Kathleen G. Waters, RA

Kathleen G. Waters, RA
Principal
Architect

Tiffany A. Smith, RLA

Tiffany A. Smith, RLA
Principal
Landscape Architect

Jolanta Stecka, RA

Jolanta Stecka, RA
Principal
Architect

Melinda R. Whitten, RLA

Melinda R. Whitten, RLA
Principal
Landscape Architect

Judy A. Smith

Judy A. Smith
Chief Financial Officer
Business Manager

Michael C. Smith

Michael C. Smith
Founder
Creative Director

Suzanne M. Vanderveen

Suzanne M. Vanderveen
Executive Assistant
Office Manager

Kathleen G. Waters, RA

KATHLEEN G. WATERS, R.A., LEED® AP
PRINCIPAL and VICE PRESIDENT

Registration:

  • Registered Architect, State of Michigan, 2005
  • Registered Architect, State of Illinois, 2015
  • Certificate from National Council of Architectural Registration Boards, 2005
  • Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED®) Accredited Professional, U.S. Green Building Council, 2007

Education:

  • Arizona State University, Master of Architecture, 1997
  • Michigan State University, Bachelor of Science in Engineering Arts, 1989

Professional Experience:

  • MCSA Group, Inc. 2006 to date
  • The Design Forum, Grand Rapids, MI 1999 – 2006
  • Arrington Watkins Architects, Arizona 1997 – 1999
  • Ameritech, Michigan 1989 – 1994

Kathleen has been a key professional with the MCSA Group for over 11 years and is responsible for the high standard, comprehensiveness and consistency of our Architectural plans. Kathleen is the lead project manager on numerous projects including services for Public Housing Commissions throughout Michigan. She is a problem solver, solution evolver of the highest professional level. Kathleen shares her love of running with her husband, son and daughter exploring new and special environments.

Tiffany A. Smith, RLA

TIFFANY A. SMITH, RLA, CPSI
PRINCIPAL and PRESIDENT

Registration:

  • Registered Landscape Architect – State of Michigan

Education:

  • Michigan State University, B.S.L.A., 2001
  • Certified Playground Safety Inspector, CPSI

Professional Experience:

  • M. C. Smith Associates and Architectural Group, 2001 to date
  • Adjunct Professor at Lawrence Technological University
  • Eagle Point Software, 2001
  • Michigan Department of Natural Resources – Operations Services Bureau –Engineering Division 2000-2001
  • Michigan State University Landscape Architecture Teaching Assistant 2000
  • Michigan Department of Natural Resources – Park and Recreation Bureau – Planning Division 1998-2000
  • Michigan State University AutoCAD Teaching Assistant 1997
  • M. C. Smith Associates 1990-1998 (Summers)

Professional and Civic Activities:

  • Member - American Society of Landscape Architects
  • Member - Sigma Lambda Alpha Fraternity – Michigan Chapter of Landscape Architecture Honorary Fraternity

Tiffany started with the MCSA Group in 1990 as a high school intern and is now the President and a primary project manager. Tiffany is involved in all aspects of our professional practice from design through project administration. She is an expert estimator appreciated by clients and staff alike for her infectious enthusiasm. Tiffany is an avid gardener and reader. She has 2 Cavalier King Charles Spaniels; 2 Siamese cats, and can actually throw a fly.

Jolanta Stecka, RA

JOLANTA STECKA, R.A., LEED® AP, CQCM
PRINCIPAL and VICE PRESIDENT

Registration:

  • Registered Architect – State of Michigan, 1992
  • Registered Professional Engineer – Nordrein-Westfallen, West Germany, 1983
  • Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED®) Accredited Professional, U.S. Green Building Council, 2009
  • Certified Construction Quality Control Manager, Army Corp of Engineers accredited

Education:

  • Technical University of Wroclaw, Poland - Master of Architecture and Industrial Form Design, 1980

Professional Experience:

  • MCSA Group, Inc. 1986 to date
  • GMB Architects and Engineers, Holland, MI 1984 – 1986
  • Member of the Krall Design Group, West Germany 1982
  • WUHTEH Construction and Design Office, Poland 1980 – 1981

Jolanta has been with MCSA Group for over 30 years and our Architectural projects are a direct reflection of her design talents. Along with Jola’s superb Architectural design skills she often is the primary project administrator on multi-million dollar government projects. Jolanta enjoys spending time with her daughter in Grand Rapids and daughter in Denver. She is an avid reader of hard cover books, a cyclist, a creator of unique fabric texture fashions and a repurposer of cast off treasures.

Melinda R. Whitten, RLA

MELINDA R. WHITTEN
PRINCIPAL AND VICE PRESIDENT

Registration:

  • Registered Landscape Architect – State of Michigan

Education:

  • Michigan State University – Bachelor of Landscape Architecture

Professional Experience:

  • MCSA Group, Inc, 2015 to date
  • H+L Architecture, Landscape Architect, Denver, Colorado, 2006-2014
  • Vignette Studio, Landscape Designer, Denver, Colorado, 2005-2006
  • Michigan State University Engineering & Architecture Services 2003-2005

Professional and Civic Activities:

  • Member - Sigma Lambda Alpha Fraternity – Michigan Chapter of Landscape Architecture Honorary Fraternity
  • Chicago Botanical Gardens Healthcare Garden Design Certification

Melinda returned to Grand Rapids from Denver and within 3 years has become a Principal and Vice President in the MCSA Group, Inc. Melinda is a consummate Landscape Architect: She is a great designer, prepares complete and perfectly detailed construction plans; illustrates the most outstanding Master Plans and can always develop solutions in the most professional manner. Melinda enjoys sailing, cycling and skiing but most of all playing Legos with her daughter.

Judy A. Smith

JUDY A. SMITH
CHIEF FINANCIAL OFFICER
BUSINESS MANAGER
SECRETARY and TREASURER

Education:

  • Grand Rapids Junior College, Associates Degree - 1970

Professional Experience:

  • MCSA Group, Inc. - 1977 to date
  • Metro Data Institute, Instructor, Louisville, Kentucky, 1974 – 1977
  • Tuffs University, Instructor, Boston, Massachusetts, 1972 – 1974

Judy was there at the beginning of the MCSA Group and has provided comprehensive business and financial management for over 40 years. Her diligence and skills are a key factor in the success of MCSA Group. She does everything from employee benefits to payroll, and accounts payables to business filings. Judy is an avid gardener starting 100’s of vegetables and flowers in her greenhouse. She is a gourmet cook and reads numerous cooking magazines when not caring for her beloved 5 Cavalier King Charles spaniels and 2 Maine Coon cats.

Michael C. Smith

MICHAEL C. SMITH
FOUNDER and CREATIVE DIRECTOR

Registration:

  • Registered Landscape Architect - State of Michigan

Education:

  • Harvard University, Graduate School of Design, M.L.A. - 1974
  • Michigan State University, B.S.L.A. - 1972

Professional Experience:

  • MCSA Group, Inc. - 1977 to date
  • Miller, Wihry & Lee, Inc., Firm Senior Associate and Director of Landscape Architecture, Louisville, Kentucky, 1974 – 1977
  • Sasaki, Dawson, DeMay Associates, Inc., Watertown Mass., 1972 – 1974
  • Grand Rapids Park Department Design Office, Summers - 1971 & 1972
  • Grand Rapids Planning Department, Summer - 1970

Professional Activities and Awards:

  • Member - Michigan Recreation and Park Association
  • Numerous MRPA Design Awards
  • Kenowa Hills High School First Distinguished Alumni Award 2006
  • Michigan State University Alumni Award
  • Rotary International Paul Harris Fellow

Michael started the firm over 40 years ago and continues as the Firm's Creative Director. He has never wavered from his conviction that good design is not based upon whimsy but is the result of the careful evaluation and synthesis of geometric options in an intelligent and creative manner. With Michael’s creative direction, the MCSA Group’s projects have enriched lives of millions of people with their contribution to the built environment. Michael is also an avid gardener working with Judy in their greenhouse and gardens. He reads constantly, catches lots of trout and anything that will bite in the surf in Florida. Of daughters Tiffany and Ashley, he can’t be prouder.

Suzanne M. Vanderveen

SUZANNE M. VANDER VEEN
EXECUTIVE ASSISTANT
OFFICE MANAGER

Education:

  • Kent Educational Skills Center (now KCTC), 1984 -1985
  • Administrative Assistant/Legal Assistant Studies

Registration:

  • Notary Public – State of Michigan

Professional Experience

  • M. C. Smith Associates and Architectural Group, Inc. – Executive Assistant August, 1987 to date
  • Murray & Guikema, P.C. – Legal Assistant 1986 - 1987
  • Dilley, Dewey & Waddell, P.C. – Legal Assistant 1985 – 1986

Sue began with the MCSA Group 30 years ago and continues to be the go-to for staff and clients alike. As office manager, she assists with all project invoicing, contract management and production reporting. She is involved with all proposals and marketing programs. As Mom to 2 daughters and 2 sons, Sue has been very involved in all of their athletic endeavors and continues to be her youngest daughter's cheer coach.