cathexes team

We live our lives in a complex ecosystem. We at Cathexes have always seen our role as contributors to the heart of that ecosystem. In keeping with that spirit, over the years Cathexes has created, instigated, and participated in the growth and development of the place we live. This includes such things as producing live radio shows that helped launch the amphitheater at Victorian Square in the 80’s, launching
the City of Reno arts commission in the 90’s, establishing the Black Rock Design Institute in the 2000’s and hosting both concerts and political events throughout the 2010’s. We are looking forward to the kinds of participation Cathexes will have in the years to come.

architectural drawing
cathexes team

“Liberation Day” is the first day back at the beginning of each year:

Each Cathexian presents their individual goals for the year.

We develop goals for the office.

Then we go have fun together not knowing what the day holds. Axe throwing, paint ball wars, ice skating, cooking lessons…….

axe throwing
cathexes team exercise

Why a plunger? We are human. We do boneheaded things. Every week we acknowledge one of our own with a trophy to commemorate the most boneheaded thing from the week… The plunger belongs to them until the following week.


The golden plunger. When someone’s bonehead move really stands out at the end of the year, they will win a golden plunger. This has evolved into a wonderful art project created by the previous winner. Jerry won the golden plunger in 2019, this video shows off his golden plunger for the following year. Hot stuff!

Cathexes team

Don Clark, along with Jack Hawkins (Hawkins & Assoc.), and Brad Van Woert (Van Woert Bigotti) founded the Black Rock Design Institute in 2004. The impetus was to raise the design awareness and dialogue in the entire region. This included bringing dozens of world-renowned design professionals here as guest speakers including:
David Salmela
Rick Joy
Paul Kephart
Andrea Cochran
Anne Fougeron
Marlon Blackwell
Cheryl Barton
Brian Mackay Lyons
David Baker
Tom Kundig
and many more…

Unbuilt Reno

BRDI projects produced a full exhibit held at the Nevada Museum of Art of envisioned projects for the Reno area that were never built. This included multiple projects from various Architects and Developers for almost a century. Some sites had as many as 5 different proposed projects.

Cathexes has hosted dozens of community
gatherings throughout the years. These vary
from political events, rock concerts, technology
launches, international trade missions, and more.
Cathexes has never charged for this to be
able to remain a true host for various efforts
throughout the years.

Cathexes community

Wine Time. Every
Friday. 4:30 pm.
Open invitation,
see you Friday.

Don Clark worked with Larry
Harvey, one of the founders
of the Burning Man festival, in
designing “The Man” for two
years. This particular burning
man turned out to be the tallest
man ever on the Playa. At ten
stories tall, “The man” towered
above Black Rock City.

Burning Man

Drawings of the process of this burning man are now housed as part of an exhibit in the Smithsonian, created by the Nevada Museum of Art.

Don Clark, AIA
Founding Principal

Jeremy Packer, AIA

Rachel Farrell, MRIAI

Jerry Cates, Assoc. AIA
Senior Associate/ Project Manager

Mike Johnston, RD
B.I.M. Manager

Omar Garcia, Assoc. AIA
Design Coordinator

Dylan Szewczak, Assoc. AIA
Project Manager

Jody Yehle
Senior Project Manager
Licensed Architect in Colorado

Carson Lehouillier
Design Coordinator

Kobe Navarro, Assoc. AIA
Design Coordinator

Karissa Kirsch


Bodie Szewczak, Esq.
Lead Distraction

© 2024 Cathexes

(775) 329-3341

Serving a diverse landscape:
architectural licensure in NV, CA, WA, MT, FL, CO, Ireland, and the UK.

427 Ridge St., Suite C
Reno, NV 89501

Don Clark

Founding Principal
Don Clark is the founding principal of Cathexes. Four decades into this career, Don has experience in all building types that runs wide and deep. Don has performed, with Cathexes, hundreds of projects ranging from single family homes to all types of public and private work. He even has experience with master planned communities up to three-thousand acres. Diversity of design and placemaking has always been a driving force in Don’s work. With Don at the helm, Cathexes has won multiple awards including the AIA State Firm Award for Nevada in 1997. Don also has made a point to give back to the community, including multiple terms on the Nevada Arts Council and the Food Bank of Northern Nevada, helping found and launch the City of Reno Arts Commission and the Black Rock Design Institute, and even designing the “Man” at Burning man. Don enjoys spending his time away from architecture cooking, wine tasting, and chasing chickens around his urban farm with his wife Susan.

Jeremy Packer

As a principal at Cathexes Jeremy brings a deep history in diverse project types and award-winning Architecture. Jeremy brings a full spectrum of experience, passion, and creativity to every undertaking. Over his twenty plus year career he has worked on a wide spectrum of urban design and planning projects, custom single-family residential, commercial projects, hospitality, recreation buildings, and multi-family housing projects. Each project deepens his core beliefs in thoughtful, sustainable, and humanistic design while creatively working with clients and contractors to ensure the best possible outcome. Jeremy understands that good architecture is not just successful for clients but is also successful for the community as a whole. Jeremy enjoys spending his time away from architecture hiking, beer tasting, and spending time with his two boys and wife, Monica.

Rachel Farrell


As a principal at Cathexes, Rachel brings her varied experience, creative process and passion for responsible design. Rachel spent her formative years in Cork, Ireland before relocating to Reno in 2016. She has extensive experience, both in Ireland and in the US, having worked on a wide variety of projects from custom single family residential and affordable housing to large scale commercial, industrial, and University buildings. She strongly believes that thoughtful architecture can elevate a community and create a catalyst for growth. This principle, combined with Rachel’s effective communication and project management skills, allows her to take ideas from concept through construction in a smooth and efficient manner. When not in the throes of architecture, Rachel enjoys painting and getting outdoors with her son, Archer and Husband, Doug.

Jerry Cates

Senior Associate/ Project Manager
As a Senior Project Manager at Cathexes Jerry has over thirty years of experience in the field of architecture, from running his own residential design firm for ten years in the South Bay Area of California, to the twenty plus years managing various project types while at Cathexes. He’s a “Cal Man” through and through having graduated from the University of California, Berkeley. Jerry has managed projects ranging from custom residential to multi-family residential, commercial retail to professional office, night clubs to restaurants, and even HUD funded affordable housing projects. In addition to his professional architectural experience, he is an accomplished airbrush artist and custom painter having won multiple awards for his paint work. He even airbrushed the helmet used by women’s skeleton sled Silver Medalist, Noelle Pikus-Pace, during the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia.

Mike Johnston

B.I.M. Manager
As our office B.I.M. Manager Mike brings not only thirty years of experience in the field, but also a plethora of technical knowledge to keep our drafting standards as efficient and cost-effective as possible. Mike has played an integral part in the implementation of Revit when Cathexes adopted the software and became an industry leader with the soon to be industry standard software. Being born and raised in Reno, Mike has seen many changes to our area, but he still loves to call it home. From the casinos downtown, to Lake Tahoe, to Burning Man at the Playa, our area offers many adventures and opportunities, and Mike is never afraid to take advantage. Camping is one of his favorite adventures each year and he coordinates our summer camping trip for Cathexes.

Omar Garcia

Design Coordinator
As a recent Master of Architecture graduate pursuing licensure in the State of Nevada, Omar is a creative, goal oriented, and self-motivated problem solver with multimedia skills. He views architecture as an art with the potential to help people and positively influence our society. He is committed to starting his career in architecture to further develop his knowledge and practice sustainable design in the community. As part of the team his contributions to the collaborative effort are highlighted in the attention to detail, dedication to quality and hard work. Which is shown as the willingness to go the extra mile to conceptualize and help execute high quality projects. Omar is getting the most out of returning to Reno, whether biking or hiking you can often find Omar on top of mountains or on the beaches of Tahoe.

Dylan Szewczak

Design Coordinator

Dylan has worked in many capacities for Cathexes over his years with the company. With his extensive knowledge and training in data analytics, along with his experience in architectural design he has a lot to offer to many aspects of the business. He has experience in single-family residential, multi-family housing, as well as larger commercial and planning. While offering design work on several of the current projects, he is also expanding our internal operations systems and project management organization to make all aspects of the business run more smoothly. When he is not behind a computer designing or programing you can find him exploring in the mountains of the Sierra Nevada’s or working on his tiny home with his girlfriend, Avery and dog, Bodie.

Jody Yehle

Senior Project Manager
As a Senior Project Manager at Cathexes, Jody brings a wide range of experience from multi-family and mountain resort to student housing and design-build projects for Federal facilities. Jody is a registered architect in Colorado and recently relocated to Reno to work for Cathexes in 2021. Prior to receiving her Master’s in Architecture, she worked in residential interiors which contributes to Jody’s philosophy of design, incorporating all aspects of the built environment. Everything we see and touch from macro to micro, including landscape, structure, materials, fixtures, and furnishings is equally important. Her experience has led her to focus on the use of sustainable materials, using them in an efficient manner that contributes to the longevity of the building and comfort of its occupants. If Jody isn’t meticulously ensuring our designs are airtight you can likely find her on her vineyard, Le Moulet Rouge, in Sutter Creek, CA.

Carson Lehouillier

Design Coordinator
Carson attended college at Truckee Meadows Community College, transferring to NewSchool of Architecture & Design where he obtained his Bachelor of Architecture. He had always seen the potential Reno has to offer as it becomes a larger city. He aims to help the growing community by focusing on human-centered design. Carson worked with a Residential Architect for five years, and decided it was time to branch out into a larger firm. Working at Cathexes, he will gain experience in larger-scope projects as well as further understand commercial design. Carson grew up skiing competitively which gave him the opportunity to travel a lot at a young age. This exposure is one of the reasons he wanted to become an architect. When he is not here working on designs you can find him enjoying the mountains and all that Lake Tahoe has to offer.

Kobe Navarro

Design Coordinator

Kobe was born and raised in Reno and celebrates his El Salvadorian heritage. He has always had an interest in photography, which led to his interest in architecture. The aspects of architecture that Kobe is most interested in is how our thoughts, memories, and dreams shape our built environment. He graduated with his Bachelor of Architecture from Portland State University earlier this year and is excited to start working in this field. Kobe is welcoming his first little one into the world this fall.

Karissa Kirsch


Born and raised in Sri Lanka, Karissa moved to Las Vegas with her family in 2009. She completed her bachelor’s degree in International Affairs at UNR in 2021. During that time, she fell in love with Reno and has decided to stay.

She is passionate about Cathexes’ involvement in the responsible growth of our beloved Reno and was drawn to Cathexes because of our ongoing sustainability practices. Karissa brings a fervent passion to her role at Cathexes and plays an integral part in maintaining clear and efficient policies that ensure our day-to-day operations are managed in a consistent and successful manner, from start to finish.

Karissa enjoys cruising through Midtown on her bike, spending time with friends and family, and learning how to ski.

ca·thex·es (ka-thĕk’sēz)
Investment of mental or emotional energy in a person, object, or idea.


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