Hats Off to Environ's Aimee Mandala!
Aimee Mandala sits below Environ's mission statement in the reception area of its downtown Long Beach office. It's an apt place for this eight-year employee, as she embraces the company's philosophy in everything she does as Environ's Director of Operations.
In college Aimee studied English and creative writing, never imagining she would end up in a position like the one she holds today. But coming from four generations of architects whose work stretches back to the 1800s, it seems unsurprising that Aimee wound up in the same field. As a child, she and her siblings tagged along to work with their father to his architectural office above the famed Bake n Broil in Bixby Knolls. It's a formative experience that took hold: her sister is an architect, while her brother is a BIM manager for a construction company. After working for a property management firm and waiting tables at Bake n Broil, Aimee also moved into the world of architecture.
"She was very specific," Alan Burks remembers. "When we interviewed Aimee, she expressly stated she was looking for a career as an administrator in an architect’s office. Because of her experience, she understands the importance of keeping a creative office organized."
That she does. Whether she's balancing the books, preparing RFP responses, handling HR issues, or planning events, Aimee demonstrates the perfect balance of creativity and analytical thinking. She is always willing to help and eager to expand her knowledge. As such, in 2009 she both became a LEED Accredited Professional and earned her Certified Design Firm Administrator certificate through the SDA, a qualification that requires continuing education to maintain.
Additionally, since 2012 Aimee has served as a board member of the Long Beach Chamber of Commerce’s Women’s Business Council and was elected Vice President of Programs for 2015-'16.
“From the moment we met Aimee, we knew we hit the jackpot," says Judy Nelson, the Chamber's Vice President of Business Councils. "Her personality is warm and friendly, and she is quick to step up to any task that needs doing. I am so lucky to be able to work so closely with her!”
Keeping the office organized so the designers can focus on their work is crucial to a smooth operation. Aimee is open to learning existing practices and improves upon them as needed. She has been instrumental in streamlining the office workload by developing systems and checklists for a variety of areas.
Aimee has high praise for her Environ experience. "I really enjoy the people I work with," she says. "I really appreciate the responsibility I have been given to be a representative of Environ, looking out for our best interest and being an employee advocate. I also appreciate Environ's culture. I love that Alan and Willetta can be serious when necessary but be carefree and fun enough to try Dubsmash at our company holiday party! They encourage their employees to be themselves, and really care about our families and creating a work/life balance. With a husband and 2 1/2-year-old son, that is priceless in my book. Plus, work is never boring! I get to wear a lot of hats."
For that the Environ team is grateful, because Aimee wears them all quite well!