitt, who is stepping away from design leadership to become principal emeritus, assisting the firm as an adviser and mentor.

HEWITT leadership team: (from left) Matthew Porteous, Leah Ephrem, Paul Shema, Kris Snider, Julia Nagele and Sean Ludviksen.

Hewitt, 80, has led design for some of Seattle’s most visible projects: Harbor Steps Apartments, Bell Street Pier, the Port of Seattle headquarters at Pier 69, and a number of transit projects. He is a fellow of the American Institute of Architects, and received the AIA Seattle Medal in 2005 for lifetime achievement.

“He has really by the force of his talent and personality been the face of this firm for 40 years — for 40-plus years,” said Shema. “So there’s a little bit of reinvention as new leadership takes over.”

Before the change, David Hewitt was majority shareholder and Shema, Snider and Kevin Ryden were minority shareholders.

Now, Shema and Snider own a majority interest in the firm and Julia Nagele, Sean Ludviksen, Matthew Porteous and Leah Ephrem are minority shareholders. Ryden retired in 2016 and sold his shares.

The minority shareholders were announced as principals in 2015, but with the ownership change they also got added titles: Nagele, director of design-architecture; Ludviksen, director of practice-architecture; Porteous, director of practice-landscape architecture; and Ephrem, director of transportation.

Snider is vice president and director of design-landscape architecture.

The 55-person firm’s work is split between public and private. The architectural studio focuses on mixed-use, high density housing and transit projects. The landscape and urban design studios work on Hewitt’s projects as well as for other architects and public agencies.

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