With nearly 13 years at ISG, Production Manager and Certified Revit Professional John Krenz has accumulated a wide depth of design experience across rapidly advancing technologies. Now, John calls on that experience to support and mentor the team around him. He also serves on the Wellness Committee and keeps a keen eye out for sustainable design opportunities. Outside of the office, John can be found traveling, snowboarding, helping his partner Melia make delicious vegan and gluten-free cupcakes to benefit the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. Oh, he also organizes ISG axe-throwing events.
What’s your favorite part about working at ISG? What’s been the most surprising?
I enjoy taking part in the creation and modification of the built environment and being surrounded by a growing list of creative and critical thinking peers. It’s fascinating to learn individual strengths and styles and how those contribute to our teams and projects. When I’m approaching a challenge, I tend to call back on my previous experiences as a technician/designer. If I get stuck however, I don’t hesitate to reach out to anyone in our impressive in-house network.
I’ve been most surprised about the pace at which the available tools of our trade and the related technology are advancing.
Where do you draw your inspiration?
It’s inspiring to witness many Native American communities, including the local Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community base their decisions on the impact seven generations ahead. This futuristic outlook is inspiring from both visionary and sustainability standpoints. These efforts towards long-term sustainability will help their community adapt and react to future changes to resource availability and climate.
Looking to the future, what do you foresee as the impact of the A/E industry?
A/E is focused on building our way out of problems that people face. We want infrastructure and buildings to allow us to survive and thrive in all locations under any conditions. We’re going to see pressure from clients and our competition to more carefully analyze that built environment and the effects it has on our planet. There is and will continue to be a push for improving building performance while reducing or eliminating the impact on our surroundings. The increased cost-efficiency and decreased long-term costs of sustainable practices is proof that prosperity doesn’t have to come at the expense of people and the environment.
How does ISG work to incorporate sustainable solutions?
With an abundance of multi-disciplinary LEED certified professionals in-house at ISG, we are very comfortable planning and implementing sustainable solutions for our partners and clients from the get-go. There are several tools available to designers. In addition, we are also exploring more expansive initiatives like The American Institute of Architects’ (AIA) 2030 Commitment and International Living Future Institute’s (ILFI) Living Building Challenge.
I’ve seen your great work as part of the Wellness Committee. Why is wellness important to you, and what makes having such a committee an advantage for companies?
I’m very passionate about wellness and living a healthy life and I love having the opportunity to promote that with my coworkers. It also helps foster a good workplace culture. Studies have shown that companies with wellness programs have benefited both financially and from increased productivity.
Where have your travels taken you?
I’ve gone to Toronto twice in large part to see a pig: Esther the Wonder Pig. A pet mini-pig whose original owner said wouldn’t grow beyond a micro size. However, Esther turned out to be a commercial sow who is now a 650 plus pound house pig. Her owners were inspired to buy a farm in rural Toronto and open a sanctuary. This farm is now mostly for other rescue or surrendered animals.
I’ve also been to Australia and love to get out to Montana to snowboard.
On what day of the week do you look the sharpest?
On Thursdays since college I have been stepping up my attire game to include a tie and sometimes a complete suit. Many have observed and questioned this, and some have even participated. The interesting part is that there’s really no good reason other than to not let my fancy pants collect dust in the closet.
What’s your favorite award you’ve received?
Years ago I was a recipient of The Worf Award for “Kling-ing on” to clients. Lynn Bruns donated a Worf action figure from his expansive personal collection of action figures. These circulated around the office as a way to recognize client-centric behavior.