Best Places To Work 2023

Posted By Laura Scheele – Sep 13 | 2023

We Made the Top 5, Three Years in a Row!

We are thrilled to announce that Sapp Design Architects has once again been recognized by Biz 417 as one of the Top 5 best places to work in Springfield, Missouri, for the third consecutive year! This incredible achievement is a testament to our unwavering commitment to creating an exceptional workplace culture that nurtures and empowers our talented team. We couldn’t be prouder of our dedicated architects and staff who make Sapp Design Architects a truly remarkable place to work, learn, and grow.

Building a Positive Workplace Environment

At Sapp Design we firmly believe that a positive work environment fosters creativity, collaboration, and innovation. We prioritize creating a supportive culture where every team member feels valued, respected, and inspired. We strive to cultivate a work atmosphere that promotes open communication, teamwork, and professional development. Our architects and staff are encouraged to bring their unique perspectives, ideas, and talents to the table, fostering a dynamic and inclusive workplace.


Investing in Employee Well-being

We understand that a truly exceptional workplace extends beyond the confines of the office. That’s why we make it a priority to invest in our employees’ well-being, both professionally and personally. We offer comprehensive benefits packages, opportunities for continuing education and career growth, and a healthy work-life balance. We offer a yearly wellness stipend where employees are able to put towards a gym membership or something that encourages overall self care and wellness. Additionally, we offer an education stipend so employees can pursue something they are interested in. By providing the tools, resources, and support necessary for personal and professional development, we empower our team members to thrive in their roles and achieve their full potential.


Celebrating Team Spirit and Collaboration

One of the hallmarks of our success at Sapp is our strong sense of camaraderie and collaboration. We believe that great achievements are the result of teamwork and collective effort. From design charettes to project collaborations, we foster an environment where ideas are shared, diverse perspectives are valued, and collaboration is celebrated. Our architects and staff work together seamlessly, fueling creativity, innovation, and client satisfaction.


Being named one of the top 10 best places to work in Springfield, Missouri, for the third year in a row is an incredible honor that we are extremely proud of. At Sapp Design Architects, we consider our team members the heart and soul of our firm. Their dedication, passion, and commitment to excellence make us who we are today. We would like to express our heartfelt gratitude to every member of our team for their exceptional contributions and for making Sapp Design Architects a truly remarkable place to work.


As we continue on our journey, we remain steadfast in our commitment to fostering a positive work environment, investing in employee well-being, and celebrating the power of teamwork and collaboration. For a full list of benefits, please view our careers page. Together, we will continue to shape the architectural landscape, exceed client expectations, and enrich lives, for generations.


Cheers to another year of success and many more to come as we continue to build a workplace culture that sets us apart!


New Partners Announced

Posted By Sapp Design – Jun 22 | 2023

We are thrilled to announce the elevation of five long-time employees to partners at Sapp Design Architects. The new partners – Kristi Beattie, Brad McKenzie, John McNabb, Ben Sapp, and Stephen Telscher – have been instrumental in the management, innovation, and growth of the firm for the past few decades. Their tenure at Sapp Design will ensure continuity of firm culture and the excellent partnerships our clients have come to expect. Michael Sapp is enthusiastically welcoming these valued colleagues as the next leadership team of Sapp Design.   

The new partnership broadens and diversifies the firm’s leadership, building on our extensive portfolio of projects in education, safe rooms, libraries, and civic & municipal projects. Each partner brings their own expertise and knowledge to the leadership team. 

Kristi Beattie started her career with Sapp Design 19 years ago and is recognized as a passionate leader and mentor in the firm. She cares deeply about building and maintaining professional relationships and makes sure she clearly communicates with clients and her team. She has a talent for mentoring designers and spends the extra time needed to help them understand the many aspects of architecture that mold them into great architects.  

Brad McKenzie has over 29 years of experience, over 11 years with Sapp Design, and has been a Sr. Project Manager and the Director of the Kansas City Office for over four years. Brad’s calm and thoughtful approach to projects allows him to give strategic guidance that is well thought out with innovation and insight. His business experience and oversight of the Kansas City office makes for a natural transition to ownership and continues to be a strong leader at Sapp Design.  

John McNabb has almost 19 years of experience with Sapp Design and has developed long-standing relationships with many clients. He is an analytical thinker and is strategic in his budgeting skills and guidance on large projects. Additionally, he is dependable and looks at problems from all angles before making decisions. His project management experience and business minded leadership will be an asset to the ownership team for years to come.   

Ben Sapp has diligently led our Business Development Department for 14 years. His continued efforts to promote and grow the firm make him an asset to the ownership team. His relationship building skills and intrinsic knowledge of the architecture industry are incredibly valuable as we grow our firm and expand our regions.  

Stephen Telscher joined Sapp Design over 21 years ago, and with over two decades of experience, he comes with a wealth of knowledge. Stephen is very detail oriented and approaches projects with a comprehensive mindset. His experience with a wide variety of projects, strong ethical principles, and his continued guidance as a Senior Project Manager make him an obvious choice as partner and continued leader of the firm.   

At Sapp Design Architects, we continue to uphold our vision to enrich life for generations. Through our diligent work in the public market, we strive to elevate the lives of kids, teachers and patrons that live, work and thrive in the buildings we design. Through trust, respect, teamwork and collaboration, we strive to be a better partner. Our team believes in quality and innovation that goes beyond the ordinary while having professional ethics. Our deep passion for progress allows us to transcend design through prioritizing learning, the arts, and our craft.

Best Places To Work 2022

Posted By Sapp Design – Sep 8 | 2022

We Made the Top 10!

Moving up from #20 to #9 in Biz 417 Best Places to Work 2022 is a testament to how hard we strive each year to improve and provide a great work environment for our team members! We were honored this year to share this award with several fantastic companies here in 417land and show off our team spirit!! Congrats to all the other winners

Biz 417’s Best Places to Work is a celebration of elite employers who have proven that they know what it takes to create environments where people love to come to work. Identifying and recognizing these outstanding workplaces was a joint effort of Biz 417 Magazine and Best Companies Group.

The Best Places to Work program was open to all publicly or privately held organizations in the 417 region. To be eligible for consideration, organizations must have at least 15 employees in the region, being headquartered in the region was not a requirement.

The “Best Places to Work” survey process was managed by Best Companies Group (BCG). BCG, an independent workplace excellence research firm, managed the registration process, conducted the two-part survey process, evaluated the data, and ultimately chose the employers that were good enough to make the list.

Happy 35th Anniversary

Posted By Sapp Design – Feb 9 | 2022

Today we celebrate 35 years working with our Senior Project Manager Pam Haldiman! Pam is a huge part of Sapp Designs Architects’ success, having worked on over 900+ projects, specifically in the area of Safe Rooms, which will protect 1000s of people across the midwest. Not only is her work immensely appreciated she has been a great mentor to all who have worked with her. So with that being said, we say thank you and happy work anniversary!

Dr. Kleinsmith Joins the Team

Posted By Sapp Design – Jun 1 | 2019

Dr. Kleinsmith recently retired from 18 highly successful years as superintendent of Nixa Public Schools. During his career in Nixa, he lead many highly successful bond issues by pioneering advanced communication strategies to keep a community engaged and informed at all times.

Dr. Kleinsmith joined Sapp Design as an educational consultant to apply a uniquely passionate and insightful perspective to the Sapp Design team. His focus is to keep the team informed and up to speed with the trends and issues currently effecting education and how that might translate into the built environment. Dr. Kleinsmith’s experience also applies districts who may need help formulating campaign and community engagement strategies that foster long term community buy-in and trust.

Welcoming Jacob Mclain

Posted By Sapp Design – May 20 | 2019

Jacob Mclain joins Sapp Design Architects full-time after graduating from Drury University with a Masters in Architecture. Jacob has worked part-time for the firm during his senior year and has become a vital team member working on some of the firms most complex projects.

Jacob wanted to become an architect to physically impact people’s daily life through my design. For Jacob, Architecture has always been about the experience and drive to have others feel the influence a building can have on the individuals using the space. 

At Sapp Design his focus area of interest includes mostly public and commercial work but has  particular  interest in mixed-use architecture, combining live-work-play into one. The more lives he can positively influence with design, the better. Architecture presents opportunities for designers such as himself to use creative ways to be environmentally conscience and sustainable, something that is on the forefront of everyone’s mind nowadays. If we can lead by example through sustainable building design, then that starts to set a precedent for everyone to follow in their daily lives.

Welcoming Jennifer Fick

Posted By Sapp Design – Mar 4 | 2019

Jennifer Fick, is the second interior designer to join the Sapp Design team. She is graduate of Missouri State’s Interior Design and Construction Management program and has been working in the industry for the last 3 years. Her past experience has been in the residential market working with homeowners and builders designing detailed casework. She now ready to grow those skills in the commercial design markets.

Jennifer is excited to combine her many talents and interest in a creative and innovative ways by identifying the purpose of the space integrated with the thought-process of how people interact. She believes the cognitive ergonomics is a fascinating design element that she enjoys integrating into space planning, furniture selection, and finish selection.

A Conversation with … Cheryl Doran

Posted By Sapp Design – Dec 10 | 2018

A Conversation With … Cheryl Doran

Director of Interior Design at Sapp Design Associates Architects PC

Posted online 

How do you judge good design?
I’m always about the wow factor. Have you ever stepped in a room and felt like, “Oh, this is kind of weird,” and left the lobby or left the room and nothing engaged you, something didn’t feel right? Successful interior design is not just about creating a beautiful space, but creating an experience that leaves a powerful, lasting impression.

What are some of the hot trends in the industry?
I’ve got a designer group that I hang out with and we coined the term “resi-mercial.” You’re seeing the commercial design blend with residential. You’re getting the soft textures; you’re still getting the whites, the grays and the warm tones. It’s a real comfortable feeling with a lot of textures.

What trends have you enjoyed watching over the years?
Everything comes around. You’re seeing the ‘70s come back. You’re seeing the mid-century modern in all the furniture come back. Any design that you’re seeing right now has modern with it. Whether it’s modern rustic, modern renaissance, you’re going to see kind of the clean, simple lines. Last year was all the gray tones – the whites, the marbles – and I think now you’re going to see gold come back in. Not like the shiny brass, they’re more of a dull gold. You are seeing some shimmer, and that brings back that modern feel.

Tell me about your experience at Mercy before joining Sapp.
When the tornado hit Mercy in Joplin, Mercy recruited me to help rebuild that hospital. They have lots of projects. We did a children’s hospital. We’ve done a heart hospital. We always designed around the patient. We look for easy wayfinding, we looked for warmth. They don’t want this sterile atmosphere. They want their space; they don’t want it to be right next to somebody all the time. We just finished the new cafeteria. The existing cafeteria was there for 50 years. So what we’re designing now is going to have to last for another, hopefully, 50 years. That’s why you see durable, cleanable materials.

You started with Sapp in October. Tell me about the new interior design department you’re leading.
Sapp is wanting to build the interior department instead of consulting out. The main benefits for that is teamwork. You can work collaboratively with architects from start to finish. It’s more of a full picture. I’m doing the lighting, the technologies, the space, the furniture, the colors. I like clean and simple. I’m more of the modern approach.

How has your role shifted as you’ve been in this industry for 24 years?  
The industry has shifted. In schools, security is one big one now and the other is flexibility. When you go into an elementary school now that we’re designing, you’re going to see high-top tables, you’re going to see low cushions, you’re going to see floor seating, you’re going to see a desk with a computer. You’re going to see a lot less walls. You’re seeing that in offices, as well. You’re going to see less corner offices, less private offices. Sapp is designing its new office and we’re not going to have any private offices. Your status is shown by the way you lead.

What are some of the projects you’re working on now?
The Boys and Girls Club asked me last week to come over, and they want to turn one of their classrooms into a recording studio. I designed a wall of all old album covers, like Kiss and The Rolling Stones and even Johnny Cash. I did some cool vintage rugs and a stage and a sound booth. School of the Osage has several buildings that we’re working on. We’re doing 36 libraries in Kansas City, wrapping up seven libraries in St. Louis, and The Ridge, First Watch, Goodman Elementary and a new office concept for Associated Electric [Cooperative Inc.]

Now Offering Interior Design!

Posted By Sapp Design – Oct 1 | 2018

Sapp Design Architects, announces the start of it’s new Interior Design Department with the recent hire of its new Director of Interior Design.

Cheryl Doran is joining the team at Sapp Design as Director of Interiors with 24 years of experience. During the last 8 years, she was the Director of Planning and Design for Mercy Health Systems. she is a Springfield native who is involved in various community and professional organizations and has taught Interior Design at Missouri State University. She won “interior designer of the year” award from 417 over 3 different years. She is ASID and LEED AP and ASHE healthcare Certified. Her role is to start and lead our new Interiors department and help build it. She should be able to hit the ground running with her experience and background.

Cheryl is proactive driven leader with a passion to contribute to a shared mission. She strives to lead the vision and inspire with a strong purpose. Being a positive and an action-oriented team leader she is ready to build collaborative project teams that lead to successful projects.

Welcoming Jade Johnson!

Posted By Sapp Design – May 18 | 2018

Sapp Design is excited to announce that Jade Johnson has joined our team as an architectural designer after graduating from Drury University Master of Architecture with minors in Design Arts and Fine Arts.

Jade’s passion for design started at a very young age initially with interior design but quickly grew into a holistic love for buildings as a whole with belief that design has the ability to inspire and cultivate creative spaces for all types of users to enjoy.