Grape Stomp Showdown: TLCD Architecture vs Summit Engineering

On a warm fall weekend in wine country, the ultimate grape showdown took place between two Santa Rosa firms. TLCD Architecture challenged Summit Engineering to compete in the annual Harvest Fair Grape Stomp for bragging rights about who can generate the most juice in under 3 minutes.

Two teams from each firm prepared for this event by enduring a rigorous training regiment… mainly developing our core strength from laughing so hard. It turns out there is a real finesse to grape stomping as we learned the intricacies of being the “Stomper” or the “Swabby.” Foot size does not matter if you are the Stomper, it’s much more about the swirl and kick technique to move the juice towards the spout. The Swabby role benefitted from laser sharp focus and unusually long arms to funnel the grape juice into the jug.

While the teams from TLCD and Summit did not win the heat that day, we had a respectable amount of “wine juice weight” and went home proud. Purple feet and hands, a trophy t-shirt and the following video mark this historic showdown.

Bikes and Brews

Ride 2

What a great name for an event! When I saw the flier float around our office I immediatly grabbed it and knew I would have to roll. TLCD Architecture and many others were invited to join the annual ride to a nearby town of Sebastopol for a destination of good conversations, food and the celebration of bikes..and Beer.



Personally I’d never been to “Hopmonk”, but what a cool venue. We were greeted with ample bike parking for the whole group and a nice laid back outdoor seating area with a great draft list with many local micro’s. Fellow riders from ZFA and I were grubbing down on pulled pork sandwiches and the favorite 4 pack taco platter…amazing! According to local lore they have music there pretty regularly and I could see it being a pretty fun time. Living in Sonoma County (one of the worlds greatest bike and beer destinations) this local gathering was a great reminder of how lucky I am to get to enjoy this place from the speed and freedom of a bike. On the trip back to Santa Rosa, the ZFA crew kicked it into hyper speed as TLCD tried to keep up with the sprint…  Not realizing I was riding with world class riders I now know that I will have to train for next year’s event, and hopefully grab a few notches higher on the list of riders. I will definitely be looking forward to next year’s ride, and thank you ZFA engineering for getting everyone together to enjoy our amazing place to live and work.

How Many Architects Does It Take to Pack a Food Box?

That’s a rhetorical question because you can never have too many architects helping out at their local food bank. TLCD Architecture had a team volunteer at the Redwood Empire Food Bank (REFB) last Friday and it was both gratifying and a great team building exercise. A staff member gave us a tour before we settled in to pack food. Within 90 minutes we had packaged and loaded nearly 5 palettes of food boxes. Anyone remember the “I Love Lucy” episode where the assembly line items are flying by? It felt that way at first, but we got the hang of it!

We heard that the facility needs 1200 volunteers each month to get food processed and packaged, so we will definitely be back.




TLCD Architecture: Always a Best Places to Work!

tlcd architecture, santa rosa architecture firm, north bay business journal, best places to work 2014

The votes are in and once again TLCD Architecture has been voted a Best Places to Work by our team! The annual North Bay Business Journal survey highlights local firms that have great workplaces. TLCD has no shortage of good times, professional fulfillment and camaraderie to share. This is a team that enjoys working collaboratively during office hours, as well as playing well together after hours.

This blog was launched 5 years ago with a goal to talk about our company culture, feature interesting updates on our projects and engage in a conversation about the practice of architecture. We hope it shows the world a little about ourselves and what makes TLCD a great place to work!


TLCD Kicks off 10 Week Wellness Challenge!

TLCD Group Hike at Taylor Mountain Regional Park
TLCD Group Hike at Taylor Mountain Regional Park

Architecture has formed two teams of 9 for the Live Healthy Sonoma County 10 Week Wellness Challenge… team New Dimension and The Flying Buttresses! As a Gold member of the Sonoma County iWORK Well program, TLCD has had a workplace wellness program called the Fit Force in place for 5 years. This Wellness  Challenge comes at the perfect time of year when the colder winter weather (in theory) drives us all indoors. The two teams will focus on exercise, healthy eating habits and team building  using the Live Healthy website to track results. 

The end result will be a wonderfully fit staff…many of whom will be participating in the Human Race that follows in early May. Follow us as we share stories and photos of our Wellness Challenge!


Ugly Holiday Sweaters Rule the Day at TLCD

Compiled Image

This week’s Wine Wednesday had the staff participating in  “TLCD’s First Annual Unofficial Ugly Sweater Contest”. Those braver folks hung in wearing their sweaters all day long… and one architect in particular could be heard from the other end of the office as he approached in his “jingle sweater”! It was great fun and hopefully inspired others to start planning their ugliest sweaters for next year… and the coveted Ugly Sweater medallion.

TLCD Hydrating Squad Does it Again at Sonoma County Human Race

For the 4th consecutive year, TLCD Architecture has participated in the fun of Sonoma County’s Human Race as a Water Station sponsor. This is highly technical work and requires the expertise of only the best Hydrating Engineers. From pouring water into small cups, to carefully balancing them on the end of fingertips, the technique must successfully deliver water to quickly moving objects… aka runners and the slower moving walkers!

Bill McNearney, Alan Butler, Marina Starkey, Don Tomasi, his son Jeffrey were all on hand to demonstrate their technique and to cheer everyone towards the finish line of the 10k race. TLCD also had several participants in the race including Gwin Stumbaugh, John Dybczak, Sandy Petersen and her family. This is an event TLCD looks forward to each year and a great chance to give back to the community.

TLCD Architecture’s Workplace Wellness Program Featured at Symposium


TLCD Architecture was one of four panelists at the 3rd annual Workforce Wellness Symposium hosted by iWORKwell Sonoma County on March 27th.  This event featured 4 companies of differing sizes who have implemented employee wellness programs and included insights on how to sustain a program year after year.

The TLCD ‘Fit Force’ was launched 4 years ago to promote fitness, healthy eating habits, team-building and community involvement. Julie Wycoff, a Project Captain in TLCD’s Health care studio, has been a core committee member for the last several years and shared her thoughts about the program during the panel discussion. “I found the experience to be very enlightening. It was fascinating to hear how the other three companies approach and promote a culture wellness for their employees given their various sizes and financial commitments to a program. Obviously, Clif Bar sets the standard for a broad and holistic approach to a wellness program but that fact that other, smaller companies like TLCD are able to show measureable improvements in their employees’ well-being without the “deep-pockets” approach was even more impressive,” said Julie. “As a panel speaker, I tried to emphasize that at TLCD the concept of personal wellness for our employees directly ties in to our work as Architects and Designers as we create and design healthy buildings for people and the environment. I also tried to stress that creating a wellness program doesn’t need to be costly – most of what we do as a group is to encourage healthy living through simple things like eating healthy, getting more exercise and giving back to our community.”

The Symposium attracted about 60 people representing a cross section of local businesses interested in implementing a workplace wellness program, or building on existing programs. TLCD Architecture was thrilled to be selected in the small firm category and shared the stage with workplace champions from Clif Bar, LEMO USA, and Santa Rosa Oral Surgery. TLCD has also been honored in the past as a North Bay Business Journal Best Places to Work and Healthiest Workplaces in the North Bay.


TLCD Olympic Relay


In honor of the Olympics and in the spirit of competition, TLCD’s Fit Force held it’s first ever Olympic Relay and Potluck today! Inspired by the athletes in London, TLCD staff competed in a 3-part relay that required stamina, accuracy and brain power. Pushing themselves beyond human endurance, the first leg athletes power-walked from the office to the Santa Rosa Creek and back again (we had some cheaters who ran). The second leg athletes tapped into their hand/eye coordination to toss nurf balls into trash cans until they reached 50 points (don’t try this at home). In the critical final leg of the competition, our mental athletes unscrambled 3 words which related to an event in the Olympics (who brought in the anagram ringers?).

Of course all this competition works up a mighty appetite… and being a Sonoma County firm, the TLCD “foodies” came through with some amazing lunch offerings.

Good luck to the real Olympic athletes in London!

TLCD Named One of the Healthiest Companies in North Bay!

The team at TLCD Architecture believes in staying healthy both during and after hours. From hiking, biking and running to walking, yoga and gardening, its all about moving and staying active. To encourage healthy workplace practices, we launched the TLCD Fit Force 3 years ago. Supported by our management team, the Fit Force has been behind such activities as a health faire, a winter food cook-off, bowling tournaments, kayaking, food drives, a smoothie contest and an entire week of special events to honor Earth Week!

The opportunity to be part of the inaugural award as one of the “Healthiest Companies in the North Bay” by the North Bay Business Journal is very exciting and underscores TLCD’s commitment to bringing healthy food choices, exercise and community involvement to the workplace.


TLCD Architecture Voted one of the Best Places to Work in North Bay!

TLCD Architecture is very proud to be voted one of the Best Places to Work in the North Bay Business Journal’s 6th annual survey! “This is an honor that is truly meaningful, and we thank each of our employees who participated in the survey… they all help to make this a best place to work”, said Don Tomasi, Senior Principal at TLCD Architecture.

Recognized in the 20-60 employee category, TLCD Architecture places a priority on developing it’s employees through licensure, professional development activities, seminars and ongoing training. In the spirit of “serious fun”, TLCD also has a long standing Wine Wednesday tradition, a workplace wellness program and a deep commitment to community involvement.

TLCD’s Green Week

Earth Week at TLCD Architecture

Thanks to everyone who participated in TLCD’s first annual Earth Week celebration. Just to recap… we started with a week-long challenge to walk or ride your bike to work, take the stairs and generally get up and moving. Tuesday Bridgett demonstrated how to make earth friendly cleaning and personal care products at a great Lunch-n-Learn. Wednesday was a full day with a crew working on our green roof deck to refurbish our old redwood furniture and clean up the planters. Wednesday evening our Wine Wednesday topic was CSA baskets (Community Supported Agriculture) and the staff enjoyed delicious organic fruits and nuts. Dayna lead a team of picker-uppers to walk the Santa Rosa Creek and collect trash on Thursday. On Friday or “Earth Day” we raffled-off prizes to those who took up the walk, run, exercise challenge and ended the week with a hike in Annadel State Park… which was in full glory with wildflowers.

Many thanks to the Partners for letting us plan an entire week of activities and to all of you who worked so hard to make this happen!

Support our Local Farmers while eating healthy!

At Wine Wednesday last night, the office sampled a delicious box of organic fruit from a local Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) company.  The idea of the Wine Wednesday was to inform everyone of the advantages of buying organic produce while supporting local farmers.  Benefits include; eating ultra-fresh food with all the flavor and vitamin benefits, getting exposed to new vegetables you may have never tried and by getting your family members involved in the healthy eating as well.

Below is a list of the top 10 foods to eat organically.

    1. Strawberries
    2. Bell Peppers
    3. Spinach
    4. Cherries
    5. Peaches
    6. Mexican Cantaloupe
    7. Celery
    8. Apples
    9. Apricots
    10. Green Beans

TLCD’s Earth Week Kicks of With Natural Cleaning Products Demo

In celebration of Earth Day, the TLCD office has planned a week filled with educational demonstrations, office challenges, and activities focused on environmental awareness.

Today’s activities focused on making our own homemade cleaning materials and body care products from environmentally safe, non-toxic ingredients commonly found in our homes.  We made everything from Chamomile Lavender Shampoo and Olive Oil Wood Cleaner, to Natural Bug Repellent and Vinegar and Baking Soda Surface Cleaner. It was great to see so many of our TLCD participants mixing and matching different essential oils for their custom scented cleaners.  I was amazed by how many ways vinegar, lemon, and baking soda can be used for cleaning clothes, furniture, and surfaces!

The Coddingtown Whole Foods Market also provided a fun demonstration bag of eco friendly products and great literature on how to look for organic and eco friendly body care products.  All in all it was a very fun and informative session!

Stay tuned for days two recap of TLCD’s Earth Week Activities!

St. Patrick’s Day Feast

In a less traditional approach to St. Patrick’s Day, TLCD staff prepared colorful and healthy foods in a rainbow of colors. Green food items were actually “greens” from the earth and there was a delicious array of flavors and textures. From hand-dipped strawberries, homemade angel food cake and blueberry/pear tarts the desserts were even better!


Thanks to all our TLCD “foodies” who brought dishes in for today and have a happy and safe St. Patrick’s Day.

Second Annual TLCD Bowl-a-Rama!

Last Friday a group of TLCD folk and family tested their bowling skills during a friendly but spirited tournament.  Jay Jensen (Scott’s Dad) impressed us all as he walked away with the award for High Game (169) and High Individual Average.  Carl Servais captured the highly-coveted Most Strikes award. 

Dayna goes for one of her many spares

Other awards (and braggin’ rights) included:

Best Team Name: The Bowlinators

Most Likely to go Pro: Max Psadelakis (Nanette’s son)

Best Bowling Form: Alyssa Moore (Josh’s daughter)

Best Bowling Outfit: Scott Jensen (gotta love them shorts)

Most Creative Ball Toss: Kevin Teel (complete with face plant)

High Team Score: The Flintstones (Yabba Dabba Doooo!)

High Team Average: The Flintstones (Wilmaaaaaaaa)

It was a great change of pace from our work environment and big fun to hang out with family members we don’t get to see real often. Aside from a few sore thumbs and weekender aches, the group got through the workout to make it to the pizza round across the street at Mary’s Pizza Shack.

George Psadelakis (Nanette's hubby) shows the pro form
Serious team strategy sessions

Prince Memorial Greenway Creek Clean-up

Todays creek clean-up results

Today several staff members joined together to give our backyard creek area a little extra clean-up. With all the recent rains, and heavy foot traffic use of the Prince Memorial Greenway, excess trash had built up along the pathways, planters, and creek.  A call went out to the TLCD staff asking anyone who was interested in lending a hand, and spend their lunch hour, to pick up this excess trash.

Since so many of us walk the creek during our lunch hour, the outpouring of volunteers was inspiring.  Craig Gaevert was kind enough to loan several pairs of Grabbers and trash bags, so we didn’t have to crawl around on our hands and knees.

As we all moved along the pathway, picking up cigarette butts, paper, bottles, cans, and enough clothing to cover one human being, many folks walking and riding by gave us a hearty, “Thank You”, thumbs up and smiles.  It felt great to be giving something back to the community, knowing our work was appreciated and enjoyed by all.

General consensus, among those who participated, felt it was well worth their lunch hour to participate in something so positive and beneficial to the community. It was decided this is something we should do on a regular basis. And we will.

TLCD’s Workplace Wellness Program Featured in North Bay Business Journal

TLCD’s Fit Force is featured in an article on Workplace Wellness Programs in this week’s North Bay Business Journal. Companies of all sizes are embracing programs like these and TLCD Architecture continues to think of innovative ways to integrate healthy habits into the workplace.

The photos below are from last winter’s “Super Healthy Bowl” cook-off where staff made healthy versions of their favorite soup, stew or chili recipe.

TLCD Gives Generously During Holiday Season

TLCD’s second annual 1/2 Ton Food Drive Challenge ended on a high note last week when we reached 1075.5 pounds of food for the Redwood Empire Food Bank. Many thanks go out to our wonderful staff who not only contributed to the food drive in a big way, but also gave generously to needy families through the Volunteer Center’s Giving Tree. Thank you for making this holiday season better for families in need.

Major Donation to TLCD Food Drive

The TLCD “Half Ton Food Challenge” had a huge boost today when Kristen and Erica Gentry of GCCI General Contractors donated 330 pounds of food! Tami Hebein, who previously worked for GCCI, sent a call to action to many of her friends and family to help us reach our goal of 1,000 pounds of food by January 5th. Not only did GCCI deliver in a big way with their food donation – they are cheering TLCD on in our pledge to match $1 for every pound of food donated.

Thank you to the team at GCCI for their generous spirit of giving. Let’s keep the momentum going and meet that 1,000 pound challenge!

TLCD Food Drive Poster

Summer Smoothies a Big Hit!

TLCD’s Fit Force had the blenders buzzing for this week’s Wine Wednesday. To celebrate summer and healthy food choices, Sandy, Domenica, Jack and Marina prepared their favorite smoothie recipes and poured samples for the staff. Also posted were sign-up sheets for after hours activities such as indoor rock climbing, softball, group biking, etc. If you missed “Summer Smoothies” check out the recipes below and see Sandy if you’d like to sign up for any of the fall activities.

Smoothie Recipes

TLCD’s Prolific Gardeners!

When we asked our staff, “how does your garden grow” earlier this summer, we were thrilled to see the number and variety of back yard gardens producing beautiful flowers, fruits and vegetables! At this week’s Wine Wednesday, we met at Craig and Michelle’s house for a tour of their “producing” garden, as well as Michelle’s habitat and native plant garden (a haven for butterflies). Michelle is a Landscape  Designer, and shared her depth of knowledge and passion for gardening with all of us. As parting gifts, we all received a rustic garlic bulb from the garden!

TLCD Gives From the Heart as a Sponsor of the Human Race

The Human Race is the largest fundraiser in Sonoma County benefiting many deserving local nonprofits. TLCD Architecture is once again excited to be a part of this incredible community event as a Sponsor and participant. Not only will we help staff one of the stations along the course, we’ll also have a few of our own running in the event on May 8th!

For anyone interested in the 3 or 10k walk/run – the forms are at the reception desk!


A group of approximately 24 TLCD staff, family members, and friends took to the lanes last Friday night for what was described as “a highly competitive” bowling match.  Split into 6 teams (named Three Sheets to the Wind, Brass Balls, Bonzai Bowlers, All Guttered Up, Nero D’Avola, and The Strikers, respectively), bowlers participated in three rousing games for a chance at one of several bowling honors.  Mark Adams chaired this event with style and prepared certificates for the winners.  Here are the results of the competition:

Best Bowling Form: Pete Soergel
Most Likely to Go Pro: George Psaledakis
Highest Individual Game: George Psaledakis
Highest Individual Average: Mark Adams
Most Strikes: Mark Adams
Best Team Name: Three Sheets to the Wind
Highest Overall Team Score: The Strikers
See all the results here…

Competition aside, the night was a lot of fun (see the pictures above! Note: taken from iPhone).   In fact, the night was so successful that Mark announced making this an annual event at the end of the night.  I thought, “Right on.  I’ll be here!”  Thanks everyone for coming out.


“Super Healthy Bowl” Cookoff

Crockpots on Parade

The “Super Healthy Bowl” cookoff was a great way to fill the stomachs and warm the souls of TLCD staff Recipes. The parade of crockpots paved the way for some healthy staff competition and made for a lively Wine Wednesday. Thank you to those who cooked, voted, or simply enjoyed a hot meal together.  The fun photos from the event have been uploaded to Flikr. Check them out!

First-Ever Fit Force ‘Super Healthy Bowl’

The first Wine Wednesday in February holds a cookoff in store. Bring the heat with your favorite soup, stew, or chili recipe for a chance to win. Prizes will be awarded for the healthiest, spiciest, most creative, best named, and best overall bowl of winter comfort food. Look for the posters around the office or talk to a Fit Forcer for details.

New Sustainable Meat Source @ Santa Rosa Veterans Farmers Market

I ran into a new supplier of pasture raised, grass fed, hormone free beef at the Santa Rosa Veteran’s farmer’s market last Saturday.

John Ford, of John Ford Ranch in Willits, was on hand to sell his fine selection of beef. Though not a member of the Sonoma County Meat Buying Club, John is a local purveyor and looks forward to being at the Saturday market for awhile.

Santa Rosa Veteran’s farmer’s market hours are 8:30am to 12 noon on Saturdays. Check out their blog to learn more, and see a pic of John at

Please note: John mentioned that he will miss the upcoming Saturday, January 16, but will return the following week.

John Ford Ranch

A current price list is included. Enjoy!

Holiday Food Drive in Full Swing!

Just one week after kicking off the TLCD 1/2 Ton Holiday Food Drive, our amazing team has donated over 470 pounds of food! The goal is 1,000 pounds of food for the Redwood Empire Food Bank and we are just about half way there. Remember, TLCD will match $1 for every pound of food donated, so keep the canned goods and staples coming. The food drive will continue through the New Year and will end on Wednesday, January 6th.

1/2 TON Food Drive Challenge!!!

Thank you all for attending our kick-off of the Fit Force Winter program. This quarter we’re focusing on healthy eating over the holidays and helping the community. A big part of this effort is the 1/2 Ton Food Drive challenge! We kicked it off at Wine Wednesday with over 110 lbs. and it will continue until January 6th.

Your mission is to bring in 22 lbs. of food, which is pretty easy to do. A typical can of food weighs about 16 oz./1 lb. Weigh your bags on Sandy’s scale in the main kitchen (tap the front of the scale first, wait for the zeros). Then tally up your poundage on the chart.

You may be wondering what type of food to bring. Non-perishable staples with an emphasis on proteins, like beans, canned tuna/chicken, peanut butter, rice, pasta, cereal. You get the idea. Pick out something you would like to eat, and share it with another family. No glass, please.

TLCD has pledged to match $1 per pound of food. Help us reach our goal of 1,000 lbs/$1,000. The Sonoma County Redwood Empire Food Bank and TLCD Fit Force is counting on you!

Food Journals

If you would like to keep an eye on your nutrition and exercise over the holidays, or perhaps starting January 1, here is a good free online food journal:

Here you can see your body mass index (BMI) and set nutritional goals like weight loss, vitamin intake, etc. Of course, the results are only as good as the data you put in, so if you can’t find what you’re eating in the fitday database, you can create your own custom foods (look on the nutrition facts of what you’re eating) or find many mainstream foods at

If you decide to journal, try to keep it up for at least a few weeks! This is a lot harder than it sounds. If you miss a day, don’t give up, just get back on the wagon.

Oh – if you need a little inspiration… studies show that people who consistently keep a food journal while trying to loose weight typically lose twice as much as those who don’t.