Architects and Designers
Architects and Designers
Landscape design is art and every artist reflects their own personal style in their work. That’s why it’s important to find a landscape professional who shares your aesthetic preferences. Review the biographical information for each of our architects and designers to help you select your ideal match.
Luke Schmalz, President, RLA
Luke has been around the business his entire life and has owned the company since 1985. He received an Associates Degree in Landscape Design and Horticulture from MATC-Milwaukee and worked at a landscape company in Milwaukee for two years while attending MATC. While there he carried out a variety of tasks that formed the foundation for his future in the profession. He began his journey with Schmalz at a young age, installing landscapes and getting to know customers when he was just twelve years old. Luke worked alongside his father for two summers while in college, learning the ropes of landscape design and installation. After graduation he took over as general manager of Schmalz and began crafting the company into what it is today. Luke’s passion for customer service and satisfaction, as well as employee safety and welfare, drives his success. He prides himself on continuing the tradition his father began 63 years ago; assuring that Schmalz remains the premier landscape company in the Fox River Valley.
Travis Schroeder, Landscape Designer
With Schmalz since 1997, Travis spent his childhood in central Illinois where he developed an interest in plants and design. He attended the University of Illinois and obtained a degree in Ornamental Horticulture with a specialty in design. After graduation Travis began his career with Schmalz and has been with the company ever since. He has an extensive knowledge of plant material and a wide variety of experience in project design and management, ranging from a front-yard overhaul to an entire yard renovation including plantings, patios and walls, outdoor living areas with grills and fire pits, lawns and water features.
Nick Schmalz, Vice President of Operations/Landscape Designer
Nick attended MATC-Milwaukee and obtained an Associates Degree in Landscape Design. He grew up around the family business gaining experience that paved the way for his future in the company. As the third generation of the Schmalz family, he feels honored to some day take over from his father, Luke, as owner of the company. Prior to joining Schmalz full time Nick worked for three years at Breezy Hill Nursery in West Salem, WI. The knowledge and skills that he obtained there have allowed Nick to incorporate his own unique perspective and ideas into operations at Schmalz. Many of Nick’s designs utilize native material, enhancing the landscape and creating a natural setting. He also specializes in commercial projects and managing large-scale projects with numerous details.
Dan Vechart, Landscape Designer
A more recent addition to the Schmalz team, Dan served as a Design Assistant Intern at Johnson’s Nursery in Menomonee Falls, WI, where he was exposed to all facets of the landscape industry, including project design, management and installation, retail/sales and plant propagation. With outdoor kitchens, a native berm planting or the incorporation of unique stone features, Dan is passionate about creating spaces that provide an opportunity to get outside and enjoy the beauty of his landscapes and nature. He has a particular interest in creating landscapes with unique combinations of harmony, clarity, unity and security that lead to a better quality of life. He holds a Bachelor of Science in Landscape Architecture from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
Nick Balliet, Landscape Designer
Bringing a background that includes both working at a multitude of nurseries and serving as an active participant in running his family’s tree farm, Nick has been at Schmalz for four years. He relies on his experience and love of the outdoors to create exceptional designs that enhance the beauty of the landscape while catering to the individual needs and desires of his clients. Nick earned a Bachelor of Science in Landscape Architecture from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
A graduate of Michigan State University with a Bachelor of Science in Landscape Architecture, Jeff is our senior landscape architect. He has been practicing landscape architecture for 30 years, eighteen of them at Schmalz. He hails from Michigan where he grew up working on landscape crews and worked as foremen for a design build firm. He also spent time in California, honing his landscape design skills. Back in Appleton Jeff is happy to be able to use his passion for design. He especially enjoys seeing his customers’ eyes light up when a project is finished above and beyond their expectations.