January 19, 2019
JAI President Daryl Johnson founded the firm in 1994.
What is your role at JAI?
I wear many hats, but my preferred role is Director of Design.
What three words best describe you?
Loyal, ethical and compassionate.
What is your favorite aspect of being on the JAI team?
Watching and helping young architects and designers develop and find their strengths.
What three words best describe the culture at JAI?
Collegial, familial and collaborative.
What has been your proudest moment to date working at JAI?
I find that every time we hire a new staff member, their first day is an extremely proud moment for me. I also think that watching young staff members grow into a role that they may or may not have ever thought they could fill is very gratifying.
How has working at JAI enhanced your professional development?
For 25 years, I have learned something new every day. I have become a much more well-rounded professional due to the nature of my role here.
What or who is your go-to source for work inspiration?
My Dad. At 81, he’s still out of bed early every day working around his home, loving my mom and maintaining a sense of humor and compassion that I hope I have inherited.
If you could switch places for a day with any JAI team member, which one would you choose?
No way. They all work harder than me.
Before joining JAI, what was the most unusual/enjoyable/challenging job you held? What made it so?
I spent one evening as a dishwasher at a country club in New Jersey. It was the primary reason that I decided that I wanted a college degree.
What do you look most forward to at the end of the workday?
Watching the sunset from my terrace overlooking the city (with an occasional bourbon in hand).
If you were stranded alone on an island, what three material possessions would you hope to have with you?
A sketchpad and pencil; CD player; and all my Bruce Springsteen CDs.
What is your secret talent?
Drawing Disney characters on my kids’ lunch bags when they were little. I’m looking forward to the time when I can do that for my future grandchildren.
What is your favorite place in the world?
Tough one. New York City or a remote cabin in the mountains.
What are you currently watching or reading?
I just finished Andrew Jackson by Jon Meacham, and I’m starting a biography on Leonardo DaVinci by Walter Isaacson.