Good Fulton & Farrell
Overall Rank: 82nd
Rank in Each Category:
• Sustainability: 118th
• Design: 138th
Duncan Fulton, FAIA, a founding principal and president/CEO of Good Fulton & Farrell (GFF), has a few theories on how his firm took the top slot for business this year. First, he credits the firm’s location in Dallas.
“We’ve got the good luck of being in a part of the country where the recession was milder than other areas,” he says. “North Texas, in particular, has benefited from some new technologies for oil production, and while we don’t serve that industry directly, all architects are, at the end of the day, influenced by the larger regional economy around them.”
This doesn’t mean that the firm came out of the recession unscathed. GFF had to let good people go and scale back, but another business choice that buoyed them during these slow billings periods was being debt-free, a strategy that the firm embraced when it was founded in 1982.
“We’ve been debt free for about 30 years and still are today,” Fulton says. “Our attitude is to save nuts for the winter, so we benefitted from that positioning. The recession hit us, and we were affected, but not as badly as others.”
Last year, Fulton says, marked the turning point where “it felt like we finally recovered from the recession.” He credits the increase in billings, in part, to resurgence in multifamily projects and to the fact that GFF is in the process of ownership transition, which means that 14 of the roughly 100 employees are now principals who can bring in new work.
“As a result, we’ve got more channels for new projects to come into the firm,” Fulton says. “Knowing the firm has enough work is a shared responsibility and in order to be a principal, you have to keep yourself and other people busy.”
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