our insightful team
Our team is highly creative and uses a combination of in-depth experience and excitement to help our clients achieve their vision. We lead a process that delivers high quality, purposeful, creative places that inspire people at every scale and budget.
Carisa McMullen loves to make things happen. Armed with creativity and purpose—and a natural affinity for developing true relationships—she addresses project challenges with a “just say yes” attitude. Then, she finds the smartest and most efficient way to achieve the clients’ goals. Competitive and empathetic, she is relentless in finding the best solution. But her greatest gift is how thoroughly she becomes invested in a client’s success. When Carisa is on your side, you feel it every day.
Carisa founded Landworks Studio in 2000 with a vision for creating a place where clients could benefit from a sophisticated design approach delivered with intensely personal attention. She leads her team in developing landscape architecture that is imaginative and pragmatic, vibrant yet achievable. Clients appreciate her commitment to collaboration, her diversity of experience, and her skill for making big ideas buildable.
Favorite Movie: Rather than one, she has a top ten list
Senior Landscape Architect
Erica has 15 years of experience having worked for one of the largest multi-discipline firms in the KC area and one of the most well-respected municipalities in Kansas City. Her experience is valued, as is her genuine smile and positive personality. She is highly skilled at managing projects, including design and production. Erica is passionate about being a landscape architect because it allows her to explore a variety of projects and use her experience to help cities through complicated implementation processes.
Favorite Movie: Zodiac (2007)
Senior Landscape Architect
A graduate of the University of Georgia, Brian has practiced landscape architecture for nearly 16 years and has completed projects in eight states. Prior to his career in landscape architecture, Brian completed a bachelor's degree in history at the University of North Carolina and worked as an environmental educator in one of our National Parks.
Brian seeks out the stories being told by our landscapes and develops designs, which bring them boldly forward for the public to enjoy. With extensive professional experience, his work includes: parks and trail design; master planning for residential, senior living and mixed-use communities; monument design; and planting plans to meet city ordinances to gain necessary permits. While his final designs ultimately specify materials, such as pavement, pipes, and plants; it's people that are his favorite element in the landscape and inspire his work.
Favorite Movie: Life is Beautiful (1997)
If there is one thing that Cait loves, it’s connectivity. Being on a first-name basis with your favorite barista, regularly seeing that fox on your evening walk, a familiar mascot on a t-shirt in a foreign city – those small nuggets of familiarity that stitch together and create a colorful and comfortable quilt of interconnected lives.
This love of connection is what drew her to pursue a career that has centered around helping people communicate. Much of her early career focused on strategic communications within a higher education environment, but her expertise has since expanded into digital marketing, allowing her the privilege of working across multiple industries including salon and spas, arboriculture, and supply chain. An advocate of life-long learning, Cait believes that there is something of value to be learned from everyone and everything. Paired with her inquisitive nature, these attributes make her particularly empathetic and dedicated in helping her teams tell deeply honest and textured stories.
Favorite movie: Just Friends (2005)
A graduate from Oklahoma State University with a Bachelor of Landscape Architecture, Cody comes from Northeast Oklahoma with a background in agriculture and arts. His goal when pursuing Landscape Architecture as a career was to combine his passions of being outdoors with his artistic abilities. With 5 years of experience in the industry, of which is mostly from the design/build settings, Cody has applicable experience with all aspects of projects. From the initial design process to implementation and construction, he brings a realistic and functional approach to all projects. He believes that function and form should work together to create memorable and lasting experiences for the end user. His favorite part of every project are the people involved, the clients themselves and the users, finding out their needs and visions for the project and finding creative ways to meet those goals in a way that supports everyone.
Favorite Movie: Sahara (2005)
Nathan is originally from Olathe, KS, and is fueled by his connection to the area and a genuine desire to improve the communities within it. He recently graduated from Kansas State with a Master's in Regional & Community Planning, Bachelor's in Natural Resources & Environmental Sciences, and a GIS Certificate. This interdisciplinary background has provided him with a deep appreciation for the importance of preserving and enhancing our natural environment within the urban context. Nathan is dedicated to integrating green spaces, sustainable design principles, and environmental conservation into urban planning projects and employing geospatial technologies to inform evidence-based decision-making in urban planning.
His favorite part of urban planning is the transformative power it has, to shape communities and directly influence the quality of life for residents.
Favorite movie: The Royal Tenenbaums (2001)
Rhonda has always thrived on helping others, and helping her team succeed. Her career in banking gave her the opportunity to do just that - working with commercial clients, assisting them with their banking needs and helping them create efficiencies in their day-to-day businesses. Those people skills and attention to detail give her to tools she needs to be a great support resource for other staff and clients of Landworks Studio.
Favorite Movie: Field of Dreams…or anything Kevin Costner. (1989)
SENIOR LANDSCAPE ARCHITECT/OPERATIONS MANAGER
Over the past two decades, Mike McGrew has immersed himself in Kansas City's vibrant construction, development, and design world.
After initially establishing a national and international profile of Landscape Architecture work, Mike directed his focus over the last decade to understand the intricacies of the Kansas City region’s design and development world. This pursuit of knowledge led him through various facets of the construction industry, from architectural design management for a commercial developer, bidding and design for a General Contractor, and overseeing a Civil Engineering office. Simultaneously, he managed a sole proprietorship centered on landscape architectural development entitlements and permitting.
For Mike, every suburb and small town has a story worth telling, and every urban neighborhood should be celebrated. He passionately advocates for the continual appreciation and reimagining of our cherished neighborhoods and outdoor spaces.
Beyond his professional pursuits, Mike can be seen on the sidelines of a soccer pitch where he can be found cheering for his two daughters or showing support for KC’s local pro sports teams.
Favorite movie: Cool Hand Luke (1967)