Here at MHTN, we strive to make visions a reality. We want to recognize those who make this possible by highlighting our talented team members.
Celebrating his 17th year with MHTN, Greg Beecher brings a passion for innovation and collaborative spirit to our office. We asked him to tell us a little bit about himself.
Where did you grow up? Where did you go to school?
I grew up here in the Salt Lake Valley, fourth in a family of 8 kids. I attended Cottonwood High School where I took drafting and architectural drafting classes. After graduating high school I took a job as a construction laborer, working for my best friend’s father for almost 2 years. While working construction I took architectural drafting classes at Utah Technical College (now Salt Lake Community College) in the evening. My father told me that his friend had an opening for a draftsman at his architectural firm. I applied and was hired, so started my career in architecture. After several years as an architectural draftsman, I learned that I could register with NCARB, with IDP documentation and 13 years of relevant experience, I could qualify to sit for the A.R.E. I registered for three tests each June for the next few years, putting off the structures test to the last because that is where I had the least experience and confidence. I completed three quarters of “structures” with a 4.0 at Salt Lake Community College from September 1994 through May of 1995 and took the A.R.E. structures tests in June of 1995. I completed all of the requirements and received my architect’s license in April of 1996.
When did you first know you wanted to work in architecture?
When I was 11 years old I was given a Matchbox Roadway set for Christmas. The roadway set was a bunch of pieces of 2 lane sections of road and intersections that you could snap together to create a small town. I would set up a layout in the living room to create a small town and would spend hours upon hours drawing unfolded layouts for buildings, stop lights and gas pumps for my matchbox cars. I would cut them out, fold them and either glue or tape them together to create my little town where I could drive my cars. I enjoyed figuring out how things go together and knew that when I grew up I wanted to do something in the construction industry. It wasn’t until I had been an architectural draftsman for a few years that I decided to make Architecture my career.
What are you passionate about and how does that intersect with your job?
I am passionate about family, music and learning and somehow the three always seem to be intertwined. My wife, Kathi, and I have 6 kids and 17 grandkids and they all come first. It has been a great life, not only teaching them, but learning from them as well. My trek in the architectural field has also been an awesome adventure with one learning experience after another. One of my most favorite periods in my career was with the first architectural firm I for which I worked. All of our projects were “total precast concrete” buildings but there was a period of time that I was not working on the drawings for the buildings but rather studying, experimenting and creating drawings for a series of casting molds for the concrete panels. I enjoyed learning about and designing such things as eccentric locking systems for the side gates on the molds that also provided for mechanical and/or electrical chases between panels. That was a real learning experience I look back on it with great pleasure. The field of architecture is constantly changing and progressing with new technology and we must continually learn or be left behind. My job demands that I keep learning how to work with tried and true ideas while interjecting new technology and new ways of doing things. It takes me back to being a kid with my matchbox town and the pleasure I had learning and planning how everything went together. I have enjoyed my years of learning in this field and look forward to new adventures to come.
What do you most love about your current job?
I think the thing I love most about my current position at MHTN is that the learning experience never ends. I enjoy being in a position of taking the culmination of the clients vision and our design teams conception of that vision and putting together a road map of how to get there; and then working with the contractor to see that the vision not only remains but is constructable and becomes real. I love being part of a team that can look back at the end of a project and be proud of what we accomplished as a team.
What are some interesting things about you? What do you enjoy doing outside of the office?
I played the accordion as a kid and Kathi married me anyway. (She may not have known until after she said, “I do”, I don’t really recall when I told her) I’ve since traded up to acoustic guitar and love to play alone or with my kids or grandkids, many of whom also play various musical instruments. I love being a grandpa and there’s no better sound than the laughter of a child. I also have two ten year old Siberian Huskies and one wild and crazy cat. Outside of the office I enjoy the outdoors and spending time with family. I enjoy my Saturday morning walks on the Jordan River parkway with my huskies; it’s both time alone and time with them. We have some family traditions that I cherish. In June we attend Kathi’s family reunion where anyone can share their talents, whether it’s music, dance or anything else you want to share. I really enjoy working with my kids and grandkids, getting ready for that day. Usually in July we try to get camp grounds at the Spruces, up Big Cottonwood canyon, and all of our kids and grandkids are invited to camp, make adventures, play games and sing around the camp fire. Then in late September or early October we have our annual Lagoon day, usually for “Frightmares” with the whole family where Kathi and I provide dinner, we get a group discount on tickets and Lagoon provides the fun. I love the occasional family vacation to the Oregon Coast, or southern Utah, or anywhere together. Kathi and I love to take an occasional road trip just to see what lies around us. Two years ago Kathi and I took the train to Denver to see The Who perform at the Pepsi Center. That was an adventure that I’d take again in a heartbeat! Life is an adventure and I’ve always thought “if you’re not having fun, it’s your own fault”. With 17 grandkids there is always something going on and at times it’s tough to keep up, but I wouldn’t have it any other way.