Behind every great design, there is a team of people whose vision and experience will shape the form an idea takes. While EDSA is one of the largest, uniquely disciplined planning, landscape architecture, and urban design firms in the world, it is our culture of collaboration and the available resources of the entire firm that allows us to provide a high level of specialized, client-focused service. Led by a collective of innovative-minded peers, our firm’s culture fosters a positive environment, where our combined expertise and fluid ideas influence projects large and small.
Douglas C. Smith, PLA
Throughout his career, Doug has worked to advance the role of landscape architects as leaders in responsible land use and site development by combining design, technology, and strategy to create successful places. Grounded in an inclusive, integrative, problem-solving approach, his multi-faceted skills enable him to effectively transcend any design challenge with relevant and meaningful design solutions. Doug’s application of performance-based design reaffirms a commitment to sustainability and cognizant approach to holistic design, where measurable outcomes serve as the basis against which to benchmark design. In his role as President, Doug is responsible for the leadership and management of the 125-person firm as well as running his own EDSA studio team.
“While your reputation is measured by your ability to lead and influence, how you treat people is what will be remembered most. We’ve built our business on long-term relationships.”
J. Robert Behling, FASLA, PLA
Bob has significantly contributed to the field of landscape architecture by expanding the boundaries of the profession on a global scale. With more than 300 projects in 40 countries, his credits include a fusion of award-winning works that enhance ecological, social, and financial capital through design excellence. Bob advocates that design is not about a preconceived idea or style, but rather the creative, practical, and insightful results of culturally-sensitive, environmentally-appropriate forms. In assignment after assignment, Bob creates dynamic and timeless spaces that are visually exciting, operationally functional, and highly profitable – dramatically impacting the economies of countries in which his projects are implemented.
“Our role extends beyond design. It’s about creating a way of seeing, doing, believing, and behaving. Unifying place, people, and client needs results in livable, usable, and successful projects that are unmatched in shaping the way people play, recreate, and relax."
Astrid C. Hoffmann, PLA
A dynamic and unconventional style makes Astrid’s designs feel genuine and interpretive. She develops intricate spaces that afford discovery within the context of big-picture concepts. Allowing for a seamless flow and connectivity, Astrid has adopted a passion for truly exploring the land, feeling its contours, and experiencing first hand its views and expression. It is only then, through the translation of her analysis and observation, that she carefully creates healthy environments where people actively interact and interface with their surroundings.
Diploma in Urban Design, University of Palermo.
Bachelor of Arts in Architecture, University of Bío Bío.
“A positive sense of place brings an impression of effortlessness and comfort, involves hints of mystery, and an appreciation for discovery that invites people to explore.”
B. Scott LaMont, PLA
During his career, Scott has formulated a comprehensive approach to design, client interaction, and real estate development. Motivated by the belief that designers have a responsibility to influence the dynamics between nature, space, and people, Scott is committed to the exploration of sustainable, modern ideals, and fostering values which positively personify humanity. Inspired by the opportunity to create meaningful places for people to make memories, Scott is involved in every aspect of every project – ensuring a balanced union of superior design and pragmatic business planning.
“As landscape architects, our designs must foster ideals that not only embody use and form, but emotionally fulfill universal human needs.”
Betsy F. Suiter, PLA
Captivated by the role design has on influencing spaces for people, Betsy combines her knowledge of material aesthetics and construction methods with a love of nature and art. Visualizing the details that make a project interesting, engaging, and timeless, Betsy melds logical, linear, and factual thinking with the creative application of color, movement, and imagination to create holistic destinations. Her forte is solidifying concepts to ensure a project fits within its context – where design is not only aesthetically appealing but creates a new awareness of the environment.
“Physically being present in an outdoor space affords one the opportunity to connect with the ecosystem, culture, and environmental assets of an area – providing people with an outward look inward."
Cara B. Critchlow
Cara is dedicated to enhancing the firms’ culture and employee engagement by providing strategic oversight on matters related to employee welfare, professional growth, and career fulfillment. Responsible for implementing and managing personnel policies and programs, she champions for an employee-oriented, high-performance culture that emphasizes empowerment, quality, creativity, and goal attainment. Cara serves as the primary resource for leadership development, talent acquisition, and team retention.
Bachelor of Art, Human Services, Villanova University.
“When people feel passionate about what they do, they move each other forward. At EDSA, our people continue to define an inviting and contagious culture that fosters growth and entrepreneurship. A place where leaders nourish future leaders, people perform to their personal best, and support is provided for those who want to learn and grow with us."
Courtney J. Moore, PLA
Combining environmental stewardship and social responsibility with a design philosophy that focuses on elegance and simplicity, Courtney achieves a timeless quality with every project he undertakes. With an imaginative and perceptive talent, his built works have energy, economic viability, and a design aesthetic that reflects his sense of visual boundaries, function, and form. His appreciation for how the environment meets the needs of diverse populations leads to innovative designs solutions that transform communities and habitats into better places. In practice, he has worked with a broad, complex range of clients on a global level inciting emotion and driving project development.
“Design is about understanding the user’s perspective and creating individual, memorable experiences that also meet the logistical requirements of a space.”
Derek B. Gagne, PLA
Fueled by his global awareness and personal travels, Derek is inspired by the understanding and application of movement, space, and context. He creatively blends the intrinsic qualities of a site with essential design elements to form a narrative that elevates the user experience. Prioritizing functionality and craftsmanship, his diverse portfolio encompasses destination treasures that serve as nodes for social, cultural, and ecological enrichment. His ability to articulate robust, invigorating design concepts is showcased in his mastery of extending patterns, textures, and forms into a cohesive continuum. Derek manages the day-to-day operations of the New York studio.
“The cultural influence of a place is what drives the design narrative – it needs to be present in every project in order to set the tone, style, and scale of a heightened, memorable experience.”
Derick Cissel, PLA
A champion of creativity, collaboration, and design excellence, Derick’s out-of-the-box thinking brings a fresh approach and artful perspective to all assignments. Drawn to design process and visual representation, he effortlessly marries details and forms to create meaningful concepts that are evocative and highly functional. Derick is focused on turning constraints into opportunities where bold expressions serve as the foundation for projects with purpose and identity.
“Great planners and landscape architects are not limited by discipline. They are visionaries. They are problem solvers. And, if they are exceptional, they also have the ability to predict and scheme around the ever-ascending expectation of the user.”
Edwin M. Linquist, PLA
Ed has mastered the subtle art of transforming visionary ideas into successfully implemented project designs. Showcasing the relationship between landscape, architectural form, nature, and programming, his designs offer a sense of distinction that transforms challenging site conditions into unique design features with economic and social value. Fully engaged in all aspects of project development, Ed has led many multi-disciplinary teams in redefining complex sites into functional environments that enhance users’ experiences. Ed serves the Orlando studio leader.
“Nothing lives in isolation. The importance of interrelated systems such as nature, open spaces, buildings, transit, and existing infrastructure must be reflected in a harmonious balance.”
Eric B. Propes, PLA
Eric considers visual boundaries, function, and form opportunities to generate new levels of design innovation. He approaches every project with an understanding of the broader strokes but relentlessly places importance on the details as a means to create better spaces for everyday life enjoyment. Eric is extremely knowledgeable in all phase of the design process, adding extensive technical expertise with a style that combines a unique appreciation for a site’s context with contemporary design sensibilities. His approach recognizes the best a site has to offer and elaborates on it to create spaces that are harmonious, artistic, functional, and dynamic.
“Some of the boldest statements in design are those that are simple, straightforward, and have a sense of purpose. Fully understanding the land, its history, context, and physical attributes are essential in creating places that enrich the quality of life.”
Jeffrey R. Suiter, PLA
Through an explorative and collaborative design process, Jeff has a keen ability to visualize the connection between design and construction implementation. His sensitivity to a project site extends beyond sustainability to include the qualities of place and expressions of people. Having guided a variety of successful projects, each with its own set of unique challenges, Jeff excels at devising artful, environmentally appropriate solutions that meet the needs of complex groups. His work is the creative imaginings of an artist and technician – creating beautiful spaces that enrich existence, foster a sense of wonder, and evoke an emotional connection to the earth.
“The greatest reward in being able to step back and observe how people positively respond to the spaces we had a role in creating.”
Jill L. Martinez
Jill contributes to the firms’ continued expansion and growth by providing strategic intelligence and comprehensive marketing programs. Integrating both traditional and interactive media, she effectively articulates EDSA’s brand essence with strategies related to awareness of the firm’s global image and the successful promotion of the organization’s services. Jill is responsible for institutional marketing, business development, collateral development, client communications, media relations, social and web services. Her refusal to allow brand stagnation continues to lead EDSA down new and better paths with initiatives that heighten the firm’s visual market presence.
“The most powerful and enduring brands are built from the heart. Ours is a reflection of the thinking, character, values, memories, relationships, and dreams of many that when blended together weave the story of EDSA."
Joaquin R. Vendrell
Serving as a catalyst for increased operational effectiveness and accelerated business growth, Joaquin oversees the firm’s financial management, compliance, resource allocation, operations, and investments services as well as legal, risk management, and logistics. He is committed to maximizing long-term shareholder value, ensuring a balanced portfolio of growth initiatives, and maintaining a high level of integrity and transparency. Producing business value in the form of financial performance and productivity, Joaquin’s commitment to operational excellence and aptitude for partnering cross-functionally has elevated synergies throughout the firm.
Bachelor of Business Administration, Florida Atlantic University.
“Every day brings an opportunity to learn something new and to make a positive impact on both our business and our talented staff. It is both a joy and a huge responsibility to nurture and grow the strong reputation EDSA enjoys in our industry.”
John Allyn, PLA
John is a multi-faceted designer and artist. He has an ability to bring structures, surfaces, and landscapes to life by blending imagination, design, and technology to create culturally-enriched experiences for all users. Curious by nature, John is drawn to the unusual and innovative, incorporating richness of color and light in his design. His work has allowed him to experience a multitude of unique cultures which have infused his work and shaped his sense of design. Balancing elements of past and present in support of environments which embrace the local culture, is critical to John’s design aesthetic.
“Uncovering the unexplored starts with unbridled creative freedom – that initial blue sky phase where no ideas are off the table.”
Jose A. Jaguan, PLA
Jose has extensive, global experience in creating places that transcend geographic boundaries. His design approach subtlety fuses ecology, community identity, infrastructure, and recreation with narratives of the land. With direct oversight for all phases of the design process, Jose champions projects that reimagine the interplay between site performance and public enjoyment. Adept at resolving complex planning issues for varied typologies, he has been involved in many landmark assignments where the combination of informal elegance and luxurious authenticity lead to beautiful, yet practical landscape designs.
Bachelor of Landscape Architecture, University of Florida.
“The world’s most successful projects are fresh, exciting, and unique with an ability to attract both new and repeat visitors. We must approach every project with the goal of creating places that people will enjoy and remember for their high level of quality, form, and detail.”
Keith A. Weaver
Having played a role in creating master plans and redevelopment projects for more than 150 municipalities, Keith specializes in translating a community’s vision into site-specific implementation initiatives. His goal is to raise awareness for sustainable thinking and responsible action through design – stressing the importance of contextual response and inter-disciplinary collaboration. Keith brings an artistic sensitivity to urban development relying on human ecology, natural and cultural settings, and arrangement of spaces to achieve harmony and a strong sense of place.
“Today’s public realm must respond to the needs of all user groups while anticipating and exploring what future generations may come to enjoy. This involves creating stimulating, legacy environments that are an expression of a community’s fabric and identity.”
Kona A. Gray, FASLA, PLA
Strong leadership and a sense of purpose are part of Kona’s DNA. With experience in 30+ countries, his global management sense has positively shaped the outcomes of many award-winning assignments. He successfully integrates creativity and regional resources into functional environments that invigorate the imagination. With an uncompromising dedication to quality, Kona creates welcoming public places that bring a strong sense of vitality back to neighborhoods. Blending sensitivity with innovative design solutions, he unites a client’s vision with his own vanguard designs to produce programs with purpose and presence.
“Regardless of 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 environment and continue to advance our industry.”
Lei Xiao, PLA
Working at the intersection of art, design, economics, and urban theory, Lei facilitates the growth and redevelopment of communities. Focused on allowing ecological and social principles to inform how the landscape takes shape, she has an ability to graphically articulate a project’s vision to clients. Lei creates functional, responsive, and enduring landscapes that utilize the dynamics of nature as a fundamental design element. Relying on the study and evaluation of environmental conditions, historical impacts, and user needs as the stepping stones for a design strategy, Lei skillfully blends surrounding cultures and site attributes into successful outdoor environments.
Master of Urban Planning, South China University of Technology.
Bachelor of Architecture, South China University of Technology.
“Good design conveys a sense of meaning and allows people to develop an identification and attachment to the physical and social environment.”
Marc A. Hall, PLA
Marc combines real-world needs with state-of-the-art planning practices. His multifaceted experience has yielded an all-encompassing approach that efficiently provides for functional open spaces with an emphasis on connectivity, culture, and conservation. His strong sense of programming results in pedestrian-friendly, multi-functional design that skillfully incorporates diversity in use and user, remains human-scaled and showcases a respect for natural systems. With a refined application of proportion and pattern, his flexible designs address density changes and adaptive reuse while balancing the very real concerns of cost, livability, and aesthetics.
“The most important aspect of a design is a willingness to stop and look at things that no one else bothers to see. This simple process of focusing on people, places, nature, and objects – that are normally taken for granted – is a powerful source of creativity.”
Mihaela Zaharescu, PLA
Whether focused on concept design or working through details of implementation, Mihaela brings a passion for creating lively outdoor environments. Her design sensibility integrates a respect for clarity and grace with an appreciation of landscapes as regenerative, life-sustaining systems. Addressing the crucial connection between nature and the surrounding social and cultural context, her project designs keep raw features intact, and inject them with new components. She is the belief that design should integrate creative and scientific processes to produce memorable works that contribute to environmental health and balance our planet’s fragile ecosystems.
Ecole d'Architecture de Versailles, Architecte DPLG degree.
“The most successful projects are the result of collaborations among multi-disciplinary professionals where mutual respect, shared passions, and open communication produce outstanding solutions to the most complicated design challenges."
Marco V. Larrea, PLA
Armed with a natural respect for social and environmental influences, Marco has an ability to not only discern the essence of a place but to effectively distill original concepts and ecological narratives in the creation of harmonious spaces. He consistently considers site history and realities, town interface, implementation strategies, and each property’s unique cultural, physical, and environmental characteristics in his design. Throughout his career, Marco has been able to take industry-leading ideas further by ensuring his designs are more than aesthetically pleasing and culturally appropriate, but also realistic and implementable.
School of Architecture, Central University of Ecuador.
“Our challenge is to make sure that each design is appropriate, yet uniquely responds to the site, client, and program. We must always think beyond the original parameters – for if we stretch our imagination, we can achieve unimaginable results.”
Pablo S. Massari, PLA
Characterized by originality and responsiveness, Pablo’s portfolio celebrates the essence of a space with carefully crafted environments that embrace beauty, allow form to follow function, and aesthetically reconnect with nature. His collaborative approach yields outcomes that are inspired by a thoughtful understanding of program, sustainability, and a synergy between the built and natural environment. With a sense of connection and identity between site, man-made elements, and ecologically processes, Pablo’s designs provide dramatic juxtapositions by integrating habitats for people with the natural landscape. His end goal is to create outdoor spaces that promote health and well-being for people of all ages.
Bachelor of Architecture, Universidad Católica de Cordoba.
“Our ability to negotiate a balance between the built and natural environment is reflected in the world we shape for future generations to enjoy.”
Paul D. Kissinger, FASLA, PLA
Creating environments that exude energy, offer economic viability, and enhance overall aesthetics are essential to Paul’s overall approach. Positively impacting the environment by influencing the process, he has developed an innate talent to design organic, impactful spaces that offer visual appeal and social justice for users across the globe. At the foundation of Paul’s altruistic approach, lies a focus on innovation as a way of life where technology, non-complacency, and sustainability remain at the forefront of every project. He derives great satisfaction in knowing that for which he advocates for, supports, and produces will ultimately change lives for the better.
Bachelor of Science, Natural Resources, University of Michigan.
“Solid design solutions are the result of having an imaginative idea, distinctive opinion, and commitment to making a difference. With the responsibility for influencing how memories are made, one must take a stance, participate, and engage in the well-being of our society.”
Richard D. Centolella, FASLA, PLA
Rich maintains a steadfast, forward-thinking philosophy in designing functional, realistic, and engaging places for people. Imagination and inventiveness play key roles in his designs where project outcomes embody vision, accountability, and realization. His ability to create high quality, customized solutions that address both client and community needs has earned him professional respect and solidified ongoing collaborations. He continuously creates memorable impressions that improve the experience of guests, residents, and visitors through the integration of spaces, materials, and finishes. Rich currently leads the Baltimore studio and oversees operations in New York City.
“Adhering to the highest professional standards on every project means always, always placing good character, sound design principles, and long-term value first. That’s how truly enjoyable and memorable places take form and become benchmarks in design.”
Richard T. Hallick, PLA
Rich’s commitment to distinction and lasting value is evident in the luxury developments he has had the opportunity to plan, design, and see get built. He approaches each project with broad strokes but also views every assignment with a critical eye – placing extreme importance on innovative design and material selection. For Rich, the right combination of details and open space help unify a development and ensure cultural, historic, and social accuracy in design. His project management experience and insight is crucial to EDSA’s continuing commitment to expert design and responsible land development.
Bachelor of Science, Environmental Design, Ball State University.
“Just as the picture within a puzzle can only be seen as the sum of its pieces, the right combination of design details is the cornerstone in creating exceptional environments.”
Rob W. Hutcheson, PLA
With a design style that merges experiential vision with precise detailing, Rob enjoys the organic progression of project development. From conveying initial thoughts on paper to synthesizing ideas with colleagues, and ultimately seeing a project built, he draws inspiration from the deep history of a site and its potential to serve contemporary users in new ways. His strong sense of creating places for people is showcased in his astute talent for combining quality elements with a unique energy. During his impressive career, Rob has designed transformational environments that invite exploration and interaction of people and place.
“I’m a strong proponent that spaces must create a draw for people by combining superior detailing with a unique vibe and sense of discovery.”
Robert M. Dugan, PLA
For more than 40 years, Bob has been an innovator, designer, and team leader. His ability to creatively meld planning principles with distinctive detailing has resulted in his projects positively influencing the social fabric and economic vitality of regions. Bob submits that any design has merit but it is how you integrate, employ, and solidify those concepts that differentiate a project outcome and end-user experience. He has a profound respect for land, people, heritage, and preservation allowing their influences to shape responsible design within a functional, durable framework.
“As landscape architects, we’re responsible for decoding and combining natural, cultural, and economic forces to influence the design of great places. We must respect nature and history, challenge convention, and imbue both reality and fantasy in our designs.”
Ryan C. Bauman
Ryan is an accomplished professional with proven experience aligning, managing, evaluating, and directing firmwide technological needs to meet and exceed strategic goals and growth. Leveraging both on-premise and cloud-based solutions, he drives the usage of cutting-edge tools and platforms to improve efficiencies, enhance project deliverables, and advance innovative business solutions. Ryan is responsible for all data, infrastructure, security, software, telecommunication, and virtualization systems. His team-driven mentality and determination in thinking outside the box help position EDSA at the forefront of technology.
“The accelerating pace by which technology is changing has daily implications on what is leading-edge and obsolete. An open mind that adapts and embraces technological advancements is necessary at all levels in an organization to stay relevant, valued, and competitive in today’s marketplace.”
Ryan C. Clifton, PLA
By incorporating modern sensibility with artistic vision, Ryan’s work is site-specific and sensitive to regional conditions. Having worked on domestic projects as well as assignments in the Caribbean, Middle East, Latin America, and Asia, he has acquired an understanding of the relevance natural systems, patterns of settlement, and infrastructure has in creating a sense of place. He enjoys researching a site’s historic value, studying man-made and natural land uses and collaborating with clients for the best possible outcome.
“It is our responsibility to view every assignment as an opportunity to learn, teach, and explore the possibilities that creatively and functionally address each circumstance. It is this opportunity, along with understanding and respecting a particular place that makes for convincing and sustainable design solutions.”
Stacey J. Manzo
Stacey has accelerated the firm’s efforts to document business policies and procedures as well as improve internal controls and processes. As a Vice President and Controller, she is responsible for all financial reporting structures, internal accounting, cost control, and cash management. A certified public accountant, she also assists with financial forecasting and compliance matters. Providing strategic advice to management, Stacey is adept at identifying key risks factors and implementing mitigating controls that enhance the financial well-being of EDSA.
“Business success comes when we perform better today than yesterday – breaking our own records by meeting new challenges and improving efficiencies.”
Thomas J. McMacken
Tom possesses a masterful ability to produce and evaluate construction documents that not only complement the aesthetics of a design but deter complications during the construction process. His extensive site design experience has transcended into quality assurance processes and systems that contribute to the proper implementation of a client’s vision. With exposure to both design and construction, Tom serves as a firm resource for the review of contract drawings, specifications, and construction related procedures providing mentorship and training to employees in construction administration and observation. His efforts result in the appropriate application of purposeful detailing that showcases the overall design intent within the exacting use of logical materials and components for highly resolved built outcomes.
“The value of well-executed construction documents is not in solving, but preventing potential problems that could arise during construction."
Xiang Li, PLA
Xiang finds inspiration from travel, observation, and immersion into project context. Always searching for new innovations as a means to foster creativity, her designs originate from the outside in – where all aspects of a site’s program and surrounding environment are integrated with context, culture, and form. Formulating designs that elicit user emotion, Xiang’s use of sense-heightening materials and textures creates functional, unique, and meaningful places that reflect the regional fabric.
Bachelor of Architecture, Beijing Institute of Civil Engineering and Architecture.
“Every project represents a mark we leave on the planet – we always want to make it a good one, a sustainable and responsible one – one that touches peoples’ hearts.”
Yun Zhao, PLA
Yun brings a sense of human-centered design to his projects where the dynamics of the environment, social engagement, and sustainability have a shared context in elevating the user experience. Knowledgeable in all aspects of the design process, Yun has led many public and private projects, managed development teams, and collaborated with associated consultants in reaching the most appropriate design solutions for a site. He thoroughly considers a site’s natural and cultural history in creating nuanced designs that evolve with time and remain relevant to its community of users. Yun manages the day-to-day operations of the Shanghai Studio.
Bachelor of Architecture, South East University.
“It’s all about what people want, how they will access and use a space, and most importantly, how they feel while they are there.”