Joe Pazdan, a Greenville, South Carolina native, is an enthusiastic community leader and advocate recognized for a hands-on approach and dedicated level of service. He is an avid member of the Urban Land Institute (ULI) and is actively engaged in economic development and private investment initiatives across the Southeast. For 30 years, Joe has overseen the planning and design of retail, hospitality, mixed-use, office, and industrial projects for the firm’s Corporate and Community Studios. He currently sits on ULI’s National Sustainable Development Council and has also served as Vice Chair for South Carolina’s District Council.
Brad’s role includes staff development, continuous integration of firm culture and internal communications. Brad has a diverse background of project experience including higher education, healthcare, commercial, civic, and community projects. A gifted facilitator, Brad often guides planning, programming, and design charrettes to engage stakeholders in the creative analysis of needs and effective solutions.
Ron Smith, a western North Carolina native, operates out of the Spartanburg office and focuses on the needs of community, K-12, and higher education clients. He was the original founder of McMillan Smith & Partners, a predecessor of the current firm, and is an entrepreneur at heart. A former collegiate football player with NFL experience, Ron is an avid sports and recreation enthusiast and has worked on more than 60 college campuses in the Southeast. Ron has received numerous award and publication opportunities centered on planning and design of effective educational environments.
As the Chief Executive Officer, Chad directs the firm’s strategic initiatives with an emphasis on firm operations, project management, and technology. He focuses on business leadership, processes, and financial performance guiding the firm’s growth across the Southeast. Chad has served in numerous leadership roles in the design, construction, and technology industries.
Karen oversees business development and marketing initiatives, identifying potential client needs and the appropriate strategic response to meet them. With over 20 years of experience, she has guided the successful geographic and market sector expansion of five studios and multiple office locations.
K.J.’s professional experience in a broad range of project types has resulted in a distinctive collaborative style. He works closely with both public and private sector clients throughout South Carolina and North Carolina, with a primary emphasis on developer-led projects. K.J. has overseen some of the firm’s most significant projects and continues to manage all office, retail, restaurant, adaptive reuse, hospitality, and industrial manufacturing design work.
Nicole is Vice President of Human Resources with over 15 years of experience in the field of Business and serves as a significant advocate and leader to support a thriving, progressive culture and workforce through innovative people strategies in key areas such as Employee Engagement, Talent Acquisition, Leadership and Team Development, Organizational Development, and Strategic Business Partnership. She is a three-time graduate of Clemson University including a Masters in Business Administration and Masters in Human Resource Development.
As Director of Finance and Accounting, Lyndi Freund maintains oversight of the company’s financial performance, reporting, and long-range business planning. She is responsible for all the company’s financial functions including accounting, treasury, and corporate finance. Her career spans multiple industries with more than 20 years of varied experience in financial management, business leadership, and corporate strategy.
As Director of Project Delivery, Anne works closely with firm leadership and project management teams. She provides guidance, direction, and increased training opportunities in a continued effort to support effective project planning and management. Through these initiatives, Anne further reinforces the firm’s commitment to design delivery success and client satisfaction. She also brings over 30 years of project design and management experience to firm. Upon McMillan Pazdan Smith’s asset acquisition of McKellar & Associates in 2012, Anne served as the Director of Operations for the firm’s Charleston office. In this role, Anne demonstrated consistent professionalism in her practice, with attention to project and operational organization, leadership, and excellence.
As Director of Design Engagement, Cary provides direction and focus to further our firm’s design culture. She works to support the creative process in all offices and studios by promoting diversity of thought, cross-pollination between creative teams, and regular critique as a cultural objective. She also helps to develop design talent firm wide toward an ever-deepening culture of design excellence and innovation. Cary’s efforts extend to the communities McMillan Pazdan Smith serves through forums that encourage community engagement, external feedback, and idea-sharing. Prior to being named Principal and taking on this role, Cary served as a Project Architect and Project Manager in the Community Studio for over 15 years, where she primarily focused on educational, non-profit, and cultural spaces. Her strengths in communication, design, and commitment to quality and excellence in the finished product have allowed her to play a key role in many of the firm’s notable award-winning projects.
Joe has over 21 years of experience in challenging adaptive reuse, historic rehabilitation, and urban infill projects across metro Atlanta. His focus on developing high-quality, environmentally efficient designs by integrating critical objectives has presented numerous satisfied clients with award-winning buildings. Joe consistently combines strong knowledge of planning regulations, building codes, and zoning with his natural ability to find creative solutions.
In his 14 years with the firm, William gained diverse experience in the delivery of commercial, civic, higher education, K-12 education, healthcare, and residential architecture projects. However, his steadfast focus on community projects has given William the incredible understanding of team building, technology utilization, and digital representation and communication that continues to drive positive results for his clients today.
Scott is an experienced professional in construction, real estate development, and architectural design. For over 30 years, Scott has used a proactive approach and a driven work ethic to apply his broad skillset to a wide range of client types. He is licensed as an architect, real estate broker, and general contractor, giving him a unique perspective on project management and design strategy. With a proven track record as an effective leader, and an incredible reputation as a team player, Scott has the experience in design, project management, estimating, and real estate development to successfully complete projects from inception to completion.
Lisa, whose tenure at MPS began in 1993, serves as a Principal and Greenville Office Director. She has led the Community Studio for many years with a focus on design excellence in housing, adaptive reuse, mixed-used and other transformational community projects for non-profits organizations, churches, and commercial entities. Lisa is an advocate for affordable and workforce housing initiatives. She created and led the first IdeaXchange in partnership with ULI South Carolina to bring together stakeholders to address the difficulties in providing affordable housing from the perspective of the investor, developer, and municipality. Lisa’s leadership promotes sustainability and resilience as well as the connectivity and social interaction of her teammates and within the parameters of programming and planning for each community project.
Paulette uses her 25 years of educational, municipal, and recreational experience to bring a creative and responsible approach to public design. She focuses on encouraging new schools to meet their stated academic goals while also creating buildings that encourage, support, and inspire the learning process. Beyond her work with OSE, OSF, and state officials, Paulette strives to create sustainable solutions that add effective value to high performance buildings.
Thad is an Associate and our Asheville Office Director. He completed a Master of Architecture from Clemson University in 2005 and relocated to the Asheville community. He served as President of AIA North Carolina in 2018 and continues to be an active member. Thad enjoys the project management and technical aspects of the profession and has served as Project Architect for numerous clients in Western North Carolina including Western Carolina University, Buncombe County Schools, Asheville Housing Authority, and the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians.
Sanders is our Columbia office director. He has been the principal-in-charge for many significant higher education and institutional buildings such as the Horizon Research Laboratory building at USC and the Florence County Museum. He founded Lambert-Tate Architecture in 1989 with his late partner Bruce Lambert, which became Watson Tate Architects in 1991 and Watson Tate Savory in 1996 with the addition of Tom Savory as Principal. WTS merged with McMillan Pazdan Smith in 2021. Sanders has maintained a focus in interior architecture throughout his career and has significantly contributed to many award-winning interior renovation projects.