Thomas Whitlock, ASLA, PLA
Tom has been with Damon Farber since 1993 and became President in the spring of 2011. He insures that each and every project includes strategic thought, a high degree of design rigor and an unwavering commitment to reflecting our clients goals. This approach has made Damon Farber a leading landscape architecture and site planning firm in the Midwest. Tom is an engaged leader in the community; serving on the Board of the Minneapolis Regional Chamber of Commerce and the Minneapolis Downtown Council. He is also the Chair of the Minneapolis Downtown Council’s 2025 Downtown Experience Committee. His work has been published in Landscape Architecture Magazine, Architecture Minnesota, Architecture Week and Fabric Architecture.
Jesse Symynkywicz, ASLA, PLA
Jesse is a licensed landscape architect with over 18 years professional experience. With almost eight of those years at Damon Farber Associates, he has designed and managed numerous projects ranging in complexity, character, scale and budget. Jesse received a Bachelor’s of Arts in Landscape Architecture and Environmental Design from North Dakota State University. Prior to his tenure with DFA, he served as Director of Landscape Architecture with BKV Group and Project Landscape Architect with RLK Associates.
Mill District City Apartments / Target North Campus / Shakopee Public Utilities / Fairbault Armed Forces Reserve Center / Penfield Apartments / Ann Arbor City Apartments / Flux / Junction Flats / Nic on 5th Residences / Soo Line Building
Joan Macleod, ASLA, PLA, LEED AP
Joan's professional and personal experience in community arts, site and urban design, higher education and cultural institutions has resulted in a commitment to building strong, sustainable communities. Her experience in the creation of healing environments for health and wellness institutions has resulted in innovative therapy approaches and major design awards. Her sensitivity and thoughtfulness has fostered unique partnerships with hospitals, clinics and senior care facilities to improve the everyday lives of users. She has earned a reputation for being both a communicator who has helped to build bridges between communities and clients and a creative thinker who brings sustainable and achievable solutions to complex problems.
Jean Garbarini, ASLA, PLA
Jean has been practicing landscape architecture for over 20 years. Her work has focused on the creation of engaging, sustainable and livable environments in the public domain and for private clients. She has experience on a wide range of projects, including community master planning, campus planning, park design, historic landscape research and private gardens. Jean has been the lead landscape architect on multiple LEED projects, two of which have been awarded platinum certification. She has served on the ASLA-MN executive board and remains linked to the University of Minnesota as a guest critic in design studios at the College of Design.
Milwaukee Veterans Campus / St. Jude Medical Plymouth Campus / University of Minnesota Physics Nanotechnology Building / Track 29 Apartments / Breck School Expansion / Itasca Biological Station Cultural Resource Survey + Management Plan / Shaw Point, Sand Island Cultural Landscape Study / Midtown Greenway
Matt Wilkens, ASLA, PLA
Matt has been practicing landscape architecture at Damon Farber Associates since 1998. As a proud military veteran he enjoys working with US service members as a contributing designer and project manager on many federal and state military projects. His experience covers the full gamut of project types. Matt’s great design sensibilities are complimented by a deep understanding of site and landscape materials. He possesses extensive knowledge of construction techniques, detailing and construction management and often provides quality assurance and control reviews of project documents within the office. He is also active with the University of Minnesota College of Design and served as Alumni President of the Design Student Alumni Board.
Chuck Evens, PLA
Senior AssociateA skilled and thoughtful designer, Chuck believes the built environment adds value and improves the quality of life for all of us. He seeks clever ways to create strong relationships among spaces and enhance the places we live, work and recreate. His work has focused on the creation of unique, sustainable and complementary environments and his broad project experience includes park planning and design, housing, higher education and senior living. Perhaps his most notable influences though have been in the corporate sector in which Chuck has worked with clients such as Target, 3M, and Life Time Fitness to develop design guidelines that are influencing design decisions across the country, improving brand image, lessening environmental impacts, and controlling costs.
Grams Regional Park / Mankato Riverfront Park / University of Nebraska / Friendship Village Fitness Center / Life Time Design Guidelines / Target Site Design Guidelines / Ecolab / Fortune 500 Corporate Headquarters + Dining Terrace / University of St. Thomas / Village of Mendota Heights / The Commons / Lab 280 / Tectura Designs
Lance Schuer, PLA, LEED AP
Lance joined Damon Farber in 2007, after working in California. There he had the opportunity to work on a variety of urban design projects and master planned communities. His experience and interests lie in conceptual design, presentation graphics, public participation, and site photography. Since coming to Damon Farber Associates, he has been involved in a wide variety of projects from campus and community planning to corporate renovations and public open space design. His commitment to partnering with client groups, translating stakeholder input into visionary plans and positive attitude make Lance an important component of any project team.
Emily returned to the Upper Midwest after gaining several years of professional experience abroad in 2012. Two of those years were spent working with a multidisciplinary firm in Brisbane, Australia where she had the opportunity to work on a wide array of projects including urban infill, commercial, streetscape, neighborhood design and civic projects. She went on to participate in an extensive sustainable development initiative in Micronesia and directed a hands-on, pilot project to create a community square. Along with her diverse project experience, Emily brings to DFA a strong foundation of skills across all phases of design, from concept to implementation.
Rachel Baudler Blaseg
With a background in environmental planning and energy infrastructure, Rachel's interest in landscape architecture lies in the complex interactions of natural and urban systems. She specializes in utilizing 3D modeling, computer visualization, and graphic design to create clear design and planning tools for clients and seamlessly facilitate the dialogue between analysis, design and implementation. Rachel received her Master of Landscape Architecture from the University of Minnesota, where she was awarded the ASLA Honor Award and Capstone Honor Award. She is an Adjunct Assistant Professor at the College of Design and was recently awarded a Delta Alliance Young Professionals Award at the U.N. Conference for Sustainable Design.
Matt Rentsch, ASLA, PLA
Matt has a passion for landscape architecture's combination of numerous disciplines including art, ecology, and horticulture. This has driven his past experiences working in multi-disciplinary offices throughout the Twin Cities. A South Dakota native and an SDSU graduate, you can find Matt cheering on the Twins or planting fresh vegetables in his backyard.
FORTERetail/Commercial / Development Management / Architectural Design /
INSPIRATIONForgotten spaces. Matt sees great opportunity in underutilized and lapsed spaces and transforms these gaps into positive experiences through design.
Liz Hixson, LEED AP, ASSOCIATE ASLA
Liz is a University of Minnesota graduate and returned to Minnesota from her home state of Massachusetts. Her passion for design has led her around the world exploring new places and polishing her artistic eye. She possesses a natural curiosity and interest understanding the functionality of the landscape around her. Growing up around picturesque gardens and hiking the Adirondacks, and now the North Shore, has profoundly impacted the way Liz views her surroundings. Exploring new places is ever a source of inspiration.
A graduate of the University of Minnesota’s Department of Landscape Architecture, Andrew joined Damon Farber in the Fall of 2015 after working primarily on large scale planning and waterfront development projects. His experience both as a professional and as an educator has led him to appreciate the perspectives of others. Understanding the thoughts and insights of clients and stakeholders to inform both the design process and end result are key to his process to ultimately enrich the lives of those who will use the landscape. Andrew’s passion lies in the appreciation for and importance of water – both as a design medium, as well as a key component to the health and vitality of natural systems. With a general curiosity for the world as a whole and the ability to flex between large and small scales, his goal is to understand how design can utilize water sustainably to benefit both natural and cultural landscapes on a variety of levels.
Jodi brings a multi-disciplinary approach that equips her with a unique design perspective rooted in creating landscapes that support native ecosystems, interpret ecology, and invite human engagement. After working in the post-Katrina Gulf Coast region, Jodi returned to the Midwest. Her abilities are grounded in practical experience gained by working with a diversity of clients and audiences. Jodi’s keen knowledge of the construction process and local ecosystems translates to effective and attentive design and project management. In addition to holding a Master’s Degree in Landscape Architecture, Jodi has eight years of diverse experience in architecture, ecological restoration, and conservation biology. Jodi is a passionate designer, who pairs the technical with the creative by working at the intersection of design and science to create landscapes that are beautiful, functional, and foster a future of landscape stewardship.
Kevin recently celebrated his hometown’s first World Series Championship in over 108 years. Kevin grew up in Chicagoland, Illinois. He then attended Ball State University, receiving a degree in Landscape Architecture. Kevin became interested in landscape architecture as his relationship with nature grew. He soon realized that he could use his creative ability to design outdoor spaces, where the result of his work was a beautiful combination of art and nature. Kevin’s design philosophy is based on the desire to provide innovative programmatic elements in open spaces that serve humans and other natural systems. He is motivated by his experiences of contemporary landscapes by designers like Dan Kiley, Andrea Cochran and Michael Van Valkenburgh. Kevin appreciates the challenge of landscape architecture: difficult site context and characteristics, complex programs, and challenging regulatory environments.
Brian recently joined Damon Farber in the Fall of 2016 and holds a master’s degree in landscape architecture from the University of Minnesota. Brian is an experienced professional in a variety of scales and project types, from small local site designs to large international projects. He has worked with a diverse group of project teams and organizations; and values their opinion, input and insight during the collaborative design process. Brian’s respect for the fellow human being extends beyond his design process and is reflected in the spaces he has helped bring to life. These spaces are designed to fit the needs of the communities they surround and are inviting to all users. He has a passion and innate talent for creating life enriching spaces that connect people with their environments.
Marian joined Damon Farber Associates in 2002 and serves in the capacity of Office Manager. Working for a small company means one wears many hats and Marian’s range from being supply quartermaster to event planner, lightning fast phone answerer, payroll and benefits administrator, birthday cake provider. Balancing the checkbook every month is a secret pleasure as is tracking projects and discovering all the numbers add up! Marian lives in Minneapolis and shares her home with Jasper, a loveable, stubborn and incredibly handsome Wire Hair Fox Terrier.
Chris is a MN native and is currently pursuing his Masters of Landscape Architecture at the University of Minnesota. As an honest and analytical designer, Chris views the landscape through an artistic and creative lens. His time spent in rural Minnesota and experiences as a photographer have equipped with a keen ability to recognize the human signature within the landscape. This unique perspective has generated his design philosophy to create landscapes that foster prospect and perspective while creating meaningful spaces with a strong sense of place. Outside of landscape architecture and photography, Chris enjoys spending his time on a golf course.