A strong work ethic grounded in the construction industry has been the common thread of Marcus’ family for generations. His father was an architect and grandfather was a home builder and consequently, Marcus was no stranger to child labor growing up.
“My grandfather would take me to job sites and have me pull nails and put them in a coffee can. Then he’d have me straighten them out so he could use them later for framing. I’d be in the garage for hours. When I was growing up, my dad had an architectural practice in Salem. He’d have me draw title blocks for him and pay me 25¢ for each one. Ten sheets and I was rich! He would always take me out to the job sites and my most memorable one was at ten years old when we visited a remodel at the state penitentiary. Years later I asked why he took me out there and he said ‘Well I figured if you got to see the inside, you’d never want to go back.’” Marcus’ father, Lawrence Hite is retired now and living in an assisted living home. Marcus attributes everything he’s learned about business ethics to his father. He always went the extra mile and it was always about the client relationship.
Early on in Marcus’ career, he had the opportunity to work alongside several of the most influential people in Salem’s architectural landscape. It was these relationships that continued to inspire and direct his career path and ethos. Marcus credits Bill Colson in particular who he considers the second most influential person in his life next to his father. Marcus believes Bill’s business attitude, the way he treated people and his approach to life was instrumental in shaping Marcus’ values as a professional.
“I watched what my dad and Bill Colson did for years and I feel it’s about providing those services and carrying it forward. Those are all the values that drive the team at Lenity Architecture as well as the people we surround ourselves with. I was bred with those values. I live and breathe them and strive to carry on that tradition.”
Marcus attended CCC for nearly two years and aced the architectural classes. He realized he’d been doing all this since he was ten-years-old with his father and the classes became redundant. He decided to move to California where he worked in the oil fields as a derrick hand. After six hard months of 12-14 hour days in the heat doing dangerous work, he decided to try that architecture thing out again. He was 20 and began working for a California architecture firm where he was in charge of a group of staff ages 25-40. Marcus returned to Oregon in 1990 and after many years doing what he loved with the same people that inspired him from the beginning, Marcus founded Lenity Architecture with Kristin Newland and Dan Roach.
Today Marcus oversees all aspects of construction administration for the Bend and Salem offices, including designs, construction documents, construction and client relations. He interacts with the team during the pre-planning and construction phases for technical oversight, estimating and value engineering. With over 30 years of construction experience and with 25 years focused on commercial architecture and senior living facilities, his detailed and efficient construction administration and an all hands on deck approach are the driving influence behind every project at Lenity Architecture.