Designing with Passion

This female-owned architectural interior design company is pushing the envelope with collaborative, innovative and artistic spaces.

Nothing epitomizes the thrust of AZ5C more than the concept of transformative growth. Arizona is a destination for families, businesses and investors seeking to be where the action in the new economy is.

You can’t help but notice it as you drive around our state — the new construction, the repurposing, the expansion — millions of square feet of single and multi-tenant corporate offices to house professionals in healthcare, technology, finance, law, and higher education.

Which brings us to Lisa Bentley, who has been the longtime Director of Client Development and now a Co-Partner since 2016, at a boutique interior architectural design firm, McCarthy Nordburg. The firm underwent an ownership transition in 2016 and much has remained the same. For 32 years, the locally-based woman-owned firm has had a front-row seat to see Arizona’s transformation and taken a hands-on role in making it happen. Deftly combining art and science to create smart workspaces that blend a welcoming ambiance with productivity-enhancing features, the McCarthy Nordburg design teams are on the leading edge of modern yet timeless approaches to interior business environments. Lisa has been with McCarthy Nordburg for 24 of years — an incredible time to witness growth and take advantage of it.

We asked Lisa what makes McCarthy Nordburg so successful. First, she told us, it is a commitment to our founding principles – inspiration, measurable results and extraordinary service. The design teams are creating designs that reflect each client’s unique needs and brand dimensions. The designers at McCarthy Nordburg are great listeners – and so unique, innovative designs are the result of close collaboration with their clients, consultants, and designers. Thus, there isn’t a signature design so much as a long and growing list of projects that reflect and demonstrate the character and culture of a wide range of organizations. Many commercial building owners who have become long-standing clients include landlords who rely on McCarthy Nordburg’s design experts to engage and excite new tenants.

We're really passionate about what we do here. We love our clients and we love the projects, and as I mentioned before, it's really about the companies. We like to maintain those relationships, and do a good job for them, and hold onto them forever.

Lisa pointed out that another McCarthy Nordburg commitment is a belief in continuing ongoing education. Like many industries, architectural design is in a constant state of change with the introduction of new accreditations, certifications, building products, workplace technologies, and psychological insights into what makes workers more happy, creative and productive. Workplace design is focused on improving productivity and thus the bottom line for clients. It is important to stay on top of the everchanging trends and become educated on them.

The team at McCarthy Nordburg understands the value of maintaining and preserving the personal touch and exceptional service that clients appreciate while staying flexible and nimble enough to meet the needs of a cyclical industry. For example, the economic recession of 2008 overwhelmed architectural firms nationwide. Arizona’s real estate market slowed and it took a few years to recover, but McCarthy Nordburg used the opportunity to focus on their founding principles and continually improve upon the services they offer. That’s a question Lisa is still asked today. She attributes the firm’s success to the team, describing them simply as some of the most talented and hardworking people she’s ever worked with. Of course, being a local company, cultivating partnerships within the local community for the long term is incredibly important too.

For instance, like many Arizona companies, McCarthy Nordburg benefits from a large and growing pool of Arizona-based talent. Many members of the McCarthy Nordburg team, including Lisa, are ASU alumni. So, McCarthy Nordburg partners with ASU’s College of Architecture to offer to mentor to students — and possibly even recruit new team members. Lisa and the teamwork with the local brokers and the Greater Phoenix Economic Council to provide resources that encourage and assist businesses relocating to Arizona.

That kind of outreach isn’t new to Lisa. In fact, she has a special relationship with the original Arizona 5 Cs — cotton, climate, cattle, citrus, copper — particularly cotton, being named the 1984 Arizona Maid of Cotton. She had the opportunity to represent Arizona farmers as a goodwill ambassador, traveling the state to participate in educational speaking engagements and lobbying for special issues. Nonetheless, Lisa recognizes the value in updating the 5 Cs.

The 5 Cs that Bigfish has come up with really is what Arizona has evolved into. It's why our economy is so diversified, Maricopa County has more people moving here every year than any other county in the United States, for those very reasons.

For McCarthy Nordburg, the future is about being passionate about what they do and why they do it. In that sense, Lisa is thrilled that not much has changed from the day they were founded. However, Arizona has carved out space as an attractive place to do business, and she is quick to add that McCarthy Nordburg has evolved the way organizations should have an environment where employees feel comfortable and the tools to work smarter. They have the pioneering and award-winning roster of projects to prove it — visit their website and see for yourself.

McCarthy Nordburg

2850 E Camelback Rd #250
Phoenix 85016