Tell us about your role at LS3P.

I am the firm recruiter, although I have been given many titles during my tenure. In my role, I am an ambassador on the front lines meeting, educating, and fostering potential new team members to LS3P. Additionally, I have the opportunity to continue building on my other passions to support an inclusive workplace through academic partnerships, program management, and community engagement.

What’s inspiring you right now?

Any industry disruptors. I am continually impressed by the entrepreneurs that can articulate an idea into life changing product or service.

What are the greatest challenges we’re facing in the industry?

Talent acquisition, development, and retention. As our industry is forced to evolve and adapt each year, it is important for us to build our team as our employees are our most valuable asset. It is important to broaden the diversity of thought through our communities; this is how we can continue to advance our cultural intelligence.

What advice would you give to someone just starting out in your role?

Be present, follow through, and actively listen. It is one thing to recruit staff and another to align yourself with firm culture, team, and values. Representing generations of incredible designers is something that should be carefully considered when building the next team. It is how we remain equitable to past and future.

What is your favorite hometown restaurant, and what should I order if I go there?

Peking Gourmet Inn, Falls Church, VA – Order the ‘Hong Kong’ wonton soup to start. The main course should be the Peking Duck and if you’re hungry, add the Salt and Pepper Shrimp and Szechuan green beans.

What previous job outside of architecture taught you the most?

Perhaps a foresight to my current role now, I was a seasonal ornament personalizer in Tysons Corner mall during my winter breaks from school. Wages were surprisingly great, but this job gave me an unfiltered perspective into managing client expectations, stress, and empathy that I have continued to utilize throughout my career.

What is your superpower?

I can easily spot someone I know or need to find in a crowd. Perhaps this was developed from my love of the Where’s Waldo series or I should have applied to the CIA.

What is your all-time favorite song?

Come Together – The Beatles

What place have you visited that changed you the most?

New York City

About Dan

Dan Mai, NOMA, serves as the firmwide Recruiter on LS3P’s Human Resources team. He has previously practiced architecture in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado and the Washington DC metro area, and earned his Master of Architecture from Savannah College of Art and Design. As his career has evolved, he offers expertise in both technical and university recruiting, corporate partnerships, and program development, and his deep understanding of architectural practice continues to inform his work.

Dan is an active advocate for diversity and inclusion efforts in the field of architecture, and has been instrumental in helping to develop LS3P’s Diversity and Inclusion Strategic Plan. He currently serves on the Board of Directors for NC NOMA,  and served on NOMA’s Atlanta Board as Academic Affairs Director in 2021 supporting architectural programs in the Southeast region. He is passionate about fostering an inclusive workplace culture, and champions opportunities for career development for people at all levels of the profession.