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About Us

Meet Our Team


Andrew Gerdes

Founder, CEO Conquest Design & Development Group, LLC

After 40 years, Andy continues to enjoy a robust career as a successful commercial architect and entrepreneur. 

Before founding Conquest Design & Development Group, Andy served as a partner of KSA, Inc., a prominent commercial firm focused on the South-Central US. Andy adapted the best practices of offering a complete solution to a select clientele of consulting, management, engineering, architecture, planning, surveying, and construction services to scale.  

Recruited to become a principal of the firm Vincent Associates, in 1994, Andy built a strong corporate restaurant business portfolio and took the lead in administrative management, development and firm marketing; again, applying his holistic approach of complete solutions to large corporates outsourcing real estate functions and oversight. 

In 2000, Andy co-founded GHA-Architects, continuing the business on high profile brands for large corporate expansion. Over the last 21 years, his firm has built a successful holding company, with over 120 employees by 2019, and the addition of a rapidly growing MEP Engineering division. 

With an ability to build long and lasting client relationships, Andy has led his architectural teams through decades of repeat business with brands like Spoons, Chili’s, Cozymel’s, On the Border and Macaroni Grill. He continues to maintain 70+ active client relationships all over the world, including in Asia, Canada, the Middle East and Europe. Other big brand clients of long standing include Verizon, FEDEX, Sally’s Beauty Supply, Cycle Bar, Buffalo Wild Wings, Main Events, Bowlero and many, many more. 


  • AIA (American Institute of Architects) licenses in 49 states 
  • LEED Accreditation (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) 
  • NCARB (National Council of Architectural Registration Board) 
  • ICC (International Code Counsel) 
  • Licensed Real Estate Broker – Texas 
  • Bachelor of Architecture, Texas Tech University 

Grant Claussen

President, Conquest Engineering, Shareholder, and Board Member of Conquest Design & Development Group LLC 

Grant received his BS in Electrical Engineering from the University of Florida. He has over 25 years of engineering design experience across many sectors including commercial, healthcare, industrial, government, military, multi residential, and laboratory industries. Grant’s extensive experience includes equipment connection design, general power, lighting, and lighting controls, COM check, fire alarm systems, medium and low voltage systems, photovoltaic, lightning protection, fault analysis, short circuit, and coordination studies for MV and LV systems. Grant is also skilled in building information modeling, including BIM 360, Navisworks and Clash Detection and Resolution. 

Over the next 10 years, Grant served as a Senior Electrical Engineer with Affiliated Engineers, Inc. providing whole-mission solutions for complex building, energy, and utility projects; and with HM Yonge MEP planning and design services to the public, military, institutional and private sectors then Senior Electrical Engineer and EE Department Head for Gulf States Engineering a multidiscipline engineering firm with experience in heavy industrial, commercial, and government projects. Grant then became Vice President of Design & Engineering for BES Design/Build, before leaving Florida to Dallas based MEPCE as Director of Engineering, where he led new business development, training, and a team of more than 20 MEP professionals for government and educational projects. 

In 2020, Grant joined Team Conquest and today, as President of Conquest Engineering, leads the MEP firm in providing design and consulting services to restaurant and retail clients, high rise offices, hotels, outdoor space projects, airports, hospitals, high-tech/distribution centers, and multi-family projects across the US. 


  • Licensed Professional Engineer in 40 states 
  • Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering, University of Florida 

Daryl Atwood

Vice President of Conquest Architecture, Shareholder, and Board Member of Conquest Design & Development Group LLC 

Daryl is a native Texan, born in and residing in Dallas. He earned his Bachelor of Architecture Degree from Texas Tech in 1992, and has 30 years of professional experience. 

Prior to his work with Conquest, Daryl launched his career as an architect working on nationwide expansion of Walmart, Sam’s Club, and Marriott Corporation expansion with BSW Architects in Tulsa, which was then a Top-10 architectural firm in the commercial and restaurant sector. Following, Daryl continued his leadership role in the design and program expansion of Fairfield Suites, Residence Inn and Courtyard.  Daryl became widely known as co-creator and design team lead for the Townplace Suites brand and led its expansion across the US. 

The lure of the corporate side of architecture brought Daryl back to Dallas as a Project Director at TGI Fridays and the Carlson Restaurant Group. For the next 3 and a half years, Daryl led the “Trees to Keys” rollout of 10-12 projects a year with oversight of the entire spectrum of development. He worked closely with the real estate team in lease assistance, designing each project for the site, hiring outside architects and engineers, overseeing project construction with on-site supervision weekly, and working closely with restaurant operations teams prior to opening. 

In 2001 Daryl joined Conquest’s predecessor, GHA-Architects on the path to partnership. Today, he leads a large architectural team servicing some of the firm’s longest standing big brand restaurant and entertainment clients nationwide. Some of these notable historic and current clientele include TGI Fridays, Rockfish Grill, The Keg, Oceanaire, Bowlero and Scooters Coffee. 


  • AIA (American Institute of Architects) 
  • NCARB (National Council of Architectural Registration Board) 
  • Bachelor of Architecture, Texas Tech University