Thomas Whitlock, ASLA, PLA
PresidentTom 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
Jean Garbarini, ASLA, PLA
PrincipalJean 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 / Water Works Park / Maple Grove Central Park / Track 29 Apartments / Itasca Biological Station Cultural Resource Survey + Management Plan / Shaw Point, Sand Island Cultural Landscape Study / Midtown Greenway / Minnehaha Park Regional Play Area
Senior AssociateJeff has over 28 years of experience leading a broad range of complex and award-winning landscape architecture and urban design projects. Jeff’s areas of expertise include urban design, park planning and design, campus, community, and resort planning, and public space design. He has devoted his career to planning and designing memorable places through collaborative efforts with clients and communities. Jeff’s project experience includes providing design leadership for Riverfront Park in Denver, Colorado, a ULI Award of Excellence winning project that has transformed an underutilized neighborhood on the edge of downtown Denver into a showcase, riverfront neighborhood, and Great River Passage, an ASLA award-winning master plan for 17-miles of Saint Paul’s parks and recreation spaces along the Mississippi River. In addition to his project experience, Jeff serves on the Minnesota ULI Resilient Communities Council and continues to stay involved as a guest critic at the University of Minnesota College of Design.
Matt Wilkens, ASLA, PLA
Senior AssociateMatt 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.
Hiawatha Maintenance Facility / Woodland Adventure Playground / Hanifl Family Wild Woods / Central Park Play Area / Montessori Training Center of Minnesota / Crossroads Park / Camp Ripley Education Complex
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
Senior AssociateLance 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.
University of Minnesota - Athletes Village / University of Minnesota - Clinics & Surgery Center / Roseville Library / University of Minnesota - Biomedical Discovery District / University of St. Thomas Student Center / Mankato Riverfront Park / University of St. Thomas Athletic & Recreation Center
AssociateJennifer Germain is a registered landscape architect who came to the profession through a love of art and the natural environment and the possibilities they bring to the built environment. At Damon Farber she has been actively involved in the design, detailing and implementation oversight of a variety of project types including educational, institutional and mixed-use developments. Her career experience spans from public parks and courtyards to cultural memorials and play environments. Jennifer’s design approach combines a thoughtfulness to scale, context, user experience and materiality. She enjoys exploring design challenges with multidisciplinary teams in a collaborative design process while maintaining a commitment to sustain both client as well as environmental and cultural needs.
Rachel Baudler Blaseg
AssociateWith 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.
Child Development Center - Play Yard / Burnsville Center Village Redevelopment Plan / Skyway Commons Park / Front Street Connectivity Plan / Lake Elmo / The Parklot Project / Itasca Historical Report / Ridgedale Area Public Realm
Matt Rentsch, ASLA, PLA
Matt is a licensed landscape architect with a passion for the profession’s diverse combination of disciplines—art, planning, ecology, architecture and horticulture. For nearly two decades at multi-disciplinary firms in the Twin Cities, this passion has driven his experiences on successful public and private development projects, locally and nationally. His experience extends into leadership and voluntary roles, serving as a representative on the Blue Line Extension Business Advisory Committee and past President of the Minnesota Chapter of ASLA. A South Dakota native and a SDSU graduate, you can find Matt exploring local plant nurseries and tackling weekend projects in his midcentury home.
AssociateA 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 Refsland, PLA, LEED AP
AssociateJodi 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.
As an Associate with Damon Farber, Kevin leads and assists a talented team of designers in the design and delivery of numerous large-scale projects including corporate and academic campuses, urban parks and mixed-use developments. He recently served as the lead designer for The Market Street Mixed-Use Development at 50th and France in Edina, Minnesota. Kevin believes that innovative and programmatic design is a catalyst for transforming the urban core and must reflect the values and needs of the surrounding community. He is invested in creating landscapes that are beautiful, contemporary and unexpected while also completely functional and universally accessible. In 2016, Kevin moved to the Twin Cities after spending six years working for industry-leading design firms in San Diego and Chicago. His love of the urban outdoors significantly influenced his career and his desire to create landscapes that provide people intimate encounters with public realm.
Brian 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.
AssociateChris is a MN native and recently completed his Master 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.
AssociateAmber Hill focuses on creating contemplative spaces that reveal a connection between the built environment and nature. She is dedicated to artful design and improving the quality and experience of public space. Amber received her Masters of Landscape Architecture degree from the University of Minnesota. While pursuing her graduate degree, she received multiple awards of excellence in design and has taught at the University of Minnesota, participates in Women in Landscape Architecture and is an advocate for increasing diversity in the profession. Amber has worked on impactful urban projects including a 1,200 acre conceptual master plan in Riyadh as well as a master plan for the Heart of the City in Rochester, Minnesota.
AssociateBorn and raised in Minnesota, his connection to the outdoor environment was created through a life of action sports and a desire to explore new places. Recently completing his Master of Landscape Architecture degree at the University of Minnesota, he has a passion for discovering the systems at play in our surroundings and aims to better connect them with our everyday lives. The execution of a design idea, from the system to the detail, drive his interests in landscape architecture. Jacob’s attention to the little things brings another sharp eye to Damon Farber. In his free time, he loves to skateboard, snowboard, and spend time with his family.
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.
InternLeyla is a rising senior at the University of Minnesota studying Urban Planning and Architecture with a minor in Sustainability. She is passionate about improving the living conditions of developing countries through sustainable infrastructure. Leyla is interested in designing unique solutions for complicated problems, including those within our parks, communities, and housing. She also has a passion for learning and exploring the hidden gems of Minneapolis.
StepUp InternSichoun joins the Damon Farber team through the StepUp program. He will be a Senior at Patrick Henry High School. He has been in the StepUp program for four years, previously working in other offices and cleaning our city’s parks. Sichoun enjoys spending time in nature and loves animals. After he graduates, Sichoun plans to attend college to study Architecture. His dream is to start his own architecture company to change the world and improve the quality of life for humans and nature.