ROBERT H. KELLY, AIA
As president, Bob brings a unique experience of planning, design, and project management to a wide variety of public, corporate, government, and private facilities. He is passionate about a quality built environment. Bob has received awards for architecture in private practice, including “Excellence in Restoration.” He has also received awards in service, including the “Defense Superior Service Medal” for his leadership and design for the interior redesign of the Pacific Command Center Headquarters. He redesigned the Center and other highly complex facilities. The results create great working environments including classrooms, institutional, and office spaces.
His quick, skillful judgment is also attributed to his success as the Lead Architect for 3 different on-call design services for Universities. He is an expert in adaptive re-use, as he exemplifies in restoring Landmark Architecture in Northwest Arkansas. His management style has him working closely with his Core team, his guidance key in keeping a project on track.
Dusty Graham, AIA
Dusty is a lifelong resident of Northwest Arkansas. He graduated from the University of Arkansas School of Architecture in 2004 and minored in Legal Studies. Dusty serves as a Principal Partner with Core and was a founding member of the company in 2007.
Dusty stays heavily involved with the Northwest Arkansas community, sitting on the board of directors for the Springdale Housing Authority, Springdale Athletic Foundation, and Springdale Benevolent Foundation for the Rodeo of the Ozarks.
When not practicing architecture, he is participating with his wife, daughter, and four sons in whatever youth activity is in season.
MARISOL BAKKER, MBA
Brandon was one of the first employees at Core Architects. Joining with an eager desire to be part of a new company, he has since become a Program Manager, overseeing numerous projects from beginning to end. He has worked on a multitude of project types, including commercial, educational, and government.
In the past 12 years, he has continued to broaden his experience basis by completing many remodels, new construction, and in-fills which have exceeded clients expectations and schedules. Working closely with consultants and construction managers, Brandon knows what is needed to complete a quality project that meets a client’s needs and budget.
In addition to his design work, Brandon is leading Core’s Business Development program. He enjoys spending his free time in nature with his family, fly fishing, and golfing. He believes that there is no better feeling than that of completing a successful project.
GIL NEWNUM, AIA, LEED GA
Gil received his B.Arch from the University of Arkansas in 2008. He has 20+ years experience in the field of construction/architecture. Gil worked as an estimator for a general contractor and as a project manager in Northeast Arkansas prior to pursing his architectural degree.
While attending the University, his travels included field study trips to Chicago, Boston, and the Anasazi Ruins in New Mexico. In spring of 2007 he studied urban form at the University of Arkansas Rome Center. While in Europe, he participated in field study trips to London, Paris, and San Sebastian on the Northern coast of Spain. His last two semesters at the U of A involved extensive hands-on learning through the Design Build Program, furthering his knowledge of construction management, techniques and detailing. Upon graduation, he worked as project manager on various residential and commercial projects. He then worked for a national design firm as a project coordinator.
Currently Program Manager at Core, he is working on the design and administration for several exciting projects.
ignacio gonzalez, Assoc. AIA, LEED GA
Ignacio is a native of Zacatecas, Mexico. He moved to Rogers, Arkansas in the fall of 1994. Ignacio graduated from the University of Arkansas in the summer of 2007 with a Bachelor of Architecture. He received numerous individual awards while at the University of Arkansas, including the Herbert K. Fowler medal for outstanding drawing skills and understanding of proportion and space as it relates to human experience. Ignacio’s 5th year Comp Studio project was also nominated for the Pella Prize (outstanding project design award).
Ignacio’s first work experience was as a model builder. He learned valuable “tips” from one of Arkansas most recognized architects. He joined the team of Core Architects in September of 2007; with a strong passion for architecture, he is quickly gaining valuable experience in the profession. He is now the lead designer at Core, bringing a fresh perspective to every project he works on.
michael baldwin, AIA, LEED ap
Michael was born and raised in Northwest Arkansas where his interest in architecture was sparked by his early fascination with homes designed by E. Fay Jones. He received his Bachelor of Architecture degree from the University of Arkansas in 2006. Upon graduating, he worked in Chicago from 2006 to 2015 as designer and project coordinator at an international architecture firm on various large-scale healthcare, retail, and multifamily residential projects, from concept through completion. He believes in practical, thoughtful, well-constructed buildings and spaces - achieved through clear, consistent communication and collaboration among designers, builders, and clients.
Michael returned to Northwest Arkansas with his wife and daughter in May of 2015 with a desire to be a part of the community that provided so much opportunity for him. In addition to managing projects at Core, he manages staffing and plays a key role in office administration.
brian robinson, assoc. AIA
Brian was born and raised in Northeast Arkansas, where his interest in architecture developed from his experience as a draftsman. He received his Bachelor of Architecture degree from the University of Arkansas in 2015. Before graduating, he was a CAD manager for 9 years, working with a wide variety of architecture.
Brian believes that attention to detail makes the most of buildings; he carries this philosophy of passion in his personal life and music as well. During his studies at the U of A, he was a part of the Frank Lloyd Wright exhibition and research studio - this involved students collaborating with Crystal Bridges.
He plays music professionally and has been an ASCAP member for 15 years.
casey B. hoffman, AIA, leed ga
Casey attended Oklahoma State University and received a Bachelor of Architecture in 2010 with a minor in Architectural History Theory. In 2011, she moved to Arkansas and quickly fell in love with the Northwest Arkansas region. Her can-do attitude, attention to detail, and capacity to work on every aspect of all project types make her an integral part of the team at Core Architects.
Along with the practice of architecture, Casey is passionate about her community. In 2018 Casey was re-appointed to the Board of Adjustments for a second term with the City of Fayetteville. She has served on multiple boards and committees including the American Institute of Architects Arkansas Board of Directors and most recently the Partners for Better Housing.
devon sides, AIA
holly strother, AIA
A Missouri native, Holly received her Bachelor of Architectural Studies from the University of Missouri in 2007. She then earned her Master of Architecture at the University of Kansas in 2011. During her final year, Holly was a part of a competition studio where she and her classmates entered 8 design competitions around the world, including Miami, New York City, Canada, and Asia.
She had the opportunity to travel around Europe during school, visiting several cities within Greece, Italy, Spain, France, and England. She also had the opportunity to travel and design two projects in New York City and New Orleans with studio classes during graduate school.
After graduation, Holly moved to Little Rock to work with Fennell Purifoy Architects. She gained valuable experience in a various range of project types, including residential, public works, and university. Holly was licensed in 2015 and joined the Core Architects team in the fall of 2016. She enjoys running and staying active with the AIA Emerging Professionals community in her spare time.
caity malloy, assoc. aia
Caity graduated from the University of Arkansas in 2017 magna cum laude with a Bachelor of Architecture and double minors in planning and marketing. She received many honors and recognitions, including the Joy of Architecture Award for her graduating class. She was also selected as 1 of 71 Seniors of Significance among the entire University of Arkansas Class of 2017.
During school, Caity had the opportunity to study abroad for a semester at the University of Arkansas Rome Center. While abroad, she traveled to 6 other countries in Europe, as well as several cities in Italy. Her time there further strengthened her passion for urban planning and place identity, which inspired the topic of her honors research. Her thesis, “Image and Perception of the Top Five American Tourist Cities as Represented by Snow Globes” investigated the connection of popular culture’s perception of place to the built world through a series of diagrams.
Caity joined the Core team upon graduation, with an interest in both the design and business aspects of architecture. She is excited to learn and gain as much experience as she can.
Jason boze, Aia, leed bd+c, ncarb
Jason received his B.Arch from the University of Arkansas in 2009. He has 18+ years experience in construction and architecture, having worked both as a draftsman and estimator for a general contracting firm, as well as a draftsman for a small architecture firm prior to schooling. In Spring of 2008 he studied urban form at the University of Arkansas Rome Center. He was involved in extensive hands-on learning for two semesters through the Design Build Program as Project Captain and Teacher’s Assistant, furthering his knowledge of construction management, techniques, and detailing. His honors thesis focused on transforming the negative stigma associated with manufactured housing. Upon graduation he gained 9+ years experience as a designer, project manager, and program manager for a national architecture and engineering firm in Northeast Arkansas. Work travels included field analysis, construction administration, and AHJ/variance meetings to 20+ states.
As Project Architect at Core, he is working on the design and administration for multiple exciting projects.
TJ is a Wichita, Kansas native who received his Master of Architecture from Kansas State University in 2019. His desire to work in the profession started with drafting classes in high school, which then led him to the nationally ranked College of Architecture, Planning, and Design at KSU. He had the opportunity to travel throughout Spain during his final year in school for his master’s thesis based in Granada, where he became a virtuoso in gastronomic tourism. TJ was able to collaborate with fellow classmates, the students at the University of Granada, and an architecture firm based out of Madrid to expand his knowledge and appreciation of architecture. He believes in a built environment that is respectfully designed for its place and culture.
TJ interned at Core for seven months in 2018 as a part of schooling. He loves the culture of the company and was welcomed back upon graduation. He is excited for what Northwest Arkansas and Core Architects have to offer.
Colt attended the Fay Jones School at the University of Arkansas and was welcomed to Core’s team upon graduation in 2019. He received his Bachelor of Architecture with triple minors in Sustainability, Planning, and History of Architecture. He has been drawn to architecture since toddlerhood because of its power to elevate people’s aspirations well beyond the everyday. Colt had the opportunity to further understand this ageless potential during his semester-long study abroad experience in Europe, where he traversed dozens of cities in preparation of his honors thesis, “Placescrapers.”
Colt is eager to further develop his design skills and knowledge of the profession through practical experience while contributing to the advancement of Northwest Arkansas’s potential as a growing metropolis.
jessie vines, NCIDQ, ASID
Jessie brings a fresh approach to the field of interior design - one that draws from her education and working experience in both architectural design and interior environments. This results in a product that is successful from both an aesthetic and functional perspective.
After graduation from the University of Arkansas, she began working for PB2 Architecture in Rogers, AR, following an internship with Innerplan Office Interiors. In 2006, she joined the team at Tucker Sadler Architects in Rogers. After working with Tucker Sadler for a year, Jessie moved to San Diego, CA to continue work at their headquarters. By 2010, she was named Senior Interior Designer, overseeing the Interior’s department in a firm of 20+ employees. Jessie formed her own design firm, 709 Design, in 2011 after moving “home” to Northwest Arkansas. A mother now to two children, Jessie has left business ownership to join the team at Core Architects - a move that has allowed her to be equal parts designer and mom.
KATIE BALDWIN, NCIDQ, LEED AP
Katie has a passion for color and texture with a focus on durability and functionality of space, which brings a well-rounded viewpoint to her work. She has a background in healthcare design, creating spaces that are safe and hard-wearing, while simultaneously calming and welcoming. Katie worked for RTKL in Chicago, IL for 8 years before moving to Northwest Arkansas in 2015. Working for a large firm in a major metropolitan area allowed her many opportunities in locations all over the US and internationally. While her focus in Chicago was healthcare design, Core has enabled her to work on other project types as well, and she is loving it. Katie has experience designing both new construction and renovation projects and enjoys the challenge of bringing new life to older spaces.
meghan johnson, ASID
Meghan graduated from the University of Arkansas in 2016 with a bachelors degree in Interior Design with a focus on sustainability. Her education started with landscape architecture, but her passion to design the built environment lead to interior design. Her studies gave her the chance to study abroad in Rome, as well as visits to New York City and Montreal.
Meghan’s desire to design for the local community lead her to a career at Core Architects. Core has given her the opportunity to work on a multitude of projects at different scales learning alongside talented designers. She has worked on a diverse set of designs including university work, healthcare, workplace, and retail. Meghan has an interest in creating a meaningful design solution with emphasis on aesthetics and function.