Capturing the Spirit of Heery - Lao Buddhist Temple
Samantha Susock

Earlier this year, we held a photo contest where employees from all our regional offices were asked to capture the spirit of Heery in a single snapshot. In simple terms, this photo would express what we do and how we do it”.

Photos came piling in that showed projects, culture, workspaces and facilities through the eyes of our people. As one of the judges of the contest, it was a treat to see the images that captured various perspectives of what defines Heery and those who work here. I saw smiling faces, client interactions, field visits and outside the office camaraderie. On-site meetings, judicial buildings, community service efforts and project sketches are just a few of the photos submitted. And, not only did these photos carry out the contest’s theme, but the creativity of our contestants also shined through.

One photo did strike a chord with a beautiful depiction of a pro bono effort by our Denver office for the restoration of the Lao Buddhist Temple in Colorado. This photo is a depiction of Heery’s commitment to its community, and I learned a lot more about that from the winning photographer, Architectural Designer Yandy Cheng.

The Lao Buddhist Cultural Center is a new temple for the Laotian and local community of Westminster. The previous temple was destroyed by fire five years ago, and since then, the community has come together with compassion, devotion, and promise from volunteers to rebuild. This effort was brought into our Denver office by Heery Architect Thinh Nguyen, who Yandy also names as her mentor.

The Denver team joined the mission by volunteering their time in the evenings and weekends to design the new facility. From the beginning phases of drawing plans, pouring of the foundation, to putting up the steel, and now the finishing of the structural roof panels, Yandy and the project team worked closely with the community at all stages of this project.

The photo was taken as the high-spirited and brave volunteers were putting up the Structural Insulated Panels on the Temple’s roof. A pristine Rocky Mountain Range fades into the background as the Laotian flags wave at the forefront, a representation of the cultural impact this place has on its community. Although much was destroyed in the fire, including century-old Buddha statues and teaching books, many looked at it not as a tragedy, but a reminder of starting over – a reincarnation.

The trust the members of the Lao Buddhist Cultural Center have put into our Denver team to restore their beloved facility resonated throughout the company - an act of service work that is a true embodiment of our company’s spirit.


Architectural Designer and Photo Contest winner Yandy Cheng stands at the project site of the new Lao Buddhist Cultural Center.