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Employee Spotlight: Nick Hewes

Nick has been with MKSD for 16 years, ever since he was lured here by his then-girlfriend, one Jill Palazzo Hewes. When he is not hard at work, Nick is usually busy with outdoor activities like coaching his kids’ sports teams, camping, or skiing with the family.  In fact, Nick is quite the busy family man with twin boys, Connor and Trevor and daughter Lily.  Even though his time is precious, he is always willing to lend a helping hand and assist with teaching the younger staff.  We are very happy that he is part of the MKSD family and hope you enjoy getting to know a little bit about him.

What is your experience in architecture?

I began my career working on high-end residential homes on Long Island, NY. It was a lot of fun – especially since no one seemed to have a budget, and there was a constant need to “keep up with the Jones’s”… so there was a ton of work for us! After leaving NY in 2005, I came right to MKSD and haven’t looked back since! It’s been a great 16 years!

What brought you to the Lehigh Valley, or why did you decide to stay?

Getting engaged to my wife (and Partner at MKSD) – Jill Hewes.  We met in college and after graduation, would visit one another on the weekends. When I’d drive out to the Lehigh Valley on a Friday after work, I’d usually meet up with her (and the rest of the MKSD staff) while they were out at happy hour!  Ultimately, I moved out here, had an awesome interview with MKSD, and the rest is history.

Where did you go to college and what was your favorite class?

Philadelphia University. My favorite class was Architectural sketching while studying abroad in Rome, Italy! Who’d want to sit in a classroom and sketch when you can walk around a city and find inspiration everywhere??

Who is your favorite architect/designer and why?

As a kid I always enjoyed learning about Frank Lloyd Wright (as I imagine many young would-be architects did).  C’mon… a house in the middle of the woods that looked like it was floating over a waterfall?! How could I NOT like that? 

In college I gravitated towards the works of Tadao Ando and Santiago Calatrava.  The idea that Ando used cabinetmakers and craftsman to make concrete formwork for his buildings was so unique to me, and allowed me to experience that specific material in a way I didn’t know was possible.

The sculptural nature of Calatrava’s structures was instantly appealing to me. I was used to seeing buildings with orthogonal or angled walls/roofs, however, the way he combines that with free-flowing curves and structural expression was always very impressive.

What did you think you were going to be when you grew up?

Well, after seeing the movie Jaws as a kid, unlike most people, I fell in love with sharks! I REALLY wanted to be an oceanographer and study sharks as my career! I’d watch any Jacques Cousteau VHS tape I could get my hands on and would constantly take out books about sharks from the library.  Somewhere along the line prior to high school, I developed a love for drawing floor plans, and knew that I wanted to study architecture.

What are some of your favorite hobbies?

Since I got rid of my career idea to study sharks, I still get to swim with them once in a while on vacation… as one of my favorite hobbies is SCUBA diving. Thankfully one of the largest diving facilities on the East Coast is right nearby in Bethlehem – Dutch Springs! Other hobbies include skiing, playing lacrosse, hiking, camping, and pretty much anything that keeps me active and outdoors… though I’d consider watching movies another one of my favorite things to do.

What is the last TV show you binge watched?

“Zero Zero Zero” (Amazon Prime) – a mutli-episode series with a seemingly massive budget! It’s essentially a crime drama, telling the story of a large drug deal gone wrong, spanning multiple continents, and focusing on the buyers, the sellers and the brokers.  It was really well-done and got you “invested” in the characters from each group.

What is the best advice you have ever received?

In 1988 Bobby McFerrin said, “Don’t Worry, Be Happy”, and it’s pretty much been my life’s motto. 

What keeps you motivated and/or inspired?

I get to spend every day doing a job that I love, being around people I love, all while being challenged and having fun. Being able to express the importance of this to my kids as they grow up keeps me motivated!

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