New Generation of Leadership to Continue His Legacy of Fire Station & Emergency Services Design
Bremerton, Wash. – Rice Fergus Miller, Inc., a B Corp., announces the retirement of Dave Fergus, long-time Principal and market leader for the firm’s robust fire and emergency services market, on June 1, 2022. The Bremerton-based architecture, interiors, and planning firm has over 54 employees, over 20 of whom are working exclusively on the design and construction administration of fire stations, 9-1-1 call centers, and fleet and logistics facilities across Washington, Oregon, and Idaho.
Dave joined the firm in 1987, shortly after the founding by Steve Rice, who himself retired in December 2021. The two led the firm, then known as Rice Fergus Architects, until Mike Miller joined in 1990. The firm became known as Rice Fergus Miller and expanded from community projects and fire stations to include healthcare and senior living. Today, the firm works on fire services and civic projects, healthcare, hospitality, senior living, market-rate and affordable housing projects throughout the Pacific Northwest and beyond. Additionally, Rice Fergus Miller has become known as a leader in serving Coast Salish Tribes with culturally appropriate architecture, interior design, and planning services.
A Career Focused on the Fire Services Industry
Early in his career, Fergus worked on a variety of project types as the burgeoning Bremerton firm got its start. In 1995, an opportunity to design a fire station for Kitsap County Fire District 1 presented itself, and Fergus jumped at the opportunity. That project opened his eyes to an industry of people and projects that he felt he could truly serve with passion, and he built a career around doing so. As Fergus approaches retirement, he does so with a portfolio of over 250 fire stations, training structures for firefighters, vehicle maintenance and logistics facilities, and 9-1-1 centers.
Fergus’s passion for the fire service industry also led him to become a Fire Commissioner for Central Kitsap Fire & Rescue, a position he held for 10 years. Through that work, he had the opportunity to ride along on calls and participate in training activities. He experienced, first-hand, the demands that firefighters endure to save lives and keep communities safe. Now, Fergus likes to give his team members similar opportunities. He believes that living ‘a day in the life’ of a firefighter gives his staff an unparalleled ability to design great fire stations. Thanks to Fergus’s leadership, Rice Fergus Miller is one of the Northwest’s most prominent fire and emergency services design firms.
One of the projects Fergus is most proud of was the design of the Kitsap 9/11 Memorial. While not only honoring the 343 FDNY firefighters who perished that day, the memorial recognizes those who survived and those who saved the life of someone else at the cost of their own. Fergus reflects, “All the emotions of that fateful day are symbolized in that memorial so we may never forget.”
Next Generation of Leadership
As Fergus steps away from the firm he helped build, he does so with great confidence in the next generation of leadership. Four Principals will continue to lead the firm: Greg Belding, Jennifer Fleming, Dean Kelly, and Gunnar Gladics.
Belding joined the firm in 1990, and oversees the firm’s operations, as well as Tribal, special-needs housing, and community projects. Fleming is an interior designer who also helps oversee firm operations. She leads the hospitality market and co-leads senior living. Kelly co-leads the senior living market. He also works on community projects. Gladics will take over for Fergus to manage the firm’s fire and emergency services market.
Principal Gunnar Gladics to Take Reigns of Fire & Emergency Services Market
Gunnar Gladics, Fergus’s successor, has been working closely with Fergus for over seven years on fire service projects. A former volunteer firefighter, Gladics has a passion for efficient, sustainable fire station design, and shares Fergus’s zeal for serving the fire services industry. His wife and colleague, Sarah Gladics (formerly Feenstra), is an interior designer and Associate at the firm, who also specializes in fire stations. Both Gladics’ help manage the robust team of RFM staff who are currently working on more than twenty-five fire stations and planning projects scattered across the Northwest.
About Rice Fergus Miller
Rice Fergus Miller, Inc.—a B Corp., is an architecture, interior design, and planning firm based in Bremerton, Washington. Established in 1987 and the only architecture firm in Washington State with Certified B Corporation status, the firm is committed to performing meaningful work that builds and strengthens communities. Housed in a reclaimed Sears auto service center that is one of the most energy-efficient buildings in the United States, Rice Fergus Miller blends the personal aspirations of its more than 50 team members with a vision for sustainable design. In 2022, the firm is celebrating 35 years in business.