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SWBR’s Director of First Impressions, Debbie Smith, Retiring After 45 Years

December 11, 2023

SWBR announces that Debbie Smith, Director of First Impressions, is retiring December 22 after 45 years with the firm.

“Debbie embodies our spirit and energy and has been the face of SWBR since joining us in 1978,” says President Tom Gears. “Her dedication, wealth of knowledge, and positive attitude have been a major contribution to our culture and success. Debbie deepens our personal relationships and makes work fun. She has left a lasting impression at SWBR - we are grateful for her years of service and congratulate her on her well-earned retirement.”

Beyond her administrative role, Smith has spent considerable time giving back to the community. She organizes the firm’s annual clothing drives for charities including DePaul, Salvation Army, and Open Door Mission and currently serves on the committee for St. John’s Senior Living Annual Golf Tournament fundraiser.

For almost 20 years, Smith ran the Tom Wurzer Memorial Golf Tournament, a fundraiser for the University of Rochester’s Wilmot Cancer Center. Her tireless efforts made the annual event a success, ultimately raising over $300,000 towards cancer research throughout its run.

Smith's retirement plans include traveling with her husband and spending more time with family and friends. An avid golfer, she’s looking forward to increased time on the course.

SWBR is a multidisciplinary, award-winning design firm headquartered in Rochester, New York.  As a highly respected national firm providing leadership, expertise, innovation and entrepreneurial thinking, the firm specializes in sustainability, education, housing, and workplace design. With offices in Rochester, Syracuse and Troy, NY, SWBR aims to positively impact lives through meaningful design. To learn more visit


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