"I've also learned that everyone wants to have input and control over some aspect of their work and company standards," Carlson continues. "We try to structure teams with complementary skills. Some people are fast workers, others are more deliberate, but together we make a great team. Since no one can be an expert on everything we developed our Expert in the Room program so everyone gets to pick several types of equipment, construction specialties or industry trends based on their interests." At that point, Robert Rippe associates work in small teams to complete projects successfully.
Carlson has translated that love of nurturing other team members to his involvement in FCSI. Thanks to his own unique educational path, Carlson has led FCSI's educational foundation for six years, during which time he's helped raise countless scholarship funds for inspiring kitchen designers at high-ranking restaurant and hospitality schools across the country.
"That's a constant issue in our association — knowing where to send employees to get them trained in this niche area," Carlson says. "Basically there are two ways to recruit new people: one is right out of college and the other is hoping you find someone with a lot of experience."
In recent years, Carlson has been particularly active in supporting the building information modeling community as the new wave of building design.