Abel Design Group’s Jeffrey Abel Believes in His Team: ‘Everyone Has Something to Contribute’

Abel Design Group’s Jeffrey Abel Believes in His Team: ‘Everyone Has Something to Contribute’

What’s the secret to running a successful business in such times as these? Being transparent with our employees. Throughout the pandemic our employees understood where we stood financially, what our policies were regarding working from home, our expectations of returning to work, and what we had to do to recover culturally from the disruption of Covid. Maintaining employee safety and employee choice were both paramount. Furthermore, we utilized the slowdown in our business as an opportunity to strengthen our standards and our foundations of design.

What’s unique about your approach? Our approach is rooted in an entrepreneurial mindset — willing to push ourselves to meet new challenges while nimble enough to perform with the same expertise, thoughtfulness and creativity our brand is known for. We truly approach each project with an open mind and clean slate design-wise. We learn about each client, understanding their goals, objectives and culture. We guide our clients out of their comfort zone without forcing pre-conceived ideas and trends on them. Our approach conceives more creative solutions for the clients while continually engaging our designers in diverse and dynamic endeavors.

What’s special about your team? When looking for talent we take the time to find employees who will fit our culture and elevate the company and our work product. We live by the philosophy of “hire smart people and let them do their job.” We trust the people on our team, from the most junior to the most senior. Everyone has a unique point of view and something to contribute. We encourage our employees to take ownership of their work, cultivating a spirit of leadership and success.

What inspires you as you seek to reach greater heights of success? Watching our business grow and evolve through our employees provides my greatest inspiration. My best days are those in which I hire a new employee to join our team. Adding new members to the firm means the company is growing, either in size or expertise, or both!

What have you learned about your business and your community that might inspire others? I’ve found there is a lot of support from other firms in the design and architecture industry. Businesses within the industry come together to celebrate milestones and successes. A recent example is our collaboration with other firms on The Allen Residences and Thompson Hotel project. We are excited to see this project come to fruition and look forward to continuing to partner with others in our industry.

What’s new for 2022 that you’re excited about? We recently reached our 20th year in business, and although we have weathered some storms along the way, we are looking forward to continuous growth. We have some new national accounts that are taking us across the country and worldwide, expanding our footprint and providing new challenges.

Duos, Trios and Teams: ‘Next-Generation’ Mother-Daughter Leppert Duo Debuts

Clare Leppert and Clementine, the Cavachon. Leigh Leppert and Benny, the Bernedoodle.

HOW DID YOU come together as a team? This fall, we are celebrating the introduction of an exciting real estate collaboration between Clare Leppert, longtime Houston Realtor®, and daughter Leigh Leppert. Clare shared a 20+ year real estate partnership with her mother, Bette Carpenter, until Bette’s death in 2016. Having worked solo for several years, Clare in 2021 was awarded Houston Business Journal’s No. 2 Luxury Realtor® in Houston. Leigh, who has been working in marketing for the past decade, has always shared a passion for real estate and watched Clare successfully balance family and career. We are excited to re-create the next generation of a mother-daughter duo at Compass!

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Wiley's 'Judith and Holofernes'

THE ENERGY IN the foyer of the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston’s Caroline Wiess Law Building is quite lively, thanks to the installation of two provocative paintings, painted 400 years apart — one by Artemisia Gentileschi, an Italian 17th-century female artist, the other by Kehinde Wiley, a contemporary, Nigerian-born queer Black artist. Each depicts the grisly climax in the Old Testament Book of Judith, in which the widow Judith decapitates the Assyrian general Holofernes, thus saving her besieged Jewish city of Betulia.

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