Eric Woolridge, AICP
Director of Planning and Business Development
Alex Gotherman, PLA
Urban Designer & Planner
Alex joined Destination by Design in 2013. As the Director of Design, Alex enjoys bringing our team’s best ideas into reality through the practice of Landscape Architecture. His ideal project employs the entire interdisciplinary team at DbD to discover and leverage a community’s unique assets. The cross-pollination of planning, design, engineering, and communication has led to innovative place-based designs throughout the southeast, including master plans, streetscape design, urban infill, parks, greenways, and one-of-a-kind signage + wayfinding packages. On a good day, Alex dreams big of creating exceptional places, and on a great day, he lives it – building a family farm in the summer, snowboarding in the winter, and as a devoted father year-round.
Jason Gaston, PE
Jason leads the Destination by Design Engineering team and has more than fifteen years of experience as a civil engineer. He has worked extensively in both the public and private
realms, including site engineering for downtown streetscapes, greenways, public parks and an array of private development throughout the southeast.
Director of Communications & Place Branding
Matt leads Destination by Design’s community branding and marketing-related projects, shoots & directs multimedia and web campaigns, and develops targeted brand strategies that promote quality of life and economic development. With a Masters degree in Communications and an undergraduate in Commercial Recreation & Tourism Management, Matt is passionate about helping communities uncover their true essence and communicate a shared vision.
Joshua Thurman is a design veteran with over 20 years experience – Having worked with brands of all sizes and across industries including major companies like Wendy’s Restaurants and Wrangler Jeans. Drawing on these and other experiences he strives to create compelling design that is clean and timeless rather than trendy. His skills cover multiple design disciplines including brand identity creation, web and print design, photography, video production, music performance, writing and public speaking. Above all, Josh is passionate about people and loves to share in the joys of life with his wife and three daughters.
Art Director / Graphic Designer
Kara designs engaging and thoughtful community landscapes. She loves to kayak, travel, and garden- all passions that lead her from Philadelphia to Boone. While studying landscape architecture and geography at the Pennsylvania State University, Kara was drawn to the elements of sense of place and ecology. Now she implements these concepts in her current work, and continues to explore relationships with the world around us
Ron brings a wide variety of practical experience to Destination by Design, including multiple aspects of land use, environmental, and local government planning. With more than twenty years of
experience working as a Planner in western North Carolina and the Upstate of South Carolina, Ron has a thorough understanding of the various planning and development issues in the region. Prior to becoming a Planner, Ron served the public interest as a Geographer and GIS Specialist. He has earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Geography from Western Carolina University, a Master of Arts in Geography from Appalachian State University and has been a member of the American Institute of Certified Planners since 2008. Originally from Georgia, Ron has lived in the NC mountains with his wife and family since 1991. Outdoors he loves camping, hiking, boating, and motorcycling, and indoors, listening to scratchy records.
Lucas is passionate about helping others share their stories and experiences in an ever evolving digital age. He enjoys going on walks in busy places as a way to meet new people and learn about them and from them. “Many cultures go unnoticed and histories untold because they are not as flashy as a blockbuster movie, but they are still relevant and hold important lessons. It’s important that we seek out and promote those stories in a way that is relevant and relatable to today’s culture.” Lucas is a Denton, NC native and holds a B.S. in Electronic Media and Broadcasting from Appalachian State University.
Web Developer / Designer
Nicole brings field accounting and office management experience to the DbD team. She keeps things flowing and organized! Nicole and her husband, Robert, spent 18 months in service to the community and people of Haiti.