Please join us in wishing HOLT’s Graham Gillespie a Happy Retirement!
Graham started his career at HOLT in 1981 after graduating from Cornell University’s College of Architecture, Art & Planning, beginning as a designer and working his way up through virtually every position to HOLT’s President, a position he held for the past eight years. During Graham’s leadership, HOLT has grown over 60%, opened a new office in Syracuse, renovated and relocated the Ithaca office to a new Net-Zero Energy building, built a network of work-from-home employees from Watertown, to Rochester, to the Carolinas, and helped countless clients realize their dreams and create a lasting and positive impact through innovative and sustainable building design. During his tenure, HOLT was also awarded the Tompkins County Chamber’s Distinguished Business of the Year for 2019, was named a “Best Places to Work” eight consecutive times by the CNY Business Journal, and celebrated its 50th Anniversary in 2013.
Inside the office Graham helped create a team-oriented work environment for HOLT employees by promoting creativity and professional development, supporting work-life balance, and encouraging employees giving back to the communities in which they live – something he modeled through his own continual volunteerism and community involvement.
Graham’s retirement has been planned for some time, with his initial intent to fully retire and move to South Carolina with his wife Debby in early April 2020. With the coronavirus outbreak and shutdown, Graham stayed in town with HOLT for a few extra months and was introduced to virtual work. Being able to efficiently lead his teams while working remotely from his home in Ithaca, Graham realized he could do the same from South Carolina – which is where he is today.
While Graham slowly retires in warmer climates, he will stay connected to HOLT and his colleagues, manage smaller project teams, and help the firm continue to grow its quality and mentorship procedures. Graham has worked alongside fellow HOLT principals Paul Levesque, Steve Hugo, and Quay Thompson for many years and is confident about what the future brings with the three continuing principals at the helm.
Graham, your retirement is well-deserved, you have been an incredible leader, friend, mentor, and architect. Thank you for all that you have done over the years and for helping HOLT Architects become the caring, creative, high-quality, and innovative firm that it is today! Click here to congratulate Graham!