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J.R. Phillips – Biography

J.R. was raised in a large town in the north central part of Texas.  The Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex is where J.R. grew up. J.R. graduated in 1979 from Texas A&M University with a professional degree in landscape architecture (BSLA) and received the TAMU Landscape Architecture Faculty Award for Outstanding Student of 1979.  J.R. is a licensed landscape architect.  He has held licenses in California, Florida as well as Texas to practice landscape architecture.  He is a member of ASLA, ULI and APA.

J.R.’s professional career has brought him numerous professional awards both at the state level and nationally.  While living and working in south Florida, his work and designs on the Fort Lauderdale Beach and Riverwalk earned him the ASLA/National Award of Excellence 1994 for the Fort Lauderdale Beach Revitalization and ASLA/Florida Chapter, Award of Excellence 1992, for the Riverwalk Master Plan.  Additionally, J.R. received ASLA/Texas Award of Excellence 1999, for the site design of Fox Sport Net Headquarters, in Las Colinas, Texas and as well as, AIA Award of Merit 1999, for the same Fox Sport Net Headquarters project.

J.R. began his volunteering with the Texas Chapter of the ASLA, in 1999.  In 2006, he created the funding and establishment of scholastic endowments for the three landscape architecture programs within the state; TAMU, TTU and UTA.  Further accomplishment during J.R. tenure as Texas ASLA president were establishment and funding of the website and growing the annual state conference into the first convention center venue in 2008.  J.R. was voted in as Texas ASLA Trustee in 2007 and severed to 2011. During this time he also served on the Texas ASLA Conference Advisory Committee.  In 2008, he served as conference chair. J.R. has been very active in his promotion of ASLA to the student chapters, as well.  He has served on several ASLA Student Honor & Merit Awards Jury’s to the universities.

Other pursuits during J.R.’s professional career have included writing and contributing to various professional articles in professional journals.  Each article promoted landscape architecture and discussed benefits from hiring a landscape architect.  However, J.R. wrote his first novel in 2015 called RASHURE CODEX;

J.R.’s artwork has also been exhibited in Texas at various gallery showings and ASLA conferences.  In 2009 at the National ASLA Conference in Chicago, J.R. was invited by the Cultural Landscape Foundation Annual Silent Auction to contribute one of his artworks.  J.R.‘s artwork website is

After working for over 40 years as a registered landscape architect in nationally recognized multi-displine firms and serving as president and later trustee for the ASLA Texas Chapter, he began pursuing his advanced degree in landscape architecture.  With much support from his family he entered the University of Texas at Arlington’s Program in Landscape Architecture in 2011 and completed his Master’s in Landscape Architecture studies in December 2012.  J.R. resides outside of Dallas, Texas on a 100 acres ranch with his wife, Laurell and enjoys the continued love and support of their daughter, Sierra.  J.R. has started his Ph.D. in Urban Planning and Development in the School of Urban Planning and Adminstration (SUPA) on the UTA campus. 

J.R. has always been interested in giving back to the public, his time and expertise as a volunteer.  And he feels people, the world over engage in volunteerism for a great variety of reasons: to help to eliminate poverty and to improve basic health and education, to tackle environmental issues, to reduce the risk of disasters or to combat social exclusion and violent conflict. In all of these fields, volunteerism makes a specific contribution by generating well-being for people and their communities.  Volunteerism is a basic expression of human relationships. It is about people’s need to participate in their societies and to feel that they matter to others. We strongly believe that the social relationships intrinsic to volunteer work are critical to individual and community well-being.  The ethos of volunteerism is infused with values such as solidarity, reciprocity, mutual trust, belonging and empowerment, all of which contribute significantly to quality of life.  J.R. fosters this expression and will continue supporting these endeavors for Ellis County communities and fight for the rights of Ellis County citizens.

This character trait in J.R. is one reason that him and his wife have started the nonprofit called HARVEST Foundation to help homeless families, homeless veterans, and ex-offenders in Texas.