December 30, 2019
Brent Schulz’s 30 years as an architect means he has designed everything from schools to jails to health-care facilities to Chipotle restaurants to stadiums to a brief brush with national parks.
His ideal assignment would have him spending more time with the latter. As a former Boy Scout leader, he enjoyed the outings that took him to national parks, and TSP’s newest senior project architect dreams of a project that would return him to such natural splendor and let him enhance the beauty.
Until that day, however, he is enjoying the work he has been doing back in his home state after returning from the East Coast shortly after the terrorist attack on the United States on 9/11/2001.
Brent was raised in Lincoln, then spent his high school years in Omaha. He returned to Lincoln to attend the University of Nebraska and major in Architectural SXXXX. He interned with URS Consultants in Atlanta after an uncle working in Kansas City told him, “You wouldn’t believe it: All we do is stadiums.”
After graduating, Brent worked for HOK Sport for a number of years while taking night classes to pursue a master’s degree. He designed AMC theaters around the country with Gould Evans Goodman, then accepted a position as an owner’s rep for a company that built out restaurants, bars and retail space inside stadiums and airports. He lived in Orchard Park, NY.
“It’s a beautiful part of the country,” Brent says. “I didn’t get to see it much because I was gone five or six days a week.”
He then took a job in New Jersey, working as an architect and owner’s rep for 7Eleven stores. Brent had married his wife, Amber, 22 years ago when he lived in Kansas City. Their son, Tyler, now 17, was born in New Jersey. His first day with that firm coincided with the day New York city’s Twin Towers were attacked.
“We decided to look for a way to come back to the Midwest,” Brent said.
Brent signed on with RDG Planning & Design. That’s when he met Omaha architect and office leader Dwyane Meyer, as they worked on projects at the University of Nebraska Medical Center together in the early 2000s. He then worked with DLR Group before starting his own firm, DK Schulz, with two other architects about six years ago (LinkedIn says 3).
He missed the social aspects of working on a team, Brett said.
“I focused mostly on large projects when I was with other firms, but on your own you don’t get an opportunity to work on large projects any more. I’m eager to try and get after some new clients and work on old like UNMC. They’ve announced a $2 billion expansion that’s six blocks from our office.”
The Schulz family live in western Omaha, where Tyler attends Elkhorn South High School as a senior. He is pondering his college plans. Dwayne and Brent live about a mile apart.
In his free time, he fixes the family cars. His preferences are for Porsches and BMWs, and to save on expenses he learned to do the work himself.
He also enjoys hunting—particularly pheasants—and does pro bono work for the American Legion. When he served as a Boy Scout leader, the American Legion chartered his troop. In addition, his stepfather is retired military. Brent’s mother and stepfather live in Omaha while his father resides in Kansas City. Another hobby is investing, and his advice is simple: “It takes time to make money. You’ve got to be patient.”
Brent is eager to learn more as TSP continues to turn toward an employee stock ownership plan (ESOP).
“I’ve worked for several firms that were ESOPs, and it’s really a great incentive,” he said.