Leadership Team

Great leaders inspire great success.

WestLand is led by a dynamic, creative, and effective senior leadership team who are well respected industry leaders in their chosen disciplines:

James A.

James A. Tress, Jr., MNS

President / CEO, Tucson

Jim Tress, MNS, is one of the founding principals of WestLand, and has been working in the environmental field since 1984. Jim has headed the company as President of WestLand since its inception and was recently named CEO. Under his stewardship, WestLand has grown from a single office in Tucson to a company of over 120 employees with additional offices in Phoenix, Flagstaff, and Globe.

Jim specializes in the technical and procedural requirements necessary for compliance with regulatory programs implemented under the Clean Water Act (CWA), Endangered Species Act (ESA), and National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) and manages inter-disciplinary teams responsible for preparation of a wide variety of environmental compliance documents including, environmental impact statements (EIS) and assessments (EA); wetland and jurisdictional waters delineations; Section 404(b)(1) alternatives analysis and habitat mitigation and monitoring plans in support of CWA Section 404 permitting; surveys and biological assessments in support of ESA clearance, and Sections 7 and 10a permitting; natural resources planning and management; ecological resources survey and baseline studies; and mitigation design and planning for all project types including land development, mining, energy, transportation, and many utilities.

Jim earned a BS in Biology and Chemistry from Northern Arizona University and MNS in Plant Ecology from the Department of Botany and Microbology from Arizona State University.

Mark F.

Mark F. Taylor, PE

Senior Vice President, Tucson

Mark Taylor, PE, is Senior Vice President and one of WestLand’s founding principals. He has been working in the field of water utility planning/design and water policy throughout Arizona for more than 30 years. He is responsible for the development of water and sewer system master plans; well, reservoir, booster station, and transmission main design; water treatment and arsenic treatment design; and water system training and energy efficiency analysis for private and municipal clients. Mr. Taylor also oversees all Phase I Environmental Site Assessments conducted by WestLand.

His extensive professional experience includes work with municipal, county, and state governments, and mining, development, and industrial clients throughout Arizona. He has been responsible for or involved in large municipal and mining infrastructure projects, water regulatory community requirements such as Assured Water Supply, Central Arizona Groundwater Replenishment District membership, and water company development, energy management and efficiency, Tribal community water development, and alternative water resources such as desalinization and recharge and recovery facilities for Central Arizona Project resources.

Mark currently serves as a Board Member on the CAP Board of Directors, and on the Finance, Audit and Power committee. He is the current Chairman for the Regional Wastewater Reclamation Advisory Committee. He is also an International Volunteer for the Water for People World Water Corps, working in South and Central America and Africa.

He is the Honorary Commander of the 43rd Electronic Combat Squadron, active member of DM50, supporter of Davis-Monthan’s Mission Strong, and member of the Military Affairs Committee of the Tucson Metro Chamber of Commerce.

Bruce P.

Bruce P. Larson, PE

Vice President - Engineering / Phoenix Office, Phoenix

Bruce Larson, PE, has over 26 years of experience in developing and guiding a diverse array of projects and programs across the western United States, with focused experience in the Phoenix area. As Vice President of Engineering and Phoenix office lead, Bruce is using his extensive industry experience to expand the Company’s engineering and environmental practice state-wide by identifying business opportunities and delivering land development services to clients. Bruce is known industry-wide for creatively solving problems and developing new business. Most recently, Bruce was the Arizona Director for Private Development at Michael Baker International (previously RBF Consulting) in the Phoenix office. Throughout his career, he has been responsible for managing multi-million dollar projects and for land development and engineering marketing and business development efforts with private, non-profit, federal, state, and municipal clients. He has led hundreds of projects involving a vast range of complexities, from single lot grading plans to master plans of 6,000 acres. His professional experience provides him with a vast knowledge of the varying requirements of municipalities, state agencies, and governmental departments. His expertise spans housing developments, roadways, stormwater management, water resources and water/wastewater solutions, as well as survey and planning project oversight.

Bruce is a registered professional Civil Engineer in Arizona, California, and New Mexico and is a member of the American Council of Engineering Companies, Home Builders Association, SAME, ULI, and Valley Partnership. Bruce is an Honorary Commander Alumni with Luke Air Force Base and currently serves on the City of Glendale General Plan Steering Committee. He is a Board of Directors member of Fighter Country Partnership, a 501-c organization supporting men, women, and families at Luke Air Force Base. He is also the Chairman of the Blue Blazers Squadron, a group of honorary commander alumni from Luke Air Force Base, and is a graduate of Leadership West as well as a member of WESTMARC, an advocacy group for the Phoenix West Valley.

Brian S.

Brian S. Lindenlaub

Vice President - Environmental Services, Tucson

Brian Lindenlaub has been specializing in environmental permitting and compliance since 1994 and became a principal of WestLand in 2008. Brian is the Vice President of Environmental Services, overseeing the Environmental Planning and Permitting, Natural Resources, and Cultural Resources Departments.  Since 1997, his focus has been primarily on the Clean Water Act. Brian has been the senior project manager for a number of Section 404 permitting efforts (both nationwide and individual permits), and has considerable experience with all aspects of that permitting process: 404(b)(1) alternatives analyses, Section 7 Endangered Species Act (ESA) consultation, compliance with Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act (NHPA), National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) documentation (both EAs and EISs), and development of compensatory mitigation projects. In addition, he is the staff technical lead on issues related to stormwater compliance (NPDES/AZPDES) for construction activities and industrial facilities.

Kara D.

Kara D. Festa, PE

Vice President - Communications & Business Development / Engineering, Tucson

Kara Festa, PE, has been working in the field of water and wastewater engineering since 1995. She has been with WestLand since 1998 and a principal of the firm since 2008. She is experienced in many aspects of utility engineering, including master planning, infrastructure assessments, policy development, state and federal regulatory support, water quality programs, development planning and integration, capital improvement plan development, plan review, hydraulic modeling, bidding services, and construction and contract administration. Kara’s extensive project management experience includes team guidance, client coordination and service, project scheduling and budgeting, and interface with regulatory agencies. She is the main point of contact for a number of the utility clients for which WestLand performs as-needed engineering services, and provides not only engineering studies, assessments, and designs, but day-to-day troubleshooting and operational and engineering assistance. Kara manages the design, permitting, bidding, and construction aspects of many types of water, wastewater and reclaimed system infrastructure projects for public sector clients, water and wastewater utilities, mining clients, and private developers and provides energy auditing services for water and wastewater systems.


Amy Edwards, PE

Director of Environmental Planning & Permitting / Principal, Phoenix

Amy Edwards, PE, Director of Environmental Planning and Permitting, has 20 years of transportation infrastructure engineering, linear corridor environmental planning, and program management experience. Amy was appointed as a Principal to the leadership team in 2016. She offers clients the coordinated and collaborative project leadership that is required to address the multiple stakeholders and intense public scrutiny on today’s complex projects. Ms. Edwards is a proven leader who has effectively managed technical project team member efforts, as well as expectations of clients, review agencies, interested governmental parties, Native American communities, and the public on projects of diverse scope, size, and phase of development. She has managed preliminary and final design of transportation projects, large scale environmental documents, and public involvement endeavors.

Fred W.

Fred W. Huntington

Director of Cultural Resources / Principal, Tucson

Fred Huntington, Director of Cultural Resources, has been an archaeologist in the public and private sectors since 1976 when he began his career at the Institute for Conservation Archaeology at the Peabody Museum at Harvard University. Fred was appointed as a Principal to the leadership team in 2016. Fred moved to Arizona in 1981 to work for the Arizona State Museum, where he directed survey and testing operations for the Phase B portion of the Central Arizona Project from Picacho to Tucson. He subsequently became a field director and project manager for the Institute for American Research (now Desert Archaeology), with a research focus on prehistoric site structure and household economics. Prior to joining the staff of WestLand, Fred served as Director of Cultural Resources for Tierra Right of Way Services, where he directed numerous large survey and multi-site data recovery projects in both Arizona and New Mexico. Fred also owned his own business for 14 years and is able to combine his business and archaeological skills to successfully manage large cultural resources projects.


David Cerasale, PhD

Director of Natural Resources / Principal, Tucson

David Cerasale, PhD, Director of Natural Resources, holds a Master of Science in Wildlife Biology from The University of Montana and a PhD in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology from Cornell University, and has 15 years of experience in the research and management of wild animal populations. David was appointed as a Principal to the leadership team in 2016. His expertise includes statistical analysis, physiological and biochemical analyses, and animal sampling and capture techniques. Dr. Cerasale has worked on a variety of natural resource projects, from the conservation of endangered species to the assessment of riparian habitats for avian migrants in the arid Southwest. His research continues to be published in peer-reviewed ecology, evolution, and physiology journals. Dr. Cerasale has been the lead biologist and project manager on a variety of biological studies and efforts to support environmental permitting processes.


Craig Cannizzaro, PE

Director of Water/Wastewater Engineering / Principal, Tucson

Craig Cannizzaro, PE, Director of Water/Wastewater Engineering, has 19 years of experience in water and wastewater system design. Craig was appointed as a Principal to the leadership team in 2016. His work includes water supply, storage, and distribution systems as well as wastewater collection, pumping, and treatment systems. Mr. Cannizzaro has worked with numerous local and regional governments and utilities and provides water system planning and design services for water utilities throughout Arizona.


Alex Kelser, RLS

Director of Geomatics/Land Survey, Tucson

Alex Kelser is a Registered Land Surveyor and the Director of Geomatics / Land Surveying at WestLand. She has a passion for this work and a strong commitment to keeping current in her field. With more than 25 years of experience providing direct land surveying projects including Cadastral, ALTA and boundary surveying, Topographic and construction surveys, control surveying, special surveys for Public lands, and FEMA flood study surveys, Alex can provide the survey support needed for a successful project.  Alex has worked in the private and public sector as a land surveyor, survey manager, and director of surveying beginning in the late 1980’s and continuing through today.

Alex has a strong foundation in traditional survey techniques. She is a U.S. Department of Interior. BLM Certified Federal Surveyor (CFedS) having taken the rigorous CFedS training and passed the examination. While Alex has a strong basis in the fundamentals of traditional land surveying she also has a keen interest in applying new geomatics technology to her projects. She has managed the City of Berkeley, California’s CORS station, and most recently Alex has become an FAA certified drone pilot. Alex enthusiastically searches for opportunities to apply the newest technologies.

Rick W.

Rick W. Schonfeld, RLA, ASLA

Landscape Architecture Manager, Tucson

Rick Schonfeld, RLA, ASLA manages WestLand’s Landscape Architecture Department. He began his career in 1983 as a planner and landscape architect in the desert southwest, responsible for project management and design services on a wide variety of projects, including parks, habitat restoration, athletic fields, hotels, trail systems, picnic facilities, recreation facilities, urban plazas, resorts, housing development, commercial development, military installations, and roadway development. His technical expertise includes environmental and complete site analysis, visual analysis, water harvesting, native planting design, irrigation design, hardscape design, graphic design, and development of landscape maintenance guidelines.