October 4, 2023

Throughout the year, we highlight unique relationships among veteran professionals. The strength of Epstein lies in the wealth of experience shared with each other to better equip our workforce with knowledge and confidence.

From building great professional relationships to long lasting friendships, these stories speak for themselves. This time we highlight Ed Curley, Director of Architecture & Interiors, and Laura Rebbe, Associate Director of Architecture here at Epstein.

Ed Curley has worked at Epstein for nearly 14 years where he leads architectural initiatives, and oversees project delivery. His extensive portfolio includes commercial, residential, manufacturing, and municipal projects. Ed is currently a member of the American Institute of Architects, serves as a JV assistant soccer coach at St. Barnabas School on Chicago’s beautiful far southwest side, and is Vice Chair of the Council for Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat Chicago Chapter. He is also a proud Illinois Institute of Technology alum.

Laura Rebbe also serves as a Senior Project Manager on select Epstein projects. She has practiced architecture for 23 years, 8 of them happily at Epstein. Laura has been a true generalist, working on projects in just about every market, including residential, commercial, hospitality, industrial, medical, transportation, educational, and military, with projects across the US and overseas. When not at Epstein, Laura is an active member of Moms Demand Action, a gun legislation activist group, and is a member of the American Institute of Architects. She also enjoys cheering on her daughter's Chicago Public School volleyball and soccer teams!

What is the biggest takeaway for you from this relationship?

Ed: Laura is a mentee who I also consider a colleague. I trust Laura’s judgement and often confer with her on important departmental issues.

Laura: I am learning different ways to lead a team. I’ve typically led by getting out in front and showing the way. With a group like the architecture and interiors team we have here at Epstein, leadership takes a different form. There are people with equal or greater experience than myself and Ed, and he has shown me a form of leadership that allows others to show the way.

What did you gain from being a mentor/mentee?

Ed: I gained the surety that architecture and interiors has someone to help me provide leadership and make timely decisions.

Laura: I wasn’t sure about stepping into the role of Associate Director, but Ed assured me that I could do it. I’m glad that I took the opportunity.

One word -- verb, noun, adjective, adverb -- that describes a Mentor's role

Ed: Listen

Laura: Encourage

In your opinion, how can mentors build a strong relationship with their mentee?

Ed: Mentors need to welcome questions, take the time to provide thoughtful responses, and be open to having their own minds and position on issues change based upon their interactions with their mentees. In short, mentors need to be open to learning from their mentees.

Laura: Get outside the office and get to know one another. Ask about their families, and share about yours. If you really get to know your mentee, you will be better at supporting them.

Something I appreciate about my mentee/mentor…

Ed: I appreciate Laura’s dependability and calm demeanor when dealing with challenging situations.

Laura: I appreciate that Ed and I can change one another’s mind. There is definitely a collaborative approach to our work!

Thank you to both Ed and Laura for sharing your experience!