Architect of the Year
GROTH Design Group
When GROTH Design Group was established in 1994, the people involved scarcely could have imagined what their little firm – devoted mostly to religious projects – would one day become.
The company founder, Mike Groth – the son of a Lutheran pastor – had a particular interest in helping church officials design the sorts of buildings they thought would best their congregations.
Working out of his garage in Cedarburg, Groth discovered the demand for his services was stronger than perhaps even he had foreseen.
From there, the company started working on school projects. Diversifying became the order of the day. Next came a move into corporate and civic projects.
By 2016, he was getting into health care with GROTH’s acquisition of the Milwaukee-based design and construction firm ScopeBridge. The two former principals of that company, Steve Petitt and Pete Schneider, have been a big part of GROTH’s story ever since.
Its health-care clients now include such big names as Gunderson, Children’s Wisconsin, Froedtert and the Medical College of Wisconsin, Aspirus and the Dickinson County Health System. On the school side, GROTH has worked on everything from projects for the Cedarburg and St. Francis districts to buildings for Marquette and Concordia university. Of course, religious projects remain a big part of the mix.
“Religious work takes us the furthest from Milwaukee and southeast Wisconsin,” said Schneider, now a partner at GROTH. “We do religious projects all over the country.”
Petitt said a primary goal has been to not lose sight of the firm’s mission statement: Listen, Lead, Serve. Petitt said GROTH officials want the firm to continuing growing but not so quickly that its founding principles are forgotten.
One of GROTH’s biggest commitments is to its employees. Even bigger, of course, is its commitment to clients.
“The fact that 80% or more of our work is from repeat clients,” said Schneider, “that speaks to our team and being a firm that not only listens but also one that creates architecture that serve the missions of the organizations that work with it.”