CREW Member Spotlight Questionnaire

In our new feature, called the CREW Member Spotlight, we will be highlighting someone who is making an impact in the CREW Atlanta community. For the first Member Spotlight, we selected this year’s Committee Member of the Year recipient, Kelly Darby. She has been the Marketing & Business Development Manager at Warner Summers for a year.

KellyCREW Atlanta: What made you decide to work in the field you are in?

Kelly Darby: I always have been more interested in business relationships, presentations and positioning rather than the nuts and bolts of space design. For me to make the decision to change, it took a snide comment from an abstract-idea-loving professor about how my interest in my architectural project was viewed from the street and in the car were all more about marketing rather than “actual design”.  I directly enrolled in an urban design studio focused on an overhaul of the City of Lithonia’s public image afterwards, which enabled me to work with city councilmen, non-profits, like The Georgia Conservancy, and my studiomates to focus on my marketing and architecture passion.

How do you think your profession may change in the next 10-20 years?

Keeping up with technology, social media, and “the next big experience” is always a challenge. I think that, with the entrance of Generation Z into the workforce, the open/closed pendulum may swing back towards more private work areas. Gen Z is also interested in authenticity and “do-it-yourself”, so we may see an increase in smaller firms in commercial real estate, as well as the Architecture Engineering Construction (AEC) industry.

When and how did you join CREW?

I joined CREW on a recommendation of my former boss at Idea|Span from whom I learned a great deal. The programs were always relevant, local and interesting—thankfully I have always worked in firms that see the benefit of CREW membership and growing your network.

Dream job? If you had to pick a different job, what would it be?

I would be a National Geographic photographer, travel the world, be fit as heck, not wear makeup, and only shower once a week.

Craziest job you ever had?

In Sweden, I walked people’s dogs and house-sat during the European’s month-long summer vacations. I would take the dogs to the beach, chill, and then go home in the evenings to a huge house compared to my shoebox apartment.

Tell us one thing people might be surprised to know about you.

I’m learning how to skateboard.

Hobbies/interests? What do you do to relieve stress?

Volunteering at Museum of Design Atlanta; working out through Crossfit; taking my Chihuahua-Terrier mix, Blue, to the dogpark; hanging with boyfriend, Stephen, and the rest of my friends. I really enjoy watching Marvel movies.

Kelly Darby makes marketing magic happen. Her background in architecture and her Swedish work experience bring a unique perspective to her role as Marketing and Business Development Manager for Warner Summers, an Atlanta-based commercial architecture and interior design firm.

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