APA California and PEN Remember Our Colleagues

In Remembrance – 2023

“A great soul serves everyone all the time. A great soul never dies. It brings us together again and again.”

-Dr. Maya Angelou

As we near the end of 2023 and head into our year to come, let’s take a moment to remember those colleagues and friends in the planning world that have passed this year. Their light continues to shine bright, and the following remembrance is meant to honor their memory and a few of the contributions they made to the planning profession:

Sally Barros

April 4, 1960 – April 23, 2022

A Principal Planner and Sustainability Manager with the City of San Leandro and someone committed to seeking knowledge as well as adventure, Sally was responsible for San Leandro’s first Climate Action Plan.

Gary Binger, FAICP

May 1942 – March 11, 2023

Gary was the Co-Director of the Urban Land Institute’s Center for a Sustainable California. He also was an influential leader in Bay Area housing policy during his tenure as the Deputy Executive Director and Director of Planning and the Association of Bay Area Governments (ABAG). Gary was also a recipient of the APA California Distinguished Leadership Award

Nicole Dubois

August 15, 1978 – November 20, 2022

Principal, LSA Associates, Inc.

Nicole was a highly respected and accomplished planner with a 20-year career at LSA in environmental planning and analysis, and she rose to the level of Principal.

Paul Fassinger

January 15, 1960 – March 5, 2023

Paul was the long-time Research Director of the Association of Bay Area Governments (ABAG), who drove the publication of ABAG’s annual “Projections” document, that was the precursor to a Sustainable Communities Strategy. Paul also guided the Bay Area’s Regional Housing Needs Allocation process.

Chester Hartman, Ph.D.

April 12, 1936 – May 9, 2023

Chester was a groundbreaker, an earthshaker, and a force for racial justice. He was the Founder of the Planners Network and Founding Executive Director of the Poverty and Race Research Action Council. A planner, an author, an academic, activist who dedicated his focus to the impacts of top-down urban renewal, displacement from gentrification and an early and passionate advocate for racial justice.

John Leehey, ASLA

1956 – August 23, 2023

John enjoyed a successful and rewarding career in planning, urban design and landscape architecture for over 35 years, including at JZMK Partners, EDAW and Danielian Associates. John brightened every room he entered with his cheerful character and palpable love of life. He loved playing guitar, golfing, and bluffing his way into a winning hand in Texas Hold’em.

James Laurence Mintier, FAICP

March 4, 1945 – June 30, 2023

Larry was a titan in the field of planning who personified service, grace and dedication. Larry served as the Co-Historian of APA California, as well as the President of both the California Planning Roundtable and the California Planning Foundation. Larry was also President of Mintier & Associates and Co-Founder of Mintier Harnish in Sacramento. While he was also so much more, he was also Chair of the Planner Emeritus Network (PEN) Remembrance Program.

Robert J. Paternoster, FAICP

October 20, 1939 –March 23, 2023

Bob was a long-time planner dedicated to public service, including as the Chief of Planning for the City of Long Beach, the Director of Community Development in the City of Sunnyvale. He also served as the President of the Planner Emeritus Network and APA California.

Richard Reese

November 18, 1927 – August 29, 2023

Richard was a true visionary urban designer and planner, conceptualizing the planning of Rancho Santa Margarita, as well as serving as the Master Community Planner for the Irvine Company, and the Planning Director for the City of Anaheim. He was also an original member of the California Planning Roundtable.

Dorothy Walker

April 14, 1930 – June 10, 2023

An inspiration to many and the prototype for planners as activists, Dorothy was the Founding President of the American Planning Association, the Assistant Vice-Chancellor for the University of California and a Planning Commissioner for the City of Berkeley. She fought vehemently against segregation, was a very early adopter of higher density housing as well as traffic calming in the streets of Berkeley.

Rick W. Wilson, Ph.D. , FAICP

May 16, 1956 – December 6, 2022

Rick was the Chair of the Department of Urban Regional Planning at Cal Poly Pomona. He was also the recipient of the Provost Award for Excellence in Research and Creative Activities and furthermore, he established the Dale Prize for Excellence in Urban and Regional Planning. He taught, encouraged and inspired countless planners through his knowledge, enthusiasm and spirit.

While so much more could be said about our colleagues, we wanted to share meaningful accomplishments and honor our talented contributors.