Crystal Surdyk

Sincere. Enthusiastic. High Standards.

The journey that has led me to my position as Operations Manager and Community Engagement Coordinator at JKLA began with my decision to leave behind more than fourteen years’ experience in retail and business management to pursue a career in Architecture and then Urban Planning finding a passion in community revitalization.

Upon graduation I found an Office Manager position at the well-known local Landscape Architecture firm, JKLA. It wasn’t exactly planning but it was a step in the right direction. I left the interview knowing that I had to be a part of the JKLA team and to my relief; they felt the same about me.

So began my assimilation into the JKLA way of life. I often joke that I “drink the JKLA brand of Kool-Aid” but in reality, it’s not a joke. I’m honored to work next to an incredible team of talented and dedicated individuals who share a common passion and work together to improve the quality of life for people everywhere. As my tenure with JKLA has grown, so has my position. We’ve created my Operations Manager position to help us keep up with the growth and evolution of the company and I wear many “hats” on daily basis; from OM to HR, from Marketing to Project Support, Accounting to Project Oversight. However, my favorite “hat” is the one I wear when I’m managing Planning based projects or facilitating community outreach events.

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Buffalo State College, Buffalo, NY
– B.S. Urban and Regional Planning and Analysis, May 2012
– Minor in Geographic Information Systems (GIS)

Erie Community College, Orchard Park, NY
– A.S. Architectural Technology, May 2010

My most memorable project has to be the Erie County Tribute Garden- From the moment I learned that our firm had been asked to design the Erie County Tribute Garden; I knew I had to be involved. The Tribute Garden honors those whose lives have been affected by domestic violence and gives survivors and their families a safe place to reflect, find solace, and represents so much to so many.  To me it represents freedom, independence, strength, and hope.