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About KA, Inc.

KA  is a nationally recognized architecture firm based in Cleveland, Ohio, with an emphasis on providing value-added design services to clients on a range of projects, including retail centers, mixed use developments, corporate offices and hospitality venues.

Month List

FRCH Design Worldwide Merges with NELSON

by Craig Wasserman19. January 2018 13:59

Cincinnati, OH (January 10, 2018) –NELSON, a global architecture and design firm, announced it has merged operations with FRCH Design Worldwide, a leading retail and hospitality architecture and design firm to create one of the largest in the country with a focus on consumer experiences where people work, shop, dine, play, stay, live, and heal.

The merging of the expertise of these two organizations will allow NELSON and FRCH to holistically service a diverse client base consisting of both long-standing relationships with Fortune 500 category leaders in multiple market segments and boutique clients. The newly combined organization has 25 offices with over 1,100 employees to provide service to their current and prospective clients in every region of the country.

The merging of the two firms will bring a new level of diversity to the combined organization, spanning industries from their traditional strongholds in corporate interiors, retail and hospitality to growing healthcare, industrial, mixed-use, government and multi-family residential practices. In the new year, the combined organization is a firm poised as an industry leader on all fronts.

Leveraging proprietary processes and 50 years of design and architecture experience, the combined organization will continue to create innovative brand experiences for both corporate and consumer-facing environments that express brand values and communication tailored to each audience in a meaningful and relevant manner.

“This merger is an exciting step demonstrating our continued commitment to bring more value to our clients with thought leadership in new practice areas and market segment expertise,” said John “Ozzie” Nelson Jr., Chairman and CEO of NELSON, when describing the merger with FRCH. “FRCH’s expertise and 50 years of experience in creating award-winning retail, hospitality, restaurant, entertainment and retail mixed-use environments and innovative consumer experiences is not only complementary to our organization, but positions us to respond to the changing disruption across multiple industries.” For NELSON’s vast Global Solutions Clients, this merger adds both geographic coverage and an elevated focus on brand, experience, and creative design. “Our growth has always been about responding to our clients’ needs,” said Nelson.

Nelson and Jim Tippmann, CEO of FRCH will lead the new organization as Co-CEOs. “Merging with NELSON provides our organization and clients with a stronger regional presence offering not only relevant depth of practice area expertise, but more reach nationally to be closer to our clients so that we are there when they need us,” said Tippmann who sees the companies as a cultural fit – both founded on an entrepreneurial spirit with a focus on strengthening their client’s brand while continuing to be proactive in growing the business. In addition to his role as Co-CEO, Nelson will serve as Chair of the newly created board, and remain the majority shareholder.

FRCH Design Worldwide will immediately become ‘FRCH a NELSON Company’ and continue to serve current and future clients. The combined organization will leverage their collective talent, experience, expertise and regional presence to best service the needs of current and future clients. Over the coming months, the leadership of both organizations will further integrate their expanded service offering to provide clients with the full benefit of this merger.

 Both companies serve leading global brands within today’s evolving marketplace, including: Bank of America, Macy’s, Saks Fifth Avenue, Google, Hershey’s, Cisco, Kroger, Simon, Westfield, SAP Fieldglass, Hilton Worldwide, Target, Pandora Radio, T-Mobile, Hines, Dick’s Sporting Goods, Weston, American Girl, Capital One, Subway, YUM! Brands, and many more.

Wakefield Beasley and WB Interiors Merge with NELSON

by Craig Wasserman19. January 2018 13:36

NELSON, a fast-growing global architecture, interior design, and consulting services firms, and Wakefield Beasley & Associates (WBA) and WB Interiors (WBI) have announced the finalization of their deal to join operations.

The closing of the deal has allowed the now-combined firm to cement their ability to deliver best-in-class architecture and interior design for their clients.

While the firm will now be one of the largest integrated design firms in Atlanta, their joint goal is to continue to maintain the boutique feel both brands have built throughout their history.

“One of our core commitments throughout this process has been to keep our clients at the forefront,” said Christine Veenendaal, NELSON’s Southeast Regional Executive. “While we are proud of our respective design achievements, what we are most proud of is our ability to support our clients. We are known for our ability to listen, work with our clients’ goals and constraints, and find solutions that are right for them. That is something that won’t be changing.”

This merger represents NELSON’s latest strategic move to increase its capacity, experiencing a wave of growth culminating in nearly 1,100 employees across more than 25 locations, and roughly 330 employees in the Southeast. But for the growing Design Giant, it’s not the size that matters.

“We will continue doing what has made us successful,” said Lamar Wakefield, CEO of Wakefield Beasley & Associates, and Vice President of WB Interiors. “We have built our firms on relationships, and our clients will continue to work with the teams they have trusted for many years. What changes is our ability to bring new services and resources that will benefit these relationships.”

The deal closed on January 9, 2018. Effective today, Wakefield Beasley & Associates and WB Interiors will operate as NELSON Companies.


Founded in 1980, WBA offers architectural design services to more than nineteen private and public sector markets. WB Interiors was founded in 1985 to serve as WBA’s interiors partner and has since grown the business to serve clients in more than a dozen separate markets in the southeast and nationally. By offering architectural and interior design services to a diverse and loyal client base, WBA and WBI have grown their combined professional portfolio and expanded regionally, with offices in Jacksonville, FL, Orlando, FL, Dallas, TX and Charleston, SC.

For more information, please visit and

NELSON Expands Architecture and Healthcare Practices in the Southeast by Merging Operations with MGE Architects

by Administrator29. August 2017 09:36

August 9, 2017 (Miami, FL) -  In a move that will significantly expand architectural services in the southeast, global architecture, design, and consulting services firm, NELSON, is merging operations with Miami-based architecture firm, MGE Architects. The deal is effective immediately.

Representing one of the fastest growing areas for healthcare and related industries, the Southeast region provides a strategic growth opportunity for NELSON who is expanding their healthcare practice area.

“As we continue to grow our core and shell architecture practice, MGE offers the opportunity for us to combine our expertise and leadership in healthcare design from the interiors perspective and translate that into the exterior of the building, providing clients with the opportunity to work with one firm throughout the entire process,” said John “Ozzie” Nelson Jr, Chairman & CEO of NELSON.  “Additionally, MGE brings significant diversification to the work we already do in the Southeast.”

NELSON’s Southeast region currently provides tenant development services for 64% of Atlanta’s tenant market. Additionally, the Southeast works with some of NELSON’s largest accounts and has been recipient of numerous design awards including five ASID Awards, NAIOP Georgia’s Firm of the Year, and a Shaw Contract National Design Award.

For MGE, joining operations with NELSON allows them to spread their expertise and knowledge as premier healthcare architects throughout the U.S.

“Joining operations with NELSON allows us to access a vast network of resources and specialties we can now offer in our local market. Through the expanded geographic reach and more marketing and business development support, we are excited for all the ways our team can better serve our existing and future clients,” said Jose Estevez, Principal at MGE Architects.

MGE is the second merger for NELSON in the southeast region. The firm previously merged with Atlanta-based VeenendaalCave in 2015. MGE Architects brings 35 years of award-winning architectural experience to the NELSON network. Some of their most notable clients include the University of Miami hospitals and clinics, Broward County Health Clinics, Baptist Health South Florida, and Miami International Airport. They will be the fifth location in NELSON’s Southeast region joining existing offices Atlanta, Charlotte, Dallas, and Tampa. This brings the Southeast Teammate count to nearly 250. The office will be managed by Jose Estevez, Rolando Conesa, and Roberto Smith.

For more information about NELSON, visit

For more information about MGE Architects, visit



NELSON is part of a global architecture, design, engineering, and consulting services organization with nearly 700 Teammates in over 20 locations around the world and strong experience in a broad range of industries. NELSON is ranked in the top 10 overall Interior Design Magazine’s “100 Design Giants” list and NELSON is also ranked in the top 5 for workplace interior design. Building Design and Construction ranks NELSON in the top 20 for office architecture and design. For more information, visit

Interior Design Magazine #3  Office Sector, #9 Overall

Building Design + Construction #6 Office Sector, #17 Overall

About MGE Architects

MGE Architects provides architecture, master planning and interior design services for healthcare, educational and transportation projects in Florida and the Southeast. Headquartered in Coral Gables, Fla., the firm has completed more than 500 high-profile projects since its founding in 1982. Current and recent projects include Baptist Health South Florida Miami Cancer Institute, Broward Health Coral Springs Medical Center Bed Tower, Leon Medical Centers East Hialeah replacement facility, University of Miami Nursing School Simulation Hospital.  For more information, call (305) 444-0413 or visit the firm’s Web site at

NELSON Secures WK Design Group, Increases Architecture Presence in San Francisco

by Administrator29. August 2017 09:33

San Francisco, CA (August 22nd, 2017) – After a string of recent national moves, NELSON, a global architecture and design firm, announced it has merged operations with WK design group, located in San Francisco, CA. Effective August 1st, this addition increases NELSON’s focus on large-scale, core and shell architecture, and further expand its presence into the Bay Area.

“Our recent move actively demonstrates our dedication to increasing our architectural design services on both a local and national level,” said John “Ozzie” Nelson Jr, Chairman and CEO of NELSON, when describing the deal with WK design group. “San Francisco has been a key market on our radar for quite some time, and we believe that in combining our existing interior and exterior capabilities with those of WK, we will offer new possibilities and reach to our clients.”

Led by Gary Weske and Joel Karr, RA, NCARB, WK design group specializes in architecture, interior design, building design, core and shell architecture, and construction administration. As a passionate group focused on company culture, the firm offers a boutique approach to architecture and design – an important factor to NELSON as growth ensues. WK design group’s specialties include commercial and corporate design, hospitality and retail, multi-family, single-family, and campus master planning design. They have completed well-known projects in the Bay Area including Equity Residential Trust, Essex Property Trust, Allianz, and Harvest Properties.

“We look forward to accessing larger opportunities with NELSON that expand our reach in and beyond the immediate Bay Area,” said Joel Karr, Principal of WK design group. “We look forward to combining our strengths to work with current and future clients while leveraging our collective network,” added Principal, Gary Weske.

As the third location added in the Bay Area in just under a year, WK design group will provide NELSON with access to a new network of clients including those in the hospitality and retail industries, while also offering a combination of both high scale and niche services.

For more information about NELSON, visit

For more information about WK Design, visit


NELSON is part of a global architecture, design, engineering, and consulting services organization with over 700 Teammates in over 20 locations around the world and strong experience in a broad range of industries. NELSON is ranked in the top 10 of Interior Design Magazine’s “100 Design Giants” list. NELSON is also ranked in the top 3 firms specializing in workplace interior design1, and in the top 20 for office architecture and design2. For more information, visit

1. Interior Design Magazine #3 Office Sector, #9 Overall; 2. Building Design + Construction #6 Office Sector, #17 Overall


About WK design group
WK design group describes themselves as a firm that delivers experienced, creative, thoughtful, and insightful solutions that “skip the archibabble.” They “get it” in terms of transaction driven as well as high design project needs. The firm combines two award-winning predecessors to provide interior design and core and shell architecture services. Led by longtime San Francisco Bay Area residents, Gary Weske and Joel Karr, WK design group offers skills, smarts, and people to give clients what they need. They take pride in their longstanding relationships with multiple constituents – and they have fun together with clients, in doing what they do.

KA, Cope Linder Architects Merge with NELSON Worldwide

by Administrator2. June 2017 11:29

NELSON is moving in on high-rise commercial architecture. In a move that will take them from a nationally recognized interior design firm to a true full-service architecture and design firm, NELSON, Cope Linder Architects, and KA Architecture will merge operations effective June 1, 2017. 

While NELSON has frequently provided architecture services for small ground-up retail and healthcare clients, this is what Chairman & CEO John “Ozzie” Nelson Jr describes as the first strategic move into the large scale commercial architecture world.

“High-rise architecture is a much-coveted project type for us,” says Nelson. “When we think about the possibilities here – to marry the creative process of designing from both the exterior and interior of the building – we believe we can offer our clients something truly special.”

Known as one of the premier, award-winning firms in Philadelphia, Cope Linder Architects brings extensive experience in commercial architecture, hospitality, gaming and entertainment, to the top 10 Design Giant. The move will add a fully staffed architecture team with extensive large scale and high-rise capabilities to NELSON network, bringing the total Philadelphia presence to nearly 125 people, making it NELSON’s third-largest studio.

For both Cope Linder and KA, joining operations with NELSON gives them access to a global network of Teammates and resources.

One of the first projects slated to be completed under the combined company is the W and Element Hotel in Center City Philadelphia. The 51 story, 295-room W Philadelphia and 460-room Element Philadelphia hotel will be 773,500SF and a LEED Certified project featuring panoramic views, an outdoor pool bar and terrace and prime retail space. It will open in 2018. CLA has also recently completed the award winning, 31 story 1706 Rittenhouse Square Street.

Located in Cleveland, OH, KA Architecture is a nationally recognized architecture firm that provides value-added design services to a wide range of clients including shopping centers, mixed-use developments, multi-family, hospitality venues and corporate offices. They are ranked among the one of the top five largest architectural firms in Cleveland.  The merger not only establishes a third location for NELSON in the Midwest, it positions NELSON as an architecture powerhouse

Mellody Farm is a new 272,000 sf ground up retail development under construction in Vernon Hills, IL, presents a “unique and authentic experience” for customers with a mix of modern and old-time features, such as street pavers, turn-of-the-century rooftops, painted signs and other elements to create an urban feel. This is the first major project scheduled to be completed under the combined company.  KA Architecture, A NELSON brand is serving as the Executive Architect.

“This move is the culmination of years of deliberate work to bring NELSON from its roots as a strictly interior design firm to a full-service design operation,” says Nelson. “Not only will we bring a size and scale of architectural design capability to our existing clients, we can bring NELSON’s superior relationship-driven service to a new sector of clients.  The combination of CLA and KA allow us to launch a newly formed Hospitality Practice as well as significantly bolster our Retail Practice – bringing creative and innovative design approaches to increasingly competitive industries.”

For more information about NELSON, visit 

2017 KA Putting Contest - Winner Jae Cho!

by Administrator10. April 2017 16:13

Jae Cho rolls in a 45 foot putt to win the 9th annual KA Putting Contest! A sudden death, playoff putt-off wasn't required as in years past since Dan Rable's valiant attempt came to rest a fraction of an inch from the cup, claiming second place. Better luck next year to all participants.  

2016 KA Holiday Party

by Administrator16. December 2016 15:50

KA Holiday Party was a smashing success!  Travis Vannoy wins the Ugly Sweater Contest by a landslide, sporting his best holiday duds.  Javier Cora, Dan Rable, Becca Illencik and Evan Zane win the Best Gingerbread House Award for their rendition of the Candy Mine.  Check out photos of all the gingerbread houses.

Candy Mine wins 1st Place:

Lake House:

Mobile Home:

Pool House under construction:

The Ragaller Home:

Terminal Tower:

The Victorian Home:

Ugly Sweater Winner:

2016 Holiday Party Gingerbread Houses:

Graham Post - ICSC Rising Star

by Administrator7. December 2016 11:15

Graham was selected as a member of ICSC's CenterBuild 2016 class of "20 under Forty" and was recognized as a "Rising Star" in the industry.  This acknowledgement is well deserved as his design skills, creativity, ability to collaborate and commitment to success allows him to excel as an important part of our organization.

KA Wins ICSC U.S. Design & Development Commendation Award

by Administrator6. December 2016 13:34

KA and CBL & Associates Properties, Inc won ICSC's 2016 Commendation Award for Fayette Mall Sears Store Redevelopment in the Renovations / Expansions category. Congratulations to the entire team!

Halloween Costume Contest

by Administrator31. October 2016 15:37


Jeff Wysocki wins the best overall costume as the Invisible Man, you can barely see his outline in photo above.  Jae Cho nabs the Honorable Mention as the Grim Reaper, who's looming in the shadows behind the other contestants.  Jim Clarke's Studio wins overall team participation award. 

Nice Job all!


About KA, Inc.

KA  is a nationally recognized architecture firm based in Cleveland, Ohio, with an emphasis on providing value-added design services to clients on a range of projects, including retail centers, mixed use developments, corporate offices and hospitality venues.

Month List

FRCH Design Worldwide Merges with NELSON

Cincinnati, OH (January 10, 2018) –NELSON, a global architecture and design firm, announced it has merged operations with FRCH Design Worldwide, a leading retail and hospitality architecture and design firm to create one of the largest in the country with a focus on consumer experiences where people work, shop, dine, play, ...

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