Submitted by Elizabeth Wood, NH State Director
The past several months have brought much for the NHPA community to be proud of as many NH Planners have been experiencing both career and personal success.
In early spring, Nancy Larson became the new City Planner of Concord, NH bringing with her 17 years of planning experience. Nancy served previously as the Planner and Zoning Administrator with the Town of Merrimack for approximately 7 and a half years. Before that she was with the Town of Bedford as a Planner II for approximately 9 and a half years. Congratulations Nancy!
Jillian Harris, AICP was selected to fill Nancy’s position with the town of Merrimack beginning in May. Jillian brings a variety of perspective and experience to her new position. After completing a Master’s degree in Urban and Regional Planning from the University of Colorado Denver, Jillian’s Planning Career began in Connecticut where she held the position of Regional Planner for the Central Connecticut Regional Planning Commission. Most recently, she was employed for over 5 and half years at Southern New Hampshire Planning Commission (SNHPC). Jillian’s projects at SNHPC included the Regional Housing Needs Assessment, Hazard Mitigation Planning, Health Impact Assessment for the Second Street Corridor in Manchester, and the New Hampshire Livable Walkable Toolkit Update. While working with the SNHPC, she also served on the Executive Committee of NHPA holding the office of Public Information Officer for NHPA from 2009-1012.
Now that she’s with Merrimack, Jillian is currently helping to facilitate the Merrimack Bicycle and Pedestrian Master Plan Work Group with the Planning Board. It will be exciting to see what projects continue to unfold with her new position as Planning and Zoning administrator for the Town of Merrimack!
Ben Frost, Esq., AICP was promoted to the Director of Legal and Public affairs at New Hampshire Housing. In total, he’s been with New Hampshire Housing for 8 years. He held his previous position of Director of Public Affairs for 6 years. As Director of Public Affairs, Ben led NHPA’s efforts with the NH Legislature to adopt the Workforce Housing Law and has made presentations before roughly 1/3 of all of the planning boards in the state on issues of workforce and affordable housing. He also oversaw the development of several guidebooks, including Meeting the Workforce Housing Challenge, Fair Housing for Regional and Municipal Planning, and the pending revision to Housing Solutions in New Hampshire. He’s also administered the Community Planning Grant Program, through which we made 47 grants totaling $1,000,000 to municipalities in New Hampshire to create land use regulations that would induce more sustainable development patterns.
In addition to the policy and advocacy work he’s been doing, Ben’s new role as Director of Legal and Public Affairs will include coordination of the internal legal work of New Hampshire Housing.
For years, Ben has contributed endless amounts of time and energy to the NHPA and contributions are too many to list. He’s served in various offices on the NHPA and NNECAPA Executive Committees and put together countless workshops, trainings, and conferences. Even if NHPA decided to dedicate an entire issue of Granite State Planner to his works, you’d be hard pressed to get him to provide you with a complete list of his accomplishments. However, I can assure you that if you have participated in any NH planning events over this year (or the past several years) you can be assured that he was “the man behind the curtain” for at least a few of them!
Sarah Marchant, AICP was chosen from a large pool of applicants after a year-long nationwide search by the City of Nashua to find their new Community Development Division Director!
Sarah, our NHPA President, accomplished much in her 2 years serving as Community Development Director for Amherst, NH prior to taking the position with the City of Nashua. Highlights included spearheading an the effort to utilize over $40,000 of grant funding through the Community Planning Grants program to complete a Regulatory Review of all Land Use related ordinances and regulations. This included the implementing of to combine, simplify and update all Water Resource Related Ordinances.
Sarah says she is “Excited to join the Community Development Division (CDD) team and looking forward to working in with the community.” The CDD includes the Department of Building Safety, Planning Department, Code Enforcement, Urban Programs, and Transportation. We’re so proud of you Sarah!
Colleen Mailloux, AICP was selected to pick up where Sarah left off and will begin work as Community Development Director for Amherst in mid-July. Colleen says “Sarah left some big shoes to fill!” and she definitely did--but we are confident Colleen can pick up where Sarah left off and give us some exciting news from Amherst to look forward to! “I am looking forward to the new challenge and working in Amherst!,” Colleen stated.
Colleen moved to Amherst from Bedford where she served as Planner II since 2011. Previously she worked in the private sector for a consulting engineering firm, Gale Associates. We anticipate a very bright future for Colleen!
The Office of Energy and Planning (OEP) hired Kellie Walsh to serve as Assistant Planner in the Planning Division beginning at the end of May. Kellie is a Graduate from Plymouth State University with a Bachelors in Environmental Planning and served as an intern with the Southern New Hampshire Planning Commission prior to working with the OEP. Welcome aboard Kellie!
Nathan Miller, AICP may arguably have the most to celebrate this term. In March, he was promoted to the Executive Director position of the Upper Valley Lake Sunnapee Regional Planning Commission (UVLSRPC). Employed with the UPLSRPC since 2006, Nathan rapidly rose in ranks obtain his new position. He was hired on as a planner, became a Senior Planner in 2009, and was promoted again to Planning Director in 2012 prior to attaining the Executive Director position.
Nathan currently serves the planning community as Secretary of NNECAPA and on the Advance Transit Board of Directors. One of his projects won an Excellence in Rural Transportation Award from the National Association of Development Organizations (NADO).
Outside of the office, Nathan is also a high achiever. He is an avid curler and his team just won the 2014 Grand National Curling Club (GNCC) Arena Club Championships. Might we see him in the 2018 Olympic Games? I wouldn’t be surprised if we did!
It’s hard to top the career and athletic success that Nathan has had this spring, but his sweetest event of all occurred on May 17th when Nathan and his fiancé Rita Seto were married on May 17th at Mount Sunapee in Newbury, NH. Ceremonies were followed by a honeymooned in Key West, Florida. Our best wishes to Nathan and his new bride!
If you or a fellow planner has an accomplishment or promotion worth noting, please send your Grapevine submissions to the NH State Director: firstname.lastname@example.org.