Product Design Specialist
An architect by training, Joe Liao joined Esri in 2014 as a product design specialist. Having worked on design projects of various scales—from installations to single buildings, and a campus to a 10-kilometer long city park—Joe has come to believe that in order to tackle urban and environmental challenges at scale, design needs to happen at a more fundamental level, starting with processes and tools. By harnessing the analytical capabilities of Esri technology, Joe works to empower the countless creative problem-solvers who are eager to tackle the toughest challenges together, by developing software tools that are simple, intuitive and delightful to use. With geodesign, Joe sees a transformative culture on the rise as the insights of GIS unleashes the creative power of our generation.
David Early, AICP, LEED AP
David Early, Senior Consultant at PlaceWorks, is renowned throughout California as an expert on smart growth and sustainable development, with nearly 30 years of experience in the fields of comprehensive planning, plan implementation, GIS, public participation, urban design, transportation planning, and environmental review, with a specialization in the application of GIS technologies to planning and design projects. Mr. Early is an engaging speaker and expert facilitator, and he has helped numerous groups achieve consensus on difficult development and conservation issues.
Ryan Perkl, Ph.D.
Senior Consultant & Project Manager
Dr. Perkl is Esri’s Green Infrastructure Lead and an Industry Practice Lead for Environmental Services Companies and Natural Systems Geodesign in the Professional Services Division. As a Senior Consultant and Project Manager, Ryan provides thought leadership devoted to Esri’s Green Infrastructure Initiative and supports a wide variety of environmentally focused projects as part of the Natural Resources Team. Prior to joining Esri, Ryan was an Assistant Professor of Planning at the University of Arizona where he taught a wide variety of classes including environmental spatial analysis, environmental land use planning, geodesign, and engaged in an active research agenda focused on conservation planning, landscape connectivity modeling, and advanced spatial analysis and geodesign.
Local Government Account Executive
A graduate of Auburn University, he has been a GIS professional since 1994 and has worked for planning and community development agencies at the regional and local level in Alabama and North Carolina. In addition to his local government duties at Esri, Keith is the Business Development Specialist on both the Planning and Economic Development teams. He is an active member in the American Planning Association, where he has conducted over 50 hands-on GIS workshops for planners since 2004.
Urban and Regional planning and is a Solutions Engineer
As part of a team in Redlands, CA he configures the ArcGIS platform for specific Planning and Land Records applications. Recently, the team has built an offering around urban blight remediation and is continuing to build specific solutions to improve the two-way conversation between the city and its citizens.
CityEngine and Procedural Technology Product Manager
Eric works to expand public understanding of how Esri's 3D products can enhance an organizations products and process, and help bring them success. Having spent six years as part of the 3D software development team, he has an intimate understanding of Esri’s 3D technology. From his time as the product engineering lead for geodesign he understands how Esri's tools can be used to support interdisciplinary decision making in a variety of fields. As a thought leader at Esri, he helps shapes the vision and direction of Esri's software, data models, and solutions development through interaction with customers and the translation of their requirements into useful technology.
Departmental Facilities Planner
LA County Department of Parks and Recreation
Clement Lau, AICP, has over 15 years of professional experience in urban and regional planning. Currently, Dr. Lau is a Departmental Facilities Planner with the Los Angeles County Department of Parks and Recreation where he works on a wide variety of park planning projects. Recently, he served as the project manager on the County’s Master Plan for Sustainable Parks and Recreation: Phase I and the Countywide Parks and Recreation Needs Assessment. Dr. Lau enjoys writing about a variety of planning issues and is on the author panel for UrbDeZine. He also has published articles in the California Planning & Development Report, Public Works Management & Policy, and Progressive Planning. He holds a doctorate and master's in urban planning from USC, and bachelor's in economics from the University of Hawaii at Manoa.
Lesli Kunkle Ellis
City of Boulder, CO, Planning Department
Comprehensive Planning Manager
Lesli Kunkle Ellis is Comprehensive Planning Manager with the City of Boulder and has 20 years of community planning experience.
Since Jan. 2011, she's been with the City of Boulder where she coordinates a team of 10 long range planners and programs including ecological planning, historic preservation, comprehensive planning and other special planning projects. She’s been coordinating the Boulder Valley Comprehensive Plan including the team that is updating the 3D maps and data.
Previously she consulted with communities across the US on community plans and worked for local and regional government agencies in Colorado and New Mexico on open land and trails and air quality planning.
She received Master of Urban Planning and Master of Landscape Architecture degrees from the University of Washington in Seattle and a Bachelor of Environmental Design from the University of Colorado in Boulder.
New York Department of State, Office of Planning & Development
Assistant Director, Division of Community Resilience and Regional Programs
Jeff works for the NY Department of State’s Office of Planning & Development. Some of his current responsibilities include coastal risk area mapping for use in resilience planning, supervise the State’s coastal consistency program, manage the Gateway project and work with the Gateway development team; participate in the State’s offshore planning efforts including facilitating acquisition and incorporation of ocean & Great Lakes information into the planning process; etc. He was GIS Unit Supervisor for the Office prior to his current position. He also served as a Coastal Development Specialist in upstate New York. Jeff received his MS in Natural Resources Management from the College of Environmental Science and Forestry.
Scott T. Edmondson
Planner-Economist, San Francisco Planning Department
Scott T. Edmondson, AICP, ISSP-SA, is a Strategic Sustainability Planner-Economist at the San Francisco Planning Department and an APA Sustainable Communities Division National Sustainability Champion working with the APA California Chapter and planners. Scott has over 30-years of experience and leadership providing complex strategic and technical decision support to clients and senior management. Practice areas include long-range land use and strategic sustainability planning and policy, CEQA/NEPA compliance, and facilities planning. He was an advisor and contributor to the San Francisco Sustainability Plan (1996). His current focus is advancing the emerging practice of integrative urban systems planning and its two components: (1) formulating the long range planning and information system needed to respond to 21st century urban-regional system challenges; (2) advancing the emerging practice of “regenerative” urbanism. Together they enable the capacity to strategically define, promote, and “plan” urban systems sustainability. Scott has an MA in Urban Planning from UCLA and a BA in (Sustainable) Development Studies from UCB.
GIS Manager, Richland County, Planning & Development Services (PDS)
Brenda Carter is a Certified GIS Professional (GISP) and effective manager and user of ESRI software. Ms. Carter has used ESRI GIS software since 1989 and she is the recipient of the 1st Place Programming AML Short Cut Award (1996) and the GIS Achievement Award from the South Carolina Arc Users Group (2014). She is also a board member of the South Carolina Arc Users Group (SCARC).
Ms. Carter is the GIS Manager for the Planning & Development Services Department (PDS) of Richland County, South Carolina. Her role is a solutions provider as she develops spatial insights provided by geospatial analysis and educates upper management and her colleagues of enhanced results and further possibilities through location and business intelligence. Brenda has expertise utilizing geospatial technology for governmental processes in planning and development. She supervises planning related geospatial GIS operations in the department such as E911, Neighborhood Planning, Zoning, and Digital Data Submissions and represents the department for different regional initiatives and community projects.
Ms. Carter has 32 years of experience in Geographical Information Systems. Throughout her career, she continues to utilize mapping and GIS analysis. She continues to seek advanced ways to utilize GIS in her daily activities in the Planning Department.
Professor, Harvard's Kennedy School of Government
Stephen Goldsmith is the Daniel Paul Professor of the Practice of Government and the Director of the Innovations in American Government Program at Harvard's Kennedy School of Government. He previously served as Deputy Mayor of New York where he started the country’s first data analytics unit and Mayor of Indianapolis, where he earned a reputation as one of the country's leaders in public-private partnerships Stephen recently co-authored The Responsive City, and has written The Power of Social Innovation; Governing by Network: The New Shape of the Public Sector; and The Twenty-First Century City: Resurrecting Urban America. He currently provides advice to cities, states and non-profits on the strategic use of data analytics as well as advising technology companies on how to utilize the data in their products to provide better solutions to cities and states. He writes on applied use of technology to drive innovation for Government Technology and Governing magazines.
Emi Randall, AICP, CFM
Director of Planning, Kenton County, Planning & Development Services (PDS)
Emi Randall is a community and economic development planner working toward improving the health and prosperity of communities. She is an effective project manager, team collaborator and people motivator. Ms. Randall is an award winning grant writer and has been named Employee of the Year by her peers.
Currently, Ms. Randall is serving as the Director of Planning & Zoning Administration for Planning and Development Services (PDS) of Kenton County, Kentucky. Her department is responsible for long-range planning, current planning, development services, zoning administration and code enforcement for cities and the unincorporated areas of Kenton County, Kentucky. Emi oversees operations of the department, supervises staff and represents the agency and the communities of Kenton County for various regional initiatives and community projects. Prior to joining PDS, Emi served as a Senior Planner for the Ohio Kentucky Indiana Regional Council of Governments and as a project manager for Woolpert, Inc., an engineering and planning consulting firm.
Ms. Randall has been using ESRI GIS programs since 2002, where she was first introduced to GIS mapping through studio course work in the Landscape Architecture program at the University of Kentucky. Since that time, she has utilized mapping and GIS analysis throughout her career. She continues to seek innovative ways to utilize GIS in her daily planning work and has forged strong partnerships between her department and the LINK-GIS department.
James M. Drinan
Executive Director, American Planning Association
JAMES M. DRINAN, J.D., is the Executive Director of the American Planning Association and the American Institute of Certified Planners, and serves as President of the APA Foundation. His responsibilities include leading the APA staff, representing the association, advancing the goals and objectives of the planning profession, and partnering with member leaders on the strategic direction of the association.
His career has focused on association leadership, governance, and strategic planning. He has had executive responsibility for associations, foundations and many related organizations. He has served as general counsel, lobbyist, and spokesperson for associations at the state and federal levels, and began his career as a federal attorney for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
A native of Boston, Jim received a B.A. in Political Science from Providence College and a J.D. from the DePaul University School of Law. He has written and lectured on association management, government relations, and legal issues. Drinan has served on, and chaired, boards and committees in numerous legal and association management organizations, as well as his college alumni association and condominium association. His interests include travel, golf, and helping the Boston Red Sox win the World Series.
Founder and President, Esri
A landscape architect by training, Jack Dangermond founded Environmental Systems Research Institute (Esri) in 1969 with a vision that computer mapping and analysis could help us design a better future. Under Dangermond's leadership, that vision has continued to guide Esri in creating cutting-edge GIS and GeoDesign technologies used in every industry to make a difference worldwide.
Dangermond fostered the growth of Esri from a small research group to an organization recognized as the world leader in GIS software development. Esri employs 2,700 people in the U.S.; many who shared his passion for GIS in the early days are still with the company and remain dedicated to helping our users be successful.
Director, Global Business Development, Esri
Christopher Cappelli is the corporate director responsible for leading Esri’s global sales and business development activities. A computational geographer with a passion for science and technology, he has worked for Esri for 25 years in a variety of key roles.
A native of Pennsylvania and graduate of Penn State University, Christopher joined Esri as a consultative GIS technician, assisting numerous organizations in the eastern US with the planning, implementation, and maintenance of their geospatial systems. Over the next four years, he developed GIS analytical models and applications to improve operational processes, site new facilities, optimize supply chains, and support strategic decision making.
In 1995, Christopher opened the Esri Pennsylvania regional office. There, he built a team to support users and win new customers in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Delaware. While cultivating business partnerships throughout the region, he conducted planning and design workshops to help people get the most out of their Esri investments.
In 2004, Christopher moved to Redlands, California, to work closely with Esri President Jack Dangermond and assume leadership of the Esri sales group. Since then, his role has expanded to guide Esri’s broader business development activities. He’s been instrumental in evangelizing GIS across the globe and championing the mission and core values of Jack and Laura Dangermond.
Christopher and his wife Dawn live in Redlands and have four children. An avid woodworker, amateur astronomer, and triathlete, Christopher refuses to depart from his technical roots; he still programs in Python and uses ArcGIS daily.
Professor Kelleann Foster, RLA, ASLA, is the Lead Faculty for the Online Geodesign Graduate Programs at Penn State, the Director of The Stuckeman School of Architecture and Landscape Architecture, and Associate Dean for the College of Arts and Architecture.
Kelleann has 30-years of professional practice experience as a landscape architect and has been teaching at Penn State for over 25-years. Her sabbatical, based at Esri’s World Headquarters in Redlands, CA, researched how Penn State’s online geodesign graduate programs could most effectively engage students in a collaborative, virtual studio environment. This resulted in the creation of Penn State’s new geodesign programs -- a Geodesign Option in the MGIS degree, a Graduate Certificate in Geodesign, and a Master in Professional Studies in Geodesign – all offered entirely online through Penn State’s award winning World Campus. Kelleann has also introduced Geodesign to thousands around the world through her MOOC “Geodesign: Change your World.”
Much of Kelleann’s work uses computer technologies to communicate alternative scenarios to citizens. Her work has received national and international recognition. She also focuses on generating awareness about career opportunities as a landscape architect. Kelleann authored a book, part of John Wiley & Sons “Careers in Design” series— titled “Becoming a Landscape Architect.” In 2014 the book became available in Chinese through Chinese Architectural Press.
When she’s not working, Kelleann can be found exploring the world via bicycle and she is enjoys anything connected to chocolate! She is a board member of the central Pennsylvania land trust, ClearWater Conservancy, and helps with their annual fundraiser “For the Love of Art and Chocolate.”
Brooks Patrick is an Account Executive for Geodesgin Markets at Esri helping individuals, teams, and organizations take advantage of Geodesign and the power of 3D GIS for comprehensive community planning, urban design, architecture, and game development. Brooks is also a Landscape Architect with a focus in sustainable urban planning and a frequent presenter at international conferences and workshops. As part of a team working with Esri CityEngine software, he designs solutions able to simulate the impact of planning and urban design alternatives in near real-time. He is responsible for further services and consulting in 3D city modeling and advanced visualization.
Lead Consultant for LandDesign
Mr. Petrosky is a lead consultant for LandDesign, an interdisciplinary planning and design firm based in Charlotte, North Carolina, with offices in Washington DC, Orlando, Dallas, and San Francisco. He is responsible for integrating GIS analysis, modeling and visualization into all stages of the design process. Experience includes land use and comprehensive plans, private master planning, small area plans, corridor studies, greenways and open space plans, and long range multi-modal transportation plans. Mr. Petrosky previously worked for Esri, the North Central Florida Regional Planning Council, the University of Florida GeoPlan Center, and the Capital Area Metropolitan Planning Organization. He has thirteen years of experience in data-driven land use and transportation planning. Specialties include demographic forecasting, suitability modeling and the development of custom spatial decision support systems to support grey and green infrastructure planning efforts. Mr. Petrosky has an interest in perfecting urban form, designing smart cities and better defining their transitions and edges.
Geodesign Practice Manager, Esri
Rob Matthews is a Practice Manager for Geodesign-related professional services at Esri. As a technologist, Rob's work integrates geospatial analysis, 2D/3D visualization, and design tools for urban development professionals and communities of place. His primary interest is the advancement of sustainability planning with an emphasis on climate change and the resiliency of urban and natural systems. Rob holds a Master of Urban Planning degree from the University of Washington and is a member of the American Institute of Certified Planners.
Former Planning Director, Planning and Community Services Department, City of Billings, Montana
Candi Millar received a Bachelor’s Degree in geology in 1979 from the University of Montana and began her professional career as an exploration geologist working in the northwest and Alaska. She used early prototypes of GIS programs and GPS instruments to locate precious metal occurrences in conjunction with geologic mapping and geophysical surveys in the 1980s.
Returning to the University of Montana, she received her Master’s degree in urban and rural planning in 1994. Her master’s thesis entitled “Predicting Conflicts between Land Use and Land Suitability, Rattlesnake Valley, Missoula, Montana”, emphasized GIS modeling and analysis of land use conflicts. Afterwards, as an independent consultant, she provided community planning services to rural Montana towns and counties before shifting her focus to development impact planning. Candi prepared the Sweetgrass County Hard Rock Mine Impact Plan prior to the development of the East Boulder Mine and was later hired by Sweetgrass County as Planning Director in 1997.
In 2000, she went to work for the City/County Planning Division in Billings, Montana. There she coordinated the development of the GIS program for the City and incorporated GIS mapping and analysis in community planning activities. Candi assumed the position of Planning Director (2006 to 2016) overseeing the Planning, Building, Code Enforcement and Community Development Divisions for the City of Billings and Yellowstone County.
One of her last projects, the “2016 City of Billings Growth Policy – BillingsBeyond”, incorporated scenario planning to evaluate the impacts and cost-effectiveness of different growth patterns. The project utilized ArcGIS Onlinetm, GeoPlanner for ArcGIStm, Story Mapstm and CommunityViztm to develop, analyze and display the scenarios. Candi is a member of the American Institute of Certified Planners, past-president of the Montana Association of Planners, and past-president of the Western Planner Resources, Inc.
Eric Brady GISP, PMP is the GIS Manager at Bergmann Associates. With a MA in Geography from the University at Buffalo and 17 years of GIS programming, project management and solution design experience he is continually amazed at the unique value GIS brings to organizations of all sizes and stripes.
Director of Education, Esri
David DiBiase leads Esri's education outreach program. He also teaches professional ethics part-time for Penn State University, where he founded its online certificate and masters degree programs in GIS. David organized the NSF-sponsored GIS Professional Ethics project, and is a former President of the GIS Certification Institute. He was lead editor of the first editions of the Geographic Information Science and Technology Body of Knowledge and the U.S. Department of Labor's Geospatial Technology Competency Model. David currently serves as a National Councillor of the American Association of Geographers. Beyond work his pastimes include hiking, running, and cycling, good wine, and classic jazz music - not necessarily in that order.
GIS Director, Kenton County, Planning & Development Services (PDS)
Trisha Brush leads an award winning 30 year old GIS Partnership: LINKGIS. In her 19 years of experience managing geospatial technologies involving planning, GIS, geospatial analysis, ROI, business processes, BI, permitting systems, utilities, cartography and GPS.
Trisha is a Certified GIS Professional (GISP) and has served on State GIS Boards in Kansas and Kentucky, including serving as founder and President of Kentucky Association of Mapping Professionals (KAMP) and Director on the Kansas Association of Mappers board. She has a bachelor’s degree from the University of Cincinnati in Geography and an MBA from Baker University in Kansas.
She has expertise utilizing geospatial technology for governmental operations, E-911, transportation, floodplain management, environmental services, planning and development, utilities and engineering. Ms. Brush is leading local government agencies at both the County and regional level, developing and managing GIS professionals and projects, as well as partnerships.
Trisha has a comprehensive background in organizational and system development, strategic and implementation planning, systems integration and implementation, GIS governance and financial modeling over one million dollars, geospatial standards and best practices, geodatabase modeling and design and geospatial data creation and conversion. Workflow and business processes are where she thrives.