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A printed program with session descriptions will be provided at the Symposium and will be uploaded here for reference prior to the event.

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Abra Nusser, AICP, Peloton Land Solutions

Abra Nusser, AICP has over 18 years of experience in government and law-related fields, and over 13 years of experience in city planning. Her planning experience covers multiple facets including, but not limited to: parks and recreation master planning, downtown planning, development review, neighborhood planning, corridor/mobility planning, small area/sector planning, comprehensive planning, historic preservation, grant writing, and community engagement. Abra holds a Master’s Degree in Public Affairs (MPA) and Graduate Certificates in City Planning and Local Government Management from The University of Texas at Dallas. She also holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science from Texas State University. She is a member of the American Planning Association and has served in various American Planning Association leadership positions at the local and state levels.  She is currently Past Director of the Midwest Texas Section of the American Planning Association.

Andreea Udrea, AICP, PhD, City of Dallas

Andreea Udrea, PhD, AICP is one of the Assistant Directors of Planning and Urban Design of the City of Dallas and is enthusiastically working for the current planning team doing zoning change review and all things associated with development code amendments. City of Dallas is currently undergoing major planning and development code reforms, doubled by an active and dynamic development that continuously challenges the current Dallas Development Code. Andreea has been working for the City of Dallas for the past four years. Andreea is also a European planner, moved to US ten years ago from Bucharest, Romania, where she led the Planning Agency for City of Bucharest and was an assistant professor with the “Ion Mincu” University of Architecture and Planning in Bucharest. Andreea learned how to drive and got her driving license upon moving to US, hence she still retains all pedestrian-only instincts when planning and coding cities. Before her tenure with the City of Dallas, Andreea worked with the City of Famers Branch for almost 4 years.

Brenda Espinoza Patton, Texas Health Resources

Brenda is the Policy Manager for Blue Zones Project under North Texas Healthy Communities Foundation. She is charged with improving Fort Worth’s well-being by advancing policies related to the built environment and food access. She strongly believes that creating a healthy community means creating an environment where healthy options are readily available for all residents. Her passion for health equity is personal and deeply rooted in familial experiences and fueled by curiosity. She has been heavily involved in the Fort Worth community in such organizations as Steer Fort Worth, Leadership Fort Worth Leading Edge, and the Fort Worth Chamber. Brenda holds a degree in Political Science, emphasizing International Relations from Texas Christian University. She is bilingual, and an advocate for pet rescue and loves supporting all things local.

Catherine Osborn, AICP, AECOM

Catherine Osborn is a Transportation Planner in the Transit-Rail Planning Division of AECOM. With over 4 years of professional planning experience, she specializes in parking management, transit planning, and transit-oriented development.Prior professional experience includes several land use and parking studies as Transportation Planner with the North Central Texas Council of Governments (NCTCOG). Some notable projects include the Regional Parking Utilization Database and a district parking study in Deep Ellum. Catherine received a Master of City and Regional Planning (MCRP) from the University of Texas at Arlington and a Bachelor of Urban Studies from the University of Texas at Austin.

David Nevarez, P.E., PTOE, CFM, City of Dallas

David has worked at the City of Dallas since 2017 managing reviews of engineering plans and zoning changes. He is a registered professional engineer with experience in traffic operations and transportation projects including site planning, roadway design, urban planning and municipal services. Throughout over 18 years of experience across these disciplines, David has conducted parking demand studies and design projects. Prior to joining the City of Dallas, David was a project manager at DeShazo Group. David’s oversight included parking demand studies and design projects for NorthPark Center, Galleria Dallas, Dallas Arboretum and the Shops at Park Lane in Dallas, Texas, among others. David is currently chair of the Institute of Transportation Engineers Parking Standing Committee. He holds a bachelor’s degree in Civil Engineering from The University of Texas at El Paso and an engineering Master’s Degree from RWTH University in Aachen, Germany.

Gincy Thoppil, AICP, CPM, City of Arlington

Gincy Thoppil, the Planning and Development Services Director for the City of Arlington, has over 20 years of experience in comprehensive planning, land development and engineering, building permitting and inspections.  She has successfully led public engagement efforts to reach consensus on community-wide planning issues, adoption of urban design codes, and development-focused process improvements.  She also serves in the Executive Committee for American Planning Association’s Housing and Community Development Division. She holds a master's degree in Community Planning with Urban Design specialization from the University of Cincinnati, and a bachelor's degree in Architecture from the University of Mumbai, India. 

Jeff Neal, NCTCOG 

Jeffrey C. Neal is a Senior Program Manager with the Streamlined Project Delivery Team for the North Central Texas Council of Governments (NCTCOG), the Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) for the 12-county Dallas-Fort Worth Metropolitan Area. Mr. Neal has been employed with NCTCOG since 1999, gaining extensive transportation planning experience through work with multiple teams and disciplines. Mr. Neal has led the Streamlined Project Delivery Team since 2018 in efforts to integrate and optimize environmental data/analysis resources, enhance stakeholder collaboration and equitable mitigation initiatives, expand asset management and resilience capabilities, coordinate technical assistance and advanced programming for USDOT competitive grant proposals, and expedite multimodal project implementation on behalf of numerous local governments and regional transportation providers.  Mr. Neal holds a Bachelor of Science Degree (Geography) and Master of Science Degree (Regional and City Planning) from the University of Oklahoma. Mr. Neal is also the current MPO representative of the Federal Highway Administration’s (FHWA) Transportation Asset Management Expert Task Group (TAM-ETG), a member of the Transportation Research Board’s (TRB) Standing Committee on Transportation Asset Management (AJE30), member of the American Association of State Highway Transportation Officials’ (AASHTO) Center for Environmental Excellence (CTE) Technical Working Group, member of the Association of Metropolitan Planning Organizations (AMPO) Technical Committee, and the inaugural chair of the Statewide Resiliency Technical Work Group for the Texas Association of MPOs (TEMPO).

Josh Peterman, P.E., RSP1, Fehr & Peers

Josh Peterman, PE, RSP1 is a Principal and Dallas Office Leader at Fehr & Peers.  For over 20 years he has involved himself with the planning and design of multimodal transportation infrastructure, working to integrate it with the context of the local environment.  He manages a variety of work at Fehr & Peers, from layered network planning to traffic signal design.  His technical research lives within Fehr & Peers’ Multimodal Safety and Smart City groups.   Josh is a graduate of the University of Texas at Austin, and the University of California at Davis – so he is both a Longhorn AND an Aggie.  He lives in Plano with his three cats, one dog, one wife, and two daughters. 

Kim Dobbs, City of Lavon

Kim currently serves as the City Manager of the City of Lavon, a rapidly growing small city in southeast Collin County. Having worked in local and state government for 35 years, Kim previously served as the Assistant City Manager and Director of Community and Economic Development for the City of Heath. Kim holds a Master of Public Policy and Administration and a Bachelor of Business Administration from Baylor University. 

Laura Keyes, PhD, AICP UNT

Laura Keyes, Ph.D., AICP, holds a position of Senior Lecturer and Undergraduate Coordinator in Nonprofit Leadership Studies and Urban Policy and Planning for the Department of Public Administration at the University of North Texas. She teaches courses on community development, nonprofit management, and program evaluation. Her research interests include, local government, age friendly cities, livable communities, undergraduate education, and service learning. She has authored and co-authored peer-reviewed publications and book chapters covering topics on local governments, public services, nonprofit management, and organizational theory.

Marc Kurbansade, AICP, City of Allen

Marc currently serves as Director of Community Development at the City of Allen, overseeing functions including Planning, Zoning, and Building Permits and Inspections. Marc previously served as the Director of Community Development at both the City of Rowlett and the City of Sachse. Prior to his transition to the public sector in 2010, Marc worked in the private sector primarily focusing on zoning and land use entitlements. Marc received his Master of Public Administration from the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, Master of Urban and Regional Planning from Florida Atlantic University, and his Bachelor of Science in Environmental Studies from Stockton University.

Molly Plummer, Trust for Public Land

Molly Plummer is the Parks for People Program Manager for the Trust for Public Land's North Texas office.  She holds a Masters of Landscape Architecture from the University of Texas at Arlington and has a background in studio art.  Her research is focused on how social resiliency and the urban built environment are impacted by historic landscape architecture and planning mechanisms.  At the Trust for Public Land, Molly manages a number of projects including GIS-based city-wide planning initiative, a crowdsourced park quality assessment project, a watershed level master plan for parks and trails in Southern Dallas, the design and development of several parks projects in Dallas, in addition to organizing the community engagement and participatory design that accompanies these projects.

Ravi Shah, AIA, CBO, City of Carrollton

Ravi Shah, AIA, CBO,  is the Director of Development Services for the City of Carrollton, Texas, where he manages all Planning, Building Inspection and Transit-Oriented Development. He has a bachelor’s degree from the University of Texas in Architecture and Business Administration, has been with Carrollton since 1993 when he started as a Plans Examiner. He moved on to Assistant Building Official, then to Building Official and then to his current position in 2006. Shah has served on the board of the International Code Council in 2008 and 2011. 

Madeline Shepherd, Burns & McDonnell 

Madeline Shepherd is a Project Manager in the Transportation Planning & Policy group at Burns & McDonnell. She delivers strategic communications, planning, outreach, and project management services to a diverse range of clients and communities, with a particular focus on smart planning, emerging mobility technology and vehicle electrification. Madeline has over 12 years of experience working in urban planning policy and transportation, including leading stakeholder engagement across a 13-state region for Ford’s mobility and autonomous vehicle division. Madeline received her Bachelor of Science in Social Policy from Northwestern University and attended the Master of Urban Planning & Policy program at the University of Illinois Chicago

Victor A. Fishman, PhD, Texas Research Alliance 

Dr. Fishman has served at the organizational interface for industry, government, and academia.
Prior to the Texas Research Alliance and the North Texas Center for Mobility Technologies, he served as Associate Vice President for Applied Research at the University of Texas at Dallas. Dr. Fishman built the full range of high-performance computing, additive and subtractive manufacturing and mechanical design and prototyping capabilities that supported both industry and faculty. At Penn State University, he held the industrial, government agency, and HBCU portfolios for the Applied Research Laboratory (ARL), a DoD level University Affiliated Research Center (UARC). His work covered both classified and unclassified programs with government and industry partners. Prior to his retirement and for the last six years of his tenure, Dr. Fishman served as Head of the ARL Washington Office with responsibilities across ARL’s government and industry sponsor base. Dr. Fishman has held significant industry leadership positions in pharmaceuticals, environmental monitoring, technology transfer, and new technology development and commercialization. Dr. Fishman serves on the board of the National Defense Industrial Association, the North Texas Innovation Alliance, and is active in helping communities meet their mobility challenges.
He served in the U.S. Army, separating after six years at the rank of Captain. Dr. Fishman holds a Ph.D. from the University of Texas at Austin, an M.S. degree from Clemson University and an undergraduate B.S. degree from the University of Miami, Florida.

Vivian Fung, AICP, The Olsson Studio

Vivian is a Community Planner with the Olsson Studio. She has worked in both the public and private sector on long-range planning projects including regional public transportation planning, comprehensive planning, and downtown planning projects in Dallas-Fort Worth and throughout the United States. She is a public engagement specialist, an urbanist, and an advocate of human-scale planning and design. Vivian received her master’s degree in City and Regional Planning from the University of Texas at Arlington and her Bachelor of Science in Sociology with a minor in Leadership from Stephen F. Austin State University.

Jennifer Deaton, MBA, Oncor 

Jennifer Deaton is the Manager of Corporate Strategy and Electrification at Oncor Electric Delivery. Jennifer is focused on understanding how fleets transitioning to electric vehicles will impact the infrastructure that Oncor maintains. Jennifer is also working to educate customers on why it’s important to talk to your utility early and often when starting an electrification journey.

Alan Lathrom, JD, Brown & Hofmeister

Alan Lathrom is a partner in the law firm of Brown & Hofmeister, L.L.P., which law firm serves as the City Attorney for a number of cities in the North Texas Area and provides various other legal services to numerous communities in Texas. Alan’s practice focuses on the day-to-day representation of municipalities with an emphasis in advising elected and appointed officials, and working with City Staff on ordinances, open meetings, code enforcement, competitive bidding, government contracts, and land use including annexation, impact fees, rough proportionality, signs, takings, eminent domain, platting, and municipal zoning.  Alan joined Brown & Hofmeister in 2004 after serving almost seven years as an Assistant City Attorney for the City of Arlington as a contracts attorney, land use attorney, and trial attorney. Prior to joining the Arlington City Attorney’s office, Alan worked in the private sector as a trial attorney in the state and federal courts handling a broad variety of cases ranging from insurance coverage cases to insurance defense work to contract cases to environmental and toxic tort litigation. Alan received his Bachelor of Arts degree in Theatre at the University of Texas at Dallas in 1985 and his law degree in 1989 from Southern Methodist University. 

Ann Bagley, FAICP, Consultant

Ann Bagley, FAICP, has worked with small to medium size cities on long range plans, area plans, zoning ordinances, subdivision regulations, and park plans for over 35 years.  She is a Fellow of the American Institute of Certified Planners. Ann holds degrees in City and Regional Planning from the University of Louisiana, Lafayette.  As a planner she worked in Sugar land and Houston, Texas.  As a consultant she guided comprehensive plans and ordinances for cities in Texas, New Mexico, and Arkansas.  On behalf of the American Planning Association and APA Texas, she has made numerous presentations on ethics, zoning, and other aspects of planning to planners, planning commissioners, and elected officials at local, regional, state, and national workshops and conferences.
For ten years, Ann served on the Dallas City Plan Commissioner for District 7.  Sh

Brian Moen, P.E., City of Frisco

Brian Moen, P.E., is the Assistant Director of Engineering/Transportation with the City of Frisco.  He graduated with a Bachelor’s and Master’s degree in Civil Engineering from the University of Nebraska.  Brian has 29 years of experience, including the past 21 years with the City of Frisco.  His experience includes work in traffic safety and operations, connected and automated vehicles, and roundabouts.  Brian has also helped to implement several hundred million dollars of transportation related capital improvements as Frisco has grown from 34,000 to over 220,000 residents during his tenure. Brian also represents Texas Cities and Counties on the Texas Governor’s Connected and Automated Vehicle Task Force.  Lastly, Brian has been married 33 years and has three children, seven grandchildren, and his family has lived in Frisco since 1996.

Christie Gotti, NCTCOG

Christie J. Gotti joined the North Central Texas Council of Governments (NCTCOG), the Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) for the Dallas-Fort Worth area, as a transportation planner in October 2000.  She is currently the Senior Program Manager for Transportation Project Programming.  Christie received her bachelor’s degree in Geography from the University of Texas at Austin and her Master’s Degree in Public Administration from the University of Texas at Arlington.  Christie manages the Transportation Improvement Program and project funding/programming efforts for the Dallas-Fort Worth region.  In this capacity, she works with NCTCOG staff, local governments, the Texas Department of Transportation, and other transportation agencies to select, fund, and implement transportation projects in the Dallas-Fort Worth area. She is a member of the Women's Transportation Seminar and has volunteered or served on the board of directors or in a leadership capacity for WTS locally since 2005.  Outside of work, her interests include traveling, scrapbooking, reading, and visiting friends and family.   She is married with two young children.

Drew Myers, DrewMyers.Life

Drew Myers is an enlivener and a story seeker. He gives others the opportunity to share their story - with the hopes that they also embrace their story.  Through his podcasts and speaking engagements, he showcases and celebrates individuals who have given themselves permission to live radically honest lives, pursue their dreams and live on purpose. As a speaker, Drew reiterates how important our stories are – the past, present and the future ... the good, the bad and the ugly. He reminds his audiences that life is short and inspires them to start making the important things important.  Drew Myers has a bachelor’s degree in Mass Communications with an emphasis in Journalism and a master’s degree in Educational Administration. He is a meraki speaker and intentionality coach, who emphasizes mental resilience. He embraces the amazing power of story and celebrates individuals who have given themselves permission to live radically honest lives, pursue their dreams and live on purpose. In September of 2021, his debut book – The Tacos and Chocolate Diet – was released.

Jason Laumer, City of Celina

The City of Celina’s City Manager, Jason Laumer, joined in 2017 and immediately began fostering an environment that has led to several key partnerships with community stakeholders; including the Celina Independent School District, Collin County, Collin College, and area businesses and developers, that have resulted in Celina being fastest growing city in the state of Texas. In addition, Jason’s commitment to servant leadership has instilled taking ownership and using innovation from his leadership team, employees, as well as the City’s elected officials. He continues to collaborate with the Mayor and City Council on managing Celina’s smart growth and development while still maintaining the City’s strong sense of community and agriculture roots.

Jose Marines, City of Lewisville

Jose Marines is an urban planning research student with hands-on experience with non-profit, government, and private business entities. Jose graduated from the University of North Texas with a Bachelor's in Urban Policy and Planning, where he is currently pursuing his Master’s in Public Administration. He currently serves as the administrative analyst for the city of Lewisville parks and recreation department. 
Lauren Ames Fischer, Ph.D. is an assistant professor of urban planning and associate director of the Advanced Environmental Research Institute at the University of North Texas. Her research investigates how local land use and transport policies affect environmental sustainability, health and spatial equity in American cities. Since 2020, Dr. Fischer has been leading a community-based, interdisciplinary project with the city of Lewisville, Texas to integrate spatial equity and health into the city’s Healthy Infrastructure Park Plan, and to enhance park accessibility in underserved neighborhoods.

Kelly Porter, AICP, City of Fort Worth

Kelly Porter is Assistant Director for City of Fort Worth Transportation and Public Works over the Regional Transportation and Innovation Division. His group is responsible for regional coordination and long-range planning. Before returning home to Fort Worth, Mr. Porter worked for the previous 10 years at the Metropolitan Planning Organizations in Houston and Austin. He is a Certified Planner with over 13 years’ experience with a Master’s Degree in City and Regional Planning from the University of Pennsylvania and a Bachelor’s Degree in Sociology from Prairie View A&M University. He brings a strong successful track record in regional transportation planning across all modes of transportation, and experience working with external partners and the private sector in developing transportation solutions.

Kristin Green, P.E., City of Lewisville, Nack Construction

City of Lewisville Councilwoman Kristin Green is a Licensed Professional Engineer with a Bachelor's in Science from Texas A&M University.  She is currently the Director at Nack Construction. Prior to that she was president at Placemaker Design, Inc, and Verdunity.  She has been recognized as a top 25 Women in Business in Collin County, ASCE Young Engineer of the year, and ENR Top 40 under 40.  She served on the Planning and Zoning Commission for 6 years, including 2 years as Chair, before being elected to City Council in 2019.  She is passionate about Old Town Lewisville, where she resides with her husband and son.  

Lauren Ames Fischer, PhD, UNT

Lauren Ames Fischer, Ph.D. is an assistant professor of urban planning and associate director of the Advanced Environmental Research Institute at the University of North Texas. Her research investigates how local land use and transport policies affect environmental sustainability, health and spatial equity in American cities. Since 2020, Dr. Fischer has been leading a community-based, interdisciplinary project with the city of Lewisville, Texas to integrate spatial equity and health into the city’s Healthy Infrastructure Park Plan, and to enhance park accessibility in underserved neighborhoods.  

Melissa Oden, PhD, PLAN4Health

Melissa Oden is a Fort Worth, Texas native who earned a bachelor’s degree in Social Science from Texas Wesleyan University in 1997.  She went on to earn a master’s degree in Social Work from the University of Texas at Arlington in 2001, a Master of Public Health in 2006 from the University of North Texas Health Science Center School of Public Health, and a Doctor of Health Education (2011) from Andrew Taylor Still University School of Health Management. Dr. Oden has been practicing social work for 21 years and a public health practitioner for 16 years. Her work experience ranges from social work in hospital and long-term care settings, to teaching and public health education and community practice, to professional development training and project management for applied social research projects.  Her current fieldwork focuses on and Emergency Management and Disaster Planning and developing cross-disciplinary collaborations between urban planners and public health professionals. She is currently founding CEO of Health Education Resources Network, a public health project management and health education consulting company.  Dr. Oden currently lives in Fort Worth with her 4-year-old orange tabby, Oliver. 

Oscar Trevino, City of North Richland Hills

Oscar Trevino has served as Mayor of North Richland Hills since 2002.  Mr. Trevino holds a Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering from Texas A&M University and is the recipient of the 2011 Planning Advocate Award by APA Texas Midwest Section and the 2021 Planning Advocate Award by APA Texas.  In service to his community and the North Texas region, Mr. Trevino has served in leadership roles on many boards and councils, including Tarrant Regional Transportation Coalition (TRTC), Northeast Tarrant Chamber of Commerce, Medical City North Hills, Regional Transportation Council, NCTCOG Executive Board, and many others.  Mr. Trevino and his wife, Carol, have two married children and one grandchild.

Renee Parker, Workforce Solutions for Tarrant County

Renee Parker has been a workforce professional and public speaker for over 15 years. She earned a Bachelor of Art’s degree in Communications from the University of Texas at Arlington. Renee has worked for Workforce Solutions for Tarrant County for the past 14 years, focusing on business development, community relations and workforce development. She works closely with Chambers and Economic Development Corporations to recruit and retain new businesses in Tarrant County. She manages the DFW Regional Aerospace Consortium through Workforce Solutions for Tarrant County, an industry driven board of Aerospace and Aviation companies working to grow the talent pipeline in the industry.  Renee received the Seven Seals Award for meritorious leadership and initiative in support of the men and women who serve in the National Guard and Reserve.  She currently serves on the Tarrant Transit Alliance board, a transit advocacy group committed to educating, empowering and mobilizing the Tarrant County and Fort Worth community to promote multimodal transit policy that serves the entire region. 

Sara Copeland, FAICP, Burns & McDonnell 

Sara Copeland, FAICP is a Senior Planner at Burns & McDonnell. She was previously the first Community Development Director for the City of North Kansas City, MO where she managed long-range planning and redevelopment. Her professional focus on plan implementation has resulted in the 2020 Outstanding Plan Implementation award from APA Missouri, a 2018 Missouri Municipal League Innovation Award, and the Kansas City Metro's 2018 Bike/Ped Project of the Year. She earned Bachelor of Science and Master in City Planning degrees from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Sara served as the Chair of the American Planning Association's Chapter Presidents Council and a member of the APA Board of Directors in 2020-2021.

Tanya Brooks, Dallas Area Rapid Transit (DART)

Tanya Brooks is a Transportation Official with over 24 years of experience in Transportation Planning and Operations, and Community Engagement. She is currently the Assistant Vice President of Capital Planning for the Dallas Area Rapid Transit agency and is responsible for directing and managing the development of short and long-range capital plans for transit projects, as well as managing or supporting programs related to sustainability programs and integration of Mobility as a Service (MaaS) initiatives.  Mrs. Brooks holds a Master of Public Policy from the University of Northern Iowa and received her Bachelor of Science in Transportation from Southern University at New Orleans, Louisiana. Mrs. Brooks currently serves on the regional Surface Transportation Technical Committee and sits on WTS Greater Dallas/Fort Worth chapter as Professional Development Director.

Valerie Miller, PhD, AICP, The Olsson Studio

Valerie has over 17 years of experience in urban planning, urban water issues in both drought and flooding, and project management. She has worked in both public and private sectors, developing short-term and long-term strategy plans, cross-functional collaboration, and strategy management and implementation. Valerie enjoys working on projects involving multiple stakeholder groups and complex, large-scale visioning. She specializes in bringing people together and writing effective policy, while ensuring the character of the community is kept. She also forecasts potential hazards that could impact communities to better prevent long-term damage. Valerie received her PhD of Public Administration from UT Dallas, Master’s of Water Management and Bachelors of Landscape Architecture and Urban Planning from Texas A&M University. 

Alexis Jackson, AICP, City of Celina EDC

Alexis Jackson has spent the past 5 years working for the City of Celina’s Economic Development Corporation as the Executive Director. Previously, she spent much of her career in the private sector with larger AE firms. She has over 20 years of experience in community and economic development. Alexis is very passionate about supporting small businesses and shopping local in Celina. Alexis received her Masters of Urban and Regional Planning from the University of Florida in 2002. Go Gators! She received her American Institute of Certified Planners registration in 2007.  Alexis considers herself a Texan, although she was born and raised in Florida. Her son, Wyatt Jackson, is a 3rd grader this year at O’Dell Elementary. She loves Celina and hopes to continue to support the community in a number of ways.

Bill Dahlstrom, FAICP, JD, Jackson Walker

Bill Dahlstrom, FAICP, JD,  is a partner at Jackson Walker, LLP who practices in the Firm’s Land Use Law Practice Group.  He combines the practical knowledge learned as a professional land planner with his legal training to provide a most unique approach to land use matters. He focuses his practice on all areas of land use and incorporates a planning problem solving process in land use and land development issues.  He graduated with a Bachelors of Urban Planning from the University of Cincinnati, College of Design, Architecture, Art & Planning, and a law degree from the University of Texas School of Law. Bill has spoken at numerous seminars on land use law, including programs at the University of Texas School of Law Land Use Law Conference, Focus North Texas, State Bar of Texas Advanced Real Estate Law Course, PESI Land Use Law Seminar, CLE Eminent Domain Conference, American Planning  Association Annual Conference, APA Texas Conferences, and The Institute for Local Government Studies Short Course.

Brooks Wilson, AICP

Brooks Wilson is the owner and president of WilPLAN, a small planning consulting group.  Her primary specialty is rewriting zoning, subdivision, and sign ordinances.  Her consulting positions include the cities of Van Alstyne, Celina, Farmers Branch, and Little Elm.  Prior to forming WilPLAN, Brooks worked in several cities including Dallas, McKinney, Celina, and The Colony.  She obtained her Bachelor’s Degree in Urban Geography from UT/Dallas, graduating summa cum laude, and her Master’s Degree in Regional Planning from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.  Brooks has served the American Planning Association at the State and Section levels, and her proudest achievement is originating Focus North Texas in 2010.

Craig Farmer, FAICP, Municipal Planning Services

Craig Farmer, FAICP is president of Municipal Planning Services, LLC consulting with numerous cities, counties, councils of governments and metropolitan planning organizations in Texas.  Previously, he managed planning, public works, engineering, storm water, building inspection and transportation departments in the cities of Lubbock, Carrollton, Grand Prairie, McAllen and Weatherford. He is a Fellow in the College of the American Institute of Certified Planners, served on the National Board of Directors of the American Planning Association (APA) and the Board of Directors of the Texas Municipal League. Eighteen of his projects won Texas Planning awards including comprehensive plans, downtown plans, zoning and subdivision ordinances, and redevelopment projects.  Economic development experience includes nine Tax Increment Reinvestment Zones, eight Public Improvement Districts, and significant involvement in Lone Star Horse Racing Park and the Texas Trust CU (former Verizon) Performing Arts Theatre in Grand Prairie and the $500+ million Overton redevelopment project adjacent to Texas Tech University.  In 2019, APATX named him a “Legend in Texas Planning.”  Craig holds a Bachelor-of-Business Administration from The University of Texas and a Master-of-Urban and Regional Planning from Texas A&M University.

Erica Marohnic, AICP, City of Grapevine

Erica has 18 years of planning expertise and has been the Planning Services Director with the City of Grapevine since September 2021. Prior to her leadership position in Grapevine, Erica was the Development Project Facilitation Manager for the City of Denton’s Development Services Department, leading a team responsible for coordinating the application and multidisciplinary review process for development applications and ensuring compliance with local, state, and federal legal and regulatory requirements. Prior to her work in Denton, Erica worked for the City of Plano as a Lead Planner and was responsible for the delivery of special projects such as ordinance rewrites and case management of large-scale developments including Legacy West and Rosewood/Heritage Creekside.

Jay Narayana, AICP, Livable Codes and Plans

With over 24 years of public and private sector experience, Jay Narayana, Principal of Livable Plans & Codes, has worked on several award winning initiatives and specializes in: Redevelopment plans for downtowns, station areas, corridors, and neighborhoods; Comprehensive Plans, Area Plans, and Sector Plans; implementing zoning overlays and form-based codes; Master Plans, Urban Design Plans, and Development Plans for walkable, mixed use and transit-oriented development; and land use analysis and feasibility studies. As a Principal of Livable Plans and Codes and a member of the Gateway Planning Team over the last 8 years, Ms. Narayana has led the development of several master plans and form-based codes including Downtown Owensboro, North Richland Hills TOD Plan and Code, Padre Boulevard Redevelopment Plan and Code, to name a few. In addition, Ms Narayana is an active member of the Form-Based Codes Institute’s Resource Council, Congress for the New Urbanism, and the Texas Chapter of the American Planning Association.

Josh Giles, City of Carrollton

Josh Giles is the Development Program Manager for the City of Carrollton, responsible for executing strategic land acquisitions, managing a tax increment financing district, cultivating redevelopment opportunities, negotiating and managing development agreements and serving as the staff liaison for the Transit-Oriented Development (TOD) Committee and the Historic Downtown Carrollton Association (HDCA). Josh is a 6th generation Texan who grew up in Fort Worth, where he attended All Saints’ Episcopal School, earned a BA in Music, cum laude from the University of North Texas and a Master of Land and Property Development from Texas A&M University. In previous roles, Josh served as an Associate for an adaptive re-use commercial real estate developer, an Analyst for an international residential investment firm and a Land Acquisitions Specialist for a Fortune 500 company. Josh is an Eagle Scout. 

Kendall Howard, AICP, Halff Associates

Kendall Howard, AICP is a young professional senior planner/project manager at Halff Associates with over ten years specializing in community, parks, and trails planning. She joined Halff in 2016 after working as a transportation planner at the North Central Texas Council of Governments. Kendall received her Masters in City and Regional Planning from UT-Arlington and her Bachelor's in Urban Studies and History from UT-Austin. She has been AICP-certified since 2014. Kendall has worked with over a dozen communities to develop systemwide parks, recreation, and open space master plans that are both visionary and implementable. She is passionate about bringing together diverse voices to create a community-driven plan. 

Lashondra Stringfellow, AICP, City of Cedar Hill

LaShondra Stringfellow obtained her Master’s Degree in City and Regional Planning from the University of Texas at Arlington. Currently the Planning Director at the City of Cedar Hill, her 20 plus years of planning experience also includes the Texas municipalities of McKinney, Arlington, League City, and Dallas. She was the Planning Manager at League City when the staff was awarded the Texas APA Planning Awards for Current Planning (2006) and the Comprehensive Plan (2011). In 2022, the City of Cedar Hill was awarded the Environmental Planning Gold Award for its Comprehensive Plan, which was completed in-house. This plan is a growth guide that will enable the city to realize its vision “to be a city within a park”. She has managed major code amendments for zoning and subdivision ordinance re-writes, city-wide rezoning, gas well drilling, alcoholic beverage uses, commercial design standards, and food deserts. Her department oversaw the planning process and adoption of the Downtown Complete Streets Plan of which construction on Phase 1 was recently completed.

Maranda K. Auzenne, City of Cedar Hill

Maranda is Senior Vice President of Property Management at Trademark Property Company, a Ft. Worth based developer, where she provides oversight and strategic support for Trademark’s property management teams nationally. From her 14 years in the commercial real estate sector, Maranda brings a diverse background in all phases of strategic property and asset leadership. As a member of ICSC, Maranda has received the CSM and CRRP designations. She is a recipient of the Dallas Business Journal’s Minority Business Leader Award, Connect Media’s Women in Real Estate Award and was named by as a 2021 Retail Influencer. Maranda currently serves on the Executive Board for Transformation Vision, a local non-profit. She holds a BS, Human Relations and Business from Amberton University.

Mikel Wilkins, P.E., ENV-SP, LEED AP, TBG Partners 

An Environmental Engineer with over 25 years of experience, Mikel collaborates with teams across the firm to evaluate the sustainable performance of projects under design to identify opportunities to enhance the triple bottom line. Mikel specializes in planning, design, and policy related to the integration of green infrastructure systems into the built environment. He enjoys multi-disciplinary design approach projects that rely on creativity, innovation, education, and compassion to guide the planning and design process and ultimately provide the most community benefits. Mikel also has a passion for education and currently teaches a class on sustainable infrastructure as an adjunct professor at Southern Methodist University.

Paris Rutherford, Catalyst Urban Development

Paris Rutherford is Principal of Catalyst Urban Development, which is engaged in mixed-use, transit-oriented, urban and suburban retrofit development. His focus is delivering profitable urban investment that capitalizes on the broader community’s desire for Great Places as defined through design, market and social success. He has prepared successful strategies for hallmark destinations across the United States, and was instrumental in the rejuvenation of urban communities in Dallas, Houston, Phoenix, Los Angeles, Denver, Atlanta, Tampa and other cities through walkable urbanism. His work has received over 100 awards and has been highlighted by The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Urban Land Institute, National Press Club, CNBC’s Closing Bell and PBS’s News Hour. Mr. Rutherford is a graduate of the University of Southern California and Harvard University.

Richard Luedke, AICP, City of Lewisville

Richard Luedke earned a Bachelor of Environmental Design in 1991 and a Master of Urban Planning in 1993, both from Texas A&M University.  He started his career in Wichita Falls and went on to serve the North Texas communities of Keller and Argyle.  For the past eight years, Richard has served the City of Lewisville, a community of 132,000, as Planning Director.  He became a member of the American Institute of Certified Planners (AICP) in 1996 and has served as the Professional Development Officer (PDO) for the Texas Chapter of the American Planning Association for the past twelve years.  As PDO, Richard administers scholarships for planners taking the AICP exam and conducts 11 exam preparation workshops across the state each year.  He also has written and implemented many development regulations and comprehensive plans for the communities that he has served over the past 29 years.

Staron Faucher, AICP, WSP

Staron Faucher, AICP is an Assistant Vice-President and Senior Lead Mobility Planner at WSP in Dallas, Texas, specializing in thoroughfare planning, bike and pedestrian studies, corridor redevelopment, and land use analyses - but he is most passionate about advocacy planning and equity. He received his Master in Regional and City Planning from the University of Oklahoma, and Environmental Studies from Baylor University. Staron is a member of the American Planning Association's AICP Ethics Committee and is currently the Director for the North-Central Section. He was also the author of the 2018 APA Viewpoint Article “Doing Good vs Doing Well,” which discusses the balance of fiscal and social responsibility planners have to consider while serving their communities.

Travis Liska, AICP, NCTCOG

Travis Liska, AICP, Principal Transportation Planner, manages regional land use / transportation planning projects for the North Central Texas Council of Governments, the Metropolitan Planning Organization for the Dallas – Fort Worth region.  His experience includes transit-oriented development planning, parking management policy, and analysis on the economic relationship of land development to transportation through value capture, benefit cost analysis, and funding. He also led the creation of NCTCOG’s Coordinated Land Use and Transportation Planning Task Force and the Transportation Department’s gentrification study.   Travis holds a bachelor’s in Geography/GIS and a master’s in urban and Regional Planning from Texas A&M University. 

Sue Hounsel, AICP, City of Dallas

Sue Hounsel is a Manager in the City of Dallas Office of Economic Development (OED) and has been employed with the City of Dallas since 2002. During this time her catalyst project achievements include the transformation of the Design District into an eclectic urban neighborhood, development of the Lake Highlands Town Center, mixed-income housing developments in the Bishop Arts area, TOD developments including Lancaster Urban Village, and the creation of the 4315 Innovation Center for workforce development. She has over twenty-seven years of experience in urban planning and economic development. Before moving to Dallas, she previously worked with the City of Houston and the City of Austin in planning and economic development. Ms. Hounsel is a member of the American Institute of Certified Planners (AICP). She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Social Science from Michigan State University and a Master of City Planning from Georgia Tech, including a Graduate Certificate in Real Estate. 

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