Today Ted speaks with John Cooney of Stofft Cooney, the largest architectural firm in Naples.

John, alongside his partner Randall Stofft, are at the helm of many of the most sought after projects in residential, commercial and resort architectural communities throughout Florida and parts of North America, Europe, Russia, and South America.

John discusses his transition from East Hampton to Naples and how he has adapted a specific design process he was already so familiar with to a state with completely different architectural standards and tastes.


He also speaks on his leadership philosophy and why he intends to preserve Stofft Cooney’s in-person company culture in spite of the increasing prevalence of remote work.

Finally, John reflects on a three-decade career in the world of architecture and why the excitement for his work has never waned.

Topics Discussed

  • [03:49] John and Randall Stofft’s business in Palm Beach
  • [10:43] Architecture in the Hamptons compared to Naples
  • [17:09] Why John and his wife decide to settle down in Naples
  • [21:42] Setting expectations with ultra-wealthy clients in Naples
  • [30:36] Adapting his architectural style after moving from East Hampton to Naples
  • [35:20] John’s design process
  • [38:49] How John regards his career today
  • [41:30] Mentoring the next generation of leaders in his team
  • [47:00] Putting the pressure on themselves to continually raise the bar
  • [48:37] What John learns from his high-performing clients
  • [51:54] Why John hosts parties for his team and clients
  • [54:22] What the American Dream means to John

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Key Quotes from Episode

  • Relationships. That’s really what we’re all about.
  • A true, sophisticated home is all about details and we can’t recreate those. Those were already done a long time ago.
  • No matter what industry you’re in, if you don’t serve your clients, you’re not going to get those word-of-mouth referrals.
  • One of the common questions I get is, “What is your favorite house that you’ve designed?” And I can look them in the eye and honestly say, “There is not one. It’s the next one.” We’re always trying to do not necessarily bigger and better, but architecture changes—it evolves.
  • Being critical of ourselves is the first step.

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