Our team

We share a vision to create enduring work that enriches lives and the environment. And we share the pleasure of doing important work together.

  • Jeryl Aman

    AIA, Associate

    An architect and associate with MSR Design, Jeryl has over 15 years’ experience integrating the complex interests that go into making a built environment evolve from a set of collective values and aspirations. After spending 12 years in New York adapting existing building stock for new uses and programs, he now works on MSR project teams toward the firm’s strategic goal to lead a generative architectural practice. As project architect, he has shepherded the client’s vision for Mill 19 to transform a noble monument of the 20th-century steel industry into a facility focused on sustainable, ecological growth, which has become the vanguard project for the emerging Hazelwood Green neighborhood district. Jeryl practices architecture holistically to provide meaningful spaces that contribute positively to the environment. He holds a Bachelor of Architecture from the Pratt Institute School of Architecture.

  • Eric Amel

    AIA, Associate

    A registered architect and associate with MSR Design, Eric thrives on design projects that require careful analysis, creative thinking, and exquisite execution. With more than 25 years of professional experience, Eric consistently practices the full range of design skills and is invigorated by architecture’s capacity to affect the built environment, from whole cities to the smallest detail. Eric has earned numerous honors and awards, including AIA Minnesota Honor Awards for the University of Minnesota Landscape Arboretum Tashjian Bee and Pollinator Discovery Center, University of Minnesota Wall of Discovery, Busan Convention Center, and Sexton Commons at Saint John’s University. In 2005, he received the prestigious Ralph Rapson Traveling Study Fellowship. Eric is an adjunct assistant professor at the University of Minnesota School of Architecture, where he earned a Master of Architecture. Eric also holds a Bachelor of Science in Natural Sciences and Mathematics from Saint John’s University.

  • Elma

    Born in the midst of spring, Elma is a young Pug who occasionally visits the MSR office. She loves to eat her meat treats and eggs and especially enjoys peanuts and peanut butter. Elma’s more unconventional tastes include gnawing on smelly socks. A rare specimen, she snores while both awake and asleep. She finds that following larger dogs around the park, followed by a relaxing car ride, is the best way to prepare herself for a dreaded bath.

  • Catherine Clow

    Marketing Graphic Designer

    Catherine joined MSR Design in 2018 with more than five years of experience in the San Francisco architecture industry. With a Bachelor of Arts in Anthropology from the University of Montana and a Bachelor of Science in Graphic Design from the Art Institute of California–San Francisco, she combines visual communication with an interest in all things related to culture and community. Catherine has a passion for photography, typography, and illustration. She enjoys spending time with her family (and dog), cooking, being outside, and visiting her native state of Montana in her free time.

  • Nina

    Nina spent her first four years in California before moving to Minnesota in 2018. Her favorite things to do include snuggling with her mom, swimming, chasing squirrels, and riding in the car. Nina enjoys snacking on almost anything, especially peanut butter, bacon, green beans, and cheese. She loves long naps in the sunshine and play dates with her best friend, Rex.

  • Simona Fischer

    AIA, Associate

    A sustainable design specialist, registered architect, and associate with MSR, Simona offers deep knowledge in sustainable materials and the building products industry. Her experience includes construction documentation, coordination with consultants, sustainable materials selection, and strategic planning related to sustainability goals. She has consulted for the Healthy Building Network HomeFree initiative, a program that helps developers use collective buying power to select healthier materials for affordable housing. Simona received a Master of Science in Sustainable Design in Architecture and a Master of Architecture from the University of Minnesota College of Design. She also holds a Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy from the University of Iowa. In addition to her professional experience, Simona has served as a guest lecturer on sustainability and research fellow at the University of Minnesota, as well as a speaker at the Minneapolis/Saint Paul Living Building Collaborative.

  • Doug Franzwa

    CPA, Senior Associate

    The firm’s chief financial officer and a senior associate, Doug joined MSR Design in 2012. His responsibilities include leading the office’s finance and accounting functions. A licensed certified public accountant, Doug has more than 15 years of professional experience, including four years in public accounting. His prior experience includes serving as vice president in charge of finance, human resources, IT, and office administration at Little, a privately-owned, insight-driven design firm located in Minneapolis. Doug holds a Bachelor of Science in Accounting from the University of Minnesota Carlson School of Management. An avid runner, Doug has completed numerous marathons, ultramarathons, and 200-mile team relay races.

  • Finn

    Finn is two years old and has a lineage tinged with mystery. A recent blood test showed that in addition to Great Pyrenees and Lhasa Apso, 12.5% of his DNA comes from an unknown breed. An enthusiastic carnivore, Finn enjoys overcooked hot dogs, thinly-sliced turkey, and rawhides. Despite his stubborn nature, he can be persuaded to venture to the local dog park for some socializing. Finn also enjoys wrestling with young humans.

  • Lauren Gardner

    Interior Designer

    Lauren joined MSR Design after receiving a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Interior Design with a Minor in Art His­tory from the University of Wisconsin-Stout. Con­ceptual thinking about culture, diversity within a space, and local historical details inform her work. Lauren keeps client and end-user demographics in mind when selecting furniture and finishes to ensure that spaces are accessible to people of all generations and abilities. She finds inspiration in engaging with community members to understand their values and what matters to them for their space and future generations. Along with her design work, Lauren is responsible for managing and maintaining the materials, finishes, and re­sources library. She researches sustainable products and healthy materials as part of the firm’s initiative to design spaces that benefit the overall health of the people who use them, as well as the environment.

  • Emily Gross

    Interior Designer

    Emily joined MSR Design after receiving a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Interior Design from the University of Wisconsin-Stout. She is passionate about creativity, conceptual design, and the exploratory design process. Emily finds inspiration in travel, learning about new perspectives, and understanding human interaction with the built environment. Prior to joining MSR Design, Emily gained restaurant and corporate design experience as an intern at Shea Design. She received an Eaton SOURCE Student Award of Recognition in 2016.

  • Tom Haller


    An associate with MSR Design, Tom has contributed to a vast array of projects and design initiatives and has served numerous project roles. His passion for creative challenges and deep exploration has guided his involvement in the design of affordable housing, libraries, museums, cultural centers, and work place environments. Tom provides a holistic view of the conceptual planning process, a thorough understanding of building information modeling (BIM), and careful attention to communicating with all team members dedicated to the success of each individual project. On all his work, he offers a sensitivity for consistent details and design craft. Prior to joining MSR Design, Tom developed connections in Austin, Texas, through the construction trade and earned a Master of Architecture, with a focus on urban renewal, passive design systems, and mixed-use developments, from Kansas State University. A finalist for the Heintzelman Award, his graduate-level project reimagines a vulnerable, industrial Norwegian city as a vibrant, interconnected community and cultural center. Tom has experience with the Living Building Challenge and has participated in the AIA Minnesota Housing Advocacy Committee Search for Shelter Design Charrette and other volunteer design initiatives focused on improving housing options in the local community.

  • Alan Hillesland

    RA, Architect

    A registered architect with more than 20 years of experience, Al has designed many types of buildings: workplace environments, educational facilities, public institution buildings, golf course clubhouses, hospitality spaces, environmental education centers, adaptive reuse projects, libraries, and private residences. He has served as project architect and project manager on many of the firm’s largest and most complicated projects. Al is typically involved through all phases of a project, from design through construction. His speaking engagements include an AIA Minnesota Annual Convention seminar entitled “Educating the Whole Student: Anthroposophic Design and the Waldorf School.” Al’s work on the multi-phased corporate headquarters for SEI Investments outside Philadelphia has received considerable recognition, including feature articles in Architecture, Fast Company, Inc., and The New York Times. Al holds a Bachelor of Architecture from the University of Minnesota.

  • Jon Huffmaster

    AIA, Architect

    Jon has a passion for creating projects that are in harmony with their locations and users and advance the idea that humans and the planet have inherent worth and dignity. He brings five years of experience to MSR Design, including working on the design of workplace environments, government buildings, and educational facilities. Jon received a Master of Architecture from the University of Kansas. For his master’s thesis, he explored religious spatiality as expressed in modern stadium design. In his free time, Jon enjoys traveling, home improvement projects, and taking care of his one-year-old son and five-year-old dog.

  • Alyssa Jensen


    Alyssa is passionate about sustainable and responsible design. She has experience in space planning, furniture specifications, selection of finishes, and documentation for a variety of projects. In 2018, Alyssa received an American Society of Interior Designers (ASID) Minnesota Chapter Award for a Model Home in Minneapolis. Her interest in the built environment and its impact on the living environment fuels her passion for traveling to new places. While studying at the University of Missouri, she was part of a research team that examined collaborative environments and the effect technology has on the natural design process. Alyssa holds a Bachelor of Science in Architectural Studies with an emphasis in Interior Design from the University of Missouri.

  • Mitch Karr

    AIA, Associate

    A registered architect and associate with MSR Design, Mitch holds a Master of Architecture from Kansas State University and has been with the firm since 2013. He believes that, as humans, we expect good architecture to address and facilitate our basic requirements for it (e.g., movement, interaction, and shelter) with an efficiency that renders its use unconscious. Mitch believes that exemplary architecture, when informed by a conceptual clarity and pursuit of intent across all scales of realization, fulfills these pragmatic requirements but, through its rigor, also affords opportunities to selectively subvert established norms and challenge rationality in ways that fulfill our more profound needs—joy, wonder, and wellness. Through a collaborative and iterative process, informed by robust dialogue and understanding of priorities, outstanding outcomes can always be achieved, and Mitch enjoys working and building relationships with clients who expect that the inherent constraints and limitations in a project do not preclude the ability of this process to deliver exemplary results.

  • Dawon Kim

    Interior Designer

    Dawon is an interior designer who joined MSR Design in 2016. Her areas of focus include design development, furniture design, furniture and finishes selection, and construction documentation. Dawon values customized interactions with clients, using detailed, hand-drawn sketches. She received a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Interior Design from Ferris State University Kendall College of Art and Design in Michigan. Dawon also studied at the Dongduk Women’s University in South Korea. In 2015, she placed first in the Downtown Grand Rapids Window Wonderland Competition, creating window displays for local businesses.

  • Tom Klein

    AIA, Architect (WI)

    A registered architect in the State of Wisconsin, Tom joined MSR Design in 2015. He has a proven ability to provide innovative and practical architectural solutions in response to project programmatic, site, regulatory, budget, and schedule requirements. Tom has extensive experience collaborating with project stakeholders, other team members, and consultants to achieve individual project goals. He has worked on a wide range of projects, from custom single-family homes to large-scale corporate, educational, cultural, healthcare, hospitality, and transportation facilities. Prior to joining MSR Design, Tom worked as an architectural consultant for several years and with Miller Dunwiddie Architects for 13 years. Tom holds a Bachelor of Science in Architecture from the University of Maryland and completed a project management graduate program at the University of Saint Thomas.

  • Emilie Kopp

    Associate AIA, Designer

    Emilie has professional experience with a wide range of project types, including cultural and civic spaces, office environments, and affordable housing. She finds inspiration in the iterative design process and integrating user experience, program, and site. A natural storyteller, Emilie explores narrative in design to create meaning and engaging connections for the people who occupy and inhabit the spaces she designs.

    Emilie holds a Master of Architecture from the University of Minnesota and a Bachelor of Science in Design from the University of Nebraska. As a student, she received numerous honors and awards, including the Richard Morrill Master’s Final Project Award, May Ohrbeck Painter Fellowship, and American Society of Landscape Architects Student Honor Award. When not at work, she enjoys taking long walks with her pup Copper, traveling, and reading a good book.

  • Copper

    Copper is a red and white Irish Setter who loves to spend time outdoors, whether hiking in the fields of North Dakota or roaming around Lake of the Isles on her nightly walk. Her favorite places in the world are her yellow chair and the Minnehaha Dog Park. When hungry, Copper enjoys anything and everything, but has a special preference for salmon sticks and freshly baked bread she steals from the cooling rack.

  • Matthew Kruntorad

    AIA, LEED AP, Principal

    Philosophical by nature, Matt most enjoys testing ideas through an academic approach to design. He believes that we should always revisit the essentials in order to remove the blinders. A registered architect and principal of the firm, Matt has 22 years of professional experience and has been with MSR Design since 2003. He has worked on a wide variety of project types, including municipal buildings, private residences, cultural facilities, park buildings, office space, higher education facilities, and libraries. In addition to his professional practice, Matt was adjunct assistant professor at the University of Minnesota College of Design from 2003-2010 and assistant professor at the Oklahoma State University School of Architecture from 2000–2003. Matt holds a Master of Architecture and Bachelor of Science in Architectural Studies from the University of Nebraska, Lincoln.

  • Dagmara Larsen

    AIA, LEED AP, Principal

    Offering a truly international perspective, Dagmara is a native of Poland and has worked in Europe, South America, and the United States. A principal with MSR, she has served as project manager and lead project designer for a wide range of projects, including public and academic libraries, higher education facilities, office buildings, and private residences. Dagmara’s ability to simultaneously balance a project’s programmatic needs, aesthetics, and sustainable drivers has been recognized by the clients she works with and by her peers through various awards, including an AIA/ALA Library Building Award, an AIA CAE Education Facility Design Award of Excellence, an ALA/IIDA Library Interior Design Award, multiple AIA Minnesota Honor Awards, and a Young Architect Award from the Association of Polish Architects. Dagmara taught a design studio at the University of Minnesota College of Design from 2005–2007. She is currently chair of the Articulture Board of Directors, a nonprofit visual arts organization. Dagmara holds a Master of Architecture from the Polytechnical University of Gdansk in Poland.

  • Byoungjin Lee

    AIA, LEED AP, Associate

    A registered architect and associate with MSR Design, Byoungjin holds a Master of Architecture from the University of Minnesota College of Design. He focuses on integrating energy modeling and site design into the early design process to maximize energy efficiency and human comfort, as well as to reduce impacts on the environment. Byoungjin’s deep understanding of library functions and service models enables him to address multiple program issues from different perspectives to discover the best solutions and integrate them into the overall design. His previous experience with Shinhan Construction & Engineering Company as a construction manager in Seoul, Korea, gives him a balanced understanding of design and construction. Byoungjin participated in the 2015 Library Journal Design Institute in Nashville.

  • Traci Engel Lesneski

    CID, IIDA, LEED AP, Assoc. AIA, Principal

    Traci has 24 years’ experience in a wide variety of project types, with particular focus on design for libraries and other learning environments. As a principal in the firm, she promotes an integrated design approach—equally valuing human well-being, building performance, aesthetics, and delight. Creating generative impacts for her clients and their communities inspires her. She holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Design from the University of Wisconsin-Stout. A recognized thought leader in library design, Traci regularly contributes articles to library blogs and publications and lectures nationally and internationally. Recent talks include presentations at the International Federation of Library Association (IFLA) World Library and Information Congresses and Next Library Conferences, where in 2018 she conducted an interactive workshop about design for inclusion. As keynote speaker for the 2017 Public Libraries Western Australia Biennial Conference, she presented a talk entitled “The Generative Library: Design for Human Well-Being.” Traci is currently chair of the American Library Association (ALA) Architecture for Public Libraries Committee and was recently named to ALA’s Sustainability Task Force. She is serving a four-year team as secretary of IFLA’s Library Buildings and Equipment Section.

  • Ben Lewis

    AIA, LEED Green Associate, Associate

    An associate with MSR and registered architect, Ben joined the firm after graduating from Wentworth Institute of Technology (WIT) in Boston, Massachusetts, with a Master of Architecture in 2015 and a Bachelor of Science in Architecture in 2014. His award-winning thesis project involved a design-build proposal to build a shading pavilion in a sensory garden for the Carter School, a public school in Boston for students with mental or physical disabilities. He chose the project to advance the belief that everyone deserves good design and that architecture can contribute to people’s well-being. Ben enjoys building things with his hands and has experience working with CNC machines, 3D printers, and vacuum formers. Using these fabrication methods, as well as hand drawing, he has pursued his passion for learning through making. While studying at WIT, Ben served as a teaching assistant and digital fabrication technician. He also has experience managing Autodesk Revit models for Thompson Engineering Company and worked as a facilities intern for the Boston Red Sox, developing an archival system for over 1,000 as-built drawings of Fenway Park.

  • Patrick Lynch

    RA, LEED AP, Associate

    As associate with MSR Design and registered architect, Patrick is driven by the unique possibilities that arise from each project’s complexity and the opportunities for tailored design investigations. With practice experience in California and Minnesota on a range of project types, including commercial tenant improvements, residential renovations, furniture design, and outdoor pavilions, Patrick advocates for design on all project types and sizes. He holds a Master of Architecture and Master of Science in Design Research from the University of Michigan Taubman College of Architecture and Urban Planning, as well as a Bachelor of Science in Architecture from the University of Minnesota College of Design. Energized by creative dialogue, Patrick has experience teaching at the University of California, Berkeley, University of Michigan, and University of Minnesota.

  • Rhys MacPherson

    LEED AP BD+C, Senior Associate

    A senior associate with MSR Design, Rhys joined the firm in 1992 as a student intern and as a full-time staff member in 1993. Rhys has touched a broad range of projects, including libraries, cultural facilities, spaces for nonprofit organizations, and affordable housing. With others in the office over the past 10 years, he has sought to establish a strong and vibrant design language for affordable housing. He has built trust and a rapport with clients over the years working on these projects. For Rhys, design goes much deeper than just a building. He has a deep interest in data driven design, which focuses on the art and science of design. Rhys also has a passion for exploring the balance between equity distribution within the affordable housing industry and critical thinking. His work has received several awards, including an Urban Land Institute (ULI) Jack Kemp Excellence in Affordable and Workforce Housing Award for the Rose, a mixed-income housing project developed by Aeon and Hope Community. Rhys has also been a guest lecturer at numerous national and international conferences.

  • Matt Mahoney


    Matt brings 22 years of professional planning and design experience to MSR Design, having worked on residential, medical, corporate, and institutional projects. He has extensive experience in project management, including client relations, project coordination, contract administration, and construction. He has worked on office projects for Honeywell, West Academic Publishing, the Minnesota State Capitol, and the University of Minnesota. His residential work includes single-family and multiunit residences in Minnesota, Wisconsin, Colorado, Massachusetts, and Montana. Matt studied painting and photography at the San Francisco Art Institute before attending the University of Minnesota, where he received the American Institute of Architects (AIA) Henry Adams Award from the School of Architecture.

  • Ken Martin


    Ken’s diverse experience ranges from historic preservation to virtual reality visualization. His design experience includes libraries, commercial offices, and research laboratories. He excels in bridging ideas and technology and explaining them clearly and simply. Ken deployed with the Army Reserves to Iraq and Afghanistan. His service included a tour as an army engineer where he designed base camps and other facilities and a tour as an advisor to the National Military Academy of Afghanistan. Ken received a Master of Architecture and Bachelor of Arts in History and Political Science from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University.

  • Veronica McCracken

    CID, Associate

    As a passionate and innovative designer, Veronica has made her mark in many areas of the design world in the seven years of her professional career. Working in a broad spectrum of areas, including furniture, product, fashion, graphic, and interior design, she believes that the most successful projects arise from a cross-disciplinary approach. Her love of being in nature and fascination with biophilic design bring a fresh edge to all of her work. Inspired by travel, Veronica regularly explores new places to experience other cultures. In the office, Veronica’s loyal dog Riley regularly shadows her. Outside the office, she enjoys playing games with friends, doing yoga, and hiking on trails.

  • Riley

    Riley is a fixture around the MSR Design office, typically seen wearing her signature black neckerchief. She is a Belgian Malinois Shepherd mix and hails from a small town outside Minneapolis. Riley’s favorite pastimes include camping, chasing squirrels, cuddling, and eating avocados. A sporty dog with an active lifestyle, Riley loves to play hockey and practices her favorite yoga poses, upward and (naturally) downward facing dog.

  • Paul C.N. Mellblom

    AIA, LEED AP BD+C, Principal

    Paul’s interests focus primarily on designing affordable housing, facilities for nonprofit and for-profit corporate clients, and high-end condo renovations. He actively donates his time, including currently serving on the Tulane University Center for Public Service Board and recently serving as president of the East Town Business Partnership and president of the Board of Trustees of the Minnesota Museum of American Art. As a registered architect and MSR principal, Paul shares leadership of the firm’s focus on creating highly sustainable, healthy, living and work environments. His design work has achieved notable recognition, including an American Institute of Architects (AIA) Minnesota/McKnight Foundation Affordable Housing Design Award for the Trolley Quarter Flats project and an AIA Minnesota Honor Award and Environmental Initiative Award for the Rose mixed-income housing project with Aeon. Paul received the 2013 AIA Minnesota Louis Lundgren Award for his exemplary volunteerism. He has spoken about various aspects of sustainable design, including copresenting a talk on cold-climate, high-performance affordable housing at the 2015 GreenBuild EuroMed conference in Italy. Paul has more than 25 years of professional experience and holds a Master of Architecture from the University of Texas-Austin and a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering from Tulane University.

  • Tom Meyer

    FAIA, Founding Principal Emeritus

    A founding principal of MSR Design, Tom is well-known regionally and nationally for his work with historic preservation and the Mill City Museum complex (recognized with an AIA Honor Award for Architecture, National Trust for Historic Preservation Honor Award, and The Waterfront Center’s Excellence on the Waterfront Top Honors). His career is threaded with a strong interest in the correlation between old and new that has resulted in work with historic district planning, building rehabilitation and restoration, adaptive reuse projects, new construction in historic districts, and museum and interpretive center design. Tom taught design at the University of Minnesota’s School of Architecture for 25 years and was the first recipient of the Ralph Rapson Award for Distinguished Teaching. He has served as a member of the University of Minnesota’s College of Design Advisory Board, cochair of the University’s School of Architecture 2013 Centennial Committee, a trustee of the Mississippi River Fund, a member of the Minneapolis Riverfront Partnership, and a member of the Viking Stadium Implementation Committee. Tom was elected into the AIA College of Fellows in 2006 and is past president of AIA Minnesota. He holds a Bachelor of Architecture from the University of Minnesota.

  • Kate Michaud

    AIA, LEED AP, Senior Associate

    A senior associate with MSR, Kate has worked on a diverse mix of projects, including public libraries, market rate and affordable multifamily housing, single-family residences, and corporate offices. She believes that everyone can benefit from good design and that a project should have a positive impact on the occupants as well as the surrounding community. As the recipient of the 2016 Scherer Travel Scholarship, Kate traveled to Bogota and Medellin, Colombia, to see firsthand how urban design has brought hope and increased opportunities to residents. Kate’s work has been recognized with numerous awards, including an American Institute of Architects (AIA) Chicago Distinguished Building Award, AIA Iowa Honor Award, two Richard H. Driehaus Foundation Awards for Architectural Excellence in Community Design, and the AIA School Medal for the top ranked graduating student. Kate holds a Bachelor of Architecture from Iowa State University.

  • Amy Nash


    Communications manager and firm associate, Amy has been with MSR Design for more than 20 years. She has written for Architecture Minnesota and currently serves on the magazine’s publications committee. Amy has cochaired several Society of Marketing Professional Services (SMPS) seminars on writing and preparing proposals and related topics. Prior to joining MSR, Amy worked in book publishing for 12 years, including for Oxford University Press and Yale University Press, among other presses. In addition to her career in marketing professional services and book publishing, Amy has sustained a passion for writing poetry. Her poems have appeared in a range of journals and several anthologies, including If Bees Are Few: A Hive of Bee Poems, edited by James Lenfestey (University of Minnesota Press, 2016). Amy has given readings on Minnesota Public Radio and at a variety of venues and events regionally and nationally, including Bowery Poetry in New York City. She maintains a blog of original poetry ( and holds a Bachelor of Arts in English with honors from Wesleyan University in Middletown, Connecticut.

  • Lisa Nelson


    Lisa is the firm’s go-to person for day-to-day accounting and billing issues and questions. Self-taught with 30 years’ experience, she calmly handles staff concerns with grace and ease. Her responsibilities include billing, accounts payable, expense reports, and project management support, plus all the steps that help MSR Design remain financially stable. As a transplant from Illinois, Lisa enjoys exploring all that Minnesota has to offer. A dedicated mother of three children, she keeps her days very full and busy.

  • Jack Poling

    FAIA, LEED AP, Principal

    Jack has led MSR Design teams on over five dozen library projects. Senior principal and president of MSR Design, Jack has 32 years of professional experience. He joined the firm in 1991. Jack received a national AIA Honor Award for the conversion of a Walmart store into the new McAllen Main Library in Texas and AIA Minnesota Honor Awards for the renovation and expansion of the Ramsey County Library Roseville Library, new Dallas Public Library Lochwood Branch, Denton Public Library’s new North Branch in a converted grocery store, and the McAllen Main Library. The Denton project served as a case study in a presentation Jack gave at the 2008 Public Library Association conference entitled “Rethinking the Big Box: Restocking the Shelves with Books.” He has led workshops at Library Journal Design Institute seminars and conferences for the Minnesota Library Association and Wisconsin Association of Academic Librarians. Jack holds a Master of Architecture from the University of Minnesota and a Bachelor of Science in Environmental Design from Texas A&M University. He was recently elevated to the AIA College of Fellows.

  • Garth Rockcastle

    FAIA, Founding Principal Emeritus

    A founding principal of MSR Design, Garth has 39 years of professional experience. While maintaining an active role with the firm and launching MSR Design’s Maryland/DC office, Garth served as dean of the University of Maryland School of Architecture, Planning, and Preservation from 2004–2010. He taught at the University of Minnesota College of Architecture and Landscape Architecture for more than 25 years and was head of the Architecture Department from 1990­–1997. Garth was elected into the American Institute of Architects College of Fellows in 1998 for his contributions to education and professional practice. Garth has a particular interest in designing facilities for nonprofit organizations and academic institutions and has served on dozens of boards for cultural and arts organizations. Garth has led several highly sustainable projects, in academia and professional practice, involving advanced research and pioneering applications, including the 2017 University of Maryland International Solar Decathlon Project, which received the top ranking for all American entries.

  • Beth Roloff

    AIA, LEED AP BD+C, Associate

    A registered architect and associate with MSR, Beth has experience working across many complex building typologies, global locations, and architectural scales. Her design work includes higher education, office, healthcare, science and technology, and mixed-use development projects in the United States and Middle East. Beth focuses on creating architecture that is sustainably integrated into the urban fabric. She holds a Master in Architecture from the Harvard University Graduate School of Design and received a Bachelor of Science in Architecture, with high honors, from the University of Virginia, where she won the Faculty Design Award of Excellence. Beth also won an American Association of University Women Selected Professions Fellowship, and she has been involved in a variety of professional organizations, including the U.S. Green Building Council National Capital Region Emerging Professionals Committee, Harvard University Graduate School of Design Women in Design, and Washington Architectural Foundation Architecture in the Schools program.

  • Brendan Sapienza

    AIA, CDT, LEED AP, Senior Associate

    Brendan joined MSR Design in 2005 and has been practicing professionally for nearly 20 years. His diverse project experience includes cultural facilities, public libraries, corporate offices, academic buildings, and research laboratories. Brendan has developed exceptional design, technical, and management skills, which enable him to clearly communicate design solutions with team members and shepherd those designs through construction. A registered architect and MSR Design senior associate, he holds a Bachelor of Architecture from Iowa State University. Brendan designs smart, high-performance buildings that emphasize architectural expression down to the finest detail.

  • Jeffrey Scherer

    FAIA, Founding Principal Emeritus

    One of MSR Design’s three founding principals, Jeff practiced architecture for 45 years in Germany, the United Kingdom, and the United States. During that time, he led more than 350 projects. He was actively involved in the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA), American Library Association (ALA), and Public Library Association (PLA) and regularly gave talks at those organizations’ conferences.  He has written numerous articles and book chapters on topics related to libraries and the workplace. Jeff’s design work has received more than 50 design awards, including a national AIA Honor Award and an AIA/ALA Library Building Award. He was elected into the AIA College of Fellows in 1998. Jeff retired from full-time work in September 2016 and now focuses on studying and doing his artwork—which he gives to anyone who wishes to donate to their local library or literacy cause. You can see his work at

  • Brooke Smalley

    CID, Associate

    Brooke joined MSR Design in 2016 with previous interior design experience focused on hospitality and corporate design. She has experience working on all phases of the design process, from conceptual development through documentation and construction. Brooke enjoys working closely with clients to create unique design solutions that achieve the goals for their spaces and brands. She received an International Interior Design Association (IIDA) Northland Chapter FAB Award for Spoon and Stable Restaurant and an IIDA Healthcare Interior Design Award for Camp Smile Pediatric Dentistry. Brooke holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Interior Design, magna cum laude, from Iowa State University.

  • Kelle Lang Staats

    Director of Marketing & Business Development

    Kelle Lang Staats

    Leading MSR Design’s marketing and business development initiatives, Kelle finds inspiration in weaving together building client relationships, showcasing beautiful design, and the partners’ strategic goals. Whether you are interested in discussing architecture that positively impacts communities and the environment, partnering on a new project, or would like to touch base on how MSR Design can enhance your world, please reach out to or 612 470 2931.  If she happens to be out paddle boarding, curled up with a good book, or cooking for friends and family, it won’t be long before she responds to your reach out. Kelle adheres to Henry David Thoreau’s adage that “We are constantly invited to be who we are.”

  • Lindsy Tomski

    Interior Designer

    Lindsy joined MSR Design in 2018. She initially studied product design and creative advertising before switching focus to interior design and earning a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Interior Design from the University of Wisconsin–Stout. Her educational background also includes study abroad in Florence, Italy, Ormskirk, United Kingdom, and Saint-Etienne, France. Lindsy finds inspiration in people and exploring the psychology of how space influences human behavior. She believes good design has the power to change the world.

  • Mishael Uwadiae

    Office Manager

    Mishael joined MSR Design in 2018 after moving to Minnesota from England. In his role, he ensures administrative tasks are fulfilled with decisiveness and accuracy to assist business performance. With a background in computer science and business administration, Mishael has over 15 years’ experience managing business systems and administrative processes. He enjoys traveling and has visited many countries in Europe, Africa, and North America. When Mishael isn’t reading, he’s either playing football (soccer) or raising his scarf to Chelsea Football Club and cheering his favorite Premier League team to victory at the top of his lungs.

  • Dan Vercruysse

    AIA, LEED AP, Senior Associate

    As a senior associate and registered architect, Dan has filled a variety of roles within teams, ranging from project designer to project manager. This breadth of experience is paired with a working knowledge of a diverse mix of project types including arts and education facilities, libraries, and multi-facility corporate campus efforts. Much of Dan’s professional experience is grounded in adaptive reuse projects that balance the unique conditions of combining the old with the new for transformative outcomes. Dan’s interests in design focus on the maintenance of design concepts throughout the creative process, producing work that clearly exemplifies its original vision. His creative collaboration and dedication to addressing clients’ needs has resulted in projects that have received such honors as a national American Institute of Architects (AIA) Honor Award, AIA Central States Region Honor Award, AIA Minnesota Honor Award, and a Business Week /Architectural Record Award.

  • Kristilyn Vercruysse

    AIA, LEED AP, Associate

    A registered architect and MSR Design associate, Kristilyn has more than 15 years of professional experience. Her strengths include close project coordination, from design development through construction administration. She works closely with consultants and clients to ensure well-integrated building and construction documentation sets. Kristilyn’s design work is focused on rehabilitating existing buildings, including the Urban Outfitters Corporate Campus, and she enjoys the challenge of understanding existing conditions and transforming design ideas into reality. She has also worked on several residential projects, ranging from a private rural estate to an urban condo renovation. Prior to joining MSR Design in 2005, Kristilyn worked on various community centers in Wisconsin and public schools in the Twin Cities metro area. Kristilyn holds a Master of Architecture from Arizona State University and a Bachelor of Science in Architecture from the University of Minnesota.

  • Jacklyn Vollema

    AIA, Associate

    A registered architect and associate with MSR, Jacklyn creates thoughtful designs derived from the interaction between each project’s particular surroundings and place in time. Before joining the firm, she worked on various recreational event centers, multifamily housing projects, restaurants, and higher education labs and classrooms. Jacklyn holds a Master of Architecture from North Dakota State University and received the North Dakota State University Alpha Rho Chi Award. She also holds a Bachelor of Environmental Design from North Dakota State University and is past president of the Tau Sigma Delta Honor Society.

  • Jetse Vollema


    Jetse has six years of design experience and received a Master of Architecture and Bachelor of Science in Environmental Design from North Dakota State University. As a student, he was a laser cutter supervisor, gaining experience in 3D printing and experimenting with graphical algorithm editor programs such as Grasshopper. Born in Holland, Jetse has lived in the U.S. for more than 20 years, and he’s currently working on obtaining dual citizenship. He has experience with a large variety of project types, including multifamily residential, educational, civic, retail, hospitality, commercial, corporate, and aviation facilities. Jetse led the effort for the East Grand Forks High School addition and renovation and played a role in the Minneapolis-Saint Paul International Airport HVAC penthouse and mezzanine improvement project.

  • Daniel Winden


    Dan has 14 years of professional experience. He is interested in the design process and how computer modeling can be leveraged throughout all phases of the design process, using multiple software tools to study different qualities of a building from sunlight and heat to massing and materiality. He is also interested in how computer modeling can transfer beyond construction and become the foundation for building performance tracking. Prior to joining MSR Design, Dan worked for Julie Snow Architects (now Snow Kreilich Architects) for seven years. He is also an adjunct professor at the University of Minnesota School of Architecture. He holds a Master of Architecture from the University of Minnesota and a Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy and Religion from Saint Olaf College.

  • Christopher Wingate

    LEED AP, Associate

    Chris joined MSR Design after receiving his Master of Architecture from the University of Minnesota College of Design in 2013. He also holds a Bachelor of Science in Architecture from the University of Minnesota. Chris is passionate about developing and applying a design-centric approach to sustainability that focuses on clarity of concept, design rigor, and inspiring visualization. He leads MSR’s research and development of new design tools and processes and oversees a student research partnership with the University of Minnesota. Chris has received numerous awards for his research and design work, including the US Green Building Council (USGBC) Mississippi Headwaters National Talent Design Competition First Prize in 2010 and 2011, Thomas F. Ellerbe Scholarship for his graduate work, and Dean’s Choice Best in Senior Design Show for his undergraduate work. Chris also has a strong interest in adaptive reuse, winning the Design Democracy Fellowship for his 1st and 1st Music Center proposal to reuse Minneapolis’s first mini-storage warehouse and the China Design Fellowship that funded travel, study, and collaboration with Chinese students in Chongqing to envision converting an abandoned steel blast furnace into a public landmark and cinema.