Larry Mitchell & Mark Hugeback
Years at M+H? LM: As one of the founders in 1989, so this August will be 30 years. MH: All of them (lol) so almost 30!
Total number of years working with O’Toole Design? LM: I’ve know Michelle since we met at Mercantile Bank in the ‘80s, where she was heading the interiors for the Bank and I was with another architectural firm doing some branch banks. We continued to work together since then and also worked together on the Mercantile Bank Operation Center in downtown St. Louis before we both started our firms. MH: 25
Main design contact at O’Toole? LM: Mostly Michelle, but I will also discuss projects with Debbie and Kim. MH: Michelle, Debbie and Kim – it’s nice to have multiple “go-to” people.
What was your initial project with O’Toole? LM: There have been so many successful projects that I honestly don’t remember the first one we worked on when we each had our own firms. MH: That’s asking a lot of my memory. I’m going with JDI Group in Earth City – 1994.
What was important to you when choosing a design partner at that time? LM: Collaboration and working as a team to better the end result. MH: Having a group that could act as an extension of M+H.
What 3 attributes does O’Toole have that made you decide to continue to do work with us? LM: Everyone at O’Toole is so easy to work with and professional too. I like how we can sit down with Michelle, Debbie or Kim and just brainstorm some plan concepts or ideas together. Or, sometimes M+H has a plan concept that needs another set of eyes and we can ask O’Toole for a critique. ODA is always flexible with the services offered, so services are customized to the project, our needs and budget. ODA is also very good at understanding the overarching ideas, concepts or desires of both M+H and our collective clients. MH: Creative, timely, cost-conscious.
How well does O’Toole meet your needs? LM: I feel ODA goes beyond meeting our needs and truly exceeds our needs and expectations. There is such trust in what is brought to the projects by O’Toole. You are a key strategic partner for space planning, interior design, furniture and finishes. Every time ODA is involved, the project gets better. MH: Good enough to result in a 25-year relationship and over 200 successful projects together.
Describe your partnership with O’Toole: LM: We’ve known each other for decades, we’ve collaborated on many projects and 7 years ago, began sharing an office. It’s comforting and convenient to have such a resource of talented interior professionals within our shared space. It’s a symbiotic relationship where interiors can support architecture and architecture can support interiors. MH: What started as 2 small firms working together on design-build teams has grown into a true collaborative partnership, where we complement each other’s talents to deliver unique, client-focused solutions.
Additional Comments: LM: I’m looking forward to collaborating on more great projects, larger opportunities and expanded project types and services. 25 years is a great achievement and milestone, and I’m sure the best is yet to come….congratulations! MH: Tempus fugit! Congratulations!