Jerry Purdy, AIA
Jerry Purdy, AIA

Jerry is Design Alliance’s founder and President. In addition to being the “buck stops here” person in the office, Jerry works with School Districts, Counties, Cities, Churches, Assisted Living developers, and other Owners throughout Iowa and the Midwest.

What are you likely to be doing on Friday after a good week at Design Alliance?
What I do on a Friday after work is one of the most enjoyable activities I do….and that is for my wife and I to get together with a circle of close friends about every Friday evening for a glass of wine, good conversation, laughter, and a relaxing atmosphere. Life is to be enjoyed with family and friends.

How did your first job impact you?
My first job impacted me greatly for a number of reasons. The first and foremost reason was the notion of landing that first job as the economy was very difficult in the mid-seventies for the architectural profession. Jobs were scarce and no one was interviewing, let alone hiring. I traveled to the San Francisco Bay area to look for work. I purchased a newspaper to find the head line stating “major architectural firm lays off 100 employees”….tough way to start the job search.

When I did get my first offer I found myself working in a place perfectly suited for me. I eventually purchased the company and now serve as one of the principals.

What do you like the most about living in the Des Moines area?
What I like about the Des Moines area is its transformation into one of the best cities in American for young and old alike. The downtown area redevelopment has provided momentum for the entire circle of communities around it. The place is growing, has a lot to offer young talent, and is just a great place to live.

What is your favorite building and why?
My favorite building is CY Stephens Auditorium located on the Iowa State Campus. It represents excellent architecture (as supported by my peers recognizing it as the best building in Iowa) created by locally grown talent as the architects were from Iowa.

What part of your job gives you the most personal satisfaction?
My personal satisfaction comes from the completion of a project and the look in the eyes of our client who is pleased with the outcome. The world of architecture permits one to experience the results of our efforts in a rather short time period as compared to other service professions. Good design, achieving the owner’s needs, and performing as we say we would is very gratifying.

Have you ever won anything? What was it?
Probably an award one would not know about me was back in the eighties. I received an award for Outstanding Young Farmer in Adair County, Iowa where my family farmed….prior to my re-entry into the architectural profession.

When traveling to San Francisco, my wife, sister, and I always eat at the Cliff House which overlooks the Pacific Ocean. Beautiful view with very good food makes it quite enjoyable. It has become quite a bit of a custom.