2012 Forty Under 40: Luke J. Leising

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Luke J. Leising
Where were you, and what were you doing in 1991?
In high school engaged in sports including wrestling and football. I believe the foundation of hard work for me was laid through these sports.

When you graduated from high school, what did you think you wanted to be as an adult?
I started at Purdue University pursuing a civil engineering degree using an Army ROTC scholarship as a means to attend college. I fully expected to be an engineer.

Was there an event in the last 20 years that had a great impact on your aspirations and/or career path?
The Army clearly was my defining experience. I was exposed to amazing experiences, unique places and some of the best people in the world. It showed me the true meaning of leadership as well as gave the confidence to accomplish what I set my mind to achieving.

Where/what do you want to be 20 years from now?
Right here in Indianapolis leading Guidon Design. We have been blessed to start off strong in a challenging business climate. I am excited to follow my passion and leave an impact designing sustainable architecture and engineering projects.



President, Guidon Design
Age: 37

Luke Leising took the long road to get where he is now. That road took him from Carmel High School to Purdue University, where he earned a degree in civil engineering and was in ROTC, to the Army, where he served for four years—mostly in Kosovo—as a ranger, to Savannah, Ga., where he decided to audit an architecture class.

He loved architecture, so he left the military and went on to earn a master’s at Savannah College of Art and Design.

But he wasn’t done moving. The next stop was Colorado, where he and his wife, Katie, also a Carmel native, started their family and he “became passionate about sustainable design.”

In 2006, they returned home to Indiana, and Leising went to work for American Structurepoint Inc., the largest engineering firm in the state, as sustainability director.

About a year ago, he decided to strike out on his own. His new firm, Guidon Design Inc., which employs five (plus Katie, who provides support services), focuses on designing sustainable facilities. Leising had a hand in the new Indianapolis International Airport terminal and designed the $24 million Hendricks Regional Health YMCA in Avon.

“When we moved back to Indiana, I saw a void in the sustainable design area,” he said. “I’ve been passionately working to fill that void and increase our level of greenness here in Indiana.”

Leising said he uses what he learned from the military—leadership and drive—to lead teams in developing solutions for clients. Among his clients is the Department of Defense, for which he teaches a course in how to design sustainable facilities. He’s taught that full-day workshop in places as far away as South Korea.

Now he’s focused on making Guidon a success and helping build the Fall Creek Place neighborhood, where his firm has its headquarters.

“We want to have a positive impact on the community,” he said, “in everything we do.”•


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