Changing Jobs: Passion for Design and Recreation Launches New Career

The sky is blue, the road is smooth and the brisk wind whips against the cyclist’s face. Headed west out of town, he’s on his way to the Wenatchee Foothills for some off-road fun.

With a passion for the outdoors as his career’s roots, David Stipe has been a recreation planning and design consultant for 23 years. This passion for both the outdoors and design has led to an unparalleled opportunity to take his career to a new level.

SCJ's David Stipe has taken a leadership position with Oregon State Parks.
SCJ’s David Stipe has taken a leadership position with Oregon State Parks.

“I was presented an amazing opportunity to have a long-term impact on recreation planning and design on a system-wide basis, as opposed to one park at a time,” said David, the head of SCJ Alliance’s Landscape Architecture group.

After a great deal of thought and contemplation, he made the hard choice to leave Wenatchee and SCJ Alliance, to become the Principal Executive Manager of Integrated Park Services for Oregon State Parks.

An all-weather outdoor enthusiast, the forty-something pushes his limits whether in the Wenatchee Valley or on vacation in Maui. David makes the most of the natural wonders in the Pacific Northwest, embracing snorkeling in the Pacific, Nordic skiing outside Leavenworth at Icicle Creek, snowboarding at Mission Ridge and kayaking on the Columbia.

“Professionally my favorite activity has always been developing amazing places for people to visit and enjoy the outdoors,” shares David.

February 14 will be David’s last day in SCJ’s Wenatchee office, although he will continue to be involved in a number of special projects that are on-going and soon to kick off.

“We have many talented professionals here at SCJ Alliance whom will expertly, and in many cases effortlessly, pick up my duties and excel in their execution,” says David with confidence.

“David has shared a wealth of experience in recreation design with clients and his SCJ colleagues,” says SCJ Principal Eric Johnston.

Most of the park projects along the mid-Columbia River – including projects at Crescent Bar, Sand Hollow, and Frenchman’s Coulee – have all benefitted from David’s involvement.

Eric adds, “Since the 2014 merger of Project Groundwork and SCJ Alliance, David has grown the Wenatchee office from five to ten people.”

The Wenatchee SCJ team includes engineers, planners, and landscape architects, who will continue to provide recreation site design and landscape architecture services.

David and wife Beth.
David and wife Beth.

The career change does come with some sadness for David.

“I am going to miss working with the many talented and passionate design professionals at SCJ Alliance. As the company has grown, it has been a real pleasure to have experienced expanded opportunities to have a positive impact on the communities we serve.”

He also laments losing the easy access to all his favorite north central Washington recreational opportunities and leaving the incredible greater Wenatchee community that he has called home for the last 13 years.

David’s wife, Beth Stipe, plans to continue her leadership role at the Community Foundation of North Central Washington (CFNCW), where for the last 13 years she has developed wonderful relationships with donors and non-profits throughout the region. According to the couple, the importance of Beth’s position at CFNCW is worth managing the challenges of a commuter marriage.

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