In 1974 Roz was a single mother of two, attending the University of Denver and working for a Dean at the School of Dentistry. After she learned there would be a salary freeze, she started looking for the next step in her career. One of her classmates encouraged her to apply at ABR Partnership, telling her they were hiring a secretary and highly recommended the firm because of its fun culture. Russ Seacat interviewed her and hired her on the spot.
ABR Partnership respectfully parted ways in 1975, and it was then that Don Barker, Ron Rinker, and Russ Seacat started Barker Rinker Seacat Architecture. Roz had to choose to join Don, Ron, and Russ at BRS. She says she "lucked out." She recounts, "There were six of us that started at Barker Rinker Seacat. We had just won the project to design the Children's Museum of Denver, and we were designing these small savings & loans. We had an office on Lawrence & 19th next to The Old Spaghetti Factory. I answered the phones, poshéd drawings, typed up all the proposals, and even made lunch on Fridays. Everybody did everything." She introduced the office to several innovative ideas such as Personality Typing, conflict resolution, annual retreats, improvisational theater, and many creative interview strategies. Roz felt she was treated equally and that her ideas were supported.
Just four years later, Roz was invited to become a partner and part owner of the firm. "For Don, Ron, and Russ to believe in me was pretty amazing...I think that speaks volumes to the kind of people they are, and that set the stage for the firm's inclusive culture." 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 lovingly been nicknamed the 'glue' because she united the office and was a liaison from the firm to the community. She served on 18 community boards over 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 will respond to and 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, thank you for your contributions to our firm. You continue to inspire us!