Architecture leader’s internship turned into full-time role

This week’s Up-and-Comer is Jacob Ricke, a licensed architect and associate project manager for JLG Architects.

Name: Jacob Ricke

Age: 28

Hometown: Madison

What brought you to Sioux Falls?

After my wife, Lexi, and I finished grad school, we both recognized the strength of the professional and business community in Sioux Falls. I also interned with JLG Architects for a few summers and was offered a full-time position in the Sioux Falls office. With the opportunities here and the proximity to our family and friends, we decided that it was the perfect city to start our post-college lives.

What keeps you in Sioux Falls?

Honestly, it’s as simple as Sioux Falls is a wonderful place to work and live. The city provides everything we need to support our professional and family lives. Since moving here in 2019, my wife and I have purchased our first home and welcomed our first child, Noah. I have continued to enjoy my time at JLG, and Lexi is establishing her career as a physician assistant at Sanford Women’s Clinic, with Sioux Falls proving to be highly supportive of our growth as young professionals. Outside of family and work, there is also an abundance of fun to be had around the city!

What’s your favorite thing about your job?

My favorite part of my job is that every project is different and comes with its own unique opportunity to provide solutions to each owner’s needs and goals. My work has been focused in Sioux Falls and other local communities, and I am passionate about contributing to designing the future of our cities. I enjoy forming lasting relationships with everyone involved in our work in an effort to build something meaningful for everyone.

How did you get connected to your industry?

Growing up, I worked construction with my dad in the summers, and art was my favorite subject in school. I didn’t quite know how the combination of these interests would morph into a career. After taking some ‘career finder’ tests in school, I discovered architecture as a suggestion based on my interests, and it all clicked together. The more I learned about what being an architect meant, the more I knew that it was what I wanted to do. As I was trying to decide what college to go to, SDSU announced it would be opening a new architecture program, and it felt like destiny!

Describe your workplace in three words.

Fun, inspiring and collaborative.

What is something someone might be surprised to learn about you?

I have been on a local curling team for a couple of seasons. The sport is both much harder and more fun than I had anticipated!

What’s your favorite way to give back to your community?

I have found that finding volunteer opportunities related to causes that I am passionate about has been a mutually beneficial component of life in Sioux Falls. There are so many wonderful organizations and causes that are constantly shaping the community and benefiting everyone; it only makes sense to give some of my time to help out in any small way that I can.

What’s one business you’d like to see in Sioux Falls that isn’t here now?

I’m a big sports fan, and I think that a professional sports team would be a great addition to our community. Maybe an MLS franchise? I feel like the support for a local professional team in Sioux Falls would be huge!

If you had $1 million to start a business, what kind of business would it be?

This is a difficult question! I have always been inspired by the creative work of designers Ray and Charles Eames and would like to start a business that would allow myself and others the opportunity to explore any form of creativity. Something similar to the modern idea of a ‘maker space’ intended to facilitate imagination and creation.