Curtis Moody: Business First, Break Barriers Second
Curt Moody talks with Architect Magazine, “Before I went out on my own, I took on small clients, with my employer’s approval, to start what would become Moody Nolan. My partner, African American structural and civil engineer Howard Nolan, and I won projects because of our skill sets, yes—but also because we were willing to charge less than our competitors. I wish I could say we had a choice in charging fair market value, but we didn’t at the time.
In terms of diversity in architecture, we were it for a long time. We wanted to make Moody Nolan the business we wanted it to be. Our mission wasn’t to go it alone as African Americans, but to be the best we could be with the best talent. We looked for people who wanted to be part of a firm that embraced all ethnicities and genders (women were also undervalued in the profession).
When we were denied opportunities due to outright or latent discrimination, some of our white staff members were the most shaken: They were not accustomed to such treatment. However, we got smarter and doubled down. We began explaining to prospective clients that our team better reflected the diverse populations that they served.”