Q4 Living the Values recipient Journey Freudenthaler, a Design Associate with Benham, a Haskell Company, is pictured with Bristol, her fiancé, and Eerie.

December 27, 2023

Beyond Barbie: Journey Freudenthaler Honored for Living the Values

Join us in celebrating the young design associate, whose imagination and initiative have turned her childhood aspirations into professional achievements.


Mattel, Inc. unveiled Architect Barbie in 2011, but the multinational toymaker was late to the party. Young Journey Freudenthaler was designing and building with the iconic fashion doll years before that. 

“When I was growing up, I frequently played with Barbies,” Freudenthaler said. “But I took it a step further. I would take the book and create little floorplans for the houses that Barbie had. I constantly did this, so I guess I knew pretty early on what I wanted to do. I made these little doodles with a dream of designing my own house one day. 

“My biggest inspiration was problem-solving, collaboration and how we can make this work.” 

The seeds of imagination and initiative were sewn from the start. Her mother, LeeAnn, named her Journey because she envisioned a child with a consequential and upwardly mobile life in whatever venture or career she chose. 

Eventually, Barbie blueprints led to the Gibbs College of Architecture at Oklahoma University, where Freudenthaler graduated in 2021. Two internships with Benham, a Haskell Company, during college, led to her first full-time job as a Benham Design Associate in Oklahoma City. As a young professional, she concentrates on drafting projects, assisting project architects and “doing anything I can do to get the project completed and out the door.”  

For her performance and dedication, Freudenthaler has received the Haskell Living the Values Award, given quarterly to team members who consistently display Haskell’s corporate values of Team, Excellence, Service and Trust with commitment and passion.  

“She recently was placed in a leadership role on a local project that comprised a multi-disciplinary team and resulted in a successful project outcome,” wrote Kelley Hayes, Lead Interior Designer with Benham’s Government Design Division, in her Living the Values nomination. “Always eager to accept new assignments, she tackles projects that are outside the norm and consistently delivers high-quality results.” 

The project involved a restroom renovation at Freudenthaler’s alma mater in Norman, Oklahoma.  

“I was essentially placed in an architect’s position, coordinating with all the disciplines,” she said. “Figuring out how to take the restrooms from where they were to what they are now, learning all the codes to cover – that was the biggest thing I have coordinated so far.” 

In addition to her regular duties, Fruedenthaler often joins her highly engaged Oklahoma City colleagues in community volunteer efforts. And, remembering how her mentors influenced her, she also regularly interacts with interns.  

“I try had to give back everything I was given – knowledge, patience, helpfulness,” Freudenthaler said. “Hopefully, I provide enough leeway for the interns to figure things out on their own. It’s a joy when I see them come out of their shell.” 

The day she received her award, she thought she was attending a regularly scheduled meeting when, instead, she found a large group gathered to celebrate. 

“I was so surprised I couldn’t say anything,” she said. “That came out of left field for me. Surprised would be an understatement. I was shocked.” 

Away from work, she’s still designing – not Barbie houses or government facilities but instead working with her fiancée to renovate their first home in Edmond, Oklahoma. Their current project has taken about three months and transformed a smelly, run-down house into a livable space thanks to lots of paint, new cabinetry and flooring. 

“I guess it’s the ability to see what something could be,” she said. “We both saw something that could be turned into something better. 

“At Benham, I have learned so much in the same way. We find ways to learn how to make things work. I have amazing coworkers and mentors. Hopefully, I will be a licensed architect one day, do federal stuff one day and keep on improving.” 

Haskell is hiring! Explore the many options available to join a growing company where the Core Values of Team, Excellence, Service and Trust inspire everything we do.

Haskell delivers $2± billion annually in Architecture, Engineering, Construction (AEC) and Consulting solutions to assure certainty of outcome for complex capital projects worldwide. Haskell is a global, fully integrated, single-source design-build and EPC firm with over 2,200 highly specialized, in-house design, construction and administrative professionals across industrial and commercial markets. With 20+ office locations around the globe, Haskell is a trusted partner for global and emerging clients.

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