Richard is president of Archimage and founding principal of the firm's predecessor, Buday Wells Architects.
Immediately upon graduating Kent State University in 1977, he and his then bride of two days (now a bride of 30 years) loaded up a U-Haul and left Ohio heading south. Professional life began at Houston's Skidmore Owings and Merrill. Five years later, he and his friend Dwayne Wells started Buday Wells. And the rest is history.
A somewhat rocky history, that is. Founding year 1983 for the two-man firm kicked off inauspiciously. Houston's previously booming economy imploded. Just as Buday Wells hung up their shingle, architectural firms all over the city closed up shop. Hundreds of design professionals were laid off. The Houston chapter of the American Institute of Architects went from second largest in the country to fourth â€“ within 12 months. Some believe that two guys in a small Montrose office with nothing to do except watch their savings dwindle is the mother of invention. They are right. To survive, Richard, Dwayne and Jerald turned their growing interest in the just-introduced IBM PC (16k of RAM!) into Houston's first all digital design studio. And the rest is still history.
Paul Patel joined Archimage in 1994 after graduating from the Gerald D. Hines College of Architecture at the University of Houston. His hard work and creativity earned him a position as a Principal in the firm. Paul maintains close ties to the University as an adjunct faculty member since 1995.
At Archimage, he manages various architectural, multimedia, and web design projects. Paul plays the lead role in the firms' highly technical database projects.
Paul is one in a billion (literally). He was born in India and moved to Michigan at the age of 14. His family thought it would be great to move from 100 degree days to below-zero temperatures. They quickly wised up and migrated to the south where they would be nice and toasty. They've been in Texas for more than 20 years.
During play time, Paul is a well known DJ. He loves to spend time with his wife and three children from whom he occasionally steals toys so he can play alone.
Although Melanie has a degree that's BS... that's a Bachelor of Science in Microbiology... and a degree no one has ever heard of, a MPH (Master of Public Health), Richard decided to give her a shot as Archimage's Director of Marketing. As a public health researcher at the UT Health Science Center, Melanie learned the unique art of developing serious games for health and is bilingual, speaking both "researcher" and "designer." She's also tall enough to get things off of high shelves.
Melanie grew up in the jungles of The Woodlands and acquired both a large collection of shoes and a froufrou dog nicknamed 'The Don' along the way. Since her marriage to a Lazarus, her unique ability to reanimate has made her ideal for Archimage's goal of becoming bigger than Enron, but with better bookkeeping.
Melanie's marketing campaign for Archimage includes focusing on their capacity to work under pressure (by providing their employees with excessive amounts of free caffeinated beverages) and their uncanny ability to work as a team--even when a free meal is on the line. She also may mention that they have been in business as long as she has been alive which always implies company stability.
Director of Marketing
Ramsey specializes in bootleg music, free software, and stockpiling sandwiches for rainy days. As resident hacker, you can never be too careful when Ramsey is around. Who knows, maybe what you're reading right now isn't what's really on our website. Maybe it's just what Ramsey wants you to be reading...
Me Ramsey. Me big and strong. Me Ramsey. Me big and strong.
Ramsey is notorious for being unavailable. This probably comes from his headphone habit or watching too many episodes of Jeopardy when Trebek had a mustache. Luckily we have plenty of darts and Android phones to chuck at him when we need something.
When not hard at work programming, Ramsey spends his free time mocking his bosses for their Web 1.0 ways and lack of culinary know-how. No one has actually experienced a culinary creation a la Ramsey, but the way he describes them makes you feel like you've had one. If you're on board for an unusual snack, just walk by Ramsey's desk. Try his famous squishy, fruity Mexican candy. Sweet at first and then... hot, hot, hot!! Get the fire extinguisher!!
Chris Pham grew up in Houston his entire life and has no current plans of settling anywhere else. Believing that robots should be built to benefit mankind instead of annihilating them, Chris pursued a degree in Computer Engineering at the University of Houston so that one day he could build one himself. After realizing that the cool, intelligent robots seen in movies are unlikely to exist in our normal daily lives anytime soon, he decided to move his engineering talent to the virtual world of video games.
In mid-2005, Chris went on to learn the secrets of game programming and game design at the Houston Commmunity College. Two years later, he discovered Archimage, the right place to start his career in games. At Archimage, Chris has been making Flash games and is getting better every day at using the ever-evolving programming language of ActionScript.
When not coding in front of the computer, Chris likes to play the latest popular video games, watch unproductive, but entertaining TV shows, and attend the latest blockbuster movie premieres. Chris also occasionally exercises just to keep his health in check. Besides building futuristic robots, Chris's other bleak dream is to explore the galaxy, hoping that when his retirement comes, the human race would have already made first contact with space aliens who can share their lightspeed technology.
While earning his Bachelors in Media Arts and Animation, Sean learned that the best way to take meeting notes is to sketch them out. In fact, it helps to even draw the people that are at the meeting, just in case you forget. You may think he's not paying attention, but trust us, that five-headed penguin with maroon striped feet really means that Sean has five frames to edit on an animated butler that lives in the painted desert. And you thought he wasn't listening.
Archimage recruited Sean after noticing that he's not only a hard worker but extremely talented. Where else can you find someone who enjoys drawing Alec Baldwin during his Beetlejuice days, plays video games, and has an infatuation with comic books? Well, maybe there are others out there, but our Sean is better than yours!
Sean spends most of his time sitting quietly at his desk, studiously drawing all sorts of interesting things like plastic water bottles, and invisible men, and air, and dreaming about the next time he can draw something. But don't think art is all Sean thinks about. Cream colored ponies and crisp apple streudels, and doorbells and sleigh bells and schnitzel with noodles, and wild geese that fly with the moon on their wings... these are a few more of Sean's favorite things.
Fredy Alvarado, Jr.
Fredy is an interactive developer that likes to keep it short and sweet, hence the missing 'd' in his first name and his overall laid back personality. Fredy is our token employee from down south (that's Guatemala not Mexico) which makes him an excellent candidate for reading Tex Mex menus with style and telling us all about the mythical sport of fútbol.
Fredy's known for changing his mind so it doesn't surprise us one bit that he began his career path in dental school. After realizing he'd have to look into people's mouthes for a living, he decided it was time to go into something else. When he couldn't decide between art and programming, he chose interactive design. There's less odor involved when you animate a mouth in Flash than when you clean one. After finishing at the Art Institute, Fredy began working at an interactive agency... wait... isn't that just as stinky? Fortunately he knows people in high places and landed a job at Archimage one day.
Fredy has a whole list of interests because they often change on a daily basis. Raising bulldogs, practicing Muay Thai, playing guitar, and tricking out his Honda are just a few. We hate to break it to Steve Jobs, but Fredy's iPhone may be next on the chopping block. The only thing that's lasted over the years has been his Final Fantasy obsession. But let's face it, characters in video games almost always have perfect teeth, so this interest may be a keeper.
Renate Walker comes to Archimage by way of the Big Apple. Now, one of her chief responsibilities is counting the company's apples. Her smile greets all visitors who come to know her as the keeper of the golden coins that get them out of the parking garage.
Renate fights against evil with her Office Manager super powers. Her battles are many and never ending: insurance forms, time sheets, invoices, balance sheets, bank statements, and her nemesis ...telemarketers. Nor will she forget the IRS, always on the lookout to find new models for federal prison fashion shows. Renate favors solids, not stripes.
As one of the "elders" in the firm and as a woman, Renate has taken it upon herself to serve as unoffical office mom and takes charge of birthday celebrations, office parties, and special events. At times she must change into her Wonder Woman persona and juggle many tasks coming from all directions, including work, professional organizations (2006-07 President of the SDA) and personal matters. But when those jobs are done, she turns back into Renate so that Archimage can be safe, happy, healthy and financially sound.
Telemarketers beware. She's from NY and she bites!