A Year of New Talent

| | Read time: 5 mins

Celebrating the One Year Anniversary of Bridget Basham, Ying Hong and Sangyoon Byun

It’s often said that the first year with a company is the most difficult. Trying to navigate a new role and new co-workers can be challenging, even more so while transitioning into a virtual office. Despite these obstacles, all three of these individuals – BridgetYing, and Yoonie – have successfully completed their first year with us. We are pleased to have all three of them on the team and appreciate the contributions they’ve made.  



What’s the best thing about working at MWA?  

People are very friendly here. They are willing to teach me and help me. I feel like I learn new things and I am growing every day. 

What is your current project?  

San Francisco affordable housing projects Maudelle Miller Sherik, 7th and Campbell, Westlake Christian Terrace West, and Adcock Joyner Renovation. 

What phase of a project is your favorite? Why? 

It has not been so long since I started my career, so I have not experienced all stages of a project. In the stages I participated in, construction administration is the one that has most impressed me. I can see the process of a project from drawings to reality. It is interesting. What I draw in the office are not just lines, they are parts of the constructions. 

How do you maintain work/life balance?   

I go out with my roommate almost every weekend to explore San Francisco for sunshine and fresh air. We are like travelers to enjoy the views of SF.  

Ying exploring San Francisco

What do you hope to do more of in the next few years of your career?  

I will start to prepare for my ARE exams. It will be a long process. However, a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step. 

“My onboarding process with MWA matched Ying to be my buddy. I’m so glad that we were paired together! I can truly say that Ying is very inspirational. I admire that she speaks more than one language and I admire her work ethic. Ying is also very patient. During my first two weeks with the housing team, she always made herself available to help me and was patient with me. Overall, Ying is an amazing person and I’m so glad I get to work closely with her!” 

Amber Snowden

Why did you want to become an architect?  

I had double majors in my undergraduate school, Architecture and Public Administration. I was much more interested in Architecture and spent more time on it. So, I decided to do architecture as my career, and I want to persevere. 



What’s the best thing about working at MWA?  

Full of talent and diversity 

What is your current project?  

Willamette Water Supply and Portland housing projects including Patton Home, Cathedral Village Apartments, Alder House Renovation and St. Helens Apartments. 

What phase of a project is your favorite? Why?   

Design Development phase – that’s when you start to visualize the space! 

“Yoonie has a nice hand and we appreciate his conceptual sketches. He is easy to work with.” 

Diana Moosman

How do you maintain work/life balance?

I make time for something I like – it gives me energy and refreshes my mind. During COVID, I’ve played many rounds of chess and Go game with my son (and lost the majority of them). 

Yoonie and his children and their kitten, Theodore

What do you hope to do more of in the next few years of your career?  

I hope to work on more environmentally friendly designs in the future. 

Why did you want to become a designer?  

As a designer, you get to do something unique and creative every day. 



“It’s been really great having Bridget on the housing team. She’s organized, knowledgeable, has great design taste, and jumped in to help out from day one.”

Lee Abuabara

What’s the best thing about working at MWA?  

A culture of people committed to doing better. 

What is your current project?  

Maudelle Miller Sherik, an 87- unit affordable housing project in Berkeley. 

What phase of a project is your favorite? Why?  

The beginning and construction documents; big ideas and details. I like to dip out intermittently during construction because I like the delight & surprise of a project being realized. 

How do you maintain work/life balance?  

I hear it’s called “work/life negotiation” now…   

During COVID, how have you been maintaining your sanity? 

The beginning, the summer, and now…

What do you hope to do more of in the next few years of your career?  

Earn more money while doing “good” work. 

Bridget is a passionate advocate for developing and delivering thoughtful affordable housing solutions to MWA’s clients. Her dedication to providing design and technical excellence embodies the firm’s commitment to providing quality housing and the development of supportive communities. Bridget has also served as a mentor to MWA’s younger staff, providing guidance and freely sharing the knowledge she has acquired as a professional.

Bill Olechnowicz

Why did you want to become an architect?

I had no idea what I was getting myself into. It’s my Mum’s fault for introducing me to Architecture 😉 And at the time of selecting career-track college courses, one had to put Architecture first, or you wouldn’t get an interview and portfolio review. Nailed it!