Knaak Design Group Landscape Architects
PRINCIPAL / LANDSCAPE ARCHITECT
Robert B. Knäak, ASLA, RLA, CLARB , CBC
Registered landscape architect, Robert B. Knäak, has achieved expertise in the design of master planned resorts and communities throughout the United States. After graduating from Polytechnic State University in San Luis Obispo, California, Robert has had the opportunity to work for some of the country’s most prestigious land development companies while mastering the art of country club and resort design. Developing master plans, establishing design criteria, and creating beautiful landscape themes became an integral part of his experience. As principal of Knäak Design Group, his responsibilities include contract preparation and negotiation along with the management of land development & landscape architectural projects. He is currently responsible for overseeing conceptual design, design development, and construction document stages on all development projects.
Robert B. Knäak is a licensed registered landscape architect in Arizona (RLA #52862), Florida (RLA #6666907), and Texas (RLA #2591). He is also a member of the American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA), a Certified Florida Building Contractor (CBC #1256813), and holds certification with the Council of Landscape Architectural Registration Boards (CLARB #6093).
ASSOCIATE / DIRECTOR OF DESIGN
Frances Rippcondi, BLA, ASLA
Frances Rippcondi’s passion for nature, interest in art and experience in graphic design led her to pursue a career in landscape architecture. In 1996, she graduated Summa Cum Laude from the School of Architecture and Design receiving a Bachelor’s of Landscape Architecture degree from the University of Florida.
For over 15 years, Frances has gained extensive knowledge and experience working with the nation’s largest award-winning land development company, creating premier master-planned communities extending throughout the state of Florida. As a team leader, she plays a key role in the development and design of community images, project placement within the market, and the support of key branding efforts through landscape design and implementation. Areas of concentration associated with each master-planned community include conceptual design development, schematic design, planting design, construction documents and overseeing all phases of construction and installation. Her role as a director and liaison between architects, project managers and construction support team continues to ensure that each project receives specialized attention to detail.
ASSOCIATE / LANDSCAPE ARCHITECT
James M. Towery, RLA, ASLA, CLC
As a landscape architect and planning professional, James M. Towery has over 35 years experience in the design-build area of landscape architecture and land development. He has worked on numerous golf course, master-planned communities and residential estate projects throughout the state of Florida. Jim has extensive knowledge of site evaluation, bid review, field design, construction practices, scheduling, and plant material selection essential for design-build project management. His expertise and knowledge of green and sustainable practices helps KDG and its clients stay current in today’s environmental demands.
James M. Towery is a licensed registered Landscape Architect in Florida (RLA #617) as well as a certified Landscape Contractor (State of Florida #10) and certified Professional Horticulturist (State of Florida #6658). Mr. Tower graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Landscape Architecture from Michigan State University.
MANAGING MEMBER / BRAND DEVELOPMENT
Sarah Hernandez leads the brand development of Knäak Design Group through marketing, sales and strategies that build the brand on a local, regional and national level. With a broad range of business experience, Ms. Hernandez understands the effectiveness of how marketing and emerging technologies can drive new business growth and retain valuable clients. Overseeing all facets of business development and marketing, Sarah also facilitates the brand development, market research, and positioning for KDG’s clients during the design development process. Prior to her role at Knäak Design Group, Sarah spent fourteen years in sales and marketing, most recently in franchise development and consulting with private education companies in all grade levels up to higher education. Additionally, she has lead marketing campaigns for different business models for legal, staffing, education, retail, construction, real estate, and design firms.
Sarah Hernandez is a member of the American Marketing Association (AMA) and the Society for Marketing Professional Services (SMPS). She received her Bachelor’s of Science degree from Grand Canyon University in Phoenix, Arizona. She is also a candidate for a Master’s in Business Administration from Florida Gulf Coast University.
PRINCIPAL / LANDSCAPE ARCHITECT
Michael L. Mayer, RLA
Michael L. Mayer has over 20 years of experience in the field of landscape architecture working for innovative firms in resort design & development, commercial, and residential projects. His in-depth knowledge of construction practices ensures thorough drawing preparation and site supervision. Mike has built a reputation as having expertise in resort design concepts, technical drawings, and graphic presentations, as he helps bring his clients’ projects to fruition. He provides senior management oversight for all land development projects and master planned communities.
Mike has extensive resort design experience in both private land development and infrastructure projects. His significant master planned community and resort design experience services include feasibility, site evaluations, project planning, and sustainable development.
Michael L. Mayer is a licensed registered Landscape Architect in California (RLA # 3730), Nevada (RLA#583), and Texas (RLA#2629). He is a graduate of Texas Tech University, with a Bachelor’s degree in Landscape Architecture.
PRINCIPAL / URBAN & LAND PLANNER
Thomas Hsieh, BLA
Thomas Hsieh is the Principal of Knäak Design Group in China. Mr. Hsieh’s key role is to develop the market in China and is responsible for procurement, and business development. He oversees all operations and projects in Asia and is a graduate from Polytechnic State University in Pomona, California with a degree in Landscape Architecture. Thomas has contributed to a wide variety of projects including golf course communities, master-planned communities, recreational parks, resorts, residential housing, commercial projects, and public urban plazas throughout the United States and China. His areas of expertise are in landscape design, urban planning, land planning, budgets, and project management on large-scale multi-use projects.
With an international footprint on award-winning projects, Thomas’s 18 years experience in the field of landscape architecture and urban planning for national and global firms continues to be a great asset for Knäak Design Group.