Celebrating our New Associate Principal and Associates
Posted in— December 4, 2023
Soderstrom Architects is pleased to announce the well-deserved promotions of Eric Talbot to Associate Principal and Caitlin Poliak and Andrew Blumm to Associate. Each of these individuals has demonstrated an extraordinary commitment to our profession, our clients, and our office culture.
Eric Talbot, Design Architect
Promotion to Associate Principal
With his exceptional skills, profound dedication, and over 37 years of architectural experience, Eric has been an instrumental force in shaping Soderstrom’s design excellence since joining the company in 2018. Throughout his tenure at the firm, Eric has demonstrated unparalleled leadership in his role as design architect. He has been the driving force behind the architectural concepts of most of the firm’s major projects, including a new master plan for the Oregon Institute of Technology, the new Medford Water Commission Operations Center, and a largescale addition and renovation at St. Helens High School.
Within the firm, Eric champions design excellence through initiatives such as design lunches with staff, organizing Thursday project presentations and discussions, developing On the Boards displays, and hosting inclusive and engaging design charettes. He is dedicated to ensuring that “Design” remains at the forefront of the firm’s identity. Additionally, he plans to expand Soderstrom Architects’ presence in the local design community, bridging connections with various design disciplines, including art, product design, and local design events.
Is his new role of Associate Principal, Eric’s primary goal is to continue raising the level of design awareness at Soderstrom. Eric fondly refers to his design outreach effort as “Speaking Design,” emphasizing the significance of sharing and amplifying the voices of all involved:
Speaking Design: the name is purposeful in that not only is it important (and joyous) to share design, but that each of us desires our voice to be heard, acknowledged, and affirmed. We are, all of us, primarily, designers.
Caitlin Poliak, Project Manager
Promotion to Associate
Caitlin Poliak, a LEED Accredited Professional with 11 years of architectural expertise, has been an integral part of Soderstrom’s Wine & Spirits studio for the past five years. As project manager, she has delivered outstanding projects to clients including Abbott Claim Winery, Portland Wine Co., and Freeland Spirits. Her most recent accomplishment is the Echolands Winery, a challenging and high-profile new winery which is nearing completion. The project features significant production space and a glass-walled tasting room overlooking the Blue Mountains, and is set to become a major destination in Walla Walla.
Caitlin’s main source of design inspiration lies in the collaborative process of working with owners and stakeholders to craft cohesive, functional, and aesthetically pleasing spaces. She is dedicated to designing environments that harmonize with their surroundings and enhance the experiences of those who occupy them.
Caitlin has also been closely involved in Soderstrom’s internal efforts to promote equity, diversity, and inclusion and has helped the firm achieve a Just label through ILFI. When asked about her goals as an Associate at Soderstrom Architects, Caitlin expressed her commitment to continuing to expand the firm’s outreach and inclusion efforts, both internally and externally:
I am most excited about the opportunity to strengthen Soderstrom’s place in our community through service and engagement, and continue our efforts towards making this a more equitable, inclusive, and all-around great place to work.
Andrew Blumm, Architect
Promotion to Associate
Since joining Soderstrom, Andrew has consistently put forth the highest level of effort and has quickly become an invaluable contributor to the firm’s higher education projects. With six years of industry experience and a track record of excellence, he has been involved in important projects helping to shape the campuses at George Fox University, University of Oregon, and Warner Pacific University, to name a few.
One of Andrew’s recent endeavors is the George Fox University Chapel project, which fulfills a longstanding dream of the University and will serve as a stunning visual representation of the University’s spiritual values.
Andrew draws his inspiration from the relationships he forges with clients. Designing buildings that will profoundly affect their lives for decades is a great honor for him. He is dedicated to providing clients with the best possible design that aligns with their budget and requirements, recognizing the significance of each project in shaping their institution’s future.
In his new role of Associate, Andrew has expressed his commitment to strengthening Soderstrom’s office culture:
As an Associate, I hope to continue shaping and improving our work environment. A supportive, collaborative, and positive office culture is just as important as the work we do since it allows us to design to our full potential and deliver the best possible building for our clients.