1. Tell us a little about your career trajectory since you graduated from UT.
Upon graduation, I took a role with ValleyCrest Landscape Development (Now BrightView Landscape Development) as a Project Engineer in Atlanta GA. I chose to take this route vs the traditional opportunity with a Landscape Architecture firm at the guidance of many different landscape architects I developed relationships with while in the SoLA program. The reason this made sense for me was my passion for the built environment and my desire to get an understanding of how highly complex landscape architecture projects come together from an implementation standpoint before transitioning into a design centered role. During my tenure with BVLD, I rose through the ranks to run the Southeast region and a 30 Million dollar book of business annually. After serving in that role for 7 years, I chose to transition to our design group and run all our Design Build projects Nationally and Internationally as an Associate Principal.
2. Tell us a bit about your firm and projects or type of work you are doing.
BrightView Design Group (BVDG) is a 70 person firm with locations in Irvine, CA, Denver, CO and Tampa, FL. Unlike many professional services firms, we don’t focus on a specific type of work, we pride ourselves on being well versed in all project types that fall under the landscape architecture scope of services. The approach we take to facilitate this process is by divisions of studios based on project types. The sector of work that I focus on “Mostly” is High End Hospitality, Sports Complexes, and Over Structure projects (this is due to my experience in the built environment and the knowledge I have gained over the years of how these projects are executed).
3. Do you have a favorite professional project you have worked on? Why did it have such an impact for you?
From the Development side of my professional career, it would have to be the Atlanta Braves Baseball Stadium (Truist Park). The opportunity to be the project manager for the build of this project really expanded my knowledge of Professional Sports Venue design and development. It presented an opportunity to work with many different consultants and trades to execute a project to the highest level. And come on, how many people can say they have built a professional baseball stadium?
From the Design side of my professional career, it would have to be the TransAmerica Pyramid in San Francisco CA. We were brought on as the Landscape Architect of Record to collaborate with Foster and Partners for the revitalization of the historic architectural landmark. The goal of this project was to recognize and respect the historic character of the original design but bring it into the 21st century.
4. What skills that you learned in your MLA program have you found to be the most helpful?
Critical problem solving and work ethic! As a professional service provider, our clients come to us for helping them develop their dreams and goals for their projects and most always these desires come with complex problems that must be worked out to execute a project to perfection. In order to execute on these goals work ethic is critical. In the professional services industry, dedication and passion to execute projects to the highest level not only set the standard for the future of the industry but also creates some of the most iconic landscape spaces that future generations will enjoy. This sometimes requires long hours and little sleep to maintain the deliverables that are required to meet the project schedules. The series of Studios and classes that were part of my MLA program created opportunities and constraints that needed many hours of research and collaboration with my classmates to figure out. Many times, this required us to push the envelope of the traditional design approach to come to a creative design solution that addressed the design brief that was present to us.