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From theory to practice: Great Falls Architecture Firm sets out to model positive business impact as Public Benefit Corporation

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PRESS RELEASE

February 23, 2021

For Immediate Release

From theory to practice: Great Falls Architecture Firm sets out to model positive business impact as Public Benefit Corporation

(Great Falls, Montana) — Spark Architecture, a certified woman-owned (WOSB) firm in Great Falls, Montana, has announced its reorganization as a Public Benefit Corporation (B-Corp). Shareholders at Spark Architecture are looking at long term, mission-based growth.

The difference in a public benefit corporation (B-Corp) is that this bottom line has three parts: People, Planet, and Profit. 

Founder Sophia Sparklin is optimistic that being accountable to quantify the Positive impact the firm has on people, the planet, and profit will further operationalize Spark’s guiding principles of Health, Clarity, Accountability, Learning, and Excellence as the firm grows. Sophia is committed to transparency and diversity in all aspects of running Spark Architecture. The payscale and financials are openly shared, and the growing team has women in 50% of leadership roles, alongside a mix of individuals with Montana, Latino, and  European backgrounds.

What really makes Spark different is Sophia’s belief that the best work is done by an organization that supports its employees to thrive in everything they do. She is deliberate in positioning the firm as the antidote to the burnout culture she has personally experienced, researched, and witnessed in similarly sized and situated industry firms. Spark offers 30 hour work weeks with full benefits, and pays employees for every hour above it, and overtime pay at 150% over 40 hours. “In my research it was clearly demonstrated that creativity and decision making are significantly impaired by the chronic stress we often see in our industry. I have seen major mistakes, accidents and illness firsthand, and research confirms that chronic stress further contributes to bias and a hostile work environment. We can be of better service to our clients and community  if we can bring our whole and healthy self to work”. 

While Spark takes on different types of projects, their best work has one thing in common: Clients driven to have a positive impact on their world. “We work with organizations and entrepreneurs who want to align their spaces with their values; Cities committed to improving their citizen’s experience; real estate developers who want to build a real community; and homeowners who want to respectfully integrate their new home into our beautiful landscape while minimizing their ecological footprint.”

Spark actively seeks talented partners, investors, and project opportunities to apply their skills, philosophy and professionalism to. The firm is located in Downtown Great Falls at 410 Central Avenue (Suite 506). Further information on the firm and examples of completed work can be found on their website: Spark406.com, or by reaching out directly by email or phone at  Sophia@Spark-Architecture.com and  406.453.0001. 

Additional Information: 

Montana State Law defines a specific Public Benefit as (a) providing low-income or underserved individuals or communities with beneficial products or services; (b) promoting economic opportunity for individuals or communities beyond the creation of jobs in the ordinary course of business; (c) preserving the environment; (d) improving human health; (e) promoting the arts, sciences, or advancement of knowledge; (f) increasing the flow of capital to entities with a public benefit purpose; or (g) the accomplishment of any other particular benefit for society or the environment.

Certification: Spark is now going through an independent audit of their Standard Operating Procedures and Policies to receive official B-Corp certification.

National examples include Patagonia, New Belgium Brewing, and Ben and Jerry’s. 

Montana examples include Headframe Spirits and West Paw, and OnSite Energy.

Author

Sophia Sparklin

Growing up in a family with generations in medical practice, Sophia discovered her passion for architecture during an internship 1996. Since then Sophia received formal and informal education in Germany and the US. At Arizona State University she was honored by the Henry Adams Certificate for graduating on top of her (Master of Architecture) class in 2005.