key personnel

key projects
project list

office info



Lauren Meléndrez, ASLA

Lauren Meléndrez is President of Meléndrez Design Partners and oversees the strategic direction of the firm and the development of major projects.

As part of the design process she has been directly involved with federal, state, and local government agencies; elected officials; commissions; advisory committees; and community groups. She has developed numerous award winning project designs. Because of her extensive knowledge of urban design and urban design issues, Lauren has been appointed to many boards, task forces, and committees to address development of related policies within the Los Angeles region. She has also assisted with programs and specifications for management and operations of public/private improvements, and advised clients on public policy and implementation issues.
Robert Larlee
Managing Principal
Bob Larlee is Managing Principal, responsible for operations, business, and resource management with an emphasis on ensuring balanced success. In this role he facilitates Meléndrez Design Partners' long-term growth strategy that will build the next generation of leadership at MDP. Bob brings a comprehensive knowledge of professional design services from more than 13 years of organizing and managing nationally known architecture firms. A compelling and collegial leader, Bob is recognized for his ability to understand and respond to the firm's evolving needs in a creative, personal, and consensus driven manner.
Scott D. Baker, ASLA
Senior Associate

Scott Baker is Senior Associate and Studio Leader, overseeing all projects within his studio, and providing leadership to studio members. Scott has extensive experience working on large scale, complex, and international projects. His broad base of knowledge comes from managing a branch office, giving him exposure to all aspects of the landscape architecture profession. During his career, Scott has been focused on design intensive projects, from concept through construction documents. He spends time dealing directly with clients to thoroughly understand their needs and ensure project execution.
Tony Chacon
Senior Associate

Tony Chacon is Senior Associate responsible for quality control of construction documentation, including specifications and field administration, and provides contractual agreement review. Tony has contributed to the development of Melendrez Design Partners’ project management process and office standards because of his extensive background in every aspect of construction documents and details. He has also served on the review board as an examiner for the California State Board of Landscape Architects. His career has considerable emphasis in technically complex projects ranging from on-structure elements, to water features. Tony believes that doing a project correctly from the outset leads to environments that create a great experience for the user.
Melani Smith,
Senior Associate

Melani Smith is a Senior Associate and the newly-appointed Director of Planning at MelÚndrez Design Partners. During her 16 years in the design industry, she has worked at regional, community and site-specific scales, and managed and developed specific plans, public outreach plans, design guidelines and general plans for public and private sector clients. Her expertise in providing creative solutions for the re-use of underutilized space in developed communities together with her work in the developing Inland Empire, where anticipating future population growth requires a more focused approach to efficient planning and use of land, has solidified her reputation as a local industry leader. As a Senior Associate, Melani will strengthen the leadership team, and ensure that a successful path is charted for the firm. Prior to joining MelÚndrez, Melani was Director of Community Design and Planning for The Planning Center in Costa Mesa.
Deborah Murphy
Consulting Senior Associate

Deborah Murphy is a consulting Senior Associate at Meléndrez. Over the six years she has been with Meléndrez, Deborah has provided leadership and project management for the firm’s urban design, streetscape and planning projects, including most recently the Griffith Park Master Plan project. Deborah has excellent skills in project management, city design, urban and transportation planning, and community facilitation. Her dedicated work for over ten years with the City of Los Angeles Department of City Planning has made her one of the most respected urban design and planning professionals in Los Angeles, and an authority on urban issues. She is widely recognized for her leadership and vision in community consensus building, comprehensive planning, streetscape design and pedestrian safety issues. In her efforts to make Los Angeles more walkable, she founded a pedestrian advocacy organization, Los Angeles Walks, and was appointed Chair of the City of Los Angeles' Pedestrian Advisory Committee. Deborah is also an Urban Design Consultant to the City of West Hollywood for their new Mixed Use/Housing Ordinance and teaches in the Graduate Landscape Architecture Program at the USC School of Architecture.
Stephen Smith
In his role as Associate and Senior Designer, Steve takes the lead in concept design on many of the firm’s projects. Steve has over 30 years experience as a Landscape Architect, working on large-scale projects, ranging from planning and environmental, public parks, recreation facilities, riverside greenbelts, multi-family housing, and university campus planning and design. Steve also serves as a mentor to junior staff in developing their design skills, graphics, planting selections and project management. Steve believes that ageless, enduring design elements and quality materials contribute to the long-term quality and historic values of communities.
Michael Williams
Michael Williams is Associate and Studio Leader, overseeing all projects within his studio. An excellent communicator, Mike is able to organize and keep projects on schedule. While Principal of his own firm, Mike learned the elements of successful project design, and honed his client satisfaction skills. Mike brings an expertise in design, communication and a broad knowledge of Landscape Architecture. He has designed many project types with an emphasis on the firm’s commercial projects.
Tonya Giebel
Marketing Manager
Along with seven years experience in the design industry, Tonya brings passion and enthusiasm to MelÚndrez╣s marketing endeavors. As Marketing Manager, she serves as an overall ambassador for the MelÚndrez brand. Internally, Tonya ensures that marketing resources are available, plans and strategies are being executed, and goals are being met. Externally, she is involved with business development, relationship building and public relations activities. Tonya is an active member of the Society for Marketing Professional Services (SMPS), Southern California Development Forum (SCDF) and the Central City Association (CCA).