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Pashek + MTR: Looking Back on 35 Years of Practice

Flash back to September 1986, upon completing an MBA, Jim Pashek began Pashek Associates as a one-person firm from his home in the Mexican War Streets on Pittsburgh’s Northside.  In 1989, with a growing clientele and portfolio of work, Jim hired Nancy Lonnett Roman and John Buerkle as full-time employees. In 1990, Jim and his wife, Mary Weidner, took another leap of faith by purchasing and renovating a historic building at 619 East Ohio Street, not far from their Mexican War street home, to accommodate the growing firm. In 1991 Pashek Associates moved into two of three floors at 619 East Ohio Street.

Over the next 35 years the firm continued to grow, with many talented landscape architects and planners joining Jim, Nancy and John over the years. Eventually the firm expanded to fill our entire building on East Ohio Street.

  • In 2014 Sara Thompson became a shareholder of the firm.
  • In 2016 Missy Marshall, FASLA, of MTR Landscape Architects approached the partners of Pashek Associates to discuss merging the two award-winning Pittsburgh-based firms. 
  • In 2017 Pashek Associates merged with MTR , to become Pashek + MTR, and Kara Roggenkamp joined as a shareholder. This brought more talent to the firm and expanded our areas of practice.
  • In 2021 we adopted the following mission: to improve the environment and the communities we serve by connecting people with the natural world, and each other, through sustainable and equitable planning and design practices.

Our success can be attributed to the talented people who have passed through our doors and to those who currently work with us. And, most importantly to our clients that chose Pashek + MTR for their projects. Our clients can expect a collaborative approach based on communication, respect, knowledge and creativity.

Over 35 years we’ve had the opportunity to implement our clients’ visions for their communities, parks, schools, colleges and universities, public gardens, National Cemeteries and conservation areas, in all sectors: public, private, and non-profit. Today, our firm’s principals, Nancy, John, Sara and Kara, strive to continue the success established over those 35 years. We take pride in seeing people enjoy the spaces we’ve created and in knowing that we left each place better than it was before we started.

Here are some of our statistics from the past 35 years:

  • Projects in 29 States plus Washington DC and Ontario, Canada.
  • 43 Community Comprehensive Plans completed.
  • Over 130 early childhood, primary, secondary, and higher education projects completed.
  • 350+ Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR) funded projects completed.
  • 50 awards received for our work.

We are proud to have created exceptional landscapes, not only in our own City of Pittsburgh, but also in the western Pennsylvania region, neighboring states, and at public gardens and National Cemeteries throughout the U.S.  The community planning studio that Jim Pashek started is one of our fastest growing practice areas in 2021.

For our 35th anniversary we thank everyone who played a role in our success: clients, past and current employees, interns, and businesses that have supported and provided us with services throughout the years. We look forward to the next 35 years of Pashek + MTR.

Nancy, John, Sara and Kara

Heather Cuyler Receives the 2021 PRPS Distinguished Member Award

The Pennsylvania Recreation and Park Society awards are presented annually to those individuals who have demonstrated professional leadership, contributions having a lasting value to the parks and recreation profession, and a commitment to the advancement of the Society. The winner of the 2021 PRPS Distinguished Member Award in honor of Robert D. Griffith, from Pashek + MTR, Heather Cuyler.

The Distinguished Member Award is named in honor of Robert D. Griffith, the longtime Executive Director of PRPS, and seeks to recognize those professionals who have consistently contributed to the advancement of the Society, affiliated organizations and the parks and recreation profession.

Heather began her career as a part-time Director and quickly became the first ever full-time Director of Parks and Recreation in Marshall Township. Over the next 20 years, her passion for our field has guided her career, both professionally and as a volunteer.   Her efforts and significant achievements as an advocate, volunteer and professional have advanced public recreation and parks and have had tremendous impact on the quality of life in her region and across the state.  She has been involved with the Moraine Preservation Fund for more than 20 years, is the co-founder of the Recreation Alliance of North Pittsburgh and is now a Recreation Planner for Pashek + MTR. Heather is a Certified Parks and Recreation Professional, Certified Playground Safety Inspector, & Certified Pool Operator.

Heather is deeply committed to PRPS having served on numerous Annual Conference Committees, and the Membership, Governmental Affairs, and Recognition and Awards Committees, as well as holding leadership positions throughout her very active years in District One.  As her nominator stated in her application for this award, “Heather has consistently contributed to the advancement of the Society, affiliated organizations, and our profession in countless ways, and been a champion for parks, trails, greenways, and open space preservation throughout the Commonwealth”.  Certainly, appropriate words befitting a Distinguished Member.

Welcome Jenni!

Jenni Easton, Senior Planner
Jenni Easton, Senior Planner
Jenni Easton, AICP, CNU-A

We are pleased to welcome Jenni Easton as a senior planner at Pashek+MTR. Jenni will share leadership in advancing the firm’s work in community planning with Elaine Kramer and Jim Pashek. As senior planner, she guides communities through the implementable planning process to realize the visions for their communities.

Working with municipalities to facilitate comprehensive plans, zoning ordinance rewrites and targeted regulatory amendments, Jenni’s approach reflects leading-edge best practices. Her planning practice focuses on the relationship between the physical design of neighborhoods, communities and regions and the social and economic issues they experience.

Jenni is passionate about evaluating and retooling the local regulatory frameworks that shape the built environment. She helps communities change the ground rules for development, giving them the tools they need to enable and incentivize the investments they envision.

She combines a fine arts background with advanced training in data and policy analysis. This combination allows Jenni to organize and clearly communicate complex concepts. Her concise analysis and robust illustrations make her work easy to digest, and clients appreciate that she provides both granular details and big-picture context. Her experience in administering ordinances as a contract zoning officer is clear in the practical, internally consistent way she drafts regulatory language.

Jenni’s previous experience includes five years as a community planner with a Pittsburgh based engineering firm, and five years as a housing and community development consultant with a Pittsburgh based planning firm. In her previous role as a housing and community development consultant, Jenni served as primary author of housing market studies, fair housing assessments and similar projects for cities, counties and regional partnerships across 12 states. She has presented to national audiences on transit-oriented development and assessing affordable housing need.

Jenni holds certification through the American Institute of Certified Planners (AICP), accreditation through the Congress for New Urbanism Accredited (CNU-A), and a member of the Urban Land Institute Pittsburgh.

Jenni holds a Dual Bachelor of Arts degree, Major: Journalism and Interdisciplinary Fine Art, Minor: German, from the Indiana University of Pennsylvania and a Master of Public Administration degree, Major: Policy Research & Analysis, Minor: Urban and Regional Affairs, from the University of Pittsburgh.

Pashek+MTR Diversity & Inclusion Statement

Pashek+MTR adopted the following Diversity & Inclusion policies in 2018.

Pashek + MTR Workforce Diversity Policy

Pashek+MTR, Ltd. is committed to fostering, cultivating and preserving a culture of diversity, equity, and inclusion.

Our human capital is the most valuable asset we have. The collective sum of the individual differences, life experiences, knowledge, inventiveness, innovation, self-expression, unique capabilities and talent that our employees invest in their work represents a significant part of not only our culture, but our reputation and company’s achievement as well.  As creative professionals, we draw inspiration and insights from exposure to a wide variety of ideas and lived experiences. 

We embrace and encourage our employees’ differences in age, color, disability, ethnicity, family or marital status, gender identity or expression, language, national origin, physical and mental ability, political affiliation, race, religion, sexual orientation, socio-economic status, veteran status, and other characteristics that make our employees unique.

Pashek + MTR Diversity and Inclusion Vision

Pashek+MTR, Ltd. is committed to fostering, cultivating and preserving a culture of diversity and inclusion.  We recognize that diversity is a driver of creativity and innovation in our practice that helps us serve our clients and communities better.  By creating a diverse and inclusive workplace we can better attract and retain talented professionals, contributing to our company’s success.

Our diversity and inclusion vision:

  • Pashek+MTR is an inclusive and welcoming environment.
  • We are mindful of issues of inclusion, equity and representation in our design and planning work.
  • We contribute to building a diverse and inclusive design profession.

Pashek+MTR to employ alternative work strategies to serve our clients

In accordance with guidance from Pennsylvania Governor Wolf we are implementing alternative work strategies to mitigate the spread of COVID-19.

Our employees will be working remotely and are available as usual via e-mail and phone. We will conduct project meetings, presentations, team coordination, etc. remotely via webconference or other digital platforms. Site visits and in-person meetings are temporarily suspended.

Pashek+MTR is committed to providing the same level of service that you expect to receive from us while providing for the safety of our employees and our community during these changing times. We will continue to monitor the situation and adapt our operations as needed. If you have any questions, please contact John Buerkle at 412-321-6362 x102.

Welcome Keely!

We are pleased to welcome Keely McDonald as a designer at Pashek+MTR.  Keely is a recent graduate from the Masters of Landscape Architecture program at the University of Georgia.  While completing her studies in Georgia she discovered a passion for public landscape projects.  Her assistantship work took her all over the state to work on a wide variety of landscape projects from small town streetscape designs to public park master planning. 

Keely previously earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Environmental Horticulture from Colorado State University with a concentration in Landscape Design and Contracting and Nursery and Landscape Management.  Her background in horticulture and love of plants provides an invaluable knowledge on plant selections and care requirements.  Keely’s prior experience in landscape management gives her a unique understanding of the day to day demands that come with various landscapes.

Since joining our team, Keely has been assisting with design work on projects for the Pennsylvania State University and the Cleveland Museum of Natural History.  When not at work Keely is enjoying exploring the neighborhoods in Pittsburgh in search of any and all tasty eats and relaxing outdoor spaces.  In her free time, she enjoys relaxing with her cats, reading, photography, sketching, and painting.

Pashek+MTR Receives Disadvantaged Business Enterprise Certification Through the Pennsylvania Unified Certification Program


Pashek + MTR has been certified by PennDOT through the Pennsylvania Unified Certification Program (PA UCP) as a Disadvantaged Business Enterprise as a Women Business Enterprise. Pashek+MTR received this certification after a rigorous ten-month application, review and vetting process.

This is a designation awarded by the PA UCP program in conjunction with U.S. Department of Transportation requirements. The DBE program helps ensure that small disadvantaged business enterprises have fair opportunities to compete for federally funded transportation-related projects. It also gives small businesses exposure to public agencies, projects, large contracting companies and consulting agencies that have established DBE participation goals to meet.

Pashek+MTR also holds Women Business Enterprise (WBE) and Woman Owned Small Business (WOSB) Certifications through the Women’s Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC). WBENC Certification is a similarly rigorous process which validates that a business is at least 51 percent owned, controlled, operated and managed by a woman or women.

Please contact us if our qualifications can help you meet your Landscape Architecture and/or Community Planning project needs.


Pashek + MTR is Hiring!

Entry Level Landscape Designer

Opening for a passionate and energetic entry level landscape designer interested in starting their professional career by working side-by-side with our talented landscape architects and designers.

Why Us

Gain meaningful and gratifying experience while meeting our clients’ needs and improving the environment. The experience you gain will provide you with the foundation to sit for the LARE and become a registered landscape architect.


We are located in the pedestrian and bicycle friendly East Ohio Street Business District of Pittsburgh’s vibrant East Deutschtown Historic District, East Ohio Street and the surrounding environs offers a variety of casual lunch opportunities. Meeting downtown, no problem, use one of our office bicycles to make the 10-minute commute to the Golden Triangle.

The Position

The ideal candidate will be a proactive self-starter with the following abilities and experience:

  • BLA or MLA degree from an accredited College or University with excellent oral and written communication skills, and the ability to manage time and multiple tasks.
  • Attention to detail, ability to problem solve, strong organizational skills, and sustainability focused.
  • Proficient in AutoCAD 2018 or newer, Microsoft Office, and Adobe Design Suite.
  • Experience with grading, planting design, materials and technical aspects of landscape architecture; experience with construction detailing and/or construction administration; ability to working with project teams on projects of various sizes.
  • Proficiency in Arcview is a plus.

Typical tasks include project design, attending client & public meetings, preparing renderings, cost estimates, construction documents, permits and municipal approvals, contract administration, and construction observation.  Projects range in scope from master planning through construction documentation and administration.

About Us

We are an award-winning 15-person landscape architecture and community planning firm committed to improving our environment. Our work spans the public and private sectors, including education, healthcare, parks and recreation, botanic gardens, and community planning. We create exceptional places that connect people with the natural world and each other. Learn more about us by visiting


We offer a flexible, causal work environment and competitive salary. Please submit your resume, references, portfolio and technical writing samples to