2017 Speakers Archive

Jeremy Bailey

Senior Consultant – GreenBlue Urban
Jeremy is a senior consultant at GreenBlue Urban, where his experience covers a broad range including sustainable development, green infrastructure, urban tree planting, and stormwater management. His knowledge offers many insights into the values of incorporating green infrastructure designs into the urban landscape, providing many solutions that are being utilized globally. Jeremy is an avid traveler who has provided presentations at green infrastructure and sustainable development conferences across the continent, and has lectured at universities in the United States and Canada.


Tyler Baird

Horticultural Specialist – City of Iowa City, Parks & Recreation
Tyler Baird is the Horticultural Specialist for the City of Iowa City. His diverse roles include design, maintenance, and collaboration with design consultants on projects throughout the city especially projects occurring in parks and the central business district. Tyler’s education includes a BLA from Iowa State University and a MS in Human Dimensions of Ecosystem Science and Management from Utah State University. After prior work in the public sector for the National Park Service and Missouri State Parks he joined the City of Iowa City two years ago as they began their push for increased plant diversity citywide.

Joshua Barr

Des Moines Civil Rights Director – City of Des Moines
Joshua is a native of Sumter, SC, is Director of the Civil & Human Rights Department for the City of Des Moines. He earned his Bachelor’s of Business Administration in the area of Management from Francis Marion University in Florence, SC in 2003. Joshua graduated from the University of South Carolina School of Law in May 2007. He received his MBA in 2008 from the Smeal College of Business MBA Program at Pennsylvania State University (Penn State). In 2010, Joshua moved to Colombia, South America to conduct research on institutional corruption at Pontificia Universidad Javeriana Cali (Javeriana University). Joshua later became a professor at Javeriana University teaching International Business and Law courses. From 2013 to 2015, Joshua worked as a civil rights attorney and the State Fair Housing Director at the South Carolina Human Affairs Commission.

Jeffrey L. Bruce, FASLA

President – Jeffrey L. Bruce Company
Jeffrey L. Bruce, FASLA, is Owner of Jeffrey L. Bruce & Company (JBC) a national landscape architectural firm. Founded 1986, JBC provides highly specialized technical support to many of  the nation’s leading Architectural and Landscape Architectural firms on a wide variety of project profiles, including engineered soils, green roof technologies, urban agronomy, green infrastructure, performance sports turf, water harvesting, and irrigation engineering.  Mr. Bruce’s accomplishments, commitment and vision are well documented.  He has received over  120 separate design and leadership awards.  Award winning projects of his firm, Jeffrey l. Bruce & Company, have been published 230 times.  He has been licensed to practice in 26 states and has served as an invited lecturer, visiting critic, and speaker at over 200 conferences and trade shows.  In 1996, Mr. Bruce was elected Fellow of the American Society of Landscape Architects.  He is Past President of the American Society of Irrigation Consultants (ASIC) and Chairman of Green Roofs for Healthy Cites (GRHC).

Jane Ellery

Senior Fellow / Asst. Professor – Ball State University, Project for Public Spaces
Jane is a Senior Fellow with Project for Public Spaces (PPS), a member of the Placemaking Leadership Council, and an Assistant Professor of Wellness Management at Ball State University. Jane’s passion lies in person-centered, place-led community change and in developing a better understanding of the relationship between engagement, placemaking, and wellbeing. Jane has a Ph.D. in Public Health/Social and Behavioral Health, and she is currently on special leave from her university work to help lead the efforts of the Healthy Places team within the Placemaking Leadership Council as they work to connect placemaking and the potential for positive health outcomes.

Peter J. Ellery

Faculty Instructor – Ball State University
Peter is a full-time, contract faculty member in the Department of Landscape Architecture at Ball State University. A Ball State University Olmsted Scholar and 2013 Master of Landscape Architecture degree graduate, Peter also has Masters and Doctoral Degrees in Health, Physical Education and Recreation for Individuals with Disabilities from the Ohio State University. Peter combines his past education and work experience in health and movement with the skills and education he received in his landscape architecture degree to develop socially, economically, and environmentally sustainable communities using a community-centered, community-engaged, collaborative design process.

Jack McMahan

President – Crossing the Chasm, LLC
John (Jack) McMahan is the Executive Director of Accessworks, Inc. an Oklahoma nonprofit company that helps architects, municipal managers and facility owners and managers design, build and fund recreation and leisure programs for people with disabilities.  He is also a certified ADA Coordinator and President of Crossing the Chasm, LLC, an accessibility management company where he specialized in program access.

Nuo Man

Masters of Landscape Architecture Program, Iowa State University
Nuo Man grew up in Inner Mongolia, China. She completed graduate school in December 2016 at Iowa State University with dual master’s degrees in Landscape Architecture and Design in Sustainable Environments. Her research and professional interests relate to the design of resilient waterscapes and green technology related to stormwater and water quality. She worked as a research assistant with College of Design faculty Mimi Wagner and Austin Stewart during 2015 – 2016 academic year. Her final studio project focused on redesign of a hypereutrophic artificial retention pond, similar to Lake LaVerne, on a university campus in the China Hohhot area. She produced a final proposal and report redesigning the lake including a stormwater treatment system. Following graduation, she plans to pursue a career in landscape architecture in the U.S. Eventually she hopes to return to her hometown and help spread green technology ideas in her hometown and witness their implementation.

Ben Page, CPRP

Parks & Recreation Department Director, City of Des Moines
Ben serves as the City of Des Moines Park and Recreation Director. His high level of energy, contagious enthusiasm and ability to work and communicate effectively with all ages have led to career successes built on genuine relationships. Ben was named Director in 2012 after serving six years as Assistant Director. He is responsible for a $14.8 million operating budget and six-year $48 million capital improvement program; 76 parks; over 3800 acres of park and open space land; 71 miles of trails; golf courses; aquatic centers and beach; marina; community centers; sports complexes; performing arts amphitheaters; world-class artists sculpture park; Riverwalk; AAA baseball stadium; zoological park; botanical center; city-wide streetscapes; cemeteries; skating plaza; and recreational programming. Ben was recognized by the Business Record of Des Moines as a 40 under 40 award recipient for career achievements, community involvement and civic activities and by the Iowa Parks and Recreation Association with the Slattery-Trueblood Professional Award and the Dr. Carole J. Hanson New Professional Award.

Jennifer Pospichal

Outdoor Recreation Products
Since 1995 Jennifer Pospichal has been co-owner, along with Bill Pospichal, of Outdoor Recreation Products.  Covering Iowa and Nebraska, Outdoor Recreation Products is the Landscape Structures Play Equipment representative.  Their company also represents a full line of park furnishings, splash pads, and athletic equipment.  They are avid supporters of the Nebraska and Iowa ASLA chapters and the Nebraska and Iowa Park and Recreation associations.  Jennifer, Bill and Rick are Certified Playground Safety Inspectors (CPSI).

Jennifer Richmond, ASLA

Parks & Recreation Planning and Development Administrator – City of Des Moines
Jennifer serves as the City of Des Moines Park and Recreation Planning and Development Administrator, overseeing the design division and capital improvement program of the department. Prior to joining the City of Des Moines, Jenny practiced in both Portland, OR and Des Moines, IA in the private sector, always with a focus on public places. Jennifer received her landscape architecture degree from Iowa State University and has served a double term as President of the ASLA Oregon Chapter.

Ken Smith

Principal – Ken Smith Workshop
Ken Smith is one of the best-known of a generation of landscape architects equally at home in the worlds of art, architecture, and urbanism. Trained in both design and the fine arts, he explores the relationship between art, contemporary culture, and landscape. His practice, Ken Smith Workshop, was established in 1992 and is based in New York City.

He is committed to creating landscapes, especially parks and other public spaces, as a way of improving the quality of urban life. Much of his work pushes beyond traditional landscape typologies—plaza, street, and garden—to landscapes that draw on diverse cultural traditions and influences of the contemporary urban landscape. Smith’s approach is directed at projects of varying scales and types: temporary installations, private residential gardens, public spaces, parks, and commercial projects. With a particular emphasis on projects that explore the symbolic content and expressive power of landscape as an art form, the Workshop specializes in the investigation of new expressions in landscape design.

Ken Smith is a graduate of Iowa State University and the Harvard University Graduate School of Design. He has taught and lectured at Harvard, the City College of New York, and other universities and institutions around the world. Smith’s work has been published widely in the popular and trade press.

Ken Smith is licensed as a landscape architect in New York, California, New Mexico, Kentucky, Virginia and Iowa. He is a Fellow in the American Society of Landscape Architects.

Austin Stewart

Art and Visual Culture Assistant Professor, Sustainable Environments, Iowa State University
Austin Stewart is an American artist and an Assistant Professor at Iowa State University.   His practice critically considers culture, human behavior, and ecological crises. The work manifests in a variety of different media from video to robotics, performance to software design, and from virtual reality for chickens to vegetated floating islands. He frequently collaborates on projects with other artists, musicians, designers, and scientists.

He received his BFA from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago, and his MFA from The Ohio State University. His work has been selected to appear in the 18th Annual Japan Media Arts Festival; ISEA 2015; at the Science Gallery, Trinity College, Dublin; Museum für Kunst und Gewerbe Hamburg; among others. In 2015 he was recognized by the Des Moines Art Center as part of the Iowa Artist series. His work has been featured extensively by the international press including, The Economist, The Guardian, Le Monde, The Smithsonian, Vox.com, and other outlets.

Bryan Sykora

Regional Manager – Landscape Structures, Inc.
Since 1995 Bryan Sykora, Landscape Structures Region Manager, has been traveling across the United States and Canada speaking to municipal park and recreation professionals, school officials, landscape architects  and other groups interested in key topics that impact the playground industry.

The range of topics focus on all facets of outdoor playground design and development — Trends, History, Inclusive Playgrounds, ADA Requirements, Nature Inspired, Fitness Focused and Safety and Maintenance.

Through his travels both presenting and representing Landscape Structures, the leading commercial play equipment manufacturer in the world, Bryan realizes the importance of education and knowledge based consulting in designing, manufacturing and installing quality play environments. Bryan’s energetic presentation style and audience involvement makes for educational and memorable sessions.

Mimi Wagner

Associate Professor of Landscape Architecture – Iowa State University
Mimi Wagner is a landscape architect and Associate Professor at Iowa State University. Her practice and research focus on the role of landscape architects as interdisciplinary leaders and strategists, particularly in ways that generate social action and change. Specific interests include river systems, water quality and public perception and engagement. She frequently collaborates with fluvial geomorphologists, aquatic biologists and engineers. Mimi’s project work and research have been recognized nationally including an ASLA Centennial Medallion and an NEA Federal Design Achievement Award. She teaches both undergraduate and graduate students in ISU’s Landscape Architecture Department and Master of Design in Sustainable Environments Program.





Call for Presenters 2017




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