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 2017 through November 2019. 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.

Who are we?

From stories about childhood memories at Schlitterbahn to singing Spice Girls during Karaoke, you may want to take a second to learn more about your APATX board.

APA Texas 2021 to 2023 Executive Board


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.


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.


Gary Mitchell, FAICP

Gary Mitchell is president of Kendig Keast Collaborative, based in Sugar Land. He is a certified planner and holds a master’s degree in urban planning from Texas A&M University and a bachelor’s degree in economics from University of Texas at Austin. Within APA, Gary has held several leadership roles, including treasurer of APA Texas (2001-05), lead Texas delegate for the 2015 APA National Policy assembly and director of the Houston Section of the APA Texas Chapter. Gary again served as Chapter Treasurer in 2019-21 and was re-elected for another two years through 2023


Carol Barrett, FAICP

Carol retired in December of 2016. She continues her work as a trainer and ethics instructor. She was formerly the Assistant Director of Planning and Transportation for Burbank after working for several years as the Planning Manager for the City of San Gabriel. She moved to California in 2007 after a twenty years in Texas where she worked for the City of Austin and the City of San Marcos, Texas with a brief tour of duty as the Berkeley, California Planning Director between the two Texas gigs.  Carol has been active APA member. She was President of the National Capital Area Chapter and the Texas Chapter. She was an APA Board member, and co-chair of the National Conference in San Antonio in 2005. Carol was the Vice President for Professional Development of the California Chapter 2008-2010. She has been a member of the California Planning Foundation since 2008 and was elected President and served from 2012-2015. Carol was invited to join the California Planning Roundtable in 2012. Carol has written and taught about planning ethics during her professional career. In 2001, AICP published her book Everyday Ethics for Practicing Planners. In 2012 she authored a chapter in the new book Ethics, Design, and Planning for the Built Environment. In 1999, she was inducted in the inaugural class of the Fellows of the American Institute of Certified Planners. Carol has a Master's Degree in planning from Georgia Institute of Technology.

TML Representative

Rolandrea Russell

Rolandrea Russell is a Planner with the City of 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

Chance Sparks, AICP

Chance Sparks is a project manager of the Urban Planning and Design group at Freese and Nichols. He is a certified planner and holds a master’s degree in public administration, urban and environmental planning and a bachelor’s degree in geography – urban and regional planning from Texas State University. Sparks has held several leadership positions within APA, including Texas APA - Texas Municipal League affiliate and legislative representative, treasurer, director-elect and director of the Central Section of the APA Texas Chapter. He will serve two years as president, and two years as immediate past president.

Sections Representative


AJ is the Community Consulting Planning Leader for Verdunity, and is based in Lubbock, Texas. Her prior experience includes planning and development leadership roles for the cities of Lubbock, Amarillo, and San Angelo.  She is accredited through the American Institute of Certified Planners (AICP), the Congress of New Urbanism (CNU-A), and as a Certified Public Manager (CPM). She has served as secretary and director of the Northwest Section, the chapter's first committee chair of diversity & inclusion, and as a member of the first Great Places in Texas committee, for which the committee received the APA Texas President's Award. AJ is a three-time honoree on ELGL's Traeger List, a ranking of the top 100 local government influencers.  Her blogs include the series “Planning and Shaping Cities'' and "Future-Proofing Cities". She is featured on the podcasts "Go Cultivate!", "Are We Doing This Right?", and "We Built it That Way".

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).

Executive Administrator

Chelsea Irby, AICP

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 Cedar Park with her husband and two young children.

Section Directors

Central Carly Kehoe
East Tharani Devi Krishnakumar
Houston Luis Guajardo, AICP
Midwest David Hawkins, AICP
North Central Staron Faucher, AICP
Northwest Lorrine Quimiro
Southmost Cristina Garcia
Southwest Christopher Looney, AICP
West Michael McElroy, AICP

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 Kelly Porter, AICP
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 Dave Gattis, FAICP
Certification Maintenance Officer (CMO) Barbara Holly, AICP

National APA and AICP Elected Leaders

APA Director Elected From Region 3

Wendy Shabay Bonneau, FAICP


AICP Commissioner Elected From Region 3

Kimberley Mickelson, AICP


National APA Council/Divisions Representatives

Chapter President's Council Treasurer/Secretary

Doug McDonald, AICP


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.