Holst Announces Four Promotions

Holst Announces Four Promotions

We are thrilled to announce promotions of four individuals who have been essential to Holst’s success. Jessie Nutz, Jake Watkins, Sarah Vaz, and Nici Stauffer each bring a unique skill set to their work and contribute something special to Holst’s culture. We’re so thankful to have them here and to celebrate their talent and dedication.

Sarah Vaz - Senior Associate

Sarah joined Holst in 2015, in which time she’s worked on a wide range of project types and scales from homeless shelters and affordable housing to Oregon State University’s multi-disciplinary studio art building. Most recently, Sarah was the project architect on Fora Health’s 53,000 sf Center for Treatment and Recovery. She excels at honing complex programs and collaborating with user groups to find optimal spatial solutions.

Outside of project work Sarah has organized volunteer staff around small scale design-build installations including Holst’s Portland Winter Lights festival displays for the last five years, a mural on the Gresham Women’s Shelter, and Pioneer Square’s annual Festival of Flowers. Sarah is an advocate for equity in the profession, spearheading office outreach partnerships with youth-focused nonprofits such as Emerging Leaders, the Portland Workforce Alliance, and the ACE Mentorship program. She has taught at the University of Cincinnati, and has a developed interest in fine arts.

Nici Stauffer - Senior Associate

Nici joined Holst in 2017, with previous experience on educational and residential projects, including contributing to the creation of quality learning environments and preparing bond materials for local public schools. While earning her Masters, she concentrated on zero emission design and was a Graduate Teaching Fellow in the areas of building construction and the human context of design. She has a holistic approach to creating sustainable projects, considering natural resources while promoting health and productive environments for people.

Jessie Nutz - Associate

Jessie joined Holst after graduating from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte with dual MBA and Master of Architecture degrees. With Holst she has worked on several projects through every phase from schematic design through construction. Jessie is committed to environmental sustainability and social equity. She is an Oregon Metro-certified Master Recycler and leads the coordination of Holst volunteer events. Jessie is especially passionate about working with youth, and volunteers regularly with ACE Mentorship and Every Child PDX. Jessie also enjoys martial arts, hiking, and reading with her two cats.

Jake Watkins - Associate

After attending the University of Vermont, where he received a B.S. Environmental Studies and a certificate in Permaculture Design, Jake received his Master of Architecture degree from the University of Oregon, with a specialization in Place, Urban Design and Sustainable Urbanism. Jake joined Holst in 2016 and has worked on has worked on a range of housing typologies from single family residences to large-scale market rate and affordable multi-family developments. He believes the foundation of positive and successful design is a consideration of place, people, and longevity. A native of New England, Jake enjoys spending his time exploring his new surroundings in the Pacific Northwest.

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