Meet the Team: Jeff Gibson
Welcome to Meet the Team—a blog series where we’ll be introducing members of our team to give you an insight into our culture and the people behind our projects!
Continuing with our landscape team features in honor of World Landscape Architecture Month, today we’re introducing you to Jeff Gibson. A native of Sheffield, Alabama, Jeff’s been with ELM over 15 years, and received his Bachelor of Science in Environmental Design and Master of Landscape Architecture from Auburn, and his MBA from Jacksonville University.
Read on to learn more about Jeff!
Tell us about your career, and how you became interested in landscape architecture.
I grew up always wanting to become an architect. I attended Auburn University where I went through Summer Option for Architecture. This is an in depth intense summer course load of architectural studio classes. During summer option, one of my professors Jack Williams (an architect and landscape architect) noticed that I worked with the site and landforms as much as I worked with the building designs. Jack introduced me to landscape architecture and essentially recruited me to change my major from architecture to landscape architecture.
I have been working as a landscape architect for 17 years. When I graduated from Auburn in 2002 I selected 5 cities in the southeast to apply for jobs. Those cities were: Atlanta, Nashville, Birmingham, Raleigh, and Jacksonville. I took a job with Powers and Merritt, Inc. in Ponte Vedra and worked there for 16 months. After I got married, I took a job here with ELM, Inc. and I have been here ever since.
What is your role at ELM, and what are your favorite parts of the job?
Vice President of Landscape Architecture. This includes everything from attending meetings, writing proposals, developing concept plans, developing construction documents, supporting my colleagues, reviewing shop drawing submittals, coordinating with contractors, reviewing field conditions, construction administration, coordinating with consultants, and working with various governmental agencies.
I most enjoy working as part of a team in a collegial environment. I also enjoy seeing the construction process where elements seem to spring out of the ground and fulfill the original vision that was developed on paper.
What type of projects do you enjoy most?
I enjoy the hospitality projects such as community amenity centers.
Have you seen any local (or non-local) examples of inspiring design or landscape architecture that you'd like to share?
The Gathering Place in Tulsa by Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates, Klyde Warren Park in Dallas, TX by OJB Landscape Architecture, Discovery Green in Houston, TX by Hargreaves Associates. My favorite pocket park has always been Paley Park in New York City.
What advice would you give to somebody looking to become a landscape architect?
Practice hand drawing and build confidence in your ability to draw. You obviously have to stay current with the latest software and technology, but nothing replaces the ability to draw and visualize through hand graphics.
Have you been on any interesting trips lately, or have any favorite places you've traveled?
Late last year my wife and I went to New York City. We enjoy the pace of the city and all of the things to do. We take an annual trip to Watercolor in Santa Rosa Beach, FL every year to disconnect and recharge. I enjoy Watercolor because of its relaxed classic Americana vibe.
What do you enjoy most about living in Jacksonville?
Seven months out of the year we have pretty spectacular weather. The other five months aren't so bad, they can just be a little on the warm side.
What's your favorite local restaurant?
It's totally pedestrian, but lately my wife and I have been going to One Night Taco Stand in Mandarin. The food is traditional Mexican food but is prepared very well.