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Updates from ASLA

Thomas L. Mroz Jr., FASLA

Thomas L. Mroz Jr., FASLA
Candidate for National ASLA President-Elect

Concept and Aims Statement

ASLA’s contributions to our professional lives as landscape architects are both foundational and deeply aspirational. As ASLA’s President I would remain diligent in core foundational areas while striving to impact longer-term, aspirational priorities that will ultimately guide our professional society forward.

Foundationally, ASLA is the advocate for our profession - protecting licensure and advancing our position on important policy and funding issues. The biggest, most complex and challenging of these policy issues is climate change, and our profession is situated to proactively advocate at the state and federal levels for sensible policies that enable communities to both mitigate and adapt to these climate change threats. Continuing education, public relations, communications and restoring growth in our membership are also vital foundational responsibilities of ASLA and we must always remain alert and attentive in these foundational areas.

From an aspirational standpoint, I believe ASLA will be best served if we are driven by our people-centric goals: diversity and inclusion, emerging professional development and career discovery. These are immediate issues that have long term benefits and if our profession as landscape architects is to realize its full potential we must focus, lead the conversation in these areas, and push the bar forward. To remain relevant to existing members and to attract new ones we must take strategic actions to make our profession and communities stronger, expand opportunities for everyone, and advance our stewardship responsibilities. That relevancy will ensure the longevity of our society and increase our ability to lead and innovate as a profession.

Having just finished my two-year term on ASLA’s Executive Committee, as VP of Finance, I understand that these goals take resources and clearly our reality is one of finite resources. Revenue for ASLA is not increasing but our aspirations, responsibilities and desire for impact are. As President I would work collectively with and on behalf of you as fellow ASLA members, to prioritize use of our resources, to bring renewed focus to our foundational work and increased momentum towards our future aspirational visions and long-term organizational success.

Biography

Thomas L. Mroz, FASLA, PLA, is a Senior Vice President with the integrated design firm, SmithGroup. He has spent his entire 35-year career at SmithGroup, 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.

Mroz’s career has been built on his interest in the business of landscape architecture, with a focus on business planning, growth and financial stability. He has been a member of SmithGroup’ s 401k Committee, Audit Committee and serves as Chair of the Finance Committee. Mroz sits on the firm’s Board of Directors and was Co-Chair of the Board’s Leadership Transition Committee.

At ASLA, Mroz served on the Executive Committee as VP of Finance from 2016-2018. Prior to that he was a member of the Finance and Investments Committee for six years and the Audit Committee for four years, serving the last two years as Audit Committee Chair. A long-time supporter of the Michigan chapter, he has also regularly participated in lobby day activities at the state level and advocacy day events at the national level. Mroz was elected to the ASLA Council of Fellows in 2018.

Mroz 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. On the academic front, he has previously taught the professional practice class at Michigan State University and led SmithGroup’s efforts in setting up endowments at The University of Michigan in honor of Clarence Roy and at Michigan State University in honor of Carl Johnson, two of the founding partners of JJR. Mroz also spearheaded the development and roll-out of the SmithGroup Diversity and Inclusion Scholarship, focused on supporting African American, Hispanic and Native American landscape architecture students.

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