Meet Bill Ayars, co-founder of Perspectus Architecture
, a full-service planning and architectural design firm in Shaker Square with eight principals and 36 employees. The firm has a focus on healthcare, higher education, government, senior living, recreation and retail projects. Perspectus has been recognized as a five-time honoree of the Weatherhead 100
award for consistent business growth and a five-time recipient of the NEO Success Award
What has been your career path?
A native of Vermilion, I earned a Bachelor of Architecture degree from Kent State University
in 1979 and participated in the university’s program in Florence, Italy. In 2001, I earned my MBA degree from CWRU
It’s important to find the right business partner with similar goals. Larry Fischer and I have been fortunate to build our business based on repeat clients and word-of-mouth referrals. We strive to hire the best talent and promote innovation.
What project are you most proud of to date?
I’m most proud of our overall commitment to healthcare design and the excitement of new technology and constant change. We have the privilege of working with some of the leading people in the world. With Cleveland being the center of advancement and technology, the professional level of our clients and their commitment to their field are phenomenal. We’re working with healthcare leaders who are recognized nationally and internationally.
Internally, we have met the challenges of changing technology, sustainability and flexibility. I’m proud of our leadership in embracing electronic communications and project management.
Our process is evolving because of technology advancements that enable us to show our clients photo-realistic views of their project early on. We have reorganized our work stations with multiple monitors, additional drafting tables and new software. With today’s technology and tools, our architects are accessible from anywhere in the world.
How was the decision made to merge with HFP/Ambuske Architects?
Perspectus Architecture and HFP/Ambuske Architects have enjoyed a friendly competition in healthcare design. Years ago, Alan Ambuske, Larry and I worked together before branching off to other firms. We’ve enjoyed common areas of focus, shared clients and a long-term mutual respect.
The merger was a natural outgrowth of our respective histories, creating a national presence and enhancing our services and value. As one of the leading healthcare design firms in Northeast Ohio and beyond, this merger gives us the opportunity to provide more extensive capabilities to our existing clients and be more responsive to the shared clients.
Why is Shaker Square an ideal location for Perspectus?
When evaluating options within Cleveland and elsewhere, it became clear that there is no better location with the necessary “cool factor” than Shaker Square. Everything we need is here: RTA Rapid lines, restaurants for entertaining and meetings, amenity shops for everyday needs and sidewalks for lunchtime exercise and problem-solving walks.
We recently renewed our lease and now occupy the entire second floor of the southeast quadrant. We’re also reshaping the office layout to incorporate new technology and design production strategies. Having adequate space for prototype development, collaboration and meeting with other innovation companies is critical.
You say you have an emphasis on “complicated systems coordination.” What does this mean?
In our healthcare specialty, our architects address the changing patient care needs and how a facility can expand to accommodate future growth. Working with clients at the forefront of cutting edge medical technology, we take on renovation and new construction projects in hospitals, laboratories, research facilities and technology centers.
Beyond creating the space and coordinating with engineers and other specialty consultants, we work closely with hospital staff and medical equipment companies to customize and accommodate specific needs of the sophisticated equipment relating to healthcare settings.
What advice would you give to entrepreneurs in starting their businesses?
I’m an active member of the John Carroll University Entrepreneurs Association
, and I’ve been fortunate to hear amazing stories from countless successful entrepreneurs. My advice is to seek as much advice from other entrepreneurs and mentors as possible. Consider establishing an advisory board to guide you in all areas of your business. People are always willing to help. Also, don’t have a fear of failure, and have a passion for what you do. Stay current with technology, and never stop learning.