Cripe was recently named as one of the Best Places to Work in Indiana. This 16th annual program was created by the Indiana Chamber of Commerce and Best Companies Group.

This statewide survey and awards program is designed to identify, recognize and honor the participating employers in Indiana with the leading workplace cultures. The list is made up of 125 companies.

“We have many tremendous employers in the state, so it’s great to see more and more companies take part in this effort to evaluate their workplace cultures and gain the recognition they deserve,” says Indiana Chamber President, Kevin Brinegar. “These companies consistently demonstrate to their employees how much they value their contributions.”

To be considered for participation, companies had to fulfill the following eligibility requirements:

– Be a for-profit, not-for-profit business or government entity;

– Be a publicly or privately held business;

– Have a facility in Indiana;

– Have at least 15 employees working in Indiana;

– Be in business a minimum of 1 year.

“With the extreme and unexpected challenges of 2020… Company culture went far beyond the official benefits and perks to worker safety and taking job flexibility to levels that most couldn’t have imagined. All the employers honored should be especially proud to be on the list this year.”

Companies from across the state entered the two-part survey process to determine the Best Places to Work in Indiana. The first part consisted of evaluating each nominated company’s workplace policies, practices, philosophy, systems and demographics. This part of the process was worth approximately 25% of the total evaluation. The second part consisted of an employee survey to measure the employee experience. This part of the process was worth approximately 75% of the total evaluation. The combined scores determined the top companies and the final rankings. Best Companies Group managed the overall registration and survey process in Indiana, analyzed the data, and determined the final rankings.

The final rankings will be announced at an awards ceremony on Thursday, May 6, 2021, and then published in the Indiana Chamber’s BizVoice® magazine after the event.

For more information on the Best Places to Work in Indiana program, visit

The experience of being a  mentor and/or being mentored can be  transformational. The privilege, and responsibility of mentoring is understood and practiced at Cripe – both internally and externally. Sharing lessons learned and professional acumen serves not only our staff but our community.

Cripe employees understand the importance of paying forward and  serving the communities we build.

This practice and belief coincides perfectly with National Mentoring Month in January. Our CEO and Chairman, Al Oak, embodies Cripe’s dedication to not only mentoring, but community service as a whole. Al is a current Big Brother through Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Indiana. He is currently serving as a “Big Brother” for the third time; this time sharing mentoring responsibilities with Max Wurster, Assistant Project Manager, Wurster Construction, and former Cripe team member.

In 2019, Oak was honored with the Community Mentor Award from Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Indiana. He is a role model for all employees in his dedication to our community. For Al, mentoring as had a significant influence on his life. He says, “For me, mentoring has been both impactful and gratifying.  It is also a significant opportunity for personal growth.”

Al Oak, PE, Chairman and CEO, is excited to announce the following executive leadership appointments.

Effective January 1st, Fredrick J. Green, AIA, NCARB, President + COO, will be promoted to Chief Strategy + Operations Officer. In his 15 years as President + COO, Fred has worked successfully to align strategy and vision with overall corporate performance and culture. Fred believes and lives the concept that “leaders eat last” and combines this with his laser focus on what needs to get done, keen strategic eye and passion for staff development and opportunity. As Chief Strategy + Operations Officer, he will continue to lead this organization focusing on our corporate strategies and operations, setting the bar high for staff and the firm as a whole.

Effective January 1st, Dennis McGuire, Vice President of Survey + Real Estate Development, will be promoted to President – Elect. Having over 33 years of Cripe survey operations and business experience has fueled his rise and role as a trusted advisor to both staff and clients. His demonstrated dedication and contributions to client service, firm growth, and our people throughout his career make him a natural choice to become the fifth president in our 83-year history. Dennis will report to Fred Green and transition to President in the second quarter of 2021.

We look forward to the vision and leadership that Fred and Dennis will bring to their new roles. We are certain of their abilities to move the company forward in its vision “To Be The Company Of First Choice – for strategic, trusted partnership through innovative solutions and proven stewardship of our people, clients, and communities.”

Cripe has met the formidable challenges of this year with vigor, flexibility, and momentum with great success. This is what it takes to have and maintain an award-winning, 83-year presence in the Indiana design community.  As Employee-Owners, we are proud of our commitment and service to our clients and to being lifelong learners. Sustainability is not only a service offering here at Cripe – but a requisite strategy to our firm’s vitality and legacy. Our founding values of Integrity, Compassion, Accountability, Professionalism, Humility and Commitment remain steadfast and serve as the benchmark for any Cripe leader.

Cripe has been a part of the Stanley E. Hunt Real Estate Development Case Competition from the beginning in 2008. As Director of Real Estate, Al Oak and his wife Shary, oversee the creation of the competitions each year and the Cripe Charitable Foundation has supported the event since the beginning as well.

This year, Al Oak, Chairman + CEO, Fred Green, President + COO, and Denny Southerland, Vice President of Sales, were all judges for the virtual competition and Dennis McGuire, Vice President of Survey + Real Estate Services was a guest speaker.

Over 20 teams in the Real Estate Development & Appraisal class presented development plans for a former hospital site in downtown Bloomington, but only the top four were chosen to compete in the final competition.

This year, there was a tie for first place! Both the team of CJ Alexander, Cameron Hess, Wilder North, and Samuel Pittman, as well as the team of Dilan Rajpurkar, Michael Romanelli, Jeff Serbin, and Torin Siegel will receive a $1000 prize.

The Stanley E. Hunt Real Estate Development Case Competitions are one of the most enjoyable events Cripe takes part in and supports throughout the year and even though, much like many other events this year, it was a little different, it was a still a huge success!

Today, the Indiana Chamber revealed the rankings of the 125 companies named Best Places to Work! Cripe came in at #11 in the small business category (75 employees or less) out of 53 companies! For more information on the process and other winners, take a look at the Indiana Chamber’s press release.

This is the 10th year we’ve been included in the list and we’re also Hall of Fame members!

Our Healthcare Planning team has a unique role in the healthcare design and architecture industry. Outside of planning what equipment should be used in each unique situation, Cripe’s Healthcare Planning team is also often in charge of project and move/relocation management.

We have enhanced our Healthcare Planning team by adding clinical expertise, Erin Purcell, RN, MHA. Erin has nearly 20 years of hands on experience in a hospital as both a clinician and a project coordinator. This was a dynamic move that has and will continue to aid our team. Having a clinician on staff is one of the many things that differentiates Cripe from other firms. We now have an insider’s understanding of the healthcare system that can only come with years of hands on experience.

In both her previous role and with Cripe, Erin utilizes Lean Methodology and her Six Sigma Green Belt Certificate to manage and facilitate the creation of workflows, design, construction, activation and go-live of the project team.

Having a clinician on our team opens so many doors of comprehension between the design and planning team and the hospital staff. Both parties are more easily able to understand one another. They are also able to communicate their unique needs, confident that those needs will be appreciated. This puts everyone involved on more solid ground and closes the gap for misunderstandings.

“The ultimate goal of any project is to bring a vision to life through design. This can be quite complicated in healthcare as you often have two groups (design team and clinicians) that speak very different languages. Being the go between often requires wearing several hats: educator, translator, coordinator, advocate, facilitator and resource as you navigate through the design process. This collaboration builds relationships and trust, let’s all involved feel they contributed to the success of the project while providing a healing environment for both patients and team members.” – Erin Purcell, RN, MHA

Below are some ways in which our team now utilizes the clinician’s point of view and experience to enhance the design process overall:

How can a clinician be utilized throughout the design process?

Schematic Design:
• Help develop functional narrative
• Educate providers on process, phases and activities
• Evaluate schematic design (SD) to ensure clinician’s input has been included
• Collect feedback and summarize for design teams
• Work with clinicians to evaluate new proposed layout and identify areas for
• Improve on old processes
• Record to assure these are carried over to clinical activation

Detailed Design:
• Help clinicians understand equipment and design choices
• Facilitate Decision making and acceptance process
• Ensure coordination with communication systems
• Nurse call, infant security, patient video monitoring, wireless devices, central
displays, etc.
• Help establish communication plan-graphics, newsletter, etc.

How can a clinician’s input be valuable in areas not known as part of the traditional design process?

Transition Planning:
• Enact and verify operational processes defined during design process
• Assistance coordinating operational planning teams
• Assist with day in the life (DIL) planning and execution

Patient Moves:
• Create move sequencing schedule and logistics

• Create and lead command center
• Go live support
• Daily reports to leadership

• Create and oversee decommissioning plan

Post Occupancy Evaluation:
• Follow up surveys, interviews, observations, to determine success of project




A little about Cripe’s clinician on staff, Erin Purcell, RN, MHA:

Erin Purcell, RN, MHA, worked for 11 years as a Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) nurse where she created individualized healthcare plans for patients. Erin helped design current and future state workflows that informed the design for the Simon Family Tower at Riley. This turned into a full-time position on the Simon Family Tower project team.

Erin has brought an entirely unique background to Cripe and specifically the Healthcare Planning team. We have always understood our clients and the unique challenges that can be present when working in the healthcare system.

Things are ever changing in our world right now and that is even more true in the healthcare world, however Cripe is committed to always understanding the unique challenges and visions of each client. We are always making strides to be the best client advocates we can be and Erin is proof of that as she understand both sides of these healthcare planning projects from both the clinician and planning side.

“We make a living by what we do. We make a life by what we give to others.”

That’s what President + COO, Fred Green, had to say on the latest episode of Legacy on Purpose, a podcast from Legacy Consultants Group.  Servant leadership is the core of Cripe – both how we celebrate and how we give. Check out the podcast here to learn how this type of culture truly pays off!

To learn more about our culture, click here.