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

    RA, Architect, Associate

    A registered architect, Jeryl has 13 years of experience handling all aspects of projects, from developing programmatic and space planning solutions for clients to construction administration on both new construction and renovations. He spent his first 12 years in New York designing galleries and retail showrooms, community and institutional facilities, and multifamily residential buildings. Jeryl enjoys providing clients with quick answers on construction methods and views construction as a creative problem-solving opportunity to synthesize ideas into the built 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, 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.

  • Stephen Bellairs

    AIA, LEED AP, Senior Associate

    An MSR senior associate with 28 years of experience, Stephen has worked globally in the United Kingdom, Europe, South Africa, and the United States. A member of the 2016 Twin Cities Chamber of Commerce Leadership Twin Cities class, he has served as a community liaison to civic associations, published papers in facilities management journals, lectured on construction administration practices in the UK, taught design studios globally, and served as a juror for professional design competitions and student reviews. A highly organized and responsive project manager, Stephen combines clear thinking and inquiry with the ability to lead decision-making processes in a logical and methodical manner, all while maintaining a keen and passionate eye for design and detail consistency.

  • John Blair

    Marketing Project Manager

    Joining MSR in early 2017, John works on the firm’s graphics for proposals, signage packages, public relations, advertising, and other marketing collateral. He also coordinates events for office staff and clients. John has experience in event marketing and planning, film and video production, and graphic design. John holds a Bachelor of Arts in American Studies from Georgetown University

  • Jerry Blanchard

    AIA, Architect, Associate

    Through his experience on renovation and adaptive reuse projects in New Orleans, Jerry has become increasingly interested in the value of renewable architecture. A registered architect with 11 years of experience, he worked on renovations, reclamations, and systems upgrades to civic buildings and educational facilities damaged by Hurricane Katrina. One of these projects, the renovation of the 1929 Charles J. Colton School, received an AIA New Orleans Honor Award for Historic Preservation. Jerry holds a Master of Architecture from Tulane University, where he also served as a guest critic and teaching assistant, and a Bachelor of Science in Biological Studies from Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge.

  • Catherine Clow

    Marketing Graphic Designer

    Catherine joined MSR in 2018 with six 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.

  • Brian Davis

    Interior Designer

    Brian has two years of interior design, space planning, and overall concept and design production experience. He has worked on commercial interiors, restaurants, retail space, exhibit design, and environmental graphics projects in Florida, Texas, New York, and Minnesota. Brian believes that successful designs arise from solid conceptual foundations and research. With diverse experience and skill sets, he is an asset to any project team. Brian received a Master of Interior Architecture and Product Design from Kansas State University.

  • Sara Du Marquardt


    Sara received a Master of Architecture from the University of Minnesota. She and Katie Loecken collaborated on a graduate-level final project, which won the 2016 Richard Morrill Master’s Final Project Award. The project proposes a fixed solution and framework for fluctuating events on a decommissioned off-ramp in downtown Minneapolis. Rethinking the industrial zones of the highway by linking the experience of the pedestrian with the alluring rush of the highway remains an interest for Sara. She has collaborated on drawing sets, materials research, and firm graphic standards. In additional to her professional practice, Sara has taught courses as an adjunct instructor at the University of Minnesota College of Design.

  • Sam Edelstein

    AIA, LEED AP, Associate

    For nearly ten years, Sam has been exploring the intersection of learning and work environments with the evolving expectations communities have for their spaces. Whether developing workspaces within corporate headquarters for Fortune 500 companies, such as Urban Outfitters and 3M, or designing a new community educational space, Sam brings an unwavering curiosity and passion for understanding clients to a highly collaborative design process. He views design as a window into how and why systems, cultures, and businesses operate and ultimately what makes them successful. Sam is particularly fascinated by generational relationships and how their dynamics shape our spaces, inform our culture, and engage organizations. A registered architect and associate with MSR, Sam has received several awards for his work, including an American Institute of Architects (AIA) Central States Architecture Honor Award, and Nebraska New Construction Honor Award. His work has been exhibited at the Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum and Minima Gallery. A graduate of the design-build program Studio 804 at the University of Kansas, Sam holds a Bachelor of Architecture, with a minor in Business.

  • Robert Ewert

    AIA, Senior Associate

    A registered architect and MSR senior associate, Robert has more than 18 years of professional experience. He serves many roles at MSR, ranging from business development to leading project teams. Through design leadership, Robert inspires clients and his teams to seek the true potential of a project through creative collaboration. He holds a Bachelor of Architecture from the University of Arizona and Bachelor of Arts in Architecture from the University of Minnesota. In his free time, Robert enjoys spending time with his family and designing and building furniture.

  • Calvin

    Calvin is the youngest addition to the MSR office. An active dog, he is an early riser, typically waking up at 4 am. He finds that eating vegetables and lean proteins helps him maintain an active lifestyle. He loves to run and play ball, but chasing squirrels really gets his heart racing.

  • Simona Fischer


    A sustainable design specialist, 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.

  • Greta Foster

    CID, WELL AP, Associate

    A certified interior designer and associate with MSR, Greta has 14 years of experience. She enjoys design because it requires both ingenuity and diligence. Greta brings a thoughtful, human-centered approach to design. She finds delight and value in connecting with clients and the community during the design process. Greta’s work has received notable recognition and awards, including International Interior Design Association (IIDA) Northland Chapter FAB Awards for the reimagined Madison Public Library Central Library and Wooddale Church renovation. Greta received a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Interior Design from the Illinois Institute of Art in Chicago and a Bachelor of Arts in English from the University of Minnesota.

  • Doug Franzwa

    CPA, Senior Associate

    The firm’s chief financial officer and a senior associate, Doug joined MSR 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.

  • Bob Ganser

    AIA, Architect

    A registered architect, Bob has over 20 years of experience in architecture, urban design, and design education. He has significant experience as a project manager and lead design architect for a broad range of adaptive reuse and new construction projects, including institutional and academic buildings, office and commercial space, and multiunit and single-family housing. Bob has received numerous design and professional awards for his work, including two American Institute of Architects (AIA) Minnesota Honor Awards, two Minneapolis Heritage Preservation Awards, numerous Mpls.St.Paul Magazine RAVE Awards, and several Star Tribune/AIA Minnesota Home of the Month Awards. He has also been honored with a national AIA Young Architects Award, AIA Minnesota Young Architects Award, and Midwest Home Emerging Talent Award. After cofounding and leading CityDeskStudio, an independent commercial and residential architecture firm, for 11 years, Bob joined MSR in 2015. In addition to his professional practice, Bob teaches undergraduate and graduate architectural design studios in the University of Minnesota School of Architecture, where he received a Master of Architecture.

  • Lauren Gardner

    Interior Designer

    Lauren joined MSR after receiving a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Interior Design with a Minor in Art History from the University of Wisconsin-Stout. Her conceptual thinking about culture, diversity within a space, and historical details inform her work. She values historic preservation, adaptive reuse, and visiting places of historical significance. Lauren keeps the client and end user’s demographic in mind when selecting furniture and finishes to ensure that spaces are accessible to people of all generations and abilities. 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 recently joined MSR 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, 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, 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, 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.

  • Deukgeun Hong


    Joining MSR full-time in 2016, Deukgeun received a Master of Architecture from the University of Minnesota. Focused on the emergence of digital building technology for designing complex structures, he believes that design must simultaneously respond to the memory of place and convey originality. Deukgeun received the Skidmore Owings Merrill Fund Scholarship and the Wells Pascall Memorial Fund Scholarship. While a graduate student, he worked on the design and furnishings for a pop-up park for the Frederick R. Weisman Art Museum. His winning design for the Incheon 2014 Asian Games Stadium Student Competition was used for the actual stadium design.

  • Junya Huang


    Junya joined MSR in 2016, having received a Master of Architecture from the University of Miami with core studies in theory, history, construction documentation, and computational urbanism. She holds a Bachelor of Architecture from the Dalian University of Technology in China, where she received the Excellent Graduate Design Award. While an exchange student at Korea University in Seoul, Junya also won the Excellent Prize of Autodesk Revit Cup 2013 National Student Competition in Sustainable Architectural Design.

  • Mitch Karr

    AIA, Associate

    A registered architect and associate with MSR, 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.

  • Sara Kempton


    A designer with 10 years of professional experience, Sara has worked on projects in the Midwest and on the West Coast, including municipal, commercial, office, tenant improvement, and fitness center buildings. She enjoys adaptive reuse projects because of the challenges they present to bring new life and energy to existing spaces. She believes spaces need to be considered on an emotional level, as well as an operational level. Sara holds a Bachelor of Architecture and Bachelor of Science in Environmental Design from North Dakota State University.

  • Dawon Kim

    Interior Designer

    Dawon is an interior designer who joined MSR 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

    Registered in Wisconsin for 17 years, Tom joined MSR 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, 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 20 years of professional experience and has been with MSR since 2003. He has worked on a wide variety of project types, including 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

    LEED AP, Senior Associate

    Dagmara has 19 years of professional experience working in Europe, South America, and the United States. A senior associate with the firm, 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 two Business Week/Architectural Record Awards, multiple American Institute of Architects (AIA) Minnesota Honor Awards, an American Library Association (ALA)/International Interior Design Association (IIDA) Library Interior Design Award, 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.

  • Leanne Larson

    CID, IIDA, LEED AP, Senior Associate

    Leanne joined MSR in 1997 and is a senior associate with the firm. A certified interior designer, she offers extensive interior design experience and retail merchandising strategies for planning and layout. Leanne’s design talent and contributions on a vast array of project types have led to numerous award-winning designs, including a national American Institute of Architects (AIA) Honor Award for Interior Architecture and ALA/International Interior Design Association (IIDA) Library Interior Design Best Overall Award for the McAllen Public Library Main Library. She believes that a building’s interior spaces should be well used and well loved, while always looking fresh and inviting. In addition to her professional work, Leanne has taught interior design courses at the University of Wisconsin-Stout and Dakota County Technical College. She copresented a talk entitled “The (In)Flexible Box: Transforming Older Library Spaces” at the 2017 ALA Annual Conference in Chicago. Leanne holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Interior Design and Bachelor of Science in Retail Merchandising and Management, with honors, from the University of Wisconsin-Stout.

  • Byoungjin Lee

    AIA, LEED AP, Associate

    A registered architect and associate with MSR, Byoungjin holds a Master of Architecture from the University of Minnesota College of Design. He focuses on integrating energy modeling and landscape 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, Associate 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

    LEED Green Associate, Designer

    Ben joined MSR 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


    With seven years of professional design experience, 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.

  • Rachelle Schoessler Lynn

    FASID, CID, LEED Fellow, Senior Associate

    A national leader in workplace design, Rachelle has devoted her 27-year career to combining design excellence with workplace innovation. She has distinguished herself in the interior design profession as a passionate and dedicated advocate for sustainable design and human health and well-being. The fact that people spend 90% of their time indoors drives Rachelle’s passion to design healthier workplace environments for people. This approach has resulted in award-winning design at the forefront of workplace innovation and sustainability. In addition to her professional practice, she is past national chair of ASID. In this role, Rachelle furthered the case for sustainable design through policy, research initiatives, and writing and speaking engagements. She also cofounded the USGBC Minnesota Chapter and was an adjunct faculty member at the University of Minnesota College of Design. Rachelle became a USGBC LEED Fellow in 2013 and was inducted into the ASID College of Fellows in 2009. She received the national ASID Designer of Distinction Award in 2016 and the ASID Minnesota Chapter Designer of Distinction Award in 2004.

  • Rhys MacPherson

    LEED AP BD+C, Senior Associate

    A senior associate with MSR, 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 21 years of professional planning and design experience to MSR, 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.

  • Charlie

    MSR’s favorite Shetland Sheepdog, Charlie makes frequent appearances in the office. He loves any treats, but has a particular fondness for bananas and cantaloupe. Among Charlie’s favorite activities are meeting other Shelties, going on slow walks, and rolling around in the snow.

  • Caitlin Maus

    NCIDQ, Interior Designer, Associate

    Caitlin holds a Master of Interior Architecture and Product Design from Kansas State University. She has been with MSR for more than four years and has professional experience in all phases of design work, including conceptual development, schematic design, finishes and furniture selection, pricing, construction documentation, and contract administration. Caitlin focuses on developing design solutions that consider the impacts they will have on the environment and promote the well-being of those who will occupy the spaces. She brings her passion for community outreach to the office by coordinating opportunities for employees to give back throughout the year. Caitlin enjoys the various types and scales of work associated with interior design and having the opportunity to create lasting, responsible design. Her work has received notable recognition and awards, including an International Interior Design Association (IIDA) Northland Chapter FAB Award for the Wooddale Church project.

  • Willow

    Willow hails from the Kansas City area. She enjoys all things edible, but really loves any type of jerky and peanut butter treats. Among her favorite activities are exploring sans leash, romping around with her cousins, and chewing on her toys.

  • Veronica McCracken

    CID, Associate

    As a passionate and innovative designer, Veronica has made her mark in many areas of the design world in the five 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 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 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 26 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.

  • Martin Meyer


    Martin joined MSR after receiving his Master of Architecture from the University of Minnesota College of Design in 2013. His work covers a wide range of project types, including office environments, affordable housing, cultural centers, schools, and hands-on learning environments. He values seeing the translation of rendered architectural ideas into finely executed details across all scales. Martin uses 3D digital tools for rapid design iteration and the production of full-resolution presentation materials. Prior to his time at MSR, Martin worked in both design and construction around the Twin Cities. Martin also holds a Bachelor of Science in Biology and Drawing from Lewis & Clark College. His complementary background in the fine arts and sciences strikes a balance between creative, interactive exploration and the discovery of practical, innovative design solutions.

  • Remy

    Remington “Remy” Meyer-Maxwell I is originally from Kentucky, but through a series of events found himself at the Golden Valley Humane Society where he first met his future forever parents. As a sophisticated dog, Remy enjoys human company and has little interest in socializing with other animals. In particular, he enjoys strolling in the Minnehaha Dog Park, where the pull of his ancestors guides him to explore and patrol. He typically follows this activity with a fireside nap. His voracious appetite is legendary around the MSR office, particularly his fondness for peanut butter, sausage, and even steamed broccoli. When pressed, Remy names Peter Zumthor as his favorite architect, having a fondness for the stark simplicity of his designs.

  • Tom Meyer

    FAIA, Principal

    A founding principal of MSR with 46 years’ experience, 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, Associate

    Kate joined MSR in 2012 and has been practicing professionally for 13 years. She has worked on a diverse mix of projects, including public libraries, market rate and affordable multifamily housing, single-family residences, and corporate offices. Kate 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 is engaged with her community, serving on the Kingfield Redevelopment Committee and as a member of the Urban Land Institute. Her 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. An associate with MSR and a registered architect, Kate holds a Bachelor of Architecture from Iowa State University.

  • Susan Morgan

    AIA, LEED AP BD+C, Architect, Associate

    Susan joined MSR after practicing architecture in Boston for 13 years. She has worked as a project architect, project manager, and designer, with a practice founded on building strong working relationships with her clients and resolving the unique complexities of each project. Susan has worked on a range of building types, from libraries and museums to academic buildings and sensitive historic renovations. She listens first, then asks the right questions to develop a responsive integrated design solution. Susan holds a Master of Architecture from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and a Bachelor of Science in Architecture from Washington University in Saint Louis, where she received the Sam Fox School of Design & Visual Arts Distinguished Young Alumni Award in 2011. Susan embraces lifelong learning and creative exploration, nurtured through teaching for 12 years at the Boston Architectural College and seen in her recycled glass and rubber sculpture, one of a series of material explorations of light and texture.

  • Amy Nash


    Communications manager and firm associate, Amy has been with MSR 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 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

    AIA, LEED AP, Principal

    Jack has led MSR teams on over five dozen library projects. Senior principal and president of MSR, 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.

  • Tamar Ribnick

    WELL AP, Associate

    Tamar has focused her career on learning about workplace environments and exploring unique strategies and solutions to best serve her clients’ present and future needs. A WELL accredited professional and an associate with the firm, Tamar works closely with clients to promote collaborative relationships and integrated design processes. A graduate of the University of Cincinnati’s College of Design Art Architecture and Planning, Tamar has received notable recognition for her work, including an International Interior Design Association (IIDA) Northland Chapter FAB Award and publication in Architecture Minnesota’s annual interior design issue. Tamar’s deep understanding of space and passion for design help create meaningful connections between clients’ visions and project design. Her design expertise and communication skills help guide clients through the design process and enable them to feel fully engaged throughout the entire evolution of their projects.

  • Garth Rockcastle

    FAIA, Principal

    A founding principal of MSR, Garth has 39 years of professional experience. While maintaining an active role with the firm and launching MSR’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, Architect

    A registered architect, Beth has 10 years of 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 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 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, Principal (Retired)

    One of MSR’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

  • Ben Schwarz

    LEED Green Associate, Designer

    Ben has seven years of professional experience, including three years with MSR. He has been involved in all phases of project design, from schematic design through construction administration, with responsibilities including field verification and documenting existing conditions, modeling and rendering, developing design concepts, preparing construction details, performing building code reviews, and attending project meetings. Ben has a passion for those smaller, sometimes overlooked, details that can directly impact the overall success of a project. He also advocates for developing and applying sustainable design techniques and principles in project work. Ben has extensive experience with 3D visualization and building information modeling (BIM) software, including Autodesk Revit and 3ds Max, SketchUp, and Vue. He holds a Master of Architecture and Bachelor of Environmental Design from North Dakota State University. When not working, Ben enjoys staying active outdoors year-round: running, road biking, and disc golfing in the summer and skiing and ice fishing in the winter.

  • Stella

    Stella is a mini Labradoodle who met her adoptive parents on Christmas Eve. Like many dogs, she enjoys peanut butter, but when she is feeling health-conscious, she gravitates to romaine lettuce and cucumbers. She loves to play fetch, run, play with toys, and snuggle.

  • Brooke Smalley

    CID, Associate

    Brooke joined MSR in 2016 with five years of 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.

  • Lindsy Tomski

    Interior Designer

    With three years of professional experience, Lindsy recently joined MSR. 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 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.

  • Xander

    MSR’s first office dog, Xander has been a fixture here since 2005. His favorite pastimes include long chew sessions with toys, sleeping, slow walks with lots of smelling, cuddling, canoeing, and camping. He typically greets people at the front door when he’s not sleeping under somebody’s desk. A yellow lab and hound mix, Xander has his own serial number provided courtesy of the USDA. He was adopted from Texas A&M University and spent the first ten months of his life in a lab as a research dog. He then spent some time letting veterinary students do exams on him. Needless to say, he’s a very patient dog. Over the years, he has embraced Minnesota weather and hobbies.

  • Kristilyn Vercruysse

    AIA, LEED AP, Associate

    A registered architect and MSR 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 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

    RA, Architect

    With three years of professional experience, Jacklyn creates thoughtful designs derived from the interaction between each project’s particular surroundings and place in time. Before joining MSR, 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 three 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, 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 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.