Today we’d like to introduce you to Alison LeVino Jones.
Alison, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
When I was in college studying to be an interior designer, I wanted to design hospitals and medical facilities. It’s all I read or talked about. During a design project review, my professor shared with me that there was really no such specialty as a healthcare interior design nor much of a need for it (and at the time he was right). Nonetheless, I kept handing in projects that were hospitals or clinics and I think I wore him out.
One day he asked me if I would consider a summer internship with the engineering department at a VA hospital in Massachusetts. They had, it seems, agreed at his urging to take me on but had no idea what an interior designer could bring to their table. I had my bags packed in five minutes and proceeded to have the summer that changed my life – affirming that good healthcare design starts with all things technical: staff and patient flow, building and life safety codes, equipment specifications, cleanability, accessibility, infection control, patient safety, family privacy, and THEN beautiful design!
I graduated from the University of Connecticut and worked my way through the ranks of three architectural and interior design firms that were involved in or were becoming involved in healthcare design. At the third, I established a healthcare studio and surrounded myself with people who also loved healthcare design.
In the late 80s, my husband, Scott (a landscape architect) and I were expecting our first child and a month before I was due we had a simultaneous gut check – in those days we worked 60-70 hour weeks because the industry was booming, we were learning, and well, because design was so damn much fun. Fearing that I was about to miss out on being a mom, a room parent, carpool driver, and class play attendee, I resigned from my overly full-time Director position and began my career as owner of LeVino Jones Medical Interiors and as a Mom. Three months later, Scott also resigned from his position to start his own firm. My plan to work only part-time had lasted exactly 4 weeks.
Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
Other than working out of a closet, profound and continual lack of sleep, no earthly idea about how to run a small business, no staff to which I could delegate tasks and a significantly reduced family income, there were no challenges to speak of.
Alright – so let’s talk business. Tell us about LeVino Jones Medical Interiors, Inc. – what should we know?
Over the course of 29 years, we have designed and created over 10 million square feet of innovative, cost effective and beautiful, award-winning medical interiors! Our specialties include medical space studies and space planning for hospitals, clinics, laboratories, surgical centers, health departments, doctors’ offices, pharmacies, cancer treatment centers, medical retail and medi-spas.
Our service approach to our business has earned us a referral and repeat client rate of 95%. Our staff is to credit for the long-term relationships they develop with our clients as industry experts, client advocates, and trusted advisors.
We are most proud of our staff. Back to the family thing: I began the firm when I was just starting a family, as were most of our current design staff, who happened to be women looking for a flexible job in a competitive career. They were the best and the brightest but could not work traditional hours required by larger firms. They were looking for a job that allowed them to get the kids on the bus, go to work, and be back at home when the bus arrived in the afternoon. They also didn’t want to miss the parent-teacher conferences, school plays, Muffins with Mom or field trips. This job flexibility was unheard of at the time but I needed it as well. Together, we developed a model which allowed for home time and work time and led to an unexpected and continuing culture of women supporting and covering for each other at every turn, both personally and professionally.
Is there a characteristic or quality that you feel is essential to success?
A sense of humor comes first but we specialize in the ability to read minds and move mountains.
- Address: 5064 Roswell Road,
Suite C 101,
Atlanta, GA 30342
- Website: www.levinojones.com
- Phone: 404-459-9411
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
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