We are pleased to announce that we have brought on several new leaders that will help shape the future of our firm in positive, impactful ways. Most recently, Christina Moon, PLA, ISA Certified Arborist comes to us with more than 20 years in Landscape Architecture and Environmental Design, with a special interest in integrating native and well-adapted plant species into meaningful designs that bring people closer to the natural environment. She has effortlessly stepped in as a lead in our Austin office, working with the team on the Austin State Hospital Brain Healthy System Redesign and the North Lamar Boulevard & Burnet Road Corridor Improvements. Another big hire for our Austin office is Rob Ross, PLA – he comes to us with a background in a wide variety of projects including but not limited to city parks, streetscapes, K-12 schools, higher education campuses, mixed-use developments and civic and nonprofit developments.
While we have been excited about new hires and will continue to provide exceptional service to our clients and the communities we serve, we have also had a couple of departures in our leadership. In June and July 2022, Managing Principal Zakcq Lockrem, AICP, and Principal Meghan Skornia, AICP, left Asakura Robinson to pursue other opportunities. Although their leadership and vision will be missed, Asakura Robinson has identified a transition plan to resolve the need for leadership and project managers. All clients and partners have been notified of the following changes.
Zakcq leaves behind a great legacy in leading our planning studio and the firm in our Minneapolis office. He began working at AR in early 2011 as our first official Planner and quickly expanded the planning group by hiring talented staff with diverse backgrounds in specialties and project experience. His projects over the years were extensive and award-winning, including the Opus Area Placemaking and Urban Design Implementation Plan and the Historic Walker Lake District Revitalization Plan.
While he will be missed, we look forward to continuing his vision with new leaders in the Minneapolis area, including Senior Planner Kadence Novak – they have been with AR for three years and focus on active transportation, sustainable community development, and inclusive community engagement processes. Kadence is currently working on Hennepin County’s Livable Lowry Avenue Reconstruction, where they are making an impact by planning a safer, welcoming and more livable corridor to all users by implementing bicycle and pedestrian facilities and enhancing the streetscape to support a vibrant small business corridor.
For six years, Meghan has grown the Planning Studio’s presence in our Urban Design projects with her background in design, zoning and interest in placemaking. She has played a crucial part in this firm, focusing on small area planning, downtown planning, vacant land strategy, highway removal, creative placemaking, strategic planning, and public space strategy. Her leadership was invaluable in projects such as Plan Downtown, Austin Strategic Housing Blueprint Implementation, and the most recent award-winning East Aldine Livable Center Study. As Principal, she opened our San Antonio office and continued developing relationships and expanding our efforts.
As Meghan exits, Senior Planner Brianna Frey, AICP, will lead the planning studio. A planner and data-analyst, her work focuses on small area planning, strategic planning, and economic development. She is passionate about the intersection of community development and placemaking and has worked on impactful projects such as the Precinct 2 Parks and Trails Master Plan and the recently completed Downtown Lufkin Economic Development and Public Realm Vision Plan.
Along with leadership departures and internal transitions, AR has moved to consolidate our offices – we will be closing our physical New Orleans and San Antonio locations and will continue to serve our local clients and colleagues from our other national offices – Houston, Austin, Seattle, and Minneapolis.
Our New Orleans office has been serving the regional community since 2016 with community-focused projects such as Imagine Plank Road: A Plan for Equitable Development and most recently the St. Tammany Parish Comprehensive Plan Update, which takes a comprehensive, in-depth look at how citizens, residents, and the Parish government envision the development and evolution of the Parish in the future. Our Planning and Landscape Studios are excited to continue their work within the City – be it comprehensive plans, stormwater management projects or ecological improvements. One of our youngest offices, San Antonio, will also be closing. Our local talent in Austin and Houston is actively supporting projects and engaging the community on future parks and planning efforts.
For more information, please contact Marketing Manager Amanda Wheeless.