Populous pivotal new internal appointments



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New role at Populous Image: Populous

Populous, the leading global architecture and design practice across sports and entertainment, has announced the creation of a new Chief People Officer role, as well as appointing three of its Regional Board members to its Global Holdings Board.

‘Populous’ stated that Kristin Gibbar will join the practice as the Chief People Officer and the Senior Principal based out of the firm’s Americas headquarter in Kansas City and London.

London (UK)-based Populous is a global architectural and design practice specializing in sports facilities, arenas and convention centers, as well as the planning and design of major special events.

The global design firm began with a singular focus – to draw people together around the things they love, through experiences that capture all the senses and amplify the pure emotion shared in human moments. Over the last 40 years, the firm has designed more than 3,200 projects worth over $60 billion across emerging and established markets.

Populous’ comprehensive services include architecture, interior design, event planning and overlay, branded environments, wayfinding, graphics, planning and urban design, landscape architecture, aviation and transport design, and hospitality and sustainable design consulting. Populous has over 1,200 employees in 29 global offices on four continents with regional centers in Kansas City (US), London (UK) and Brisbane (Australia).

Christopher Lee, Managing Director EMEA, Populous, UK, is a Member of Coliseum Global Sports Venue Alliance.

‘Populous’ further stated that Gibbar’s experience includes Chief Human Resources (HR) Officer and Global HR Director roles at companies including Black & Veatch (construction engineering company), Amazon (E-commerce company) and Sun Microsystems (information technology [IT] company).

Gibbar started her new role on June 24th. She will report to Populous’ Founder, Chair and head honcho Earl Santee, who commented on the new appointment, “As our business and the range of services we can offer to clients continue to expand, our staff growth has also increased steadily. We are now at over 1,200 staff across 29 offices worldwide, so our ability to drive a global people strategy and programs has become increasingly important. Kristin’s appointment to this new global position will allow us to create consistency and harmonization in roles, further foster leadership and career development at a pan-regional level and strategically enhance the workforce mobility, performance management and the overall talent management across our regions.”
 
Populous has also announced three new internal appointments to its Global Holdings Board all of whom bring extensive leadership and project experience across the company:
 

  • Declan Sharkey, Senior Principal, Europe, Middle East and Africa EMEA:

Declan Sharkey is currently a Senior Principal and Regional Board Member within the EMEA region who is based at the firm’s London office. A creative and forward-thinking architect and industry leader, Sharkey has worked on a diverse portfolio of innovative projects across Europe. This includes multiple current stadium projects in Italy, as well as arenas in Munich (Germany), Cardiff (UK) and Cork in his native Ireland. His most recent project, the 23,500-capacity Co-op Live Arena in Manchester, is the largest in the United Kingdom and the most sustainable arena in Europe.

In addition to his architectural roles, Sharkey plays a key part in business development for all the new arena and elite training facility projects within the EMEA region. Sharkley joined Populous in 2010.

As well as working across multiple architectural projects, he heads up the Arena and Training Facility work for Populous in Europe and is also the General Manager (GM) of Populous Italia (Italy), Populous España (Spain) and Populous Deutschland (Germany).
 

  • Brett Wightman, Senior Principal, APAC:

Brett Wightman is a Senior Principal and Regional Board Member within the APAC region with extensive experience in designing large-scale sports, entertainment and aviation facilities for Populous.

Based in the Populous Singapore office, Wightman has strong experience working across complex design and construction programs across Asia. Projects include the Kansai International Airport, Osaka, Japan, the KL Sports City in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, the 6,000-capacity The Londoner Arena in Macao (special administrative region of China) and the soon-to-open 50,000-capacity Kai Tak Sports Park in Hong Kong.

Wightman has also held leadership roles on recent Populous convention, exhibition and entertainment space (COEX), Transit-Oriented Development and Aviation projects across Singapore, Japan, Hong Kong, Malaysia, and Thailand.
 

  • Scott Capstack, Senior Principal and Design Director, Americas:

Scott Capstack is a Senior Principal and Regional Board Member within the Americas region. As the Design Director of the Americas region, he provides oversight of the regional design process, as well as insight and in-depth knowledge of trends and innovations across building typologies.

A graduate of the University of Kansas (US), Capstack has collaborated with the National Football League (NFL) teams, the Major League Soccer (MLS) franchises, convention centers, collegiate and university programs, and multiple additional clients on projects across the industry. His experience allows him to advice and direct design with an informed, diverse and creative perspective, assisting on all aspects of the projects. This combines with a talent for cutting-edge facility design across a portfolio of work that encompasses a variety of athletics facilities and convention centers, including the 10,000-capacity Los Angeles Convention Center in Los Angeles, California, the 65,878-capacity Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Massachusetts, and the 68,500-capacity Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, California.

Talking about the new appointments to the firm’s Global Holdings Board, Santee commented, “This is an exciting time for Populous as we continue to combine strong regional performance and design excellence with an increased focus on pan-regional and global strategy enabling us to continue growth through expanded services to our clients around the world. Scott, Declan and Brett are all hugely experienced leaders who will bring unique insight and talent from their regional leadership organization to our Global Holdings Board.”

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