When Andy Kinslow, founder of KKT Architects, decided to venture down a new career path, doors opened for Sarah Gould. No stranger to leadership within the Tulsa-based, full-service architecture firm, Gould took on the role of president and CEO in July 2020.
The firm, opened in 1989, has been steadily progressing for decades, and Gould is thrilled to be at the helm.
“I love meeting new people, learning about [KKT] clients’ unique needs and listening to diverse perspectives,” she says. “I take great satisfaction in working with the team to find and make connections and find solutions to complex problems.”
This consistent growth has allowed the company to work on more extensive, higher-profile projects including a new mental health facility in Tulsa.
“I am excited to continue this trajectory as we expand our circle of influence in Oklahoma and the region,” she says.
Not only is Gould looking at the business growth, but she’s also got her eye on ways to diversify the office so it better reflects the perspectives and experiences of the entire community. While KKT does take pride in its diverse leadership and its five generations of workforce, there’s always room for improvement, she says.
“In 10 years, I hope that we will have not only achieved [the diversity goal] in our office, but can also help move the needle in that direction for the design community,” she explains. “Our diverse voices make us stronger.”
With more than 95% of KKT’s work in Oklahoma ─ the majority in the Tulsa metro ─ it’s safe to say the architecture firm focuses on community. This is also true about its leader: Gould’s passion projects are often in the education sector because of their immediate and direct impacts on young minds.
“The great thing about the book of work at KKT is that the projects we are involved in ultimately improve the lives and experiences of local communities and user groups,” she says. “Through collaborative relationship building with our clients, it is easy to be passionate about all the work we do. My passion lies in making our communities and our state better for all citizens.”
One project in particular that stands out for Gould is the Discovery Lab, currently under construction on the south end of Gathering Place park at 31st St. and Riverside Dr. After years of design and coordination, the 50,000 square-foot museum will soon be a reality.
About the Architect:
Sarah Gould is the youngest of six children and grew up in Tulsa, where she was exposed to the beauty of local architecture. After graduating from Nathan Hale High School as a National Merit Scholar, she started her higher education at the University of Oklahoma. A French exchange program led her to transfer to the University of California, Los Angeles, to finish her bachelor’s in French.
“I wanted to do something that was both creative and technical, challenging and logical, and that made a difference in people’s lives,” says Gould. “Architecture bridged those divides for me.”
After having her first child, she moved back to Tulsa to earn a master’s degree in architectural urban studies at OU Tulsa, then got another master’s degree in architecture from the University of Texas – Austin.