Our Staff

Gallery
Kate Kennen RLA

Kate Kennen RLA

Owner

Having spent her childhood at her family’s garden center in central Massachusetts, Kate is well versed in the plants and ecological systems of the Northeast. A registered Landscape Architect with degrees from Cornell University and Harvard’s Graduate School of Design, she founded Kennen Landscape Architecture in 2004 and Offshoots, Inc in 2012 to create practices focused on productive planting and ecological planning.  Kate’s current research and teaching concentrates on planting design and applied phytotechnologies that utilize plants to clean up contaminated sites. Her recent book, PHYTO:  Principles and Resources for Site Remediation and Landscape Design (co-authored with Niall Kirkwood) received a national ASLA honor award and was named one of the top 10 new landscape books by The Dirt in 2015. Kate has been honored with numerous awards for her recent and ongoing projects including Cape Cod’s Downtown Hyannis Revitalization Project, Plantworks at 725 Main Street, a phytoremediation installation on a former gas station site, and Bouyed Coasts, an environmental art installation project in Barnstable.

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Joe Shafner

Joe Shafner

Director of Landscape Operations

Joe graduated from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst with a Bachelor of Landscape Architecture. He is a Massachusetts Certified Horticulturist (MCH), Massachusetts Certified Landscape Professional [MCLP #1626], an Accredited Organic Land Care Professional [AOLCP] with the New England Organic Farming Association [NOFA], earned a Permaculture Design Certificate [PDC] through the Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association and has worked in the nursery business and landscape design and construction fields for over two decades. Having been involved with all sides of the industry, Joe has extensive knowledge of plants, design and installation, thereby ensuring successful collaborations with clients, designers and trade professionals.  He strives to create symbiotic relationships between clients, landscape and natural ecologies.  As the Director of Operations with Offshoots, Joe is responsible for managing all aspects of the installation division.

Terry Kinsler

Terry Kinsler

Senior Associate

Terry Kinsler, RLA, has over 12 years of experience working on a multitude of planning, design and construction projects.  He brings a strong set of design skills to both the conceptual design and construction document phases, crafting details that hold the design’s concept together.  Terry came to Offshoots from Halvorson Design, where he worked on detailed design interventions on a wide-range of projects over a 5 year span.  Prior to Halvorson, Terry was with Carol Johnson Associates, focused on fast-paced international mixed-use development projects.

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Shelby Chapman-Hale

Shelby Chapman-Hale

Senior Associate

Shelby received a Bachelor of Environmental Science with a concentration in Ecological Design from the University of Vermont and a Master of Landscape Architecture from the University of Oregon. Her graduate thesis, which investigated the impacts of conventional parking lot design on urban sustainability (economic, ecological, and social implications) and explored site scale solutions to reduce potential disturbance in new parking lot design, was presented at CELA in 2014. Prior to joining the team at Offshoots Shelby worked in high-end residential design, taught planting design at UO, taught native plant identification at UVM, worked at a nursery in Vermont, and earned a Permaculture Design Certificate (PDC) through the University of Oregon. Shelby is a registered Landscape Architect in Massachusetts and Vermont.

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Will Q. Smith

Will Q. Smith

Senior Associate

Will is a licensed landscape architect with 12 years of professional experience working on a range of project types, from high-end residential to large-scale public landscapes. He is fluent at shepherding projects through all stages of the design process and finds satisfaction in questioning norms, testing assumptions, and translating creative ideas into built work.  His undergraduate degree in Environmental Studies from Lewis and Clark College and Master of Landscape Architecture from the University of California, Berkeley provides a unique skill set for understanding the art of making landscapes through observing, interpreting, and navigating the social, economic, and ecological systems influencing public and private landscapes.

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Nelle Ward

Nelle Ward

Landscape Architect

Nellie’s career as a Landscape Architect began with acquiring a Master of Science in Ecological Design from the Conway School. Nellie was then awarded full-time Teaching Assistantship positions at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, enabling them to pursue a Master of Landscape Architecture. Nellie’s intensive focus on green stormwater infrastructure and sustainable design throughout their studies landed them in Philadelphia, a green urbanism hotspot. Nellie worked at several types of firms ranging from large interdisciplinary engineering firms to small private practices, where their duties ranged from community engagement facilitation to construction administration. After five years in Philadelphia, Nellie’s passion and background in ecosystem service-based planning and design brought them to Offshoots in Boston. Nellie is a Registered Landscape Architect in Massachusetts and Pennsylvania.

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Jack Beresford

Jack Beresford

Landscape Architectural Designer | Landscape Installation Associate

Jack has spent his life working with plants and surrounding himself with the world of nature. He earned his Bachelor of Landscape Architecture from Northeastern University, after spending several years working at a wholesale nursery and farm. Jack brings to Offshoots his years of experience working on residential design projects at his father’s firm, both onsite and in the office. Jack’s work combines fine gardening sensibilities with strong focuses on ecological performance and production. He is passionate about promoting harmony between the built and natural environments and strives to do so by innovatively hybridizing natural systems with both contemporary technologies, and with traditional practices.

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Kit Ganshaw

Kit Ganshaw

Lead Gardener

Kit grew up on Cape Cod working with her father in his landscape business. At Rutgers University she earned a degree in natural resource management and applied ecology. In the summers she helped maintain vegetable and cutting gardens, annual, perennial and shrub borders on an estate in Oyster Harbors, MA. After graduating, Kit joined the staff of the Somerset County Park Commission’s Leonard J. Buck Garden in Far Hills, NJ, maintaining 33 acres of woodland gardens at one of the premiere rock gardens in the northeast. Next she became a horticulturist at the Arnold Arboretum; amongst other work, she was responsible for the care of the Bradley Rosaceous Collection. In her spare time, she volunteers her expertise to the Emerald Necklace Conservancy’s Rose Garden Committee as well as Roslindale Green and Clean. Kit is a Mass Certified Horticulturist, ISA Certified Arborist and holds a Umass Extension certificate in Invasive Plant Management. She is delighted to bring her love of plants and knowledge and enthusiasm for plant health care to the Offshoots team.
Gretchen Exley-Smith

Gretchen Exley-Smith

Installation Supervisor

Gretchen has almost twenty years in the green industry, ranging from interior plant maintenance to landscaping, garden maintenance/installation and ecological restoration. She holds certificates in MA Horticulture (MCH), National Green Infrastructure (NGICP) and Invasive Plant Management. Gretchen enjoys transforming outdoor spaces for clients through garden installations, bonus if she can provide native foraging habitat for birds and pollinators. She is an introvert willing to discuss plants, native bees, monarch butterflies, soil and stormwater.

Jason McDuffie

Jason McDuffie

Gardener

Jason hails from Manning, South Carolina. Before joining Offshoots, Jason worked at Tree Tech for several years, where he more deeply discovered his love of plants and learning about the industry of Landscape Contracting. Jason enjoys working with his hands outdoors and getting to travel around the state of Massachusetts. His favorite plant is Spice Bush!

Liz Bender

Liz Bender

Gardener

Liz came to the gardening and maintenance team at Offshoots by way of both an established background in farm to table culinary work and homeless advocacy. A life-long lover and cultivator of gardens, she realized she would rather be outside growing food rather than inside cooking it and pursued a path of community agriculture. She has been contracted to build several crisis-and-hunger-relief community gardens around the country. Liz has a passion for hunger relief, edible environments, and food sovereignty activism. She is excited to bring her skill sets to the team at Offshoots.

Robert Peters

Robert Peters

Gardener

A spatial thinking and artist, Robert completed MassArt’s architectural design program with an exceptional portfolio of 3D sculptures, projects, and drawings. He is also a licensed barber. Once introduced to plants and gardens, Robert combined those skills, learning the finer points of pruning and taking classes in Landscape Architecture. This past winter, Robert successfully studied Organic Landcare, gaining a full certification.

Matt Salvage

Matt Salvage

Gardener

Matt Salvage is born and raised in western Mass and started with the installation-build team in the spring. While he is new to the industry, he has a few years of related experience in agriculture and tree service work. He enjoys being outside in nature, working as part of a team to see a project through from start to finish. Matt has a passion for sustainability and mycology. In his free time he enjoys hiking and looking for wild mushrooms. Matt is in the process of becoming a certified landscape professional (MCLP). His favorite tree is the Dawn Redwood.

Rhys

Rhys

Receptionist

Merlin joined Offshoots in 2011 from a shelter in Malden, MA to pursue a career managing day-to-day activities including watching the door, amusing office visitors, and chasing balls. He is a gifted listener, avid hole-digger, and has recently earned a certificate in frisbee catching. He holds a B.S. in Herding, and is pursuing a master’s degree in eating grass.

Sam

Sam

Materials Librarian

Born in Vermont and raised in Massachusetts, Sam spent his youth exploring the woods, streams and ponds of New England. Having napped on a wide range of groundcovers, lawns and lounge chairs, he brings broad experience to his role as materials librarian for Offshoots. When not sleeping on the job, he enjoys swimming, playing fetch and woofing at Merlin.