The Cope Staff

With an experienced staff of 21, including nine licensed architects, three LEED Accredited Professionals, one LEED Green Associate, two educational planners, and a dedicated construction administration team, Cope Architecture is prepared to meet any architectural need.

Biographies of Key Staff

Lanis L. Cope, AIA

Lanny Cope founded Cope Associates, Inc. in 1983 and has since served as President. Under his direction, Cope Architecture has achieved honored distinction in educational, commercial, institutional, and historical preservation works.

Education: University of Tennessee Knoxville–Bachelor of Architecture

Licensing: Tennessee and Virginia


Grant Tharp, AIA


Grant Tharp serves as Vice President of the firm and has over 30 years managing and designing a wide array of projects. His project expertise includes historic preservation, urban housing developments, criminal facility design, commercial design and renovation, public facilities, and ADA instruction. His dedication to community development makes him a vital part of Cope Architecture.

Education: University of Tennessee Knoxville–Bachelor of Architecture

Licensing: Tennessee and North Carolina


Cayce Smith, AIA


Cayce Smith is a Principal and Vice President where she is responsible for overseeing the firm's business development efforts and financial operations. Cayce and has 16 years of leadership and design experience in all phases of architecture. This includes programming, pre-design, schematic design, design development, construction documents, bid process, construction administration, project close-out, post construction and client management.

Education: University of Tennessee Knoxville–Bachelor of Architecture

Licensing: Tennessee


Jim Hinton, AIA, LEED AP


Jim Hinton is a Principal of the firm with 19 years experience as a Project Manager and Project Architect on a wide variety of multi-disciplined teams performing conceptual planning, programming, master planning, design, and construction administration services for both new facilities and renovations. His experience includes evaluations of alternative approaches, cost estimating, and leadership of multi-disciplined teams of engineers in accomplishing the goals established by the company. Jim is a LEED Accredited Professional and holds credentials from the USGBC.

Education: University of Tennessee Knoxville–Bachelor of Architecture

Licensing: Tennessee, Virginia and Kentucky

Certifications: LEED Accredited Professional; EarthCraft Virginia


Peter Ludman, AIA, LEED Green Associate


Peter Ludman is a Principal of the firm and has 13 years of professional experience in architecture, project management and construction administration for a wide variety of building types. He has managed multiple projects simultaneously, resolving issues with clients, contractors, engineers, etc., and has been involved in numerous multi-million dollar projects with personal dedication to ensure they are on time and within budget.

Education: University of Tennessee Knoxville–Bachelor of Architecture

Licensing: Tennessee and Texas

Certifications: LEED Green Associate


John Cheney


John Cheney provides project leadership and client liaison for Cope projects in the Central Tennessee area through our Nashville Office. He is a resident of Mt. Juliet and has over 25 years of architectural experience covering a wide variety of projects and responsibilities. He has supervised, coordinated and directed project consultants, providing leadership and oversight of both projects and resources to successfully complete project goals and deliver projects on time and within budget.

Education: Auburn University, AL–Bachelor of Architecture


Charles Lindsey, Ph.D.


Charles Lindsey, our educational planner, has over 37 years of experience in education. As Superintendent of Knox County Public Schools, he was responsible for planning and overseeing construction projects in excess of $200 million. He oversaw an additional $500 million in construction projects as Superintendent of public school systems within Georgia, South Carolina, and Middle Tennessee.

Education: University of Tennessee Knoxville–Doctor of Education in Administration and Supervision–Master of Education in Administration and Supervision; Southern Adventist University, Collegedale Tennessee–Bachelor of Music Education

Awards: TSPMA Superintendent of the Year 2006; PTA Outstanding Tennessee Superintendent of the Year 2002; Tennessee Superintendent of the Year 1993-1994

George Whedbee

George Whedbee, our education ambassador and programmer, has over 45 years of experience in education, with 21 years of direct involvement with the City of Knoxville and Knox County School Administrations, managing over $100 million in construction projects. He has worked extensively for architectural firms in the planning and programming of educational projects worth more than $345 million for 13 years.

Education: University of Tennessee Knoxville–Master of Science in Industrial Education, Minor in Marketing–Bachelor of Science in Business Administration