The LAF Board of Directors is a diverse group who bring experience and insights from landscape architecture practice, academia, industry, allied professions, and the nonprofit sector.
University Faculty Scholar and Professor
North Carolina State University
Kofi Boone is a University Faculty Scholar and Associate Professor of Landscape Architecture at NC State University in the College of Design. His work is in landscape architecture and environmental justice with a focus on democratic design and cultural landscapes. Kofi has worked professionally and academically for over 20 years. Kofi is on the LAF board because he wants to play an active role in implementing The New Landscape Declaration with an emphasis on advancing social equity through landscape architecture.
Kofi is engaged in many multidisciplinary efforts including Homeplace: Conversation Guides for Six Communities Rebuilding from Hurricane Matthew, 2018 ASLA Professional Honor Award Winner in Communications.
Immediate Past President
Global Market Director
Monte Wilson is Global Market Director for the Built Environment and Global Vice President of Jacobs where he works to create an integrated and expanded Built Environment strategy for architecture, interiors, building systems, and cities and places.
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 development, 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. 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 approach based on life’s principles.
Monte is passionate about city-scale sustainability and is focused on applying systems thinking to a range of urban and regional projects. He has worked on projects throughout the world, including China, Saudi Arabia, Oman, Australia, Columbia, Panama, Israel, North Africa, Canada, and Mexico. Monte is a graduate of the Landscape Architecture program at Texas A&M. He is an active member of the Urban Land Institute (ULI) and a charter member of the Congress for New Urbanism (CNU). He speaks globally on planning and design issues affecting our cities and communities.
Florida International University
Roberto Rovira is principal of Studio Roberto Rovira, Professor, and Chair of Landscape Architecture + Environmental and Urban Design at FIU. His research interests include ecological system visualization, landscape ecology as an element of contemporary urban environments, and art in landscape architecture. Roberto has been recognized nationally and internationally for his work as an educator and professional.
He is on the LAF board because it helps shape the future of landscape architecture and because of its commitment to research and scholarship in higher education and beyond. Roberto has completed over 30 exhibits and presentations of research, creative and professional work, and has exhibited his work in over 20 cities and 15 universities worldwide. Fast Company magazine selected his EcoAtlas ecosystem visualization project as a 2018 and 2020 World Changing Ideas finalist, and he earned the Emerging Voice award from the Architectural League, one of the most coveted awards in North American Architecture, which spotlights individuals and firms based in the U. S., Canada, and Mexico with distinct design voices and the potential to influence the disciplines of architecture, landscape architecture, and urbanism.
Vice President of Finance
Los Angeles, CA
Connie is a Principal and practice leader in open space economics at HR&A Advisors, an economic development and real estate consultancy with four decades of experience contributing to the planning and development of urban open spaces. With a background in planning, economic development, and downtown revitalization, Connie is inspired by the ability of public space to strengthen communities and create equitable and inclusive access to nature and recreation.
Connie holds a Master in City Planning from MIT and a Bachelor of Science in Economics from the Wharton School - University of Pennsylvania. Connie serves as the Managing Principal of the Los Angeles office of HR&A.
Vice President of Communication
MASS Design Group
Sierra began work with MASS in 2008 focusing on landscape architecture and joined full time in 2009 to finalize the design and oversee implementation of the Butaro Hospital, MASS’s first project. Currently, Sierra directs the ongoing design and implementation of MASS’s planning and architectural projects. Prior to joining MASS, Sierra worked for four years at James Corner Field Operations, primarily in design and oversight of the implementation of Section 1 of the New York City High Line. Sierra has taught graduate-level studios at various universities and from 2010-2012, Sierra served as Head of the Architecture Department at the Kigali Institute of Science and Technology (KIST) in Rwanda.
Sierra received her Bachelor of Arts in Art and Architectural History from Smith College and a Master of Landscape Architecture and a Master of Architecture from the University of Pennsylvania.
Vice President of Leadership
Alma Du Solier is a Landscape Architect and Studio Director at Hood Design Studio, a cultural practice in Oakland, CA which merges landscape architecture, public art, and urban design. She is also a registered architect in her native country of Mexico. Alma’s design approach builds on her dual design background and her interest in the meaningful integration of design with site and culture. Alma is a recurrent guest lecturer at UC Berkeley’s Department of Landscape Architecture and Environmental Planning.
Alma joined the LAF Board because of her admiration for LAF’s mission which, recognizes the transformative effect and power of influence landscape has in our cities and beyond. This is all so much more relevant today, and she strongly believes the only way to steer our future towards the right direction is to be proactive as general citizens, but more specifically as landscape architects.
Vice President of Development
Michael is the Chair of Landscape Architecture, Civil Engineering, and Ecology and sits on the Board of Directors at Sasaki, a global design firm with offices in Boston and Shanghai. Leading much of the firm’s work in Asia, he offers unique insight into the unprecedented transformation and urbanization of the region. Michael is a fierce advocate for the vital role that landscape architects play in shaping contemporary cities. Informed by a rigorous inquiry of economic, ecological, and cultural influences, he believes that the role of the designer is to make cities more livable, equitable, resilient, and just.
His work has been recognized with numerous awards from the American Planning Association, the Urban Land Institute, Fast Company, and other professional organizations. Michael is on the board of the Landscape Architecture Foundation because he is interested in spreading the mission of LAF to a global audience.
Vice President of Research
Co-Director of Urban Design
Ann Arbor, MI
Michael Johnson is the Co-Director of Urban Design at SmithGroup. Michael’s ability to understand and distill complex urban challenges spans catalytic landscape architecture and urban design projects in major American cities, innovative campus plans for top urban research universities and Fortune 500 companies, and international large-scale mixed-use development efforts.
Michael is proud to continue legacy involvement of SmithGroup (and JJR) in LAF as a member of the research committee where he is advancing the measurable role that placemaking and urban design can play in fostering healthy cities and supporting landscape and streetscape performance. He holds a bachelor’s degree in landscape architecture from Ball State University, and a master’s degree in urban design from the University of Michigan.
Vice President of Education
University of Florida
Alpa is passionate about combining process and product when working with communities to create an impact at scale through built environments that can address critical infrastructure issues. Alpa is the Executive Director of Critical Places, a non-profit based in India that works with marginalized communities for developing solutions to issues of the built environment. She is also the founding partner of her named mission-based design consultancy and Assistant Professor in the Department of Landscape Architecture at University of Florida. As an architect, landscape architect and urbanist, Alpa has worked on projects spanning the globe from India, Afghanistan, Abu Dhabi, Switzerland and USA, to realize the outstanding potential of as well as the limitations of strategic and operational leadership manifest in the design disciplines.
Alpa is a recipient of the Council of Educators in Landscape Architecture Award for Excellence in Design Studio Teaching, the Dumbarton Oaks Mellon Fellowship in Urban Landscape Studies, and the LAF Fellowship for Innovation and Leadership. Alpa has a Master of Urban Design from Harvard University's Graduate School of Design, a Master of Landscape Architecture from Louisiana State University, and a Bachelor of Architecture from NIT Raipur, India. She serves on the Editorial Board of the Journal of Architectural Education JAE, and the Alumni Council of Harvard Graduate School of Design.
New Orleans, LA
Austin Allen’s background in landscape architecture and documentary film reflects his dedication and approaches to problem solving and recovery projects in urban environments. Austin has worked on recovery projects in New Orleans since 2005 and in Haiti in 2010. Austin is part of the award-winning landscape architectural firm, Design Jones LLC, with Diane Jones Allen---recipients of the 2016 ASLA Community Service Award. Austin focuses on documenting cultural landscapes with works including “Claiming Open Spaces.” He is an Associate Professor of Practice in the School of Architecture at the University of Texas Arlington, where he currently serves as Interim Director of the Landscape Architecture Program. Austin is on the Board for the Black Landscape Architects Network (BlackLAN). He is a member of the Honorary Committee for Olmsted 200, the national celebration of Frederick Law Olmsted’s 200th birthday in 2022. Austin is also a team member recipient of the S.O.M. Foundation Award for 2020, the Greater Dallas Chamber of Commerce 2021 and the CAPPA Dean’s award 2021, all for work in Joppee and other Freedman’s Towns in North Texas along the Trinity River.
Natalia Beard is a Principal at the SWA Houston Studio. She has led design on large visionary planning projects and highly detailed installations in the US and internationally. Much of Natalia’s work focuses on the issues of urban resiliency and infrastructure. Focusing on the Gulf Coast region and Houston in particular, she leads teams that interface with multiple agencies to help plan and shape a built environment for the rapidly transforming region. Her projects become a dynamic confluence of industry, transportation networks, community, and ecological systems. Natalia is also passionate about elevating the cultural significance of places through the interpretive power of art. Be it an urban, industrial, or post-industrial context, she prioritizes maximizing the effects of design by grounding it in research of the cultural and historical heritage of sites and communities that inhabit them. Working in metropolitan regions in the US over the years, she has developed multiple approaches to incorporating art and cultural expression in large infrastructural environments.
President and Founder
For over three decades, Keith Bowers has been at the forefront of applied ecology. As the founder and president of Biohabitats, Keith has built a multidisciplinary organization focused on conservation planning, ecological restoration, and regenerative design. Biohabitats’ work spans the scale from site-specific ecosystem restoration projects involving coastal wetlands, urban rivers, temperate forests, and arid landscapes to regional watershed management and species conservation planning, to the development of green infrastructure and urban ecology planning for metropolitan areas throughout the country. Keith is a founding board member of the University of Pennsylvania’s Ian L. McHarg Center for Urbanism and Ecology. He also served on the board of the Society for Ecological Restoration for more than 10 years and on the board of the Wildlands Network for 6 years. He is a Fellow of the American Society of Landscape Architects and a Professional Wetland Scientist. He holds a Bachelor of Science in Landscape Architecture from West Virginia University and an honorary degree from the Conway School of Design.
Office of Jim Burnett (OJB)
San Diego, CA
Jim Burnett, FASLA, founded the Office of James Burnett in 1989 and has dedicated his career to creating meaningful spaces that challenge the conventional boundaries of landscape architecture. To date, OJB has garnered over eighty state and national design awards. Taking a multi disciplinary approach to his practice, Jim often works closely with design teams of highly-regarded architects, planners, artists, and other professionals and a diverse range of clients. Throughout his work, there has been a particularly strong focus on designing landscapes that promote healthy living. Most recently, his work has focused on the transformation of American cities through the creation of active public spaces. Jim’s work in this area restores connections between disparate sections within cities, providing open space with a purpose through innovative programming initiatives.
Jim has a Bachelor of Landscape Architecture from Louisiana State University and has been a member of the Louisiana State University Design Circle since 2000.
The Kresge Foundation
Alexa Bush is passionate about creating equitable and resilient cities. She is a Program Officer at the Kresge Foundation. The Kresge Foundation is a private, national foundation that works to expand opportunities in America’s cities through grantmaking and social investing in arts and culture, education, environment, health, human services and community development, nationally and in Detroit, Memphis and New Orleans. Previously, Alexa managed a team of planners and designers responsible for planning and implementing neighborhood development and landscape infrastructure projects on Detroit's east side. She has also been a project lead for Detroit's Reimagining the Civic Commons initiatives, working with a multi-sector team to improve civic engagement, equity, and environmental sustainability through reinvestment into neighborhood scale public spaces co-created with residents. Prior to her Detroit work, she gained diverse experience in communities across the US on urban design, historic landscape preservation and large-scale planning projects.
Alexa received her bachelor's degree in Visual and Environmental Studies from Harvard University and her master's in Landscape Architecture from the University of Virginia.
Orange County, CA
Mark Carlos is the Executive Director in charge of BrightView Design Group + Pre-Development Services, the international landscape architecture and planning arm of BrightView. In this role, Mark leads the Design Group by establishing and executing the strategic vision by driving growth, business planning, market penetration and leadership training of the practice. Mark works closely with the Design Group’s Principals to determine and effectively implement best practices in each studio. He also works with key leaders in BrightView’s Landscape Development and Landscape Services divisions to help advance the firms innovative Design-Build initiative.
Richard D. Centolella, PLA, FASLA, is a principal at EDSA and manages EDSA’s Baltimore Studio. He specializes in resort design, community planning, and large-scale master planning. He holds a Bachelor of Landscape Architecture from the State University of New York College of Environmental Science and Forestry. He joined EDSA in 1985.
Keiko is a Principal at WRT with nearly two decades of experience working on both urban design and landscape architecture projects. With degrees in landscape architecture, architecture, and engineering, Keiko uses her interdisciplinary training to provide an integral design process and unique perspective to transforming urban landscape through the lens of local, cultural, and natural significance. Her projects have included the 2017 Ruby Bruner Award Gold Medalist for Urban Excellence SteelStacks Arts & Cultural Campus in Bethlehem, PA, the ASLA award-winning Georgetown Waterfront Park, FDR Park Vision Master Plan in Philadelphia, PA, Crystal City: A Placemaking Framework in Crystal City, VA, Trinity River Vision Master Plan and Design Guideline in Dallas, TX, and Principal Riverwalk in Des Moines, IA. In addition, Keiko maintains her architectural license in Japan, which has led to a number of international projects for WRT including the Daiichi Mutual Life Insurance Office Landscape in Kanagawa, Japan, Harvest Walk Vision Master Plan, and SCBD Lot 10 Development in Jakarta, Indonesia.
Kansas City, MO
Tim Duggan is Founding Partner of Phronesis with offices in Kansas City and New Orleans. Phronesis is a landscape architecture and urban design studio focused almost entirely on creating regenerative infrastructure and community systems within the public realm. His landscape architecture career began in the Midwest where he collaborated on a wide range of projects from post-disaster community planning initiatives to complex green infrastructure urban design strategies.
Most recently, Tim developed over 200 LEED Platinum Landscapes with his role as Director of Innovations for the Make it Right Foundation. He managed their transformative community projects based in New Orleans, Kansas City, Newark, and the Fort Peck Indian Reservation while working extensively with local community organizations and individuals. Tim was named a Metropolis magazine 2012 Game Changer for his ambitious experiments in landscape design. Tim has served as a speaker and guest critic on sustainable site solutions for many organizations including ASLA, AIA, and GreenBuild, and has served as an adjunct professor and guest critic for Tulane University, Kansas State University, and the University of Missouri-Kansas City.
University of Washington
Jenn Engelke, PLA, ASLA, is a licensed landscape architect and a PhD Candidate in the Interdisciplinary Program of the Built Environment at University of Washington. Her research interests focus on ecological design and restoration and storytelling through design. Jenn is exploring the interaction between people and land that can occur in designed landscapes at shorelines. Jenn’s private practice experiences in Austin, TX and Chicago, IL involved projects spanning from community planning to ecological restoration and ranging in scale from 30,000 acre planning efforts and 700+ acre restorations to urban residential settings.
Jenn completed her Master of Landscape Architecture at Kansas State University.
Dorothy Faris, Principal at multi-disciplinary design firm, Mithun, is one of the design leaders of the landscape architecture practice. Her ability to think across scales — from master planning large sites to specifics of construction details — and collaborative approach makes her a valuable team member. With a background in ceramics and art history, Dorothy was attracted to landscape architecture as an art form that enhances our built environments. With over 14 years’ experience, her conceptually driven design approach and interest in ecological process have led to the creation of many successful and unique civic spaces.
Dorothy was inspired by the 2016 Summit and LAF’s focus on diversifying the landscape architecture profession to join the LAF board. She holds a Master of Landscape Architecture from the University of Washington and is a member of ASLA and a graduate of the ULI Center for Sustainable Leadership.
San Antonio, TX
Elaine Kearney leads TBG San Antonio as Managing Principal where she works to create compelling landscapes rooted in the ecology and unique environment of the Edwards Plateau region. Before returning to her native Texas, Elaine practiced in Cambridge, MA and Portland, OR for over a decade. Her background also includes academic engagements across a number of universities and firms. She has taught at Trinity University, Boston Architecture Center, Portland State University, and served as a guest critic at UT San Antonio.
She earned her Master of Landscape Architecture from the Harvard Graduate School of Design. Before that, she attended Trinity University where she earned her Bachelor of Arts in Economics and graduated Magna Cum Laude.
Elaine believes that the issues of our time require the nuanced voices of landscape architects and was attracted to serving on LAF’s board, in part, by our emphasis on future practitioners. She’s excited to play a role in expanding diversity and access to landscape architecture education through LAF’s scholarship programs.
As a landscape architect, educator and ecologist, Emily approaches every project as an opportunity to celebrate the intersection of natural and cultural narratives of place through design. Her professional practice and research spans internationally, leading conversations within the design and planning communities on maximizing landscapes to perform social and environmental services. She has worked on a wide range of award-winning projects across the world that are models for integrating environmental, social and economic sustainability in artful and inspiring ways. Emily is a published author and Associate Professor at NC State University, where she holds a Master of Landscape Architecture degree and a GIS certificate. She has a Bachelor of Science degree in Ecology, Evolution and Environmental Biology, and studied Restoration Ecology at the University of Idaho. Emily remains passionate about her service to organizations such as the Landscape Architecture Foundation, where she has served on the Education Committee since 2014 and now the Board of Directors, in addition to serving on the Pennsylvania State University Stuckeman School Board, and the Awesome Raleigh Foundation.
SiteOne Landscape Supply, LLC
Scott Neeley is the Director of Sales Operations and Performance at SiteOne Landscape Supply, LLC. Scott is responsible for the overall productivity and effectiveness of SiteOne's East division sales efforts by leading and supporting sales operations and processes from the field. Focused on driving organic sales growth and dynamic market share gains while working closely with leadership to ensure the appropriate objectives and priorities are enabled and supported within the sales division to ensure growth goals are achieved annually. Scott's career as an executive leader in sales, operations, and learning and development spans 24 years with experience in industrial tools, consumer products, and perimeter access security in the manufacturer and distribution industry. Functional expertise includes sales management, operations, channel marketing, training, and recruitment. Scott has an exemplary track record of exceeding business unit results and cultivating culture while attracting and retaining talent within an organization.
New York, NY
Signe Nielsen, FASLA, is a principal of MNLA (formerly known as Mathews Nielsen Landscape Architects), located in New York City. Founded in 1994, the firm focuses on advancing resilience and equity across a spectrum of public and not-for-profit projects, primarily in the northeast. Signe is particularly engaged in projects that seek to change outmoded policies through advocacy, design, and research. Outside of her practice, Signe is the President of NYC’s Public Design Commission, an agency of city government that reviews all projects and artworks built on city property. Over the past ten years, she has served on multiple panels initiated by the US Green Building Council and Mayor’s Office on Sustainability to recommend changes to existing codes to promote environmental responsibility and to create guidelines for critical facilities based on climate change predictions. In addition, Signe is a professor at Pratt Institute where she has taught for nearly 40 years. As a founding partner of MNLA, she is driven by the intersection of design and policy and how these two different drivers of action can be aligned to harness stakeholder endorsement and public benefit.
Signe's interest in joining the Board of LAF is a clear outgrowth of her years of commitment to advocacy and change as well as to advancing the reach of landscape architects. LAF is a small but mighty organization with long arms in terms of its reach within the profession and beyond. It is my honor and pleasure to contribute to the goals, principles, and advocacy of this exemplary organization.
New York, NY
Kate Orff is a landscape architect envisioning new forms of public space that reveal and revive the hidden ecological systems underlying our built environments and encourage urban residents to become active stewards of their natural surroundings. As founding principal of SCAPE, a landscape architecture and urban design studio, Kate's work ranges from large-scale coastal infrastructure initiatives to the design of city parks, as well as book-length publications, museum exhibitions, and self-guided podcast tours that invite city dwellers to explore the natural histories of their regions. Kate received a Bachelor of Arts (1993) from the University of Virginia and a Master of Landscape Architecture (1997) from Harvard University. She is the author of Toward an Urban Ecology (2016) and co-editor of Gateway: Visions for an Urban National Park (2011). She is an associate professor and director of the Urban Design Program in the Graduate School of Architecture, Planning, and Preservation at Columbia University.
Breeze Outlaw is a landscape designer at Sasaki. Through restorative, futurist frameworks that emphasize justice, Breeze addresses the perceptual and physical interpretations of equitable and just access to public space. Breeze's work includes collaborations with community stakeholders, artists, organizers, and municipalities on projects that address challenges ranging from food access disparities, gentrification, and affirming spaces for Black womxn, non-binary, and femmes. Breeze holds a Bachelor of Architecture and a Master of Landscape Architecture from North Carolina State University. Breeze is a 2016 LAF Olmsted Scholar and the co-founder of Blackscapes, an initiative that explores the intersection of the Black experience in the built environment.
Richard Roark is a landscape architect and partner at OLIN. Physical and social resilience are the principle drivers in his work, which spans a range of scales and types from planning a climate adaptation plan for New York’s food distribution system, to building a resilience park in Hoboken New Jersey, organizing a community based economy in the Eastern Market of Detroit, and connecting Los Angeles across the 51 miles of the LA River. Richard is committed to bringing communities together in the public realm while ensuring development creates value without displacement, is socially just, and creates opportunities for many.
Margie Simmons is the Chief Executive Officer at Landscape Forms. Margie has a passion for design, people, and continuous improvement. At Landscape Forms, she is building upon the solid foundation laid over the past 50 years and focusing on new ways to expand the company’s reach. Margie graduated from the Eli Broad College of Business at Michigan State University and studied marketing, labor relations, and communications at Purdue University. She began her career as a CPA with Ernst & Young followed by executive leadership in the architecture industry.
Mayors' Institute on City Design
Trinity Simons helps local leaders across the nation improve their communities, bringing together her advanced training in architecture and planning with a conviction about the importance of the built environment and respect for the democratic process. For the last decade, she has served as the executive director of the Mayors’ Institute on City Design (MICD). At MICD, she works with mayors across the country on the nation’s most pressing urban planning and design challenges. Trinity speaks and writes frequently about the intersection of design and politics, and how design is a tool that can help mayors creatively address numerous challenges simultaneously, including equity, affordability, and sustainability. Under her leadership, in 2021, MICD was awarded the Landscape Architecture Foundation’s Founders’ Award, its highest honor for organizations.
Trinity has a Bachelor of Architecture from the Fay Jones School at the University of Arkansas and a Master of City Planning with a focus on city design and real estate development from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
Project Manager, Associate
San Francisco, CA
Roana Tirado has over 12 years of experience in landscape, open space planning and community engagement in the bay area. Throughout her career, she has donated her time to working with youth and underserved communities to increase access to open space. Roana has been nationally recognized for her service work as well as completing a competitive fellowship with the Piero N. Patri Fellowship in Urban Design where she created a visioning project for the historically underserved community of Bayview Hunters Point in Southeast San Francisco. Roana has been working as a Senior Designer and Project Manager with HOK since 2014, where she continues to pursue her local community engagement work among other project endeavors.
Roana received her Bachelor of Landscape Architecture from the University of California, Berkeley and a Master of Landscape Architecture and a Master of City Regional Planning from Cornell University.
Los Angeles, CA
Chris Torres is a landscape and urban designer creating public spaces that merge extraordinary experiences, everyday culture and resilient systems. He is currently the principal of Superjacent Studio and Vice President of the Jerde Partnership. He has a decade of domestic and international experience creating projects ranging from urban and ecological systems to site specific interventions. Prior to co-founding Superjacent, Chris practiced at Rios Clementi Hale Studios, Walt Disney Imagineering, Skidmore Owings & Merrill and the public art program at LA METRO. Beyond his work as a practitioner, he was a visiting researcher of Urban Design at the Queensland University of Technology, lecturer in Landscape Architecture and Urbanism at USC, Vice President of the LA Forum for Architecture and Urban Design and member of Mayor Garcetti’s Great Street’s design advisory committee. He received a Bachelor of Arts in Urban Studies from Loyola Marymount University and a Master of Landscape Architecture from UC Berkeley, where he co-founded the GROUND UP Journal.
Founder and Principal
Ernest C. Wong, Founder and Principal of site design group, ltd. (site), has been instrumental in the development of both the firm and the landscape architecture profession in the City of Chicago. In managing the firm for over 29 years, site has established a reputation for creative design solutions, and thoughtful, community-oriented urban spaces. An advocate of contextually designed public open spaces and urban parks, Ernest has directed numerous acclaimed projects including Mary Bartelme Park, Henry Palmisano Park (formerly Stearns Quarry), and Argyle Shared Street. Recent projects include Positioning Pullman, the McCormick Square development, the River Edge Ideas Lab, the Old Chicago Post Office redevelopment, and the new Riverwalk East.
Through professional and service leadership, Ernest has advocated for and helped shaped Chicago’s Chinatown community through transformative, community-oriented projects including the multi-phased Tom Memorial Park, the Chinatown Vision Plan, the Chinatown Branch Library, Cermak Road Streetscape, Wentworth Avenue Streetscape, Cermak Green Line Station, and the ongoing Wells and Wentworth Connector. He is a strong proponent of civic and community engagement, sits on the board of numerous service organizations and professional juries including the Driehaus Award for Architectural Excellence in Community Design, Near South Planning Board, and the Chicago Landmarks Commission. In addition, Ernest is a frequent speaker at universities as well as design, business, and diversity conferences, including serving as the keynote speaker at the National Minority Supplier Development Council in 2016.
Ex Officio Representatives
Immediate Past President
American Society of Landscape Architects
Ann Arbor, MI
Tom Mroz, FASLA, was President of the American Society of Landscape Architects 2020-2021. He is a Senior Vice President with SmithGroup where he has spent his entire 35-year career, working in numerous positions from entry level landscape architect, senior landscape architect, project manager, studio leader, director of operations to his current position as director of the firm’s Ann Arbor office. His work style encompasses an analytical approach and a passion for teamwork, with a strong belief that an integrated team can accomplish much more than any one individual.
Tom received a Bachelor of Science degree in Horticulture from the University of Maryland, and Master of Landscape Architecture and Master of Business Administration degrees from the University of Michigan. He is a licensed landscape architect in 20 states and is LEED accredited.
University of Texas at Arlington
Dr. Taner Özdil is Assosciate Professor in the Graduate Program in Landscape Architecture and is also Associate Director for Research at The Center for Metropolitan Density at The University of Texas at Arlington. His scholarly and professional works lie in the interdisciplinary areas of design and planning fields. Dr. Özdil’s research activities focus on economical, environmental and social value creation through design and planning with particular emphasis on mixed-use developments, transit oriented developments and districts, and high density urban areas. He teaches graduate level courses that focus on urban design, urban landscape, environmental planning and Geodesign (GIS) with specific concentration to North Texas region.