HPM recently announced the hiring of accomplished industry professional and long-time owner’s representative Gaila Barnett, AIA, making her the company’s latest addition to its fast-growing west region. Barnett leads HPM’s ongoing work in the construction of the $35 million Hyatt Place hotel at Texas Christian University in Fort Worth, and will also play a vital role in helping HPM to expand its footprint in several industries.
With decades of experience in the architecture, construction and owner’s rep markets, Barnett serves as a utility player who will help bridge the gap between HPM’s lines of service and client management on upcoming projects for the company. Barnett’s versatile background has given her a unique vantage point into the nuances of all phases of program management and equips her with the skills needed to guide key project partners across HPM’s broad portfolio of assignments. Throughout her career, she has led projects totaling $2 billion across 26 states in a variety of design, construction and owner’s rep leadership roles, adding continued depth and versatility to HPM’s bench of talent.
Possessing a resume loaded with experience in the healthcare sector, Barnett brings the ability to home in on various facets of guaranteed maximum price, design-bid-build and design-build projects while navigating the challenges associated with each phase in complex organizations.
Barnett began her career as an architect in the Dallas area and Los Angeles, learning all aspects of the industry’s business while leading major projects for high-profile clients including IBM, Dell and Southwestern Bell. She worked for the commercial construction firm The Beck Group in Dallas as a construction account manager for IBM in 17 states and oversaw a successful merger with one of the region’s leading design firms.
Barnett led several dozen healthcare capital projects for Hammes Company including St. Luke’s Health in Houston, Pitt County Memorial Hospital in North Carolina and Scott & White in Temple, Texas, before expanding her own company, Barnett Consulting Group. As an entrepreneur, she began her company in 1995 as an ADA consulting firm and expanded her services to provide program management and owner’s rep services in 2010 for a number of signature clients, including Baylor, Scott & White Health in Texas and Cinemark in 17 states.
“I’m thrilled to join the team of talented professionals at HPM and look forward to helping the company blaze new trails in Texas,” Barnett said. “I am confident in my ability to act as both a manager and mentor in all project stages, and believe that my extensive background in architecture and construction, along with the ability to see through the lens of the owner, will play an integral role in bridging the common language barriers often found in high-stakes project work. We’re off and running on the Hyatt Place hotel in Fort Worth, and I’m grateful for the confidence of the entire leadership team at HPM.”
Barnett will add value by helping to plug in key knowledge gaps in the design phase spurred by the current void of mid-range project experience hampering the architecture community. A registered architect in Texas and California, Barnett was awarded the AIA Young Architect of the Year Award by the Dallas AIA chapter in 1996 and has appeared in several leading publications, including Contract Design Magazine. She is a registered accessibility specialist in Texas and has served as an ADA expert witness for the U.S. Department of Justice on numerous class action lawsuits.
“Gaila’s keen understanding of the necessities and key details behind each phase of a major capital project allows her to produce superior work and communicate effectively with all parties involved,” said James Adams, vice president of HPM’s west region. “HPM is poised to benefit from her versatility and impressive list of industry contacts in Texas, and we anticipate her leadership will help guide us into the next decade of continued growth and expansion as we tap into new markets.”