Sacramento, CA—We’re pleased to introduce Michele Gargano, Client Leader and Senior Associate in our Sacramento Studio, as this month’s Studio W Spotlight team member. Michele has almost 25 years of public facilities architectural experience, and her expertise includes facilities planning, project and team collaboration, code compliance and aiding clients in obtaining State funding. She is responsible for leading projects, such as the North Natomas Community Center & Aquatics Complex for the City of Sacramento, Paradise Unified School District Bond Program Management & Project Implementation post 2018 Camp Fire in Paradise, California and Folsom Lake College Rancho Cordova Center Phase 2 facility for Los Rios Community College District.
Michele is a seasoned traveler, having lived on the East Coast, West Coast and many places in between, and visited many domestic and international destinations. She loves her friends, family and, most especially, her little daughter. Learn more about Michele…
What is your hometown, or where do you live currently and what do you like about it?
I was born in New York, but have lived in a lot of places, New York, Southern and Central California, Eastern and Western Washington, Minnesota and now Northern California. I currently live in Granite Bay and love that it is close to everything, including my family.
What is your favorite restaurant or food?
My mother’s chicken parmigiana is my absolute favorite food, nothing compares to it.
What is your favorite song, movie or book?
Garth Brooks’ “Friends in Low Places” are my favorite singer and song, plus any book in the Dirk Pitt series by Clive Cussler is always a great read for me.
Who is your hero or a person that inspires you?
This is a tough one for me. I could honestly pick any one of my family members, as they each inspire me in a different way. If I could only pick one person, though, it would be my mom. She was a teacher for 40+ years and has the patience that only comes from years of teaching students at all grade levels. I always knew she was a wonderful mother, but she is an even better grandmother to my daughter and niece. She is always willing to drop what she is doing to play with them and find fun things for them to do that are also educational. I honestly believe her being a teacher helped me to find my love of educational building architecture.
What is a typical weekend for you?
Right now, my weekends are full of play time at parks and dance classes with my almost-three-year-old daughter and niece, as well as spending time with family and friends. Everyone tells me eventually I will be able to get back to my personal hobbies when my daughter is older. I enjoy many crafts, from scrap booking to jewelry making and everything in between. I also love to travel, and continue to do so with my daughter so she can develop a love of travel too.
How did you find architecture?
My twin sister was placed in a woodworking class in eighth grade, which she enjoyed. When we moved in ninth grade, our new school placed us both in a drafting class and I fell in love with architecture. While I hated architecture classes later in college, I have loved working in the architectural field.
What is a building and/or destination that inspires you and why?
St. Paul’s Cathedral is one of my favorite buildings. While studying abroad in London I was able to visit this beautiful building and go beyond the typical tour, including a showing of The Whispering Gallery and gaining roof access for surreal views of London.
What is your most memorable project and why?
I have been working on educational and public works projects my entire career. One of my favorite projects has been helping Paradise Unified School District rebuild their community after the 2018 Camp Fire. The District, board members and site staff are so appreciative of everything they receive that it is a joy working with them.
What is your favorite aspect of working at Studio W Architects?
It is all about the people with whom I work. The great projects, of course, make Studio W a good place to work, but the people make Studio W a wonderful place in which to work. The staff here are some of the best in the region. They know what needs to be done in order to complete a project and they work to get it completed.
What project have you worked on at Studio W that made you grow the most professionally? Why?
I believe every project I have worked on has helped me to grow professionally, as I learn something new from each one.