Katie Swehla

Years at O’Toole Design? 2.5 years

What drew you to O’Toole Design? Finding ODA was a little serendipitous. I was introduced to Michelle by a mutual acquaintance who knew she was looking for a bookkeeper. I was impressed with ODA’s history, and Michelle seemed like a great person to work with. After our first meeting, ODA felt like the perfect fit, and the timing was perfect.

What is your favorite project so far at O’Toole Design? My role is really in the background. With any small business, there is so much that goes on behind the scenes to keep the machine running smoothly. I’m genuinely happy to be in the kind of supporting role that allows Michelle and the designers to focus on the thing they do best – which is making beautiful spaces that work!

What has been your most creatively challenging project so far at O’Toole Design? Billing! Can I say that? Haha Coming into any new environment, I think just learning the daily flow and finding your place within an existing groove can always present challenges. But getting to know your co-workers and figuring out how to become a productive member of the team is a satisfying feeling.

What things do you like most about working at O’Toole Design? I really enjoy the environment, the people, and knowing that my contributions are genuinely appreciated! I think it’s too common in any workplace for people to feel undervalued, but that’s not the case at ODA and it makes a tremendous difference all around.

If you could do another job for just one day, what would it be? Helicopter pilot!  Sign me up!

Who inspires you? Truthfully, I find Michelle O’Toole to be tremendously inspiring. She seems to have perfectly blended professionalism with a warm and down to earth personality. In my observations of Michelle, I find an admirable level of dedication to the growth and well being of her team. She’s a vibrant leader who recognizes the individual value of the staff here and by proximity alone, I feel that I’m always learning something new from her.

Where is your favorite place in the world? I’ve been fortunate enough to have done a fair amount of travelling in my life so far. But my favorite place in the whole world is a lazy morning at home, talking with my husband over a good cup of coffee, and snuggling with our dog. Right after that though, it’s the Pacific Northwest!

Any additional comments for our 25th? I feel very lucky to find myself amidst a very talented and wonderful group of women. I look forward to seeing what the future holds!