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Mark Focht, FASLA, Is ASLA's New President (2013-2014)

In his first address as president of ASLA, Mark Focht, FASLA, said he will focus on four areas: "The power of our profession: to be loud and proud about our profession"; the profession's natural leadership role in planning and implementing green infrastructure and stormwater management; urban issues; and to encourage students and young practitioners to get involved in nontraditional landscape architecture practices, such as nonprofits and public service.

Mark Focht, FASLA, first deputy commissioner for Philadelphia Parks and Recreation, was installed as ASLA's 69th president during the ASLA annual meeting in Boston.

Focht holds a BS from Penn State, an MLA from the University of Massachusetts and is a licensed landscape architect in Pennsylvania.

He has been active in ASLA activities for over 20 years. On the chapter level, he served as chairman for the Eastern Pennsylvania section, member-at-large and communications chair (including editor of PLAN, the Pennsylvania/Delaware Chapter newsletter). For ASLA national, he served on the government affairs advisory committee, and chaired the public practice advisory committee, 2002-2007. He also served on the host committee for the 2008 ASLA annual meeting in Philadelphia, co-chairing the tours committee. In 2008, he was inducted into the ASLA Council of Fellows for service to the profession.

Focht is responsible for the day-to-day management of Philadelphia's 63 parks, a staff of 210 employees and an annual operating budget of $16.7 million. Prior to this appointment, he served as director of Fairmount Park's environment, stewardship and education division, a multi-million-dollar effort to restore natural areas throughout the parks, and to build a constituency for their protection through environmental education and community stewardship. Prior to that position, he served as the park system's natural lands restoration manager.

Prior to joining Fairmount Park in 1997, he served as director of capital projects for the Center City District, where he managed the $26 million Walk!Philadelphia streetscape improvement project. He also has over 10 years' experience working for two multidisciplinary design firms, and has been an adjunct professor in Temple University's landscape architecture and horticulture department since 1989.

Focht lectures extensively and serves on the Fairmount Park Conservancy Board of Directors, Fairmount Park Historic Preservation Trust, Awbury Arboretum Association, Please Touch Museum and the Philadelphia Sports Congress. He was the recipient of the 2007 Arts and Architecture Alumni Achievement Award from Pennsylvania State University.

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November 20, 2019, 2:21 pm PDT

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