Become a Landscape Architect

LAAB: Board Members

 

Educators

Jack Ahern

Jack Ahern, Ph.D., FASLA, FCELA, Chair
University of Massachusetts
Amherst, MA

Jack Ahern started his landscape architecture career in Philadelphia at Rahenkamp and Associates and WRT. His career has engaged ecological planning and design, having been mentored by Ian McHarg and other faculty during his MLA studies at Penn. His teaching and research at the University of Massachusetts focus on landscape ecology, urban ecology, greenways, and ecological planting design. His books address multiple aspects of his applied research including: Water-Centric Sustainable Communities, Measuring Landscapes: A Planner’s Handbook, Biodiversity Planning and Design: Sustainable Practices (2006), Greenways as Strategic Landscape Planning: Theory and Application; A Guide to the Landscape Architecture of Boston; and Greenways: the Beginning of an International Movement. Jack has integrated international experiences and perspectives throughout his career including his Ph.D. from Wageningen University, Netherlands, and a Fulbright teaching and research fellowship in Portugal. He has lectured at over twenty-five universities in Europe, South America, and Asia. He is currently working on the concept and design of novel urban ecosystems to provide ecosystem services in cities to support sustainability and resilience capacity.

Ahern has served as a ROVE team member and team chair for LAAB for over a decade before joining the LAAB Board in 2016. He values the work of LAAB in service to the goal of excellence in the education and professional training of future professionals and academic leaders in landscape architecture.

 

Daniel Ortega

Daniel Ortega, ASLA
University of Nevada, Las Vegas
Las Vegas, NV 

Daniel (Danny) H. Ortega is a Professor of Landscape Architecture and the Interim Director of the University of Nevada, Las Vegas (UNLV) School of Architecture, where he also serves as the coordinator of its Bachelor of Landscape Architecture program. Danny holds a first professional Bachelor of Landscape Architecture degree from UNLV and a terminal Master of Landscape Architecture degree from the Rhode Island School of Design.

Professor Ortega was recognized by the Council of Educators in Landscape Architecture as the 2020 Outstanding Administrator of the Year. His scholarly interests lie in the cultural interpretations of place and the role(s) that those interpretations play in the crafting of contemporary landscapes. Additionally, his research includes issues related to emerging technologies and visual representation as factors that affect landscape architecture pedagogy. His co-edited/co-authored book, Innovations in Landscape Architecture, is an inspiring and thought-provoking text that explores how applied innovation uniquely positions the discipline’s practitioners and educators to address the complex issues that affect the contemporary practice of landscape architecture.

 

Lynn M. Ewanow

Lynn Ewanow, Chair-Elect
Kansas State University
Manhattan, KS

Lynn M. Ewanow, associate professor in the Department of Landscape Architecture and Regional Community Planning, also serves as the associate dean for the College of Architecture, Planning and Design at Kansas State University as well as the director of the Environmental Design Studies Program and the director of International Programs.  Lynn received her Master’s degree in Landscape Architecture from the State University of New York College of Environmental Design and a Bachelor of Psychology and a Bachelor of Art from Keuka College.  She has also completed the Management Development Program at Harvard University.

As associate dean, Lynn is responsible for Student and Academic Services, the Environmental Design Studies Program which is the first year of the five-year master’s program for Architecture, Interior Architecture and Product Design, Landscape Architecture, Regional Community Planning, and all aspects of the college’s Italian Studies Program as well as other international programs.  She has also served as special assistant to the provost of Kansas State University.

Lynn’s involvement in LAAB began by serving as a ROVE team member.

 

Practitioners

Dale Jaeger

Dale M. Jaeger, FASLA, PLA
WLA Studio
Gainesville, GA 

Dale Jaeger, inspired by southern landscapes of her childhood, focuses her work on planning and design projects in this region. After discovering the field of landscape architecture in her 20s, Dale received her master’s degree in landscape architecture from the University of Georgia. She began her career as a regional Preservation Planner in northeast Georgia. In 1984, she founded The Jaeger Company (TJC) and for the next 30 years with a group of talented colleagues, completed projects focused on cultural, ecological, and civic landscapes, primarily for public sector clients.

Projects highlighted the uniqueness of the region. In Charleston County, SC, this included rice culture at Caw Caw Interpretive Park and Sea Island cotton cultivation at McLeod Plantation. At Reynolda Estate in NC, long term efforts guided restoration of the original designed landscape of Thomas Warren Sears. Multiple assignments for the National Park Service included work along the Blue Ridge Parkway, Skyline Drive and at the Tuskegee Airmen National Historic Site. In 2014 TJC sold and is now WLA Studio, where Dale continues to work. Recent projects have focused on mill village landscapes created by Earl Sumner Draper in the 1920s and civic and campus design and construction projects.

Dale’s involvement with ASLA includes serving as President of the Georgia Chapter of ASLA (GAASLA) in 2006 and recently as chairperson of the Northeast Georgia Section of GAASLA. At the national level Dale has been a member of ROVE (Roster of Visiting Evaluators) since 1989 and participated in accreditation visits to 17 programs. Dale served as a juror for the ASLA National Awards Program in 2018 and a Juror for the Council of Fellows from 2012-2014.

Dale and her husband, Robert, met and married while both were landscape architecture students at the University of Georgia. They live on Lake Lanier in Gainesville, Georgia.

 

Ramon V. Murray, ASLA

Ramon Murray, ASLA, Secretary
Murray Design Group, Inc.
Winter Park, FL

Ramon V. Murray is a landscape architect living in Winter Park, Florida. He earned a Bachelor of Landscape Architecture from the University of Florida and a Master of Landscape Architecture from the University of Michigan. Ramon joined the LAAB Board in January 2016 after serving as a ROVE team member for several years.

Ramon has over 25 years of experience in the design of theme projects, resorts, urban waterfronts, community parks, regional parks, and campus and housing projects. Prior to establishing the Murray Design Group, Inc., he worked for the firm of MER&B where he managed a staff of twelve and directed projects with construction budgets in the millions. He has also worked at the firms of EDSA, Glatting Jackson, and was principal of his own professional practice. As an academic at the University of Florida, he conducted research in cultural landscapes and urban neighborhood revitalization.

Ramon appreciates seeing people enjoying the spaces he has designed. When not engaged in landscape architectural activities, he looks forward to a good tennis match, tending to his garden, enjoying a nice meal, exploring a new city, or supporting the Michigan Wolverines and Florida Gators sports.

 

Rodney Swink, FASLA, PLA

Juanita Shearer-Swink, FASLA, PLA
PlaceEconomics
Raleigh, NC

Juanita Shearer-Swink, FASLA, PLA, retired in May 2019 from GoTriangle, where she was most recently the Architectural Program Manager for the Durham-Orange Light Rail Transit Project. During her 27 years at GoTriangle, a regional public transit agency in the Triangle Region of North Carolina, she was involved in the community engagement, public policy, intergovernmental initiatives, planning and design of transit and rail projects, and the place-making they facilitate.

As a registered landscape architect, she has practiced primarily in the public sector in the Triangle Region and in Miami, Florida, including 11 years with the City of Miami as a Capital Projects Manager and Landscape Architect. Juanita served for eight years as a gubernatorial appointee to the North Carolina Board of Transportation and two years on the Raleigh Historic Districts Commission.

She participates as a mentor and visiting lecturer in the North Carolina State University College of Design Landscape Architecture Department and, as a member of the Roster of Visiting Evaluators (ROVE), she has been the practitioner member of visiting teams on several LAAB accreditation visits. Juanita was also an instructor at the Fairchild Tropical Botanic Gardens in Coral Gables, Florida.

Throughout her 45-year career, Juanita has worked on numerous state chapter and national ASLA committees and initiatives, including the ASLA Diversity Summits for which she served as facilitator from 2012 to 2016. She has been a member of and also chaired the Council of Fellows Jury and recently became the 2020 chair-elect of the Council. In 2014 she received the ASLA Outstanding Service Award and in 2018 the North Carolina Award from NCASLA. Juanita is a graduate of the University of Florida Landscape Architecture Department from which she received the Distinguished Alumnus Award in 1983.

 

Public Members

Gilbert A. Holmes

Gilbert Holmes
University of LaVerne College of Law
Ontario, CA

Gilbert A. Holmes joined the University of La Verne College of Law as dean in June 2013. He previously served as the dean of the University of Baltimore Law School and on the faculty of Texas Wesleyan University Law School, Southern Methodist University Law School, and Seton Hall University Law School.

Dean Holmes has served on the Accreditation Committee of the American Bar Association (ABA) and the Membership Review Committee of Association of American Law Schools (AALS). The University of Baltimore recognized his contributions through “Dean Gilbert A. Holmes Professorship in Clinical Theory and Practice.”

Prior to entering the legal academy, Dean Holmes had a private practice of law in New York City for 16 years. He has authored articles on a range of family law and constitutional issues.

 

Derrek Niec Williams

Derrek Niec-Williams
Howard University
Washington, DC 

Derrek Niec-Williams’ international upbringing via the United States Diplomatic Corps provided exposure to a diverse range of cultures, languages, religions, and educational settings.  The cumulative impact of these experiences imbued an acute sensitivity to the importance of learning environments and their responsiveness to contextual factors.

Mr. Niec-Williams has served as designated owner’s representative and program manager responsible for the planning, design and construction of various real estate development project typologies throughout his career.  This breadth of experience spans the educational continuum to include public, public charter, and independent k-12 institutions, higher education, private, and municipal clients.  His portfolio of experience also reflects a broad range of projects which have traversed the development spectrum from early planning through implementation and occupancy/operations.

His work with educational administrators has proven him a diligent and methodical process manager able to steer strategic thinking into tangible initiatives, then catalyze implementation plans resulting in physical solutions that maximize the value of investments.  A proud Howard University alumnus, Mr. Niec-Williams is honored to serve his alma mater as the Executive Director for Campus Planning, Architecture & Development, where he oversees a +256-acre portfolio valued above $1.5B.

 

Patty Reece

Patty Reece
The Volland Store
Mission Hills, KS 

Patty Reece is a real estate investor, an experienced community leader, and a philanthropist. An affinity for historical properties is balanced by an equally strong passion for nature and community. Her involvement in the nonprofit sector has been extensive and varied, encompassing many board memberships and numerous projects. Historical preservation, the arts, and conservation issues have been a primary focus, broadened by forays into art editing, curatorial activities, and personal art photography. Philanthropy has extended to conservation, the arts, and urban education.

As a landowner in the Kansas Flint Hills with an abiding interest in ranching and grasslands, Patty has served as a Trustee of The Nature Conservancy in Kansas since 2010.  Having filled the positions of Chair and Global Ambassador, she continues to be active on the External Relations Committee, the Land Protection and Stewardship Committee, and the Water and Agriculture Committee. Inspired by a passion for conserving natural landscapes, she and her husband have donated conservation easements on several of their pastures of tallgrass prairie.

A current endeavor of great personal interest is the restoration and re-purposing of a historic general store in the former railroad town of Volland, population one.   Following significant restoration, the historic store reopened as a gallery and community gathering place for contemporary art and compelling programming.  The Volland Store is an anchor in this small town, and the landscape and buildings which surround it are now being developed as a residency program for creative practitioners of the arts, sciences, and humanities. A pilot residency program will be launched in 2021.

Patty earned a B.A. from the University of Oklahoma, with a major in French and a minor in history, graduating as a Phi Beta Kappa. She earned an M.A. in Education from the University of Missouri at Kansas City. Patty is married to Jerry Reece, Chairman Emeritus of Reece Nichols in Kansas City. They have three adult children and six grandchildren.

 

Representatives from

Kona Gray

American Society of Landscape Architects –
Kona Gray, FASLA, PLA
EDSA
Fort Lauderdale, FL 

Strong leadership and a sense of integrity are part of Kona’s DNA. With experience in 30+ countries, his global management sense has positively shaped the outcomes of many challenging assignments. He successfully integrates creativity and regional resources into functional environments that invigorate the imagination. Kona is a firm leader that creates welcoming places that promote community and vitality in diverse neighborhoods around the globe. Blending sensitivity with innovative design solutions, he unites a client’s vision with his own vanguard designs to produce environments with purpose and presence.

Kona is a Fellow of the American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA) and currently serves as ASLA representative to the Landscape Architectural Accreditation Board. He also served as ASLA Vice President - Professional Practice and is a Past President of the Landscape Architecture Foundation. Kona is a member of the ULI Southeast Florida and Caribbean District Council and NSU Huizenga School of Business Real Estate Advisory Board. He is a registered Landscape Architect in Florida, Georgia, Arkansas, Commonwealth of Virginia and holds a Bachelor of Landscape Architecture from the University of Georgia.

At EDSA, Kona’s award-winning projects are inspired by a passion for creative design solutions that solve meaningful global issues. His portfolio ranges from large-scale planning to detailed site design, with emphasis on communities, parks, hospitality, urban public realms, mixed-use destinations, healthcare and campus spaces. With an uncompromising dedication to quality, he consistently takes into consideration important factors like community, heritage, environment, and the constant pursuit of improving humanity through Landscape Architecture.

 

Kenneth R. Brooks

Council of Educators in Landscape Architecture –
Roxi Thoren, ASLA
University of Oregon
Eugene, OR

Roxi Thoren is the Chair of the Department of Landscape Architecture at the University of Oregon and Director of the department’s Fuller Center for Productive Landscapes. She researches the integration of productivity in landscape architectural design, including a series of research and design projects around agriculture, forestry, and power. Thoren is the author of Landscapes of Change, listed by the ASLA as a 2014 Top Ten book in landscape architecture, and co-author with Phoebe Lickwar of Farmscape: The Design of Productive Landscapes. She has published work in the Journal of Landscape Architecture, Landscape Review, Places, Scenario Journal, and the Journal of Architectural Education, and she is currently writing a book on forestry as a design practice.

Prior to serving as Department Chair, Thoren served as Associate Dean for Academic Affairs in the College of Design, where she was responsible for curricular initiatives and accreditation across twenty-eight degree programs. Thoren is a Fulbright Fellow (Iceland), a Landscape Architecture Foundation research fellow, and a recipient of research and design awards from the Council of Educators in Landscape Architecture, the American Society of Landscape Architects, and the Council of Landscape Architectural Registration Boards.

 

Thomas Sherry, PLA, ASLA, CLARB

Council of Landscape Architectural Registration Boards –
Christine A. Anderson, ASLA, PLA, CLARB
Mark Thomas
Sacramento, CA

Christine Anderson is a Project Manager with Mark Thomas, a multi-disciplinary, California-based, professional services firm specializing in transportation planning, engineering, and design. She is an integral member of the Landscape Architecture and Urban Design Division, with over 25 years of experience in preparing planning and construction documents for streetscapes, downtown revitalizations, active transportation, trails, bridges, open space, and park and recreation projects. Her specific forte is that of urban design and economic development. She is a graduate of California Polytechnic University, San Luis Obispo.

Christine has spent the better part of her career advocating for the advancement of the licensed profession of landscape architecture. She has most recently served as President, Immediate Past-President, and Chair of the Nominating Committee for the Council of Landscape Architecture Registration Boards (CLARB). Her crowning achievement in CLARB was to serve multiple years as chair of the governance task force, a “short-term” role to restructure and enhance CLARB’s governance, elections, appointments, and nominating process. She has also served as Treasurer, Vice President and Liaison to the Exam Committee, and Region V Director for CLARB. Prior to CLARB service, she served on the Landscape Architects Technical Committee (licensing board of California) in multiple capacities, as Sierra Chapter President (ASLA), and as a committee member to the Landscape Architecture Department Advisory Council for Cal Poly San Luis Obispo.

 

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