Culture

We are Better Together.


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Here at AO you’re not just a number, you’re family. We believe in casual Fridays, company sponsored events, annual holiday parties, picnics, bowling and more. As the host of Toastmasters International, we seek to expand one’s confidence in public speaking, leadership and teamwork while providing both professional and personal growth. With collaborative work spaces and driven coworkers, AO welcomes creativity, learning, and lasting relationships.

 

4th Annual Nick Macneil Cornhole Tournament
A big round of applause to Diego Alessi and Vickie Oshima for taking the top spot at this year's tournament! The competition was intense, especially against the formidable mother-son duo, Rhonda and Mason Muratalla, who secured a well-earned second place. Highlighting the event, MVP Diego Alessi and Sammy Saludo from the Commercial studio triumphed over Multifamily's Trevor Morales and Jason Rupp in the inaugural Partner Showdown exhibition, while Craig Prestininzi and Kopis Georgakopoulos won the award for best team spirit. We extend our heartfelt gratitude to the Macneil Family for joining us and to everyone who participated and made the event a success. Looking forward to another exciting tournament next year! Watch the recap video here!
Taco Thursday
AO hosted a taco lunch in our Restaurants and Interiors parking lot. Employees from both the commercial and residential studios gathered to mingle and enjoy delicious tacos catered by The Mexican Taco!
2024 AO Spring Fitness Challenge
Last month, AO staff championed the "Spring into Spring" initiative, participating in a month-long fitness challenge prioritizing our collective health and wellness. The goal was to complete 600 minutes of physical activity in 30 days! Collectively, the team clocked a total of 102,453 minutes of activity! From scenic hikes to gym classes to walks with our furry friends, it was inspiring to see everyone actively participating. Congratulations to all who achieved their fitness goals!  Click here for a recap video of the challenge.
AO Day Celebration
Marking a truly unforgettable milestone for AO, we were honored as Mayor Dan Slater officially proclaimed March 27th as AO Day in the City of Orange, commemorating our 50th anniversary. This was the perfect kick-off for AO50, an incredible year that is set to be filled with celebrations and reflections on AO's journey thus far. Watch the recap video.  
Spring Leadership Highlight
At last week's Spring All Leaders meeting, we unveiled an exciting new initiative focused on enhancing leadership and management skills within our team. The session featured a special guest speaker, Jen Wilson, who shared invaluable insights to elevate our approach to leadership. Jen's talk centered on the transformative power of fostering positive leadership actions through what she termed the "5 pebbles": intentional listening, decision-making, clear communication, empathy, and feedback.
Old Towne Orange Employee Rewards Program
AO takes pride in its engagement with the local community, providing a dedicated rewards program for team members based in Old Towne Orange.

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2024 CPP ARC/LA Firm Day
It was an impressive turnout at the 2024 Cal Poly Pomona Firm Day! The exceptional talent of the students was fully on display, filling us with Bronco pride. The event was a testament to rising standards, showcasing advanced project portfolios that demonstrated creativity and technical prowess. Many students stood out as promising candidates for AO's internship program, signaling a successful year ahead. We can't wait to see the innovation these future architects will bring to our industry and the AO team.
AO’s 10th Annual Friendly Center Fundraiser
Our partnership with the Friendly Center has developed a significant connection to our community, enabling us to make a positive impact. During this year's event, Ioanna Magiati and Elle Schulert presented a check for $18,452 to Mariah Martinez, PR & Marketing Coordinator at Friendly Center. During the past 10 years, AO's collective support has transformed the lives of local families facing crises, providing crucial assistance during the holiday season. Watch the recap here!
2023 Deck the Desks Contest
AO's annual 'Deck The Desks' competition unwrapped a competitive holiday spirit and creativity from our amazing staff! The design studios sleighed the competition with dazzling displays like "Santa's Workshop," "Abstract Christmas Worldwide," and "A Very Merry Star Wars Christmas." Hats off to this year's winners for spreading the joy and reaching a new level of festive flair! Watch the recap here
2023 Casino Royale Cocktail Party
It was a night to remember at AO's Casino Royale Cocktail Party! Guests embraced their inner James Bond and stepped into a world of elegance and intrigue at the Charleston in Fullerton. This glamorous night proved to be a splendid way to close out 2023 and welcome our #AO50 anniversary year in 2024. Until next time, AO knows how to throw a party that truly shakes and stirs. Watch the recap here
AO’s 2023 Friendly Center Fall Fitness Fundraiser Has Begun!
Team AO blazed new hiking trails this past weekend to kick off our annual Friendly Center Fundraiser and Fitness Challenge! Celebrating a decade of partnership with the Friendly Center, this challenge focuses not only bettering ourselves through wellness and fitness but also giving back to local our community and families in need. As we jump into the holidays and season of giving, we are more motivated than ever to reach our fundraising goals! A big thank you to Aaron Childs, Architect, Sr. PM, and Scout leader for leading the hike!
AO’s Halloween Fright Feast 2023
A spooky spectacular showdown took place at this year's Halloween Fright Feast! Ghouls traveled from far and wide to display their frightful costume and pumpkin carving skills. Congratulations to all our contest winners this year! We can't wait to see what ghastly delights you bring next year. Watch the recap video here!
3rd Annual Nick Macneil Cornhole Tournament
The competition was fierce at AO’s 3rd Annual Nick Macneil Memorial Cornhole Tournament! Thirty-two teams of AO’s finest cornholers gathered for an epic battle of hand-to-bean bag combat. In the end, only one team could win, but a valiant effort was displayed by every pair and the crowd was up on their feet cheering for the championship match. Congrats to our 2023 champs Elle Schulert and Jun Sia! Cheers until next year… Watch the recap video HERE!
AO Goes Back To School Shopping!

With Summer drawing to a close, AO hosted our annual backpack drive supporting local elementary school students in need. This year we partnered up with Think Together, a non-profit organization with the mission to “Change the Odds for Kids” by providing a safe community for neighborhood kids to come to after school and help prepare them for college and their future careers. Together, team AO collected over 750 items from the school supply list and assembled 45 backpacks for local students at California iInspire Academy right here in Orange!

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Ice Cream Social
AO Partners flexed their serving skills and took turns handing out ice cream to employees from each studio for July's Ice Cream Social and monthly treat. A tasty mid-day refresh from the summer heat courtesy of Archie's Ice Cream Truck!
Warner Red Hill Site Visit
The AO Multifamily Studio Team toured the active construction site of Warner Red Hill by Greystar in Santa Ana. It was a great opportunity for the designers to visualize and experience the HY-WRAP building typology, inspect components involved in the drawings and construction documents, and see them actualized on the site.
2023 AO Summer Picnic Bonanza
Last weekend, the whole AO family gathered at Knott's Berry Farm in Buena Park for our annual Summer Picnic Bonanza! We had a blast playing games, sharing stories, eating delicious food, and celebrating with each other. Till next year, thanks for the smiles and wonderful memories! https://vimeo.com/839076957
2023 Spring Into Spring Fitness Challenge
For the 2023 Spring Into Spring Fitness Challenge, AO staff participated in a month-long competition to boost our collective health and wellness. The challenge was to complete 600 minutes of physical activity in 30 days! At the end of the challenge, together we completed a total of 111,989 minutes of activity! We enjoyed seeing everyone participating and sending in photos of scenic biking views, long-distance runs, or evening strolls with loved ones. Congratulations to everyone who reached their goals! Click here for a recap video of the challenge.
May The Tacos Be With You!
AO hosted a taco lunch at the American Legion. This event brought AO staff from both the commercial and residential studios together to take a break from their computer screens, mingle and enjoy delicious tacos!
2023 Admin Appreciation Day
“Thank you” is not nearly enough for all that our Administration Professionals do at AO! For Admin Appreciation Day, we honored our Admin professionals with gifts and breakfast as a token of our gratitude. Video HERE.
Multi-Vendor Trade Show
AO hosted its first multi-vendor tradeshow in the 174 parking lot. Eighteen different vendors were on-site showcasing their products and materials. Employees that attended had lunch and were able to meet with the various vendors to discuss their products and answer questions. It was a successful event and we hope to host another one in the future!
AO’s Virtual State of the Studio
Team AO joined for a Virtual Happy Hour along with a briefing of the current State of the Studio as coworkers joined across the United States to listen in.
AO’s Droppin’ Dimes!
AO and Gouvis Engineering had a basketball game rematch. Gouvis hosted AO in their gym for a 5 on 5 basketball game and a networking dinner afterward with our Gouvis colleagues. It was a great game and AO came home with the W this round! Thanks again to the Gouvis Engineering team for being such great hosts.
AO’s 9th Annual Friendly Center Raffle
Our partnership with the Friendly Center has developed an important tie to our community and how we can give back. At this year's event, Ioanna Magiati, and Vickie Oshima presented a check for $17,805 to Friendly Center Director of Development, Arian Ghiacy. AO’s collective support is changing the lives of local families in crisis and helping them get through this Holiday season. AO employees who donated to the fundraiser participated in a raffle for a chance to win a variety of prizes!
2022 AOlé Holiday Cocktail Party
The AO family traveled from far and wide to join together for the AOlé Spanish Holiday Cocktail party at Cafe Sevilla in Costa Mesa this year! Great times were had by all as we shared delicious cocktails, paella, tapas, and desserts. The night was filled with entertainment provided by the ever-so-talented Flamenco & Rumba guitarists followed by a DJ to rock the club!
AO’s Halloween Fright Feast 2022
Competition was terrifying this year at AO’s Halloween Fright Feast at the Woman’s Club of Orange! Ghouls traveled from far and wide to have their costumes and pumpkin carvings judged. Congratulations to our contest winners this year! Watch the recap video here!
2nd Annual Nick Macneil Cornhole Tournament
The competition was fierce at AO’s 2nd Annual Nick Macneil Memorial Cornhole Tournament! Thirty-two teams of AO’s finest cornholers gathered for an epic battle of hand-to-bean bag combat. In the end, only one team could win, but a valiant effort was displayed by every pair and the crowd was up on their feet cheering for the championship match. Congrats to our 2022 champs Carlo Mantovani and Chris Gutierrez! Cheers until next year... Watch the recap video HERE!
Team AO Did Their Jurassic Park to End Hunger This Year at CanstructionOC!
Team AO did our Jurassic Part to Fight Hunger and came away with the award for Best Original Design for Canstruction OC! Let’s all continue to support our food banks and serve our local communities through creative programs like Canstruction! https://vimeo.com/754414868
AO Family Enjoys Some Mid-Day Mindfulness
Don't get things twisted, the AO team loves to stay fit and healthy! The AO family came together for some mid-day mindfulness to align their chakras at SunSpark Yoga Studio in Old Towne Orange. Great minds think better together when they are aligned!
2022 AO Endless Summer Bonfire
The extended AO family gathered last weekend for our annual Endless Summer Beach Bonfire at SeaLegs in Huntington Beach! Together, we celebrated with fun games, awesome stories, great food, and even better company. Thanks for all of the laughs and amazing memories...until next year! https://vimeo.com/734856238