People

AT HG DESIGN STUDIO, YOU’LL DISCOVER…

Our creative drawings are as functional as they are beautiful.

A culture of gratitude infuses every interaction.

Determination and accountability are a way of life. 

Relationships begin with a welcoming, humble approach. 
When you choose HG Design Studio, you choose the best of both worlds – functional land planning and attractive site design. Our team includes land planners, civil engineers, landscape architects, project managers and support professionals all working together to ensure our clients and our community are served with exceptional outdoor site design.
Charlene A Harper, PE
Director of Engineering/Design Partner
Mobile: 804.393.9350
Office: 804.740.7500 ext 412

Function: “Earth Mother”
Years of Experience: 21
Personal Value(s): Projecting a positive attitude and outlook; stepping up and pitching in; and treating others as I want to be treated.
Favorite Project: Term contract projects at the University of Virginia – UVA is the kind of client that everyone dreams of having—they have interesting problems to solve, expect a lot from their consultants, and are both appreciative and fair.
David C Gerstenmaier, PLA
President/Partner
Mobile: 804.347.1645
Office: 804.740.7500 ext 407

Function:
“The Fire Chief”
Years of Experience: 33
Personal Value(s): Humility, Creativity, Perserverance
Favorite Project: Corporate Client Treehouse – We contacted Pete Nelson of HGTV’s Treehouse Masters and together designed a tricked-out commercial treehouse on the grounds of a corporate client. To attract top talent to the area, it will be fully functional with wifi and electrical capacity, but be a cool place to contemplate work solutions.
Board Memberships: ULI, AIA Associate Member, American Society of Landscape Architects, Tuckahoe YMCA Board of Management
Awards: The Ohio State University Knowlton School of Architecture Alumni Society Impact Award, The Tuckahoe YMCA Carl W. Wagner Volunteer of the Year Award
Meril Gerstenmaier
Managing Partner
Mobile: 804.370.1849
Office: 804.740.7500 ext 403

Function:
“Chief of Police”
Personal Value(s): Courage, Never Giving Up
Board Memberships: The Branch Museum of Design and Architecture, Virginia Institute of Marine Science-Advisory, Rivertrace Credit Union, RVA STEM, Virginia Council of CEOs-Advisory
Favorite Projects: Expanding our higher education studio beyond Richmond. We are now designing on almost every major campus in the state of Virginia. 
Rick Gorrell, PLA
Landscape Architect/Senior Associate
Mobile: 804.357.3045
Office: 804.740.7500 ext 414

Function:
  “The Veteran”
Years of Experience: 37
Personal Value(s): Honesty/Integrity, Good Work Ethic
Favorite Project: The Sauer Center/1840 West Broad Street – Involvement in an infill and renovation inner city urban project with a terrific client that is still ongoing, provided the opportunity to have an enormous effect on the character of not only the project at hand, but also the surrounding neighborhood. This project allows for the combined creativity of new and old, and will leave a long-term mark on the City’s urban fabric. It is truly a fun, project of a lifetime.     
Randy Biltz, PLA, ASLA
Landscape Architect/Senior Project Manager
Mobile: 804.512.3448
Office: 804.740.7500 ext 404

Function:
“The Mayor”
Years of Experience: 21
Personal Value(s): Integrity, Creativity, Caring
Favorite Project: I really enjoyed working on the master plan and pool for a local organization's summer camp. It allowed me to use my interest in the outdoors to create a camp master plan that is safe, yet both mentally and physically challenging for all age groups. The swimming pool design included a beach entry, water features, water slide, and a diving well. I worked with the owner from schematics all the way through construction.
Board Memberships: ASLA, Ridgetop Recreation
Corey Kissell Wong, PLA
Landscape Architect/Project Manager
Office: 804.740.7500 ext 413

Function:
“The Marine”
Years of Experience: 12
Personal Value(s): Honesty and Resilience
Favorite Project: Virginia Commonwealth University’s 12th Street Pedestrian Plaza – This plaza had many design challenges and I had to learn how to execute a complicated urban design within a constructive design team.
Andy Sisson, PLA
Landscape Architect
Office: 804.740.7500 ext 417

Function:
“Renaissance Man”
Years of Experience: 13
Personal Value(s): Creativity, Passion, and Integrity
Favorite Project: Boathouse at Sunday Park – This project was fun because it was designed as it was going in. To know that so many people will enjoy this project on one of the biggest days of their lives really gets at the core of why I started doing this in the first place.
 Charley Sessoms, PE
Civil Engineer
Mobile: 540.872.8008
Office: 804.740.7500 ext 419

Function:
“Gearhead”
Years of Experience: 11
Personal Value(s): Honesty, Humility, Responsibility
Favorite Project: The Ashland Police Department Stormwater Retrofit. It was a unique and somewhat high profile project for the Town of Ashland that involved replacing an existing parking lot with permeable pavers, and restoring an adjacent degraded stream. The project was funded partially by grant money and had many parties with vested interest. In the end, the project was a success, and the clients were happy.
Our vision is to be the firm of choice for clients 
who demand attractive, functional site design.