Welcome to APA Louisiana

Our mission is to promote the practice of community and regional planning in Louisiana by enhancing the effectiveness of planners in impacting public policy. This mission will be carried out through:
Community Service - Provide informed and objective planning advice on issues that confront state and local government and build public and political support for responsible planning in Louisiana.
Member Services - Provide services to members to facilitate communications, networking and professional/citizen interchange.
Professionalism & Excellence - Promote excellence, professionalism and adherence to high ethical standards in the profession by offering programs and opportunities to build professional skills.

The American Planning Association Louisiana Chapter has a membership exceeding 300 persons. In addition to the Chapter officers listed below, each of the four Sections within the state also has officers. you will find their names and contact information on the corresponding Section page.

The Chapter recently updated their bylaws. A PDF version may be downloaded here.

Chapter Officers

The Executive Committee of the Louisiana Chapter of the American Planning Association is composed of:

Derek ChisholmDerek Chisholm, AICP, LEED, ENV SP
Chapter President (2017 - 19)

Derek is a senior-level, certified planner at AECOM with over two decades of experience in public and private sector positions. He has served as an Adjunct Professor, a Planning Commission Chair, and on the Washington State Chapter’s Executive Board.

Melissa GuilbeauMelissa Guilbeau, AICP
Chapter Secretary

Melissa serves as the Senior Planner overseeing the Long Range Planning Division of the Jefferson Parish Planning Department. She has worked in city and county government in North Carolina, as a sole-proprietor, for the City-Parish of East Baton Rouge, and in private consulting in Seattle, WA.


Alan ClarkAlan Clarke
Chapter Treasurer

Alan is the Zoning Administrator for the City of Shreveport's Metropolitan Planning Commission.

Jennifer StenhouseJennifer David, AICP
Membership Officer

Jennifer is Director of Development at the Center for Planning Excellence (CPEX), where she oversees the annual Smart Growth Summit, and is a former APA-LA Capital Section Director.

James TaylorJames Taylor, AICP
Chapter Information Officer

James is an urban planner with Franklin Associates, LLC in Baton Rouge; assisting clients with planning, public engagement, program management, disaster recovery and policy issues across Louisiana and the nation.

Lydia Z. JemisonLydia Jemison, AICP, CFM
Past Chapter President (2014 - 2016)

Lydia heads Jemison & Partners, Inc., a New Orleans-area consultancy specializing in urban planning, land use and zoning, ports, transportation and flood plain management.

Committee Chairs

In addition to the above Executive Committee, the following individuals are key to making the Chapter run by carrying out important roles.

Sean DalySean Daly
Professional Development Officer

Mr. Daly is a senior transportation planner at Iteris, Inc. and serves on the Zoning Board of Adjustment for Lafayette Consolidated Government.

Jane BrooksJane S. Brooks, FAICP
Chapter Historian

Jane Brooks is Professor Emerita at the University of New Orleans' Department of Planning and Urban Studies (UNO-PLUS).

photo of Joanne PoretJoanne C. Poret, AICP
Planning Commissioners Education Co-Chair

Joanne is the Planning & Zoning Director for the City of Monroe's Planning & Urban Development Department.

Stephen VillavasoStephen D. Villavaso, J. D., FAICP
Legislative Committee Chair

In addition to being an adjunct professor at both UNO's PLUS and at Loyola's School of Law, Stephen is owner of Villavaso & Associates, LLC., specializing in master plans, zoning codes and land use law with over 40 years experience.

photo of Mart BlackMart Black, AICP
Planning Commissioners Education Co-Chair

A resident of Houma, Mart is Director of the Coastal Restoration and Preservation Department of Terrebonne Parish Consolidated Government.