SHORT BIO – Michael Leighton
“Who makes the most money,” Michael asked? “The architect,” replied his father, who was a house painter. With that fateful response, Michael applied himself to architecture and, before graduating high school, worked for the premier architectural firm in Redding, CA where he grew up.
Michael worked with numerous architects over the years. From small firms to nationally ranked firms and through a wide range of project types he is known for his integrity, knowledge and leadership.
A significant break in Michael’s career was his eight years in the Marine Corps. While serving with 1st Recon Bn., he was selected as the third Marine in history to attend the U.S. Army Special Forces Qualification Course. While an instructor for 2nd Force Recon Company, Michael was in a vehicle accident that resulted in his 50% disability – which led to his Disabled Veteran Business Enterprise (DVBE) certification.
Returning to architecture after the service, Michael filled a variety of roles including Studio Director for both K12 and Higher Ed markets. Both these studios averaged 16 people with 4-5 licensed architects. But, the Great Recession took Michael back to Virginia for five years as the Program Manager of a high dollar and highly classified security contract for a government agency.
Back in California, Michael is leveraging his many years in the trenches and his experience in QA/QC processes with services to the AEC community. Michael and his wife Nancy, who recently sold her insurance brokerage, have three children and 10 wonderful grandchildren. They both enjoy all the sports that keep them in the serenity of the mountains.