The Board of Directors is responsible for advancing LARPHG’s mission, and does this by actively sponsoring seminars, colloquia and conferences.  The Board meets several times each year at the Huntington Library.

Prominent Southern California leaders in planning, planning education and planning history have served on the Board during its existence.  Brief resumes of each of the current Board members are presented below.


Marsha V. Rood, President

Marsha Rood, FAICP, served as the  Development Administrator for the City of Pasadena for nearly 20 years and more recently as the Community Development Director of Culver City.  She was Principal of Urban Reinventions, a firm specializing in downtown revitalization, and has received numerous international, national and local awards for her work in community-building.  Ms. Rood received her B A from Stanford, her Masters in Planning from USC with distinction and serves in leadership positions on various professional and non-profit boards.

Steven Preston, Vice President

Steven A. Preston, FAICP retired in 2018 as City Manager of San Gabriel after a 38-year career in planning, redevelopment and city management.  A former president of both APA California and the California Planning Roundtable, and a recipient of the APA President’s Award for Leadership, he currently serves as co-historian for APA California.  Steve teaches social justice, community engagement, and public policy analysis courses in the Department of Urban and Regional Planning at Cal Poly Pomona, from which he also has a Bachelors and Masters in Urban and Regional Planning with specializations in public policy administration, historic preservation, and communications.

Alice Lepis, Secretary

Alice Lepis was Chief of both the City of Los Angeles Transportation Planning and the Parking Management Bureaus for 21 years.  Trained in marketing and economics at the University of Southern California, she also worked in the City Planning Department Citywide Planning Bureau preparing economic studies on zoning and transportation issues.

Mark Herwick, Treasurer

Mark Herwick, Ph.D., AICP, is Supervising Regional Planner in the Advance Planning Division of the County of Los Angeles Department of Regional Planning.  He managed the preparation of the 2008 Los Angeles County draft General Plan; coordinated Urban Land Institute studies of County transit oriented districts in 2010; and prepares new and revised ordinances for community standards and transit oriented development.  Mark completed his graduate work in the School of Urban Studies and Planning at Portland State University.



Dan Beal

Dan Beal has a 40+ year history in the development of Transportation Policy in Southern California.  Currently an independent consultant specializing in developing transportation programs for public agencies, Dan served as the Managing Director for Public Policy at the Automobile Club of Southern California and, before that, developed transportation policy for the Community Redevelopment Agency and for the Chief Legislative Analyst office of the City of Los Angeles.

Ken Bernstein

Ken Bernstein, AICP, is Principal City Planner for the Los Angeles Department of City Planning.  In this capacity, he oversees the City’s Office of Historic Resources, where he has led the creation of a comprehensive historic preservation program for Los Angeles, as well as the Department’s Urban Design Studio, which works o elevate the design quality of private development projects in the city’s public realm.

Erin Chase

Erin Chase is Assistant Curator at The Huntington Library in San Marino California.  She oversees a large collection of material related to the history of architecture, photography and urban planning in Southern California.  Erin continues to collect urban planning and architectural records with the assistance of the LARPHG.

Ken Farfsing

Ken Farfsing, retired in 2018 after serving 39 years in local government.  He served as the city manager for Signal Hill, South Pasadena and Carson, as well as the assistant city manager for Downy and the community development director for La Verne.  He holds a master’s degree in urban planning from USC and a bachelor’s degree in history from U.C. Berkeley.  Mr. Farfsing has expertise in regional planning, disadvantage community planning, storm and ground water management, and brownfields remediation.

Todd Gish

Todd Gish is an architect, urban designer and historian with extensive professional experience in the private and public sectors. He teaches planning, design, and history at USC’s Price School, and his research focuses on residential planning and development in early 20th century Los Angeles.

Clifford Graves

Clifford W. Graves, FAICP, brings more than 40 years of experience in planning, urban development and finance to the LARPHG Board.  At the local level, Cliff was General Manager of Community Development for the cities of Los Angeles and Carson; Chief Administrative Officer for the County of San Diego; and Executive Director of the San Francisco Redevelopment Agency.    Having previously taught planning at UC Berkeley and at San Diego State University, he is currently adjunct professor at the University of Southern California.

Stanley R. Hoffman (deceased on July 6, 2019 – RIP)

Stanley R. Hoffman, FAICP, is a distinguished member of the California planning network with over 48 years experience in urban and economic planning.  He started his career with the City of LA Community Analysis Bureau; moved up north to develop demographic forecasts for the first AQMP at the Association of Bay Area Governments; and has continued to consult on urban planning issues to various cities and clients since 1981. Hoffman was recently the President of the California Planner Emeritus Network. He received his urban planning degree from UCLA and later taught Urban Public Finance at the Department of Urban Planning in the UCLA Luskin School of Public Affairs.

Allyn Rifkin

Allyn Rifkin, PE/PTOE, was recently Chief of the City of Los Angeles Transportation Programs and Land Development Bureau with over 34 years in a variety of transportation planning exercises.  Currently Mr. Rifkin is a Commissioner on the Los Angeles County Small Craft and Harbors Commission and owner of a small consulting firm, The Rifkin Transportation Planning Group.

David Sloane

David Sloane, Ph.D., is a professor in the Sol Price School of Public Policy at the University of Southern California. Professor Sloane researches both contemporary and historical topics in urban planning, community health, cultural landscapes, and public safety. He is editor of Planning Los Angeles (2012), a multi-author look at the past, present and future of planning in the City of Angels.  His new book (2018) is titled Is the Cemetery Dead?, an exploration of historical and contemporary mourning and memorial practices.

Bill Trimble

Bill served for 24 years as a  land use planner with the City of Pasadena Planning Department,  an especially informative location for appreciating relationships between local issues and the region’s history.

Sergio Valdez

Sergio spent 20 of his 33 year career with the City of Los Angeles as a Transportation Planning liason between the Department of Transportation and the City Planning Department.  His duties included representing the LADOT regarding San Fernando Valley transportation issues at Local Area Planning Commissions  and the City Planning Commission. He matriculated from Cal Poly Pomona with a BSCE in Engineering and subsequently with an MBA.  Sergio, who was born in Mexico and grew up in East Los Angeles, has been attending LARPHG events for the past 6 years.

Betsy Weisman

Betsy Weisman has a distinguished background in public policy with interests in design, architecture, historical preservation and education.  She has had over 22 years of planning experience with the City of Los Angeles and City of San Diego Departments of City Planning.  She earned an M.A. in Public Policy from UC Berkeley.  Her current activities include Board membership for the Friends of Greystone in Beverly Hills.