Meet Your Team
John Montgomery, Founding Landscape Architect | License #4059
From an early age, John constantly sketched his ideas and observed the way that natural landscapes formed. He was drawn to design through his love for the outdoors. Over the past three decades, John has built a name renowned for projects that reflect nature’s elegance. He has a passion for creating spaces that are relaxing, rejuvenating, tranquil, playful, and timeless. He started his career wearing a tool belt, and has now designed countless projects with an eye simultaneously seasoned and innovative. He’s an artist with a vision, and a builder who brings it to life.
John is a member of the American Society of Landscape Architects and acquired his license from California Board of Landscape Architects in 1994. He has years of hands-on experience along with a creative energy that can’t either be taught or bought. He brings his unique background in Art, Architecture, and Design-Build Construction to each project he takes on.
Cynthia Montgomery, Founding Partner | CEO
Cynthia’s business acumen has deep roots. As a little girl, she listened at the dinner table to the conversations of her father and his fellow IBM executives. She went on to earn a degree from UC Berkeley in Industrial and Business Psychology, where she learned that her natural skill of really hearing people was the key to a smart business.
Shortly after Cynthia and John were married, they saw an opportunity to create a unique Landscape Architecture firm, one which combined John’s talent for planning amazing spaces with Cynthia’s entrepreneurial skill and ability to interpret what clients truly want. As CEO, Cynthia has built a clientele that values the ‘White Glove’ customer service for which J.Montgomery Designs has become known. Throughout the years, she has carefully selected team members who uphold the same high standards.
Teresa Robbins, Principal Landscape Architect | License #8434994-5301
Teresa’s aptitude for design and ingrained awe of nature found the perfect balance when she discovered the field of Landscape Architecture. Her attention to detail and meticulous character are hard to match, and few designers can pair those traits as well as Teresa has with her passion for creating outdoor spaces that rejuvenate.
Teresa joined J.Montgomery Designs in 2004 after graduating with high honors and a bachelor’s degree in Landscape Architecture and Environmental Planning from Utah State University. She became a licensed Landscape Architect in the state of Utah in 2014. Teresa’s work experience includes urban waterfront parks, hospitals, universities and high-rise condo complexes. She found her greatest fulfillment designing tailor-made landscapes for cherished residential spaces. At our firm, she has worked side-by-side with John to bring hundreds of private residential landscapes to fruition. To every project she brings a deep desire to create cherished home environments that revitalize in the way that only a home can.
Doug Robbins, Principal Designer | Project Manager
Doug has a special talent for thoughtfully designing spaces that engage all of the senses. His artistic capabilities and methodically detailed nature enable him to create unforgettable environments. Over the years, he has applied his skills to a wide variety of landscape projects, ranging from regional and residential parks, to cemetery and cremation gardens, to residential design and award-winning model homes. He brings his considerable experience to all aspects of our projects, from concept design through construction drawings and construction administration.
Doug graduated from Utah State University with a degree in Landscape Architecture and Environmental Planning in 2002, and has been enjoying an outstanding and rewarding professional life ever since. In his leisure, Doug enjoys the outdoors, travelling, music, sports, and spending time with Teresa and their family.
Debbie Blumhardt, Office Manager
Debbie is a cornerstone of our team. Using skills she gained as a paralegal in the security and corporate finance industries, Debbie plays an integral role in our client communication. She is the first person you talk to when you call our office and she is the best conversationalist! Debbie’s organizational mind and warm spirit also make her our community liaison, connecting with local charities who benefit from our fundraiser garden tours. But here in the office, Debbie is just plain fun to work with.
When not keeping J.Montgomery Designs’ team on track, she is an active volunteer who is a mother of three. Debbie enjoys spending time with family, including her beloved pets, as well as entertaining and attending Gumsaba Boot Camp at 5:30am! Much too early for the rest of the world!
Kathleen Olson, Garden Designer
Kathleen has a colorful work and education background, from a bachelor’s degree at UC Santa Barbara to work in the wine industry, packaging design, and the opening of her own bookstore café. After taking a break to raise two children, Kathleen returned to school at Merritt College, where she received a Certification in Landscape Design, and now serves on the Board of the Association of Professional Landscape Designers.
With extensive horticultural knowledge and her passion for plants, Kathleen works with clients using a hands-on, collaborative approach to transform their residential spaces into gardens that are beautiful, functional and sustainable. Her easy-going, positive attitude makes her a delight to work with and if you pop by our office, you may find her singing & whistling while she works!
Arlene Pond, Garden Designer
Arlene has been a landscape designer and arborist for over 15 years and she brings her exceptional horticultural knowledge and enthusiasm to every undertaking. She graduated from UC Santa Cruz in 2001 with a bachelor degree in Plant Science, and later earned a certificate from UC Berkeley Extension in Landscape Architecture.
She has worked for a high-end residential design/build firm in San Francisco designing, installing and maintaining gardens, and has assisted the Presidio Trust on many high-profile projects. She has a true love of nature and an avid interest in creating sustainable residential landscapes. In her spare time, Arlene enjoys floral design and has done a number of weddings for family and friends over the years.
Sarah Goldstein, Garden Designer
Sarah’s educational and work background is diverse. She has a certification in Landscape Architecture from Merritt College and a Fine Arts degree from California College of the Arts and Seika University in Kyoto, Japan. She enjoys helping clients reimagine their outdoor living spaces, combining her knowledge of Feng Shui and hand-drawing with her love of plants and natural environments.
After many years working for a high-end Oakland nursery, Sarah is a horticulture enthusiast who loves discovering new plant combinations. She has also developed what can only be called an obsession with grasses. Her love of color and composition in the landscape stem from her studies in painting and photography. When she is not designing or painting, Sarah enjoys gardening, backpacking, and traveling to Morocco. [Currently, Sarah is on sabbatical traveling to Iceland and other newly found places.]