About

blending optimism and realism is our recipe for success

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We’ve been improving quality of life through design since 1982 when our founder and principal architect, Gary W. Anderson, decided he wanted to change the trajectory of a community. His dedication to the revitalization of Rockford Illinois’ downtown – honoring its unique architectural history while building spaces that met the community’s needs for the future – was visionary. Where others saw abandoned properties, Gary saw possibility. That unique blend of determination, optimism, and realism has become the firm’s calling card.

Over the years, Studio GWA has become the home to other like-minded urban planning, architecture, interior design and development professionals. Their flexibility, adaptability and creativity make them easy to work with and acknowledged stars in their respective fields. 

The firm has a well-deserved reputation for being undisputed experts in historical renovation and adaptive re-use and we apply our place-making expertise to a variety of these and new construction projects.

No challenge is too big for our dynamic team that thrives on stretching our capabilities to make the improbable quite possible.

Riverfront Restaurant Existing
Riverfront Restaurant Rendered

Our Services

From early financial feasibility studies and community engagement to final touches for interior design, our services cover the planning, design and development of any project.

amazing work starts with having an amazing team.

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Our Team

Easy collaborators. Creative powerhouses. Powerful advocates. Problem-solving masters. Our team members have been called all these things and more. Check out their impressive creds and discover who prefers to travel on two wheels, who does the best impersonations, and who is mastering paddleboard headstands.

Ashley Sarver

Ashley Sarver

Principal

Jennifer Spencer

Jennifer Spencer

Principal

Aaron Holverson

Aaron Holverson

Principal

Gary W. Anderson

Gary W. Anderson

Founder

Emily Christiansen

Emily Christiansen

Senior Associate, Project Manager II

Erin O'Keefe

Erin O'Keefe

Senior Associate, Senior Project Architect

Jason Truax

Jason Truax

Associate, Job Captain I

Caryssa Buchholz

Caryssa Buchholz

Associate, Project Architect I

Deyglis Becker

Deyglis Becker

Associate, Designer II

Bridgette Mekkelsen

Bridgette Mekkelsen

Associate, Designer II

Quinton Kammerer

Quinton Kammerer

Designer I

Jonathan Griffin

Jonathan Griffin

Project Administrator

Amanda Viale

Amanda Viale

Executive Assistant

honored to be recognized for great work

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awards & recognitions

We don’t do great work for the awards, but recognition from some of the industry’s most well-respected associations and organizations sure is nice. Our work and team members have earned recognitions from:

AIA Logo
Driehaus Foundation Logo
40 Leaders Under Forty Logo
Citizen of the Year Logo

community involvement

We want to make a positive, measurable contribution to the communities in which we live and work. Here are just a few of the organizations to which we dedicate our time and financial support.

Landmarks Illinois Community Involvement
Transform Rockford Community Involvement
AIA Community Involvement
City of Rockford Community Involvement
City of Monroe Community Involvement
Northern Illinois Hospice Community Involvement
I Bike Rockford Community Involvement
Remedies Community Involvement
Remedies Community Involvement
Laurent House Community Involvement
Laurent House Community Involvement

317 Art Collective
AIA Illinois
AIA National Associates
AIA Prairie Chapter
AIA Rockford
American Planning Association (APA)  American Planning Association, Illinois State Section
Congress for New Urbanism (CNU)
Fordam Forward
Friends of the Coronado
Friends of Ziock
Illinois Realtors
Indian Hill Manor                              International Interior Design Association (IIDA)
Jason Pettigrew Memorial Scholarship
National Council of Architectural Registration
Boards (NCARB)
Natural Land Institute
River District Association
Rockford Area Arts Council
Rockford Art Guild
Rockford Art Museum
Salem Lutheran Church
Stateline Church
Urban Land Institute

careers

Studio GWA does not have any open positions at this time.   We’re always interested in talking to people who will grow with us, however, so drop us a line on our Contact page!

contact us

We can’t wait to connect with you. *denotes required field


200 Prairie St. Suite 201
Rockford, IL 61107

1107 16th Ave
Monroe, WI 53566

815-963-1900

jgriffin@studiogwa.com