Rick McCandless

Rick McCandless

New York, NY, US



I was born and raised in southern Louisiana where I was brought up on gumbo and Mardi Gras.  This is a far cry from selling luxury furniture and lighting in New York, which I have been doing for the past five years.  

Before I even graduated college - I had worked offshore as a barge clerk on structural installations & Mainstreet in the Magic Kingdom selling cigars and children clothes.  I was pulled into the music industry in 1999 and worked my way from truck loader to one of the main up-riggers for several venues in New Orleans, including The Superdome, Saenger & Orpheum Theaters.  After five years of back-breaking labor,  I retired my harness to focus on lighting design and timeless elegance at Pierce Paxton Design Studio.  Hurricane Katrina re-arranged everything, sending me to Burgdahl and Graves Architects - where I was known for securing walk-thru emergency permitting at City Hall for non-structural, post-hurricane repairs.  

I relocated to Savannah a year after Katrina.  I worked for three dynamically different firms.  Gonzalez Architects focused on luxury resorts in coastal Florida and was one of the first to feel the 2008 recession.  Ogletree Design was a small design build firm where I successfully worked myself out of a job by completing all the backlog projects.  

I had to un-retire my harness and step-up as head rigger of the Savannah Civic Center towards the end of my stay in Georgia.  When needed, I would work with the local IATSE unions, even earning a credit in the Art Department for the film The Conspirator.  

Gunn Meyerhoff and Shay Architects was the final architecture firm I worked with in Savannah.  I was heavily involved in renovating an existing historic building to achieve a LEED Platinum Certification for Georgia Power's Headquarters.  

Other than one month of residency practicing under a local architect, I have completed my internship hours for IDP.  I have also passed two sections of ARE, Programming, Planning & Practice + Construction Documents & Services.  



ABC Home, New York, NY, US, Lighting and Pure Furniture Specialist

Create specification database of all current production and discontinued lighting fixtures. Provide graphic documents for custom upholstered furnishings, using organic and sustainable resources.

Jun 2012 - current

The Conran Shop, New York, NY, US, Lighting Sales Manager

Provide immediate and in-depth product knowledge of modern lighting fixtures. Sales support for luxury audio and furniture systems.

Mar 2011 - Jun 2012

Gunn Meyerhoff Shay Architects, Savannah, GA, US, Architectural Project Manager

Retrieve site measurements, as-built details and photographs of existing conditions. Completion of construction documents, door and finish schedules in AutoCAD. Select lighting fixtures based on aesthetic detail, energy efficiency and room demands. Revise schematic proposals for client and historical review board meetings.

Jan 2010 - Oct 2010

City of Savannah, Savannah, GA, US, Head Rigger

Run crew to install steel cable in roofing grid, focus and run truss spotlight per touring requirements.

Apr 2008 - Oct 2010

Ogletree Design and Construction, Savannah, GA, US, Architectural Project Manager

Draft base plans. Verify site conditions & photo document existing conditions. Prepare schematic design options for client review. Complete construction documents .

Feb 2008 - Apr 2008

Gonzalez Architects, Savannah, GA, US, Architectural Project Manager

Coordinate documents and deadlines with out-of-state contractors, engineers and interior designers. Complete construction documents, details & addendum.

Sep 2006 - Feb 2008

Burgdahl & Graves AIA Architects, Gretna, LA, US, Architectural Project Manager

Walk through application and pick up emergency permit for Hurricane Katrina recovery. Retrieve site measurements, as-built details and photographs of existing conditions. Complete construction documents and details.

Oct 2005 - Jul 2006

Pierce Paxton Design Studio, New Orleans, LA, US, Computer Aided Design

Refine free-hand drawings into detailed construction documents of lighting fixtures while expanding the product line into a series. Develop a series of plumbing fixtures and beaded lampshades. Give feedback to overseas factories on samples.

Jan 2004 - Aug 2005

Stage Right Productions/Event Service,Inc., Baton Rouge, LA, US, Stagehand and Rigger

Install structural, lighting, sound and video components for live events.

Jan 1999 - Jan 2004

Howard Montgomery Steger Architects, New Orleans, LA, US, Drafter

Revise as-builds for University of North Carolina School of Music while moonlighting as a stagehand.

Jun 2000 - Aug 2000

Jay Ray McDermott, Inc., Marine Division, Morgan City, LA, US, Barge Project Administrator

Order and enforce manifest for crew change. Audit payroll schedule with critical path. Document critical path. Inspector and client liaison.

Mar 1998 - Aug 1998


Louisiana State University, BArch, Architecture

minor in Audio Visual Arts

Aug 1994 - May 2002

Areas of Specialization 


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