About the Board

Every two years, APATX members elect four individuals to serve as Chapter Treasurer, Secretary, TML Representative, and President-Elect. The President-Elect is a six-year term serving as President-Elect for two years, President for two years, and Past President for two years. The current term is from November 2021 through November 2023. Other members of the APATX Board of Directors are appointed by the Chapter President with the exception of the Section's Representative, which is elected by the nine Section Directors to serve as the section's liaison on the APATX Executive Committee.

APA Texas 2023 to 2025 Executive Committee


Kelly Porter, AICP

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.


Fred Lopez, FAICP CTP, CNU-A

Fred Lopez has over 22 years of urban and regional planning experience, including transportation planning, comprehensive planning. land use, zoning, and code/ordinance updates. Fred oversees Quantum Consultants' urban planning team and previously served as Comprehensive Plan Manager, Transportation Planning Administrator, and Deputy Director for Capital Improvement Department Planning at the City of El Paso. In 2012, he developed and managed the City of El Paso’s first Transportation Planning Division, which led to new street design policies and procedures focused on improving public health by promoting walking, bicycling, and mass transit. Fred has Advanced Specialty Certification in Transportation Planning from the American Planning Association.

  • Board of Directors: 2005 – 2008, 2017 – present
  • Leadership Academy Chair: 2022 – present
  • Section Directors Representative: 2019 – 2021
  • Membership Chair: 2017 – 2019
  • West Section Director: 2005 – 2008, 2017 – 2019
  • El Paso Conference Local Host Committee Chair: 2021 – 2022
  • Quantum Consultants: Vice President / Co-owner

Amanda Torres, AICP

Amanda Torres is a Senior City Planner for the City of Corpus Christi, Texas. Prior to this, she was the Community Planner in Rockport, Texas and City Planner and Assistant to the City Manager in Aransas Pass, Texas. She holds a Bachelor of Business Administration in Economics and a Master of Public Administration from Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi. Ms. Torres has been recognized by her work in resilience and disaster recovery by the Gulf of Mexico Climate & Resilience Community of Practice and the Texas Chapter of the American Planning Association.


Marco Hinojosa, AICP

Marco Hinojosa was born in Houston, raised in DFW, and currently live in San Antonio. He is currently a senior project associate with MIG, Inc. He has previously served as Secretary for the Southwest Section and the Latinos and Planning Division.

TML Representative

Rolandrea Russell

Rolandrea Russell has served one previous term as the Chapter TML Representative. She has worked as a professional planner with the cities of Midland and Allen, Texas. She holds a Master's Degree in Urban and Regional Planning and a Bachelor's Degree in Sociology from Alabama A&M University.

Past President

Heather Nick, AICP

Heather Nick is the Assistant City Manager for the City of Tyler, Texas. She is a certified planner and holds a master’s degree in public administration and a bachelor’s degree in sociology from the University of Texas at Tyler. Nick has held several leadership positions within APA, including chapter communications coordinator, secretary of APA Texas as well as professional development officer and director of the East Section of the APA Texas Chapter.

Sections Representative

Tharani Devi Palma, CFM

Tharani is a Principal Planner for the City of Arlington. She is a Certified Floodplain Manager and has earned a Dual Masters of Social Work and Urban Affairs and Policy from the University of Texas at Arlington as well as an MBA from the University of the Cumberlands.

Conference Coordinator

Angela Martinez, LCI

Angela is a Transportation Project Manager with HDR in the Houston Office. She holds a Bachelor of Architecture from the University of Houston and a Master of Science in Land Development from Texas A&M University. Prior to being appointed Conference Coordinator in 2019, Angela served as Treasurer for the Chapter from 2013-2018, Houston Section Secretary from 2011-2013, Chair for the Programming  Sub-Committee for the 2013 and 2015 State Conferences, and Chair for the 2017 State Conference. In addition to APA, Angela has been a member of the Urban Land Institute (ULI) since 2005 and is active in the Urban Plan Program. She is also a member of Women’s Transportation Seminar (WTS) and a League Certified Instructor (LCI) with the League of American Bicyclists (LAB).

Professional Development Officer

Richard Luedke, AICP

Richard has served as PDO for many years and continues to be a valuable resource to Texas planners aspiring to earn their AICP credential. Richard is the Planning Director for the City of Lewisville.

Executive Administrator

Chelsea Irby

Chelsea has ten years of professional experience, with a majority of that time as a planning consultant. She most recently served as Team Leader for a private consulting firm. She is a certified planner and accomplished project manager. She has led more than 15 long range planning projects across the state. Additionally, she has assisted communities with public engagement, visioning, development codes, and plan review. She received an undergraduate degree from the University of North Texas and a Master of City & Regional Planning from the University of Texas at Arlington. She resides in Leander with her husband and two young children.

Section Directors

Central Allison Kay, AICP
East Vashil Fernandez, AICP
Houston Luis Cutaia, AICP
Midwest Clayton Comstock, AICP, CNU-A
North Central Eleana Tuley, AICP
Northwest Jeff Fisher, AICP
Southmost Cristina Garcia
Southwest Channary Gould
West David Samaniego

Standing Committee Chairs

Professional Development Officer (PDO) Richard Luedke, AICP
Planning Official Development Officer (PODO) Ann Bagley, FAICP
Sections Representative AJ Fawver, AICP, CNU-A, CPM
Emerging Planning Leaders Madison Graham, AICP
Planning Awards Claire Hempel, PLA, AICP
Government Relations
Advocacy Network Liaison Craig Farmer, FAICP
Membership Fred Lopez, AICP
Diversity and Inclusion Shai Roos, AICP
University Representative - UT Arlington Ivonne Audirac, PhD
Student Representative - UT Arlington Kelsey Poole

Other Appointed Members

Communications Manager Heather Nick, AICP
Communications Technician Kyle Kingma, AICP
Chapter Historian
Certification Maintenance Officer (CMO) Barbara Holly, AICP

National APA and AICP Elected Leaders

AICP Commissioner Elected From Region 3

Staron Faucher, AICP

Staron Faucher is a Transportation Planner and Project Manager 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. Before joining WSP, Staron was a transportation planner at Freese and Nichols, Inc. and the North Central Texas Council of Governments working Sustainable Development Projects. He received his Master in Regional and City Planning from the University of Oklahoma, and Environmental Studies from Baylor University. Staron is also a member of the American Planning Association's Ethics Committee and the Director of the North Central Section of the Texas Chapter of the American Planning Association

National APA Council/Divisions Representatives

Federal Planning Division Immediate Past Chair

Andrew Wright, AICP


Latinos and Planning Division Secretary

Marco Hinojosa


Latinos and Planning Division Treasurer

Carlo Chunga Pizarro


Housing and Community Development Vice Chair

Angela Self, AICP

Angela Self, AICP, is Planning Administrator for the City of Garland, Texas.  She has over 20 years of progressive experience in leading complex revitalization and redevelopment initiatives in challenging urban and suburban environments. 

A member of APA since 1994, Angela earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Urban Studies from Jackson State University, and a Master of Arts degree in Urban and Regional Planning from The University of Iowa.  Angela has been a member of the American Institute of Certified Planners since 2001.   

Housing and Community Development Treasurer

Gincy Thoppil, AICP, CPM

Gincy Thoppil is the Planning & Development Services Director for the City of Arlington, Texas. Her all-round experience in Urban Design, Comprehensive Planning, as well as Development Planning for the past 20 years makes her polished in developing practical regulations that is easy to understand, build, and administer. She has been instrumental in raising the quality of public and private projects in Arlington and has embraced innovative initiatives and cutting-edge technology in order to provide exceptional customer experience. 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. She continues to serve as an APA Texas Chapter Delegate for the Policy Guides starting in 2019 and participated in the 2019 Delegate Assembly in the National Planning Conference in San Francisco. 

Housing and Community Development Secretary

Patricia Sinel, AICP, CFM

Patricia Sinel got her start in planning working for a residential developer in Denver before she knew planning was a real thing.  After deciding to put her GI Bill to use, Patricia received her Master of Urban and Regional Planning degree from the University of New Orleans, with a focus in land use and environmental planning.

Patricia enjoys the more technical side of planning, including development studies, demographic analyses, and geographic information systems, all geared towards the goal of developing great neighborhoods.

Patricia is in charge of Special Projects in Planning and Development Services with the City of Arlington, Texas.  Before joining Arlington, Patricia spent 20 years with a planning firm based out of New Orleans, crafting master plans, project analyses, and zoning ordinances. Patricia also serves on the GIS Advisory Committee for Tarrant County Community College.