Q&A Session with Eddie Layton
All of us have something special about ourselves, a small claim to fame. For Eddie Layton, Project Architect, he was a University of Virginia Scavhunt Marshmallow Peep Eating Contest Champion. But he hasn’t let the glory from his victory go to his head.
Tell me about yourself.
I grew up in rural southern Virginia. I received my undergraduate degree from the University of Virginia and my masters from the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia. I married my high school sweetheart, Brittney, while in grad school, and we graduated together in 2009.
We graduated in the middle of the recession, so I took a job with a grocery store in Raleigh, North Carolina for a year and a half. During that time, I learned a lot about management and working as a team for a greater good. It translated well when I got my first job with a small architecture firm. That firm was eventually bought out by Gensler, the largest architecture firm in the world. We literally went from a firm of four to 3,000 overnight—it was definitely an interesting transition.
What brought you to Indiana?
Brittney and I wanted to be closer to family. She had grown up all around Indiana and still has a lot of family in the North Indianapolis and Kokomo areas. Our son, Liam, was nearly three at the time, and we had talked about expanding our family. It made sense to make the move. I worked at Gensler on Friday, made the drive to Indianapolis on Saturday, and started at Schmidt Associates on Monday.
What’s your favorite thing to do in Indy?
I am still finding hidden gems, but I really enjoy the Canal and the Circle. They are such unique, urban aspects to the city. We didn’t have anything like them in Raleigh.
And the family?
Brittney had some health issues while she was pregnant with Liam. As a result, we decided we wanted to expand our family with adoption through fostering. We had just completed the training necessary when we decided to move from North Carolina. We have started the process in Indiana and look forward to the next chapter.
We also have two cats, Woodstock and George. Woodstock came with his name, but Liam named George. Apparently he wasn’t worried about naming a female cat George. But those cats are so patient with Liam. He will literally mop the floor with Woodstock, and he still comes back to Liam for more. We try to discourage mopping of floors with cats, but it’s a hard concept for a four-year-old.
What do you do in your free time?
Currently I am coaching Liam’s soccer team (3-4 year-olds). I never played soccer growing up, but I know the basics of the game. It has been an interesting experience of herding cats and maintaining their attention for 45 minutes to an hour.
What inspires you?
My father-in-law taught me to always leave things in a better state than you found them. It’s a way to approach life, and also a great opportunity to approach clients and projects. The satisfaction of making things better for our clients is hard to match.
Do you keep anything special at your desk?
I have a hand-carved Maya wooden face mask that Brittney brought back for me from her anthropological field research in Guatemala. It’s slightly creepy but very cool!
If you want to know more about Eddie, check out his bio.
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