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The President's Series - Joseph Brusseau

Sep 2014

Scott Brown, Director of Business Development for the W-T Family of Companies, dives into the professional experience and lives of our company presidents. Next up: Joseph Brusseau, RLA, CPSI, President of Brusseau Design Group, LLC.  

Can you tell us about how you first started and what brought you to where you are today?

My first position was working for a golf course architectural firm. I interned there during the summer of my junior year in college and joined the firm after graduation. At this time, this firm was doing a lot of golf course remodeling around the Chicago metropolitan area. We were also designing new courses across the country. I learned a lot about grading, drainage and construction during my tenure at this firm. I also received a great deal of experience when I was placed as the on-site architect for a 9-hole addition to an existing private club in East Central Illinois. My responsibilities included layout of tees, greens, bunkers and features, management of grading, irrigation and drainage contractors and coordination with the private club members. This experience proved invaluable to me and I believe helped lay the foundation for my career.

What makes Brusseau Design Group unique to our clients?

I feel our firm is unique for several reasons. Every project in our firm is a collaboration of several key players. Each team member is involved in every phase of every project. This permits us to be more creative, maintain a high level of quality in our work product, and permits our clients to contact any team member to get a project update or an answer to their questions. Being part of the W-T Family of Companies also permits us to utilize the staff and resources at W-T to gain valuable insight into any potential engineering and permitting challenges that we may face on our projects, not only prior to starting design work, but in many cases even prior to writing a Proposal.

Is there a specific project that sticks out in your career?

I have been fortunate to have worked on many interesting projects in my career, and would be hard pressed to pick one. I can, however, tell you that I really enjoy designing playgrounds and play spaces. I have designed between 400 to 450 playgrounds in my career and each one has been special to me. I feel that play is an extremely important part of a child’s life, but more and more it loses out to team sports, video gaming and other pursuits.

You have had great success in assisting park districts and other government entities with grant writing and assisting them in receiving money for parks and recreation. We know you don’t want to give away too many secrets, but what are some key elements in grant writing?

Without a doubt, the key element in grant writing is to understand the grant requirements and to provide the Grant Administrator the information that they request in a neat and orderly fashion. It is that simple. We want to simplify the Grant Administrator’s task in reviewing and recommending our grant for funding. By providing the required information in a neat and orderly fashion, the Grant Administrator can review the Grant based on its merits and become an advocate for our project. We have been asked several times by clients to review and re-submit a previously denied grant application prepared by another firm. I can’t tell you how many times we find mistakes, omissions or disorganization when we review the application.

What do you enjoy doing in your spare time? Do you have any hobbies?

I really enjoy the outdoors. I spend my time gardening, kayaking, road bicycling, skiing and hiking. I also enjoy woodworking and photography.

Joseph Brusseau
Brusseau Design Group, LLC - President


James Lueders

Joseph Brusseau is President of Brusseau Design Group, LLC and has more than thirty years of experience in landscape architecture as well as park and recreation planning and design. During his career, Joe has successfully led design projects to develop more than 400 parks, playgrounds, recreation facilities and landscapes throughout the state of Illinois.