Tag: 2020-03-nn-norcal

Who’s where

Who’s where

By Richard Davis, associate editor, Northern News

Jonathan Schup­pert, AICP, is now Di­rec­tor, APA Cali­fornia-North­ern Sec­tion, which, under the Sec­tion bylaws, is a po­si­tion he can hold until De­cem­ber 31, 2020. He be­came Director when James Castañeda, AICP, who previously held the post, moved to Los Angeles. Schuppert is Campus Connectivity Manager for Facebook, Menlo Park. Before joining Facebook three years ago, Schuppert had been a planning associate with Alta Planning + Design and a lecturer at San Jose State University. He joined the Northern Section Board in 2013 as the South Bay Regional Activity Coordinator (RAC) and later served as Professional Development Director, Treasurer, and Director-elect. Schuppert holds a BS in city and regional planning from Cal Poly–San Luis Obispo. In his free time, he enjoys traveling, photography, bicycling, and coffee.


Emily Carroll has been appointed to the Northern Section Board as East Bay Regional Activities Co-coordinator (RAC). She is a Planner I with the City of Richmond, and was a planning technician with the City of Lafayette before that. Carroll holds a bachelor’s degree in history from Smith College. When not in the office, you can find her trail running in Redwood Regional Park.


Flor­en­tina Craciun, AICP, is Se­nior En­vi­ron­mental Plan­ner with the En­vi­ron­mental Plan­ning Di­vi­sion of the San Fran­cis­co Plan­ning De­par­tment. Prior to join­ing the City and County of San Francisco, Craciun was an environmental planner at AECOM, where she worked on urban development and water conveyance/dam safety. She holds a master’s in urban and regional planning from UCLA and a BA in history from UC Santa Barbara. Craciun is Awards Co-director for APA California-Northern Section, and enjoys spending her spare time with her pup, her friends, and her family.


Andrew Hatt has been appointed University Liaison to the APA Cali­fornia-North­ern Section Board. Since September 2019, he has been a Sustainability Planner at Rincon Consultants, where he coordinates with project managers on Climate Action Plan measure development and public outreach efforts. Hatt holds a BA in environmental studies from the University of Michigan.


James Hin­kamp, AICP, has moved to Am­ster­dam, Nether­lands, where he is Se­nior Plan­ning Con­sultant with Advanced Mobility Group, a transportation engineering firm specializing in technologically advanced mobility solutions. He was previously associate transportation planner with the Contra Costa Transportation Authority (2018-2019) where he supervised active transportation planning programs and projects countywide and led several community-based transportation plans. Hinkamp holds a dual master’s in engineering (transportation specialization) and city and regional planning from Cal Poly–San Luis Obispo, and a BA in urban studies from Loyola Marymount University. In 2019, he served on the Northern Section Board as Co-coordinator, East Bay Regional Activities (RAC).


Brianne Reyes is now a Planner II in the Planning Division of the City of San Leandro’s Com­mu­ni­ty De­vel­op­ment De­part­ment, where she will focus on current planning and policy issues. Previously, Reyes was assistant planner with the Town of Danville for one year, and served as liaison to Danville’s Design Review Board and staff representative for the Tri-Valley Affordable Housing Committee. Before that, she was a planning associate for Michael Baker International for three years. Reyes holds a BS in environmental sciences from UC Riverside and a CEQA Practice Certificate from UC San Diego Extension. In her spare time, she enjoys hiking outdoors with her mini-Australian shepherd, playing volleyball, and Olympic lifting.


Atisha Varshney, AICP, has been pro­moted to As­so­ci­ate at WRT Plan­ning + Design, San Fran­cis­co. Prior to join­ing WRT in 2016, Varsh­ney was a proj­ect manager for VITA Plan­ning and Land­scape Architecture in San Rafael. Before coming to the Bay Area in 2014, she was an associate designer with OJB in Solana Beach, CA, and an architect and planner with KPF in New York City. Varshney has worked on large masterplans, downtown precise plans, specific plans, and university campus plans — tackling issues of land use, density, geography, mobility, economics, and infrastructure. She holds a master’s in landscape architecture from the Rhode Island School of Design and a bachelor’s in architecture and urban design from the School of Planning and Architecture, New Delhi. Outside of work, Varshney serves on the Urban Catalyst team at SPUR and the Silicon Valley programs committee at ULI.


Rafael Veláz­quez has been ap­pointed APA Stu­dent Rep­re­sen­ta­tive for UC Berkeley. Since 2015, Veláz­quez has been HIV Ser­vices / La­ti­no Well­ness Cen­ter di­rec­tor for Instituto Familiar de la Raza in San Francisco. Currently, he is pursuing a dual master’s in public health and city planning at UC Berkeley. He holds a BA in political science and comparative ethnic studies from the University of Washington. Velázquez serves as an executive committee member for the San Francisco HIV/AIDS Provider’s Network and as co-director for the Mexico City Study Abroad Program at the University of Washington.­


Kara Vuicich, AICP, has joined MTC as Prin­ci­pal Plan­ner / An­a­lyst in the Plan­ning Sec­tion. Over the past eight years, she has been an ac­count ex­ec­u­tive with Swift­ly, Inc., an as­so­ci­ate with Fehr & Peers, a senior transportation planner with the Alameda County Transportation Commission, and a se­nior associate with Nelson\Nygaard. She holds a master of city and regional planning from UC Berkeley and a bachelor’s degree from UC San Diego.

Director’s note

Director’s note

By Jonathan Schuppert, AICP

MARCH marks the start of my fourth year at Facebook. During my first orientation there, my newby colleagues and I were challenged to “commit to being a little terrified every day.” I took that to heart — and ultimately created a poster with that message to remind me — that if I’m comfortable, I’m not being adequately challenged, and I need to find something new to keep me mentally energized.

When James Castañeda, the previous Director of APA California–Northern, and I spoke about his new job opportunity in LA and my expedited path to Section Director, that long-ago quote reminded me to be flexible and adapt to new situations.

Was I excited for this new professional challenge, yes. Was I excited for what this meant for my career growth, yep. Was I a bit terrified, absolutely!

I share this to challenge everyone — including myself — to find areas where we can expand our knowledge, learn new skills, take on risks, and continue to be leaders who can shape our world so future generations can thrive.

Midway through our Section retreat on February 1st, I officially became APA California–Northern Section’s Director, then led our board through a goal setting exercise. I took a moment to reflect on our Section’s accomplishments and encouraged our board members to think about where we want the profession to be at the end of this new decade — and what we, as individuals and as representatives of our Section, can do to get there.

At the retreat, we broke into focus groups to start preparing work plans for the year, identify issues and tools needed for success, and confirm partnerships that will increase our impact. As always, our board not only collaborated, but pushed the envelope. Themes we embraced include providing high-value programming for members, embracing technology to reach larger audiences, supporting students, adding program opportunities for emerging and mid-career planners, and growing our partnerships.

To improve our impact and streamline our efforts, I’ve made my initiatives for 2020 to better document our procedures, create onboarding resources, and update our bylaws.

In the optometry world, 2020 represents perfect vision. I’m excited to make 2020 a year of vision and clarity for our APA section and a year for me to think about my long-term goals and visions for the efforts in which I’m involved.

Think of it as a marathon, not a sprint

I hope 2020 inspires you to identify (or reassess) your long-term goals and push you out of your comfort zone whenever you feel too comfortable. Find small actions you can take to work toward your goals, check in often with yourself to see how you’re progressing, and don’t forget to celebrate the small victories — they really add up.

Northern Section Board Retreat photo

Northern Section Board Retreat photo

Northern Section Board Annual Retreat, Feb. 1, 2020. Front row, l-r: Jonathan Schuppert, James Castañeda, Andrew Hatt, Stephen Avis. Second row: Julia Lave Johnston, Don Bradley, Alex Hinds, Sharon Grewal, Afshan Hamid, Cindy ma. Third row: Hing Wong, Shannon Hake, Edgar Maravilla, Libby Tyler, Diana Benitez, Caryolyn Neer, Destiny Preston, Veronica Flores, Emily Carroll, Sarah Allen, Della Acosta, Ellen Yau, Richard Davis, Megan Porter. Back row: Stephen Velyvis, Juan Borrelli, Greg Holisko, Danae Hall, Michael Cass, Mark Young, Amy Lyle, Tom Holub, Yosef Yip.
Law and Ethics CM credits REGISTRATION is OPEN

Law and Ethics CM credits REGISTRATION is OPEN

By Libby Tyler, FAICP, February 22, 2020

Do you

  • Still need to fulfill your mandatory AICP|CM credits for Ethics or Law?
  • Want to learn more about how recent housing legislation preempts local planning?
  • Learn about ethics using a fun game-show platform?

APA California–Northern Section’s Annual Law/Ethics Training Program will be held Saturday, March 21, 2020, from 8:30 am to 12:00 noon, at the Alameda County Training & Education Center, 125 Twelfth Street, Suite 400, Oakland CA (4 short blocks north of Lake Merritt BART Station).


Coffee break/networking (10:00 to 10:30)


Come join us for our annual Saturday morning “two-fer.” At 8:30, Attorney Eric Phillips (Burke, Williams & Sorensen) will discuss how recent and pending housing legislation in California is preempting local planning review and signaling the end of zoning exclusively for single-family residences. At 10:30, a panel of experts led by Darcy Kremin, AICP, (Rincon Consultants) will put your knowledge to the test using Kahoot! — a popular learning game — in a lively and engaging refresher of the Code of Ethics.

Registration required; go here.

Questions? Contact Libby Tyler, FAICP, Northern Section Ethics Director, online or at  (217) 493-4372.

Call for Northern Section 2020 Award nominations

Call for Northern Section 2020 Award nominations

The deadline for nominations is Friday, March 13, 2020

Get recognized by the APA Northern California Section!

We are accepting nominations for the Awards that annually recognize the very best in planning in our region. In previous years, several Northern Section winners went on to snag State and national Awards. Let’s keep up the tradition and recognize the excellent people and projects in our communities.


Project Awards

  • Opportunity and Empowerment
  • Comprehensive Plan – Large and Small Jurisdictions (2 awards)
  • Implementation – Large and Small Jurisdictions (2 awards)
  • Innovation in Green Community Planning
  • Economic Planning and Development
  • Transportation Planning
  • Best Practices
  • Grassroots Initiative
  • Public Outreach
  • Urban Design
  • Communications Initiative
  • Advancing Diversity and Social Change
  • Planning Landmark
  • Hard-won Victory

Awards for People and Organizations

  • Planning Advocate
  • Planning Agency (public sector)
  • Planning Firm (private sector)
  • Emerging Planning and Design Firm
  • Academic Award
  • Planning Pioneer

Northern Section Awards

  • Planning and Health
  • Social and Environmental Justice
  • Planning and Food Systems
  • Great Places

Get all the details, rules, and applications here. For questions, please contact Awards Director Florentina Craciun here.

Would you like to be an Awards Juror?

To serve on our esteemed jury to select the 2020 APA Northern Section Winners, please email Florentina Craciun at with a short statement of interest and your résumé by 5 pm, February 21. A one-day, in-person participation on the Jury is required, in addition to reviewing the nominations in advance. The jury will meet at AECOM, 300 Lakeside Drive, Oakland, on Friday, April 17, 2020.

Save the Date!

Our Northern Section Superstars will be celebrated at an Awards Gala on Friday, June 5, 2020, with a networking reception with, hors d’oeuvres, beverages, a video presentation, and great photo opportunities.

Awards Gala 2020 Location TBD. If you have a suggestion for where the gala should be held, near transit, email us here.