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San Jose, CA—We’re pleased to introduce Jim Moore IV, RA, LEED AP, Chief Operating Officer and Principal in our San Jose Studio, as this month’s Studio W Spotlight team member. With over 25 years of experience, Jim leads the financial and operational practices at Studio W Architects. His business acumen has been recognized by PSMJ Resources, Inc. as Outstanding Design Industry “CEO of the Year” in the middle firm category and helped Studio W earn a spot in the prestigious PSMJ Circle of Excellence in 2020. Jim’s leadership and diligence in managing financial metrics have helped to earn the firm Top 50 Fastest Growing Company awards in consecutive years from both the Sacramento Business Journal and the Silicon Valley Business Journal.

Having grown up on the east coast, Jim is now a resident of Los Gatos in the San Francisco Bay Area (and Santa Barbara in spirit!). Jim is a baseball fan and honors and loves his family, citing spending the majority of his extra time with them. His son is a pitcher for the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in Cambridge. Learn more about Jim …

What is your hometown, or where do you live currently and what do you like about it?
I consider both Los Gatos and Santa Barbara my hometowns.

I lived in Santa Barbara for 27 years, arriving there after driving from Virginia to California upon graduating from the University of Virginia School of Architecture. I was President and CEO of an architecture firm in Santa Barbara until selling my shares and moving to Los Gatos in 2009 to join Studio W Architects in the San Jose office. My family likes Los Gatos’ small town feel and the downtown, which has similar qualities to Santa Barbara’s downtown.

What is your favorite restaurant or food?
We’re a short drive away from any type of restaurant, sometimes it’s hard to decide. I like every type of food. Our favorite BBQ restaurant is Aptos BBQ, so we stop there any time we travel that way.

Who is your hero or a person that inspires you?
My father and grandfather are my heroes, both US Army Generals who fought in foreign wars and returned home to their family. They were excellent examples of “servant leaders” and would never ask anyone to do something they would not do themselves.

Moore Family Photo, circa 1961
Standing in the back from left to right are James E. Moore (grandfather), James E. Moore, Jr. (father) and Brigadier General James G. Shanahan (uncle). I am the furthest child away from the front, seated on the ground not looking at the camera. My mother is above me trying to get me to look forward for the photo. My aunt Pat Moore Shanahan is seated on the left and my aunt Mary Moore Sloan is standing on the right.


What is your favorite song, movie or book?
Top 5 songs, in no particular order:

  • “Rocket Man” by Elton John
  • “Sweet Emotion” by Aerosmith
  • “Sultans of Swing” by Dire Straits
  • “Ventura Highway” by America
  • “Running Down a Dream” by Tom Petty

Movie: Apollo 13. “Houston – there is some sort of gas venting out into space! Has to be the oxygen.” I like how the Apollo crew and NASA team both remained calm and worked the problem to get the spacecraft and crew back to Earth, despite numerous challenges.

Book: All the James Clavell novels—Shogun, Tai-Pan, King Rat, Nobel house, Gai-Jin, Whirlwind

What is a typical weekend for you (i.e. what are your hobbies, interests, etc.)?
I like to spend time with family, wherever they want to go. I love baseball—coaching little league, watching my son pitch for Los Gatos High School and now MIT’s baseball team, or watching MLB. I grew up an Orioles fan because that was my grandmother’s favorite team, but since moving out west and the O’s being cellar dwellers in the standings, I now enjoy the Giants and A’s.

How did you find architecture as a career?
A high school counselor thought I’d be good at engineering, but engineering has too much math for me, so I applied to architecture schools.

What is a building and/or destination that inspires you and why?
The Petronas Towers in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Walking across the skybridge was amazing.

I’m inspired by Hong Kong. The view of Hong Kong from Kowloon across the water is awesome. I have a painting of this view in my office.

What is your most memorable project and why?
Christopher High School because it’s the first project I worked on after starting here and it was a brand new high school project. The favorite client is a tie between Huntington Beach City School District and Paradise Unified School District.


What is your favorite aspect of working at Studio W Architects?
There’s something new each and every day. No two days are the same. I enjoy seeing projects go from the initial design to the actual buildings and site work when construction is complete. I like reviewing our plans searching for technical issues that require resolution, and finding them during the design phase rather than having the issues arise during construction.

What project have you worked on at Studio W that made you grow the most professionally? Why?
My role on the Bond Program Management team for the Huntington Beach City School District has required me to create financial management spreadsheets to track all bond funds and foresee future project costs before they are contracted, so as to keep individual projects and the overall bond program within budget.