Appointed Executive Director of SRPEDD in January 2016, Jeff Walker brings to the agency an extensive background in land use, environmental and transportation planning, in addition to grant writing, economic development and regional planning agency administration.
Prior to joining SRPEDD, Mr. Walker served as a longtime regional planning agency director in the Commonwealth of Virginia, outside of the nation’s capital, on behalf of a two thousand-square mile region of five counties and eight towns.
He is also a previous multi-term local planning board member, and adjunct/lecturer in urban planning at the undergraduate and graduate levels (presently at Wheaton College), for the past eleven years.
Mr. Walker holds a BA in Public Policy from Duke University, and a Master’s in Urban and Environmental Planning from the University of Virginia.
Paul Mission has been part of the transportation planning department since 1987. His knowledge and expertise in transportation results in understanding the process of how transportation requires integration for maximum efficiency; an issue that many agencies struggle to achieve, however, progress is being made.
Paul earned his degree in Regional Planning and Geography at Westfield State University and achieved additional accreditations through Salem State University in the field of Cartography, specifically in Geographic Information Systems (GIS). This education background was key in the development of SRPEDD’s travel demand forecasting model to determine future impacts on transportation infrastructure for the Long Range Transportation planning process. As a byproduct, his modeling work brought to SRPEDD their first computer based Geographic Information System (GIS) to assist with mapping demands.
Paul was also responsible for managing various components to evaluate the effectiveness in transportation that resulted in speaking engagements including:
“Hurricane Evacuation Route Evaluation”, 60th Annual North Atlantic Transportation Planning Officials conference, August 2007, Providence, RI
“Disaster Mitigation – Use of Travel Demand Forecasting Models to plan for post Disaster Traffic Management”, 58th Annual North Atlantic Transportation Planning Officials conference, August 2005, Harrisburg, PA
“Successful Implementation of Local Agency Pavement Management Through State-Local Partnerships: The Massachusetts Effort”, Transportation Research Board 77th Annual Meeting, January 1998, Washington D.C.
“Local Pavement Management Programs displayed in Geographic Information Systems”, 13th Annual Federal Highway Administration Region 1 Conference, September 1994, Boston, Massachusetts.
Paul continues to manage the transportation department to address the efforts to improve our transportation system in southeastern Massachusetts in conjunction with local, state and federal partners. As a wise once said, “Land Use and Transportation depend on each other for survival. Similar to the human body, the sustainment of life of our vital organs depends on the air and blood that flows through our veins. Transportation are the veins that allows the land to thrive.” – RJH
Grant first began thinking about planning while building homes in the mountains of western North Carolina, asking himself, “should we really be building a 4,000 sq. ft. house on the side of this mountain?” That interest in the relationship between zoning (or lack thereof), design, and natural and built environments led him to study at the Harvard Graduate School of Design (MUP 2010). Grant has worked at SRPEDD ever since, focusing on master plans, economic development, housing production, beautiful and easy-to-understand civic engagement, and commonsense project implementation. Grant co-founded a part-time GIS and design firm, GIS Boston (active from 2010 to 2016), serving clients such as RKG Associates, Howard Stein Hudson, and realtors and developers in New England and beyond.
Grant is honored to serve on the Board of Directors and Land Acquisition Committee of Old Colony Habitat for Humanity. He is also a proud volunteer at the Annelle Delorme Hagerman Food Pantry.
Grant loves visiting cities and countrysides with his wife, son, and daughter. He’s an avid surfcaster, a proud Florida Gator, and an emerging soccer dad. Grant loves working with SRPEDD’s creative, collegial team of Comprehensive Planners and all our professional partners across southeastern Massachusetts. He values high quality work and takes joy in creating it.
Lisa Estrela-Pedro joined the Transportation Planning Department at SRPEDD in 1997 after receiving her Bachelor’s degree in Civil Engineering from the University of Massachusetts in Dartmouth. Today, her responsibilities include assisting with participation and oversight of the Transportation Planning section on facilitating projects, data collection and analysis efforts for various studies and projects. Lisa is also responsible for managing the development of the Transportation Improvement Program (TIP), an annual document for the programming of federal and state funds towards transportation improvements for the region.
Ling Ling Chang, CPA, has been on the staff at SRPEDD since July 1991. She is responsible for overall finance, as well as all project accounting at SRPEDD. She is also the Human Resource and Group Insurance Commission coordinator at SRPEDD.
Areas of Expertise: Personal Finance, Trust/Estate, Taxation. She has several years of audit experience in the areas of banking, universities, municipalities, and manufacturing companies.
Helen has a passion for planning that protects our region’s environment, balancing community planning and conservation in the areas of climate change adaptation, floodplain management, agricultural preservation, open space planning, habitat preservation, and infrastructure protection. Her skills in supporting this effort include bylaw development, data analysis, facility with geographic information systems (GIS), and grant writing.
Helen joined the team at SRPEDD a year and a half ago, after five years of experience working with local planning and zoning boards in New Jersey to implement zoning and subdivision bylaws, and to realize long-term planning projects such as master plans, resiliency plans, and open space plans. At SRPEDD, she enjoys working with the rest of the comprehensive, homeland security, and transportation teams, as well as with the environmental program’s external partners on the Resilient Taunton Watershed Network.
Her goal is to advance local projects rooted in an understanding of regional and watershed-level ecological connections, and to focus on environmental processes that work across local boundaries.
Bill Napolitano has built his decades-long environmental planning career around effective, strong, and positive partnerships with communities and organizations across the SRPEDD region. These partnerships form the backbone of his diverse efforts to steward our natural and cultural resources into the twenty-first century and beyond.
Some of Bill’s signature projects include: the work that directly led to the federal designation of the Taunton River as Wild and Scenic; the Mill River Dam Removal/River Restoration Project; The Resilient Taunton Watershed Network; the Taunton River Trail project; helping to organize agricultural commissions in southeastern Massachusetts and statewide, and; creating the SRPEDD Geographic Roadway Runoff Inventory (GRRIP) and Flood Inundation Hazard Programs.
Donald R. Sullivan is SRPEDD’s Director of Community and Economic Development and has been with the agency for nearly thirty years. Don is responsible for securing tens of millions in federal and state funds for planning and project development in support economic development including private investment and job creation throughout the region. As the federally designated Economic Development District (EDD) for SE Massachusetts, Don is the point of contact and liaison to the Economic Development Administration (EDA) under the U.S. Dept. of Commerce.
Don has numerous successful projects including development and expansion of the Myles Standish Industrial Park, Phases II, III, IV and V in Taunton; development and expansion New Bedford Business Park including John Vertente Blvd. extension, Castaldi Way and Flaherty Drive projects; Fall River Commerce Park and Attleboro Business Park development projects is as well as redevelopment plans, downtown revitalization, corridor studies, brownfield redevelopment, infrastructure projects, feasibility studies, development strategies and incentive planning. In addition, Don has extensive implementation and project management expertise.
Don resides in Sandwich with his wife and family, and his dog Buckley (“Buck”).
Karen Porter has worked at SRPEDD since 2000. Starting her career at SRPEDD managing the traffic count program within the Transportation department. She has also been responsible for intersection safety studies, signal warrant analyses and reports, and pavement management.
Presently, Karen manages SRPEDD’s Information Technology and Geographic Information Systems (GIS), performing in its capacity as the Regional GIS Service Center for southeastern Massachusetts, and is SRPEDD’s IT Manager.
As the IT manager, Karen is responsible for overseeing the operation and maintenance of the agency’s network. This includes identifying and solving computer issues, upgrading desktop applications and hardware, and addressing employee technology concerns. She manages and supports SRPEDD’s internal and external servers and other related IT infrastructure.
Karen has extensive experience working with GIS data from national, state, local, and private sources. She works alongside agencies such as MassGIS, The Nature Conservancy, and the Buzzards Bay Coalition to gather, analyze, and generate integral GIS data. Karen collaborates with municipal, private and state agencies maintaining datasets, producing community and regional maps, and completing various publications and displays. She has facilitated all types of planning documents: Master Plans, Open Space Plans, Housing Production Plans, Taunton River Stewardship Plan, Economic Development Plans, Transportation Plans, and public outreach documents.
Karen’s experience as a teacher of building techniques and her work as an assistant to SRPEDD’s Geographic Roadway Runoﬀ Inventory Program (GRIPP), including related flood and sea level rise field work within the region, give her invaluable insight on the built and natural environments.
Todd Castro currently serves as the Program Manager for the Southeastern Region Homeland Security Advisory Council (SRAC). Mr. Castro joined SRPEDD in October of 2016 as Project Manager and was promoted to Program Manager in October of 2018. Mr. Castro is responsible for recommending and implementing regional Homeland Security strategies to the SRAC, and managing the planning and development of projects on behalf of the ninety-seven cities and towns which comprise the SRAC region. To date, Mr. Castro has developed and written numerous project justifications that have directly supported preparedness activities for law enforcement, fire services, emergency management, interoperability, mass care, shelter, triage, training, exercise and the procurement of emergency equipment via the use of Federal Emergency Management Agency/Department of Homeland Security grant funding.
Prior to joining SRPEDD, Mr. Castro served as a Federal Police Officer with the United States Capitol Police in Washington, D.C. and later as an Internal Affairs Investigator with the Bristol County Sheriff’s Office. Mr. Castro holds a M.S. in Intelligence Studies and a B.S. in Sociology.