Jonathan Opitz


AMR Architects Inc.

Little Rock

Age: 38

Jonathan Opitz

Architecture was a natural career choice for Jonathan Opitz. “I’ve always loved putting things together. I was always a bit of a Lego freak.”

Opitz, whose parents are from central Arkansas, grew up in a military family and has lived in Georgia, New Jersey, California and Berlin, among other places. The family returned to Arkansas when he was about 15, “but I’ve always been an Arkansan, even when I didn’t live here.”

Opitz is chairman of the sustainability committee for the Arkansas chapter of the American Institute of Architects and interim director of the Architecture & Design Network, a nonprofit that sponsors lectures on architecture. He’s also a member of the board of StudioMAIN, a nonprofit promoting good design and community development in Little Rock.

Opitz won the AIA National Young Architect Award in 2017 and the AIA Arkansas Emerging Professional Award in 2014.

For him, architecture — and life — is about connections. At AMR, “it’s about connecting people with the city that they live in, and that’s what we strive to do in all of our buildings.”

Opitz cited his luck in working with four “special gentlemen”: Marlon Blackwell, the renowned architect and professor at the University of Arkansas Fay Jones School of Architecture & Design; James Williams and Gary Dean of Williams & Dean Architecture & Interior Design, where Opitz spent five years; and Frank Barksdale, AMR president.