About LMHT Associates

Designing Sucessful Projects Since 1978

Our Firm

Our firm is made up of passionate individuals who absolutely love what we do — and it’s obvious from the moment you meet us. Our Architects, Engineers, and Designers have been continuously designing successful projects since 1978. Our belief is that if we focus on contributing to the success of your projects, that effort will foster success within our firm.

We operate nationally, licensed in 48 states and the District of Columbia. Our corporate office is headquartered in Research Triangle in North Carolina

Our Mission Statement

LMHT’s Mission is to provide excellence in client service through our vision, expertise, ethics and original design process. First Priority in accomplishing the mission is providing building designs that exceed client expectations through aesthetic originality, quality and environmental responsibility while supporting the client’s financial success. We believe that successfully accomplishing our first priority naturally leads to accomplishing our Second Priority which is employee fulfillment in their career purpose. Our Third Priority is financial success of the firm without which the company cannot survive. Consistent client and employee satisfaction provides the framework for overall success of our company.

Every person is born with a God given purpose that extends beyond serving themselves. Every construction project is born from a vision that extends from the client’s core purpose. LMHT’s service directly addresses that purpose.

Our desire is to be highly revered by our client long after the completion of their project.


· 1st Principle – Listen to our client. Apply our expertise and unique design process to accomplish their goals through ethical business relationships.

· 2nd Principle – Hire only the best personnel that exhibit high qualities of character and technical proficiency.

· 3rd Principle – Continually support the development of our personnel to enhance work performance and ethics though example, training and work environment. This is best demonstrated through quality designs that survive scrutiny, exceed client expectations, and reflect environmental stewardship.

A History of LMHT

In 1978, Oscar Lehmann moved to Greensboro with the plan to open a pizza restaurant. While he never did open the restaurant, he stayed in the area, continuing to make personal pizzas for his family. Near the same time, Lee Mehler and his wife, Francine, moved to Greensboro, NC. For Lee to complete the Architectural Master’s program at North Carolina State University. After graduation, he met and partnered with Oscar to create LM Associates: a small Architectural firm focused on commercial shopping centers, retail and university work.

The Evolution of Our Firm

In 1986 Tony Hirst joined the firm bringing his restaurant design experience. Tony expanded the client base as the firm began to focus on the restaurant sector. Tony became a partner in 1991 and the name changed to LMH. After graduating with a Masters in Engineering in 1991, Ray Thornton came on board and founded the Engineering department. The combination of in-house A/E resulted in significant company growth over the next several years. What started with Ray being the only engineer has a full engineering team of Plumbing, Mechanical and Electrical Engineers. This set the precedent for more growth enabling LMHT to be a full-service A&E firm.

Ray Thornton became a partner in 1996. As LMH grew into LMHT Associates, Paige Wood joined the firm in 2002 and has been a key facilitator in that growth with his restaurant experience, rising to Associate level within the firm. Since becoming CEO of LMHT in 2004, Ray has led the way focusing on client satisfaction, employee expertise and innovation. LMHT continues to grow and diversify in industries that make for a promising future.


Organizations & Charities We Help

Our Client Testimonials

We aim to build great working relationships with our clients that extends beyond the project. We walk alongside you through the project to ensure your goals are being met. We are grateful for the amazing feedback from these valued clients and look forward to you being one of them!
National Restaurant Designers has been the National Account Architects for both the Hardees Brand and CKE International for several years. At present NRD is developing our new prototype building design, developing drawings for the test kitchen in our new Corp. Headquarters in Nashville, TN. CKE Restaurants continues to rely on the expertise and professionalism of NRD. They provide all aspects the disciplines required for developing a building design.
Hardees’ Construction Project Manager
Our company has partnered with National Restaurant Designers for years because they understand our needs and work diligently to deliver consistently. Development dollars are at a premium and their experience with value engineering has made more projects viable. They are a proven company that is not only extremely professional but have high integrity.
Vice-President of Construction
Golden Corral Corporation
Our Team at Real Zeal highly recommends LMHT Associates/National Restaurant Designers (NRD), led by Ray Thornton. In addition to architecture, their experience in restaurant design makes them particularly special. Throughout the entire process, they were extremely professional, provided extraordinary creative design services, value engineering, and impeccable construction/permitting coordination—all while keeping our budget constraints as a top priority. We had the peace of mind all along that we were in great hands with LHMT. This makes LHMT stand above all other architecture firms.

Real Zeal Property Group Team

LMHT Careers


We strive for lasting quality in our projects, so your project is successful today, tomorrow, and beyond. We strive for excellent and timeless work for our clients. View our latest projects and other LMHT news.

ATTACHMENT DETAILS NCMA-2023-Unit-Honorable-Mention award

NC State 2023 Blockfest

At LMHT, we welcome the opportunity to come alongside students who want to further their professional experience in our field. Cherise has been an incredible addition to our team, and we value her contributions to the office. Recently, she has participated in well-known competition at State University for Architecture students called the Block Fest which

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LIFE AFTER COVID – Adapting to Change

LMHT’s Strategic Resilience During the COVID-19 Crisis As we approach the three-year mark of the coronavirus crisis, it is clear that companies across the globe had to redefine how they did business. With the workplace dynamic turned upside down, creativity and resilience were the only way to combat the change brought on by the pandemic.

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Expectations vs. Reality: Collaborating with Architecture Firms

What kind of relationship are you looking for with your next architecture firm? Many architecture firms promise collaborative working relationships. Often, these turn out to be cooperative or coordinative instead. What’s the difference? Why does it matter? Find out how you can be sure you’re receiving a truly collaborative experience. Common Client Expectations Owners are

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