Introducing DesignInc Adelaide’s Executive Leadership Team

The Adelaide studio announces a new Executive Leadership Team that will ensure its continued success within the architecture industry in South Australia.

Adelaide | Studio News

23 September 2021

With changes to the ownership of the business over the last 12 months, DesignInc Adelaide has announced a new Executive Leadership Team (ELT) to ensure its continued success within the architecture industry in South Australia. The new management roles will streamline business operations in the six portfolios of Strategy, People + Culture, Finance, Business Development, Service Delivery and Systems + Process.

Managing Director Richard Stafford provides executive mentoring to the ELT. His portfolio includes Business Strategy and Performance, Risk Management and Design Excellence. Richard is committed to ensuring the Adelaide studio is the best place to work and do business. Considering his high level of responsibility, we asked Richard who he looks to for inspiration. ‘I look to new and emerging industry leaders for ideas that will enable us to build a supportive, collaborative culture at DesignInc Adelaide. The world has changed significantly over the last three decades. The types of projects we focus on are complex and require excellent communication and teamwork. Now more than ever, collaboration and culture are vital cornerstones of a successful architectural practice,’ he said. ‘Through sharing the knowledge I have gained over decades as a business owner, I look forward to seeing the team grow into their new roles.’

Director Ben Zoontjens manages the portfolio of People + Culture that includes HR, Recruitment, WHS, CPD, Mentoring, Culture and Wellbeing. Ben said that the most satisfying part of his role is seeing the personal and professional growth of DesignInc Adelaide’s team. ‘Our culture is about promoting professional growth in a supportive environment and providing the flexibility to adapt as personal situations change,’ he said.

Carol Eckert is a chartered accountant who has supported the business through the many challenges and opportunities of the last decade. Her portfolio covers Finance, Assets and Investments and has expanded to include Office Support and Facilities. She comments, ‘DesignInc Adelaide has changed and grown so much since I joined. It’s been satisfying to be part of this growth as it evolves into an efficient, successful business.’

The world has changed significantly over the last three decades. The types of projects we focus on are complex and require excellent communication and teamwork. Now more than ever, collaboration and culture are vital cornerstones of a successful architectural practice.
Richard Stafford, Managing Director, DesignInc Adelaide

The portfolio of Business Development, which incorporates Brand Management and Communications, is led by architect and Senior Associate Ben Luppino. Ben joined DesignInc Adelaide as a Graduate of Architecture in 2006 with a passion for designing stadiums and large gathering spaces for communities. When asked about his new role, Ben said, ‘Working within the executive team is inspiring and I am grateful for the opportunity to contribute. My role will focus on how our studio can continue to work with our clients and professional partners in a way that creates socially meaningful spaces and builds on our reputation as leaders in the industry.’

Architect and Senior Associate Sonya Montgomerie will lead the Service Delivery of DesignInc Adelaide through Strategic Workforce Planning, Resourcing, Project Planning and Reporting. She enjoys the technical challenges of complex buildings, sites and design briefs. ‘My vision centres around delivering high quality outcomes for clients; growing our individual and business capability, and making space for the “good stuff” like design, professional development, mentoring and coaching,’ said Sonya.

Doug McCusker also joined DesignInc Adelaide as a Graduate of Architecture over 10 years ago. He will lead the portfolio of Systems + Processes that include Compliance, Technology and Security. Doug said, ‘I became an architect because I am fascinated by synergy. Working within the architecture industry allows me to explore this on many levels, from understanding the day-to-day user experience and leading a team, to the details of how a building is constructed.’

The Adelaide directors are confident the strengths and combined experiences of the new Executive Leadership Team will move the studio forward during a particularly turbulent time – due to the COVID-19 pandemic – and continue to deliver projects that enhance our way of life in Australia.

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