Q: An example?
A: Germantown Friends School. Since we started working with them 17 years ago, [GFS] saw some decline and [a past administration] had been inward-looking and defensive. Their buildings are beautiful and we convinced them to be more welcoming to the neighborhood and put windows on facades. We also turned the campus' center court - once green space that became a parking lot - back to community space.
Q: How'd you become a leader in a biz dominated by men?
A: In part, I owe it to playing basketball. I was captain of the Architects League at Yale, and I was the only woman in the entire league. I started playing pickup games with guys. You do that and eventually you understand a guy's mentality in competitive and teamwork situations.
Q: Who are your key clients?
A: University of Pennsylvania Law School, Drexel University and West Chester University have been clients. The independent schools we've worked with include [William] Penn Charter [School], GFS and the Miquon School. I've also worked with Millbrook School, in New York state.
Q: How much are fees?
A: Sometimes we work hourly or for a flat fee or percentage. Ultimately it's tied to the amount, type and complexity of work. For a $5 million to $8 million project, we would be looking at fees of 10 percent. If it's a $50 million project, the fees as a percentage are generally less.
Q: What are some of your most noteworthy projects?
A: A field house I did for St. Andrew's School in Delaware, where "Dead Poets Society" was filmed. I took a historic barn at Millbrook and converted it to a student center. The theater we did for Penn Charter is terrific.
Q: What's been the biggest challenge growing the biz?
A: Ebb and flow of economic cycles. We've been through three major downturns.
A: Thirty. Half are women.
Q: How big a business?
A: About $6 million to $8 million in annual revenue.
On Twitter: @MHinkelman