Author: Haeseo Choi

Register now for AICP Exam Prep Trivia Night (Virtual)
Trivia night

Register now for AICP Exam Prep Trivia Night (Virtual)

Wednesday, February 10, 2021, from 5:30 – 6:30 pm 

Get ready to ace the AICP with AICP Exam Prep Trivia Night, hosted by the Northern Section’s Young and Emerging Planners Group. 

This recurring event is targeted to beginning-career professionals studying for the AICP exam, but all planning professionals are welcome to join. The event will help you test your planning knowledge using actual questions from past AICP exams, and responses are timed to prepare you to answer questions quickly during the exam. 

Trivia Nights are scheduled monthly from February through May 2021. 

If you are interested in joining the event, please register here.  

Return to Northern News here.

Last call for Award submittals

Last call for Award submittals

The deadline to apply for the APA California Northern Section Awards is approaching and we can’t wait to see your application. For a description of the awards categories, rules, and applications, please visit norcalapa.org/awards. For questions or information, please contact Brynn McKiernan at awards@norcalapa.org 

Submit your award-worthy project by 5:00 pm on Friday, March 12th to awardssubmissions@norcalapa.org.

Become a sponsor 

Sponsorship opportunities include Gala Tickets; advertising in the Northern News/ Email Blasts; and recognition during the Gala. You can see the perks here. 

To become a sponsor, contact Brynn McKiernan. 

Return to Northern News here.

Who’s where

Who’s where

Della Acosta, AICP, has been appointed Northern Section Events Program Manager. She had been the San Francisco Peninsula Regional Activity Co­ordinator (RAC). Acosta is a senior planner at Rincon Consultants, leading the com­pre­hen­sive plan­ning services for the firm’s long-range plan­ning team. She holds a degree in city/urban, com­munity, and regional planning from Sonoma State University. 

Marielle (Mari) Hsu is the new Stu­dent Rep­re­sen­ta­tive to the North­­ern Sec­tion Board from San Jose State Uni­ver­si­ty and expects to get her master’s in urban plan­­ning in 2022. She holds a BA in physics from Bryn Mawr College (Penn­syl­vania). Coming to plan­ning from design and tech sup­port, and with a physics degree, Hsu is plan­ning to bring these skills together to focus on com­munity engage­ment for mass transit planning. 

Kate Sargent, senior associate and Oak­land Office Leader at Sam Schwartz Engineering, has been named the firm’s National Practice Leader, Elec­tri­fi­ca­tion. Over 14 years at the firm, she has led trans­porta­tion electri­fica­tion master plans and feasibility studies to help a number of tran­sit agen­cies meet their sustain­ability and GHG reduction goals. Sargent is also one of three inaugural members of the firm’s Value Inclusion, Belonging, and Equity (VIBE) Council. She holds a master in urban planning from Columbia University and a BA in international studies from Miami University (Ohio).

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Who’s where

Who’s where

By Haeseo (Hazel) Choi

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Erica Baptiste is now Principal Planner and Planning Manager at Metro­politan Planning Group (M-Group). She pre­viously was a senior plan­ner at the City of Jersey and before that an urban planner with the Manhattan Borough President’s of­fice. Baptiste also had been a com­munity planner for Manhattan Community Board 4from 2013 to 2015. She holds an MS in city and regional plan­ning from Pratt Institute and a BA in archi­tecture and com­munity design from the University of San Francisco. 

 

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Diana Benitez is Urban Planning Justice Manager with Just Cities, LLC. She had been an inter­medi­ate plan­ner/ designer at Raimi + Associates and before that a Data and Research Analyst at Advancement Project Cali­fornia. Benitez holds a UCLA master’s in urban and regional planning with a focus on community and economic de­velop­ment at the inter­section of the built environment and health and a BA in urban studies and planning (minor in GIS) from CSU Northridge. She is Northern Section’s Planners4Health Coordinator and the APA California P4H Initiative Chair. 

James M. Moore is now a Sen­ior Plan­ner at the County of Maui. He pre­vious­ly was a prin­ci­pal con­sultant on land use, en­viron­mental plan­ning, urban design, and mixed-use infill development strate­gies for private clients and/or Bay Area muni­ci­pal­ities from 2017 to 2021. Moore served as director of plan­ning and build­ing services for the Town of Fairfax from 2009 to 2016. He holds an MCP and a BA in political science from UC Berkeley.

 

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Himangi Mutha, AICP, is an Associate Planner at the County of San Benito (Hollister). Previously, she was a planner at the City of Destin, Florida, creating or­di­nance amend­­ments to the general plan and land development code, and pro­cessing tentative survey maps and sub­division plan­ning proj­ects. Mutha holds master’s in city and regional plan­ning from the Uni­versity of Texas at Arlington and a B.Arch from Savitribai Phule Pune (India) Uni­versity. She also studied Machine Learning (ML) in Urban Planning at Columbia University, 2021.

Matthew Taecker, AICP, is now a Senior Urban Designer and Planner at Wallace Roberts & Todd. Prior to joining WRT, he was manager of Station Area Planning for California’s High-Speed Rail Authority at WSP USA. Taecker led his own urban planning and design firm from 2013 to 2020. He was the principal planner for the downtown area of Berkeley from 20052011, and a principal at Cal­thorpe Associates, 19902001. Taecker holds master’s degrees in archi­tec­ture and in city planning from UC Berkeley and a BA from the University of Chicago in urban policy and eco­nom­ics. He is an emeritus member of the California Planning Roundtable and has taught urban design at USC, UC Davis, and UC Berkeley. 

Elizabeth “Libby” Tyler, Ph.D., FAICP, who pre­vious­ly was Plan­ning Man­ager at the City of San Pablo, is now the city’s Com­munity Develop­ment Director. She was com­munity develop­ment director for Urbana, Illinois, from 2000 to 2017. Tyler holds a Ph.D. in regional planning from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Cham­paign, an MLA in en­viron­mental plan­ning from UC Berkeley, and a BA in environmental conservation from the University of Colorado, Boulder. She is Ethics Review Director for APA California – Northern and is on the steering committee for PHEAL (Planning for Health, Equity, Advocacy, and Leadership). Tyler is vice-chair of APA National’s Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Committee, and in 2008 was the first woman in Illinois to be inducted to FAICP.  

Michael Wooley-Ousdahl, AICP, has been named Northern Section’s SF RAC (Regional Activity Co­or­di­na­tor, San Francisco). He is a trans­­por­ta­tion plan­ning and opera­tions man­ager for Google, over­see­ing their glo­bal shuttle pro­grams and lead­ing site infrastructure im­prove­ments from concept to im­ple­menta­tion. Wooley-Ousdahl also represents Google ex­ter­nally in trans­portation plan­ning and policy initiatives, building external relationships with public, private, and nonprofit partners. He holds master’s degrees in city and regional planning and in public ad­ministra­tion from the Uni­versity of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, and a bachelor’s in psy­chol­ogy and social behavior from UC Davis. In his spare time, Wooley-Ousdahl enjoys traveling to cities, riding public tran­sit, and time with his wife Megan and two-year-old son Levi. 

Return to Northern News here. 

Who’s where

Who’s where

Alicia Giudice, AICP, has been pro­moted to Com­munity Develop­ment Director, effective June 1, 2021, at the City of San Rafael, where she has held senior planning positions since 2018. Pre­viously, she was a senior plan­ner with Metropolitan Planning Group (M-Group) for six years. Giudice has worked in both the pri­vate sector and for local govern­ment for 25 years. Her experience includes leading teams and managing a broad range of complex development projects, as well as preparing policy documents on land use, housing, traffic, and utility/infrastructure uses in the public right-of-way. Giudice holds a BS in city and regional planning from Cal Poly–San Luis Obispo. 

Richard (Rick) Smeaton, AICPis now a Principal Plan­ner at Inter­west Consult­ing Group, and also has been appointed to the Northern Section Board as South Bay Regional Activity Coordinator (RAC). He had been a depart­ment manager with Michael Baker Inter­national in Oakland for seven years. Before coming to the Bay Area in 2014, Smeaton worked with municipal govern­­ments in a variety of roles, either as a member of the staff or a consultant in the Chicago area. He holds an MPA in public administra­tion from Northern Illinois University and a BA in urban and regional plan­ning from the University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign. 

Leslie Trejo has been appointed Social Media Coordinator for APA California – Northern Section. She is an environ­mental planner at Rincon Consultants. Trejo holds a master of urban planning from San Jose State and bachelor’s degrees in com­munica­tions and environmental sustain­ability studies from the University of Northern Colorado (Greeley). In her spare time, she enjoys reading and cycling.

 

 

 

 

Return to Northern News here. 

Who’s where

Who’s where

Carolyn Fahey, AICP, recently joined the City of Mountain View as a Senior Planner. Previously, she worked for the City and County of San Francisco and the City of Boulder. Before entering the public sector, Fahey taught architectural design in the United Kingdom and practiced architecture in rapidly redeveloping Denver, Colorado. She holds a PhD in architecture from Newcastle University, a master’s in urban and regional planning from the University of Colorado Denver, and a bachelor’s degree in environmental design from the University of Colorado Boulder.

Arielle Fleisher is the Liaison to the Board of Supervisors at the San Francisco Department of Public Health, a role she’s held since October 2020. Previously, she was a transportation policy director for SPUR, where she worked from 2016-2020. Before that, Fleisher was a planning analyst at the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency. She holds a dual master’s in urban planning and public health from the University of Michigan and a bachelor’s degree in history from UC Davis.

Brendan Hurley, AICP Candidate and urban designer and planner at Dyett & Bhatia, is the newly appointed North Bay Regional Activity Coordinator (RAC) for APA California – Northern Section. He previously served on the Northern Section Board as UC Berkeley Student Representative, 2016-2018. Before coming to the Bay Area in 2016, Hurley was a service and outreach coordinator for the Emerging Planning Professionals Committee of APA Colorado for two years. He holds a master of city planning from UC Berkeley and a bachelor’s degree in environmental design from the University of Colorado, Boulder. Hurley lives in Napa and enjoys exploring the wine country.

Darcy Kremin, AICP, a planner with 22 years’ experience, has been promoted to Director of Environmental Planning at Rincon Consultants. Before joining Rincon in 2018, she was Bay Area environmental practice leader for Michael Baker International and earlier held senior environmental positions at URS Corporation, Cardno ENTRIX, and RBF Consulting. Kremin holds an MA in urban and environmental policy from Tufts University and a BA in geography/environmental studies and political science from UCLA. She was Northern Section Director 2009-2010 and was profiled in “Meet a local planner” in the June 2015 issue of Northern News. You can read her recent op-ed, “The New World Order, from a consultant’s point of view,” in the May 2020 issue of Northern News.

Edgar Maravilla is now a Senior Planner with the City of Mountain View. He had been an associate planner with the City of Hayward. Maravilla grew up in South Central LA and was the first in his family to graduate high school. He holds a master’s in urban and regional planning (certificate in transportation planning) from San Jose State University and a BA in community studies (immigration and social justice) from UC Santa Cruz. Maravilla is Northern Section’s liaison to the California Planning Foundation.

Brynn McKiernan, AICP, an acquisitions and development associate for multifamily projects at Emerald Fund, has been appointed the Awards Program Director for APA California – Northern. She previously helped Northern Section on the publicity subcommittee for the 2015 APA California Conference in Oakland and served on the Section Awards committee in 2017. McKiernan held project management and planning positions at Raimi + Associates and Rhoades Planning Group before joining Emerald Fund. She has a master of real estate development + design from UC Berkeley and a BS in urban and regional planning from Cal Poly Pomona.

Carolyn Neer, AICP Candidate, has been promoted to a Project Manager at David J. Powers and Associates, a firm she joined in 2019. She was previously an associate environmental planner at Rincon Consultants, 2018 to 2019. Neer holds a master of urban planning from San Jose State and a bachelor’s degree in history from UC Berkeley. She is co-director of Northern Section’s Young and Emerging Planners Group. In her spare time, she enjoys backpacking, biking, and baking.

Leslie Trejo is now an Environmental Planner at Rincon Consultants. She was previously a planning intern in Rincon’s Oakland office. Trejo received her master of urban planning from San Jose State University in December 2020. She holds bachelor’s degrees in communications and environmental sustainability studies from the University of Northern Colorado (Greely). In her spare time, Trejo enjoys reading and cycling.

Ellen Yau recently joined the Community Development team at the City of Mountain View as a Senior Planner. Previously, she worked as a design and research assistant at Sub-Art (a non-profit promoting art in transit projects), an outreach intern at M.I.G., and most recently as an associate planner at the City of Cupertino. Yau holds a master of planning with an emphasis on sustainable land use from USC and a bachelor’s degree in landscape architecture from UC Davis. She is the Mentorship Director for the Northern Section.

Return to Northern News here.

Who’s where

Who’s where

Elizabeth Burks, AICP, is now Executive Director of the Humboldt County Association of Governments. She had been with LACO Associates, Eureka, for eight years, most recently as planning principal. Before that, Burks worked for Humboldt County Planning from 2005 to 2013. She served as Board Member and Board President of Housing Humboldt, a non-profit affordable housing provider, from 2005-2017. Burks is a returned Peace Corps Volunteer (Nepal, 2002-2004) and holds a BS in natural resources planning from Humboldt State University.

Lakshmi Rajagopalan, AICP, recently joined the City of Oakland as a Planner III. Previously, she was an analyst at LAFCO of Santa Clara County, 2017-2021. Before that, she worked with the mayor’s sustainability office in Newton, MA, conducted research abroad on sustainable transportation practices for the World Resources Institute, and was a senior planner/urban designer for PMC (now Michael Baker International). Rajagopalan holds a master’s in sustainable international development from Brandeis University, a master’s in urban planning from San Jose State University, and a bachelor’s degree in architecture from Thiagarajar College of Engineering (Madurai, Tamil Nadu, India). 

Stephanie Steinbrecher has joined the Northern Section team as UC Berkeley Student Representative. She has worked with the national Sierra Club as the associate press secretary. Steinbrecher is a master in city planning candidate at UC Berkeley and holds a BA in English (minor in environmental analysis) from Scripps College.

Mark Wardlaw is now Director of the City of Walnut Creek’s innovative Community Development  Department. He had been the director of the County of San Diego’s Planning and Development Services. Before San Diego, Wardlaw was the community development director for the Town of Mammoth Lakes, 2005-2012, and deputy community development director and planning manager for Culver City, 1998-2005. He holds a master of environmental planning/urban design from Arizona State University and a BS in city/urban, community, and regional planning from the University of Utah. 

Return to Northern News here. 

EXCERPT:  

News about Elizabeth Burks, Lakshmi Rajagopalan, Stephanie Steinbrecher, and Mark Wardlaw, assembled by Haeseo (Hazel) Choi.