Following His Father

By Dave Ghose
From the August 2012 issue of Columbus CEO
  • TESSA BERG

Jonathan Moody’s co-workers at the Los Angeles architectural firm gave him a card before he returned to Columbus last year. In it, a wise guy wrote, “Don’t mess this up.” Says Moody, “That was kind of funny, but kind of true at the same time.”

Indeed, Moody faces a daunting challenge as a result of joining Moody•Nolan, the Columbus architectural firm his father, Curt, built into one of the biggest in the city—and the largest African-American-owned architectural firm in the country.

Curt Moody, 61, is in good health and expects to work for another decade or so. But the elder Moody has made it clear what his intentions are for his son. “Jonathan is being groomed to be able to assume leadership eventually,” he says.

Jonathan, 28, is a lot like his father, say Moody•Nolan executives. “He has many of the traits that Curt has,” says Mark Bodien, a partner with the firm. “He’s another completely likable person who has an incredible presence about him and a gentleness.”

And like his father, Jonathan also is an ex-athlete who managed to balance playing varsity sports while studying architecture in college. The Northland High School graduate received a bachelor’s degree in architecture from Cornell University, where he played center on the football team. After Cornell, Jonathan earned a master’s degree from UCLA and worked for three years at Yazdani Studio of Cannon Design in Los Angeles.

Since starting at Moody•Nolan last year, Jonathan, a designer, has taken on a variety of projects: student sports facilities, conference centers, high school stadiums, to name a few. “I’m really just kind of getting thrown in the deep end and swimming the best I can,” he says.

Taking a cue from his father, he’s also asking lots of questions and studying how other folks approach their work. “One of the things that people have told me about him that has made him so special is he’s a great listener,” Jonathan says. “So I’m doing my best to listen and observe.”

Reprinted from the August 2012 issue of Columbus C.E.O. Copyright © Columbus C.E.O.