Team

We are a creative team of analytical thinkers who thrive on creating unique pieces of illuminated art.

Thomas Lawrence

Founder + Principal

I guide.

My role at GPI is:

Supportive facilitator. I’m very proud to be leading such a unique group of people.

Where I came from:

Bowling Green State University, Interpersonal Communication. 25 years in natural stone extraction and fabrication.

Best advice I’ve ever acted on (and who gave it):

“Read more” – my one of a kind Mom.
“Put down the book and get outside” – my practical Dad.

When I’m not at the office, I:

I’m working in the yard, boating, tracking our kids, and planning our next cook out.

If budget was no object, I would:

I would become a professional chef and move to Lisbon.

I’m currently (reading, watching, listening to):

Recently read “I Moved Your Cheese” – recommended if you want a quick recent read. Only TV = Modern Family, hilarious.

The quote that inspires me most is:

“What you do in life echoes in eternity.”

Where do you draw inspiration from:

Small details. I respect the proud attention to detail. Particularly when it’s found where the maker didn’t expect you to come to find it. When I was young, I never understood why my (architect) Mom made me remove what were perfectly hidden leaves from under our hedges. It’s clear to me, now, what she was teaching about detail.

A perfect day goes like this:

The perfect day is Thanksgiving day…wake up knowing the whole family is here and to the smell of food cooking. Hurry down to grab a coffee. With family we gather around the kitchen island to tell often repeated tales of the “old days” while snacking on a bevy of food options already out. Leave the house only once, to get our Christmas tree off the roof of a car, which we picked the day before as tradition. Make a fire and put the tree up with family, still reminiscing. 4:00 sharp, dinner, with nearly 50 of the most important people in my life. We tell stories, watch old home movies, pass pictures and recall memories. While making new ones, we fill our cups and give thanks. You can’t help but feel lucky and blessed. It all ends with musical chairs, another pastime. This is where it gets ugly.

I would never/I love/I would rather/I crave/I dream about:

I would never feel regret.
I love being a part of a large, close (+ loud) family.
I would rather be camping in Canada on the French River.
I crave more time, more years.
I dream about being a singer in a band.

Fallon Korinko

Studio Director

I discover.

My role at GPI is:
Guiding a project though the design & engineering phases. That means not only overseeing and working with our designers and engineers to develop our system and ensure our system is accurate – both aesthetically and technically –  but also playing devil’s advocate to keep our team constantly pushing and innovating.

Where I came from:
I went to Ohio University and graduated summa cum laude with a B.S. in Interior Architecture.

Best advice I’ve ever acted on (and who gave it):
“Do something you love, and you’ll never work a day in your life”.
– the wisest, smartest man I’ve ever known: my grandpa.

My grandfather didn’t just offer this advice, he exemplified it. He was a practicing attorney up until the day he died and he L.O.V.E.D. his job. He always said it never felt like work because he genuinely enjoyed what he did. Though my grandfather couldn’t convince me to follow in his footsteps as an attorney, I did take his advice. I’m not going to lie, there are hard and stressful days, but I do whole-heartedly enjoy what we do here – I can’t imagine being anywhere else or doing anything different!

When I’m not at the office, I:
Am a total boy mom. With a 5 yo , a 3 yo, and a 1 yo, – all boys – my days are mostly filled with wrestling, yelling, monster trucks, and mud. Lots and LOTS of mud.

If budget was no object, I would:
I am oddly stumped by this one! Not because I can’t think of anything, I’m just not sure which would be my priority! Buy and rehab historic buildings. Take care of family. Travel.  I think bottom line, just more purely and intently enjoy life – that’s all that really matters always, right?

I’m currently (reading, watching, listening to):
Free time is hard to come by, but if I do get a few (rare) minutes to myself, a Netflix documentary is my easy go-to. And honestly sometimes I just like listening to the silence – it’s a refreshing break after the chaos of the day.

The quote that inspires me most is:
“The true sign of intelligence is not knowledge, but imagination.” – Albert Einstein

I draw inspiration from:
My grandpa. His attitude and approach to life were truly unique.

A perfect day goes like this:
Sleep in past 9am and wake up to a beautiful summer morning – 80 degrees and perfectly sunny.

Leisurely drink my coffee in peace and quiet, then eat lots of good food (cooked by someone else) throughout the day. Kids are all in great moods and we swim and laugh and boat all day. As the sun sets, we light a bonfire, and tell stories and roast marshmallows with our family and close friends.

I would never/I love/I would rather/I crave/I dream about:
I would never get a tattoo. Or travel into space. Space freaks me out.
I love hearing my kids laugh.
I would rather be sweating hot than shivering cold.
I crave super spicy food and a creative outlet (though I bet my husband wishes I didn’t…I ALWAYS have a project going on).
I dream about dancing with my boys at their weddings.

Sean Kinzel

Senior Project Manager

I execute.

My role at GPI is:

I manage the construction team from start to finish.  Working very closely with our design team to make sure the project can be built in the most efficient manner possible.  Construction is hard work, however, if you work hard it is one of the most rewarding fields in my opinion.  I love seeing what a team can accomplish in a matter of a short period of time.

Where I came from:

B.S. Construction Management – Bowling Green State University

Best advice I’ve ever acted on (and who gave it):

Use things and appreciate people – My Dad

When I’m not at the office, I:

I love spending time with my wife and our two kids, being outside or sharing a meal with friends and family.  I love spending time on the water in our kayaks.  I constantly have a project I’m working on around the house to keep me busy.

If budget was no object, I would:

Wake up and go to work.  Ideally renovating a house a year and spend the balance of my time traveling, seeing the world or at least as many beaches as possible!

I’m currently (reading, watching, listening to):

I listen to many types of music, I try and stay away from the “news” or the talking heads, life is too short to be so angry!  I love watching old comedies “they don’t make them like they use to”  stupid humor is the best, it keeps me from taking life too seriously.

The quote that inspires me most is:

Even if you’re on the right track, you’ll get run over if you just sit there – Will Rogers

Where do you draw inspiration from:

I’m not sure about this one?

A perfect day goes like this:

Wake up, go to the gym and spend plenty of time outdoors. Work on a project for a few hours to accomplish a task, Dinner with friends and family on an outdoor patio enjoying good food, memorable  stories and a beautiful sunset.

I would never/ I love/ I would rather/ I crave/ I dream about:

I would never compromise my morals for money. I love the feeling of accomplishing a goal.  I would rather work in construction than sit and push papers all day.  I crave making people laugh.  I dream about spending more time on a beach with my wife.

 

Chris Tilton

Director of Lighting Design

I illuminate.

My role at GPI is:

My primary objective is to ensure the architectural and aesthetic visions are supported with thoughtful, appropriate, responsible. and value driven lighting solutions.  I serve as the liaison between the artistic and technical team members, melding quality lighting design with appropriate control strategies, and ensuring the design complies with regulatory requirements and sustainability goals.

Where I came from:

I studied at Virginia Tech and received an BA in Theatre Arts with emphasis in lighting design and technical direction.  My career path has touched exhibit design, trade and industrial shows, entertainment rigging and electrical work, facility operations management, and over a decade consulting as an architectural lighting designer in the building design and construction industry.  I am a classically trained pianist and spent a few years studying the cello as well.

Best advice I’ve ever acted on (and who gave it):

“Treat EVERYONE with respect, show them the same courtesy you would expect to receive, and never forfeit your integrity” –  my Mom and Dad, and others since!  Inspired by Jesus Christ.

When I’m not at the office, I:

Love spending quality time with my wife and friends, supporting missions and community events at my church, and absorbing as much as possible as I experience life.  I am an aviation enthusiast, and look forward to ‘that day’ when I can start building my own experimental kit plane!  As a foodie and a craft beer nut, I seek out local gastro-pubs and microbreweries whenever I travel.  My wife and I are always working on some home project, and my honey-do list is not getting shorter!

If budget was no object, I would:

Design, build, and travel around the US in my hybrid electric airplane, participate in more international mission work, and increase support of smaller cultural and arts organizations in the Cleveland area.  We have a soft spot for canines, so would heavily support a couple of our favorite rescue groups too!  Since budget is no object, I’d improve my shop and spend more time woodworking.  I’d learn TIG welding (to support my airplane habit of course!)

I’m currently (reading, watching, listening to):

on a crossword puzzle binge.  I have as much fun researching the unknown clues as I do completing the puzzles!  When I read, I enjoy historical novels, contemporary spy thrillers, and science fiction.  When I am on the road, I typically tune in NPR for news and current events shows. Otherwise I am streaming EDM and synth tunes on Pandora!

The quote that inspires me most is:

“The difference between something good and something great is attention to detail” – Charles Swindoll

Where do you draw inspiration from:

Where don’t I?  I am inspired by everyone I interact with, by my environment, by amazing natural phenomena and man-made wonders, by stepping out of my comfort zone, and of course by my faith.

A perfect day goes like this:

A cool breeze wafting fresh-brewed coffee, followed by any activity that brings joy to me and those I am with, lending a hand to someone who needs it, and the opportunity to share experiences with loved ones.

I would never/I love/I would rather/I crave/I dream about:

I would never participate in a lima bean eating contest.

I love the complexity of nature.

I would rather be flying than writing this bio.

I crave having time to finish all those honey-dos!

I dream about how much there is yet for me to learn and experience.

Mitch Polly

Technical Engineer

I materialize.

My role at GPI is:

I liason between our design and construction team members to ensure ease of manufacturing and smooth installation of our systems.

Where I came from:

I went to Lincoln Tech for an Associate’s in Mechanical Drafting & Design. From there my real education started in the world of manufacturing. Getting close to the machines, people, and processes gave me invaluable experience in how things are actually built.

Best advice I’ve ever acted on (and who gave it):

I don’t remember where I heard it first but basically “everyone you meet is fighting a battle that you know nothing about” is something that sticks with me and where my mind goes when someone is acting unreasonable.

When I’m not at the office, I:

Am spending time with my wife and kids or tinkering with a random project in the basement (3D Printer / electronics / drones / etc).

If budget was no object, I would:

Buy a Tesla and lot of CNC machines to use when I’m not traveling the world with my family.

I’m currently (reading, watching, listening to):

Reading – Tools of Titans by Tim Ferris

Watching – If I’m not on YouTube, I’m probably watching a random documentary, The Office, or Rick & Morty.

Listening – Lots of podcasts (The Dollop, Joe Rogan, and Smart Passive Income to name a few)

The quote that inspires me most is:

“Most of us have two lives: the life we live, and the unlived life within us. Between the two stands Resistance.“ – Steven Pressfield

Where do you draw inspiration from:

Definitely books.

A perfect day goes like this:

Coffee, play with my son, teach my daughter something, finish a project, a long walk with my dog in the woods, try a new restaurant and watch a movie with my wife

I would never/I love/I would rather/I crave/I dream about:

I would never do something simply because it’s expected.
I love learning.
I would rather watch How It’s Made than sports.
I crave creating things.
I dream about being Elon Musk.

Jeremy Wheeler

Project Manager

I calculate.

My role at GPI is:

Project Manager

Where I came from:

15 years experience in welding and manufacturing, along with building things from the ground up. Certified welder and welding inspector 

Best advice I’ve ever acted on (and who gave it):

 I have 2 that stand out:

 ”The worst thing you can do for yourself is become complacent. You cannot wait for things to happen to you. if you want something bad enough, you have to make it happen. And if you find that sounds too difficult, it probably means you don’t want it enough.” 

 ”You can never have too many pairs of underwear.”

When I’m not at the office, I:

Spend time with friends and family, riding ATV’s & UTV’s, working in my garage fixing cars and welding. 

If budget was no object, I would:

Be racing in Nascar traveling the country 

I’m currently (reading, watching, listening to):

I don’t watch much tv, but when I do it is mostly sports.  

My favorite music is country and rock. 

The quote that inspires me most is:

Being challenged in life is inevitable, being defeated is optional 

Where do you draw inspiration from:

My Dad and all the work he does for everyone

A perfect day goes like this:

My perfect days are generally Sundays when Nascar and football are on. I spend the day enjoying the race and football with family and friends. 

I would never/I love/ I would rather/ I crave/ I dream about:

I would never regret trying new things, whether I succeed or fail. 

I love my familyfriends, and welding. 

would rather build something instead of buying it. 

I crave warm weather. 

I dream about being a Nascar driver. 

Natalie Hammersmith

Designer

I interpret.

My role at GPI is:

While many times I have my hand in various design development aspects, I would like to think of myself a visual interpreter. Utilizing my experience in technical 3D modeling, the artistry of visual rendering, and an eye for graphical layouts, I have the ability to create a common language between clients, contractors, designers, engineers, and members of the construction field in order to define the vision and goals of each custom project. This common language ensures a smooth process from start to finish and brings the project to life even before arriving on the jobsite.

Where I came from:

I recently graduated from Kent State University’s College of Architecture and Environmental Design with a B.A. in Interior Design. During my junior year, I had the opportunity to study for five months abroad in Florence, Italy perfecting my design skills and drawing inspiration from various cultures and architecture. Additionally, I am a member of the International Interior Design Association, where I am an active member of the Cleveland/Akron City Center.

Best advice I’ve ever acted on (and who gave it):

My parents have always told me to always be open to new opportunities no matter what it might be because you never know what might come of it. It is a smaller world than you think!

When I’m not at the office, I:

I spend my time with family and friends walking the local metro parks, riding bikes, traveling to new cities, and trying new places to eat. Where ever I am there is a story to tell.

If budget was no object, I would:

I would travel EVERYWHERE.

I’m currently (reading, watching, listening to):

Reading: Inferno, Dan Brown
Watching: The Crown on Netflix (again)
Listening: Spotify, any and all genres…Lately, I have been listening to anything from the early 2000s

The quote that inspires me most is:

“So often in life, things that you regard as impediment turn out to be great good fortune” -Ruth Bader Ginsburg

Where do you draw inspiration from:

I believe that inspiration can come from the anything and everything. It is all in your perspective.

A perfect day goes like this:

A day with friends and family at Cedar Point.

I would never/I love/I would rather/I crave/I dream about:

I would never: be seen near any type of bird, they scare me!
I love: helping others, especially those in need.
I would rather: travel the world and gain new experiences than be a millionaire.
I crave: real Italian gelato!
I dream about: what life will be like 100 years from now.

Ed Ihnot

Pre-Production Manager

I prepare.

My role at GPI is:
All-encompassing. I ensure that all of our surface, structure, and lighting materials meet specifications, are buildable, and are delivered on time.

Where I came from:
I have over 30 years of mechanical and managerial background in automotive and construction fields.

Best advice I’ve ever acted on (and who gave it):
You can go to any college in the world and one degree you will never get is common sense. My Father taught me this and I have tried to live up to this advice as well as pass that on to my kids.

When I’m not at the office, I:
I used to be an extremely busy Dad but now that my kids are all in their 20’s my wife and I have become empty nesters. We enjoy family time, dining out, experiencing the many amazing venues in the Cleveland area. I enjoy cooking (mostly on the grill or smoker) as well as the numerous fixer upper projects that crop up on the old house.

If budget was no object, I would:
Start a home repair assistance non-profit organization to help elderly who either can’t physically perform or afford needed home repairs for safe living conditions.

I’m currently (reading, watching, listening to):
Watching the Mandalorian series on Disney +

The quote that inspires me most is:
Seek first to understand before being understood-Steven Covey

I draw inspiration from:
My family and faith.

A perfect day goes like this:
Wake up feeling good and making time to enjoy life and be thankful.

I would never/I love/ I would rather/ I crave/ I dream about:
I would never compromise my morals & values.
I love my family.
I would rather attempt to fix something myself before replacing or having someone else do it.
I crave good home cooked meals and good craft beers.
I dream about retiring and enjoying life with my beautiful wife.

Rachel Skafidas

Administrative Manager

I support.

My role at GPI is:
I organize, gather, plan and protect…but all with a smile 😊

Where I came from:
Color Trend Forecasting, Interior Design, Psychology

Best advice I’ve ever acted on (and who gave it):
“to never stop dreaming” – my mom

When I’m not at the office, I:
I am enjoying time with my little guy, husband and Basset, planning our next trip to Disney or in my studio creating.

If budget was no object, I would:
Travel more, starting with the US and then heading across the globe.

I’m currently (reading, watching, listening to):
Depends on the day; suspense, comedies, and heartwarming stories are usually the go-to’s. Some faves are “The Office” and “Everybody Loves Raymond”, “Home Alone”, “Jurassic Park Series” Disney and Hallmark Christmas Movies…and every now and then I like a good scare – book or movie!

The quote that inspires me most is:
“All of our dreams can come true, if we have the courage to pursue them” – Walt Disney

I draw inspiration from:
my son, nature, and fellowship of good people around me

A perfect day goes like this:
Waking up with the windows open listening to birds chirping and the sun shining, a quick springtime rainstorm rolling through creating some arts and crafts time with my son and ending it under the stars next to a campfire.

I would never/I love/ I would rather/ I crave/ I dream about:
I absolutely love being a mom to my little guy and I dream about camping by a lake in the mountains or napping in a hammock on a deserted beach.

Amanda Ryan

Marketing Coordinator

I showcase.

My role at GPI is:

A visionary- displaying the artistry of a creative team. It is so rewarding being able to show the ‘behind the scenes’ of GPI. It makes you appreciate not only our finished product but the time, effort and true passion we all share about building something unbelievably stunning. Each project is so unique in its own way.  I get to display all of our challenges and ways GPI pushes to be innovators in the design industry. GPI is constantly learning and growing and that’s what I get to show.

Where I came from:

Ohio University- Communication Sciences and Disorders

Best advice I’ve ever acted on (and who gave it):

“Do it right the first time”- my Dad

“It’s good to be bored sometimes”- my Mom

“Laughter is the best medicine” – My husband

When I’m not at the office, I:

I am watching hockey, always in my car driving somewhere new, outside if it’s nice out, snapping pictures, trying to maintain a healthy lifestyle, and surrounding myself with the people I love most

If budget was no object, I would:

Travel to every national park and create a million photo books to print out

I’m currently (reading, watching, listening to):

Reading- Girl Wash Your Face

Watching- A Million Little Things and Big Little Lies… I never know what I’m in the mood for

Listening- lots of health podcasts + my new favorite, Country to put me in a good mood

The quote that inspires me most is:

“We generate fears while we sit. We overcome them by action”- Dr. Henry Link

Where do you draw inspiration from:

Nature.

A perfect day goes like this:

On the beach in the sun with my family! Waking up just as the sun comes up, and walking up to get a coffee with my husband. Straight from there we head down to the beach. We would have a million snacks packed for the day and each of us lathered in sunscreen. We would be in and out of the water. Maybe even a fresh coconut in hand. We would have different activities to do at the beach. Then later come in and get ready for dinner, come home for the night and straight into comfy pjs and maybe even some ice cream.

I would never/I love/ I would rather/ I crave/ I dream about:

I would never be able to live without my family

I love a good belly laugh

I would rather be on a beach

I crave chocolate… always + too much

I dream about being a mom

Sarah Lawrence

Media Manager

I capture.

My role at GPI is:
Capturing our entire engineering, design and structural methods process from start to finish. My goal is to create content that allows me to showcase the genuine passion and exertion that goes into each project. I value photography, videography and all social media platforms because it allows me to exhibit our brilliant work. I get to illustrate how GPI unfailingly is pushing the boundaries of design.

Where I came from:
Bachelor of Science in Psychology at Loyola University Chicago as a Division 1 soccer player.

Best advice I’ve ever acted on (and who gave it):
“Never have your back against the wall, speak up, be noticed” – my Nana

When I’m not at the office, I:
I am socializing with my friends and family, working out and finding fun ways to be active, listening to music, watching YouTube videos, taking pictures, and eating lots of food!

If budget was no object, I would:
Travel the world with my family

I’m currently (reading, watching, listening to):
Watching- YouTube videos about health and lifestyle, The Office and almost every reality television show
Reading- The Power of Habit, by Charles Duhigg
Listening- Thomas Rhett, Milky Chance and Bazzi

The quote that inspires me most is:
“Get comfortable being uncomfortable”

I draw inspiration from:
Making others happy and proud

A perfect day goes like this:
Waking up to no alarm somewhere by the water, have my mom’s eggs benedict for breakfast, go for a walk to the beach or pool, swim in the ocean, be surrounded by my parents, siblings, my nephew and close friends, and then play games, tell stories around a fire, with lots and lots of s’mores.

I would never/I love/I would rather/I crave/I dream about:
I would never be able to move away from my family in Cleveland.
I love structure and having a routine.
I would rather spend money on experiences than objects.
I crave being in the sun.
I dream about finding a cure to Alzheimer’s.

Learn more about GPI Design