Martha Place | Executive administrator

MBA in Economics | St. Ambrose University

BS in Business Administration & Marketing | Southern Illinois University, Edwardsville

We are pleased to welcome Martha Place as the newest addition to our Vessel team!  As our beloved Mary slips slowly into retirement, Martha will step in as Executive Administrator and take on the duties that keep this place running.

Martha joins us from Precision Builders and Associates, a commercial carpentry contractor in east-central IL; prior to that she spent six years at Edward Jones, and 20 years in the tourism industry.

Growing up, Martha’s father worked as a civil engineer and moved the family around the Midwest. Inheriting the gypsy spirit from her dad, she has moved 23 times – her move back to St. Louis will be her 24th. Her travels took her everywhere from a year in Sedona, AZ, to 7 months in Elkhart, IN (which seemed like 10,000 years…apologies to anyone from Indiana).

When she’s not in the office, Martha enjoys hiking, spending time with friends, reading and watching films. She, of course, still enjoys traveling and is heading to Switzerland this summer to hike the Grindelwald area around the North Face of the Eiger.

We look forward to getting to know you even more, Martha!

Cassandra Wallace | Architect

Registered Architect in Missouri | AIA | NCARB

Master in Architecture | Kansas State University

Cassandra Wallace has joined the Vessel team!

The oldest of five, Cassandra grew up in a small farm town in Indiana, where her parents began and continue to do their part to keep America fed - growing popcorn for Orville Redenbacher & potatoes for Frito Lay. After watching her parents and developing an intense work ethic at a young age, Cassandra headed to Kansas State, where she earned a Master in Architecture, eventually finding herself in St. Louis. After a week in the Lou, she met her now-husband, Greg, and together they have two adorable kiddos, Bruce (2) and Cora (1). When Cassandra isn't in the office, you can find her spending time with her family of four, cheering on the St. Louis Blues, or attending a knitter's circle (she's currently working on some festive Christmas stockings!)

All of us here at Vessel are excited to get you plugged in, Cassandra! And we wouldn't mind if you ever had the urge to share some popcorn...or Fritos...



I wanted to be an architect when I grew up because I wanted to do something that would make an impact on peoples’ everyday lives. I remember watching “This Old House” & “The New Yankee Workshop” everyday with my mom & sketching out the floor plans for her dream house. Being an architect is an amazing way to help shape our world & try to make it a better place.
— CW

Christy Phelps | Project Architect

I love architecture because of its lasting impact. The fact that a beautiful or functional building can live for hundreds of years is fascinating to me.
— CP

Kansas State University | Master in Architecture

....and the Jayhawks continue to be outnumbered! That’s right folks – we have another Wildcat on our hands - welcome, Christy Phelps!

After growing up in the burbs of St. Charles, Christy decided to head even farther west where she attained her Masters from Kansas State. She then spent some time in Connecticut - and most recently drove 16 hours back to St. Louis where she now serves as one of our Project Architects. With experience and a background in historical renovation and residential design, we're excited for Christy to lend a fresh eye to a number of projects here at Vessel.

When she's not in the office, Christy hangs with her cat, Cleo, and takes a particular enjoyment in photography - specifically catching shots of vibrant landscape and historic architecture (her favorite building is Monticello).


Lindsay Moore | Project Architect | AIA | LEED GA | CSI CDT

Kendall College of Art and Design | Bachelor of Interior Design

University of Colorado, Denver | Master in Architecture

Originally from Rochester Hills, Michigan, and having called many places home over the years, Lindsay now resides in St. Louis with her fiance AJ, Labradoodle Charlie, and Miniature Yorkie Milo.
When AJ's not out traveling with monster trucks, they enjoy spending time on their boat. In her free time, Lindsay enjoys a variety of craft projects, from building furniture to knitting.  Although, her main passion is quilting due to the creativity involved in transforming pieces of fabric into a cohesive whole that will be cherished and shared for years to come.


Denny Beinke | Project Architect | LEED AP

Registered Architect in Missouri

University of Nebraska, Lincoln | Bachelor of Architectural Studies

A St. Louis native and graduate of the University of Nebraska, Denny joined Vessel with years of architectural experience and an energetic passion for the industry.

When he's not architecting, he spends time checking out the live music scene, playing and collecting Ukuleles (he owns 5...yes, 5), heading to car shows, and hanging with the two favorite people in his life, his son Griffin and daughter Jane.


Michael Andresen | Architect | LEED AP


LEED AP | Iowa State University | Bachelor of Architecture

Michael has a jeweler's eye for detail and remembers everything. It has been said that he is one of the funniest people at Vessel because his humor kind of sneaks up on you.  While watching corn grow (that's what people do in Iowa, right?), Michael attended Iowa State where he received his Bachelors of Architecture. After 10 years of intensive work in the field of LEED and energy conservation, Michael head to Missouri to watch the cows grow. 

Michael's hobbies include, beard management, rooting for the Cubs, and travel.


Sara Ferguson | Project Architect | LEED GA

Washington University in St. Louis | Bachelor of Architecture

University of Colorado, Denver | Master in Architecture

An avid crafter, baker, and lover of all things DIY, Sara Ferguson joins us from Denver, where she most recently attained a Masters in Architecture. When she's not making things, you can usually find her being outdoorsy with her husband, Ed, or snuggling with the other guy in her life - her rescue puppy Jack.


DeAnn Woerther | Project Architect

Drury University | Bachelor of Architecture

DeAnn hails from St. Peter's, is married to a wonderful guy named Jeff, can't resist a good book, and enjoys long walks on the sidewalk with her adorable beagle, Trixie. We're so happy to have you, DeAnn - and don't forget that we love guests...Trixie can visit anytime...Jeff can, too ;)


Mike Murphy | Project Architect

Kansas State University | Master in Interior Architecture & Product Design

Michael Murphy is a graduate from Kansas State's excellent Master of Interior Architecture and Product Design program.  While it is true that we have to speak s-l-o-w-e-r to the Wildcats at Vessel, we think he'll eventually overcome that deficit.  His desk is right next to Todd and Roger (our other Wildcats) so they can reminisce (using small words) about the good times in Manhattan, KS.

Michael (Jordan) Murphy is an avid collector of classic basketball shoes.  He is quick to point out that his collection appreciates in financial value faster than the stock market.  But, after factoring in olfactory depreciation, we're not sure if he's coming out ahead.


Merlin Johnston | Project Architect

University of Kansas | Bachelor of Architecture | Bachelor of Environmental Design

Merlin's unofficial (real) title at Vessel is "Quality Control Sheepdog".  We rely on Merlin to ensure that our projects receive intense scrutiny and coordination from construction documents all the way to the site and back again.  Merlin's mission is to make sure our drawings are getting smarter with every project we build.

His success started at the same place most brilliant architects got their education... Kansas University.  He is a Royals fan in a Cardinals world.  If you have anything else on your agenda, don't ask him about baseball cards.  But if you are a die-hard collector you would weep at his extensive collection.

In order to keep Merlin here our entire office took a vow to refrain from magic jokes.  Conjuring up this bio without any magic jokes was no small feat of wizardry.


Kevin Gates | Architect | LEED AP

Registered Architect in Missouri

University of Kansas | Bachelor of Architecture

Carnegie Mellon University | Master in Architecture

Kevin established himself quickly by flaunting his degree from Kansas University and bragging about marrying a fellow Jayhawk (Jennifer is also an architect). After graduation he worked in Colorado, swung out to Carnegie Mellon to casually collect a Masters in Architecture, and then worked in Illinois before relaxing at Vessel.  He is a detail machine who recently did code research that saved a client five figures.


Adam Edelbrock | Architect | AIA | LEED AP

Registered Architect in Missiouri

University of Notre Dame | Bachelor of Architecture

When we need to be charming- or intimidating- we send Adam.  His combination of sheer height, gleaming smile, and intense focus can serve both purposes. As proof, we need only point to the fact that he married an architect.  This is not advisable for mere mortals, but provides ample testimony to his value to the firm.


Mick Schaefer | Architect | AIA | NCARB | LEED GA

Registered Architect in Missouri

University of Kansas | Bachelor of Architectural Studies | Master in Architecture

Mick is a cheerful and conscientious problem-solver, and an all-around genius (as evidenced by his degree from Kansas University). He reigns as champion of the Vessel foosball table, donning his custom-tailored foos-gloves for extra grip.


Todd Donze | Architect

Kansas State University | Bachelor of Architecture

Todd is a talented designer who knows how to leverage technology in the earliest stages of design. His dad is a hands-on General Contractor, and that practical get-it-done-right attitude is baked into Todd’s personality and work ethic. As you might imagine, Todd has great a great knack for constructability.


Roger Manwaring | architect | Senior Project Manager | AIA | NCARB

Registered Architect in Missouri

Kansas State University | Bachelor of Architecture

Roger is a Senior Project Manager with an eye for detail and ethic of thoroughness.  He guides our many projects from inception to construction making sure we hit deadlines and constantly elevate our quality.  Our clients appreciate his pleasant demeanor and conscientious  attitude.  Around here he is known as Code Yoda.  He is generally quiet and reserved but don't ask him about salt-water aquariums... you've been warned.


Peter Schwartz | Architect | Principal | NCARB | LEED AP

Peter is a gifted communicator with a knack for helping clients find clarity in the creative process. He brings integrity, patience, and perspective to every project. Clients appreciate his sense of humor (which is legendary in his own mind). Pete married a beautiful redhead named Bonnie, and they live in Saint Peters, Missouri, with their ridiculously cute boy-girl twins and tie-breaking little boy.

Pete is an avid USTA 4.0 level tennis player who regularly beats Brian with his superior strategy.

- American Institute of Architects
- NCARB certified (easy to practice nationally)
- LEED Accredited Professional
- Licensed in MO, CO, OK, OR, TX, WA
- Bachelor of Architecture from the University of Kansas 1997


Brian Van Winkle | Architect | Principal | AIA | NCARB

Architect | Principal


I make our client's success my mission. This has led to very happy clients, extremely successful projects, and early onset gray hair. Integrity, enthusiasm, and perspective mark my work and I have a way of quickly getting to the heart of problems and devising practical solutions. I married Heidi (my high-school sweetheart) in 1995 and we have five awesome kids. I'm an avid tennis player (NTRP 4.0 for those who know what that means) who regularly blasts my business partner Peter Schwartz off the court with sheer power.

- American Institute of Architects
- NCARB certified (easy to practice nationally)
- Licensed in MO, IL, OH, IN, NM, AZ, KS
- Bachelor of Architecture from the University of Kansas 1997
- Master of Arts in Biblical Studies from Dallas Theological Seminary 2000