Case Studies

Todd Stone – Stone Group Architects 

Building a legacy in the construction industry 

For 23 years, Todd Stone served his country in the Army, rising through the ranks before retiring from the Army Reserves in 2013, the same day he received his orders for Command Sergeant Major.  

Todd Stone | President & CEO | Stone Group Architects 

Todd Stone | President & CEO | Stone Group Architects

He says he’ll never forget the support he received from family and friends while in the military, and it is part of why supporting veterans is a big part of his company’s mission.  

At Stone Group Architects, where Stone serves as president and CEO, working with the Army Corps of Engineers and various Veterans Administration facilities across the country is one of the company’s most important tasks.  

“Veterans are near and dear to us, and doing all we can to support vets is at the root of what we are as a business,” Stone tells Blueprint magazine. “In 2023, we were named the South Dakota Veteran Small Business of the Year.” 

A strong foundation 

Recently, the company expanded operations in its healthcare division because of the desire to improve the lives of veterans. By expanding their healthcare projects beyond just the VA, Stone Group Architects can deliver higher-quality results and cater to a wider range of clients in need.  

Stone founded his company after leaving the Army in 2012 and has watched the industry—and his business—evolve in the past 12 years.  

Todd Stone | President & CEO | Stone Group Architects 

In the early years, Stone says he would say yes to every client that walked through the door. There weren’t many standards, and chasing every project without vetting was taxing on everyone. But now, the team uses a thorough selection process to ensure the company takes on projects that align with its values and expertise.  

“Over time, customer demands have also shifted, and clients expect more flexibility, better communication and a strong company culture,” Stone explains. “We’ve worked hard to meet these demands and to provide an exceptional experience for our clients.” 

For 2024, Stone says his company has several exciting projects in the pipeline, including work on a 5-story, $60 million ophthalmology clinic in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, a large renovation project for the VA Medical Center in Sioux Falls and various outdoor campus projects for the South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks department. Additionally, Stone Group Architects will be involved in projects in the Midwest and in Florida. Working on an indoor golf simulator and several restaurants and bars are also possibilities. 

“This diverse range of projects showcases the versatility and expertise of our team,” Stone says.   

Fielding a team 

Recruiting and retention are ongoing challenges in the industry, but Stone has implemented strategies to ensure he hires and keeps the best talent.  

“Culture is everything, so when recruiting and retaining great people, we focus on them and their families. We are here to assist them with their professional and personal goals,” he says. “We keep our fingers on the pulse of our industry, and we are always looking to improve our team, ourselves and our customer service to our clients.” 

Todd Stone | President & CEO | Stone Group Architects 

Treating the team like family and fostering an inclusive and enjoyable work environment are essential, and he understands the importance of providing training and development opportunities to help his employees grow professionally. He has built a strong and dedicated team by focusing on these aspects. But it didn’t happen overnight. 

Stone has evolved over the years as a leader and invested in developing a strong company culture. For the past three years, he has prioritized culture-building, constantly improving and reinforcing the company’s values, behaviors and priorities. This commitment to culture has proven to be a driving force behind the success of Stone Group Architects.  

“Culture eats strategy for breakfast,” he says. 

A lifetime of service 

Stone grew up in Sioux Falls and Brandon, South Dakota, and spent summers with his father in Park Rapids, Minnesota. His interest in the construction industry can be traced back to his upbringing in a construction family. Working alongside his father, grandfather, uncles and cousins during high school summers, he developed a passion and a dream to be like them. Their belief in him and their push to think big and follow his aspirations have shaped Stone’s career, and he credits those family members for instilling in him a strong work ethic and a drive for success. 

Todd Stone | President & CEO | Stone Group Architects 

“I joined the Active Duty Army in November of 1990 and went through 13 straight weeks of basic and combat engineer training. Operation Desert Storm happened during this time, and I was sent to Korea for a year. I left active duty to start college,” Stone says.   

After earning degrees in sociology, environmental design and architecture from North Dakota State University in Fargo, Stone spent over a decade as an architect for various firms before founding his company in September 2012.  

No career is without challenges, and Stone says he has faced many throughout his professional life. One of the biggest challenges has been needing a perfect mentor to guide him through the ups and downs of developing a high-performing team. He continues to learn and grow daily, utilizes CEO peer groups and constantly expands his knowledge to become a more effective leader.  

“Through trial and error, I have learned valuable lessons and have leaned on my military experience and the leaders I worked with for inspiration,” Stone says.  

Stone enjoys spending time with his family and indulging in various outdoor activities. Fishing, hunting, playing games, swimming and relaxing at Lake Poinsett are some of his favorite pastimes. He cherishes his time with his children, attending their hockey games, tennis matches and college visits.  

“Family and creating lasting memories are central to my enjoyment in life,” Stone says. 

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