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Neighboring Concepts Ownership Transition

Neighboring Concepts, a Charlotte-based architecture firm with a 25-year history of mission-driven work, is proud to announce four new partners – Cathy Morrison, Luke Volkmar, Daniel McNamee, and Frank Little. These promotions mark the start of a new chapter for the community-based design practice. Founding co-partner Darrel Williams, FAIA, will start transitioning toward retirement at the end of 2022. In June of this year, Williams was recognized with the 2020 Center City Vision Award, (delayed two years due to the pandemic). The award was presented by Charlotte City Center Partners and celebrated his career-long impact on the community. During his acceptance speech, Williams acknowledged his four new partners stating, “They are a talented and diverse group, all committed to helping the firm go from good to great for years to come.” Morrison, Volkmar, McNamee, and Little have each invested their careers in designing and building projects that positively shape the Charlotte landscape. Each gained valuable lessons under the mentorship of two historic Charlotte-based, minority-owned firms, Neighboring Concepts and Gantt Huberman Architects. As they step into leadership, they seek to honor and build upon the legacy that their mentors, Darrel Williams and former Mayor Harvey Gantt, originally set into motion.

Neighboring Concepts has contributed to the region’s fabric with projects such as CATS Blue Line and Gold Line, Harvey B. Gantt Center, Eastway Regional Recreation Center, Novant Health Michael Jordan Family Medical Clinics, and Romare Bearden Park. Projects like Renaissance West, the first LEED Neighborhood Development project in North Carolina, and Revolution Park Sports Academy, Mecklenburg County Parks & Recreation first LEED certified project, continue to be benchmarks for sustainable design.“Our mission is to transform communities through architecture. We seek to continue to work alongside our neighbors to create, enhance and connect people through smart design and responsible planning.” Cathy Morrison, AIA, NCARB, NOMA, LEED AP BD+C

While Neighboring Concepts is formally acknowledging a public-facing change in leadership, the impact of their leadership is not new. Each partner brings expertise that will complement and support a diverse client base of community-based work.

Luke Volkmar, AIA, LEED AP BD+C, CDT, and Daniel McNamee, AIA, LEED AP BD+C joined Neighboring Concepts over 18 years ago and grew into critical leadership roles in helping Williams manage the firm’s day to day operations. A detail-oriented designer with a strong technical skill set, Volkmar will continue to manage firm operations. McNamee is deeply invested in the firm’s responsibility of authentic community development from initial vision to completion. More recently, Cathy Morrison, AIA, LEED AP BD+C, NOMA, NCARB, and Frank Little, AIA, PMP, joined Neighboring Concepts. While they took different paths to the firm, they both have history together from Gantt Huberman Architects, similar to Darrel Williams. Morrison, an established community leader, joined Neighboring Concepts in 2021. She will lead business development and strategic partnerships. Little, an established architect and project manager, joined Neighboring Concepts in 2017. He will lead the K-12 educational market, and will oversee the technical management of the firm. The team continues and expands their work with current projects such as the CMS New Elementary school – Windsor Park, Winterfield, Idlewild Relief and The Pearl Innovation District, ensuring impact for years to come.

Together the new partners seek to collaborate behind a shared vision of continued growth in supporting their team and the impact they can collectively make on designing meaningful, community, educational, healthcare, transit, and housing projects. Learn more about Neighboring Concepts by visiting


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