A funny thing happened on the way to becoming an architect…

If you ask my mother, she will tell you that I have always been a businessman. That may be true, but I remember clearly the day my passion was ignited.

When I was in my third year of architecture school, I picked up an issue of Entrepreneur magazine at the local supermarket. Skimming the pages, I previewed story upon story about another successful entrepreneur. I purchased the magazine and that night read it cover to cover. The stories were so inspirational, so motivational. The freedom to create. The risks. The rewards. The ability to improve the world around us. It was all so exciting! From that night forward, I have had a unquenchable passion for business success.

In 1999, my wife (also an architect) and I launched our residential architecture firm, Fivecat Studio, in Westchester County, New York. Annmarie and I are a great team. She is an exceptional designer, and with my love of business, together we make the perfect architect.

In order to grow and learn, I stay active in many organizations. I am very involved with the American Institute of Architects, a professional organization for registered architects. For several years, I held the office of Director of Communications for the Westchester / Mid-Hudson (NY) chapter. During my tenure, I developed and launched the chapter’s website, AIA Architect Network. I recently joined a new Practice Management committee chaired by Mt. Kisco architect, Ira Grandberg, AIA. The intent of the committee is to explore and share information about business and the practice of architecture among its members.

I am also a member of the Business Council of Westchester. Through the Council, I had the opportunity to recently complete a 15-week business course called the Academy of Entrepreneurial Excellence. Each of the fifteen weeks is dedicated to another business issue; leadership, sales, marketing, legal, etc. As most architects will tell you, architecture school does not adequately prepare one for the realities of business. The Academy was an invaluable experience. It took my many years of self-taught business knowledge and focused it down to the few most essential elements of business success. I continue to meet with the members of the Academy on a monthly basis with the intention of allowing the momentum of growth to continue on into the future.

With both architecture and business, I continue to educate myself by reading books, blogs, websites and magazines, as well as attending networking groups, events, seminars and conventions. One of the greatest tools for learning is to teach others. With that principle as my guide, I do my best to spread knowledge to others in the profession of architecture as well as entrepreneurs throughout the business world.

Living Well in Westchester is a blog I write that is dedicated to residential architecture and design. I decided to launch Entrepreneur Architect to serve the growing need and desire by architects to learn more about business. I include posts on management, sales, marketing and every other necessary ingredient required for a successful architectural practice (also known as a small business).

If you like what you read, or even more so if you don’t, please click the “comments” link above each post and share your thoughts and ideas. Share your knowledge and we will learn, grow and succeed together.


Mark R. LePage, AIA, LEED AP is Partner in Charge of Operations at Fivecat Studio; a design firm dedicated to the creation of fine residential architecture for clients throughout Westchester County (NY), Fairfield County (CT) and the lower Hudson River Valley.

Learn more about Mark and Fivecat Studio at fivecat.com, Living Well in Westchester or at his Squidoo lens about Residential Architecture and Design.


3 Responses to “Mark R. LePage, AIA, LEED AP”

  1. 1 Carol Kurth March 25, 2007 at 3:58 PM

    Hi Mark/Ann Marie;

    Not sure how you have time to do all this PLUS execute some wonderful projects, raise the kid/cats etc.!

    Add me to the admirers club! (…I was already a fan before!)

    The great thing about architecture and design is that every day builds on the prior…the colective whole is a vocabulary and body of work that reflects the creativity of our profession, the sensibilities (or excesses) of our times, and the tastes of our clients/patrons….

    It’ s refreshing to see that other firms enjoy their profession and parctice of architecure as much as we do at our firm, and I wish you much success on your blogs!

    Now if we can turn those blogs into a profitable venture unto themselves, THAT
    would be a terrific idea….perhaps a paid subscription service? paid newsletter? self-published books?

    I’m trying to turn my “Cliffwater Mystery Bird” blog into a children’s mystery book!

    My sister, Judith Ganes Chase, created and runs a VERY profitable commodities newsletter and is a professional speaker….


    I’m also working on a “green architecture” division in our firm called
    OOCK – acronym for
    Office Of Carol Kurth…

    And maybe can find a way to turn coffee bean by products into something sustainable! Who knows!

    all the best, Carol

  2. 2 Jerry Anderson May 4, 2009 at 10:37 AM


    If you want to add Facebook or email sharing buttons to your blog posts, there’s a plugin that does it for you:


    Hope you find it helpful!


  3. 3 Gafar Mudashir Olaiya July 2, 2012 at 5:56 PM

    This is a food for thought for every Architect, it is time to refocus and re- position the practice of architectural profession toward a sustainable relevant in this economic driving society. Thanks

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