Senior Living Studio Leader

SmithGroupJJR SmithGroupJJR Employer:
San Francisco, CA, USLocation:
Wed, Feb 28 '18Posted on:

SmithGroupJJR is an international idea-oriented design firm that is committed to creating inspiring places that enrich the human spirit. We believe extraordinary environments are created when the design process is based on the principles of exploration, experimentation, innovation, sustainability, research, and collaboration. Our expertise in providing thoughtful and innovative solutions keeps SmithGroupJJR at the forefront of architectural, engineering and planning firms around the world. According to the 2017 Building Design + Construction magazine “Giants” ranking, SmithGroupJJR is the 7th largest architecture/engineering firm in the U.S.

SmithGroupJJR seeks a Senior Living Studio Leader to grow our San Francisco, California studio and to expand our senior living services into key offices nationally and in China.  The Studio Leader will focus on market sector specific expertise for the benefit of local, national and international projects of all sizes.  We are seeking a talented individual who is committed to winning work in an organization that values design excellence, teamwork and innovative spirit. The ideal candidate will also demonstrate a high degree of creative and entrepreneurial independence. 


The primary purpose of this position is to win new work for the Senior Living Studio.  The Studio is an integrated team of architectural, and interiors professionals that compete and operate in the highest levels of our profession.

The Studio Leader, in collaboration with the SF Office Director and the Senior Living Strategist, establishes the general direction and strategy for Studio activities such as business development, target clients, client relationships, and advocacy for design excellence within the office through a holistic and collaborative approach to design and the practice.  The Studio Leader consistently exhibits and demonstrates a commitment to SmithGroupJJR core values – Collaboration, Creativity, Community, Integrity and the Environment.  As a whole, these items create a culture for the studio that shapes it as a high-achieving, very market-competitive, and sustainable enterprise.


The Studio Leader’s engagement is inclusive of all project typologies that the Senior Living Studio executes plus the determination and evaluation of new work that it aspires to.  Core project types include: independent living, assisted living, memory care, and skilled nursing.


Specifically, the Studio Leader is responsible for Senior Living Business Development as well as Senior Living Studio Operations and Client Leadership within the SmithGroupJJR San Francisco office. 


The successful candidate for the Studio Leader position demonstrates, via a proven track record, the ability to consistently win work, develop and maintain client relationships and assist teams in profitably delivering design excellence and client satisfaction.  Responsibilities include:    

  • The marketing of our services to win work for the San Francisco and Shanghai offices

  • In collaboration with the Senior Living Strategist and other key Office Directors, develop strategies to win work nationally. 

  • Identification of target clients and development of a business development plan with the Office Director and Business Development partners

  • Development and management of the SF Studio Marketing and Sales budgets

  • Consistent application and participation in all SF Studio go/no-go evaluations

  • Attendance and active participation in firm-wide internal marketing meetings.

  • As client ambassador and team leader, the Studio Leader will remain engaged throughout the life of the project, including the design, documentation, construction and move in phases. Programming, planning, and design oversight will be led by the Senior Living Strategist.   


The Studio Leader is responsible for the development of Senior Living specific expertise within the San Francisco office and assists in developing expertise in other offices.  Studio Leader will:

  • Develop and execute Senior Living initiatives in collaboration with Senior Living Strategist.

  • Promote Studio Senior Living expertise and Thought Leadership through attendance and/or presentations at local, regional and national conferences

  • Mentor project teams

  • Lead regular Studio Meetings (monthly or bi-monthly)

  • Provide input and resources for the creation of consistent practice tools, processes and marketing approaches  


The Studio Leader also oversees the operational requirements of the San Francisco Studio and will:

  • Develop, manage, and mentor Studio staff

  • Develop financial forecasting and budgets in concert with the Office budget

  • Work with the Office Director and the Director of Operations to ensure that revenue and project performance targets are achieved and studio issues are addressed.

  • Provide client leadership on specific SF projects, from start to finish.

  • Develop and maintain client relations on all SF projects.

  • Provide design oversight and QA on all SF projects.

  • Provide input on hiring prospective employees and assist in recruiting as appropriate

  • Participate in Studio employee development and reviews, and annual promotion evaluations  


Supervision and Direction Received: from the Office Director

Supervision and Direction Exercised: Supervises, directs and mentors the staff in the studio


The ideal candidate will meet minimum education and experience requirements, demonstrate proven leadership abilities and demonstrate proficiencies with professional and technical tools commonly utilized in this position. 


The most important attribute for this position is the successful track record of winning work in several of the project typologies described above.

Other attributes: 

  • Ability to inspire and motivate others

  • Demonstrate a high degree of self-awareness, self-management, social awareness and relationship management skills.

  • Develop and implement strategic objectives in concert with the office and practice objectives.

  • Demonstrate effectiveness in working in a team setting, communicating with others, customer satisfaction and technical competence.

  • Ability to synthesize information and respond to questions from groups of managers, clients, customers, and the general public

  • Involvement in professional and civic involvement aligned with the overall goals of SmithGroupJJR

  • Equally balanced analytic and creative strengths


  • A minimum of a professional degree in Architecture, Interior Design, Engineering or equivalent combination of related experience and/or training

  • A minimum of 15 years related experience preferred and/or training (or equivalent combination of education and experience) in the AE Industry

  • Professional registration as an architect, interior designer, or engineer


    SmithGroupJJR offers competitive compensation and an excellent benefit package, including 401(k) and tuition reimbursement. We offer three weeks of paid time off within the first year of employment, with the option of purchasing additional time off, and eight paid holidays. We also offer an alternative work schedule that provides employees with an additional fourteen to fifteen days off per year (usually Fridays) to help with work/life balance.


Equal Opportunity Employer/Veterans/Disabled

SmithGroupJJR is an Equal Opportunity Employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to age, race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, or protected veteran status and will not be discriminated against on the basis of disability or arrest/conviction records.    

Instructions for applying – please read carefully:

  • Go to and go to the Careers page / San Francisco.

  • In the Senior Living Studio Leader posting, please click the Apply here link. Fill in the required information, and submit your cover letter, resume and samples of design work as attachments. Please include salary requirements in your cover letter.

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