Indiana Chapter - American Planning Association

Board Members

Executive Committee
Elections for APA Indiana officers are held every year, but the terms are staggered to prevent a fully new board in any given year. The president serves a four year term (president-elect for one year, president for two years, and immediate past president for one year) and all other board members serve two year terms.

Chapter President
Katie Bannon, AICP – City of Indianapolis

Katie is HOME Program Manager for the City of Indianapolis.  In this role, she works with community partners to develop affordable housing and revitalize neighborhoods. Katie has previously worked for the Indiana Housing and Community Development Authority (IHCDA) and the City of Bloomington Planning and Transportation Department. In her free time, Katie owns a small rental company, which focuses on the redevelopment of vacant and dilapidated buildings in historic Indianapolis neighborhoods. She also enjoys biking, running, reading, and exploring new places. She received her BA from the University of Illinois and her Master’s in Urban and Regional Planning from Ball State University.

Past President
Joshua Desmond, AICP – City of Bloomington

Robert Thompson, AICP – Porter County

Robert (Bob) Thompson, AICP is currently the Director of the Department of Storm Water Management and Development for Porter County, Indiana.  He has worked with Porter County for 25 years in various positions, Assistant County Engineer, Executive Director/County Planner and then as Director of the recently created department.  Bob has also worked as a planner with Broward County, FL.  Bob is a member of the American Institute of Certified Planners since July of 2000.  Currently he is Secretary/Treasurer to the Chapter Presidents Council of APA. Bob has an Associates in Civil Engineering Technology, Bachelors in Construction Technology from Purdue University Calumet where he graduated with honors.  Bob received his Masters in City and Regional Planning in 1992 from Illinois Institute of Technology.

Jon Hunsberger – City of Goshen

Professional Development Officer (PDO)
Philip Roth, AICP – Central Indiana Regional Transportation Authority

Philip serves as the Mobility Manager for the Central Indiana Regional Transportation Authority, as well on the adjunct faculties for IUPUI’s School of Public and Environmental Affairs and Department of Geography.  Before settling in on transportation planning as his primary area, he worked in economic development, affordable housing and community development, alternative transportation, and land use planning, and has worked in both the public and private sectors.  Philip earned his BA from Grinnell College (Iowa), then earned his Master’s in Regional Planning from the University of North Carolina (Chapel Hill); eventually, he earned his Ph.D. in Geography from Indiana University (Bloomington).  He, his wife, and their three children reside in Indianapolis.

Planning Officials Development Officer (PODO)
Mark McCormack – Dearborn County

Mark McCormack is the Director of Planning & Zoning for Dearborn County, IN. Through a unique arrangement of inter-local agreements with local communities (that have their own Advisory Plan Commissions), Mark also serves as the Planning Director for the City of Aurora, and the Towns of Dillsboro, St. Leon, and West Harrison. Mark’s previous work experience includes the Performance Group, LLC., a private sector construction firm, as well as the Indianapolis Department of Metropolitan Development. Mark received his degree in Urban Planning & Development from Ball State University and has many professional and personal affiliations and interests. Mark’s favorite activities are those that involve spending time with his two children. His main interests include fishing, hiking, biking, camping, playing sports, and traveling. He also enjoys volunteering, reading (a lot), and making things such as drawings, paintings, crafts and projects involving home improvements.

At-Large Board Members
The regional representatives are elected at large but must live/work in the region they represent. The board meets in odd numbered months to conduct the business of the chapter.

Northern Region:
Michael W. Lautzenheiser, Jr., AICP & CFM – Wells County Area Plan Commission 

Mike serves as the Area Plan Commission Executive Director, GIS Manager and Floodplain Administrator for Wells County, Indiana.  He received his Bachelor’s degree in Urban Planning and Development in 2006 from Ball State University.   Prior to his current position, Mike was a Planning and GIS intern for two years with Wells County, Indiana.  In his free time, he enjoys fishing, sports and traveling abroad.  Mike also serves on the Northeast Indiana Geographic Consortium and volunteers with the local Upwards Sports program in Bluffton, Indiana as well as serving on the project management team for Forgotten Children Worldwide.

Abby Wiles, AICP – City of Elkhart

Abby serves the Assistant Director for Community, Economic and Redevelopment at the City of Elkhart. She received her bachelor’s degree from Goshen College and her Master’s degree from Ball State University. She previously worked at the City of Goshen and interned at the City of Michigan City, MACOG and the St. Joseph County Chamber of Commerce. In her free time, she enjoys traveling, running, kayaking, and other outdoor activities. Abby also serves on the Board of the Friends of Potato Creek State Park.

Central Region:
Carmen Lethig, AICP – Indiana Housing & Community Development Authority (IHCDA)

Carmen Lethig has worked for the Indiana Housing and Community Development Authority for over eight years in three different roles. Her current role is as the state’s first Placemaking Manager. She focuses on fostering development and organizational capacity for creating places where people want to live, work, and play throughout the State of Indiana. She works on various programs to accomplish this goal including Stellar Communities, My Community, My Vision and CreatINg Places. In her free time, Carmen enjoys spending time with her husband and two daughters, reading, drinking (lots of) coffee, attending plays and concerts, traveling and playing the project manager role in the rehab of her family’s 1929 bungalow home. Carmen is a certified urban planner and earned a BA from Purdue University in Communications and a Masters in Regional and Urban Planning from Ball State University.

Jonathan Blake, AICP – Town of Brownsburg

Southern Region:
Darla Blazey – City of Jasper, Indiana

Deborah Myerson, AICP – South Central Indiana Housing Opportunities

Citizen Planner:
Lena Hackett – Community Solutions Inc. 

Student Representative:
Mallory Thatch – Ball State University

Faculty Representative:
Scott Truex, AICP – Ball State University

Currently, Scott Truex is an Associate Professor in the Department of Urban Planning in the College of Architecture and Planning (CAP) at Ball State University. He also served as the Director of the Community Based Projects (CBP) Program and founder of CAP’s Indianapolis Center.  He received AICP certified in 1988 as a professional planner. His areas of teaching and research focus Sustainable Community Design and Development, Public Participation in Design and Planning, Community Visioning, Smart Green Design Practices and Net-zero Affordable Housing Solutions.  These activities are not limited to the United States as he is engaged in applied research projects internationally.

Ex-Officio Board Members
Conferences, membership management, awards, and newsletters would not be possible without the efforts of our Ex-Officio Board Members.

Awards Committee Chair
Lisa M. Dunaway, AICP – Sensible Ecology LLC and Ball State University

In addition to her work as the President of Sensible Ecology, LLC, Ms. Dunaway is an Instructor of Urban Planning at Ball State University in Muncie, Indiana.  Her specialties include ecological planning, urban ecology, sustainable development, design communication media, physical planning, and emergency and disaster planning.  She has a Bachelor of Landscape Architecture degree from Ball State University and a Master of Science in Natural Resources degree, with a specialization in Ecological Planning, from the University of Vermont.  Ms. Dunaway is also a certified planner with the American Institute of Certified Planners and a LEED Accredited Professional.  She has worked as a landscape architect, urban planner, and ecological planner since 2003.

Legislative & Policy Committee Co-Chairs
Debbie Luzier, AICP – GRW

Kenneth Hughes – Noble County

Communications Committee Co-Chairs
Bob Grewe, AICP – Vermillion Rise Mega Park

Bob currently serves as Director of Vermillion Rise Mega Park. Bob was previously Manager of Planning and Development Services for Lochmueller Group.  In this role he worked with communities to develop effective planning pursuits to address challenges and leverage opportunities to create better communities.  Bob has previously worked for local economic development organizations, city and county governments and also regional planning agencies.  He enjoys hiking, canoeing, cycling and related outdoor recreation pursuits.  Bob holds an MPA and a BS in Public Administration from the School of Public & Environmental Affairs, Indiana University, Bloomington Campus.

Ross Hilleary – City of Fishers

Membership Committee Chair
Bryant Niehoff – City of Shelbyville

Sponsorship Committee Chair
Brandon Bart – American Structurepoint

Brandon is a Project Planner at American Structurepoint, a multi-disciplinary design-build firm in Indianapolis. Prior to working at American Structurepoint, Brandon worked in public sector planning departments for the City of Fishers and the Town of Avon. Because of this, Brandon has a well-rounded knowledge of both public and private sector planning processes. He is experienced in long-range planning, strategic planning, placemaking, urban design, and other community development projects. His specialized skills in graphic design, public outreach, project management, and client relations make him a valuable member to the American Structurepoint team. Brandon lives in Downtown Indianapolis but spends most of his free time catching flights for spontaneous weekend trips with friends.

Coalition Representative
Mark Leach – City of Indianapolis

Emerging Professionals Chair
Justin Tackett – Floyd County