Inside IAA’s New Ballantyne Headquarters

By Jodi Werner Greenwald | Photos by Raymond J. Photography

Posted on November 17, 2020

Independent Advisor Alliance (IAA) is a community of independent advisors serving individuals and businesses’ financial and retirement needs. The Ballantyne-based company has outgrown its office space several times since 2013. Fun fact: Founder and chief executive officer Robert P. Russo appeared as a Face of Ballantyne Magazine in the 2019 summer issue.

IAA’s new headquarters in the Woodward Building exudes a bright and modern aesthetic. Natural light abounds in the break room, conference rooms and offices, augmented by energy-efficient LED lighting. IAA’s signature orange and blue colors add pop to the furnishings.

We spoke with Dana Ryan, IAA’s media and public relations contact, to learn more about the project.

Independent Advisor Alliance 
Location: Woodward Building, 11215 N. Community House Road, Charlotte, 28277
Size:  9,886 SF
Design: Smith Harris Design Associates
Project Management: Northwood Office
Furniture Supplier:  Office Environments
Completed: June 2020

What were IAA’s driving motivations for moving into and upfitting the new space? 

IAA is a fast-growing company, and we’ve outgrown our space three times in seven years. So, more space was a major factor. We also wanted an office designed with our business and employees in mind, which meant the latest technology and an environment with good energy where everyone feels valued and important. To us, that meant individual offices with several collaboration rooms and common areas to encourage and maintain the flow of energy and teamwork.


What were some of your wish list items? 

Our wish list included a video board, security features and both individual offices and open space. 


What are your staff members’ favorite aspects of the new space?

Most of our walls are glass, and our team loves how bright, airy and open the space is with the natural light. People never feel siloed, even when they’re in their office, which leads to a collaborative feeling throughout. Our conference rooms vary in size, and each has its own unique advantages when it comes to media and video technology. We have stellar views of the city skyline. The break room is so popular with its high tops and booths that meetings are held there. We have offices and conference rooms advisors can use when they need to and a personalized video board to welcome them and their clients to the lobby. The studio is a favorite for people to work on creative projects.


Tell us more about the design, color and material choices. 

We envisioned it being bright and open, with a clean look that leaned toward modern décor. It was also important to us to create a layout that would lend itself to both private and collaborative workspaces. We worked with Smith Harris Design Associates to bring our vision to fruition. Thanks to their expertise and guidance, we have a beautiful and dynamic yet functional office space, accented throughout with IAA colors.


How did the pandemic impact the upfit? 

The pandemic did not impact any design decisions or implementation as those had been finalized pre-pandemic; however, we ended up having to change our desk provider, which delayed the delivery time. We are fortunate that we designed a cube-free space, as all employees have their own office and can socially distance at any time. 


What COVID-19 provisions have you implemented in the new space? 

Masks are mandatory for all employees and guests. You may only take your mask off when you are in your own office. We also ask everyone to respect that each person may have a different comfort level and ask permission before entering a co-worker’s office. Hand sanitizer and wipes are readily available, and we sanitize office surfaces twice a day. Editor’s Note: Northwood Office has added wave technology by main entrance doors at Woodward as part of a campus-wide initiative.


Is there anything else you would like to share? 

We’re happy to invest in our team and provide them with the resources they need and a space they enjoy coming to every day. It’s through their hard work, along with the trust and partnership of our advisors, that has helped us grow into this space. For that, we’re very thankful.

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