Karen Sutherland

Vice President

Karen is the matriarch, taking a personal interest in the well being of everyone at SSA. Karen was also Steve's influence to go back to school to pursue landscape architecture, so without her, SSA might not exist. Karen is very perceptive which makes her an integral part of the business. Though she's not typically in before the crack of 10am, she is a stickler for finances and keeps the ship afloat and sailing in the right direction. Karen is also the biggest Giant's fan in the office. In fact, Steve may have a bone to pick with Hunter Pence.

Karen began her career as a legal assistant in 1975 and worked in the field of law for eight years before joining Steve in 1983 as his business partner. Having gained valuable experience managing law offices, the transition to the landscape industry was nearly seamless. Karen also grew up in a family-run retail business and learned early on the value of providing excellent client service. As Vice President and co-founder of SSA, she manages the business side of the firm. 


Awards & Announcements

SSA is an award-winning landscape architecture firm. We have been published in notable magazines and have garnered numerous awards for our exceptional designs.  You can find out more here. 

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If you are looking for an opportunity to advance your career, whether it is to become a licensed landscape architect or a leader in the profession, this could be the place for you. SSA Landscape Architects is seeking to invite exceptional, creative, talented, skillful, and professional landscape architects and designers with four to six years of experience. You must have at least two years minimum experience working in a landscape architecture office in California. Our office in Santa Cruz is in a great open studio space where our team collaborates on innovative and creative solutions for our clients with a high level of quality service. Our office space is designed in such a way that Social Distancing and safety related to the COVID19 Pandemic are easily achieved. We utilize platforms such as Microsoft Teams, Zoom and GoToMeeting to further enhance the safety of our team and our clients during this challenging time.

Our projects are located throughout California and have won national, statewide, and regional awards since SSA was founded 33 years ago. Our projects include parks and recreation, open space and trails, sports facilities, K-12 education, college campuses, corporate campuses, healthcare, public works and high-end residential.

Currently, we are recruiting for landscape designers and architects with four to six years of experience. Microsoft Office, AutoCAD, LandFX, SketchUp, Adobe Creative Suite experience and a bachelor's Degree in Landscape Architecture are the minimum requirements for the current positions. Applicants must have at least two years of experience working in the many microclimates of Northern and Central California.

If you have the qualities and experience stated above with the required minimum experience and you want to work in a dynamic, exciting work environment on great projects, please send your portfolio and resume to: careers@ssala.com

Applicants must have valid permanent, unrestricted authorization to work in the United States*.  Competitive salary commensurate with experience. Benefits include healthcare, life insurance, long term disability insurance, 401K, profit sharing, paid holidays, vacation, and personal leave.

 *Green Card or US Citizenship

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A Few of Our Past Clients