"The most important lesson I've learned from Rand (Elliott) is to stand up for the architecture and design you believe in," he said.
Today, Fitzsimmons is president of his own firm, Fitzsimmons Architects Inc. He says it is his commitment to the community that has allowed him to build a firm with projects focused in many Central Oklahoma neighborhoods, to include Uptown/23rd Street, MidTown, Bricktown, 10-Penn, Oklahoma River, Automobile Alley and Nichols Hills.
Fitzsimmons was Elliott + Associates' project manager for the recently opened Red Prime steakhouse and Chesapeake Boathouse, as well as ongoing Regatta Park plans and infrastructure, in addition to numerous other projects.
Separating his business and community achievements, he says, is difficult, as they are intertwined.
"The commitment to establish a career in Oklahoma has been my most important business and community endeavor," he says. "My business is about the built environment and its impact on our community. I am a champion of urban living, of thoughtful and provocative design and of responsible architecture."
Fitzsimmons received his bachelor's degree in architecture from Oklahoma State University in 1996, and he has been a licensed architect since 2004.
He maintains memberships and volunteer efforts with the American Institute of Architects, Oklahoma Visual Arts Coalition, Individual Artists of Oklahoma and the Oklahoma City Museum of Art.
The greatest lesson he says he's learned from the School of Hard Knocks is to always try.
"As much as I hate to occasionally fail," he said, "I would have hated more not trying at all."