dean's advisory council
Chris Hite (BLA '87) leads Dix.Hite + Partners, a Central Florida-based design firm she founded with fellow landscape architect Jeff Dix in 1996. As president of the firm, Chris provides visionary leadership to a growing practice, which now includes the talent of more than 30 employees in Florida, Alabama and Georgia. Her exemplary leadership recently was recognized by the Orlando Business Journal, which named Chris a 2017 CEO of the Year for Central Florida.
Chris’ design work celebrates the unique characteristics of a place’s social and geographical context, with a special focus on local ecologies, cultural identity, history, native plants, local materials, urban form, regional character and quality of life.
In addition to managing a portfolio of projects ranging from multi-family residential developments to citywide plans, she advances the practice of landscape architecture by sharing her professional experience and knowledge with young professionals, students, community leaders and clients in both the public and private sectors.
In addition to joining the Dean’s Advisory Council for the University of Georgia’s College of Environment and Design, Chris also serves on an advisory council for her other alma mater: the Department of Landscape Architecture at the University of Florida. Chris taught as an adjunct professor at UF and served as volunteer president of the alumni association for the Georgia program. She also has volunteered her time to provide pro bono help to communities in need in Central and northern Florida and in Southeast Asia.
Chris’ passion for artful design, environmental sustainability and healthy lifestyles is evident in a portfolio that spans nearly three decades of residential landscape design, public parks, open space and ecologically friendly infrastructure projects built in the state of Florida and throughout the United States.
Donna Ratchford Adamson is a native of Savannah, Georgia, who received her Journalism degree and Masters in Historic Preservation from the University of Georgia. Donna had a career in real estate appraisal specializing in historic properties with Considine & Company, and in recent years has been the Director of the Harper Fowlkes House, a house museum in Savannah. Donna has dedicated her volunteer efforts in preservation to Historic Savannah Foundation and the Frank Lloyd Wright Building Conservancy, having served on the board and as president of the former and for the latter in various capacities including two three board terms since its inception in 1987. Donna recently served on the Steering Committee of the College of Environment and Design, and has been recognized with the Distinguished Alumni award.
Bill Caldwell, ASLA (BLA '97) is a registered landscape architect possessing over 20 years of professional experience spanning the fields of land planning, institutional design, parks and recreation, as well as private and community garden design.
As Director of the Landscape Studio at Harrison Design, Bill is responsible for both client and project management with the goal to deliver high quality land design solutions within established parameters of budget and timeline. Working assiduously with clients, stakeholder groups, contractors, and allied professionals is a service trademark of both Harrison Design and Bill Caldwell. Bill exhibits patience, creativity and leadership to forge client consensus into a successful project. Prior to joining Harrison Design, Bill served as Atlanta Office Manager at BWSC, a multi-disciplinary architectural/engineering firm and before that, apprenticed under the late Dan Franklin who was a highly esteemed alumnus of the CED.
Bill’s commitment to community service, endorsed by Harrison Design, has resulted in working with the Buckhead Alliance on a redesign for the new Charlie Loudermilk Park at Buckhead Triangle as well as aiding the Southeastern Horticulture Society in the development of a system of Community Learning Gardens throughout Atlanta, which are geared towards environmental education and providing healthy food for the less fortunate. Bill also serves as an Executive board member and chair of the master plan committee for the Chastain Park Conservancy which is Atlanta’s largest park where he recently led the development of a 1 acre expansion of the park’s playground. In support of his alma mater, Bill currently previously served the College of Environment Design as CEDAA president in addition to sitting on the CED Capital Campaign Cabinet in effort to develop a fund-raising strategy for an addition to the CED’s new home in the historic Visual Arts building. Bill also represents the CED through service on the UGA Alumni Association Board.
Bill currently lives in Smyrna, Georgia with his wife Marie, and enjoys gardening, golf, traveling, and rough-housing with his four nephews.
Ed Castro (BLA ‘88) is President and CEO of one of Atlanta’s leading Landscape Design/Build & Maintenance firms, Ed Castro Landscape. Ed constantly strives to be the recognized leader in residential garden design, construction, and maintenance. Partnering environmental responsibility and architectural beauty, Ed Castro works with multiple prominent high end residential builders in the Atlanta area. A sampling of his other projects include: City of Roswell Planting and Maintenance, City of Alpharetta Planting and Maintenance, Cabbage Town Park Construction, Candler Park Renovation, and Chastain Park Design Development Standards. Ed Castro has supported three schools’ “Partner in Education” Program. In addition, he currently supports over a dozen of the non-profit organizations in Atlanta committed to improving quality of life.
Kona Gray (BLA '97) As a firm leader with 29 years of experience in 30+ countries, Kona Gray (BLA ’97)’s global design and management sense has positively shaped many environments. Kona envisions welcoming places that promote community and vitality in diverse neighborhoods around the world. His portfolio includes award-winning projects that solve meaningful global issues with emphasis on communities, parks, hospitality, urban public realms, mixed-use destinations, healthcare and campus spaces.
A Fellow of the American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA), Kona currently serves on the Landscape Architecture Accreditation Board and Urban Land Institute Southeast Florida/Caribbean Advisory Board. He also served as ASLA Vice President Professional Practice and Landscape Architecture Foundation President. Kona serves on the University of Miami School of Architecture MRED+U and NSU School of Business MSRED Real Estate School Advisory Boards. He is a registered Landscape Architect holding a Bachelor of Landscape Architecture from the University of Georgia and Commercial Real Estate Certificate from Cornell University.
Bob Hughes (BLA ’77) is a founding partner, president and principal of HGOR. Since the firm’s establishment in 1992, the practice has sought to create great places – producing sound returns on investment and yielding a stewardship ethic for future generations. He has spent thirty-seven years of his thirty-nine year career working out of Atlanta, completing projects in twenty-three states and six countries.
Throughout his career, Bob has become a recognized leader in innovative and sustainable design. He works closely with clients to develop powerful ideas into resolute realities. Bob’s demonstrated ability to understand and build consensus around a comprehensive vision has led HGOR and its clients to receive more than eighty professional awards for planning and design, including twenty-three state, regional and national ASLA awards.
Bob is married to Mary, has four children and four grandchildren and resides in Atlanta, GA, where HGOR continues to have a major presence in shaping the city and region.
Dale Jaeger (MLA ’82) has over 30 years of experience in the design and planning of landscape architecture and preservation projects and is well-versed in multi-disciplinary team management. Dale’s special interests include cultural landscapes, downtown and roadway streetscapes and enhancement plans, and pedestrian/bikeway trails and greenways. Since establishing The Jaeger Company in 1984, Dale served as the firm’s Principal Landscape Architect and Preservation Planner. With the sale of the firm in 2014, Dale continues to work within the framework of the new firm, WLA Studio.
Scott Jones (BLA ‘77) is a founding partner of Site Solutions, based in Atlanta. His love of architecture and landscape led to the profession of landscape architecture at a youthful age. Scott had a yearning to create unique and transformative spaces for people, not the buildings and vehicles, so he started his own firm.
Today, Scott continues to provide design, construction administration, office management, vision for the future and business development. He devotes his time to teaching young people in his field and has served as the President of the Georgia Chapter of American Society of Landscape Architects. He is a Board member of the Chastain Park Conservancy and is a volunteer member of NPU-A. Scott enjoys golf, gardening, travel, motorcycle riding and painting. He is married with two grown children.
Lawrie Jordan (BLA ’73) is the current Director of Imagery and Remote Sensing at Esri, a leader in ArcGIS software. His career includes cutting edge research and application of GIS in environmental and civil projects across the globe. He has advised numerous government organizations on current trends involving imagery and satellite programs.
After graduating with his MLA from the Harvard School of Design, Jordan and his fellow UGA alumnus Bruce Rado founded the software company ERDAS, which became an industry leader in processing satellite imagery to show global changes in the environment.
It was at the Harvard that the two met Esri founder and fellow Landscape Architect Jack Dangermond. ERDAS and Esri became key strategic business partners for more than twenty years until Jordan and Rado sold their company and retired in 2001. Jordan came out of retirement in 2008 to become Esri’s Corporate Director of Imagery and Remote Sensing and Special Assistant to Jack Dangermond.
Lucy Lawliss, FASLA, (BLA and MLA, '79) received her degrees in Landscape Architecture with a certificate in Historic Preservation from the University of Georgia. She retired from the National Park Service in 2016, with 25 years of experience as a historic landscape architect and program lead for the Southeast Region, Atlanta, GA (1991-2001), the NPS Cultural Landscapes Program lead in Washington, D.C. (2001-2005), and finally as superintendent for three historical parks in the Northeast Region (2008-2013) which included three National Historic Landmark sites. Throughout her career she played a lead role in developing the methodology for inventorying, evaluating, and managing cultural landscapes, including designed and vernacular historic cemeteries. Ms. Lawliss authored several award-winning publications including Residential Work of the Olmsted Firm in Georgia, 1893-1937 (1993) and was an editor and author for The Master List of Design Projects of the Olmsted Firm, 1857-1979 (2008).
Since her retirement, Ms. Lawliss moved to Bradenton, Florida, and has been serving as Chair for the National Association for Olmsted Parks and the lead for NAOP’s effort to promote a 2022 nationwide celebration of the Olmsted legacy in association with the bicentennial of Frederick Law Olmsted’s birth.
Lois Silliman Mash was introduced to Landscape Architecture while she and her mother both attended the University of Georgia in 1978. Her mother, Edah Silliman was studying to receive her Masters in the program while Lois was struggling with her classes in Vet Medicine. As the first born and only daughter, Lois did not realize during her childhood she indirectly benefitted from her mother’s passion for plants and design. Mrs. Silliman suggested Lois try some classes and she realized how much she enjoyed it too and received her BLA in 1980. After getting some experience in Atlanta with regional and national firms she joined her mother’s firm in Birmingham, Alabama in 1988. After her mother retired, Lois followed her husband to the coast of Alabama where she opened a second office and changed the firm’s name to Site Works, Inc. The firm’s projects ranged from national retail developments to coastal resorts. In 2007 through Valleycrest’s acquisition of her studio, she joined the newly established landscape architectural design division. As the great recession brought down the collapse of Landscape Architecture, she left Valleycrest to practice as Greenview Studio, Inc. in Birmingham, Alabama. Over her forty-two year career she’s grown to offer award winning design services in Landscape Architecture, Land Planning, and Urban Design. Like her mother, she decided to show her gratitude to the College of Environment and Design by establishing her own scholarship fund. Lois is also the representative of the Edah Brittian Grover fund established in 1996. Other than landscape design, she enjoys painting large canvases of floral subjects, golf, hiking, cooking and gardening.
Bruce Rado (BLA ‘71) cofounded ERDAS in 1978 with Mr. Lawrie Jordan (BLA '73), and as Vice President, led their strategic planning, marketing, corporate direction, customer care, future products and the company’s financial oversight. ERDAS was an Atlanta-based, international company, whose acronym stands for Earth Resource Data Analysis Systems, often referred to as GIS (geographical information systems). ERDAS software transforms geospatial data into information useful for decision-making processes across a span of disciplines. Bruce remains active in and supportive of the College of Environment and Design, helping with various special projects, and has a family foundation scholarship endowment which promotes graduate education in the areas of GIS study or research.
Amy Thomas (BLA ’79, MBA ’84) is a Senior Project Manager with CBRE, "the world’s largest commercial real estate services and investment firm," in the Charlotte, NC office. Her focus for the last 10 years has been Corporate Headquarters’ projects for Duke Energy, RJReynolds, Red Hat and Ally Bank. The previous 24 years she dedicated to Bank of America in real estate development projects including affordable housing, urban housing, and mixed use. Directing project teams on interior buildouts for new high rise and midrise Bank properties led to a transition from the Bank to CBRE. Initial work experience was with landscape architectural firms in Savannah and Charleston, followed by the decision to attend Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business for an MBA.
Lance Watson(BLA ’98) grew up in Perry, GA. After attending UGA, he worked with a landscape architecture and civil engineering firm, DPR Associates in Charlotte, NC. Watson returned to GA, working with a consulting firm in middle Georgia to assist with underwriting, feasibility study, cost budgeting, site design, zoning and construction management for the development of 14 Walgreen’s Drugstores in Georgia and South Carolina In January 2003, Watson began his real estate development company, Crown Development Group concentrating on acquiring land and developing retail projects in Georgia. In 2013 Watson formed WATMOR, LLC in effort to expand their real estate development presence and to be able to service more clients. Watson and his company have a tremendous amount of experience with the entire process of developing commercial retail projects for many of the top named retailers in the country. Watson and his company bought their office building located in Paper Mill Village at 171 Village Parkway, Marietta, GA in 2012. They currently have their offices there today. He lives in Indian Hills Country Club with his wife Jennifer and their 2 daughters, Caroline and Jenna Kate.
Jon Williams (BLA '96) President and CEO of W&A Engineering, Jon Williams is a Southeast Georgia native, raised in the small town of Alma in Bacon County. After graduating from the University of Georgia, Williams continued to live in Athens where he established W&A in 1999 at the age of 26. W&A has since grown into a multi-disciplined, national engineering firm with work in over 40 states and offices in Athens and Nashville. After W&A’s participation on the Caterpillar project, and because of Williams’ dedication to Georgia’s economic growth, he established an Economic Development department within the company and now supports more than 40 Georgia communities with on call assistance and services. In addition to helping local communities grow, Williams and his team at W&A are dedicated community volunteers, donating over $100,000 in time to Extra Special People, encouraging over $800,000 of in-kind contributions to facilitate ESP’s new building in Watkinsville, and facilitating a partnership between UGA and GA Tech to plan ESP’s new Camp Hooray facility. In addition to W&A's work with ESP, Williams has donated time and services to the new Firefly Trail and has served on boards for the Athens Area Homebuilders Association, Oconee Chamber of Commerce, the OC Economic Development Committee, and ESP. Williams is married to Amy Stone, also a graduate of UGA in Landscape Architecture. Stone is the Economic Development and Planning Director for Oglethorpe County. Together, Williams and Stone have four children between the ages of 5 and 14.
Becky Young is a graduate of UGA with a degree in Economics. Upon graduation she attended Paralegal school and had a career with the Georgia-Pacific Corporation’s legal department. Her three daughters and three sons-in-law are UGA graduates. UGA plays an important role in the Young family. Young met her husband, Howard, while attending.
Young began her relationship with the CED through her membership in the Peachtree Garden Club, of which she is a past President and former Chair of the Club’s Neel Reid Scholarship Committee, which she headed for six years. The Club began the Neel Reid Foundation in 1946. The Neel Reid Scholarship Fund is a perpetual scholarship in Landscape Architecture at UGA.