What Matters Most

At Sheehan Nagle Hartray Architects, we create environments that bring people together— the spaces we create facilitate idea-sharing, promoting success in businesses and communities. We keep our mission top-of-mind, recognizing the positive impact we can make through architecture.

As we are community-minded in our work, our passion for supporting people is evident in how we spend our free time as well. We asked some of our team members about how they champion the charities, foundations and organizations dear to them.

We encourage you to visit the links below to support several worthy causes, and read our personal experiences on why giving back matters so much.

Tom Veed, Architect

Organization: Open Architecture Chicago

My “Why”: During school, I was inspired by participatory, socially responsive and inclusive design. When I graduated during the recession, working freelance art gigs to get by, I needed an architectural outlet and Open Architecture Chicago was a perfect match. Architecture should not be the exclusive right of the parties paying the bills, instead it is critical to consider and build for the end user. It is only through their inclusion and social investment that a building can ever be a truly successful, positive and build stronger communities.

How I’m Involved: I’ve been Co-Chair of the Board of Directors (2014-2017), part of the National Steering Committee (2015-2018), and have participated in various projects throughout the years.

What Matters Most: Through this organization, we were able to lobby the Chicago Housing Authority and HUD to revise their planned demolition of 648 homes within the Altgeld Gardens Development on Chicago’s south side and instead invest in redevelopment, saving 97% of these critical housing resources while building opportunities for a stronger community.

Brianna Saviano, Designer

Organization: Parkinson’s Foundation

My “Why”: It’s an organization and mission that means a lot to me as my dad was diagnosed with Parkinson’s in 2001.

How I’m Involved: The big project I’m helping with in 2019 is Moving Day Chicago, which is an annual fundraising walk. Beyond fundraising for Parkinson’s research, the Moving Day walk promotes movement in everyday life and has become a family tradition that we look forward to every fall— parents, sisters, brothers-in-law, nieces and nephews— 16 of us make the trip out.

What Matters Most: What people don’t realize is that it’s a disease that’s VERY different for every person who has it.  There’s a large spectrum of symptoms and that’s what makes it such a difficult disease to research/treat/diagnose.  They don’t yet know the exact cause, so that makes finding a cure such a challenge.

Dominick Gallegos, Architect

Organization: Illinois Chapter of the National Organization of Minority Architects (iNOMA)

My “Why”: NOMA creates a platform of inclusion and growth to support all minority designers; as defined by ethnicity, gender, religion and sexual orientation. As a minority architect, I’m aligned with this mission.

How I’m Involved: I participate in Project Pipeline and Design Portfolio Reviews, and also presented at the national NOMA conference last summer.

What Matters Most: Being able to connect and expose kids in the city to the design professions and increase literacy in the subject.

Mary Warren White, Office Manager

Organization: Polished Pebbles

My “Why”: Polished Pebbles is a mentoring program to provide girls with life skills like communication, etiquette, social skills and work ethic, to name a few. I love working with youth, and I see a need for this organization in our girls of color, so I want to support it.

How I’m Involved: I’ve been involved for three years, participating in various community projects during that time.

What Matters Most: It’s a reward to see the growth in these young ladies, to see the ones that return to speak to those still in the program, and to see their “light bulb” go on when they connect the teaching to real-life experiences. Funding is essential to keep these programs going.

Jordan Lutren, Designer

Organization: Canstruction Chicago

My “Why”: Canstruction is a design/build event that benefits the Greater Chicago Food Depository. Teams comprised of professionals from the AEC industry fundraise for, design, and build structures composed of non-perishable food items. It’s great to have the opportunity to do a fun design challenge while also giving back to the community.

How I’m Involved: I’ve participated since 2017, and my team received awards the last 2 years— hoping to make it 3.

What Matters Most: Last year, over 150,000 cans were brought to the Greater Chicago Food Depository for this event.