About the Adkins Association inc.

The Adkins Association Inc. is your first and most accessible resource for design, support, and information for the life of your facility. In addition, we help our clients manage their buildings long-term. When they have a problem, they call us first.

That is how we have been able to maintain long, thriving relationships with our clients.

Our Founder, Lonnie Adkins

The Adkins Association Inc. is a Minnesota Corporation founded in 1958 by St. Paul architect and civil rights activist Lonnie Adkins and business partner Reuben Johnson.

Since then, the firm has gone by several names.

1958: Adkins-Johnson, Inc.
1959: Adkins, Johnson and Mikutowski Associated
1961: Adkins Associates, Inc.
1966: Adkins-Jackels Associates, Inc.
1974: the Adkins Association inc.

In 1971, while out jogging with his son, Lonnie Adkins’ life was cut short by a sudden heart attack. He was only 45 years old.

The Adkins Association Inc., Today.

Today, the firm is owned by Burnell D. Olson, AIA, and Michael W. Ostlie, AIA. They are still serving some of the same clients Lonnie Adkins worked with when the firm first opened. They value and appreciate these long-term relationships, as well as the company’s newer clients.

Burnell Olson

Burnell D. Olson, AIA


My name is Burnell Olson, when I was 17 years old my mother asked me if I had any idea what I wanted to do for a living?  I told her “A cabinet maker, carpenter, or architect”.  She said; great at 17 you know what you want to be, an Architect.   And the adventure begins. I worked for Acton Construction in Collage including their heavy concrete form crew, tunneling crew, and my favorite, a Mississippi river dredging operation. Later working for Har-Con a precast manufacturer and Bockelman Associates Architects before joining the Adkins Association Inc in 1984.  I really enjoyed Adkin’s focus on long-term client relationships and working on all phases of their facilities life.  I soon developed a passion for the challenge and fast pace of Mission Critical work, forensic work, and helping large clients manage their real estate portfolios.

I became first registered as an Architect in 1992. In 1995 I became Vice President of the Adkins Association Inc. and I stockholder.  In 2007 I assumed my current role as President of the Adkins Association Inc.

I’ve been married to my High School sweetheart for 40 years.  We raised 3 grown daughters on a small farm northeast of the twin cities. Must weekend activities involve our kids and grandkids.

Our free time activities involve ranching, weekends on the houseboat in the summer.  Downhill skiing, snowmobiling, and traveling in the winter.

Associate in Applied Science in Architecture 1983
North Hennepin Community College

Current Registrations

* American Institute of Architects Minnesota
* Saint Paul Area Chamber of Commerce

Career Profile
1984-Present the ADKINS ASSOCIATION inc.
1983-1984 Bockelman Associates, Architects
1982 Acton Construction Company

Mike W Ostlie

Michael W. Ostlie, AIA, NCARB

Principal /Vice President

I have over 40 years of experience in the building and construction industry. Early jobs included borrowing my Dad’s open cement bags to pour footings in the childhood sandbox to borrowing finish coat plaster to decorate basement rooms to the displeasure of my parents. Later work involved more constructive activities which involved concrete and masonry work. After my architectural education I put my construction experience to work detailing buildings and participating in the design process.
With my background, it was a logical choice to conduct audits and surveys of buildings to create reports and assessments. With the adoption of ADA, my background allowed me to quickly assess and provide buildable solutions for many government facilities and public buildings. For many buildings this was the first time someone in a wheelchair could get inside the facility. The schedules were very short since there was a mandated timeframe. This eventually evolved into phased accessibility implementation plans for large facility operations.

While out accessing buildings and measuring I always took note of what failed or could be made better on new buildings. This lead to a holistic approach of looking at buildings when designing and treating a building envelope as a whole rather than parts made to fit.

My early years in masonry also furthered my interest in restoration and repair of masonry and concrete, I am constantly continuing my education on evolving techniques and methodology.

My philosophy has always been to be a holistic and well rounded. I try to realize where things come from and how do they impact everything else. This concept relates to people as well in relationships as well as architecture.

Because of my philosophy I have lived both rural and urban and continue to enjoy working in the metro and living on a small farm staying connected to many lifestyles and nature.

Bachelor of Architecture
North Dakota State University, 1990

Current Registrations
South Dakota
North Dakota

Career Profile
1990 – Present
Vice President / Principal Architect

Yeater, Hennings & Ruff Architects

Laborer/ Mason
Ostlie, Inc. (Masonry Construction)

Do You Have a Challenging or Complex Project?

The Adkins Association Inc. has the wisdom and experience clients have counted on since 1958.