Meet the Team: Jeni Lassley


We’re back with another installment of 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!

We’re spending the month of October introducing you to some of our architectural team members—today we’re introducing you to Jeni Lassley! Jeni is our most senior architect and an invaluable member of our team—read on to learn more about Jeni, her role at ELM, and how she spends her time outside the office!


Tell us a little bit about your career, and how you became interested in this field.

I've been working in the field of architecture for over 30 years. I became interested in high school with my graphics and drafting classes. At that time I didn't really understand the field of architecture and so went to the library to research it.

How long have you been with ELM?

13.5 years, although I've known Russ for 33 years!

What is your role at ELM, and what are your favorite parts of the job?

I'm a Vice President and an Architect. My role is widely varied and encompasses most aspects of the field. I thrive when I am working through the understanding of the schematic design and bringing that vision into reality through research and documentation.

Because of my experience, I also spend a fair bit of time answering questions, working out details, and providing quality control for the documents from other architects and designers in the office.

Where did you go to school, and what did you study?

I went to school at Kansas State University and began in their Pre-Design program. During that time I decided to study landscape architecture but after working a summer for an architect, reverted back to architecture and got a Bachelor of Architecture degree.

What is your hometown?

O'Fallon, Missouri

What type of projects do you enjoy most?

I mostly enjoy working on community amenity centers. I also enjoy working on church campuses and on anything that is nature-oriented in its programming. It's fun to take all of the components and help to bring them together to a cohesive whole.


What are some of your favorite projects that you've worked on (both at ELM and in previous jobs)?

Nocatee Spash Park, Rivertown, Shearwater, Christ Episcopal Church, Camp Immokalee, working with the City of Jax Parks and Re division (former employment)

Are you involved in any professional, volunteer or community organizations?

I am a member of the AIA, local, state and national. I was involved with the Girl Scouts as a leader for many years, although not at present.

What are some industry trends/changes/etc. that you are excited about, or that have influenced your work recently?

I'm excited about the continuing discussions around design related to addressing climate change and the changing needs of our world.

Have you seen any local (or non-local) examples of inspiring design that you’d like to share?

High Line Park, the St. Louis Arch and Riverfront Park, National Park lodges, Air Force Memorial in DC

What advice would you give to somebody looking to be an architect/landscape architect/follow in your footsteps?

Try to be diverse and learn all aspects of the field as this will allow more flexibility in your career.

What are your favorite things to do outside the office?

I love to be outdoors and I camp and hike a lot. I also quilt and always have 4 or so quilts in different stages of completion at any given time. We have 5 children and 2 grandchildren and although none live at home, we plan trips and visits together often.


Have you been on any interesting trips lately, or have any favorite places you've traveled?

We went on a Caribbean cruise this past summer with 50 family and friends which was great fun. We share a wedding anniversary date with our best friends and have gone on trips to cities across the US every October for 10-12 years. We also have visited quite a few of the National Parks and we hope to continue that trend to see most, if not all of the parks. Next spring we are going to Africa to visit our daughter who is living there.

What do you enjoy most about living in Jacksonville?

Definitely the winter, definitely not the summer.

What is your favorite local restaurant?

Oh, it just closed down this past summer - Campeche Bay Cantina in Jax Beach.