Meet the Dallas 500: Gensler’s Cindy Simpson
Gensler’s Dallas office has designed notable spaces across North Texas, including Klyde Warren Park 2.0. However, co-regional managing director Cindy W. Simpson takes great pride in the company’s plans to combat racism through design solutions, expand scholarship programs and employment opportunities, and study and uncover ideas for equitable design.
“We recently launched the Center for Research on Justice and the Built Environment. The center is the first of its kind in our industry to explore and uncover ideas for just design that can help address the challenges of racism and promote and sustain diversity and inclusion, ”said Simpson. “Through open dialogue and actionable change, we want to make a positive difference in our communities and be part of the solution for a fairer future.”
Education: Mississippi State University (BS Interior Design)
Best advice: “The most important advice came from my parents. They have instilled a strong work ethic in their children and recognized that our life choices and reputations will influence us as leaders and define our leadership style. Leadership is important! “
Dinner Party: “If I could choose two business leaders from Dallas for dinner, I would choose Craig Hall from Hall Financial Group and Sabine Gaedeke Stener, CEO of the Gaedeke Group. Craig’s business and investment trip is inspiring – he sure knows how to balance his passions with his job. We are also guaranteed to have the best wine from his vineyard.
“Sabine is a real visionary with a wealth of real estate knowledge and has degrees in economics, psychology, marketing and international management – all platforms for great conversations. She brings a unique perspective to every development with global placemaking principles that embrace diversity, conviviality, wellness and innovation. “
Must read: “Stephen Schwarzmans What it takes: Lessons in the pursuit of excellence. Stephen is the Chairman, CEO and Co-Founder of Blackstone – a self-made icon in his field. In his book, Stephen records his business success stories and the value of not taking “no” for an answer when pursuing your dreams and achieving your goals. “
Proud moments: “As the largest architecture and design firm in the world, we have a unique opportunity to use our collective skills to have a positive and lasting impact on communities everywhere. It is for this reason that we are passionate about designing to address the greatest challenges humanity faces today, such as climate change.
“In 2019, our designers worked on more than 7,000 projects spanning over 1.5 billion square feet, ranging from new commercial office buildings and workspace interiors to schools, retail stores, data centers and hotels. Taken together, our work in 2019 should prevent 16.4 million tons of CO2 from being released into the atmosphere, compared to the average energy consumption of buildings – this corresponds to the electricity consumption of 1.9 million households per year.
“It’s a good start, but we realize that more needs to be done. That’s why we’ve set ourselves an ambitious goal and challenged our entire industry: Eliminate all greenhouse gases associated with the built environment over the next decade. As we navigate through the pandemic, our design approach must also support the health and wellbeing of the people who will use this space. It means looking for ways to densify housing, create more outdoor recreational areas, and improve walkability in order to build healthy, thriving cities of the future that are accessible to all. “
2020 taught me: “ In any case, be patient and perseverance; is it already 2021 ?! “
Better Dallas:: “From a business perspective, there are two problems we face when trying to attract more businesses to Dallas, namely the need to strengthen our public schools and improve local transportation. As leaders, it is our duty to work together as stakeholders to focus on solutions to improve these critical sectors that are essential to the structure and growth of our community. “
Editor’s note: The print version of this profile on the Dallas 500 used an incorrect answer about who would invite Simpson to a dinner party. The correct answer is given above.
These Q&A are expanded content from the Dallas 500, a special edition by D CEO that introduces the area’s most influential business leaders. Visit Dallas500 for details.