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Staff Spotlight: Melissa Petrie

Staff Spotlight

Where did you grow up?
I was born and raised in the Kansas City area. After college, I thought I would move away but wound up back in KC and loved it. I moved to Fort Wayne in 2023 when my fiancé got a job at a local university.

What interested you in pursuing a career in architecture?
Growing up I enjoyed math, art, and playing with Lego. I think that is the story for a lot architects. There are several engineers in my family, so I thought that might be an option for me. However, working at my dad’s engineering firm during my summers in high school showed me engineering wasn’t the path for me. I wanted to be part of designing how people use and experience a space. I like to be part of setting and managing how a project’s components fit together.

Homemade Tomato Galette

What motivates you to come into work every day at MKM?
The people and culture. My coworkers here are great and have been so welcoming to me joining the team. I also like how we view our work through the lens of healthy placemaking and well-being to positively support communities.

Where do you look for inspiration?
It depends on the day and what inspiration I’m needing. Sometimes it’s an internet search and sometimes it’s spending time observing nature.

How do you recharge during your free time?
I enjoy reading, playing board games, or cooking with my fiancé.

Which projects are you most proud to have worked on?
Being newer, I’m still building my portfolio here. One project that has been exciting for me is a 9-story mixed use building planned for downtown Fort Wayne. It is a mix of commercial space and apartments. While I have experience with apartment design, I have enjoyed learning about high rise construction and its nuances. The project is still in schematic design, but I hope it comes to fruition.

Where is your favorite place to travel?
I love to travel, so it is hard to pick my favorite. Some of my top trips have been Thailand (2018), Glacier National Park (2022), and Iceland (2017).

Ayutthaya (left) and Railay Beach (right), Thailand

What is your favorite quote?
A former colleagues once told me “Don’t forget to stop and take stock of how far you have come.” In a world that is constantly pushing us to learn, know, and do more, it is easy to forget what you have learned and accomplished. It’s a reminder to me to pause, reflect, and be grateful.

What was the last book your read?
The Family Gathering by Robyn Carr – a light-hearted romance book.

Tell us a fun fact about yourself!
I have never broken a bone.

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