Connecting with… Will Ramsey

Name: William Ramsey
Title: Project Planner
Started at christopher: 2015
Current Town: Fairfax, VA
Alma Mater: Virginia Commonwealth University (V-C-U! GO RAMS GO!)
Favorite DC tourist destination: The Lincoln Memorial & Reflecting Pool
Favorite app: Instagram
If I had three wishes:
I. Free airfare for the rest of my life to anywhere in the world
II. To live long enough to visit Earth’s moon or Mars on a passenger flight
III. World peace. Cliché I know, but conflict makes traveling to incredible international places for photography very difficult
If I had to eat one meal for the rest of my life: Japanese Steakhouse Hibachi. It is delicious and worth it every time
On Saturday you can find me: With a camera in hand taking photos of various places around Northern VA

Will’s life at christopher

Name a project you have enjoyed working on and why?
WR: I have enjoyed working on the development plan for the first mixed-use project to be considered within the Town of Herndon’s Transit-Oriented Core. We know it as Penzance’s 555 Herndon Parkway. It is an interesting project for me as it is the first project in which I have been very involved in the layout and design of the public spaces. I have even been able to take the design into 3D with assistance from the architects to help the client, the Town of Herndon community, planners and Council members visualize what a vibrant urban space can look like near their new metro station. It has been an exciting process and am looking forward to its completion.

What does a typical day of work look like for you?
WR: I walk into the office, eat a bowl of oatmeal or an egg sandwich from the local deli and check my emails. Then I open one of many software (Photoshop, Concepts, Lumion, Civil3D, 3D Studio Max, Lightroom, etc.) depending on what I am working on. Sometimes, I am conceptualizing a graphic/exhibit using the iPads or performing zoning research and assembling land entitlement plans for Fairfax, Loudoun or Prince William County. Occasionally, I visit the local thrift store in search of vintage camera gear after lunch.

What keeps you at christopher?
WR: christopher is a place that has allowed my creativity to flourish as well as integrate my proclivity to utilize technology into our workflow and deliverables. This has made working here very dynamic and interesting as we strive to offer products and services that show our agility within the changing market. My continual professional growth and the support of my teammates keeps me going!

What is your favorite company event, and why?
WR: My favorite company event so far has been the chili cookoff. Always fun to try different recipes and compete! Melissa has defeated me every year thus far, but next year I’ll earn the chili cookoff crown!

What is the best piece of advice you could offer someone considering a career in land planning?
WR:The best advice I can offer is to know the region where you do business. Understand where places are geographically and keep up with development news, decision makers/major stakeholders, revitalization/historic preservation initiatives and long-range plans of neighboring jurisdictions. These are all connected and shape how the region develops. I also would advise planners to travel to other cities, domestically and abroad, and be a “student” while visiting. Observing factors that make places unique or that work well from a sociological context can translate to new ideas and opportunities when taking on new conceptual development and master planning projects.