Ryan Adamson recently joined the APA California – Northern Section Board as Social Media Coordinator. He is a Senior Communication and Outreach Specialist at WSP in San Francisco and has ten years of experience in community engagement in both the U.S. and Canada. Ryan is currently supporting the Bay Area Infrastructure Financing Authority with the Bay Area Express Lanes program in the Inner Bay, helping with the messaging around goals, rules, toll tags, access to discounts, etc. As a planner, Ryan has a people-first and human centric approach, championing the role of communications and outreach into improving planning outcomes. He supports communities in establishing planning priorities, capturing stories of lived experience to inform decision-making, and weaving the voice of diverse communities into city-building efforts.
In addition to being a dedicated planner, Ryan is a champion of diversity, equity and inclusion. He has served as the Membership Ofﬁcer for VIBE, WSP Canada’s Employee Resource Group representing LGBTQ2+ employees and allies, was a member of the International Association of Public Participation’s (IAP2) – Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Committee, and currently serves as a committee member for Build Out Alliance’s Bay Area Chapter representing LGBTQ2+ individuals in the Architecture, Construction and Engineering ﬁeld.
Ryan holds a Masters of Urban Planning from York University in his hometown of Toronto, Ontario.
Ryan loves music and enjoys growing his record collection and sharing what he’s listening to with his friends and family. He also collects merch (shirts, hats, etc.) from gay bars to commemorate time and space. Ask him about his favorite piece!
Sophie Pearl Chertok
Sophie Pearl Chertok joined the APA California – Northern Section Section Board as the California Planning Foundation Liaison. She is currently a student at San José State University where she is pursuing her Masters of Urban and Regional Planning and working on a thesis about the role of community gardens into urban sustainability. Her thesis will include an implementation case study of a local native garden in San José, founded 25 years ago on half an acre of land in a residential area.
As a future planner, Chertok is most interested in climate action planning and exploring effective and robust best practices, strategies, and partnerships for sustainability in cities. Her passion was inspired by a field trip to San José for her Green Cities class.
She has worked as a GIS technician at San José Water, a GIS graduate student intern for parks, recreation, and neighborhood service with the City of San José, and climate action corps fellow with the San Joaquin County Office of Education. Chertok holds a BA in Environmental Studies and Legal Studies from UC Santa Cruz.
In her free time, Sophie enjoys spending time at her local community garden, playing the flute, meditating, and practicing hot yoga.
Josh S. Jackson, AICP
Josh S. Jackson recently became the Director of Planning for California at PBK. He has extensive experience developing master plans with school districts and higher education institutions, and he has previously worked as a senior associate at Perkins Eastman in New York City and Oakland and as a senior strategist with MKThink in San Francisco and Honolulu. Two of his most interesting projects include the Burbank Unified School District Facilities Master Plan and University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa Framework for the Future. In Burbank, he observed how deeply the school district was connected to the entertainment industry, offering exceptional performing arts programs while the campuses themselves served as sets for film and TV. In Hawaiʻi, he supported the university in developing a new vision for its campus as an Hawaiian place of learning, integrating Native Hawaiian considerations of place with facilities planning to help make the unique campus more walkable, resilient, and better suited to contemporary teaching and learning.
For Jackson, the best part of planning is helping people come up with solutions they may not have seen otherwise. As a consultant, he strives to provide communities and organizations with resources, tools and perspectives that allow them to create plans for themselves.
Jackson received a Master’s in Landscape Architecture and Environmental Planning from UC Berkeley and a BA in Urban Studies and Architectural Studies from Brown University.
Josh’s interests and hobbies include sailing, hiking, cooking, and film photography.
Gil Navarrete recently joined the Board of the APA California – Norther Section Board as the San José State University Student Representative. Navarrete is working on his Master’s in Urban Planning at SJSU and is an intern at the City of San José. One of his most interesting academic projects was working with the City of San José’s Urban Villages team on identifying the urban village most suitable for future development. This was an opportunity for him to hone his advanced spatial analysis, writing, and graphic skills.
His prior professional experience include working as a GIS analyst & mapping intern for the Rails-To-Trails Conservancy, a strategist and outreach intern at Our Backyard Homes, and a data and communication intern at Ecocity Builders. What attracts him to planning is its multidisciplinary nature and the tangible impact that the field has on our society. In particular, he observes how ideology influences the development of urban design and planning practices, and how contemporary planners are working to reverse some of these problematic and hurtful practices.
Navarrete holds a B.S. in Environmental Economics and Policy from the University of California, Berkeley, and an A.S. in Geographic Information Systems from Foothill College.
Gil’s interests within the field include GIS, transportation planning, and sustainability, and outside of work he enjoys playing music, boxing, working out, camping/hiking, and reading.
Martin Reyes joined the APA California – Northern Section Board as a South Bay Regional Activity Coordinator. He has over 12 years of experience in civil engineering and transportation and has led transformative transportation and land use initiatives in both Southern California and in the Bay Area. Reyes is a Principal Transportation Planner for the San Mateo County Transportation Authority, where he has led several initiatives. These include leading 101 Corridor Connect (a multimodal corridor plan for US 101), developing a new competitive grant program to fund regional transit improvements connecting San Mateo to San Francisco, and Alameda and Santa Clara counties, and securing grants and implementing Active 101 (a new plan for bicycle and pedestrian projects along the US 101). Before San Mateo, Reyes worked as the transportation deputy and assistant director for Planning and Development for Los Angeles County Supervisor Hilda L. Solis, and as a civil engineer for Los Angeles County Public Works.
For Reyes, the most interesting and challenging aspect of being a transportation planner is the variety of professionals and stakeholders involved, from other planners to engineers, landscape architects, council members, residents, and business owners. Every person has a different perspective and the most interesting part of the job is trying to build consensus amongst all parties (knowing that perfect consensus rarely happens!).
Outside of work Martin enjoys cooking, trying new recipes, and exploring restaurants and coffee shops, and his interests include graphic design and architecture.