Growing up, Jason Boyer spent his playtime building things out of Lego blocks. As he got older, he moved on to model kits, constructing all sorts of things. When he wasn’t caught up in his creations, he helped his dad build or fix things, so it’s of little wonder that he would eventually become an architect.
“I was exposed to a lot of opportunities as a kid, and when you’re young, those tend to influence you,” said Boyer.
He and his sister were raised in Rockford, Illinois, and both parents were high school teachers. “We learned that Midwest work ethic from our parents, and that has certainly come in handy in owning my own business.”
Boyer graduated from the University of Illinois with a degree in architecture and then headed west to “get away from all those gloomy days.” He attended Arizona State, earning a Master’s in Architecture degree and finishing among the top three graduates. Perhaps with a bit of influence from his parents, he then traded a book bag for the professor’s lectern, teaching while working as an architect for five years.
“When you teach others, you are also learning, so my time at ASU was instrumental,” reflected Boyer.
At age 35, Jason was named a principal and director of architecture for the local office of a national firm, a lofty position for someone that age. He headed up many of their projects around the country. Later, he moved to another firm – earning numerous AIA design awards while there before finally taking the plunge and launching Jason Boyer Architects in 2012.
Boyer prefers to view himself as the “total architect” because his professional offerings encompass three competencies: design, technical execution and practice management. “Our suite of offerings is interrelated and helps distinguish who we are,” he said.
His projects include municipal buildings, schools, healthcare, sporting venues, adaptive reuse, and residential neighborhoods created through public/private partnerships. His work with Great Hearts Academies has resulted in six new campuses in as many years.
The 49-year-old entrepreneur modified his business model and launched Boyer Vertical, which offers design, build and real estate development services. “This new approach allows me to work on things I’m interested in and control my destiny,” he said.
A project that Boyer is most proud of, calling it his “biggest success,” is artHAUS, a residential infill project that has drawn national acclaim and just last month earned an Arizona AIA Distinguished Building Honor. He is currently developing Karma Phoenix, another infill project and a place where he says people can “live with intention.”
Jason isn’t the only entrepreneur in the family, as his wife, Karen, owns her own business as well. They met at a Halloween party – Karen quickly catching his eye dressed as Pocahontas – and were married a few years later. Their 10-year-old daughter, Kennedy, and two standard poodles round out the Boyer household.
Boyer says his days and nights blur together as he juggles the roles of husband, father, businessman and avid “fitness guy.”
His self-professed superpower is resiliency. “I’m able to deal with the unknowns that come along the way, whether they be good or bad, without overreacting.”
Not surprisingly, a thoughtful philosophy from someone who has built his life on a solid foundation.