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  • Writer's pictureEnviron Blog

Time Well Spent, with Environ's Barbara Hordyk

This month we celebrate Environ's Project Designer Barbara Hordyk, who has been with the company for ten years.

Barbara's talent for design first showed itself in high school, when her mom gave her a budget to redecorate her room. Though she loved the experience so much that she came away feeling this could be her career, she opted to study International Business in college. But after a couple years, she yearned for a more creative experience. Recalling the feeling she got from redecorating her room, she changed her major to Interior Design.

Environ originally learned of Barbara through Alan's wife, who worked with her at the Getty Center. After the project at the Getty Center was complete, Barbara took time off to raise two boys. When she was ready to return to the industry, Environ happened to be looking to hire another associate for its Interiors Department. Perfect timing.

Barbara maintains her credential with the National Council for Interior Design Certification. The certification requires three exams that test one's knowledge of theory, principles of design, building codes, project management and running a business.

As Barbara says, "There's more to it than just picking pretty colors."

Professionally, Barbara cites her more memorable projects as being The Getty Center, the Long Beach Multi-Service Center and the recently completed headquarters for Long Beach Police Department's East Division Substation.

In 2015, Barbara was runner-up in AIA Tour's "Finding Inspiration in Crumpled Paper"contest. For all her professional success, Barbara says her biggest inspiration is her family and the ability to help others. It is no wonder clients enjoy working with her.

Barbara Hordyk leads the Environ team on a tour of The Getty Villas.
Barbara Hordyk leads the Environ team on a tour of The Getty Villas.

"I have had the pleasure of working with Barbara Hordyk for several years. I respect Barbara's work ethic and problem-solving abilities. She is always cheerful and ensured our team stayed on track. Barbara is diligent looking ahead for potential issues with scheduling and/or budgeting, and always offering well thought-out solutions. She's a star!"

- Penny Brear, California Resources Corporation.

FUN FACT: Barbara is an event planner extraordinaire. She is famous for her Halloween parties and loves hosting unique-themed shindigs, most notably "Dr. Who" and "Route 66."

She also organized an Oscar party at Environ last year, complete with gowns, a red carpet, movie trivia and Best Dressed awards.

Barbara Hordyk with fellow Environ employees Willetta McCulloh and Monique Blais-Algie.
Barbara Hordyk with fellow Environ employees Willetta McCulloh and Monique Blais-Algie.

FUN FACT: Barbara volunteers every chance she gets. 

*Served on Community and Beautification Committee for the City of La Palma.

*Named Volunteer of the Year by both the City of La Palma and her children's elementary school.

*Currently on her second year as Vice President of the Football booster and also Co-chaired the Cross Country and Track & Field booster clubs for four years at Kennedy High School.

*AYSO Board Member: Team Parent coordinator and Banner Day Tournament/Closing Ceremony lead.

*Co-managed Environ's submission to CANstruction, a charity event to help end hunger.

Barbara Hordyk with her family.
Barbara Hordyk with her family.

The advice Barbara would give to any aspiring designer is two-fold: "Listen and learn from your mentor" (Barbara still has a notebook from past mentors which she still references) and "Always meet your deadlines," which sometimes means working beyond normal business hours. "It's a rewarding career, if you're willing to put in the time," she says. 

When asked why she has chosen to stay at Environ for ten years, Barbara replies, "Environ is like a second family to me. The atmosphere allows me to do multiple things, including client meetings, space planning, construction documents, project management, and even party planning! We also have a diverse set of clients which lets me work on different types of projects, such as clinics, cafes, offices, government buildings...the list goes on. I am constantly challenged."

Time to celebrate! The team surprised Barbara with a toast and some comfort food. To commemorate her ten years at Environ, Barbara was given her favorite George Nelson "Spindle" clock. 

Alan Burks on his long-time employee: "I have known Barbara for over 25 years. I was first introduced to her years ago when my wife, Georgina, hired her to work on the Getty Center project. She was an ambitious learner and a talented designer that quickly made an impression on my wife and me. Once the project was complete, I convinced her to come to Environ, where for ten years we have enjoyed her enthusiasm, professionalism, humor and talent. Knowing her has truly been time well spent."

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