Katrina Laflin, owner and president of Laflin Design Group, grew up an only child on a farm in northeast Indiana, yearning to leave the country for the big city. Her interest in architecture first developed in middle school. But, it was a high school teacher who mentored her and prepared her for college at Ball State University in Muncie, where she was accepted into the prestigious College of Architecture and Planning.
At Ball State, Katrina was required to take an introductory class in landscape architecture, which sparked a passion in her. It also awakened her connection to the land that was such an integral part of her upbringing, the same land she ironically wanted to escape when she was younger. She followed her newfound passion and eventually earned her degree in landscape architecture.
Upon graduating from college in the midst of the 1990’s economic downturn, Katrina headed to the big city of Chicago to find a job. Although the job market was competitive, she was able to secure a position in her field. After several years, the owners of the company approached Katrina and a coworker about purchasing the company. They struck an agreement. Katrina eventually became the sole owner of the company, where she is also president. While she’s been in the industry for 17 years, Katrina has been an owner of Laflin Design Group for 13 years and the sole proprietor for four years.
Katrina credits growing up on a farm for helping her appreciate nature, the elements, and her environment. She came to develop a deep love of color, movement and the transitions from season to season and space to space. These organic connections to the environment have created Laflin Design Group’s philosophy and unique approach to landscape design.
As Katrina began to explore her spirituality, she was introduced to the tenants of Eastern philosophies including the Chakra system and Chi (energy) flowing through the Universe. She also began to understand that being surrounded by certain colors, textures, and images makes people feel a certain way and how the energy, the flow, and the vibration of particular colors and spaces can influence emotions. These are all directive that form Katrina’s design philosophy and that of Laflin Design Group.
When she’s not working, Katrina enjoys discovering new places, art, music, museum visits and spending time with her friends and family.
She is also active in the community and is passionate about helping others. Katrina’s mentor had a profound impact on her when she was young, and as a result, she believes each person has a responsibility to make a difference in the lives of others. In addition to serving as the National President of Women in Management, Katrina is a regular speaker at local high schools, giving presentations about land planning and environmental issues for earth science classes.
She has also participated in the ACE Mentoring Program, a program in which professionals mentor high school students, introducing them to architecture, construction and engineering to encourage young people to go to college and study those fields.
Katrina has also done volunteer design work for the Batavia Riverwalk and for the Batavia Parks Foundation.
Katrina has also had an official daylily named after her for the Carol Stream Daylily Park.