People to watch in Austin real estate: Architecture firm adds female principal
by Marissa Luck - Staff Writer, Austin Business Journal
Two new female leaders are emerging in the Austin real estate scene as a well-known architectural firm names a new principal and a former director from Mayor Steve Adler's administration takes over public affairs for the Austin Board Realtors.
Sarah Johnson, Matt Fajkus Architecture
Sarah Johnson has been promoted to principal architect at Matt Fajkus Architecture, LLC, becoming the youngest female principal at an Austin architecture firm with more than 10 employees, according to the company.
Johnson, 36, made a name for herself leading the design team on "The Main Stay House" - a sleek, urban family home in the Bouldin Creek neighborhood that has been featured in multiple industry magazines, websites and local publications. Other notable projects include the Control/Shift House and the Descendant House.
After earning a Master of Architecture in 2010 from University of Texas, Johnson joined Matt Fajkus Architecture in 2011 and gained her license in 2016.
She will take over as operations principal while David Birt takes on the role of delivery principal at the firm.
"Sarah...has always gone over and beyond the tasks she was asked to do, managing things that were not her job, to point where clients, consultants, and new hires assumed she was the office manager, all while she was delivering projects as a project manager and design associate," Matt Fajkus, the firm's founder, said in a statement.
Fajkus is also a University of Texas associate professor, and he brings a penchant for research and experimentation from academic into his practice at the firm, Johnson told ABJ.
"Many of us come from high academic backgrounds and are used to thinking that way we're all still pretty young and we're not quite set in our ways," she said.
Johnson said she hopes to help lead the firm in experimentation with research while also delivering products that fit clients' needs.