People Matter: Leadership Promotions
LandDesign has built its nearly 40-year reputation on high-quality client service, a passion for the work we do, and talented people who make the process fun.
Last month, some 25 leaders of LandDesign gathered to discuss the firm’s growth and how to deliver on our brand promise: Great people, working for the best clients, creating meaningful and impactful places. Fulfilling this promise includes creating new and exciting opportunities for people to advance their careers, and consistently building leadership from within to transition the firm to the next generation.
“From the day LandDesign was founded, it was intended to be a firm that transcended generations; one that was about ideas and inspired by ideals,” explains President Rhett Crocker. “The talent, expertise and ability we have in our offices today is the best I’ve ever seen. That’s exciting.”
From last month’s gathering, several people were elevated to senior positions at the firm.
Meet the newest generation of emerging leaders at LandDesign.
Brian Dench, Managing Principal (Dallas)
Brian joined LandDesign in 2012 to establish the Dallas office and direct the firm’s civil engineering services there. His areas of expertise include managing entitlements, land planning, civil design, permitting and construction phase services for land development projects.
One of Brian’s most meaningful projects was the Discovery at The Realm, a luxury multi-family development in the Castle Hills community in Lewisville, Texas. “The client’s vision was to create an urban oasis that challenged the status quo of the Dallas-Fort Worth area. It was accomplished through a focused effort by a wide range of design and construction professionals working together in a collaborative environment.” Completed in 2016, the project has already won several awards.
Brian’s passion is promoting the use of LandDesign’s unique collaborative landscape architecture and civil engineering design process to tackle difficult design challenges. “Creative, buildable, and cost efficient designs are achieved when both practices are working in tandem. The value added to our projects and ultimately our clients cannot be overstated.”
Heth Kendrick, Principal (Dallas)
Heth is a career-long LandDesign employee, beginning in the firm’s Charlotte office as an entry-level landscape architect in 2001 following his graduation from Auburn University. In 2014, he relocated to Dallas to join Brian in growing the office while developing the firm’s landscape architecture practice there. It is where he counts one of his most meaningful projects.
Alexan Henderson, a rental community development, represents the new office’s first proposal for landscape architectural services that did not involve a pre-existing relationship. “It was the first project the Dallas team grew from a handshake over breakfast into a relationship that continues to grow into additional developments and design opportunities today.”
Heth is passionate about the firm’s collaboration of landscape architects and civil engineers to create great designs. “This is what makes our firm distinctive, and I enjoy telling everyone I can about the unique design relationship and my talented colleagues at LandDesign.”
Eric Pohlmann, Principal (Charlotte)
Eric joined LandDesign five years ago as a designer. His emphasis includes urban design, master planning, community redevelopment, form-based codes, multi-family, office, and commercial development.
The Kingsley Town Center in Fort Mill, South Carolina, and LPL Financial’s new campus nearby are memorable projects that Eric helped to lead from master plan to completion. “The clients for both projects were great at pushing boundaries and wanting to ‘do the right thing’, which in turn challenged us to create something very unique and special.” These projects illustrate LandDesign’s strength in creating an idea and ensuring that the decisions made along the way follow through on that vision.
Speaking of illustration, Eric’s passion for hand drawings and renderings in an increasingly digital profession allows him to create a strong vision and tell a unique story that makes the client sit back and say, “Wow, that’s it!” That kind of powerful ideation is at the core of LandDesign’s brand. “I’m really looking forward to continuing to be a part of pushing the creative boundaries of our design and graphic capabilities, idea creation, and the end deliverables for our clients.”
The talent, expertise and ability we have in our offices today is the best I’ve ever seen.
Dawn Cagle, Director of Financial Services (Charlotte)
For nearly two decades, Dawn has had a front row seat to the firm’s growth. She’s spent nearly her entire accounting career at LandDesign, joining the firm in 1998 as a payroll coordinator. “I’ve worn many different ‘hats’ at LandDesign, from payroll and employee benefits to project accounting and more, giving me a great understanding how LandDesign operates from both a financial and project management perspective.” Her legacy accomplishment was transitioning LandDesign to a new a project management/accounting software system in 2006 that is still in use today, and ensuring the firm’s processes evolve with the software to gain optimum efficiencies.
Ashley Clark, Director of Strategic Development and Communications (Charlotte)
Upon entering the workforce, Ashley wanted to find a career path that would keep her engaged in the profession while capitalizing on the communication skills she had honed through her leadership within the American Institute of Architects and in school. At LandDesign, she has found that place. “I am so fortunate to have a position that allows me to sit at the intersection of communications and strategy for an incredible design firm. The opportunity to be an advocate for great design and even better people is extremely satisfying.”
Ashley rejoined LandDesign as marketing manager in 2013 and has been an integral part of the firm’s corporate rebranding and the development of a strategic plan process to support firm growth since. Today, she is responsible for leading the development of firm-wide marketing, communication and strategic initiatives, and strengthening the LandDesign brand both internally and externally. “It’s been rewarding to return to the firm and be part of building a team and the tools that serve LandDesign and its goals” she says.
“LandDesign has built its nearly 40-year reputation on high-quality client service, a passion for the work we do, and talented people who make the process fun,” said Crocker. “We have been fortunate to experience great success and growth with this model, and these future leaders will ensure our vision continues.”