Conference Speakers 2014


Featured Speakers:


Pleanry Session:

F. Kaid Benfield, Natural Resources Defense Council

Kaid Benfield is one of the nation’s foremost authorities on smart growth, sustainable communities, and green urbanism.  He is special counsel for urban solutions at the Natural Resources Defense Council in Washington, DC, where he works on positive, forward-thinking approaches to environmental challenges in the places where Americans live, work, and play.  Kaid also teaches regional planning and sustainable development practices at the George Washington University School of Law. 

Follow Kaid’s blog on sustainable communities at  Follow Kaid on Twitter: @Kaid_at_NRDC.


Luncheon Plenary Speaker:

Mitchell J. Silver, FAICP, Commissioner, New York City Department of Parks & Recreation

Mitchell Silver became Commissioner of the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation in May 2014. Commissioner Silver is also the immediate past president of the American Planning Association (APA). He is an award-winning planner with almost 30 years of experience and he is internationally recognized for his leadership in the planning profession and his contributions to contemporary planning issues. He specializes in comprehensive planning, place making and implementation strategies. As Parks Commissioner, Mitchell Silver oversees management, planning and operations of nearly 30,000 acres of parkland, which includes parks, playgrounds, beaches, marinas, recreation centers, wilderness areas and other assets.

Prior to returning to his native New York City as Parks Commissioner, he served as the Chief Planning & Development Officer and Planning Director for Raleigh, NC. His career has included roles as a policy and planning director for New York City’s Department of Planning, a principal of a New York City-based planning firm, a town manager in New Jersey, and deputy planning director in Washington, DC.



Nina Arron, Director of Planning and Sustainability, Department of Development, City of New Rochelle

Christina Becker-Birck, Senior Consultant, Meister Consultants Group, Inc.

Paul Beyer, Esq., Director of Smart Growth, NYS Department of State-Office of Planning and Developmentt

Ben Berkowitz, CEO & Founder, SeeClickFix

Michael S. Blau, Village Administrator, Village of Tarrytown

Lisa Bova-Hiatt, General Counsel, Governor’s Office of Storm Recovery

Kevin Dwarka, J.D., Ph.D., Managing Principal, Kevin Dwarka Land Use & Economic Consulting

Christopher B. Fisher, Esq., Partner, Cuddy & Feder LLP

Mark Frater, MBA, BIE, President, LeanFirm Inc.

Michael B. Gerrard, Andrew Sabin Professor of Professional Practice and Director, Sabin Center for Climate Change Law, Columbia Law School

Charles J. Gottlieb, Esq., Associate, Cuddy & Feder LLP

Larry Gould, Principal, Nelson\Nygaard Consulting Associates

Mark Headd, Developer Evangelist, Accela, Inc.

Melissa Kaplan-Macey, AICP, PP, Principal, Collaborative Planning Studio

Mary Beth KassChair, Bedford Energy Advisory Panel (BEAP), Town of Bedford

Amanda Kennedy, Connecticut Director, Regional Plan Association

Justin Lapatine, Partner, Public Affairs, Global Strategy Group

Doug Leeper, Consultant, Code Enforcement Solutions

Adam Lubinsky, PhD, AICP, Managing Principal, W X Y architecture + urban design

Thomas Madden, AICP, Director of Economic Development, City of Stamford, CT

Jennifer T. Manierre, CEM, LEED AP ND, Project Manager, Energy Efficiency Services, NYSERDA

Gina Martini, AICP, ENV SP, Senior Project Manager, VHB, Inc.

Matthew Millea, Deputy Secretary of State, Office of Planning and Development, NYS Department of State

Stephen R. Miller, Associate Professor of Law and Director, Economic Development Clinic, University of Idaho College of Law - Boise

William Rees Morrish, Urban Designer and Professor of Urban Ecologies at Parsons The New School for Design

Anthony F. Morando, Esq., Associate, Cuddy & Feder LLP

David M. Morley, AICP, Senior Research Associate, American Planning Association

Kelly Murphy, Director of Planning for the NY Region, VHB, Inc.

John R. Nolon, Esq, Of Counsel, Land Use Law Center and Professor of Law, Pace University School of Law

Sean F. Nolon, Professor of Law and Director of Alternative Dispute Resolution Program, Vermont Law School

Rose Noonan, Executive Director, Housing Action Council, Inc.

Robert Paley, Director of TOD, Metropolitan Transportation Authority

John Redente, Co-Chair, Sidney NY Rising Committee

David S. Silverman, Partner, Ancel, Glink, Diamond, Bush, DiCianni & Krafthefer, P.C.

Molly Stuart, Esq., Associate, Kilpatrick Townsend & Stockton LLP

Graham Trelstad, AICP, PP, Senior Vice President, AKRF, Inc.

Andrew Tung, ASLA, Esq., LEED AP, Partner, Divney Tung Schwalbe, LLP and President, Westchester Municipal Planning Federation

Leo A. W. Wiegman, Co-Founder and President, Croton Energy Group Inc.

Ralph R. Willmer, FAICP, Senior Planner/Project Manager, VHB, Inc.

Tiffany B. Zezula, Esq., Deputy Director, Land Use Law Center