Dear Clients, Colleagues, Friends, Family, and Members of the Community,
I want to thank all of you for all the work, love, and support that you have given Perez over the years. 2020 was our 80th year in business, and we couldn’t have done it without you! Due to COVID, we were unable to celebrate in our usual fashion (some of you will remember our 75th-anniversary blowout parties in New Orleans and New York City—it was a great year!). Instead, with the money we would have spent on the 80th-anniversary party, we made additional donations this year in support of a number of wonderful community organizations, including New Orleans African American Museum, Jericho Road Housing Initiative, and Old Algiers Main Street. We are extremely grateful, that despite the global pandemic and growing tensions around social justice issues, none of our projects were canceled and our clients allowed us to continue designing their projects, even during these very tough times. Even as we have continued to work from home since March 2020, we have been fortunate that our team has remained healthy and safe, and that we have not had to lay off a single person. We continue to employ technology that has allowed us to stay close to our clients and collaborate on projects no matter where we are in the world. Not only have we continued to service our clients on projects near home, but despite severe COVID travel restrictions, we managed to kick off a project that includes consultants in 5 Asian countries; flew multidisciplinary A-E assessment teams to South Sudan and Morocco, and successfully completed designs for a Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) in Zambia. In summary, we are extremely grateful for all of your support, and for the hard work of our dedicated team that has allowed us to accomplish amazing things even during the most difficult times.
Like so many in the world, the events of this past year have driven me inward—to working from home due to COVID– and to social distancing from loved ones and peers. The silver lining for me in all of this is that it has deepened my commitment to community as well as to self. In addition to volunteering more time to a number of non-profit Boards that I sit on, I am now cooking more, spending more time with family and friends via video chats, and even hiking 5 to 20+ miles daily. That said, I know that many people in the world are still suffering, even more so now that we are reaching record COVID numbers. It is my hope that throughout all of this, Perez can continue to make a difference in the world by taking good care of our clients, colleagues, and staff, and treating them with respect and understanding. We will continue striving to do our best work, by continuing to design, build, and develop healthy and sustainable communities where people thrive, both at home and abroad.
We are hopeful that better days lie ahead, and look forward to seeing you all in person in the coming year.
Angela O’Byrne, FAIA, LEED AP