At an early age, Mack was fascinated with Legos and houses, which naturally guided him to a career in architecture. A native of Birmingham, he has developed a deep appreciation for the homes and history throughout the city. Mack received his Bachelor of Architecture from Mississippi State University where he met his wife, Chelsea. He is a registered architect and one of the leaders in the residential studio. His passion for creating homes is evident and he has seen multiple projects recognized with various awards. His attention to detail and love for design can be seen in the book collection displayed around his workspace. On Fridays you will be sure to find Mack in maroon for “Maroon Friday” and reading anything pertaining to MSU Football. He loves reading a good book on the beach, woodworking, cooking, and spending time with his wife, their twins, and their dog Dixie.
Soul of the South Q&A
1) What was your “aha” moment/When did you decide that this was the industry for you?
I don’t really have a specific “aha” moment. I always thought that I was good at math, and I liked geometry and physics. In my freshman or sophomore year of high school, I thought, “I want to be an architect.” I was never overly artsy growing up. I think that’s definitely been something that’s come on since I got into the professional world.
2) How did your upbringing/time spent in Alabama shape your career?
I come from a family with a mom who’s a schoolteacher and a dad who worked for the health department, so two influences and professionals as parents that are extremely different. I think I got a lot from both my parents and some of the other influences and mentors that I had growing up. A lot of it was just work ethic. So, that’s not specific to the industry, but I do think that’s contributed to my career path or the success I’ve been able to have.
3) What keeps you moving forward in the industry? Do you have a quote or motto that you find resonates?
One of them comes from Chris. One of the first things he said to me after I started working here was that he encourages everybody to always be a student of design. There’s that old adage out there that there are not really any original ideas anymore. Everything is a combination of things that have been done before, so we should always be studying what other people have done while also studying new materials and methods.
4) How has your nominator made a positive impact on your idea of/relationship to the industry?
He’s been a big part of my career and my life for the past 10 years. He’s an incredible person. You spend any amount of time around him and you learn and understand how much he deeply cares for people. That definitely bleeds into how he runs his business.
5) What would you consider your greatest professional accomplishment?
I take a lot of pride in the position I’ve been able to obtain here at the firm and the leadership and responsibility for the team that I have now. I really enjoy working with my team. I have great folks around me, and I enjoy the opportunity to get to lead them.
6) What would you like to see more of in Alabama as it pertains to your industry?
I think single-family residential work is overlooked in a lot of ways. There isn’t quite as much innovation and development of products, technology, and materials in the residential world. There’s such a focus right now on creating cheaper, faster, easier-to-obtain material. I think when that is your focus, you can lose a lot of the beauty and elegance of how buildings come together when you use real, natural materials. I believe buildings should age just like the world they’re in.