Being Thankful for the Bittersweet Taste of Change

Change – the consummate reminder to embrace the ever-evolving lessons of life’s journey and our daily blessings – is the only constant in business.


Silent Rivers highway cleanup crew

Silent Rivers Highway Cleanup

Silent Rivers said goodbye to a tenured team member last week, celebrating his kind, gentle spirit as our general manager. We honored his friendship as well as his continual effort to refine the operational systems that provide Silent Rivers’ staff the scaffolding to excel, bolstering our individual strengths.


Change can be difficult, but it is also indicative of growth. As a working collaborative, Silent Rivers is always balancing our creative drive with project implementation. Both are critically important to our clients. Managing that balance is imperative to our creative process while ensuring consistency of delivery.


Senior lead artisan Craig Seagren in one of the Silent Rivers vans

Senior lead artisan Craig Seagren

I am truly appreciative of all the Silent Rivers staff and as we move through change toward the upcoming holiday season and the new year. I am especially thankful for the contributions of all the amazing people I’ve had the honor of working with through the years. As we reallocate some of our internal roles, I’m proud of this team – always focused on maintaining stellar service to our clients.


Adjusting to change can be a fantastic exercise in personal as well as operational self-discovery.

Caitlin Cuevas and Amie Schurman review architectural plans with woodshop artisan Alex Schlepphorst.

Caitlin Cuevas and Amie Schurman with woodshop artisan Alex Schlepphorst.

At Silent Rivers, we often blog about the importance of teamwork, or our deep dedication to design and craft which are core tenets of our company. However, writing about the administrative glue that binds a company is equally important, albeit less enamoring than conversations about the beautiful spaces we create. Yet, it’s the impact of strong administrative standards that provide the basis for any aesthetic dialogue to occur.


Lead artisans Kevin Jepson and John Miller during setup of the 2017 Des Moines Arts Festival Silent Rivers Hospitality Suites

Lead artisans Kevin Jepson and John Miller

Every company moves toward a new year with thoughts and planning around new beginnings and goals. Such is the case with Silent Rivers. And especially this year with the company’s 25th anniversary forthcoming next summer. As we plan forward, it’s also a perfect time for me to be thankful for everyone who has contributed to the unique culture of Silent Rivers. We encourage and foster a diverse team of people to grow personally and professionally. So the departure of each team member is bittersweet. We applaud their journey right alongside missing their everyday presence. In retrospect, whether a new hire or long-term staffer, we are all indebted to the talent and ideas of those before us, as it’s upon their efforts that we refine our processes and standards to reach new heights.


Looking Forward with Gratitude

Designer Tyson Leyendecker and lead artisan John Miller at a Silent Rivers gathering at a client's home

Designer Tyson Leyendecker and lead artisan John Miller

As we approach winter’s solace, the stillness of short days and long nights ahead, it’s more than recognizing those immediate moments of a team in change, but honoring those incredible people who have helped initiate Silent Rivers, as well as those who have helped fuse an influential vision for integrated design and construction for Central Iowa.


Then turning our attention to the calm light of winter, we look to the future with gratitude for team members who have always dedicated themselves to elevating the work we do, but also to the many homeowners who have extended trust that continues to nurture our creative spirits and our aspirations to make amazing projects. With appreciation, we also remember the tradespeople, the suppliers and the many small businesses that support what we do day in and day out. Our extended family is significant, and the continuous effort that goes into the planning, development, and implementation of some of the most dynamic projects within the region is impressive.


Chaden Halfhill receives a congratulator hug from designer Teodora Shtinareva after he was awarded the 2017 David G. Hurd Innovator in the Arts award.

Chaden Halfhill receives a congratulatory hug from designer Teodora Shtinareva after he was awarded the 2017 David G. Hurd Innovator in the Arts award.

We embrace 24 years of change between 1993 and 2017, and no matter how nuanced or conflicting, we look forward with exuberance.

Looking through the lens of discovery, we revel with excitement for 2018, our 25th anniversary, and anticipate seeing many of you throughout 2018 as we plan to celebrate and honor the community, business partners, clients and employees who have supported us along the way.

From all of us on the Silent Rivers Team, a very Happy Thanksgiving.


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