Gould Evans Announces Associate Principal Promotions

December 13, 2018 – Gould Evans is thrilled to announce five Associate Principal promotions across our studios. The selection of our future leaders is the most important action we take to influence the quality and direction of our firm’s future.  To this end, Kelly Dreyer, Emily Harrold, Aaron Herring, Brandon Kent and Graham Smith have been named as Associate Principals. They join our six current Associate Principals at this level of leadership within our firm.

Each of these individuals has already made significant contributions to the firm, and each embodies and shapes our values in a distinct and complementary way.  We celebrate their growing role in the advancement of our practice, as we work to leverage design thinking to address the increasingly wide range of challenges that face our clients and communities.

Kelly Dreyer, Associate AIA, LEED AP, Associate Principal
Kelly’s skill at taking complex problems and providing beautiful and easily understood design solutions is recognized by clients, partners and colleagues alike. He is an accomplished designer contributing to many of our firm’s highest profile projects. His limitless creativity and drive have provided leadership opportunities across all aspects of our Lawrence studio, mentoring younger staff and building the studio’s distinct design culture. He is also a respected thought leader firmwide, having collaborated across most of our studios throughout his 15 years with Gould Evans. Kelly was lead designer for two recent award-winning projects: The University of Kansas Earth, Energy and Environment Center and The University of Kansas DeBruce Center: Home of the Original Rules of Basketball.

Emily Harrold, AIA, NCIDQ, Associate Principal
Emily embodies so many of the qualities we look for in a leader. A strategic and flexible thinker, she is keenly focused on the big picture for our clients and our firm while caring deeply about the details. Emily tackles design problems with clarity, bringing intelligent insights and new ideas to the table. She’s resourceful, creating exceptional design opportunities out of even the most challenging constraints. Emily fosters an environment of process improvement and optimism within the studio, and has strengthened the integration of interiors and architecture within our overall practice. She was a key design leader of both the recently-completed Cerner Experience Center and the new Gould Evans Kansas City Studio in Westport. Emily routinely earns the trust of clients and project teams alike in the pursuit of exceptional design solutions, and inspires others in this pursuit as well.

Aaron Herring, RA, NCARB, LEED AP, Associate Principal
Aaron is simply a creative force. His making of art, architecture, spaces, and landscapes expands the imagination. His engaged dialogue builds richness and openness so that complexity and contradiction can thrive in the creative process. His method of collaboration is a dance: sparked by a question, inspired by contributions, and animated by the energy of others. His belief in collective authorship inspires others and stretches norms to achieve what was initially impossible. His sketchbook exemplifies the depth and beauty of his thinking and making, yet he will offer you his no. 2 pencil to modify and expand upon the sketch. People say that when working with Aaron, the conversation is never usual or uninteresting. When faced with barriers, he embraces constraints by inventing new methods of working with energy and conviction.  He inspires and moves people and projects, like the SRPMIC Justice Center, toward new possibilities and unconventional ways of inhabiting the world. Aaron is a leader in spirit and discipline towards making every project, and the lives interwoven in them, remarkable.

Brandon Kent, AIA, LEED AP, Associate Principal
Brandon is recognized by all—colleagues, clients, contractors and consultants—as a consummate leader. He is passionate about collaborating with innovative educational thinkers on learning environments. This passion extends to the full range of educational institutions: K-12, community college, and especially, higher education. A well-rounded manager and designer, he is equally comfortable working on athletic facilities, student housing, complex scientific research laboratories or classroom buildings. Those who work with him know that he keeps his cool in the face of challenges, and he can always find humor to balance the need for high-level commitment. He is currently managing the design and construction of the San Francisco State University Holloway Avenue Student Residence and Mixed-Use Building and recently completed the East Side Union High School District Mount Pleasant Student Center. Brandon is sought out for his engagement because he makes every project he touches better.

Graham Smith, AICP, Associate Principal
Graham approaches planning and design at the urban scale, with a keen understanding of how public space and private development work together to build places. For most of his 17 years with Gould Evans, he has led our Kansas City Planning and Urban Design Studio with projects throughout the Midwest. Recently he has become more involved in collaborating with our Phoenix and San Francisco studios, to expand our planning and urban design reach. Graham is a skilled facilitator who excels in community engagement, building confidence and consensus around planning initiatives. His expertise has helped a wide range of our internal teams and our clients understand how to interpret and navigate through approval processes. He is a regular presenter at local and regional planning conferences, well regarded in the local business community and involved on an ongoing basis with the Greater Kansas City Chamber’s Centurion Leadership Program. Through his leadership with the Heartland Chapter of the Parkinson’s Foundation, Graham has helped raise hundreds of thousands of dollars for research and programs to benefit people afflicted by the disease and their families. Graham’s role as an Associate Principal means that more of our associates and clients will benefit from his wisdom and leadership.

About Gould Evans
Gould Evans believes that design enriches life and elevates the human spirit. We continue to rigorously reimagine our practice focusing our work on people and place, innovations and outcomes. We intend to exceed client expectations, integrate symbiotically with the earth and the environment, and expand our perspectives for an inclusivity that promises surprising discovery and diversity.  To learn more, visit