Browsing Helix People

3 February, 2015 | Helix People

How to succeed in business? Surround yourself with really smart people!

To recognize the talent and contributions of two amazing individuals within our firm, we are happy to announce that Paul Weigel has been elevated to Director of Finance, and Kathy Whipple is elevated to Director of Human Relations.

Their combined contribution of over 15 years to our creative company have provided both a bedrock for us to build on, and the glue that makes our culture strong, healthy, and fun.

Congratulations Paul and Kathy!

28 January, 2015 | Helix People

Uniquely Helix

Happy hour is not for naught. A fun conversation transpired a few weeks ago over end-of-the-week beers that resulted in a census of the personality types in the office. As an office, we unanimously, and somewhat eagerly, opted to take an online version of the Myer-Briggs personality type indicator test  in order to get to know ourselves, each other, and our workplace a little bit better. The results were catalogued and studied to identify our individual and collective identities. Disclaimer: I am by no means an expert in analytical psychology. I am an interior designer with a sincere interest in people (my co-workers), workplace (both designing and working), and relationships. So if any of this doesn’t make sense, don’t be too surprised, or concerned. The following results are meant to delight and entertain.


Collectively, we are the most rare personality type in the Myers-Briggs matrix. The data reveals the following to be true at Helix:

  1. There are more Introverts than Extroverts (I>E)
  2. There are more Intuitive types than Sensing (N>S)
  3. There are more Feeling types than Thinking…nearly a 3:1 ratio! (F>T)
  4. There are more Judging types than Perceiving (J>P)


If this doesn’t mean much to you, the break-down (pictured right) defining the dichotomies may help.

If you take the greater of the two dichotomies listed above for each preference, you get the conglomerate personality type INFJ. The INFJ personality belongs to the “Diplomat” or “Idealist” category, and makes up less than 1% of the U.S. population. The INFJ is idealistic, moral, decisive, and uses energy to create balance, not for personal gain. The INFJ is a rare breed including an impressive list of infamous persons such as Martin Luther King, Nelson Mandela, and Mother Teresa to name a few! We at Helix are proud to be an INFJ company who seek meaning in our work, wish to create a lasting positive impact, and believe strongly that people matter. See more about our philosophy here:

Another take-away from this exercise is the fact that we have three majority personality types in the office.  Nearly everyone else is a floater, a single or pair of one-offs. A brief synopsis of the top three most common types in the office:

 ISFJ – The Protector. 18% of Helix employees. Quiet, friendly, responsible. Notice and remember specifics about people. Good listeners, eager to serve, great organizers.

ENFJ – The Teacher. 14% of Helix employees (50% of which are leadership). Warm, empathetic, responsible. Finds potential in everyone. Provides inspiring leadership. Communicative, affectionate and warm. Honors commitments.

ENFP – The Champion. 14% of Helix employees. Enthusiastic, imaginative, spontaneous, flexible. Improvises confidently. Fun, optimistic, reads others well.

As individuals, there are a handful of Helixers who have found the optimal vocation for them, based on the personality type career guidance book “Do What You Are” by Paul Tieger (pictured right).  We played a guessing game at our semi-annual meeting last Friday that I think those of you who know us may also enjoy. We had fun with it!

Guess who represents the Helix personality type identified above?

Guess who is a quintessential interior designer with irresistible style and who just wants to fun?!

Guess who are quintessential graphic designers and true idealists with a calm exterior and burning inner passion?!

Guess who the quintessential architects are: inventive, creative, intellectual and most logically precise of all personality types?!

Guess who is a quintessential entrepreneur on a constant quest for knowledge and who often plays devil’s advocate?!

Helix’s demographics are unique and reflect a character that is creative, idealistic, and supportive of each other (i.e. The Teacher, the Protector, and the Champion). These are my teammates, my bosses, my co-workers, and my friends. I am happy to learn what I knew all along: we are great people individually and even better when we’re together!

18 September, 2014 | Helix People

Helix Bikers Join the 2014 Bike MS

Continuing our company’s “Bike MS” yearly tradition, Helix bikers Mark Neibling and Sam Loring, rode this past weekend with team “Cutters” to raise money for the MS cause.  Their route started in Olathe and ended in Lawrence where a “Gears and Grooves” festival awaited their arrival.  The rewards were worthwhile, as bikers enjoyed food, musical entertainment, and Boulevard Beer, but most importantly made an impact for the MS cause.

Open PhotoTeam Cutters during the Bike MS Team Cutters during the Bike MS
Open Photo

2 August, 2014 | Awards, Helix People

Helix Named One of Kansas City’s “Best Companies to Work For” for the 5th Year in a Row!

Ingram’s “Best Companies to Work For” recognizes workplaces of the highest quality in the greater Kansas City area, those whose management practices, educational and advancement opportunities, benefits and spirit of teamwork set them apart from thousands of other companies throughout the region.

This year, we are very proud to know that Helix is receiving this title for the 5th year in a row!  Thank you Ingrams, and thank you Helix for making our work such an enjoyable experience for all!

3 April, 2014 | Helix People, Recognition

A New Generation of Leaders

Helix joined in celebration with Kristine Sutherlin and Brad Kingsley as their elevation to Principal status was announced.  The festivities were launched into great heights with some competitive champagne-cork shooting and commemorative bottle signing.

Kristine Sutherlin AIA, LEED AP is leading our new project management initiatives at Helix.  Her contributions to Helix include the successful repositioning of the Richard D. Bolling Federal Building in downtown Kansas City for the General Services Administration.  Kristine’s work on this $250 million project received national recognition for Design Excellence from GSA, serving now as the ‘model’ for other mid-century federal office building renovations underway throughout the country.  Today, she is an active member of the American Institute of Architects serving on the local steering committee for AIA’s Pillars Leadership Program and the board of directors for the Architectural Foundation.

Brad Kingsley AIA is leading our new design initiatives at Helix. An award winning architect, he was trained by the some of the world’s best architectural firms, including Skidmore Owings & Merrill and Thomas Phifer and Partners located in New York.   He is a graduate of Kansas State University’s School of Architecture and holds a master’s degree in Urban Design from Columbia University.  Today, he is an active member of the American Institute of Architects and serves on Kansas City’s Downtown Council Tactical Urbanism Steering Committee.

We congratulate the both of you, Kristine and Brad, as we proudly add your congratulatory champagne bottles to the collection!

17 January, 2014 | Helix People

Not goodbye but see you soon…

After 12 years at Helix, our dear friend and colleague Kathy Kelly has decided to return to her entrepreneurial roots to start her own consulting practice. At her new company, Kathy will be focused on helping companies and organizations enhance employee engagement as well as customer experience.

Helix would not be the firm we are today without the leadership and contributions of Kathy. She was there at the beginning when we were nothing more than an idea and a dream…a dream to not just design great buildings and spaces, but improve the human experience.  And, Kathy has been a part of so many of the projects that have helped us grow to the firm we have become, one widely recognized for creativity, innovation and collaboration. It is only fitting that these same characteristics could also be used to describe Kathy. We wish her all the best in her new adventure and know we will find opportunities to partner together going forward.

Thanks for everything, Kathy.  You will be missed.

19 December, 2013 | Helix People, Hospitality, Workplace

“We Care” 2013

In the midst of sickness and sluggishness that cold weather brings, a contagious case of holiday cheer recently spread through the Helix office. A large group of Helix employees eagerly participated in the annual “We Care” event this year and subsequently transformed our resource library into something resembling an elf’s workshop. “We Care,” hosted and sponsored nationally by Herman Miller, took place last week at the Thornberry Boys and Girls Club for the event’s Kansas City region. The design community came together for a joy-filled evening of creating and sharing holiday crafts with local children. Over 13 architecture and design firms participated, along with a variety of dealer partners, alliance partners and volunteer groups. By the end of the night, our industrious group of Helix elves had supplied over 125 custom-decaled scarves to appreciative children.

12 December, 2013 | Art, Awards, Helix People, Recognition

AIA Architect of the Year

For Jay Tomlinson, this year has brought high-profile recognition to his lifetime achievements. During the annual Kansas City American Institute of Architects Installation of Officers this past Tuesday, Jay was named the AIA KC “Architect of the Year.” This title follows his recent ArtsKC Virtuoso designation and the most prestigious AIA acknowledgement possible, his election to Fellowship earlier this year.

Dubbed an “architectural alchemist, urban revitalist and arts supporter” by ArtsKC, Jay’s transformative efforts are being recognized in big ways. Perhaps his success at creating significant architecture, enhancing artistic endeavors and resurrecting Downtown Kansas City is due to the fact that he views these initiatives collectively, rather than individually.

We congratulate Jay on his most recent 2013 award and, more importantly, the accomplishments that have earned him the recognition!

11 October, 2013 | Art, Helix People

It’s All Scissors for Sam

Helix’s participation in Missouri Bank’s annual Rock Paper Scissor’s tournament came with a special twist this year. Sam Loring won our internal RPS tournament and was quickly dubbed “Samscissorhands.” For his First Friday’s performance, he came in costume and made us proud with pursed lips, reclusive demeanor, and scissors-exclusive throws. Although his clever tactics did not produce winning results, they did give all audiences an opportunity to share in laughter.

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