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Karen PitsleyKaren Pitsley, AIA

Transforming Architecture

As CEO and founder of the Highland-based Transforming Architecture, Karen Pitsley sees her company as residential home translators. “We translate a client’s hopes, dreams and thoughts for their home — how they want to live — we translate that into a reality,” she said. “They can’t get there unless we pull it out of their head and put it on paper so a contractor knows exactly what to build and can create it for them.”

When the project has finished construction, they will go back to photograph the finished project seeing both the fruition of their drawings and the clients’ joy in their surroundings.

Pitsley recalls having a love of architecture even as a child by building with LEGOs and drawing floor plans. A University of Maryland graduate, she founded the company a decade ago during the recession after working as a partner at Symmetry First Architects Inc. because she believes everyone should have access to great design. The company hosted an open house this year welcoming past and current clients.

When it comes to leadership and vision, “my personal mission is to see the greatness in everyone I encounter and help them see what I see,” she said. “I lead by example and by trusting my team to step into their best and highest self. I create the space for them to stretch into new versions of themselves and provide feedback that allows them to grow in a safe and fun environment.”

A member of the Business Women’s Network of Howard County for 15 years, Pitsley also served as the group’s president twice.

This is a winner profile from The Daily Record’s 2018 Maryland’s Most Admired CEOs awards. Some information for this profile was sourced from the honoree’s application for the award.