Promotions reflect commitment to each other, OPN, practice

All OPN employees embrace our responsibility to care for each other and our planet through extraordinary design and a boundary-free practice. Our 2024 promotions are a group of extraordinary professionals who have shown passion & purpose for both OPN and the practice of architecture throughout their careers.

OPN Architects is pleased to announce the promotion of Kristin Lewis, AIA, to Principal and Joe Wallace, AIA, to Associate Principal. Both Joe’s and Kristin’s leadership reflects OPN’s commitment to our staff, our practice, and our clients.

Kristin LewisKristin has been leading our Des Moines studio since 2019. For nearly two decades since joining OPN in 2007, Kristin’s career has been focused on higher education projects. Her diverse portfolio of work ranges from feasibility studies to new state-of-the-art research facilities. She is particularly adept at campus master planning. Kristin also led the design of the new $135 million Ames High School.

Joe joins our leadership team in Minneapolis. Joe started with OPN Architects upon graduation in 2012. Since then, he has had extensive experience working with vast range of clients and project types, both big and small.  Joe is passionate about sustainable design and explores these concepts while leading project design teams and consultants towards thoughtful and award-winning design solutions.

The promotion of these four team members represent their commitment to elevating the human experience through the built environment.

Ken Hagen, AIA |  K-12 Region Leader 

As a senior project architect at OPN Architects, Ken has spent most of his 20 years of practice designing student-centric spaces. His recent experience includes multiple new high schools, master planning and implementation for several districts, a new performing arts center for a school district, and a re-imagined visitor experience at a performance venue for a university.  In planning and designing spaces for both students and educators – from pre-K to postgraduate – Ken has an approach that is rooted in integrating pedagogy, design, and function. He finds inspiration in the intersection of materials and experiences.

Thomas Goetz | Emerging Professional 2

Tom has been an architect with OPN since 2020. He was drawn to architecture’s ability to build, not just buildings, but processes, communities, and relationships.  “I am inspired by is learning how things are made. Not only the physical process of making but the social processes we organize ourselves in to get projects done.” His mantra is simple, but important, especially in our practice: Don’t make mistakes!

Marilyn Stephanou

Marilyn Stephanou | Emerging Professional 2

Originally from Cyprus, Marilyn joined OPN in 2020. In Marilyn’s ideal future, architecture would convert to 100% sustainable design. She enjoys architecture’s ability to bring people and communities together. “To me, the success of architecture always relies on the synergy between design and habitation.”

Hugh Soward

Hugh Soward | Innovation Manager

As Innovation Manager, Hugh is a leader of OPN’s Digital Practice team. Formed in 2020, the team focuses on researching, testing, and implementing emerging technologies as these tools relate to and have the potential to improve the practice of architecture. Computational designer roles and technology specialists are integrated at the project level to develop unique solutions that serve clients while also supporting the firm’s design excellence and building performance goals