The Last Word: The right thing to do

Last year, as the recession deepened, Milwaukee-based Plunkett Raysich Architects cut staff and salaries. The company’s partners, including David Raysich, recently told the employees that they will be getting their salary cuts back. Raysich says that was “the easiest decision of our careers.”

“Managing an architectural and interior design firm, or for that matter any business, is not easy especially given the tough economic times we face. Many times you are required to make decisions that are the lesser of two evils.

In September, as the economy turned for the worse, we started to see project opportunities disappear and ongoing projects go on hold. In December, in order to stay in the black, we reduced staff and cut salaries. That was the hardest decision my partners and I had to make in our careers. Even at reduced salaries our team continues to provide our clients the outstanding service they are accustomed to.

We moved our all staff “In the Loop” meetings from quarterly to monthly to give everyone the “State of the Office” information on how we are doing. We promised that the partners would not make a profit at their expense and we would return their salary cuts if we stayed in the black.

As architects we are usually affected at the beginning of a recession. Large commercial projects are the first thing that goes on hold. On the opposite side we are usually the first to see a turnaround. We started to see that turnaround last month. (But) we still have a long way to go to get back to where we were a year ago.

In late April, true to our word, we started to return salary cuts. We hope to continue returning those cuts over the rest of the year. It was the easiest decision of our careers and the only right thing to do.”

David Raysich, Managing Partner, Plunkett Raysich Architects, LLP
11000 West Park Place, Milwaukee, WI 53224
Number of employees: 80


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