Landscape Architecture and Landscape Architects are known for their holistic approach to projects, considering technical needs, aesthetic qualities, and sustainability. As RVi celebrates the retirement of Mark Smith, we reflect on his leadership and personal impact on the profession and our company.

We are fortunate to be part of a people-centered culture at RVi. When I was hired almost 19 years ago as a Katrina “refugee” with a scant evacuation portfolio, our Founder Bob Richardson, and my mentor Mark took a chance on me based on personal chemistry and empathy (since they both spent time in New Orleans). From day one, I sensed a culture that values people, and that culture continues today.

Mark has been my mentor, colleague, and friend throughout my time at RVi. He has also mentored young professionals through his involvement with universities, portfolio reviews, guest lecturing, and other ways. He understands that sustainability is not only an environmental issue but also involves sustaining Landscape Architecture as a profession and developing the next generation of professionals. Mark and our leadership team emphasize the importance of balancing humanity, education, and responsiveness to clients within the firm, positively impacting RVi’s culture. This legacy is evident in our long-tenured employees, successful intern-to-hire programs, and high boomerang employee count.

Mark’s leadership and entrepreneurial spirit have touched countless lives, shaping their careers, perspectives, and futures. His dedication to his work and commitment to helping others have made a lasting difference. As a Vice President, Mark has played a significant role in RVi’s growth, management, and diversification over his 19-year tenure. He has practiced landscape architecture in over 30 states and internationally in Canada and the Caribbean. His local projects include Kissing Tree, Mueller, Travisso, the Scott & White Healing Garden in Round Rock, and multiple phases of the Houston National Cemetery.

RVi and I would like to express our gratitude to Mark for mentoring and building future professionals in the industry. His efforts ensure that we continue to create spaces that foster memorable experiences, improve livelihoods, and encourage community engagement. Mark’s legacy will endure at RVi, not only in the lives he has directly touched but also in the ripple effects of his influence. He has inspired us to strive for excellence and make a positive impact on the world. For that, we are forever thankful.