The Board of Directors of the Los Angeles Region Planning History Group is responsible for advancing the organization’s Mission of learning from the past to inform planning for the future by actively sponsoring colloquia, webinars, seminars and conferences. The Board meets regularly at the Huntington Library Art Museum and Botanical Gardens in San Marino.
Prominent Southern California leaders in urban planning, city management, transportation, development, planning education and planning history serve on the Board. Brief backgrounds descriptions of Board members are presented below.
Following that is a description of the Advisory Council.
Marsha V. Rood, President
Marsha Rood, FAICP, served as the Development Administrator for the City of Pasadena for nearly 20 years and was responsible for a nationally recognized program of redevelopment and economic revitalization for downtown Pasadena, including Old Pasadena. She also served as the Community Development Director of Culver City and was Principal of her own company, Urban Reinventions, a firm specializing in downtown revitalization. She has received numerous international, national and local awards for her work in economic development and main street revitalization. Marsha was named a “Living History Maker” by the Pasadena Museum of History, the California State Senate and the California State Assembly. She serves in leadership positions on various professional and non-profit boards in Pasadena and Los Angeles. . Marsha is a Certified Main Street Manager, Main Street Center of the National Trust for Historic Preservation. She received her BA degree in History from Stanford University and her Masters in Planning degree with honors from the University of Southern California
Mark Herwick, Vice President
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, Treasurer
Dan Beal has over 40 years of experience in the development of Transportation Policy in Southern California. Currently retired and devoting time to community efforts, including as President of the West Pasadena Residents’ Association, Mr. Beal served as an independent consultant specializing in developing transportation programs for public agencies; as the Managing Director for Public Policy at the Automobile Club of Southern California; and, before that, developed transportation policy and programs for the Community Redevelopment Agency and for the Chief Legislative Analyst office of the City of Los Angeles. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and a Master’s of Public Administration from UC at Los Angeles
Lillian Burkenheim Silver, Secretary/ Director of IT
Lillian Burkenheim Silver is a community development professional with over forty years of experience in Los Angeles. As Project Manager for the Los Angeles Community Redevelopment Agency, she managed the implementation of diverse redevelopment projects throughout Los Angeles including Monterey Hills, Crenshaw, Hollywood, North Hollywood, Downtown Central Business District, and Chinatown. Her current activities include Director of Strategic Initiatives for the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority and Director of Planning and Economic Development for Eco-Rapid Transit. Lillian holds a BS degree from UC Santa Barbara and a MS degree in nonprofit and public administration from California State University at Northridge.
Allyn Rifkin, Webmaster
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. He is active in the Institute of Transportation Engineers, having served as President of ITE’s largest chapter — Southern California Chapter. Rifkin holds a BS Degree in Systems Engineering from UCLA and an MS Degree in Civil Engineering from Northwestern University.
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 to elevate the design quality of private development projects in the city’s public realm. He previously directed the preservation advocacy work of the Los Angeles Conservancy, the nation’s largest local preservation organization. Ken is the author of the recently published “Preserving Los Angeles – How Historic Places Can Transform America’s Cities.” He is the recipient of numerous honors and awards including the Richard H. Driehaus Foundation National Preservation Award; the National Planning Excellence Award for Public Outreach; Los Angeles Area Emmy Award, and the G. David Cameron Historic Preservation Award. Ken holds a BA in Political Science at Yale University and his Master of Public Affairs and Urban and Regional Planning at Princeton University.
Erin Chase is Assistant Curator at The Huntington Library, Art Museum and Botanical Gardens in San Marino California. Erin, a fifth generation Angeleno, oversees a large collection of material related to the history of architecture and urban planning in Southern California. She also works closely with its photography collections that depict the region’s built and landscaped environment. In 2018, Erin curated the first exhibition to survey The Huntington’s architecture collection, “Architects of a Golden Age: Highlights from The Huntington’s Southern California Architecture Collection.” She continues to collect urban planning and architectural records with the assistance of the LARPHG. Erin holds a BA degree in American Studies from the University of California at Santa Cruz.
Kenneth Farfsing served as the City Manager for Signal Hill for over 20 years and as City Manager of the cities of South Pasadena and Carson. Prior to serving in these positions, he served the Assistant City Manager for Downy and the Community Development Director for La Verne. Ken has expertise in city management, regional planning, disadvantage community planning, storm and ground water management, and brownfields remediation. He is the author of “Black Gold in Paradise: Reclaiming Signal Hill A Development History”. Ken retired in 2018 after serving 39 years in local government. He holds a BA degree in history from UC Berkeley and a MA in urban planning from the University of Southern California.
Todd Gish, M Arch, PhD, is an urban designer and licensed architect with over twenty years’ experience in the planning, design, construction and project management of residential, commercial, industrial and mixed-use developments with extensive professional experience in the private and public sectors. He teaches planning, design, and history at USC’s Sol Price School of Public Policy and his research focuses on residential planning and development in early 20th century Los Angeles. Todd is a trained historian with extensive expertise in the research and analysis of buildings, sites, land uses and urban environments and a published author on planning and architectural subjects, especially housing. Todd holds a BS degree in Architecture from the University of Southern California; a M Arch, Urban Design, from the University of California, Los Angeles; and a PhD in Urban Planning from the University of Southern California.
Katherine Aguillar Perez
Katherine Perez is an Associate Principal and the LA Cities Leader with Arup. She is an expert in land use and planning, transportation, and community engagement. Katherine co-founded her own company and non-profit, and also served as the Executive Director of the Urban Land Institute, Los Angeles District Council (ULI LA). In 2013, Katherine was appointed by Governor Jerry Brown to the Board of Directors of the California High Speed Rail Authority (CHSRA) and in the Schwarzenegger Administration, was appointed to the California Public Infrastructure Advisory Commission. She is an Adjunct Professor at the USC School of Planning and Development and served as an Adjunct Professor at the UCLA School of Public Affairs. She received her Master’s Degree in Urban Planning and Transportation from UCLA and her Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science from California State University Northridge. She has served on numerous boards and commissions demonstrating her commitment to public service.
Sergio Valdez served 20 of his 33-year career with the City of Los Angeles as a Transportation Planning liaison between the Department of Transportation and the City Planning Department. I made presentations to the on major projects and updates to a myriad of Transportation Specific Plans regulating development in the Valley. His duties included representing the Los Angeles Department of Transportation regarding San Fernando Valley transportation issues at Local Area Planning Commissions, the City Council Planning and Land Use Committees . and the City Planning Commission. Sergio worked with the LAX on developing transportation improvements for LAX and was involved in the Warner Center Specific Plan, particularly with the Warner Center Citizens Advisory Council. Sergio holds a BSCE in Engineering from Cal Poly Pomona and a MBA from Cal Poly Pomona. Sergio was born in Mexico and grew up in East Los Angeles.
Betsy Weisman has a distinguished career in public policy and planning 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 served on the Board of the Westside Urban and on the California Architects Board, State of CA, Department of Consumer Affairs, Sacramento, CA which oversees the continuing education, licensing and disciplinary procedures for all architects in the State of CA. Betsy’s community activities include being a Board member of the Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA) Projects Council Board Member and the Friends of Greystone in Beverly Hills. Betsy holds a B.A. degree in Political Science from the University of Michigan, Phi Beta Kappa, and a M.A. in Public Policy from UC Berkeley.
Allyne Winderman, FAIA, brings nearly 30 years of experience in affordable housing, urban design, preservation and planning in the Los Angeles area to the LARPHG Board. Allyne’s most recent public sector position was the Director of Housing and Rent Stabilization for the City of West Hollywood. Prior to that, she was a Senior Planner at the Los Angeles Community Redevelopment Agency focusing on major Downtown Redevelopment Projects and the accompanying Downtown Strategic Plan. A Fellow of the American Institute of Architects, Allyne has numerous planning/architectural awards and currently is a lecturer at Cal Poly Pomona where she teaches urban design and development. Prior to her work in the public sector, Allyne worked as an architect in the office of Arata Isozaki in Los Angeles and Tokyo on the Museum of Contemporary Art, the Barcelona Olympics and other projects. Allyne Winderman holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Hawaii and a Master of Architecture degree from Columbia University
BOARD MEMBERS EMERITI
Alan Jutzi is the retired Curator of Rare Books for the Huntington Library, Art Museum and Botanical Gardens where he served for 45 years of dedicated service. Alan earned a M.A. in Library Science at UCLA in 1974 and by early 1980s, he had become a curator in the Rare Book Department, overseeing millions of rare historical materials and an entire department of professional colleagues. In honor of his scholarship and devotion to The Huntington, the Alan Jutzi Fellowship for Non-Traditional Scholars, an endowed fellowship was established to provide at least two months of residential funding annually to someone chosen from outside the customary academic tracks that produce The Huntington’s readers. Mr. Jutzi was one of the original founders of the Los Angeles Region Planning History Group in 1984.
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.
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. Mr. Preston holds a BA and MA degrees in Urban and Regional Planning from Cal Poly Pomona with specializations in public policy administration, historic preservation, and communications. Mr. Preston retired as City Manager of San Gabriel in 2008.
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 recently published book is entitled “Is the Cemetery Dead?”, an exploration of historical and contemporary mourning and memorial practices.
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.
In order to increase the LARPHG’s outreach to the community and broaden its experiencal resources the organization has established an Advisory Council of distinguished planners, developers and academicians to advise the Board of Directors on issues relating to LARPHG’S mission. While not responsible the functioning and financial aspects of LARPHG, the role of the Advisory Council is to provide advice on a periodic basis on topics for programs and colloquia, peer review and other supporting activities. Invitations to joint the Advisory Council are based on experience in planning academics, governmental policies, and related disciplines. Following is a list of the current LARPHG Advisory Council members and their brief bios:
Vinayak Bharne is the Principal and Director of Design at Moule & Polyzoides, a nationally recognized architecture and planning firm based in Pasadena, California. He is a leading thinker and practitioner in the fields of urban design and planning, bringing significant experience in domestic and international urbanism at all scales, with projects in North and Central America, Asia, Africa and Australia. His work has received numerous awards including the National Award for Smart Growth Overall Excellence in 2013; the American Planning Association Planning Excellence in Implementation Award in 2012, and six Charter Awards from the Congress for the New Urbanism. Mr. Bharne is an Adjunct Associate Professor of urbanism at the University of Southern California School of Architecture. He is the editor/author of numerous books including Affordable Housing: Inclusive Cities, and Urbanism Beyond 2020. Mr. Bharne is the executive editor of the international urbanism journal, My Livable City. He earned a B. Arch. from Goa University in India and an M. Arch. from the University of Southern California, followed by a year-long Presidential Fellowship in leadership studies at the USC Marshall School of Business. He currently serves on the editorial board of the research journal in India, Conscious Urbanism, and on the Board of Directors of Union Station Homeless Services in Pasadena, California.
Vaughan Davies, ISAA, is Principal of Perkins Eastman Architects’ Los Angeles office, a national and international practice with over 1200 architects and designers. He has more than 30 years of experience as an architect and urban designer, having developed dozens of successful plans for downtowns; urban waterfronts; retail, resort and entertainment districts; transit-oriented developments; and largescale mixed-use projects, all with an emphasis on walkability and sustainability. Prior to joining the firm, Mr. Davies served as Principal/Director of Urban Design with EDAW-AECOM, and before that as Principal-in-Charge of EE&K Architects’ Los Angeles office. A native of South Africa, Vaughan Davies immigrated to Los Angeles via New York City where he earned a Master of Science Degree in Architecture and Urban Design at Columbia University as a Fulbright Scholar in New York City. His projects have been instrumental in transforming the way the Cities have approached urban downtowns and waterfronts with “pedestrian-first” development focus. Precedent-setting projects in the Los Angeles region include Paseo Colorado in Pasadena, Gateway Intermodal Center at Union Station, Hollywood & Highland, the Echo Park Lake Revitalization, a master plan and implementation of the public realm for San Pedro’s Waterfront for the Port of Los Angeles and the Queensway Bay master plan and design for Rainbow Harbor in Long Beach. He is currently working on the expansion of METRO’s Eastside extension of the Gold Line, a re-imagining of UCSF’s Parnassus Campus in San Francisco, a master plan for UC San Diego’s Health Sciences West Campus, and one of the largest planned expansions of an American City’s downtown in Nashville TN.
Alan Jutzi is the retired Curator of Rare Books for the Huntington Library, Art Museum and Botanical Gardens where he served for 45 years of dedicated service. Alan earned a M.A. in Library Science at UCLA in 1974 and by early 1980s, he had become a curator in the Rare Book Department, overseeing millions of rare historical materials and an entire department of professional colleagues. Mr. Jutzi was an “activist curator,” building The Huntington Library archives in architectural materials, medical history, cookbooks and food culture, and urban and regional planning. In honor of his scholarship and devotion to The Huntington, the Alan Jutzi Fellowship for Non-Traditional Scholars, an endowed fellowship was established to provide at least two months of residential funding annually to someone chosen from outside the customary academic tracks that produce The Huntington’s readers. Mr. Jutzi was one of the original founders of the Los Angeles Region Planning History Group in 1984.
Kenneth McCormick, a longtime resident of Pasadena, served as an investment banker for most of his career at Kleinwort Benson in London and J. P. Morgan in New York and Los Angeles. He now is the CEO of Mill Creek Properties in Pasadena, an urban planning and development firm in the Playhouse Village, where he has recently completed two housing projects with a third under construction. These projects have had a major positive impact on the Village and has been the spark for its reinvention as an urban village. Ken McCormick has a commitment to civic affairs, having served on numerous City of Pasadena boards and commissions. Mr. McCormick is currently a member of the Huntington Library Board of Overseers, on which he has served for two decades; the Playhouse District Association Board, and the Flintridge Prep Board. He was recently honored at the Pasadena Museum of History’s Contemporary History Makers Gala. Mr. McCormick graduated from Harvard College with a degree in History and from Stanford’s Graduate School of Business.
Deborah Murphy is the founder of Deborah Murphy Urban Design + Planning that serves public and non-profits agencies across Los Angeles County. Ms. Murphy’s firm is a highly regarded and dedicated to providing leadership in urban design and planning of communities. The firm is well-recognized for its strong team building skills that promote synergistic relationships among stakeholders of a project from property owners and merchants to residents and visitors, city staffs and officials. The firm’s specialty is working with complex and dynamic build-out cities that are transforming themselves into new mixed-use, multi-family residential and commercial development projects integrally linked to multi-modal transportation systems and open space amenities. During Ms. Murphy’s over 30 years of dedicated urban planning and design work, she has been a prominent advocate of active transportation, the founder of Los Angeles Walks and Chair of the City of Los Angeles Pedestrian Advisory Committee over 20 years ago. She serves on numerous transportation boards, committees and panels and regularly speaks about pedestrian safety and design at colleges and universities, schools, and local, state and national professional planning organizations. She also speaks at transportation advocacy forums, summits and conferences. Ms. Murphy earned her BA in Design and her Master of Architecture degree from the UC Los Angeles.
Dowell Myers, Ph.D., is a professor of policy, planning, and demography in the Sol Price School of Public Policy at the University of Southern California, where he also directs the Pop Dynamics Research Group. Professor Myers is an interdisciplinary scholar who links scientific knowledge to applied problem solving and is expert in all things demographic. In the planning field, his program of research has pursued two sustained contributions: bringing people back in as the focus of planning success and emphasizing planning as a temporal process of developing the future. Best known as an expert on changing housing needs over time, he was an early pioneer in the field of housing demography that closely links the two sides of the census of population and housing. Recipient of the 2017 Dale Prize for Scholarly Excellence in Urban and Regional Planning from Cal Poly Pomona, his future-oriented articles have twice won the article of the year award from the Journal of the American Planning Association. He also authored Immigrants and Boomers (New York: Russell Sage Foundation, 2007). Professor Myers earned a BA from Columbia University in Anthropology, a Master of City Planning degree from UC Berkeley, and a PhD in Urban and Regional Planning from MIT (with substantial work in demography at Harvard University).
Steven A. Preston, FAICP, recently retired as city manager of San Gabriel, California. During his tenure, the city received numerous awards for its planning, communications, economic development and redevelopment programs. Mr. Preston is the winner of the American Planning Association President’s Award for Distinguished Leadership in the advancement of the profession. A former President of both the American Planning Association’s California Chapter and the California Planning Roundtable, Mr. Preston served as a planner in the communities of La Verne and Glendale, California, as well as in the private sector. He contributed the chapter on management to International City Manger’s Association’s most recent volume on community planning, as well as a chapter in the 2012 anthology, “Planning Los Angeles”. Consistent with an impressive resume in historic preservation, he is the current Co-Historian of the California Chapter of APA and past President of Pasadena Heritage. He currently lectures part-time at Cal Poly, Pomona. Mr. Preston served with distinction on the Board of Directors of the Los Angeles Region Planning History Group.
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 Angeles. He has written extensively about neighborhood level institutions and activities, especially related to food systems, street gangs, and commemoration. Much of his work explores how community advocates can mobilize to affect their environments and thus their well-being. He has written three books beyond the edited volume, as well as publishing many articles in professional journals. The latest book, Is the Cemetery Dead (2018), examines changing approaches to mourning and commemoration. He received his BA from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and his MA and Ph.D. from Syracuse University. Professor Sloane served on Board of Directors of the Los Angeles Region Planning History Group.
Josh Stephens is the contributing editor to the California Planning & Development Report, the state’s foremost independent publication dedicated to urban planning. Mr. Stephens previously edited The Planning Report and the Metro Investment Report, monthly publications covering, respectively, land use and infrastructure in Southern California. The CP & DR website is organized according to a wide range of themes and types of articles that Josh has written over the years including long-form feature stories covering urban planning news, book reviews, blogs and opinion, education and college admissions, and miscellany. Mr. Stephens also is a contributing editor to Planetizen.com and conducts its “Planners Across America” interview series. Mr. Stephens has contributed to publications such as Next City, Planning Magazine, Architect Magazine, The Architect’s Newspaper, Los Angeles Magazine, Sierra Magazine, Grist.org, Los Angeles Review of Books, Santa Monica Next, Darling Magazine, TheAmerican.com, L.A. Downtown News, Los Angeles Times, The Harvard Citizen, English Journal, Princeton Alumni Weekly, and The Malibu Times. Mr. Stephens is the author of the book The Urban Mystique: Notes on California, Los Angeles, and Beyond published by Solimar Books. Mr. Stephens earned a BA in English from Princeton University and a Master in Public Policy from the Harvard University Kennedy School of Government. Mr. Stephens serves on the Board of Directors of the Westside Urban Forum.
Michael Woo is the Dean Emeritus of Cal Poly Pomona’s College of Environmental Design which he headed for ten years. He was the first trained urban planner and the first Asian American elected to the Los Angeles City Council. As the Councilman representing the Hollywood area for eight years, Mr. Woo spearheaded the Hollywood Redevelopment Plan and played a key role choosing the route and station locations of the Metro Red Line subway. He also served as a member of the Los Angeles City Planning Commission for six years. Twenty-five years ago, Woo helped to start the Hollywood Farmers Market, now the largest certified farmers’ market in the City of Los Angeles. Mr. Woo served on a committee overseeing a predevelopment analysis of the 308-acre former Lanterman State Hospital property in Pomona, one of the largest contiguous parcels of land available for potential development in Los Angeles County that was transferred from state control to the Cal Poly Pomona campus. Mr. Woo graduated with honors in 1973 from University of California, Santa Cruz, and earned a Master in City Planning degree from the University of California at Berkeley.