Board of Directors
Reaching beyond the ordinary is at the heart of every project in which Kona is involved. His strong sense of integrating creativity and regional resources when designing projects results not only in functional environments but surroundings that invigorate the imagination. Kona has experience in many aspects of planning and landscape architecture, ranging from large scale planning to detailed site design with emphasis on hospitality and campus related projects. Kona holds a Bachelor of Landscape Architecture, University of Georgia, Boston Architectural College, Savannah College of Art and Design. Kona joined EDSA in 1997.
“No matter what the project size, scale or scope, we must always challenge the status quo. It is our responsibility to have the knowledge necessary to offer solutions that positively impact the environmenta and continue the advancement of our industry.”
Kona A. Gray, ASLA
Ft. Lauderdale, Florida
Jennifer Guthrie is a founding partner of Gustafson Guthrie Nichol. Jennifer’s design leadership merges a guiding, experiential vision with innovative and precise detailing. Her work ranges broadly, from the neighborhood-scale - such as the new, urban district of green streets and mixed-use housing at the University of Washington - to public squares, gardens, and cultural work such as the Seattle Civic Center campus, the Lurie Garden at Millennium Park, and the South Coast Plaza Bridge of Gardens in Costa Mesa, California. Jennifer and her partners are the recipients of The Smithsonian’s 2011 National Design Award for Landscape Architecture, and her work has received numerous national and regional Honor Awards from ASLA and AIA. Jennifer lectures internationally and serves on the Landscape Architectural Foundation Board, the ASLA CEO Roundtable, and the Bureau of Overseas Buildings Operations’ Industry Advisory Panel.
Jennifer Guthrie, FASLA
Gustafson Guthrie Nichol
Mark is a landscape architect and principal with Sasaki Associates. He is responsible for the strategic direction of the firm, landscape practice, and urban public market place within the urban studio. Mark’s specialty is planning and designing award-winning urban landscapes, and he views the cities in which he works as vital and living ecosystems. Mark holds a BLA from Utah State University, is a fellow of ASLA, and serves on the executive committees of the Waterfront Center and Landscape Architectural Foundation. He is on the Board of Directors for the Watertown Boys and Girls Club. In the past he has participated as a board member for Utah State University College of Humanity Arts and Social Sciences Academic Advisor Council, was awarded Distinguish Alumni from the Department of Landscape Architecture at Utah State University, and has lectured widely at colleges and universities.
Mark O. Dawson, FASLA
Immediate Past President
Kristina Hill is an associate professor at the University of California, Berkeley. Professor Hill’s work addresses urban ecological dynamics in relationship to physical design and social justice issues. Her primary area of work is in adapting urban water systems to the new challenges associated with climate change. Professor Hill lectures internationally on urban design and ecology, and served as chair of the Landscape Architecture Department at the University of Virginia from 2007-2010. Her book Ecology and Design: Frameworks for Learning was published by Island Press in 2002, and her current book project is focused on adapting urban waterfronts to climate change. She received her Ph.D. from Harvard University, and was a member of the faculty at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, the University of Washington in Seattle, and the University of Virginia before coming to California. She was honored as a Fellow of the Urban Design Institute in New York, and has conducted research in Stockholm, Sweden, as a Fulbright Scholar.
Kristina Hill, PhD, Affiliate ASLA
Vice President of Education
Associate Professor of Landscape Architecture & Environmental Planning
University of California, Berkeley
Dr. Forster Ndubisi is a professor and head of the Department of Landscape Architecture and Urban Planning at Texas A & M University since July, 2004. Prior to that, he was a professor of landscape architecture and city planning and director of the Interdisciplinary Design Institute at Washington State University, Spokane for 7 years. He holds degrees in zoology with minors in ecology, landscape architecture, and city and regional planning. He has served as a consultant in community design, land design and planning, ecological planning, and growth management to numerous communities in Canada, Georgia, and Washington State and has received numerous awards. Dr. Ndubisi is the author of numerous articles and book chapters, as well as the books Public Policy and Land Use in Georgia: A Reference Book (1996) and Planning Implementation Tools and Techniques: A Resource Book (1992).
Forster Ndubisi, PhD, FASLA
Vice President of Research/Information
Professor and Head, Department of Landscape Architecture and Urban Planning
Texas A&M University, College Station, Texas
Lucinda’s keen interest in contemporary design centers on issues of paramount significance to the 21st century city, resulting in dynamic and bold solutions. With an emphasis on achieving places of social purpose and ecological sensitivity, her restorative landscapes combine her interest and talents in urbanism with social and natural systems, philosophy and art. Her societal and environmental interests are imbued throughout her wide range of projects, including public parks, urban plazas, master plans, and institutional, academic and corporate landscapes. Recent projects include Comcast Center Plaza and Central Delaware Riverfront Master Plan in Philadelphia, and HemisFair Park Master Plan in San Antonio, Texas. Lucinda and her fellow partners at OLIN received the 2008 Landscape Design Award from the Smithsonian’s Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum for excellence and innovation in landscape design and dedication to sustainability. She is an adjunct professor of landscape architecture at the University of Pennsylvania and a Fellow of the American Society of Landscape Architects.
Lucinda R. Sanders, FASLA
Vice President of Leadership
CEO and Partner
Adam Greenspan is a design partner at PWP, and has been the lead designer on a wide range of projects including estates, public parks, campuses and competitions. Adam’s background in art and sociology, combined with years of horticultural practice allow him to conceive of and develop projects from many angles. One of his main objectives at PWP has been the integration of regenerative and sustainable principles within each project design. Adam has collaborated extensively with architects, artists, community groups and city staff, as well as sub-consultant experts, in the process of realizing exceptional built work. Adam’s recent projects include: Marina Bay Sands Integrated Resort, Transbay Transit Center Park in downtown San Francisco, Glenstone in Potomac, MD, and the Newport Beach City Hall and Park in Newport Beach California. Adam received a Bachelor of Arts, with honors in Sociology and Studio Arts from Wesleyan University and a Master in Landscape Architecture from the University of Pennsylvania.
Adam Greenspan, ASLA
Vice President of Communication
PWP Landscape Architecture
Laura, widely regarded as an expert in the field of landscape technology and sustainability, provides leadership and knowledge that inform design, construction, and post-construction maintenance of MWA’s projects. Her particular areas of expertise include the integration of biological management program in planting design, the use of sustainable soils, and the utilization of all landscape materials. In collaboration with Matt Urbanski and Michael Van Valkenburgh, Laura serves as a Managing Principle for planning and design projects from their earliest phases and oversees the technical aspects of MWA’s landscapes firm-wide.
Laura received her Bachelor of Landscape Architecture from Ohio State University in 1983. Her undergraduate studies in botany at the University of Maryland helped inform her comrehensive and science-based approach to sustainable landscape practices. Laura is a licensed landscape architect in Massachusetts, Louisiana, Ohio, and Pennsylvania.
Laura Solano, ASLA
Vice President of Finance
Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates
Susannah C. Drake, AIA, FASLA is the founding principal of interdisciplinary design firm dlandstudio, recipient of National and International urban design awards from the AIA, ASLA and Chicago Athenaeum among others. As one of very few designers of her generation with professional design qualifications in Architecture and Landscape Architecture, Susannah paved the way for more synthetic thinking about urban ecological infrastructure. She is the recipient of grants from the Graham Foundation, New England Interstate Water Pollution Control Commission, The James Marston Fitch Foundation and the New York State Council on the Arts for research on campus landscapes and large scale urban infrastructure projects. Susannah is the former President and Trustee of The New York ASLA, Trustee of the Van Alen Institute and visiting studio professor at the Cooper Union and Harvard University. Susannah is the author of Elastic Landscape: Seeding Ecology in Public Space & Urban Infrastructure which was recently published in the collection of essays entitled Infrastruktururbanismus.
Susannah C. Drake, AIA, FASLA
Vice President of Development
Principal, dlandstudio architecture + landscape architecture pllc.
Leann Andrews is a licensed landscape architect, a PhD Candidate in the Built Environment Program, and a Lecturer in the Landscape Architecture Department at the University of Washington in Seattle. Her work focuses on understanding the measurable impacts that landscapes can have on human and ecological health. As Project and Research Manager in the Green Futures Research and Design Lab she leads design/build/research projects such as the UW Green Wall. Her work through the Informal Urban Communities Initiative includes the participatory design and implementation of home gardens for an informal settlement in Lima, Peru and research on their effects to mental and social health of the residents (also her projects as the LAF 2013 National Olmsted Scholar.) Leann is currently conducting research in Iquitos, a city in the Amazon Rainforest in Peru, examining how landscapes might address vector-borne diseases (i.e. dengue, malaria) and infectious diseases of poverty (i.e. cholera, diarrheal disease), particularly in the informal floating communities in the city. Leann thrives in an interdisciplinary team setting and is constantly questioning what it means to be a landscape architect in today’s world.
PhD Candidate, Lecturer
Landscape Architecture Department
University of Washington
Gayle Berens was the senior vice president of the Urban Land Institute’s Education & Advisory Group, where she oversaw the professional development, awards, and advisory service programs. Throughout her long tenure at ULI, her responsibilities spanned a variety of institue activities, among them directing the publications program; serving as executive director of the ULI Center for Balanced Development in the West; and directing and developing the ULI Gerald D. Hines Student Urban Design Competition. Berens is the coauthor of several books, including Urban Parks and Open Space, published with the Trust for Public Land; and ULI’s best-selling book, Real Estate Development Principles and Process, first, second, thrid, and fourth editions. Berens has also served as project director for many publications and as written many articles for Urban Land and case studies. She hold an M.S. degree from Georgetown University.
Ignacio Bunster-Ossa is the Americas practice director of landscape architecture at AECOM. He brings 30 years of experience in the planning and design of urban landscapes, new communities, university campuses, waterfronts, urban and resource-based parks and civic spaces in the United States, Asia, and Latin America. He is recognized as a leading proponent of Landscape Urbanism, and his work focuses on the integration of green infrastructure, public art, ecology, community identity, and recreation. Ignacio holds a Bachelor of Architecture from the University of Miami in Florida, a Master of Landscape Architecture from the University of Pennsylvania, and a Loeb Fellowship in Environmental Studies from Harvard University. He has taught advanced design studios at these and other universities and has lectured widely on the practice of landscape architecture.
Ignacio Bunster-Ossa, FASLA
Landscape Architecture Practice Leader, Americas
As a practitioner and teacher of landscape architecture, I try to understand how practical landscape problems are shaped by the social and environmental values of designers. These values are hidden in plain sight everywhere in the built environment. Values motivate and guide professional practice and place-making through mechanisms such as property laws, environmental policy, and theories of design. That makes landscape literacy important: all citizens should be able to read, interpret, and critique the values that shape and condition our shared landscapes. My teaching may be described as a ‘three-legged stool’: Site Design — so students may gain confidence integrating site analysis, social context, conceptual inquiry, and design process; Landscape History, Theory, and Representation — to explain how different values have been expressed through the landscape medium at different times, in different cultures, for different reasons; Creative Research for Designers — because broadening the definition of design and research strategies makes it possible for landscape architects to work in really interesting ways across disciplines, media, materials, and scales. All of this makes it possible for my students to enjoy the profound clarity, beauty, and utility of integrating design values and research in preparation for their future practices.
M. Elen Deming, DDes
Department of Landscape Architecture
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Deb Guenther is a principal and landscape architect at Mithun – an multi-disciplinary urban design firm with offices in Seattle and San Francisco. Her work seeks to link the functions of nature with inspiring urban environments. Projects span urban redevelopment, public realm, and green infrastructure system design – including the redevelopment of the City of Austin’s Wastewater Treatment Plant as part of a new civic street along Second; the Center City Open Space Plan in Seattle; and the Early Learning Village in New Orleans’ City Park for the Louisiana Children’s Museum. Deb is nationally recognized for her work in sustainable landscape architecture. She is a fellow of the Cascadia Region Green Building Council and represents the American Society of Landscape Architects on the Sustainable Sites Initiative product development committee. She was a contributor to the “HOK Guidebook to Sustainable Design”, the writing of the Living Building challenge and the book, “Integrated Design - Mithun”. Her leadership on projects has resulted in two ASLA national honor awards. She is a Fellow of the American Society of Landscape Architects.
Debra Guenther, FASLA
Richard. Heriford is President of Landscape Forms, an $85 million company, which is well positioned as the global premium brand of site furniture, lighting and accessories. Richard has a passion for design, company culture and American craft. Richard joined Landscape Forms as Vice President of Sales and Marketing in 2000 and helped fine-tune the company’s go-to-market strategy, strengthen brand awareness, and expand new product development. Richard Heriford graduated from Kansas State University, College of Architecture and Design and studied Brand Management at Southern Methodist University. Mr. Heriford spent his early career in Architecture in Kansas City and Dallas.
Richard E. Heriford
President, Landscape Forms Inc.
Brian Jencek, RLA, ASLA, is located in the firm’s San Francisco office and is co-director of the firm’s global planning practice. His responsibilities include leading multidisciplinary teams through the design process to successfully deliver projects. He builds relationships with clients through creative solutions, responsiveness and understanding their need for triple bottom line results.Brian is active professionally and academically with the ASLA, ULI and the Clinton Climate Initiative. He teaches graduate-level design studios on the topics of climate change and resiliency at the UC Berkeley.
Brian Jencek, ASLA
Director of Planning
San Francisco, California
Michael Johnson is a leading multidisciplinary specialist in campus planning, urban design, and landscape architecture. A co-leader of the firm’s Urban Design Practice, he has the ability to distill and understand multifaceted urban challenges and has developed cross-discipline problem-solving skills that supersede market segment and geographic location. Michael has expertise in managing complex projects with multi-office teams and high-profile constituent involvement. Michael’s formal training as a landscape architect and urban designer allow him to fill a unique niche in the industry, both as a professional, and guest lecturer in the Urban Design Program at the University of Michigan’s Taubman College of Architecture and Planning. In addition, he has received international recognition as a finalist in four high-profile urban design competitions.
Michael Johnson, ASLA, RLA
Ann Arbor, Michigan
Mia Lehrer is the founder of Mia Lehrer + Associates, known for its design and development of a wide spectrum of ambitious public and private projects that include urban revitalization developments, large urban parks, and complex commercial projects. Born in San Salvador, El Salvador, Ms. Lehrer earned her Masters of Landscape Architecture from the Graduate School of Design at Harvard University. She is internationally recognized for her progressive landscape designs, working with such natural landmarks as parks, lakes, and rivers, coupled with her advocacy for ecology and people-friendly public space. In addition to being published in international journals, popular magazines, and newspapers, her work and that of her firm has been included in several important museum and gallery exhibitions. Ms. Lehrer often lectures on landscape architecture and sustainability, traveling as far as Brazil and China to share her insights and philosophy on landscape design and the public realm.
Mia Lehrer, FASLA
Mia Lehrer + Associates
Los Angeles, California
Inspired by travel and the exceptional design he encounters, Jim Manskey cherishes family, outdoor recreation and exploring new locales, which inform his design sensibilities. His annual ski trips, in particular, enlighten his perspective on designing extraordinary resort destinations. Jim opened TBG’s Dallas office in 1998 and began serving as President in January 2014. He has in-depth design experience and provides invaluable leadership on many complex and high-profile projects. He guides his teams through the creation of sophisticated environments that consistently provide a sense of place, human scale and varieties of interest. Bachelor of Science in Landscape Architecture, Texas A&M University, 1979.
Jacinta McCann’s career spans global practice in urban community planning and landscape architecture. She has worked on transformational projects at all scales ranging from the Sydney Olympics to public realm planning and design as an integral part of urban renewal programs such as at Mission Bay in San Francisco and Nova Luz in Sao Paulo. Ms McCann has been recognized as a creative leader in her field and is a sought-out speaker and panel participant in interdisciplinary workshops addressing complex land use, environmental, and socio-economic challenges. Ms McCann has lectured extensively at universities and institutions in the United States, Asia and Australia. She is a Board Member of SPUR (San Francisco Planning and Urban Research Association), has been a faculty member of the ULI Daniel Rose Center for Public Leadership in Land Use, and serves on the ULI national program committee.
Jacinta McCann, FAILA, LEED AP
Executive Vice President
Design, Planning + Economics, Global
San Francisco, California
Allyson Mendenhall is the Director of DW Legacy Design®, Design Workshop’s comprehensive approach to sustainable development, which seeks measurable outcomes in four areas — Environment, Economics, Community and Art. Allyson has played a central role in developing the firm’s design methodology and metrics, teaching performance measurement practices to staff and convening topic-focused design symposia with guest experts to share knowledge among the firm’s offices. Allyson holds a Master of Landscape Architecture degree from Harvard University Graduate School of Design (GSD) and an B.A. in English Literature from Harvard College. She serves on the GSD Alumni Council, the Advisory Board of WalkDenver, and the Transportation and Development Committee of the Downtown Denver Partnership.
Allyson Mendenhall, RLA, LEED Green Associate
Principal, Director of DW Legacy Design
Stephanie Rolley brings her expertise in visualizing possibilities, whether in community designs, scholarship or organizational change, to her work as a faculty member and head of the department of landscape architecture and regional & community planning in Kansas State University’s College of Architecture, Planning & Design. Her leadership includes a long-standing engagement in and reflection upon interdisciplinary community-based collaborations, as well as the first nonbaccalaureate landscape architecture and regional and community planning programs in the country. Her early professional practice was in architecture, planning and urban design offices in Boston, Dallas and San Antonio. She has a Bachelor of Landscape Architecture from Kansas State University, a master’s in city planning from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and she completed the management development program at the Harvard Graduate School of Education.
Stephanie Rolley, FASLA, AICP
Professor and Head, Associate Head and Master of Landscape Architecture
Kansas State University
A landscape architect and community planner since 1978, Joe today focuses on large-scale community planning projects that balance development desires with existing natural systems. “I have always been interested in rural development, and in the interface between urbanization and open lands,” he explains. As such, he tries to protect and integrate agricultural uses into projects whenever possible—a key factor, as he sees it, in the long-term sustainability of communities. For the last 15 years, he has worked primarily in Northern California.
Joe Runco, ASLA
Managing Principal, SWA Group
Peg Staeheli, PLA, LEED® AP is a founding principal with Seattle based SvR Design Company. Peg has been active in facilitating the design industry shift to an integrated disciplines approach to planning, design and maintenance. She has presented at national conferences on pedestrian mobility, accessible design, and green infrastructure systems.
Peg Staeheli, FASLA, PLA, LEED AP
Principal Landscape Architect, SvR Design Company
Jim is a landscape architect and urban designer whose leadership skills and passion for place-making are as valuable to enriching the firm’s office culture as they are to meeting the needs of our clients. His experience on a number of complex projects both domestically and internationally has spanned the full spectrum from large scale planning assignments to detailed design and implementation projects. Jim has extensive experience in developing plans to enhance urban districts and public open space including complex projects involving community interaction. Jim serves as director of WRT’s San Francisco office and oversees landscape architecture and urban design projects in that office.
Jim Stickley, ASLA, LEED AP
Wallace Roberts & Todd (WRT)
San Francisco, CA
Lisa is a principal at James Corner Field Operations, a leading-edge landscape architecture, urban design and public realm practice based in New York City. As the principal-in-charge of many of the practice’s complex public realm projects, Lisa led the design of the High Line in New York, Tongva Park in Santa Monica, and the Race Street Pier in Philadelphia. She also worked on the Navy Yards Central Green in Philadelphia, Shelby Farms Park in Memphis, and the Master Plans for Freshkills Park and Seattle’s Central Waterfront. In 2007-2008, Lisa received the Rome Prize and was a Fellow at the American Academy in Rome. Lisa has a BA in Urban Planning with a focus on Community Development Planning from the University of Illinois, and a Masters in Landscape Architecture from the University of Pennsylvania. She has taught graduate level design studios and has lectured at universities, symposiums, foundations and institutions around the world.
Lisa Tziona Switkin
James Corner Field Operations
New York, New York
With a background in civil engineering, studio art and education, Kate brings a truly cross-disciplinary perspective to the practice of landscape architecture. Her work weaves technical rigor into the fabric of lively, unique, community-driven spaces in the public realm. Kate holds a Masters degree in Landscape Architecture from the University of Massachusetts and a Masters degree in Education from Lesley University. Her tenure as a math and physics teacher in the Boston Public school system continues to inform and inspire her work as a landscape architect. She maintains a deep respect for the power of urban youth to shape their communities, and volunteers in several design-related capacities with local schools. Her MLA thesis research with the Boston Schoolyard Initiative is evolving into a design toolkit for urban schoolyard reform. Kate was LAF’s 2011 National Olmsted Scholar.
Richard Weller is the Martin and Margy Meyerson Chair of Urbanism and Professor and Chair of Landscape Architecture at the University of Pennsylvania. He leads a department perceived by many to be the pre-eminent generator of landscape architectural innovation in the last 60 years. He is also Adjunct Professor at the University of Western Australia and former Director of the Australian Urban Design Research Centre and the design firm Room 4.1.3. He has received a consistent stream of international design competition awards at all scales of landscape architecture and urban design. He has published 4 books and over 80 single-authored papers. His current research concerns regions where rapid urban growth and biodiversity are in direct conflict. He was honored with an Australian National Teaching Award in 2012.
Chair of Urbanism and Professor and Chair of Landscape Architecture
University of Pennsylvania
Monte Wilson is a Director of Jacobs’ Advance Planning Group, a specialized business unit of the firm’s global design practice. In addition to his leadership role in defining the strategic direction for the practice, Monte serves as a Project Principal and Senior Designer on a range of project types including: new towns, mixed-use, transit oriented development, revitalization studies as well as university, research and corporate campus master plans. Much of his career has focused on issues associated with community building, urban redevelopment, and sustainability and since 2008, Monte has worked to integrate Biomimicry into the practice of community planning and city building. Along with a number of current and former colleagues, he is engaged in educating clients and informing design through a bio-inspired planning framework and a systems based approach based on life’s principles. He has worked on projects throughout the world, including the United States, China, Saudi Arabia, Columbia, Panama, Israel, North Africa, Canada and Mexico.
Nancy C. Somerville is the Executive Vice President and CEO of the American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA). Since joining the Society in August 2000, Somerville has expanded ASLA’s public relations programs, increased ASLA’s presence on Capitol Hill, and enabled the Society to become a more effective advocate on sustainability, community planning, transportation, and land use issues. Somerville directs the Society’s ongoing green roof education and advocacy programs, as well as ASLA’s participation as a Founding Partner in the Sustainable Sites Initiative™.
Somerville joined ASLA after 18 years with the American Institute of Architects, where she served as managing director and vice president of program areas including membership, government affairs, chapter relations, community development, and continuing education.
Nancy C. Somerville, Hon. ASLA
Executive Vice President and CEO
American Society of Landscape Architects
K. Richard Zweifel, FASLA, is Emeritus Professor and Associate Dean of the College of Architecture and Environmental Design at Cal Poly in San Luis Obispo, California. He earned his bachelors and Master’s degrees in Landscape Architecture from the University of Wisconsin and has worked in public and private practice in California and Wisconsin. He is a licensed Landscape Architect in California. As a practitioner, teacher and administrator he has been an advocate for the profession and Landscape Architecture education throughout his career. His primary service and scholarship interests have been in the relationship of evolving professional practice, licensure and curricular development and exploring collaboration opportunities between private, public and educational landscape architectural practitioners and related disciplines. He is currently ASLA Immediate Past President and has served as President, VP Education, Chair of the ASLA Council of Fellows Jury, Chair of the ASLA Licensure Committee and as a member of the ASLA Policy Committee.
K. Richard Zweifel, FASLA
Emeritus Professor and Associate Dean
College of Architecture and Environmental Design
Cal Poly San Luis Obispo
San Luis Obispo, California
Charlene LeBleu is an Associate Professor of the Master of Landscape Architecture Program at Auburn University, Auburn, Alabama. Professor LeBleu teaches urban ecology, regional ecology, stormwater construction and a community outreach studio. Her primary areas of interest and research have been focused on green building and water quality issues, especially issues related to low impact development design. She is the Vice President of the Alabama Chapter of the American Planning Association, a member of the American Institute of Certified Planners (AICP), a Fellow of the American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA) and the current Vice President of Research for the Council of Educators in Landscape Architecture (CELA). Professor LeBleu has a B.S. Forest Resources and Conservation from the University of Florida, and a Master of Community Planning, and a Master of Landscape Architecture from Auburn University.
Charlene LeBleu, FASLA, AICP
Associate Professor, Master of Landscape Architecture Program