Executive Committee Members
STEPHEN K. COOK ASLA, LEED AP O+M
Senior Landscape Architect, VIKA Maryland LLC
Stephen K. Cook, ASLA, LEED AP O+M is a Senior Landscape Architect with VIKA Maryland, LLC. Steve began his career with a national design/build firm in 1987 after receiving his Bachelors of Landscape Architecture from Mississippi State University, and has worked as a landscape architect with planning, engineering and architecture firms in the Washington Metropolitan area since 1987. The diverse experiences Steve has had in his career, helped him gain a detailed understanding of the design process from conceptual through construction documents, construction management and ultimately the ongoing maintenance. In addition to his role as a landscape architect, he also is involved in planning and entitlement work.
In addition to his professional duties, Steve serves on USGBC’s Sustainable Sites Technical Advisory Group, Water Efficiency Technical Advisory Group and served on the SITES Technical Subcommittee for the recently unveiled SITES Rating System.
Immediate Past President
ANN ENGLISH RLA, ASLA, LEED® AP BD+C
Program Manager, Montgomery County MD Department of Environmental Protection
Ann English, RLA, ASLA, LEED® AP BD+C is the Program Manager for the RainScapes Program in the Watershed Management Division of the Montgomery County, MD Department of Environmental Protection. Her career spans private, non-profit and governmental sectors as well as several years teaching at two universities. For Montgomery County, she has worked to expand the RainScapes Program into a comprehensive set of initiatives that provide technical resources to Montgomery County residents and professionals working in the County. The program now provides a landscape professionals training series, consumer workshops, a Schools program and other educational initiatives that support the mission of the RainScapes program. Her passion is plants and environmental performance. Her solutions focus on how to better design with plants and hardscape, working with the site context, to address physical as well as aesthetic performance requirements. Prior to coming to the RainScapes program she had her own residential landscape architectural practice with a particular focus on practical and beautiful solutions that improve site ecology. Also, she is the designer of the Brookside Gardens Rain Garden, and the Low Impact Development Center’s rain garden templates for the Chesapeake Bay Watershed. She earned her BA in American History from U. Penn, a Master’s of Regional Planning from the Pennsylvania State University and a Master’s of Landscape Architecture from the University of Georgia.
MICHAEL CASEY ASLA, PLA, LEED AP
Landscape Architect, Kimley-Horn and Associates, Inc.
Michael is a landscape architect with Kimley-Horn and Associates in Reston, VA. Mr. Casey has 15 years of experience serving both public and private-sector clients. His public-sector project experience includes masterplanning through implementation for public realm projects, cultural facilities, and historic sites that include secure federal campuses, courthouses, and museums. Private-sector projects include corporate headquarter facilities, urban streetscapes, and highly amenitized mixed-use and multi-family residential projects. In addition to projects throughout the Mid-Atlantic region, Mr. Casey has provided landscape architecture services for international projects in over 15 countries, including numerous new U.S. Embassy Compounds and Consulates. Michael specializes in managing projects from concept design through implementation, and leading multi-disciplinary teams on complex developments that integrate rooftop and courtyard amenities, perimeter security elements and advanced storm-water management solutions.
Michael earned his BLA in Landscape Architecture from Virginia Tech and is a Registered Landscape Architect in Maryland and Virginia.
RON M. KAGAWA ASLA, LEED AP
Landscape Architect / PB; Kimley-Horn Associates
Ron M. Kagawa, ASLA LEED AP, served as President of the Potomac Chapter in 2000-2001 and 2007-2008 and led establishment of the Lt. Edward B. Ballard Student Scholarship Fund. He co-authored Time+Space: Landscape Architecture In The Nation’s Capital (the first-ever Chapter history since its founding in 1938). As Chapter Trustee in 2009-2012, he served as Chair of the National Emerging Professional Committee-Linkages Working Group, leading to establishment of the first-ever nationally recognized Emerging Professionals Chapter-Level Service Award and assisted in hosting the 2010 ASLA National Meeting in Washington, DC.
As Chapter Trustee, Ron’s focus will be to actively represent the Chapter as its voice for leadership and governance at a national level. He will continue to advocate the advancement of emerging professionals in Landscape Architecture and across allied disciplines in design and facilities management/operations. Locally and nationally, Ron believes that emerging professionals are the benchmark for stewarding the future of the profession.
Ron holds an undergraduate degree in Landscape Architecture from the University of Texas-Arlington and a graduate degree in Architecture from Virginia Tech – both with academic honors. As a Landscape Architect he possesses more than 33 years of professional experience in private industry, academia and public service. He served on the faculty of The George Washington University’s Landscape Design Program from 1988-2013. As Associate Professor, he established the Master of Landscape Architecture Program at Virginia Tech’s Washington-Alexandria Architecture Center from 1995-2005. He is the co-author of 2 books and more than 35 peer-reviewed plenary sessions and publications. Ron is licensed in Texas (1988) and Maryland (1988), holds OSHA, FEMA and NIMS certifications and is a Landscape Architect and PB with the Mid-Atlantic Office of Kimley Horn Associates, Inc.
LAURIE BETH DONNACHIE ASLA, PLA
Laurie Beth Donnachie earned a Bachelors of Landscape Architecture from The Pennsylvania State University in 2011. She is a licensed landscape architect in Virginia and Pennsylvania. Laurie is also an ISA certified Arborist and holds a certificate in Healthcare Garden Design. Her work experience includes many phases of residential development spanning from neighborhood layout through private garden installation.
STEPHEN E. McLAUGHLIN RLA ASLA
Landscape Architect at ATSG Corporation, in support of the U.S. Department of State, Bureau of Overseas Buildings Operations, Architectural Design Division
Steve McLaughlin is a landscape architect in Arlington, Virginia, who has been practicing in the Baltimore/Washington National Capital Region for over fifteen years. Since January 2015 he has been fulfilling a contract with the State Department to provide subject matter expertise in landscape architecture as a supervisor of site design for American diplomatic missions world-wide, and as a code official for landscape-related design standards.
Steve has previously been employed with several architecture, engineering, landscape architecture and other consulting firms of various sizes; serving a broad mix of clientele including the State Department, Department of Defense and other federal agencies, for domestic and international projects ranging very widely in scale and scope. In a self-employed capacity he has also designed residences, additions, decks, patios and gardens. His first career was as a U.S. naval officer.
Steve has a bachelor’s degree in architecture from the University of Virginia and a master’s degree in landscape architecture from Louisiana State University; is certified by CLARB; and professionally registered in Maryland. He is a member of ASLA, previously affiliated with the Maryland chapter where he once served as Secretary.
KERRI BLACKMAN ASLA
Landscape Designer, Merrifield Garden Center
Kerri is a Landscape Designer with Merrifield Garden Center, an award-winning garden center and landscaping company in Merrifield, VA. She designs residential and small-scale commercial projects in the metropolitan Washington, DC area. She is also responsible for project management and crew oversight. Kerri has consulted with over 700 individual clients and successfully completed over 250 design/build projects. She enjoys working with people and is dedicated to each of their unique visions and needs.
Kerri graduated in 2011 from the College of Environmental Science and Forestry in Syracuse, NY with a Bachelor’s Degree in Landscape Architecture. She was an active member of the ASLA Student Chapter and served consecutive terms as Secretary and President of the chapter.
BETH ELLIOTT Associate ASLA
Urban Design Tech at Fairfax County Office of Community Revitalization
Beth is a recent Bachelor of Science Landscape Architecture graduate from The Ohio State University. She has experience creating an art master plan and working in the non-profit sector of the design field. Her current interests include environmental and sustainable design, advocacy for access to outdoor environments, and place-making design. She served as an officer for the Ohio State student chapter of the ASLA for three years and worked with the Ohio Chapter of the ASLA on fundraising events along with volunteering at annual galas and educational events.
LUIS F. GONZALEZ, PLA, ASLA, AICP
Landscape Architect and Urban Planner at Rodgers Consulting
Luis F Gonzalez, PLA, ASLA, AICP is a landscape architect and urban planner with Rodgers Consulting, where he focuses on placemaking and creating vibrant spaces. He has contributed to the success of various A/E firms in the Washington, DC Metropolitan Area for over 15 years, working on institutional, mixed-use, TODs, rooftop, green infrastructure, and public sector projects. Luis has taken projects from schematic design through construction, including land entitlement.
Aside from practice, Luis has been an adjunct professor at the University of Maryland and abroad at the Monteverde Institute in Costa Rica, teaching sustainable development and urban planning; and has guest facilitated at the Catholic University of America School of Architecture. He is currently a member of the ASLA Honors and Awards Advisory Committee and has served as a CLARB exam writer for the LARE; is an inaugural member of the ASLA Diversity Committee; a design team member for the 2010 Potomac Chapter Legacy Project; and has been a ULI UrbanPlan facilitator since 2009. Luis has presented at the 2017 LABASH, 2015 ASLA Annual Meeting, and 2015 AIA|DC DesignDC Conference.
MATTHEW JOHNSTON PLA, ASLA
Matthew Johnston is a registered landscape architect with MVLA, an award-winning design firm in Alexandria, VA. He received his Masters of Landscape Architecture and Masters of Urban Planning degrees from Virginia Tech, and is an enthusiastic member of the professional design community represented by the Potomac Chapter of ASLA.
Matt’s background in international relations, urban planning, and landscape architecture informs his commitment to bring the benefits of design to more people. His interest in expanding the impact of his work led him to the field of public interest design, where he volunteers as a project leader with Open Architecture DC, a pro-bono design non-profit. He previously served as Chapter Coordinator for the DC chapter of Architecture for Humanity, and he’s a member of the Potomac Yard Design Advisory Committee for the City of Alexandria, helping to shape development in a growing urban corridor.
Matt serves as the Potomac Chapter Public Awareness Committee Chair, helping shape the Chapter’s public media presence and publicize its mission and activities.
DENA KENNETT ASLA
Landscape Architect for the George Washington Memorial Parkway, National Park Service
Dena Kennett, ASLA, has been an active member of Potomac Chapter since attending graduate school at Washington Alexandria Architectural Center where she was the student chapter president. She has a broad landscape architecture and urban design background, and is currently working for the National Park Service as the landscape architect for the George Washington Memorial Parkway. She has served on Excellence in Social Impact Design Awards 2015 Selection Jury, EPA’s 2014 Smart Growth Achievement Selection Jury, as a Tour Guide for ASLA’s Landscape Architect’s Guide to D.C., and on the planning committee for ASLA’s 2010 Annual Meeting.
PETER NOHRDEN ASLA
Landscape Designer and Project Manager, DC Parks and Recreation
Peter is a landscape designer and project manager living and practicing in Washington for over fifteen years.
He has been happily working for DC DPR for over two years and has assisted the department with testing innovative products. He is starting to activate many of the small parks scattered throughout the city along with the Office of Planning. He is also overseeing many of the District’s Capital Projects, which include recreation facilities, aquatic facilities and all types of outdoor park amenities from sport courts to playgrounds.
With a background in green infrastructure, Peter also focuses on green roofs and storm-water management. He has partnered with firms across the country while employed with the Tilson Group to work on high security government facilities including the Pentagon, the new Homeland Security & Coast Guard Headquarters and the East Wing of the National Gallery of Art. Peter was also the principal of his own design/built practice for nearly seven years and worked on projects of various complexities, ranging from private residences to embassies, government such as the Vice President’s Residence, and commercial properties.
Peter has a degree in landscape architecture from UMass, Amherst and is a member of ASLA. He is an active committee member of the DC Pedestrian Advisory Council. Peter has also volunteered as technical advisor with Engineers Without Borders at the University of Maryland and in Ecuador and has guest lectured at the University of Maryland in their Engineering and Landscape Architecture Departments. He has also operated in Germany, South Sudan and Sudan with foreign contractors and as a private consultant. He was also the treasurer of his student ASLA chapter.
STEPHANIE PANKIEWICZ ASLA, PLA
Stephanie is a Partner and Landscape Architect with LandDesign, based out Alexandria VA. Stephanie directs many of the firm’s large scale master planning projects, including long-range master planning to urban design solutions for some of the nation’s leading developers. As a creative design leader, she applies her knowledge by offering innovative approaches including state-of-the-art design tools to engage diverse stakeholders in building consensus and understanding. She enjoys working at a variety of scales throughout the design process, and remains uniquely involved in all stages of a project. Her experience includes urban design, park planning and design, community master plans, site planning, design guidelines and streetscapes, with an emphasis on utilizing green infrastructure techniques as storm water harvesting, roof gardens, stream restoration, native plants and natural treatment systems for bio-retention. Several notable NCASLA and Tri-State chapter award winning projects include Camp Lake James, the Park at Pine Hill Business Campus and Dr. Wesley Grant Southside Center. She currently is very involved in the design of several Tysons VA redevelopment projects.
After receiving her BLA from the University of Georgia in 2000, Stephanie spent the first portion of her professional career in California. Stephanie has been a member of ASLA since 2005 when she was on an “emerging professional” panel at the Fort Lauderdale, FL Annual Meeting & Expo. She currently participates on the ASLA national PR and Communications Advisory Committee, recently completed an ASLA 2015 Tellers Committee Appointment and in May 2014 served as a juror for the Virginia Tech MLA student awards at the WAAC (Washington + Alexandria Architecture Center). Additionally, prior to moving to DC in 2011, she served as Mountain Section chair for the 23 western counties of the NC Chapter of ASLA and was a City of Asheville NC Greenway Commissioner. She is currently active in several DC metro area organizations and initiatives including Built by Women DC, Urban Land Institute and the City of Alexandria VA Public Art Task Force.
A fun fact about Stephanie is that she was the unnamed “architect” who sketched an “instant city park” in this Washington Post story: http://www.washingtonpost.com/
ELLIOT RHODESIDE FASLA
Elliot had a dream over 30 years ago of establishing a noteworthy multi-disciplinary landscape architecture, planning and urban design practice. Through collaboration with his founding partners, Deana and Faye, he has realized his goal: the creation of a talented, respected firm with an outstanding staff doing creative and carefully considered work locally, nationally and internationally. Elliot is passionate about landscape architecture. He grew up wanting to be an architect initially, then evolved that dream into fine arts and industrial design. After hearing a lecture by Ian McHarg when he was a sophomore at the University of the Arts, however, he was inspired to pursue a different career in “the arts” — a Masters in Landscape Architecture from the University of Pennsylvania. Following more than a decade of practice in Philadelphia, London, Boston and Washington, DC, he and his partners established Rhodeside & Harwell in 1986. Following his life-long interest in the diverse challenges presented by different scales of work, Elliot currently leads design and planning projects ranging from gardens to regions. He is happiest when the projects are complex, the stakeholders are many and the assignments are full of challenges. He loves mentoring staff and maintaining a high creative bar from which each project is measured. He is proud of his and his firm’s work and the positive impacts it has had on the lives of many.
ABIGAIL THOMAS ASLA
Project Manager and Landscape Designer, STUDIO 39
The foundations of Abby’s career lie in her interests of sustainable design and the impacts of environmental and social geographies in the landscape. She is an alumnus of Penn State University, where she obtained a BA in Landscape Architecture and minor in Geography. Her education fed her curiosities of how people relate to the landscape and use outdoor spaces, as well as the social and cultural aspects that societies have on the land at all scales. She has found the DC area to be rich in opportunities to exploit her interests and use her design skills and education to create spaces for everyone.
Both her degree and minor were complimented by studying abroad and exploring places in North America, Europe, and Africa. Abby has experience in community design as well as high-end residential design in the Chesapeake Bay region. She is currently a Project Manager and Landscape Designer at STUDIO39, where she works primarily on mixed use projects, multi-family residential, and some private residential projects. Additionally, she does some project photography and is involved in some office marketing endeavors. She is a member of the Potomac ASLA Emerging Professionals Committee, likes to volunteer her time to the community when she can, and also takes interest in personal endeavors involving graphic design and photography.
ANNIE VARMA ASLA, RLA
Associate, Lee and Associates Inc.
Annie Varma is an Associate with Lee and Associates, a landscape architecture firm based in Washington D.C. She holds a Master’s degree in Landscape Architecture with a minor in Cultural Heritage and Museum Practices from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and a Bachelor’s degree in Architecture from India. Over the past 8 years as a professional, she has worked in diversified Landscape Architecture, Historic Preservation, and Architecture & Planning firms and brings the knowledge of Heritage Conservation and waterfront design based on her graduate study. She has published her work twice and actively pursues and researches green and sustainable initiatives, in both her urban design projects and professional development pursuits. Her current work includes a broad spectrum of projects ranging from memorial, mixed-use residential, playgrounds and parks, streetscape and public realm design, and master planning projects. She also loves to volunteer for community causes and providing pro-bono graphic design assistance to emerging entrepreneurs.
Prior to being named Executive Director of the Potomac Chapter of ASLA, Newman served as Executive Director of Corporate Facility Advisors (CORFAC International), an alliance of entrepreneurial commercial real estate firms. For more than 20 years, she was Secretary General (CEO) of the U.S. Chapter of the International Real Estate Federation (FIABCI), also serving as interim Secretary General for the international body during part of that time.
With more than 30 years in association management, Newman works with boards and volunteers and is responsible for the administration of the association, as well as membership retention and services.