COLUMBUS, Ohio, April 25, 2012 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Following in a father's footsteps can be daunting – especially when that father is one of the founders of the nation's largest African-American architectural firm - Moody•Nolan Inc. In the end, Jonathan Moody says, he had to make a decision that was right for him.

"It was my choice," he said about majoring in architecture. "I had to decide if I wanted to do it for myself and not because everyone else wanted me to do it."

Jonathan, a graduate of Northland High School, recently joined Moody•Nolan to build a career as a designer. The firm founded by his father, Curt Moody, was only a year old when Jonathan, 29, was born. Jonathan gained his first experience with architecture while working as an intern at Moody•Nolan during summers in high school and college. But the path leading back to Moody•Nolan was never a done deal.

Jonathan waited until his senior year in high school to decide he would study architecture, announcing his choice during a church career day. Instead of The Ohio State University – where Curt Moody studied architecture and played basketball -- Jonathan chose Cornell University in Ithaca, N.Y. As if the intense five-year architecture program wasn't enough of a challenge, he also decided to play varsity football.

Curt said Jonathan's college experience taught him how to focus and compete at a very high level.

"If you can make the commitment to perform well in school and excel in sports then you've chosen to make many sacrifices that help to build a strong work ethic," said Curt.

Upon graduating from Cornell, Jonathan had another chance to attend OSU for graduate school, but again he chose to head out of state and attend UCLA.

"I had to get away from the snow," he explained.

Then Jonathan landed a job at the Yazdani Studio of Cannon Design in Los Angeles for three years. While Jonathan was happy working in California, Curt said, "We recruited him to come back because we were looking ahead to form a succession plan at Moody•Nolan."

The succession plan includes grooming Jonathan for a leadership role within the firm, but for now he's designing some high-profile projects for Moody•Nolan. That includes designing a $15 million state-of-the-art office building to be built at Dayton Wright Brothers Field for The Connor Group. Curt said he's proud of what Jonathan has been able to accomplish.

"Many students go through a lot of career choices before making a decision, but Jonathan made a decision, stayed with it and has remained committed to architecture," he said.

About Moody·Nolan

Founded in 1982 by Curtis J. Moody, FAIA, NCARB, LEED AP, and Howard E. Nolan, PE, in Columbus, Ohio, Moody•Nolan has since worked in more than 40 states. Specializing in higher education, sports/recreation, student focused, health care and public service facilities, Moody•Nolan has been recognized with more than 175 local, state and national design citations. This year, the firm celebrates its 30th anniversary with special events throughout the year. The American Institute of Architects (AIA), Ohio Chapter, named the firm the 2006 Gold Medal Firm of the Year. The 164-person firm has regional offices in Chicago, Ill., Cleveland, Ohio, Covington, Ky., Dallas, Texas, Indianapolis Ind., Nashville, Tenn., and Washington, D.C. For more information, visit

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Todd Hutchins