Ryan Street & Associates

The Need

Ryan Street is a luxury home designer based in Austin, Texas. The firm’s designs are beautiful, tailored, and livable. The homes that RSA creates are unique, bold, comfortable, and timeless in equal parts. For the past 16 years RSA has been designing homes across Texas, working on some of the most exceptional properties in the state.

Ryan, the owner, came to DBI with a plan for growth, asking for support recruiting a Chief Operating Officer (COO). The goal was to find a talent that would work with ownership to establish organizational underpinnings, allowing the firm to grow into different revenue streams and even beyond. While leadership had business development and design handled, the COO would be an operational expert, responsible for developing best practices for the firm and navigating the firm through the planned changes and diversification.

The Relationship

Bringing on an operational expert COO is a very large change for any owner, let alone ownership that has built a very successful firm that is doing very well. It takes a belief at the ownership level that the changes being made will enhance the firm over the coming years.

It also takes a very strong relationship between the client and recruiter. DBI had to be a true and honest representative of the firm, the leadership and the overall needs of the COO position as it connected with talent in the market.

To get the best understanding of the firm, the leadership, and the need, DBI spent a day on-site with Ryan and his staff. This meeting allowed DBI to gain valuable knowledge as to the needs of the role, meet with the team, and really get to know the ownership. The meeting confirmed that both RSA and DBI were on the same page when it came to staff, culture, strategy, and the overall understanding of what the right COO would look like. The relationship started well and grew into a trusted partnership during the search and hiring process.

The Candidate

The COO would be a paradigm shift in how the firm functions, it would rewrite the operational procedures and provide a runway for growth that would not be possible without a strong leader in the crucial role. The COO would provide day-to-day leadership, operation development of firm goals, leadership of the strong and stable workforce, and develop an iterative process for future growth.

Because RSA has a reputation of outstanding design and customer service, the right candidate needs to have an understanding of design and outstanding customer service. The COO would also be interacting with clients. While the COO being the “face” of a firm is not unusual, the amount of interaction the RSA COO has is different due to the very personal nature of designing someone’s home.

It is with this defined role that DBI took to the market to look for talent.

The Outcome

Once the profile was confirmed DBI entered the market, reaching out to connections and making new ones, representing RSA. Equally important was sharing our market knowledge back with RSA. With constant and timely communication from both DBI and RSA, we were able to quickly attract talent, make evaluations, present the offer, and close the deal.

The COO was found in California, leading a large design/build firm in Los Angeles.

In today’s market, communication (almost in real time) is a key to finding and hiring the right candidate. A delay, even of a week, can mean a lost candidate to another opportunity. DBI was able to establish constant communication channels with RSA and the candidate, leading to a successful hire.

If you would like a true partner working on your behalf to find and motivate talent, reach out to DBI today.

Architecture & UI/UX Recruitment
Architecture & UI/UX Recruitment


Hadley Properties


Hadley is a property development firm with business interest in Washington, California, and Hawaii. The firm is small but well established and profitable. With one architect on staff supporting document creation as well as project design and concept, Hadley is developing very interesting projects.

Hadley’s architect died suddenly.

With multiple active projects across three states Hadley need to find a talented replacement quickly. The firm, experts in development and property management was not prepared to quickly replace the employee. They did not have the bandwidth to post the job, sort through all the applicants to find a small number of good candidates that might apply. They also lacked the know how to strategically target candidates in the market, connect with them, and motivate them to make a change.

This is where DBI/David Brown International was a great partner. DBI has unmatched industry knowledge and vast network of world class talent in architecture and interiors at their fingertips.


DBI met with Hadley, defined their need and worked to set a time line for starting the new architect. DBI then leveraged their deep connections in the local architecture and design industry to quickly identify qualified talent.

The need was unique. The right candidate needed to be technically minded with strong design skill. Hadley needed a candidate who could direct and drive work as well as act as production when needed.

Because of DBI’s proven track record of success in the architecture industry expertise, combined with their speed and access to talent resources, Haley engaged DBI. The two firms worked together to develop a plan with an aggressive two-month project timeline. The strategy was a two-pronged. First, DBI would connect with the strongest candidates in the city, a list DBI has at the ready and always up to date. Second was to reach out to candidates that were not know to DBI but who worked for similar firms in the area.


Because of this simple strategy, concisely executed, DBI provide three outstanding candidates for Hadley to review within a month. DBI then worked with the client to rank the three top candidates and provided strategic information to establish an offer that was quickly accepted. The new architect started within the set timeline and Hadley kept major projects in track. This saved Hadley both time lost on key projects and money lost as deal did not close because of a lack of design knowledge.

If you would like a true partner working on your behalf to find and motivate talent, reach out to DBI today.

Architecture & UI/UX Recruitment
Architecture & UI/UX Recruitment