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Recognizing 100 CEOs & C-level Executives
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Meredith Wenskoski

President & Founder

Livable Cities Studio

Location: Denver, CO

Founded: 2016

Industry: Design and Planning

In 2016, Meredith Wenskoski took a risk and launched her own design firm without any partners.

“Even though I had a 2-year-old and a 3-year-old at home, I truly believed I needed to trust my instinct, follow my passion and create a women-led practice that was solely focused on people, communities and equity,” she said. “It was clear to me that there was a massive need for a design practice that focused on engaging communities in an authentic way to help solve challenges related to access to parks, improving health equity and addressing resiliency. It took an incredible amount of hard work, but I built and customized the structure of the business to operate in a way that would fit for the unique work we do.”

Wenskoski is founder and president of Livable Cities Studio, an urban design, planning and landscape architecture studio committed to building cities that celebrate social connection and inclusivity. “From project conception to construction for parks, plazas, public infrastructure, streetscapes and other designed spaces, Livable Cities Studio discovers innovative ways communities can interact with their natural environment,” the company said. “The studio’s work in urban design and planning reconsiders the traditional role of infrastructure by emphasizing people, natural systems and new forms of public space.”

Previously, Wenskoski worked for more than nine years at one of the nation’s highest-profile landscape architecture and planning firms, Design Workshop. While there, she rose in the firm’s ranks, ultimately becoming a principal in the 150-person firm. At the end of her tenure, Wenskoski was the managing principal of the firm’s Denver office.

With more than a decade of experience in landscape architecture, Wenskoski felt strongly about projects that put people, communities and equity in the center of the work, and she set out to create her own firm with those priorities.

“Livable Cities Studio has since upended the urban planning and landscape design process to become first and foremost committed to the social and experiential goals of a place while also authentically understanding the context of a neighborhood to deliver outcomes that resonate with the surrounding community,” the company said. “Meredith delivered design and planning ideas typical of her profession, but also began expanding her consulting services into critical issues such as social equity and capacity building as a facet of design and planning.”

More than 1,000 acres of land have been planned for revitalization around the Denver region by Livable Cities. About $1 billion of investment is slated for the acreage planned, with more than $460 million of that going toward new public infrastructure focused on climate resiliency.

Wenskoski believes in giving back both professionally and personally and makes a point of turning team-building activities into days of service, engaging her team in volunteer work. They have worked with organizations such as Urban Peak, supporting youth experiencing homelessness in downtown Denver, and the Denver Park Trust, helping with park clean-ups in underserved communities.

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Meredith’s commitment to putting people first goes beyond her role as a city leader and place maker. When Meredith lost a close friend to liver disease, she threw herself outside of her comfort zone and set out to climb Mount Shasta as part of The American Liver Foundation’s Liver Life Challenge. While reaching the summit at 14,179 feet is no easy feat, the way down the mountain presented its own challenges. The trek down was so steep and slick, she ended up glissading down thousands of feet. Despite enduring the physical discomfort, Meredith kept herself moving to honor the life of a dear friend.

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