Principals

Wendi Birchler, PLA, LEED® AP

Denver, CO

Wendi’s door is always open, whether she’s mentoring a colleague or hosting a dinner party at her sweet pad in Berkeley. An adventurer who manages multiple weeks in the wilderness and challenging entitlement efforts alike, Wendi’s straightforward communication skills and sense of humor make her an excellent partner on the mountain or in council chambers. Wendi’s love of the outdoors is evident in her garden and the creative spaces she’s designed throughout Colorado.

With extensive experience managing project teams in most jurisdictions along Colorado’s Front Range, Wendi’s project work includes retail, office, mixed-use developments and both affordable and market rate housing.

John Birkey, PLA

Denver, CO

John’s love for nature, travel, music and art emerge in his approach to landscape architecture. A Colorado native, he has climbed every Fourteener and is working on his Century climbs between gigs with his band. John never goes anywhere without his camera and Norris Design projects are some of his favorite subjects. John started his career with Norris Design as an intern and the rest is history.

With over 20 years of experience as a licensed landscape architect, John’s passion for art, plants and land stewardship is reflected in natural design with a strong sense of place for communities, civic campuses and recreational spaces.

Mitch Black, PLA, LEED® AP

Denver, CO

Mitch believes in rational thought, strategic vision and the power of chocolate. A trusted leader, he guides Norris Design with deliberate, thoughtful decision making. Mitch’s positive attitude and calm approach benefit clients and staff alike, and his attention to detail is unmatched. A connoisseur of master planned communities and fine desserts around the world, Mitch knows that the little things can make all the difference.

Mitch’s practice focuses on creating innovative solutions for a range of real estate ventures involving master planning, branding/visioning, site planning, and landscape architecture.

Jared Carlon, PLA

Denver, CO

Jared began his Norris Design career as an intern which helps explain his commitment to mentoring our future leaders. A Colorado native, Jared is always ready to create the state’s next great space. He launched his impressive network of connections in his Arvada kindergarten class, and enjoys spending free time with his wife Annie and chasing his four kids around. Jared truly believes his beloved CU Buffaloes will win the national championship – every single year.

With degrees in both planning and landscape architecture, Jared is involved with multiple aspects of projects, from site planning and entitlement coordination to landscape design through construction on a wide variety of project types.

Jordan Dame

Denver, CO

A pioneer on the technology frontier, Jordan believes in making innovation an everyday initiative to best showcase Norris Design solutions and ideas. He’s a rabid Rockies fan and it’s always Rocktober in Jordan’s world, regardless of what the statistics say. Dedicated to both work and fun, Jordan’s credo is: “I have time for this one, two more, and another”, whether it’s a project, a 3D visual, or a beer.

With a background in landscape architecture, GIS and 3D visualization, Jordan’s focus is keeping Norris Design at the forefront of analytical and visual technology.

Brad Haigh, PLA

Denver, CO

Dedicated, reliable, thoughtful – and competitive as heck – Brad is also a natural collaborator and trusted mentor. His focus on great spaces is joined by his commitment to enhancing and evolving the Norris Design brand. A snappy dresser with a sophisticated style sense, Brad also knows all the lyrics to “Frozen” which he demonstrates in singing competitions with his two little girls.

As a landscape architect, Brad is committed to a creative and functional design process to establish place and a unique identity.

David Lane, PLA, LEED® AP

Denver, CO

A natural collaborator and design aesthete, Dave speaks the language of design with clients and teammates. Dave always sees multiple options to realize a project’s potential and vision, and explores them with a mix of creativity and practicality. His volleyball skills are legendary, his musical taste runs to “dad rock” and he admits that his two sons are totally the boss of him.

Dave’s ability to use hand-drawn graphics to quickly investigate and communicate possible design solutions is an invaluable skill for clients and project teams.

Sean Malone, PLA

Denver, CO

As Norris Design’s second employee, Sean has helped put in place some of the firm’s most lasting systems and strategies. A forward-focused thinker, he is a one-man emergency preparedness kit. His experience as a volunteer fireman comes in handy, whether he’s putting out fires for clients or for staff. Sean heads to the foothills every night, where he keeps an eye on the wildlife that roams his back yard.

In his quarter century with Norris Design, Sean has maintained lasting relationships with clients, architects and subconsultants on numerous large, multi-phased projects of every type.

Eva Mather, LEED® AP

Denver, CO

Focused on building long-lasting relationships with clients and communities, Eva is known for her patience in public meetings, her skill with complicated projects and her attention to detail. Away from work, her twins (adorable, princess-loving athletes-in-training) teach her how to have fun and live in the moment. They even run with her as Eva works on improving her 5k speed for her next race.

Eva leads complex development teams through the entitlement and land development process for large-scale projects within a variety of jurisdictions across the Denver Metro area.

Dale Maxey

Denver, CO

Dale brings a steady hand, a calm approach, and a steadfast sense of humor to Norris Design’s technology solutions. His patience as a problem-solver is legendary, and Dale’s expertise keeps our technological profile high and our issues under control. An excellent tennis player, he is rarely surprised whether he’s on the court or dealing with a cranky computer.

With over a decade at Norris Design, Dale leads technology solutions for our offices in Colorado, Texas and Arizona.

Ryan McBreen

Denver, CO

An entitlements expert who is a man of many jurisdictions, Ryan believes in doing things the right way. When he’s not organizing the details of complex projects, he’s dreaming up recipe tweaks for his next U.S. BBQ championship event. Weekends are spent outdoors with his family and his current focus is teaching his youngest son the difference between letters and numbers. It’s trickier than you’d think.

Ryan is skilled in the project entitlements and approval process and enjoys finding creative solutions to seemingly impossible tasks

Bonnie Niziolek, LEED® AP

Denver, CO

With a strong attention to detail and fierce loyalty, Bonnie doesn’t give up until she finds the solution that works for everyone. She is committed to her craft (and her fashion-forward wardrobe) and is at her best managing big teams on challenging projects. Whether at a networking event or a team meeting, Bonnie is fun to be around and builds relationships with everyone in the room before she calls it a day.

Bonnie has extensive experience in managing large multi-disciplinary project teams through complex entitlement approvals within a variety of jurisdictions across the Denver Metro area.

John Norris, PLA, CLARB

Denver, CO

John combines natural business intuition with humble leadership. His success strategy sounds simple but is deceptively complex: find good people and immerse them in a caring, team-oriented environment that allows them to hone their craft and pursue their own dreams. For a big man, he owns two very small dogs who have been dyed KSU purple on occasion.

John formed Norris Design in 1985 and his work history reflects an incredibly diverse range of project types, sizes and locations throughout Colorado and beyond.  His nearly four decades of work in both the public and private sectors  leave a great legacy for the landscape architectural profession.

Josh Orth, PLA, QWEL

Denver, CO

An aspiring musician, Josh routinely plays songs to his puppy dog and collection of two-wheeled stuff. Random coincidence introduced him to landscape architecture, but once he was at Norris Design, he began a focused career as our expert on landscape construction management. New technology makes his heart sing, especially when it’s applied to taking good care of our natural resources.

Josh’s diverse skill set includes landscape design, maintaining quality control from plans to the field, developing/managing water budgets, and naturalized landscape implementation and education.

Diana Rael, PLA, CAASH

Denver, CO

Diana has been a culture-shaper at Norris Design for the past 25 years. One of the “originals”, she sticks around because she loves that no two days are ever the same. Despite her maiden name (Diana Ross), she is not famous (yet) and she can’t carry a tune, but she is definitely a rock star planner. Wife to Jay and mother of 15-year-old boy-girl twins, her whole family is left-handed except for their Westie, Spike.

With her extensive planning and entitlement experience and an inclusive approach, Diana leads some of Norris Design’s most complex projects.

Brock Reimer, PLA

Denver, CO

A level-headed designer kind of guy, Brock has an appreciation for the natural environment and vintage Italian leather duffel bags. Devoted to his family and to crafting his design-centric career, Brock has a few secrets up his sleeve. He once led a flash mob at a wedding in Maryland and is a talented hand sketch artist who’s also totally comfortable in the complex world of computer design.

Brock collaborates with clients and consultants to create notable projects grounded by thoughtful, simple design values.

Elena Scott, LEED® AP

Frisco, CO

Elena’s unusually large feet have made her unafraid to fill big shoes. She takes challenges head-on with a quick wit and a lighthearted approach that are much appreciated in all the public meetings she attends. Living in Frisco with her husband Mike, son Miles and daughter Ceci, Elena’s best days involve a bike ride to work and appreciating the beauty of the Rocky Mountains from Main Street, which she helped design.

With a true passion for leading public and private development, Elena’s success stems from her ability to analyze and create realistic solutions from master planning through construction.

Kip Tinstman

Denver, CO

Kip swears he has no idea about what Norris Design planners and designers do all day, but he definitely knows his way around a spreadsheet. He juggles day-to-day operations with one hand while he creates strategic business tools to keep us ahead of the game with the other – no easy task. He once took a full year sabbatical to fly fish, and is happy that his amazing family supports this ongoing obsession.

As Norris Design’s firmwide finance and accounting leader, Kip oversees both day-to-day accounting functions as well as the firm’s overall financial strategy.

Stacey Weaks, PLA, CLARB, LEED® AP

Denver, CO

Our very own Energizer bunny, Stacey makes time for everyone and everything – we suspect he just never sleeps to fit it all in. His entrepreneurial spirit brightens everything he does, for both his clients and the Norris Design team. Stacey shares his love of Formula 1 racing (which may explain his continual high gear) and skiing fast with his three kids and his most valued teammate, his wife Bridget.

Stacey brings his collective experience in land use vision planning, community planning, urban design and parks and recreation to lead a diversity of private and public projects. He led the expansion in Arizona for Norris Design in 2004.

x

Senior Associates

Mike Copeland

Denver, CO

Mike possesses the ability to distinctly blend architecture and landscape design into functionally complete and livable environments. He has worked on a broad range of projects within the public and private sectors, both in the U.S. and internationally.

Patrick Hannon

Denver, CO

Patrick’s versatility and design process familiarity enable him to work successfully on a wide variety of project types at a range of scales. In addition to his design and planning work, Patrick is also a skilled process facilitator and alternative transportation planner.

M.R. Hicks

Denver, CO

M.R. leads Norris Design marketing efforts including strategic planning, public relations, marketing collateral development and staff mentoring. Her experience with copywriting, branding and naming contributes to client-focused work including websites, print collateral and brand messaging.

Ryan Holdorf

Denver, CO

As a landscape architect, Ryan cultivates a tradition of design that both responds to and influences its environment. His knowledge and understanding of construction and delivery processes using the latest technologies and innovations supports a fluid, flexible design style to create beautiful and enduring places.

Katrina Kowalski

Denver, CO

As the director of graphic design, Katrina is responsible for strategy, integration and execution of all graphic design activities. Her focus on design, color theory, composition and typography is evident in graphic design products ranging from large-scale environmental signage and branding efforts to logo and identity programs, website design and marketing collateral.

Bill Mahar, AICP

Denver, CO

With diverse extensive experience in community planning and design, Bill is skilled at the entitlement process, master plans, land use policy, the built environment and health, and community engagement. In his work, he endeavors to foster consensus with community members and local government staff to ensure projects are supported by the community they serve.

Brandi Rice, PLA

Frisco, CO

Brandi’s planning and landscape design experience covers a broad range of both public and private projects in the Denver metro area and the Roaring Fork Valley.  Working closely with both clients and team consultants to create optimum design solutions, Brandi’s experience with the entire development process and facilitation of public input are key to project success.

Don Ryan

Denver, CO

With more than 25 years of diverse experience on over 200 projects globally, Don’s design and planning work represents a wide variety of public and private clients. He is passionate about team collaboration during every project phase to deliver quality places in a timely, cost-conscious and sustainable manner.

Scott Stoddard

Denver, CO

A landscape architect with 17 years of experience in Colorado, Scott works with all members of a team to make sure the envisioned project becomes reality.  His experience with all phases of landscape design, construction and maintenance, and design/build methods is an invaluable resource for resolving issues during project construction and creating a sustainable project for the long run.

Megan Testin, LEED® AP

Frisco, CO

Megan excels at both creativity and practicality, leading collaborative design processes with clients and consultant teams to meet project objectives successfully. She approaches each project with a firm understanding of construction methods, helping clients achieve their goals while staying on budget.

Dave Thorpe

Denver, CO

Dave has a diverse background in urban and regional planning, as well as strong skills in illustration and graphic design. With a unique ability to bring high-level ideas to a project and present them in a grounded way, he combines creativity with practicality in his design, zoning, entitlement and planning work.

Leanne Vielehr

Denver, CO

Focusing on both landscape architecture and planning projects, Leanne’s diverse experience includes project management, entitlement processing, land planning, schedule development, landscape design and construction observation. Leanne focuses her designs on creating timeless spaces that function well for both the user and the ownership/maintenance group.

Kyle Wolf

Denver, CO

Kyle’s commitment to visually communicating design ideas is reflected in his creation of compelling graphics that visualize forward-thinking designs and ideas before they become reality. His skill with the most advanced industry software serves to help guide projects through early decision phases into completion.

x