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.
Florida International University
Roberto Rovira, PhD, FASLA, PLA, is Principal of Studio Roberto Rovira, and 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.
For Roberto, LAF’s commitment to the future of the profession through its leadership by example, support for new and established voices in our field, forward-thinking programming, and role as an effective facilitator of innovative thinking and research is a constant inspiration.
Roberto’s work has received honors in over 10 open and public international competitions and has been recognized by state and national ASLA, and by CELA, AIA, APA, and Fast Company Magazine World Changing Ideas. 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.
Michael is the Chair of Landscape Architecture, Civil Engineering, and Ecology and sits on the Board of Directors at Sasaki. Leading the much of the firm’s international work, he offers unique insight into the impacts of urbanization in rapidly growing cities around the world. Michael's career spans a variety of project types and scales including regional planning, urban districts, and waterfronts. He collaborates closely with clients, consultants, stakeholders, and a host of allied professionals to generate planning and design strategies that result in visionary yet pragmatic solutions.
Michael is a fierce advocate for the vital role that landscape architects play in shaping contemporary society, and believes that the role of the designer is to make cities more livable, equitable, resilient, and just. He was attracted to serving on the LAF Board of Directors because he feels that landscape architects need to foster collaboration within and beyond our professional expertise to exchange best practices, increase dialogue, remain curious, and be more visible as thought leaders. Landscape architects must claim a strategic seat at the table where decisions impacting the future of the planet are made, and Michael feels that LAF’s focus on expanding diversity in the profession is critical to ensure that a variety of perspectives, expertise, and lived experiences result in more inclusive solutions to the pressing social and environmental issues of our time.
Immediate Past President
University Faculty Scholar and Professor
North Carolina State University
Kofi Boone, FASLA, is a Joseph D. Moore Distinguished Professor and University Faculty Scholar at NC State University. Kofi is a Detroit native and a graduate of the University of Michigan. His work is in the overlap between landscape architecture and environmental justice with specializations in democratic design and interpreting cultural landscapes. He has published broadly and is the winner of student and professional ASLA awards including the Jot D. Carpenter Teaching Medal. He is Director of the Just Communities Lab and serves on the boards of Black Landscape Architects Network and the Land Loss Prevention Project. Kofi loves how The Landscape Architecture Foundation focuses on the future of the profession and invests in the growth and development of its future leaders.
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 Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion
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.
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 Leadership
Alma Du Solier is a Mexican-American Landscape Architect and the Studio Director at Hood Design Studio, an award-winning cultural practice based in Oakland, CA, which merges landscape architecture, public art, and urban design. Alma has a Bachelor’s in Architecture from ITESM (Mexico), and a Master’s degree in Landscape Architecture from the University of California, Berkeley. She has been practicing in the U.S. since 1999, where she has been the lead designer for a wide range of projects primarily in complex urban settings. Alma is a recurrent guest lecturer for advanced design studios at UC Berkeley.
She joined the LAF Board because of her admiration for LAF’s mission which recognizes the transformative effect landscape has in our cities and beyond. She focuses her time at LAF contributing to the programs that provide direct support to students and young professionals.
Vice President of Education
University of Florida
Alpa Nawre, PLA, 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 teaches urban design and landscape architecture at the University of Florida and also leads ‘Critical Places’, a non-profit based in India that works with marginalized communities for developing solutions to issues of the built environment. Her scholarship on vernacular water infrastructure systems of water management in India has been published in diverse venues such as Journal of Landscape Architecture, Landscape Journal, Thresholds, and similar. 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.
To bring about any kind of change takes concerted effort – Alpa is humbled and excited by the opportunity to serve on the LAF Board to contribute towards deliberate, positive change in the ways of the world and advancement of the landscape architecture discipline.
Vice President of Development
San Antonio, TX
Elaine Kearney, PLA, 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 in 2015, Elaine practiced in Cambridge, MA and Portland, OR. Her background also includes academic engagements at such institutions as Trinity University, Boston Architecture Center and Portland State University. Elaine was honored as the recipient of the 2022 Texas ASLA Service Award for her commitment to advancing landscape architecture causes in Texas and beyond.
Elaine believes that the issues of our time require the nuanced voices of landscape architects and was attracted to serving on the LAF Board of Directors, in part, by LAF’s 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.
Vice President of Research
New York, NY
Signe Nielsen, FASLA, is a Founding Principal of MNLA and has been practicing as a landscape architect and urban designer since 1978. Her body of work has consistently renewed the environmental integrity and transformed the quality of spaces for those who live, work, and play in the urban realm. 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.
A Fellow of the ASLA, she is the recipient of multiple national and local design awards for public open space projects and is a Professor of Urban Design and Landscape Architecture at Pratt Institute. Born in Paris, Ms. Nielsen holds degrees in Urban Planning from Smith College; in Landscape Architecture from City College of New York; and in Construction Management from Pratt Institute.
New Orleans, LA
Austin Allen (PhD, FASLA) approaches urban environments with works including “Claiming Open Spaces.” He has worked on disaster recovery in New Orleans since 2005 and in Haiti in 2010. Allen is part of the landscape architectural firm, Design Jones LLC, with Diane Jones Allen---recipients, 2016 ASLA Community Service Award.
He is the Interim Associate Dean of the College of Architecture, Planning and Public Affairs and an Associate Professor of Practice in the School of Architecture, University of Texas at Arlington. Allen was Associate Professor at the Louisiana State University, School of Landscape Architecture. He was also Associate Professor/ Chair of Landscape Architecture at the University of Colorado Denver and an Associate Professor of Film/Communication at Cleveland State University.
Allen received the Distinguished Alumni Award in March 2017 from the College of Environmental Design at the University of California Berkeley. Work includes “Site of the Unseen: The Racial Gaming of American Landscapes,” in, Black Landscapes Matter by Walter Hood and Grace Mitchell Tada, 2020. He is a team member recipient of the S.O.M. Foundation Award for 2020, for work in Joppee and Freedman’s Towns in North Texas on the Trinity River. Allen also is on the Honorary Committee for Olmsted 200, celebrating Frederick Law Olmsted’s 200th birthday.
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.
Vice President, Managing Director
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.
Ink Landscape Architects
Sandra Nam Cioffi is the Founding Principal of Ink Landscape Architects, PLLC (INK), a certified MWBE practice, whose portfolio of work is defined by the art of craft, deep cultural research, regional ecology, and elevating the human experience in the built and digital environments. Drawing upon her experience as a marketing manager in New York City’s beauty industry and at the Nature Conservancy, Sandra launched INK to push the boundaries of landscape architecture and to help redesign how we approach the practice of convening people & community and creating meaningful landscapes.
While working at two excellent firms, Sandra designed and managed complex urban, institutional, and cultural projects across the United States and abroad. Her work has been recognized by the Virginia and Potomac Chapters of ASLA, AIA|DC, and is a 2012 University Olmsted Scholar, awarded by the Landscape Architecture Foundation.
In addition to her role at INK, Sandra is the Chief Executive Officer at QiqoChat, a trustee on the board of the Ecological Landscape Alliance, a steering committee member of PDC/ASLA-NY/FAF Streetscapes for Wellness, and volunteer for Green Schoolyards America in the New York Hudson Valley region. Sandra is a licensed landscape architect in New York and Virginia. She holds a Master of Landscape Architecture from Virginia Tech’s Washington-Alexandria Architecture Center and a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Chicago.
Sandra sees her time on the LAF Board as an opportunity to learn, grow, and innovate alongside other emerging leaders in the field and those who have had more practice. She looks forward to joining the Board for three main reasons: to observe the future of leadership, to learn non-profit financial management, and to be a part of advancing LAF’s mission.
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.
New York, NY
Gonzalo Cruz, ASLA, is the Design Principal for Metro New York and leads AECOM’s Urbanism + Planning Practice locally as well as strategic collaborations across the Americas and abroad. His award-winning studio portfolio incorporates traditional forms of practice as well as large-scale infrastructure as it is driven by public realm design. Gonzalo’s diverse professional accomplishments are rooted in his interdisciplinary background. In recent years, he has been creating innovative work at the intersection of large-scale infrastructure and placemaking with a focus of coastal resilience design, including South Battery Park City Resilience Wagner Park and Pier A Plaza, Brooklyn Montgomery Coastal Resilience Open Space and Hoboken Cove Waterfront Park to name a few. His practice has received awards from ASLA, AIA, NYC by Design and the Chicago Atheneum Design Excellence Award in Open Space design for World Trade Center’s Liberty Park. Gonzalo holds a Bachelor of Architecture from the City College of New York and a Master of Landscape Architecture from Harvard University’s Graduate School of Design.
University of Washington
Jenn Engelke, ASLA, PLA, is a licensed landscape architect and a PhD Candidate in the Interdisciplinary Program of the Built Environment (BE PhD) at University of Washington. Her research investigates how urban waterfront landscapes can reveal human/more-than-human narratives and engage community in meaningful ways. Additionally, she is examining constructed floating wetlands in the Seattle landscape. Prior to academia, Jenn’s private practice experiences in Austin, TX and Chicago, IL involved projects spanning from community planning to ecological restoration and ranging from 30,000-acre planning efforts and 700+-acre restorations to urban residential settings. Jenn completed her MLA at Kansas State University and was the KSU 2012 Olmsted Scholar.
Jenn appreciates LAF’s emphasis on evidence-based practice and research as well as their support of students. She is excited to work with current and past Olmsted Scholars to broaden the network and continue engagement of emerging professionals through research, scholarship, and leadership.
Hoerr Schaudt Landscape Architects
Kansas City, MO
Rob Gray is a principal at Hoerr Schaudt Landscape Architects where he leads their Kansas City studio. With over 20 years of experience in the profession Rob is a creatively driven landscape architect and planner, providing design leadership across multiple facets of the built environment and public realm. With unique visualization, representation and communication skills, Rob is able to inspire community dialog and make abstract concepts more tangible.
Rob has a broad range of experience spanning the fields of planning and landscape architecture, including streetscape design, campus and community planning, healthcare, public parks, botanical and zoological gardens and theme parks. With this breadth of expertise Rob has developed a strong commitment to developing solutions that evoke the spirit of a place in each design; drawing inspiration from both site and program to create settings that immerse the user in an enriching and memorable environment. Rob has a passion for sustainability in design and has been involved in the development of numerous complex projects that thoughtfully integrate green infrastructure in the public realm. He approaches sustainability as a key aspect of the design with innovative solutions that place strong emphasis on both the visibility and performance of sustainable practices in the built environment.
Rob received his Bachelor of Landscape Architecture from Louisiana State University and his Master of Landscape Architecture from the Harvard Graduate School of Design where he was a recipient of the Janet Darling Webel Prize for Design.
Rob believes the work landscape architects do ensures the future health of our people and planet. As part of the LAF Board, Rob is excited to be given the responsibility to promote the profession while cultivating the next generation of passionate practitioners.
Los Angeles, CA
Clarence Lacy is a Project Director at RIOS. His experience working in Toronto, the San Francisco Bay area, and Los Angeles works to transform the way we think about cities - using landscape architecture to express inclusively the individuals’ voices to unify, inspire, and enlighten communities. Throughout his career, Clarence has been dedicated to increasing pathways into the profession for BIPOC students, creating equitable access to public space and examining scaled impacts of environmental justice.
Clarence holds a Bachelor of Science in Community and Regional Planning from Iowa State University and a Masters of Landscape Architecture from University of Toronto, where he has recently been a part of the Landscape Architecture Faculty’s committee to develop tools for an Anti-racist curriculum.
With LAF, Clarence is looking forward to initiatives that address the growing inequities around climate change and access to nature and quality green space. He is also wants to make the profession more accessible and supportive of Black and Brown students and young professionals.
Chief Executive Officer & Principal
Fort Lauderdale, FL
B. Scott LaMont, PLA, ASLA, is a 25-year veteran of EDSA. As CEO, his responsibilities include overseeing the 180-person firm, setting the tone of a firmwide culture, and developing a growth strategy that prioritizes design excellence. Possessing a collaborative style, LaMont has a proven track record in leading teams, projects, and strategic initiatives. In addition to his leadership role at EDSA, he is currently involved in several project initiatives, which include the revitalization of Fort Lauderdale, Florida’s Food and Technology Village, the redevelopment of The Boca Raton resort, along with various international planning efforts. Optimistic and a critical thinker, his domestic and international experience spans large scale planning assignments to mixed-use, residential, hospitality, and urban works that have strengthened EDSA’s reputation as a creative leader. LaMont holds a bachelor’s degree in landscape architecture from the University of Florida, where he currently serves as
Scott is looking forward to joining the Landscape Architecture Foundation Board of Directors because he strongly believes in the profession’s ability to shape the future through resilient design solutions. During Scott’s time on the board, he hopes to use his personal experiences to problem solve and contribute to thoughtful conversations while supporting the mission and initiatives of the organization.
New York, NY
Alexis C. Landes is Managing Principal at SCAPE, where she oversees firm-wide business development, project development, and finances. She liaises with clients to understand their needs, working within SCAPE to develop tailored design solutions, operational strategies, and project teams. Over the past 8 years, she has overseen the firm's expansion from one office with 12 staff members to 3 offices with nearly 100 staff members. As an experienced landscape designer and urban planner, Alexis has led the project teams for the Resilient Boston Harbor Vision and subsequent coastal resilience plan for the Dorchester neighborhood in the city. In her role at LAF, she works with fellow board members and affiliated groups to advance collaborative leadership across the field of landscape architecture, advocating for diversity of voices across the Foundation's work and professional practice at large.
Recently profiled in Madame Architect on her leadership role at SCAPE, she frequently lectures about operational strategies for firm growth and practice across the U.S. From 2013 to 2018, Alexis was an adjunct faculty member at the Rhode Island School of Design. Alexis holds a Bachelor’s in Visual Arts and Sociology from Oberlin College and a Master’s in Landscape Architecture from Harvard University.
Ann Arbor, MI
Lauren Leighty, PLA, ASLA, LEED AP BD+C, is a Principal and Campus Studio Leader with SmithGroup. She is a trusted partner to many respected higher education institutions across the country, helping them plan for their futures and address the multi-layered challenges they are facing. Notable clients include top research universities such as the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, North Carolina State University, Boston University, Auburn University, and the University of California, Riverside.
As both an urban designer and a landscape architect, Lauren is skilled at working across scales. She artfully translates an institution’s strategic vision, identity, regional context, and physical framework into solutions that are both visionary and achievable. Lauren received her Bachelor of Landscape Architecture degree from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and her Master of Urban Design from the University of Michigan. She is a member of SmithGroup’s Board of Directors and the University of Michigan’s Taubman College Alumni Council.
Lauren is incredibly honored to continue the rich legacy of SmithGroup’s (formerly JJR) involvement with LAF. Lauren was fortunate to be one of the over 700 landscape architects to gather in Philadelphia in 2016 to craft a new vision for landscape architecture for the 21st century – The New Landscape Declaration. Six years later, Lauren is excited to join LAF’s Board of Directors as an opportunity to magnify her own capacity to influence change, and also to work alongside her peers in landscape architecture to translate energy and passion into action.
Emily McCoy, PLA, SITES AP, ASLA is an Associate Professor of Practice at NCSU and Principal at Design Workshop, an internationally renowned design firm specializing in landscape architecture, urban planning and strategic services with eight studios in the U.S. and projects spanning the globe. Emily leads Design Workshop’s Raleigh Studio and serves on Design Workshop’s Board of Directors. 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 and innovative technologies. Throughout her career Emily has remained passionate about her service to the community and serves on the Landscape Architecture Foundation’s Board of Directors, Pennsylvania State University Stuckeman School Advisory Board, the North Carolina State University LAEP Advisory Board, Volunteers for Partners for Environmental Justice, and the Awesome Raleigh Foundation.
Jade Paul is a landscape architecture principal for Jacobs. For over two decades Jade has dedicated her career to design inspired by natural processes, based on the notion that ecology and vibrant people-centered space can thrive simultaneously. She leads Jacobs’ nature positive strategies for the Americas and has worked with organizations such as the Institute for Sustainable Infrastructure and the Urban Land Institute to advance regenerative design and implementation strategies.
She holds a Bachelor of Landscape Architecture and a Bachelor of Science in Environmental Design from North Dakota State University, where she is a current board member on the School of Design, Art, and Architecture Advisory Board.
Jade is humbled and thrilled to join the LAF board. She truly believes landscape architects are a key in solving our climate crisis because landscape architects have a deep understanding of how nature can give back, balance, add beauty, and self-repair, simultaneously.
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.
National Account Manager
SiteOne Landscape Supply
Grand Rapids, MI
Steve Schepers is a National Account Manager for SiteOne Landscape Supply, LLC. Steve acts as a conduit of information to ensure customer accounts with a national presence are collaborating with SiteOne team members to ensure efficient operations. Steve’s career in the landscape industry spans 40 years, as a business owner and sales management for an irrigation manufacturer where he worked with Landscape Architects, contractors, and end users to embrace water conservation. He is also passionate about community outreach that includes designing irrigation systems for food banks to low-cost agricultural irrigation design in water scarce countries in Africa.
Margie Simmons is the Chief Executive Officer at Landscape Forms. She 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 is now 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. Margie feels that the Landscape Architecture Foundation’s leadership and Board members are amazing people who share a common purpose and that serving on the LAF Board alongside them is inspiring!
Mayors' Institute on City Design
Trinity Simons has served as the executive director of the Mayors’ Institute on City Design (MICD) since 2012. In this role, she works with mayors across the country on the nation’s most pressing urban planning and design challenges. She speaks about the intersection of design and politics at universities, events, and symposia across the country.
During MICD sessions and throughout the year, Trinity adds to her deep understanding of mayors’ challenges and needs, forming long-standing relationships with local leaders around the country. During the COVID-19 pandemic, she led the Institute’s transition to serving mayors in a virtual environment, including the creation of new program offerings, such as Mayors’ Virtual Seminars, MICD Alumni Technical Assistance, and the MICD Just City Mayoral Fellowship (in partnership with the Just City Lab at the Harvard GSD). Under her leadership, in 2021, MICD was awarded the Landscape Architecture Foundation’s Founders’ Award, its highest honor for organizations.
Trinity believes that in shaping our public realm, landscape architects have the ability to expand conceptions of inclusion, justice, and beauty in our cities. She hopes to use her time on the LAF Board to broaden the influence of landscape architecture.
New York, NY
Gary Sorge, FASLA, AICP, is the Landscape Architecture Practice Lead for global design firm, Stantec. His 35-year career has been dedicated to advancing a collaborative and systems-based approach to landscape architecture as it intersects with transportation, ecosystem, public realm, and community design. Leading nearly 300 landscape architects, designers, and technicians, Gary’s breadth of knowledge from ecology to economics yields a richly grounded practice. Under his leadership, the practice has maintained a longstanding focus on the role of landscape architecture in addressing complex infrastructure renewal and adaptation challenges.
Gary has led major interdisciplinary projects from planning to implementation. He is a fellow with the American Society of Landscape Architects and has held numerous elected and appointed civic positions with a focus on conservation, education, preservation, and economic sustainability.
As an LAF Board member, Gary hopes to help broaden our presence as interdisciplinary leaders, elevate STEM education to best prepare practitioners for the technical environmental challenges facing our communities today, build awareness of and access to the profession, and establish fairness in compensation so that students and emerging professionals can foresee life-long careers in practice.
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.
Founder and Principal
Ernest C. Wong, fASLA, PLA, APA, Founder and Principal of site, has been instrumental in the evolution of the firm as a multi-cultural innovative and socially-conscious design entity. Based in Chicago, Illinois and managing the firm since 1990, site has established a reputation for creative design solutions and developing thoughtful, community-oriented urban spaces throughout the country. Through a generous proportion of civic and community engagement, Ernest has elevated and fostered the landscape architecture profession in the City of Chicago and on a national scale. Serving on numerous boards, service organizations and professional juries including the Driehaus Foundation Award for Architectural Excellence in Community Design, Chinese American Service League, City Parks Alliance, Student Conservation Association and currently the Chair of the Chicago Landmarks Commission, Ernest believes that service that impacts others can elevate the profession of Landscape Architecture to a higher degree.
Ernest feels that the value of serving on the LAF Board is yet another avenue to elevating the profession. Particularly in changing the face of the profession to a more diverse and equitable profession, the work that lies ahead sits squarely on a new and upcoming generation of professionals. Solving societal and climate change problems through landscape architecture is paramount and seeing the opportunity with young professionals is both inspiring and comforting.
Ex Officio Representatives
American Society of Landscape Architects
Eugenia M. Martin, FASLA, has been making significant and notable contributions to the practice of landscape architecture for close to 25 years, working in both the public and private sector. Her leadership, experience, and vision for making the world a better place is coupled with an unbridled passion for landscape architecture and the engagement of fellow design professionals.
Martin has been recognized nationally, regionally, and locally for her enthusiasm for the profession and her desire to advance the values of landscape architects. She has built a rapport with legislators and their staff members to garner support on issues critical to landscape architects and sustainable communities. Results of her determined advocacy include then-Senator George Voinovich sponsoring the Clean Water Affordability Act, Congressman Mike Turner cosponsoring the Community Parks Revitalization Act, and Senator Sherrod Brown co-sponsoring the Innovative Infrastructure Act. She is also a strong advocate of professional licensure for landscape architects, testifying at the state level.
Martin is very active in leadership, having served at the national level as ASLA Vice President of Government Affairs and Ohio Chapter Trustee. She was Chapter President and has held several positions on the OCASLA Executive Committee, including Vice President of Legislative Affairs and Treasurer, as well as serving on several national committees including ASLA Audit Committee, ASLA Member Services Committee, and chair of the ASLA Government Affairs Advisory Committee. She currently serves on ASLA Finance and Investment Committee. Martin’s leadership extends beyond ASLA, volunteering on the Worthington Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Board and the Advisory Board for Kent State’s College of Architecture and Environmental Design.
In 2009, Martin was recognized with the Ohio Chapter ASLA Service Award. She was one of the first recipients of ASLA National’s Outstanding Service Award in 2013 for her advocacy efforts on behalf of the profession. Martin is a graduate of The Ohio State University and is a licensed landscape architect in Ohio. Currently, she shares her talents and skills as a Project Manager for The Ohio State University and the Wexner Medical Center.
University of Maryland
College Park, MD
David N. Myers is interested in issues related to the application of landscape ecological principles to the built environment, particularly in suburban residential and the everyday landscapes. He is also interested in green infrastructure, compliance in forest easements, greenway planning and envisioning, and conservation design and planning. David's teaching focuses on green infrastructure, GIS and greenway design and planning, landscape ethics and environmental and watershed planning. He recently also has been teaching construction and materials. David has taught at the University of Maryland since 1999 where he is currently Associate Professor in the Department of Plant Science and Landscape Architecture. He previously served as Director of University of Maryland Landscape Architecture and MLA Program Chair from 2012 to 2017 and nine years as Director, Digital Studio. David has an interdisciplinary background with education and experience in landscape architecture, plant science, and biogeography with sustainable design and planning as the central focus of his research, teaching and practice. He has received funding from Chesapeake Bay Trust, National Park Service, National Capitol Park and Planning Commission: Montgomery County and Prince George’s County and the Maryland Department of Environment. His service has been focused on ASLA, MDASLA and the University of Maryland.