In 1974 Roz was a single mother of two, going to school at Denver University and working for a Dean at the School of Dentistry. After she was told there would be a salary freeze, she started looking for something new. One of her classmates encouraged her to apply at ABR Partnership telling her that they were hiring a secretary and they have a lot of fun. She interviewed with Russ Seacat, who hired her on the spot.
The ABR Partnership respectfully parted ways in 1975 when Don Barker, Ron Rinker and Russ Seacat started BRS. Roz was faced with a choice and she decided to join Don, Ron and Russ at BRS. She says she “lucked out.” Roz recounts, “There were six of us that started at Barker Rinker Seacat. We had just gotten a project to design the Children's Museum of Denver and we were designing these small savings & loans. We had an office on Lawrence & 19th right next to the Spaghetti Factory. I answered the phones, poshéd drawings, typed up all the proposals, and made lunch on Fridays. Everybody did everything.” She introduced the office to several innovative ideas such as Myers Briggs, conflict resolution, retreats, improvisational theater and many creative interview strategies. Roz felt she was treated equally, and her ideas were supported.
Just four years later Roz was asked to become a partner. “For Don, Ron and Russ to have that kind of belief in me was pretty amazing...I think that speaks volumes to the kind of people that they are/were and that set the stage for the culture of the firm that was so inclusive.” In 1979, Roz became the first woman, non-architect and first Asian American woman to become a partner in an architecture firm in the State of Colorado.
Roz has been called the 'glue' because she united the office and was a liaison from the firm to the community. She was on 18 community boards in a span of 20 years. Her dedication and participation in the Denver community was in tandem to the socially responsible vision BRS had. “(We said) we are going to do architecture that people are going to respond to, and that people want to be in. It was always about the people," says Barhaugh.
Roz brought an ensemble spirit to BRS, overseeing operations and marketing, and retired in 2010. Roz, you continue to inspire us!