O’Brien Atkins is pleased to announce the following promotions to Senior Associate. 

Melissa C. Hemmingsen, IIDA, NCIDQ, Lead Interior Designer

Melissa joined O’Brien Atkins in 2011 and serves as Lead Interior Designer. Her nearly 20 years of professional experience have given her an in-depth knowledge of workplace trends and strategies. She has had a significant leadership role on every interior design project of recent years.  Whether being a part of an interdisciplinary design team, or leading interiors-focused projects, Melissa has demonstrated an ability to listen and respond to clients with creative, innovative, and appropriate interior design solutions.  Her interior design of the recently completed Duke University Trinity Residence Hall contributed to the University’s assessment that this residence hall has raised the bar for any of their subsequent housing. She has a demonstrated track record of creative, thoughtful design solutions and client management capabilities.

James E. Nichols, Business Development Leader

Jim joined O’Brien Atkins in 2003 and is responsible for helping build and nurture strong relationships with potential and existing clients. Prior to joining the firm, Jim worked for 17 years with the NC Department of Commerce. As O’Brien Atkins’ Business Development Leader, Jim works closely with economic development allies across North Carolina at the local, regional and state levels. As the firm’s “door opener” for new business, Jim’s role includes public relations and, many times, serving as the public face for O’Brien Atkins. Jim earned a Master of Public Affairs degree from NC State University and a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and Economics from UNC Chapel Hill.

Patricia R. Perkins, Director of Business Development Resources

A professional librarian and graduate of Case Western Reserve University School of Library Science, Pat joined O’Brien Atkins in 1984 to manage the firm’s library and project records.  When an opportunity to transition to marketing in 1990 presented itself, Pat took advantage and became responsible for all things marketing and providing business development support. This realm includes proposal preparation, presentation strategy | graphics | support, website management, professional photography and overall direction of marketing resources. Pat has a proven track record in managing and meeting deadlines, working in an interdisciplinary environment in a collaborative fashion, demonstrating keen attention to detail and quality control, flexibility in working with colleagues and service partners, and the ability to get the job done in the highest professional manner.

Rita T. Whitfield, Director of Administrative Services

Rita has managed, and continues to manage, an absolutely critical role in O’Brien Atkins’ operations since 1977.  As Director of Administrative Services, she is responsible for Accounting, Human Resources, Benefits and regulatory compliance. She also serves as O’Brien Atkins’ Corporate Secretary. Her thoroughness, accuracy and management capabilities paired with a self-effacing work style, have been imperative to O’Brien Atkins’ growth and success. Without Rita there would be no O’Brien Atkins!