The Colao & Peter Team


Joseph Colao, Partner

With two decades of experience in the natural stone industry, Mr. Colao has worked and consulted on all types of residential and commercial stone projects. Fluent in English, French and Chinese, he regularly travels overseas to inspect factories, quarries and carry out quality control testing to ensure adherence to the specifications of each material. With his language skills, Mr. Colao is able to communicate directly with the European and Asian suppliers, which streamlines the fabrication process. Being involved in the installation process, Mr. Colao not only understands the materials but also the parameters associated with quality installation done at a reasonable price.

Through his close relationship with his design team and partner, J.R. Peter, Mr. Colao is able to offer consulting services, design work, shop drawings, cut tickets and installation at the highest standards of the industry. With his quarry level knowledge of local materials as well as international materials (including but not limited to all materials from France, Spain, Portugal, Italy, Turkey, Israel, India, China and Brazil) as well as the installation process, Mr. Colao is able to assist in successfully completing even the most complex of stone projects. 


J.R. Peter, Partner, Registered Landscape Architect

Mr. Peter's background is in exterior design. He holds a degree in Landscape Architecture from Virginia Tech and brings with him almost 20 years of design experience in the landscape industry. He has worked in design-only firms as well as spent most of his years with a design/build company creating award-winning projects for his clients.

Mr. Peter has quickly gained a reputation for being extremely passionate about his work with a unique ability for making his clients always feel part of the design and installation process, regardless of the project size. His projects have been published in "Home & Design" and "Spaces" magazines and he has won the Grand Award for design from the Landscape Contractors Association of MD, DC and VA. As a Licensed Landscape Architect, Mr. Peter's projects have ranged from a small urban patio of $5,000 to large estate landscapes over $2 mm. 

"We believe it is important to work together with our clients to help them create their dreams. A client's home is so personal, and they interact with their space daily.  As a designer, I have the ability to transform their daily life experience to something more functional and beautiful, making our clients happy...and that's what drives me." 

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Brad Bartell, Senior Landscape Architect, LEED

Senior Landscape Architect/Planner Brad Bartell brings 30 years of international and domestic, private, and public-sector experience to the Fairfax, Virginia office of Colao & Peter, LLC. A registered landscape architect, land planner, and golf course designer, Bartell and has been involved in the planning and landscape design of single-family residences, large-scale residential communities, regional, county, and city parks, commercial developments, roadway projects, green street developments, urban streetscapes, sports complexes, large warehouse projects, office parks, church campuses, and 35 new and 60 renovated golf courses. With a comprehensive background in construction management.

Bartell has previously operated his own landscape architecture, planning, and construction business and has collaborated with PGA Tour professionals Fuzzy Zoeller, Gary Player, Hale Irwin, John Daly and Dan Pohl, resulting in successful design relationships and outstanding golf facilities around the world from South Carolina to South Africa, and beyond. He has also worked with notable golf course architects Clyde Johnston, Jerry Matthews and Dick Nugent.  


Joe Ryder, Maintenance Manager

Mr. Ryder’s upbringing in rural Virginia helped inspire his passion for plants and the outdoors.  He pursued his interest at Virginia Tech and earned a degree in Horticulture with a focus in Landscape Contracting. He has close to 15 years of experience working on both the design/build and maintenance sides of the landscape industry. Which helps give him a holistic perspective when coming up with the best plan for your property.

 Mr. Ryder is a Certified Landscape Manager (CLM), in additional to being Certified Landscape Technician (CLT). This multifaceted experience combined with his experience owning and operating his own business have helped him develop the necessary customer service and management skills needed to manage your property.