Our diverse experience provides the groundwork for innovative design on varying sites around the world.
VITA is comprised of talented individuals wholly dedicated to creating special places authentically connected to their histories, cultures and environments. This dedication forms the foundation of our work. Understanding the land and its inhabitants, we seek to evoke a distinctive sense of place that not only feels right but is right within the broader setting.
To do so, we have developed our own culture. It is based upon a dynamic design process, inclusive decision making, collaborative brainstorming and a deep commitment to environmental sustainability. From the client’s perspective, our business discipline and multi-disciplinary approach enable us to offer what we like to call large firm/small firm flexibility, meaning we provide the services and expertise of a large firm with the attention to detail, quick response and personal attention of a boutique shop.
Don Vita, Founder/Principal
Don Vita is the founder of VITA Planning and Landscape Architecture. He has been practicing landscape architecture and land planning for over 30 years. His experience includes large-scale town and resort planning and design throughout the Pacific Rim, Hawai’i, India and Australia; new community development in the western U.S.; urban design, city planning and waterfront assignments in New York, Hong Kong, China and the Philippines; as well as landscape design for private estates throughout the U. S., Singapore and Hawaii.
Bob Thompson, Principal
Bob Thompson comes to VITA after five years as the in-house landscape architect for Discovery Land Company. During his tenure with Discovery, Bob was primarily responsible for the landscape design and development of Baker’s Bay Golf and Ocean Club in the Bahamas, as well as assisting in due diligence for many projects under consideration throughout the USA, Latin America, Europe and Asia. Before this, Bob was the founding partner of e group inc., a landscape architecture and planning studio with offices in Phoenix, Cabo San Lucas, Manila and Shenzhen. Bob graduated from Arizona State University with a degree in planning and landscape architecture. He has been a registered landscape architect since 1987 in Arizona, California, Montana, Nevada and New Mexico. Bob is a member of American Society of Landscape Architects and retains a national CLARB registration.
Don Raichle, Principal
Don Raichle brings more than 30 years of experience in high-end community development, planning and urban design to VITA. From the Northern California wine region to coastal Mexico, Europe to the Middle East and Asia, Don has helped bring dozens of large- scale projects to fruition in the residential, hospitality, recreation and entertainment markets. He is a registered landscape architect and has a Bachelor of Science in Landscape Architecture from the University of Washington.
John Stratton, Principal
John Stratton has more than 25 years of experience in landscape architecture and construction management. His experience working for both landscape architecture firms and land development companies on large master-plan communities enables him to carry landscape design from concept through construction. He is well-known in Hawai’i, as well as the international golf market. John holds a Bachelor of Science in Landscape Architecture from Cal Poly Pomona and is a member of the American Society of Landscape Architects. He also is a CLARB-registered landscape architect.
Nick Ohler , Principal
Nick Ohler has more than 15 years of experience overseeing projects around the world from the master-planning phase through construction. His professional work of master planning and landscape architecture includes large-scale master-planned communities, luxury resorts, golf course projects and private estates throughout the mainland U.S., Hawaii, Mexico, Cayman Islands, Uruguay and China. This experience has taught him the importance of incorporating unique historical, cultural and environmental characteristics into each project. He has a Bachelor of Science in Landscape Architecture from Cornell University. He is a member of the American Society of Landscape Architects and is a registered landscape architect in California.
Jerod Costner, Principal
Jerod Costner brings more than 14 years’ experience in resort design, golf course planning, and waterfront development. Projects have ranged from destination resorts, private islands, large-scale residential planning, and urban design across a broad range of climates. As a landscape architect who has worked on numerous international projects, Jerod’s experience has provided him with a broad range of expertise allowing him to work in Asia, the Caribbean, the Mediterranean, and the Americas.
Clark Smillie, Principal
Clark has focused his twenty-five year career on creating design solutions for high-end luxury resorts and hotels throughout the world. He has produced countless design expressions for hospitality and leisure projects in more than forty-two countries including hotel and resort landscape architecture designs in the Middle East, Europe, Africa, Asia, and the Caribbean. His international design leadership and management of multi-disciplinary teams, substantial experience in the design and construction practices of world regions, and his compendium of plant knowledge are all critical skills he brings with his participation.
Lara Presti, Director of Operations
Lara has more than 10 years’ experience, specializing in marketing, operations, human resources, and executive management. Her experience with VITA allows her to provide continuity, ensuring the firm’s culture, attention to detail and attentive personal service are integrated into all aspects of the business from the perspectives of both clients and employees. The team at VITA depends upon Lara to guide the behind the scenes operations, enabling the designers to concentrate on what they do best.
Liliane (Lil) Stacishin Moura, Head of Business Development
Lil Stacishin Moura leads the global business development efforts for VITA, managing new client relationships and communications. Lil grew up surrounded by designers and entrepreneurs and has lived in several countries. This experience gave her an insatiable curiosity and passion for what influences global design. Prior to joining the VITA team, Lil helped several professional service firms enter and expand into international markets, developing long-term strategic relationships, leading multicultural teams and culturally adapting services to succeed in local environments. Born in Brazil, she holds both a MBA and MIM from Thunderbird, The Graduate School of International Management. Lil has lived, worked, and studied in Brazil, Iceland, France, Mexico, and the U.S., and is fluent in English, Portuguese, and Spanish.