Board Executive Committee

 

  Ruben Landa

  President

 

Ruben Landa is an experienced and accomplished leader in the architecture, engineering and construction industry with more than 18 years of experience in public involvement, public affairs, planning and diversity program management. His career includes time with STV Incorporated, HDR Inc., the Texas State Senate, K Strategies Group and now with WSP USA, Inc., where he is the senior communications manager for the Texas/Mountain Region. A proud native Texan, Ruben has earned Bachelor and Master of Arts degrees in political science from Sam Houston State University. 

  

Christopher Hernandez

VP Issues, President Elect

Christopher Hernandez is a practicing engineer at Kimley-Horn and an avid advocate of interdisciplinary collaboration and design. His experience includes planning and site civil design for residential, office, commercial, and infrastructure projects. A former member of the Urban Design Awards Judges Panel and Urban Design Awards Committee, and an active participant in multiple GDPC Task Forces, Christopher aims to use his skills as an engineer and networker in service of the GDPC and the Greater Dallas community. In addition to matters of design and construction, Christopher has a passion for education and STEM programs for K-12 students, and is committed to uplifting youth towards future opportunities of growth and leadership. 

  

  Brian Keith

  Past President

Brian is Director of Urban Design and Planning for JHP. He brings a passion for place-making, creating communities, and visioning of neighborhood redevelopments which emphasize diversity and sustainable over time. As a dedicated advocate for “Good Urbanism” his endeavors to infuse these planning principles into all his projects and efforts.Brian has more than 25-years of extensive mixed-use, urban redevelopment and master planning experience. His professional experience having been centered on urban design and planning, lead to a desire to create both livable communities and great urban spaces. Brian has served as the Chair of GDPC Urban Design Awards 2014, 2015 and 2016. 

  

  Nikki Simon, PE

  Treasurer

Nikki Simon is the President of Simon Engineering & Consulting, Inc., a civil engineering planning and design firm. With over 28 years of experience in the planning, design, and construction of civil infrastructure projects, Nikki’s achievements have played a major role in transportation projects throughout the DFW Metroplex, including projects for the City of Dallas, NTTA, TxDOT, DART and Trinity Metro.

Nikki has a passion for improving the livability of underserved communities, which drives the service she provides to her profession and community. Nikki is a former President of the Greater DFW Chapter of WTS, an organization committed to the advancement of women in transportation; a past Board Member for the City of Frisco Parks and Recreation Department; a past President of Frisco Sunrise Rotary Club; and a past President and current Board Member of Interlink North Texas, an organization focused on developing tomorrow’s workforce by bridging the gap between industry and education.

 

  Cristina Criado

  Secretary

Cristina Criado is a practicing civil engineer, has over 29 years of experience in Civil Engineering Design in Texas. Cristina earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Civil Engineering from the University of Texas at Austin and her Master of Science in Civil Engineering from the University of Texas at Arlington. Cristina founded Criado & Associates in 2001, where she leads as President and CEO. Criado & Associates is a successful Woman-Owned, Minority, Disadvantaged Business Enterprise and successfully operates as a full-service Civil Engineering, Land Surveying, Subsurface Utility Engineering (SUE), Right of Way (ROW), and Construction Administration Services Firm, providing quality consulting services to the public sector in the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex. Criado has actively participated in a wide variety of contracts serving local clients, including but not limited to Dallas Water Utilities, City of Dallas Public Works Department, City of Arlington, City of Fort Worth, City of Keller, Texas Department of Transportation, DFW International Airport, North Texas Municipal Water District and Fort Worth Water.

  

Chris Tarango

VP Programs

Chris Tarango is a driven, inspiring, and highly productive communications strategist and public involvement professional. With 11 years of experience, he is adept at using public affairs, community outreach, and digital media to affect public opinion and mobilize stakeholders to action. Chris is inherently interested in contributing to the development of initiatives and policy that improve lives and communities. As the Major Projects Communications and Public Involvement Lead for WSP in Dallas, Chris is the deputy CPI lead for two transformative initiatives: the visionary Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center Dallas Master Plan and the Dallas Area Rapid Transit (DART) $1.89 billion Silver Line Regional Rail. He currently serves as Vice President of Programs for the Greater Dallas Planning Council and the Conference of Minority and Transportation Officials (COMTO) North Texas chapter.

  

   Vince Tam, AIA, AICP

   VP Membership

Vince Tam, AIA, AICP, is an urban designer, architect, urban planner, and educator. Tam leads as the Section Manager of the HNTB North Texas Planning and Urban Design Studio. She has dedicated her career to designing cities for people and creating authentic places. She believes that through community engagement and an inclusive design process, large-scale developments and infrastructure can be more resilient in the face of rapidly changing markets. With over ten years of experience on domestic and international projects, her diverse portfolio spans from residential architecture, community revitalization plan, sports and entertainment master plan to large-scale infrastructure and transit projects. Her recent projects include Southern Gateway Public Green deck park, Downtown Dallas DART D2 Urban Design, Park for Floral Farms in Southern Dallas, and Houston Wheeler Intermodal Transit Center. 

  

   Peter Darby, AIA, LEED AP

   At Large

Peter is an Architect based in Dallas, Texas, specializing in aviation and transportation architecture and urban planning. He provides leadership guidance on transportation projects and commercial development nationally, including urban mixed-use projects, airport and transit-oriented developments and commercial office design. Peter is also actively involved at the local level, addressing urban design and transportation challenges in and around Dallas. Peter is engaged through several different professional organizations, including the Greater Dallas Planning Council, as an Executive Committee board member at-large and served as the Chair of GDPC Urban Design Awards 2019, 2020 and 2021. Peter is currently Vice President of Programs with the Dallas Chapter of the American Institute of Architects and has served as Director of Education in 2021 and 2017, Chair of Historic Resources, and Vice-Chair for Architecture Matters. Peter is actively involved with Communities by Design and Public Policy and leads the AIA Dallas DART D2 Design Advisory Committee.

 

  Carmen Garcia

  At Large

Carmen García launched her new company in December of 2020, ABRAC, LLC and serves as President.  ABRAC, a Business Relations Advisory Company, will focus on advocating for the growth and inclusion of minority business enterprises with providing professional services in the areas of public involvement, community engagement, government relations and diversity & inclusion.  Previously, she was the Assistant Vice President, Diversity & Inclusion and Outreach Programs for Dallas Area Rapid Transit (DART) after serving 12 years at the Agency. She directed the agency’s minority outreach program for minority contracts and D/M/WBE vendors. She developed strategic partnerships and served as a liaison to major chambers representing minorities, women and small business enterprises to enhance economic opportunities. Prior to joining DART, Carmen spent seven years with the State Fair of Texas as the director of community affairs responsible for the Fair’s Speakers Bureau and special events. Additionally, she is active in a broad spectrum of national, state and local diverse organizations. The Houston native graduated from Dallas Baptist University with a degree in public administration.

 

  Michael A. Grace, AICP

  At Large

Mike Grace is the founding principal of Metro Development Consulting with 15+ years of experience in government, land development, planning and public policy. In 2014, he participated in New Cities Summit and was one of 50 individuals selected worldwide to participate in The Purpose City. Additionally, he was the Partnership Award honoree at the 2016 Texas Trails and Active Transportation Conference, and he is a D Academy Fellow (2013-2014), a leadership academy managed and underwritten by D Magazine. Mr. Grace received a Masters of Regional/City Planning, a Bachelor of Arts & Science in Geography, and an Economic Development Certificate from the University of Oklahoma. 

 

  Jon Hetzel

  At Large

Jon Hetzel is a Partner at Madison Partners and manages underwriting, acquisitions/dispositions, financing, zoning, permitting, asset management for infill Dallas properties, and brokerage activities. Mr. Hetzel is also Madison’s spokesman for a wide variety of issues relating to Deep Ellum and Lower Greenville. He has taken the lead on helping to revitalize the two historic and truly unique Dallas neighborhoods. Mr. Hetzel is the President of the Deep Ellum Foundation, which manages the Deep Ellum PID, Chair of the Deep Ellum TIF Board of the City of Dallas, Board member of the Collin Creek Mall TIF Board of the City of Plano, and Board member of the Greater Dallas Planning Council.

 

Tony Sosebee, PE, DBIA

At Large

Tony is a Principal with Huitt-Zollars providing leadership to a Dallas-based team in the public works, transportation, and land development markets. His background of extensive experience in these areas locally, across Texas and a other states helps others with project execution, staff development and firm management. In addition to serving on the GDPC Board, he also serves on the boards of the North Dallas Chamber and the North Texas Commission. He brings a passion for enhancing the long term growth of our community and region through sustainable practices, investments in infrastructure, and balanced development strategies.