Remembering Pat Rosenzweig


The Chicago architecture community industry mourns the passing of architectural marketing pioneer, Patricia Rosenzweig.

Pat passed December 19, 2015 after a brief illness.

With a background in statistics and social psychology, Pat Rosenzweig was a leader as one of the first marketers in the Chicago architectural community who was not an architect. She started the marketing group at Perkins & Will in the late 1970s after serving as their Director of Planning.

In 1986 Pat established her own consulting firm, Rosenzweig Professional Services Marketing, located in the Monadnock building. RPSM provided comprehensive marketing, public relations, graphic design and event planning services for a wide range of clients from solo practitioners to large companies in architecture, design and engineering, real estate, non-profit and retail, among others. With a small but dedicated staff, the firm provided guidance and created marketing and publicity campaigns and events resulting in new business and attention in local and national media for clients.

A highlight for Pat during this time was the opportunity to meet and photograph Chicago Bulls’ Michael Jordan and work with the 1985 Super Bowl Bears on the launch of their ‘Bear but Not Naked’ calendar with retail client the men’s clothier Bigsby & Kruthers. During this time, Pat was part of the steering committee for Chicago by Design, a program with AIA Chicago and the Chicago Architecture Foundation, to present a day of behind the scene ‘hardhat’ tours of newly completed and under construction buildings in downtown Chicago.

From 1995 until her retirement in 2007, Pat served as the Director of Marketing and Principal at OWP/P, now the Chicago office of CannonDesign.  Her impact was far-reaching; she was profoundly influential in her ability to coach, lead and nurture marketing and business development staff as well as architects, engineers and interior designers.

Her legacy included mentorship of professional and business staff in career development and strategic positioning for new business while working with leadership in the health, education, corporate-commercial and government practices.

“On a daily basis Pat worked closely with market leaders and others both developing overall strategies for business success and forming approaches to the pursuit of countless specific projects,” said John Syvertsen, FAIA, LEED AP, former President of OWP/P. “These were always rich experiences. Pat would patiently listen as all of us expounded our brilliant ideas and then, carefully and firmly, she would lay out what would almost inevitably be a wonderfully clear, coherent, and compelling idea. She always steered us to the highest ground, and was not always patient if any of us attempted to compromise the quality of the idea. We learned so much from her- from her knowledge and from her marvelous style.”

She was the Director of Marketing at OWP/P during a time of unprecedented growth and transformation. She was influential in the firm’s consolidation of Deerfield and Chicago offices into one city location to strategically position the firm in the City of Chicago. A few years later, the practice expanded to Phoenix, Arizona to target key markets. Under her leadership, the firm grew new practices and service lines including Corporate-Commercial and Facility Services. During her tenure, the firm grew to be the largest A/E office in the City of Chicago.

Pat was passionate about teaching the A/E industry the fundamentals of marketing, strategy and business development. She was influential beyond her marketing responsibilities at OWP/P by co-founding the first Learning Program for the practice. She contributed to The Architect’s Handbook of Professional Practice in a chapter titled “How Clients Select Architects.” Semi-annually, she visited University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign architectural classes to teach architectural students about the fundamentals of marketing. In her earliest years in the A/E industry she was a frequent presenter at SMPS Chicago.

Following her retirement, Pat began volunteering at her alma mater, the University of Chicago, in the Office of Career Advancement. She soon helped launch a new program and became a full-time career advisor for students interested in the public and social service sectors. Over the past five years, she ran a year-long job search intensive for high-achieving graduating seniors. She played a huge role in the lives of countless students and staff, remaining close to many as they graduated from the University and pursued high profile careers around the world. When she passed away, an online message board received almost 100 remembrances from students in just two days; all of these messages spoke to the straightforward advice and endless support Pat gave her students in her final years. The program she ran has now been named the Pat Rosenzweig Scholars Program in her honor.

In 2010, she received the 2010 Alumni Service Medal from University of Chicago for her years of tireless volunteerism. In addition to her work in the Office of Career Advancement, she played a pivotal role in founding UC2MC, the Chicago alumni club and volunteered in support of her College Reunion class.