SPOTLIGHT: Custom Executive Gifts for Corgan, Inc.

Today we are proud to share with you a corporate gift and custom award design we recently completed for a corporate client headquartered in Dallas, Texas: Corgana large architecture firm with a staff of more than 350 professionals inoffices in Dallas, New York City, Phoenix, Los Angeles, Houston, Beijing, and Dubai. Founded in 1938, the firm celebrated its 75th anniversary in 2013.

Corgan approached Trophyology last year when the firm was planning to recognize employees for 25 years of service with a special custom award and commemorative gift.

A balanced approach

One of the things that fascinated us immediately when we started talking with Corgan’s Jennifer Stanley was the strong emphasis the firm places on office culture and the personal and professional development of the people who make up the firm. The firm displays a solid and enviable commitment to its employees. The firm’s core values (passion, excellence, integrity, and balance) reflect the Servant Leadership approach. We enjoyed learning more about this style of leadership and welcomed the opportunity to read the book ‘Leadership is an Art’ by Max De Pree, the former CEO of Herman Miller, a company we admire.

Storytelling as part of office culture

Another special custom Corgan maintains, is the tradition of oral storytelling. We love that a large firm that is involved in highly technical aspects of designing complex structures such as airports (i.e. Dallas Love Field and large scale hospitals (i.e. the new Parkland Hospital in Dallas) is equally interested in telling stories and passing on culture and heritage by word of mouth.

With such a keen awareness of the importance of culture, balance, and personal relationships, it was no surprise when Corgan’s chairman David Lind expressed an interest to learn more about the way we work at Trophyology by visiting us here in Austin, Texas.  We spent a great day together presenting our work, visitingMark Macek’s wood shop, and touring one of our high-tech fabricators’ facilityRPM. It was a wonderful way to learn more about our new clients and “to listen between the lines.”

Wood stationery box as a custom award

The idea of creating a custom award in the form of a wooden stationery box began to take shape. One of the beautiful things about this commemorative gift is that it serves not only as a milestone service award, it is also a functional heirloom-quality object that contributes to the lovely tradition of the handwritten note. You know that we are big fans of taking pen to paper, and it took absolutely no time to convince Corgan of this direction. One of the basic principles of Servant Leadership and employee engagement is the expression of gratitude, and a handwritten note is one of the most meaningful ways to do so.

After studying the body of work Corgan created over the past 75 years, we presented several conceptual design ideas. As in all of our work, it was important to us to suggest simple, sophisticated designs that are timeless and elegant and that reflect the culture and values of our clients. We feel strongly that the objects commemorating excellence should convey similar values.

Kind reflections & compliments

We will describe the design and prototyping process in more detail in a future blog. Today we are proud and humbled to share with you some of the wonderful feedback we have received since twenty recipients have received one of the Corgan stationery boxes earlier this month:

“Eva carefully contemplated our objectives and studied our firm’s history and culture before making any recommendations on the design of a special gift for the members of our firm who have been with us for 25 years. She used a deliberate design process to capture what we were trying to say with our gift and how it represented the best of what we do as architects and designers. Eva created a series of alternatives that were authentic and timeless. Hers is truly custom design work that is of the highest quality exhibiting the finest craftsmanship. I would highly recommend Eva Schone, and her firm Trophyology, for the design and production of special awards that represent exceptional performance and achievement. Her work is just exceptional. “

-David Lind FAIA, Chairman, Corgan 


“Such a beautiful, elegant expression which so perfectly speaks to our culture.”

-Jon Holzheimer, COO and Managing Principal, Corgan


“I cannot tell you how much it meant to be sitting in the audience and to suddenly realize that I was one of the recipients of this incredibly special and beautiful handcrafted box. I was so caught off guard, especially when I had just been wishing I had worked longer so I would be receiving one of them, too. Wow! I am still at a loss to tell you how it feels to get something this meaningful – a gift that had so much thought and planning put into its execution.”

-Suzanne Charriere, retired Managing Principal and CFO, Corgan


“The feedback has been overwhelmingly positive. We couldn’t have asked for the entire process — beginning with our very first conversation, the tailored Austin experience, design, prototyping, every last detail — to have gone more smoothly. Everything was perfect! Please know that you’ve made a lasting and beautiful impact on our firm.”

-Jennifer Stanley, Senior Human Resources Analyst, Corgan 

Many thanks for sharing these lovely thoughts and sentiments with us. They make us happy and bring great satisfaction to our work. We are honored to have become a part of the Corgan story. It has been a wonderful experience to work on this project and we look forward to sharing more impressions in the next few weeks.

Last but not least, we want to thank our amazing collaborators for the outstanding quality craftsmanship with which they brought the Corgan stationery box design to life. It is a true pleasure to have such talented and skilled craftsmen on our side – thank you for the beautiful work!


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We look forward to hearing from you!

More Questions?
Phone: 512.788.4558
Email: eva(at)trophyology.com