Community service and charitable giving are cornerstones of the EDSA legacy in providing value to people and offering potential to learn through positive humanitarian efforts. Each year, the firm financially supports organizations by aiding those impacted by natural, social and economic in-justices, while team members volunteer their time and talents to strengthen and enrich communities around the globe. 

This year, EDSA is partnering with Compassion International, a not-for-profit child development organization dedicated to releasing children from poverty. Founded in 1952, Compassion is currently helping over 1.5 million children in 26 countries by providing holistic development through the physical, cognitive, spiritual and socio-emotional assistance they so desperately need for a healthy start in life and a bright future.

EDSA’s sponsorship of the Child Survival Program (CSP) in Cienaga, a coastal community near Santa Marta in Colombia, will help save the lives of impoverished infants and children by providing the necessary programmatic medical, nutritional, educational and spiritual intervention.  Home to nearly 17,000 residents, Cienaga has an unemployment rate of 60 percent, with a per capita average monthly income of only $93 – one of the poorest in the region.  The CSP program identifies and supports vulnerable expectant mothers and their babies – setting them on a path of healthy development through services such as prenatal care, proper nutrition training, purposeful nurturing, vaccinations, ongoing health care and home-based clean water filtration systems.   

“Every child deserves the opportunity to reach his or her full potential and we are proud to extend our giving program to Colombia through Compassion International.  This effort touches us all beyond corporate social responsibility and one-way giving. Our hope is that it will become a vehicle to inform, motivate and equip others to become advocates for children,” says Doug Smith, EDSA President.

Almost 18,000 children under the age of five die every day, mostly from preventable causes like pneumonia, diarrhea and malnutrition. However, the levels and trends of child mortality are drastically reduced through intervention programs like those offered by Compassion International. “As a global organization, we recognize our responsibility to become catalysts within the arena of poverty alleviation, and we commit to actively engage in rescuing, nurturing, empowering and enriching people’s lives through the Child Survival Program,” expresses Doug. “Our hope is that the families we’re helping will experience a new awareness of self-identity and aspirations to positively affect change.”

To kick-off this year’s efforts, EDSA employees created more than 75 hand-drawn, customized children’s books for the literacy curriculum at the CDI Galaad Student Center in Cienaga. The annual giving program includes a 5K Fundraising Walk in March, individual child sponsorships and quarterly outreach initiatives based on needs.  If you would like to learn more about EDSA’s corporate giving program or Compassion International please email us at


meet the faces of edsa

christopher phillips
amanda huang
zhenrong guo

Chris’ admiration for landscapes and fauna stems from growing up on a farm in Arkansas where form, function and nature seamlessly act as one. This passion, coupled with his talent for artistic expression, serve as the basis for his thoughtfully planned and meticulously crafted outdoor environments.  He attended the University of Arkansas and is drawn to modern contemporary designs where clean lines serve as inspiration.  He subscribes to a ‘less is more’ philosophy which translates into projects that not only make a statement but once implemented settle into place, take root and thrive. Chris joined EDSA in 2011 and has the unique ability to cognitively embrace the essence of a site and its environment and to see that the fine details of a design contribute to a cohesive project. Currently, a member of the Dugan studio, Chris is honing his skillset in the construction administration phase and developing into a pragmatic and innovative designer.

A native of Taiwan, Amanda’s fluency in Mandarin has enabled her to work directly with Chinese clients and accurately convey their overall vision.  She can readily visualize possibilities and transform strategic objectives through her creative solutions.  With a focus on the integrity and sensitivity of design, Amanda believes that quality planning holds the key to holistically improving our communities, cities and recreational spaces.  While she enjoys the flexibility and freedom that comes with resort projects, Amanda works across scales and boundaries seeking new opportunities to make connections between people and ideas that can shape places and thinking.  She is well-rounded in visual analysis, conceptual design and site planning – quickly developing schemes in freehand or in digital form. She received her Bachelors of Landscape Architecture from Oklahoma State University.  Amanda originally joined the EDSA team in 2002 and returned to the firm in 2013 as a member of the LaMont studio. 

As an experienced architect working in Miami, Guo was looking to balance his profession of creating synthetic structures with a discipline that seamlessly integrated nature into its designs. His approach considers the best a site has to offer and elaborates on it to create spaces which are harmonious with the environment. He integrates architectural elements, grading, hardscape, planting and lighting resulting in artistic, functional and dynamic spaces.  Having joined the Shanghai Studio in 2014, Guo assists with client business relations as well as designing and creating environmentally balanced spaces that connect the world of nature with man-made elements. His designs are guided by the needs of those who will use the space, and he puts himself in the shoes of the visitor from the first day of drawing until construction is completed.  Guo holds a Masters in Urban Planning from The Royal Institute of Technology in Sweden and a Bachelor in Architecture from Zhejiang University in China.

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jaguan studio - fort lauderdale

In order to faithfully respond to a project’s context, history and sense of place, you should eat, sleep and breathe it before picking up a pen.

jaguan studio insight

In its more than 50 year history, EDSA has built a well-balanced, diversified portfolio of projects across the globe. In the wake of shifts in external markets, consumer purchasing patterns and economies, the firm continues to adapt to changing international and domestic markets, seeking out untapped potential. Now, with a forecasted resurgence of activity in certain European cities, EDSA is once again spearheading design and development efforts to assist hotel developers in enticing a more refined traveler back to this region.

With sophisticated tourists expecting a much higher standard in terms of luxury and experiences, the Jaguan Studio has focused their efforts on designing places that offer a sense of exclusivity and a portrait of design that reflects the true nature and authenticity of the destination. Their encompassing approach leaves no detail unstudied, view unplanned, or experience less than fantastic. This next level in design has become the objective of such projects as Astir Palace Hotel & Marina in Greece and the Golf Meloneras Resort in Gran Canary, Spain. With a mind to inject communal vivacity and preserve history, their designs capture a sense of place through new forms and shapes and the linkage of cultural elements into existing spaces for a more modern look. By creating a feeling of exclusivity and holistic revitalization, designers are adding to the renaissance and renewal of both the site development and the rebounding economy.

For more information on the Jaguan Studio, visit:


Every year, EDSA team members gather for a day of exploration, learning and self-development. At the annual Retreat employees exchange ideas, recommit to EDSA’s core values, and engage in some well-deserved all around fun team building. This past December, employees participated in a cardboard boat building contest that required extreme creativity, resourcefulness and design integrity. The buoyancy of the vessels was put to the test during the EDSA Regatta where one team member competed in the on-water navigational challenge. By far one of the most engaging activities EDSA has done to date, with lots of problem solving and hilarity.

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