Despite a new CEO living in Texas, Rees Associates Inc.'s headquarters is at home in Oklahoma City, firmly perched at East Wharf on Lake Hefner, its founder said.
“Our headquarters is in Oklahoma City, Okla. We're an Oklahoma corporation. The treasurer is based in Oklahoma City. Our headquarters is where we are incorporated,” founder Frank W. Rees Jr. said Wednesday — minutes after the firm's board of directors named Allan Parr, 46, president since 2011, as just the second CEO, succeeding Rees.
Frank Rees, 68, remains as chairman of the board of Rees Associates, the national architecture, planning and design firm he founded in 1975. Parr lives in the Houston area.
The question of the front office's location arose because Rees Associates has nine locations across the country and Rees has maintained homes in both the Oklahoma City and Dallas areas for years.
Rees said it was time for new executive leadership.
Not fun lately
“There are people who can't seem to understand: ‘How are you giving up a company you founded?' I've done this for more than 36 years. There's nothing new about it anymore,” he said.
The past five years, with the prolonged effects of recession taking such a toll on construction, he said, “It hasn't been any fun.”
Rees said the firm has about 80 employees, 40 in Oklahoma City, at 9211 Lake Hefner Parkway in a 42,000-square-foot, three-story office building considered Rees' local showcase for its corporate work.
Rees also has offices in Dallas, Houston, San Antonio, Atlanta, Baltimore, Indianapolis, San Francisco and Spokane. The firm also has joint ventures in Mexico City and Beijing.
CEO well prepared
Parr has “prepared hard to be CEO of a major company,” Rees said. “He's thrilled about it and excited about it and it's new to him. ... He was responsible for thousands of employees (and several large, scattered operations) for Hewlett-Packard. He can lead a firm this size in his sleep.”