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.
Ellen 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.
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.
Evan 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.
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.
Matthew 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.