Northern News

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A publication of the American Planning Association, California Chapter, Northern Section

Creating great communities for all

Who’s where

James Castañeda, AICP, is moving to Los Angeles, taking a position as senior land use planner with Sheppard Mullin, an international law firm with 15 offices and 875 attorneys. He had been with San Mateo County since 2006, most recently as Planner III (current planning) and as Program Coordinator for SFO’s Community Roundtable. Castañeda holds a BS in city and regional planning from New Mexico State University. He joined the Northern Section Board in 2011, and had been Section Director since January 2019. You can read his final Director’s note in this section of Northern News.

Elizabeth Caraker, AICP, is now Planning Manager at The Presidio Trust. The Trust pre­pares a va­ri­e­ty of plan­ning and en­­vi­ron­men­tal documents to guide the management of park resources. Caraker had been with the city of Monterey for 11 years, most recently as the housing and community development manager. Before that, she worked for RBF Consulting, and for the city of Marina as planning manager. She holds a master of community and regional planning from the University of Oregon, and a BS in food science from Cal Poly SLO. Caraker was Northern Section’s Regional Activities Co-coordinator for Monterey Bay for four-and-a-half years, from April 2008 through November 2012.


Nisha Chauhan, AICP, has been ap­point­­ed to the Board of Di­rec­tors of Keep Oakland Beautiful, a lo­cal non­prof­­it com­mit­ted to creating and sus­tain­ing a beau­tiful, clean, green, lit­ter-free Oakland. Chauhan is a senior planner with Alameda County, where she manages land use and environmental projects. She holds a certificate of completion in land-use and environmental planning from UC Davis and a BA in environmental studies from UC Santa Cruz.

Portrait of Ellen Clark, AICPEllen Clark, AICP, is now Com­mun­ity De­vel­op­ment Di­rec­tor for the City of Pleas­anton. She served as Pleasanton’s deputy director of community development/planning manager for the prior two years. Clark began her planning career at Design, Community & Environment (now PlaceWorks) in Berkeley, followed by positions as a senior planner and principal planner for the Town of Mammoth Lakes, and planning director for the Town of Moraga. She has 20 years of experience in public and private sector planning. Clark holds a bachelor’s degree in geography from the University of Cambridge. She lives in Oakland with her family.


Portrait of Coleman Frick

Coleman Frick was pro­mo­ted to Senior Plan­ner at the City of Con­cord, where his work will fo­cus on long-range plan­ning and pol­icy. Pre­vious­ly, he held posi­tions at Town of Moraga for three years, in SFMTA’s Sus­tain­able Streets Di­vi­sion for one year, and as an urban forester in the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation for four years. Frick holds a master of city and regional planning from Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo, and a BA in environmental studies from Eckerd College, Florida.

Portrait of Evan KenwardEvan Kenward is now a Project Lead for Bikes Make Life Better, a San Fran­cisco-based employee bicycle program management company. He has previously worked in various roles within active transportation planning, most recently at Alta Planning + Design. Kenward serves as a steering committee chair for the San Francisco chapter of Citizens’ Climate Lobby, a non-profit organization aiming to pass national carbon pricing policy. He holds a master of urban planning from San Jose State University and a BA in communication from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst.


Portrait of Carolyn Neer, AICP

Carolyn Neer has been ap­point­ed Co-Di­­rec­t­or of North­­ern Sec­tion’s Emerg­ing Plan­ners Group. She is As­so­ci­ate Pro­ject Man­ager at David J. Powers and As­so­ci­ates, San Jose, having recently moved there from Rincon Con­sult­ants, Oak­land. Neer holds a master of urban planning from San Jose State and a bachelor’s in history from UC Berkeley. In her spare time, she enjoys backpacking, biking, and baking.


Portrait of Matthew Stafford, AICPMatthew Stafford, AICP, is now a Trans­porta­tion Plan­ning Analyst at Face­book. Pre­vious­ly, he was an as­so­­ci­ate at Nel­son\Ny­gaard’s Seat­tle of­fice, where he focused on transit planning projects for cities and private clients. Stafford holds a BS in urban and regional planning from Cal Poly Pomona. In his free time, he enjoys hiking, traveling, and riding his bike around town.

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