Don Eggleston – the ‘E’ in SERA – Announces Retirement
This month, Principal Don Eggleston made it official: he’s retiring!
After 45 years leading the firm, Don will start 2017 off with a renewed focus on family, while still working as a consultant on architectural projects around Portland.
News Release: SERA Principal Don Eggleston Announces Retirement (PDF)
Last week, we toasted to Don. His vision, emphasis on relationships, and ability to create projects out of thin air have led the firm to many successes and a workplace culture worth coveting.
We know Don well, so we know we’ll be seeing him in the office for years to come. And we look forward to it!
“It is rare for one to spend so much time at one firm,” Don said of his long career. “I have had great challenging, professionally fulfilling projects, and feel that I have left my mark on the communities I have been involved with over the years. Most of all, it has been fun.”
From everyone at SERA, a huge thank you to Don Eggleston!
When I was sitting at the front desk almost five years ago preparing to interview for a job at SERA, I gentleman I didn’t know at the time passed by and asked me if I was waiting for anyone. I mentioned I was a few minutes early for an interview, to which the gentleman wished me a very sincere “Good Luck” and then walked back in to the office proper. It wasn’t until a few weeks later when I started the job did I learn that wise gentleman was the E in SERA. The luck certainly helped. Thanks, Don, for all your inspiration and leadership before and during my time here.
When I first started at SERA, I knew almost nothing about the industry. Fortunately, my first seat in the office was right behind Don. It didn’t matter to Don at all that I was new, young or not an architect by trade. He has always been willing to answer any question, or fill me in when he notices a puzzled look on my face. Even better, Don’s mind is a steel trap. How he preserves info and tells stories makes them stick with you. I’m glad to have gotten to sit next to Don during my time here.
Don has an exceptional mind and an even more exceptional personality. He has the great ability to make one feel welcome, heard and respected, regardless of position or status. For more than four years I have had the pleasure of working with him in one capacity or another, administrative to marketing/graphic, and learning about the inner workings of mind-bendingly complex architectural projects while poring over documents together. It has been a privilege working with Don, and I’m very glad that despite his retirement we’ll be seeing him once in a while at the office. In fact, I’m counting on it!
You were always such a joy to work with- I was on the marketing/admin staff in the late 90’s early aughts and we had many deadlines and many tangles, and things were always running smoothly and with a smile when you were on the team. Thank you for your years of kindness and mentorship you showed me and the rest of the SERA family. Wishing you and you family a very happy retirement.
I has been diagnosed with cancer the first week I started at SERA. As my personal appearance changed, so did my head wear. Don passed by one morning and asked how I was feeling. I told him I was tired of wearing this stupid bandana and wanted my hair back. I told him I looked like a painter. During the remainder of my treatment, Don would comment on my “painters hat” as a way of breaking the ice and checking in on my progress. He made me feel normal during a time that wasn’t very normal.
He also smelled like clean, warm laundry.
For my first several months at SERA, Don stopped by my desk almost every day to see how I was doing. He regularly sent me articles and seminar notices, and often stopped me to talk shop or tell an interesting story. He became a great mentor and friend, and I will certainly miss him around the office, but I am excited for him, for his next adventure!
I’ll never forget when I showed Don how to “unbold” text in a letter he was typing in Word. He thought I was a genius! That pretty much sums it up for me. He always made me feel smart, and useful, and appreciated.
Don – you’re not just an amazing architect; you’re an amazing leader, an amazing dad, and an all around amazing guy. Anyone who’s had the pleasure of your company would agree.
Happy Retirement Don!
I feel so lucky to have worked with you and everyone else at SERA. I agree with everyones sentiments above. You and Bing have created something very special and I know you will be deeply missed by many. Thank you for being who you are and inspiring others to be kind and considerate just by your presence alone. Every time I come back to Portland, I check to see how the Edith Green/Wendell Wyatt building is doing. Take good care and say hello to NE Portland and for me!