Studio Four Design Expands Ownership

Leading Knoxville-based architecture firm adds five new shareholders to its ownership team entering its 20th year in operations in East Tennessee


KNOXVILLE, Tenn. – February 8, 2022 – Studio Four Design, a top Knoxville-based architecture firm, has added five new shareholders to its Board of Directors as it kicks off twenty years of operations in Knoxville, TN.  Joining the firm’s current President, Stacy Cox, and Vice President, Brian Nicholson as new owners are:

  • Markus Chady, Vice President & Principal
  • Melanie Sitzlar, Associate & Business Manager
  • Kim Firkins, Associate & Project Manager
  • Macy Rudell, Associate & Project Manager
  • Erin Metelka, Associate & Interior Designer

“We are thrilled to expand our ownership.” said Stacy Cox, president of Studio Four Design. “These five individuals have all demonstrated a passion for serving our clients and their teammates and have been deeply invested in our company and culture from the moment they first joined our team.  We are beyond blessed to have them invest into the company and be part of our senior leadership team.  They will help set the vision for our next 20 years and open the door for the next generation of owners to come.”

  • Markus Chady joined the firm in 2019 as a project manager advancing to Vice President and Principal. Markus is a licensed architect and provides leadership in business development and senior project management of commercial, manufacturing, and mixed-use developments.  “It is a tremendous opportunity to step into leadership with this team; fostering a really positive and high performing professional culture that is uniquely Studio Four Design.”


  • Melanie Sitzlar, also joined the firm in 2019 as the company’s Business Manager. “From the minute I stepped into this office and met the team, I knew this was “home”.  I’m so proud and honored to be a part of such a dedicated and creative group.”  Melanie directs the firm’s financial, human resources and corporate operations as well as marketing and business development.


  • Kimberlee Firkins has worked at Studio Four Design since 2014, with a short two-year absence, returning in 2019. She is now a Project Manager focusing on interior architecture projects and is currently pursuing both interior design and architectural registration.  “Studio Four Design has always had a special place in my heart and to be able to be a part of its future growth as a shareholder is such an honor.”


  • Macy Rudell started as a student intern in 2015 and has grown into the role of Project Manager, overseeing many of the firm’s church and ministry projects which she is passionate about. Macy is currently in the process of architectural registration. “I am thankful for all that I have learned through the mentorship of my colleagues at Studio Four Design. I have been able to grow in my career and I am looking forward this next step in a leadership position as a shareholder.”


  • Erin Metelka is a licensed interior designer and has been a part of the team since 2017 and provides senior design leadership on interior architecture projects. “I’m thrilled to have the opportunity to become an owner in such a wonderful company. Studio Four Design is everything I could have dreamed of in a company to be a part of, and I could not be more excited. I look forward to continuing growing as a professional and a as person with this team.” Erin’s creativity and talent as a designer extend over a wide variety of the firm’s projects.


“I believe the desire of these team members to commit themselves as owners is a true testament to the culture that has been built at the firm” said Brian Nicholson, Vice President of Studio Four Design. “This type of passion will power the firm for the years to come.”

Published on March 17, 2022 by .
Posted in Studio Four Design News

Why Design Matters

Welcome to fourthought(s), Studio Four Design’s monthly blog to discuss all things related to architecture, design and whatever else happens to be on our mind. Whether you know us intimately or if this is your first time engaging with us we wanted to kick off our blog by sharing a little bit about why, how and what we do.  So here goes…

Knoxville-based architecture firm, Studio Four Design, was founded in May of 2002 with a simple idea: To form a team of architects, interior designers and planners to focus obsessively on meeting the needs of our clients because we believe that DESIGN MATTERS. This is the reason we come to work every day and do what we do.

So why does design matter?  We believe that the lives of individuals, families, organizations and communities can be positively transformed by and through the creative and thoughtful design of buildings, places and environments. We are committed to the pursuit of excellence in design quite simply because people matter.

We believe that it is our responsibility to use our talents, gifts and abilities to improve the lives of those we serve within our community, our state, our country and the entire world. We are passionate about architectural and interior design for people to see, to use and to feel and we do this in several ways, such as:

  • Creating brand identities for startups and entrepreneurs to provide their businesses with a competitive edge.
  • Helping municipalities plan for growth and expansion and develop public facilities such as senior centers, fire stations and places for government that enhance the quality of living within their jurisdictions.
  • Building places to live and homes for families where memories will be created as people share their lives together.
  • Assisting manufacturers, corporations retailers and restaurateurs to establish, grow and expand their operations which in turn create jobs and economic growth in their communities.
  • Tailoring places of learning for colleges and universities which help to educate and inspire the next generation.
  • Developing sports and recreation venues which provide opportunities for entertainment, fun and fellowship.
  • Planning safe, comfortable and inviting environments that support healing and wellness in medical and dental facilities.
  • Designing churches that enhance worship, encourage relationships and provide resources for ministry growth.

The team at Studio Four Design believes and understands that design is not just a means to an end but rather a beginning – a foundation for a greater story and purpose to be told through the experiences that take place long after our work is finished.

This is where our approach to each project begins and this is Studio Four Design. Welcome to something different!