Congratulations to our new AICPs!
The APA Hawaii Chapter would like to recognize the following individuals who passed the recent AICP exam. These individuals either received their certifications following the exam or will obtain their certification after completing the Planning Experience Assessment and submitting verification of employment and education. Please join us in congratulating these individuals!
Janice Jensen, AICP
I came to the field of professional planning by accident. Having obtained my B.S. in Biology from the University of Puget Sound and my M.A. in Marine Conservation and Policy from Stony Brook University, I spent the early part of my career in the fields of conservation and natural resources where I worked in a variety of capacities including environmental monitoring, research, communication, outreach, and educational programming. I discovered my new career path in the field of planning four years ago when I joined the team at G70. Planning is challenging work, but rewarding on so many levels. I love that this field enables me to apply my broad professional skillset and my passion for our ‘āina to a variety of projects that directly impact our local communities and resources. My work so far has included the development of outreach and communication strategies for the City and County of Honolulu’s Storm Water Quality Division, Conservation District permits and entitlements, as well as other projects related to communications and/or natural resources.
Lila Y Cheng, AICP
Lila Youn Cheng discovered the field of Planning through an Americorps service program called Public Allies. Being positioned in an economically disadvantaged community in Northern California during her service, she began to see the intersections of market- and politically- based decisions with urban and regional planning and the impact it has on communities. This motivated her to graduate with a Master of Planning degree from the University of Southern California. Fifteen years later with a lot of twists and turns in her career—working internationally developing climate change modeling research partnerships, development entitlement consulting/permitting in various cities in both private/public sector capacities (including the City & County of Honolulu DPP), and managing a nonprofit organization—she has returned to her roots as a Planner at G70 with a renewed passion for biophilic design, affordable housing, and preservation of historic and natural resources. Her joy is sharing her love of gardening (and its therapeutic benefits) and good food.
Michele Leong, AICP
I have 9 years of professional planning experience, working on a variety of projects in Hawai‘i for both public and private sector clients. I am passionate about the thoughtful planning and designing of spaces that improve both human and ecological health in Hawai‘i. I am particularly interested in the creation of affordable housing that is realized through innovative and sustainable design.
Noelle Besa Wright, AICP
Noelle Besa Wright is an Environmental and Land Use Planner at G70. Over the last several years, she has worked on complex land use entitlements and environmental review documents for both public and private projects focusing on transportation, renewable energy, affordable housing, hospitality, and more. At G70, she has had the honor to work on various pro bono community projects, such as the APA-award winning Puʻuhonua o Waiʻanae Farm Village. She is passionate about personal and collective well-being, and participates in the company’s Wellness Committee, as well as serving as a mentor for the Chamber of Commerce Young Professionals HI School Mentoring Program. Prior to G70, she worked for the City and County of Honolulu supporting public engagement efforts.
She is a proud Hawaiʻi public school graduate of McKinley High School. She received her Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) and her Master of Science in Urban Studies from Sciences Po Paris (Institut d’Etudes Politiques de Paris). Additionally, she spent her undergraduate year abroad at the University of Hong Kong (HKU). She continues to travel and loves to read, cook, and spend time in the water and in the mountains with her two dogs.
Ollie Gaskell, AICP
Ollie Gaskell is a planner and systems thinker who supports positive, inclusive change in communities through effective outreach, clear communication, and data analysis. He has worked with communities on planning projects in Hawaiʻi, Oregon, California, and Colorado. Ollie is passionate about incorporating resilience and sustainability into his work. At HHF Planners, he has worked on a wide range of projects from Complete Streets to school master plans.
Outside of work you can find Ollie outdoors with his wife and kid, playing on bikes or in the ocean, or sipping on overpriced coffees all around town.