Alumni Profiles

If you are a SURP alumnus, please let us know what you are doing – professionally and personally. We appreciate if you would  to this list below so that we can keep up-to-date on the accomplishments and whereabouts of our alumni community. If you have any questions, please contact us at
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Michael Arnold

Michael Arnold

LEPC 5 Coordinator/Principal Planner
Withlacoochee Regional Planning Council
2002 & 2004

I graduated in 2002 with a BURP and 2004 with a MURP. I am a Principal Planner at the Withlacoochee Regional Planning Council since April 2006 where I coordinate all Emergency Planning activities and acts as staff to the Local Emergency Planning Committee (LEPC) District 5. I also assist local governments in preparing Evaluation and Appraisal Reports (EARs) and EAR Based Amendments. I am a native Floridian from Miami and hold both a Bachelor’s (2003) and Master’s Degree (2005) in Urban and Regional Planning from Florida Atlantic University.

I hope to eventually be a Certified Emergency manager and continue my work with county, regional and state wide emergency management planning and preparedness.


Chris Barry, AICP CUD
Development Services Manager
City of Hillsboro (OR) Planning Department
2003 & 2006

I graduated from Florida Atlantic University with a Bachelor’s in Urban & Regional Planning in August 2003 and a Master’s in Urban & Regional Planning in December 2006. Prior to graduating, I interned with Song & Associates, a West Palm Beach architectural firm, and with the Palm Beach County (PBC) Zoning Division. Since graduating in 2003 I have been practicing in the field of land planning both privately and publicly and have held positions as a Site Planner II with the PBC Zoning Division, as a Land Entitlement Project Manager with Centex Homes and a Planner with Jon E. Schmidt & Associates. Until 2017, I worked as a Senior Planner for Urban Design Kilday Studios, a mid-size land planning and landscape architecture firm in West Palm Beach. Our family took a big leap and moved from Florida to Oregon, and in mid-June I became an employee with the City of Hillsboro’s Planning Department as the Development Services Manager.

Seth Behn

Seth C. Behn, AICP
Sr. Land Use Planner
Greenberg Traurig P.A.

After a career as a woodworker and boat-builder, I enrolled in the University of Miami’s Graduate School of Architecture. After completing the first year of study at UM, I transferred to FAU’s Department of Urban and Regional Planning where I completed my M.U.R.P. in April 2005.  I am an AICP certified planner, a member of APA-Florida, and I volunteer as the Professional Development Officer for the Palm Beach County Planning Congress.

My professional career began with an internship of one year with the City of Miami Beach Planning Department. While still at FAU I was hired to work for the planning and landscape architecture firm Land Design South in West Palm Beach, where I remained for two years. For the last three years I have been employed by the international law firm of Greenberg Traurig, also in West Palm Beach, as a Senior Land Use Planner. My role at Greenberg Traurig is that of project manager overseeing the governmental approval process for residential, commercial and industrial project development.

Shekeria L. Brown, AICP

Shekeria L. Brown, AICP

Executive Director
South Florida Community Development Coalition, Inc. (SFCDC)

Shekeria Brown is the Executive Director of South Florida Community Development Coalition, Inc. (SFCDC). She has spent most of her 14-year career in south Florida as an urban planner, practitioner and consultant focused on affordable housing, community and economic development. With extensive experience in grants compliance, she has administered over $100 million in state and federal grant funding allocated to local government for various community development projects. She has led the development of numerous strategic plans for community development investment.

In her current role, she aims to have a long-lasting impact on community development by continuing to shape public policy, strengthening the role of nonprofits, and encouraging more collaboration/partnerships for sustainable and increasingly effective community development in the region. Prior to joining SFCDC, she worked for an urban affairs and grants administration consulting firm serving municipalities primarily throughout Broward County.

Shekeria holds a Master of Urban and Regional Planning from Florida Atlantic University, where her concentration was in community and economic development. She also holds dual Bachelor of Arts degrees in Mass Communication and Interpersonal Speech Communication from the University of South Florida. Shekeria is a member of the American Institute of Certified Planners and American Planning Association.

Gisla Bush

City of Pompano Beach
2013, 2015

Congratulations to Gisla Bush, promoted to the position of Planner at the City of Pompano Beach. Gisla graduated from the Master of Urban and Regional Planning program and received the 2014 Robert A. Catlin/David W. Long Memorial Scholarship from the Planning and Black Community Division (PBCD) of American Planning Association (APA). Learn more about Ms. Bush’s accomplishments as reported by FAU and The Today Show.

Bradley J. Currie, AICP

Bradley J. Currie, AICP

Land Design South

Brad Currie is a Principal of Land Design South, one of South Florida’s premier, multi-disciplinary Landscape Architecture firms. Services include land planning, landscape architecture, environmental and transportation. Land Design South is located in West Palm Beach and Port St. Lucie. Brad is Principal of the Port St. Lucie office. In addition to overseeing the Port St. Lucie office Brad is responsible for a variety of land planning projects that encompass site planning, master planning and application submittals.  His responsibilities include research and preparation of land planning reports and development applications, preparation of and representation of Developments of Regional Impact (DRI), and directing site planning and landscaping staff.  As a Planner, Brad dealt primarily with preparing and submitting rezoning applications and Comprehensive Plan Amendments and coordinating the applications with clients and the public sector.  His education in planning was comprised of both theory and practical work, providing Brad with an understanding of planning principals and techniques used to apply his education to project design.  Brad also has experience working in the public sector and for a residential developer, affording him vital knowledge of the different elements in the land development game.

Maribel Feliciano

Maribel Feliciano
FRA-RP, LEED Green Associate

Assistant Director
Broward County Planning and Redevelopment Division

Maribel Feliciano has over twenty years of public and private sector multidisciplinary experience in transportation planning, environmental protection, licensing and compliance, comprehensive and land use planning, community outreach, climate mitigation and adaptation. She has a fourteen-year track record of proactive and progressively responsible experience in program and budget administration, project management, strategic planning, process improvement, and staff supervision. As the Assistant Director of Broward County Planning and Development Management Division, she works in directing and coordinating divisional programs and policies in the areas of comprehensive planning, code enforcement, zoning, Geographic Information Systems, development management and environmental review. Ms. Feliciano serves in boards and technical committees for Broward Complete Streets, Metropolitan Planning Organization, U.S. Department of Energy Clean Cities Coalition, Climate Change Task Force, and the American Planning Association. She has a Master’s in Urban and Regional Planning from Florida Atlantic University (FAU) and some of her certifications include the Florida Redevelopment Association – Redevelopment Professional, U.S. Green Building Council LEED Green Associate, and an Advanced Certificate in Environmental Planning from FAU.

Joe Heilman

Joe Heilman

Natural Resource Specialist
Broward County Water Management Division
2003 & 2004

Joe graduated from FAU with a Bachelors degree in Urban & Regional Planning in 2003 and then a Masters degree in 2004. I served as the Vice-President of the Florida Atlantic Planning Society from 2003-2004. Currently I am employed by Broward County’s Water Management Division, where my duties include managing various water conservation projects for the County’s water utility and performing planning services for dependent water control districts. I am an active member of the Alumni Society and take great pleasure in volunteering my time and resources to FAPS events like the River Clean ups and annual tailgate.

Tykus HollowayTykus R. Holloway, P.E., AICP
Deputy Chief Projects Officer, Office of the Mayor
Denver, Colorado

Tykus Holloway is the Deputy Chief Projects Officer for the Office of Denver Mayor Michael B. Hancock. He is responsible for leading collaborative processes that ensure stakeholders are engaged in a meaningful way to implement large-scale and transformative projects. He has also served as the Director of Policy and Planning for Denver’s Public Works Department, where he led a team that served as the vanguard for the development of the department’s strategic vision to help implement the physical building blocks of Denver.

Mr. Holloway is a Denver native and holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Civil Engineering from Colorado State University (2000). He also holds a Master of Urban and Regional Planning degree from Florida Atlantic University (2002) and was a Growth Management Fellow at the FAU/FIU Joint Center for Environmental and Urban Problems.

Prior to returning to Colorado, he worked in both the public and private sectors in Florida, including for the Florida Department of Transportation followed by running his own transportation consulting business. He has also served as an adjunct professor at Florida Atlantic University and is a past chair of the National Society of Black Engineers – Palm Beach Alumni Extension.

Through his learned and experiential knowledge, he continuously seeks to improve the quality of life in communities by balancing physical, economic, political, and social needs. He was highlighted in the Viewpoint section of the American Planning Association’s Planning magazine (Oct. 2009) discussing the importance of saving social capital. He also continues to provide motivational speeches to youth regarding life achievement and advises young professionals on career and community development.

Mr. Holloway lives in Denver with his wife and two boys.

Renee Miller

Renee M. (Miller) Kamen, AICP
Planner, Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission
Silver Spring, Maryland

I graduated in 2002 with my Master’s Degree in Urban and Regional Planning, concentrating in environmental planning. Honestly? I’ve never worked in environmental planning. I have worked in transportation, land use, GIS and now development review. Currently, I am a planner for the Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission, in Silver Spring, Maryland. M-NCPPC is one of the oldest bi-county regional agencies, with over 80 years of history. At M-NCPPC, I work at the Montgomery County Planning Department as a zoning analyst. As a zoning analyst, I specialize in rezoning applications and special exceptions (conditional uses). Although, I review rezoning and special exceptions, my reviews involve site plan and design. (Planning in Maryland is not planning in Florida and although both states have smart growth policies, the way planning is done between the two would take me longer than a paragraph to explain!) Since my background is also geography, my primary role in the organization is managing the conversion of all our zoning maps (stored on mylars) to a geographic information system and their maintenance until the official “switch” occurs.

I am a certified planner. I passed the AICP exam in 2006. In 2000/01, I was in the first group of students to revitalize Florida Atlantic Planning Students and created the liaison position between Broward APA and FAU. I was extremely active in the Florida Chapter APA, first as a representative as BAPA president and then as Secretary of FAPA. Currently, I am the president of the National Capital Area Chapter of the American Planning Association (NCAC), which is comprised of 700 planners, citizens and elected officials from Montgomery and Prince George’s County, MD and Washington, D.C. My role as president is to provide educational and networking opportunities to our members, create partnerships with other professional organizations to further enhance NCAC’s mission and purpose and to be a liaison between the National APA and our Chapter.

I currently live in Fulton, MD with my husband Dan, my stepchildren Danny (13) and Patrick (10) and our daughter, Lucy, 7 months.

Erin Kelley
Urban Design Kilday Studios
West Palm Beach, Florida

After graduating with my masters in Urban and Regional Planning in 2016, I gained employment as a planner with the City of Palm Beach Gardens. This job has allowed me to work on small commercial, large residential, and urban infill projects. I was promoted to Senior Planner and have had the opportunity to give back to my alma mater through guest lecturing and sitting on a panel on new emerging planners. I am currently a Project Manager/Senior Planner for Urban Design Kilday Studios. I look forward to continue being an active MURP alumna and thank FAU SURP for giving me the knowledge needed to become a successful public sector land planner.

Marc Kurbansade, AICP

Marc Kurbansade, AICP
Kimley-Horn and Associates, Inc.

I received my MURP from Florida Atlantic University in May 1998. While pursuing my degree, I worked in the VPT Lab (previously the GIS Lab) under the guidance of Dr. Prosperi and then Director Scott Burton.

Once I received my degree, I went on to work for Post, Buckley, Schuh & Jernigan as a GIS Analyst. From PBS&J, I took my knowledge and desire for software application development and took a hiatus from Planning to pursue software and application development at Merrill Lynch. I re-entered the Planning profession several years later back in South Florida at Land Design South where I remained for approximately three years and worked alongside several FAU alumni (Brad Currie and Seth Behn). I am now employed by Kimley-Horn and Associates, Inc., in their Dallas, Texas office. True to the nature of “Planning” I wear many hats at KHA, working for both private and public sector clients. Some of my specialties include entitlements for all types of development projects (e.g., Planned Development ordinances; representation of development approval petitions before both staff-level committees and local governmental bodies), master planning & site planning for all types of development projects, municipal Comprehensive Plans, and Geographic Information Systems applications.

I am also actively involved in the American Planning Association, serving as the Professional Development Officer for the North Central Texas Section of the APA for the past 18 months and have recently been appointed to serve as the Certification Maintenance Coordinator for the Texas State Chapter of the APA.

Nixon Lebrun, CFM, AICP

Nixon Lebrun, CFM, AICP

City Planner
City of North Miami
2002 & 2004

I graduated from Florida Atlantic University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Urban and Regional Planning in December 2002, a Master’s Degree in Urban and Regional Planning in August 2004 and a Master’s Degree in Public Administration in May 2008. I briefly worked as a Planning Associate for the City of Homestead from January to June 2004. In January 2005, I accepted the position of Plans Processor III at the Planning and Zoning Department of Miami-Dade County. I held that position until July of that same year when I was hired as a Zoning Technician and promoted shortly after, to the position of Planner for the newly-incorporated City of Miami Gardens. In March 2014, I accepted the Zoning Administrator position with the City of North Miami, where I became responsible for managing and coordinating the activities of the Zoning Division of the Community Planning and Development Department. In February 2015, I was promoted to and has held the City Planner position for the same department. In that capacity, I direct the implementation of the City’s Comprehensive Plan, Land Development Regulations and any other relevant master planning documents, as well as any updates and amendments thereto. I am an ASFPM Certified Floodplain Manager and also an AICP Certified Planner.

Robert Lewis

Robert Lewis, MSc, MURP
Director, Policy Coordination Unit
Cayman Islands Government

Robert Lewis has been appointed to head up a new government policy unit in the Cayman Islands Government. The Cabinet Office’s Policy Coordination Unit has been created to coordinate the development and implementation of policies across all government ministries and portfolios. His team is charged with developing independent advice for the Cabinet, the National Security Council, the premier and other agencies. Robert sat on several national committees tasked with producing national policies and enhancing departmental efficiencies. Cayman Islands Government Cabinet Secretary Orrett Connor, said, “With proven strengths and experience, Mr. Lewis is well-equipped to contribute to government’s strategic growth.”

At present, he sits on the National Energy Policy Committee, the Census Advisory Committee, and the National Climate Change Adaptation Working Group. He also chairs an energy policy subcommittee, which focuses on energy efficiency and conservation in relation to land-use, construction processes and buildings. He has been recognized by the Cayman Islands Civil Service Association “For Exemplary Service to the People and Government of the Cayman Islands.”

The new policy director for the Cayman Islands Government graduated from FAU in 2006 with a MURP degree (concentrations in Economic & Tourism Development as well as Environmental Policy). While at FAU he briefly served on the FAPA Executive Committee representing the University, and on the By-Laws Committee of BAPA. He holds another Masters Degree – Public Policy and Management – from the University of London, England. His undergraduate degree was in architecture and he holds building code certifications. He also holds management certifications from Napier University, Scotland and from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).

As a former Assistant Director of Planning for the Cayman Islands Government, responsible for policy development and strategic planning, that role enable him to contribute on committees toward national initiatives such as Energy Policy, Climate Change Policy, Census, efficiency/effectiveness review of the Government (a Department), and National Assessment of Living Conditions, among others. In addition to national contributions, Robert’s keen interest in the professional development of planners and aspiring managers led him to offer career counseling, lectures on urban and regional planning, management and leadership.

Robert’s interests – aside from his job – includes sports administration and traveling. He was the founding President of the Cayman Islands Martial Arts and Taekwondo Federations, a past member of the Cayman Islands Olympic Committee and the President of the organizing committee for the first world sporting event in the Cayman Islands – World Cup Taekwondo. He was acknowledged for dedicated service and outstanding contributions to the sport by that sport’s world governing body. Robert was inducted in 1990 into the Caribbean Martial Arts Hall of Fame in its inaugural year.

The friendships established with students and professors at FAU will never be forgotten.

Simon O. Martinez, Assoc. AIA, LEED AP

Simon O. Martinez, Assoc. AIA, LEED AP BD+C

Partner, AKArchitects

I graduated from FAU, Spring 2007 with a dual degree (B. Arch and MURP) Bachelor of Architecture with a major in Architecture and Master of Urban and Regional Planning. While pursuing my degrees, I worked full-time for FAU as a computer coordinator. The decision to begin my professional experience in the field of architecture and planning while in school was an exciting and crucial one. Gradually, I began shaping the path to my professions. Not an easy task, but doable based on my interest.

I have always been attracted by technology, building and the intricacy and complexity of labyrinths. So, it came to no surprise the interest in technology and construction and how it can be applied towards the many intricate layers of sustainable building design within the urban and metropolitan fabric of space; and how that fabric of space is affected by those decisions made.

Currently, I’m a Partner with AKArchitects, Inc. We provide feasibility studies, design criteria packages, planning, programming, sustainable building design, construction administration, LEED credit compliance and administration and project management to many private and public sector clients in South Florida.

Bill Nemser

Bill Nemser, AICP, LEED AP
Town Planner

Office of Municipal Services- Maynard, Massachusetts
2003 & 2005

Bill Nemser is the Town Planner for Maynard, Massachusetts His work includes:

  • Economic Development
  • Community Planning
  • Policy and Zoning

Bill is a member of the American Institute of Certified Planners and holds Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design Accredited Professional designation. He earned Masters (2005) and Bachelors (2003) degrees in Urban and Regional Planning from Florida Atlantic University where he was awarded an Environmental Growth Management Fellowship from the Center for Urban and Environmental Solutions. B ill was named the FAPA Outstanding Student Planner of the year in 2004. Prior to joining the planning community, Bill Nemser worked in the real estate profession and served in the U.S. Coast Guard.

Bill continues to stay involved with FAU in various capacities: he is a member of the FAU “Parliament of Owls” and is the past president of the FAU School of Urban and Regional Planning Alumni Society. Bill also serves on the Board of Directors of the Palm Beach County Planning Congress.

Bill’s future plans include continuing his various side projects that allow him to research and write about the various facets of the professional planning profession.

John Patterson, AICP

John Patterson, AICP
Floodplain Development Coordinator
Town of Fort Myers Beach, FL

I earned my Master’s in Urban and Regional Planning with a concentration in Urban Development and Design in 1997. I moved to Southwest Florida in 2000, where I have worked for the cities of North Port and Cape Coral. As a planner and planner II for these cities, I performed current planning work reviewing development plans, subdivisions, vacations, variances, and special exceptions. In October 2008, I started a new position with the Town of Fort Myers Beach, FL. I am serving as the floodplain development coordinator, which entails: managing the town’s participation in the National Flood Insurance Program; creating and implementing the town’s new development review program; working on various historic preservation projects; and representing the town on various committees of the Metropolitan Planning Organization and Southwest Florida Regional Planning Council (SWFRPC).

I have been married to my wife Patty for four (4) years, and have an 18-year-old step-daughter, Ashley. We currently live in the City of North Port, FL.

Sarah Sinatra

Sarah Sinatra, AICP

Assistant Director of Planning
Calvin, Giordano & Associates

I graduated from FAU with a Masters in Urban & Regional Planning in 2003. Since then I have worked in the Village of Wellington as an Associate Planner and have been at Calvin, Giordano & Associates for the past 4 years as the Assistant Director of Planning. My work experience includes municipal Planning Director duties such as processing zoning requests, land use plan amendments, site plan reviews, rezoning petitions and presentations to city commissions. I have also been responsible for writing Evaluation and Appraisal Reports, Comprehensive Plans, Zoning and Land Development codes, form-based codes and transit-oriented zoning codes. As the Assistant Director of Planning for Calvin, Giordano & Associates, I act as the Community Development Director for the City of Weston, the City of West Park and the Town of Surfside. Within these roles, I perform day-to-day planning and zoning activities, present staff reports and recommendations to the Commissions, the Planning and Zoning Boards and provide customer service assistance to residents, developers and business owners. In the future, I hope to have opportunities to work with new municipalities and utilize creative zoning techniques.