Practice Management (Contracts / Insurance / Finance / Personnel)

Education Session - Panel Format

SUN-A07 - Positive Changes in the Landscape: A Discussion on Female Leadership and Courage

Sunday, October 21
11:00 AM - 12:30 PM
Location: 118


Recent movements on equality and harassment shone a light on the significant challenges women face in the workforce. Though the world of landscape is no safe haven, increasingly women have presence at our profession’s helm. This panel features four women who broke away from traditional firms to lead new practices.

Learning Objectives:

Steven Spears, FASLA, AICP

GroundWork Development Company

Steven Spears, FASLA, PLA, AICP is an independent design consultant and a Principal with GroundWork Development Company. Spears holds a BLA degree with Honors from Ball State University and earned his MFA in Design from The University of Texas at Austin. Through leadership, design, development, and research, Spears methodically integrates the local values of economy, sustainability, culture, and human sensory. Spears’ private and public-sector planning, design and development efforts have been recognized at the state and national level. Spears is a member of ASLA and APA. He was inducted into the ASLA Council of Fellows in 2015.


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Cinda Gilliland, ASLA, LEED AP

Reed Gilliland

After 20+ years at SWA Group Cinda Gilliland left to open an independent landscape architectural practice. As a principal at SWA she led teams designing a range of award-winning projects in the United States, China, and India. Project types include campuses, mixed-use projects, community parks, and urban plazas. Over the years she has evolved a belief in the power of nature, design, and the infectious energy of human creativity to catalyze social change and community cohesiveness. She founded several in-house studio innovation initiatives at SWA including the Women’s Forum and the Culture Club, and the firm-wide Social Impact Design Initiative.


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Gina Ford, FASLA

Principal and Co-Founder
Agency Landscape + Planning

Gina Ford is a landscape architect, co-founder and principal of Agency Landscape + Planning. Underpinning her two decades of practice are a commitment to the design of public places and the perpetuation of the value of landscape architecture via teaching, writing and lecturing. Her work has received awards from the American Society of Landscape Architects, the American Planning Association and the American Institute of Architects, among others. She is on the board of directors for the Cultural Landscape Foundation and was the recipient of the Harvard Graduate School of Design’s Charles Eliot Travelling Fellowship and Wellesley College’s Shaw Fellowship.


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Jamie Maslyn-Larson, ASLA

Wagner Hodgson Landscape Architecture

Jamie Maslyn Larson's 20-year career in landscape architecture has focused on projects that embody transformation and design excellence. Her portfolio of award-winning projects demonstrates her dedication to the important role of the public realm in shaping cities and her deep commitment to design quality at every scale and stage of the process. Jamie lectures and presents at national conferences and universities and has been published in Landscape Journal.


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Rebecca Leonard, ASLA, AICP

CEO and Founder

Rebecca Leonard, FAICP, PLA, CNU-A, founder of Lionheart Places LLC, has over 20 years of experience in landscape architecture, community planning, urban design, and stakeholder engagement. She has designed significant projects in the realm of parks and plazas such as the Houston Arboretum and Nature Center and the Lafitte Greenway in New Orleans. She has led urban redevelopments, master planned communities, corporate campuses and resorts. Rebecca’s desire to balance the environmental, community, and economic benefits in every project creates successful results. She works closely with her clients to ensure that the plans she helps create are implemented.


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SUN-A07 - Positive Changes in the Landscape: A Discussion on Female Leadership and Courage

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