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Recognized as Individual Who Exemplifies the American Entrepreneurial Spirit


IRVINE, Calif. (April 18, 2024)Ware Malcomb, an award-winning international design firm, announced Lawrence R. Armstrong, Chairman, was recently honored by the Orange County Business Journal with an Excellence in Entrepreneurship Award for his leadership at Ware Malcomb and his work on behalf of United Way’s United to End Homelessness initiative. The event was held in March at the Irvine Marriott before a crowd of more than 300 people.

The weekly business publication’s Excellence in Entrepreneurship Award program was established to recognize individuals who exemplify the American entrepreneurial spirit – individuals who, by their creativity and determination, have established and nurtured successful business ventures.

“I’m grateful to receive this award, as it honors the outstanding professionals who have been instrumental in Ware Malcomb’s continued growth and success, as well as the achievements that have been realized in housing a substantial percentage of our county’s homeless population,” Armstrong said.

In 2020, Armstrong transitioned to the role of Chairman after 28 years of serving as the firm’s CEO. He led an office in the San Fernando Valley before he and his partner Jim Williams were offered the chance to buy and take over the company in 1992 from founders Bill Ware and Bill Malcomb.

Under their leadership, Ware Malcomb focused on design for long term real estate value, service, project type and geographic diversification. The firm continued to grow during the 2000s, adding Branding and Civil Engineering services and opening six new offices, including the first offices outside of the United States. During the 2010s, Ware Malcomb expanded its services to include Building Measurement, Workplace Strategy and Land Surveying. Thirteen new offices were established across the United States, Mexico and Canada, signifying a period of rapid growth and success. In addition to expanding Ware Malcomb from a national to an international firm, Armstrong’s tenure as CEO marked an unprecedented 40x revenue growth for the firm.

In addition to his role as Chairman of Ware Malcomb, Armstrong is Chair, Leadership Council for Orange County United Way’s United to End Homelessness initiative. His desire to help the local homeless population was inspired after witnessing the increasing number of tents and makeshift shelters in Orange County coming out of the Great Recession in the late 2000s. He met with executives at Orange County United Way, the start of a partnership that led to the formation of the United to End Homelessness initiative in 2018 with Armstrong as Chair of the Leadership Council.

The initiative seeks to provide long-term housing and supportive care, and partners with local property owners and landlords to secure housing for people experiencing homelessness through housing vouchers. More than 1,000 individuals have been housed through its landlord incentive program in the last five years. The efforts have been recognized by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) as a national best practice.

Armstrong, also an artist, received both his Bachelor of Architecture and BS in Architecture from Kent State University in Ohio. He has remained involved as a member of the school’s foundation board for the past 15 years. He and his wife, Sandy, currently serve as chairs for the Forever Brighter Campaign, a university campaign intended to raise $350 million to help fund scholarships and new student programs.

Armstrong has written a leadership book, Layered Leadership, due to be released in early 2025.

About Ware Malcomb (

Established in 1972, Ware Malcomb is a contemporary and expanding full-service design firm providing professional architecture, planning, interior design, civil engineering, branding and building measurement services to corporate, commercial/residential developer and public/institutional clients throughout the world. With office locations throughout the United States, Canada, Mexico and Brazil, the firm specializes in the design of office, industrial, science & technology, healthcare, multifamily, retail, and public/institutional projects. Ware Malcomb is recognized as an Inc. 5000 fastest-growing private company and a Hot Firm by Zweig Group. The firm is also ranked among the top 15 architecture/engineering firms in Engineering News-Record’s Top 500 Design Firms and the top 25 interior design firms in Interior Design magazine’s Top 100 Giants. For more information, visit

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