Friday, November 19, 2010

Biographies of Speakers: Sustainability on the Edge II

Yesterday I posted the agenda and today I've included the biographies of the great list of speakers we have lined up. Hope to see many of your tomorrow.

Dan Burden Biography

Dan Burden is the nation’s most recognized authority on walkability, bicycle & pedestrian programs, street corridor & intersection design, traffic flow & calming, road diets, and other planning elements that affect roadway environments. Dan is also sought after by the health community, promoting neighbourhoods, villages, and cities that are designed for more active, interactive, and healthy living. Dan has 37 years of experience in developing, promoting and evaluating alternative transportation facilities, traffic calming practices and sustainable community design.

Employed by Florida DOT in 1980 as the first Bicycle Coordinator, Dan returned from an inspiring trip to Australia, changed his job title and became the nation’s first full time State Bicycle and Pedestrian Coordinator in 1981. Then in 1996, with many requests to help others, Dan and his wife Lys founded Walkable Communities, Inc., a non-profit corporation helping North America develop walkability programs and walkable communities. In 2005, Dan joined Glatting Jackson Kercher Anglin, Inc. and became a Senior Urban Designer, Principal, and Shareholder. Although Dan is contracted and paid through Glatting Jackson, he and his staff maintain and promote walkability information and knowledge through Walkable Communities, Inc.

There are few people in the country who know more about traffic calming practices, access management, building streets for emergency responders, intersection design, and other strategies for creating pedestrian and bicycle friendly communities than Dan Burden. He has taught bicycle and pedestrian facility design courses, livability, Smart Growth, and Sustainable Transportation in hundreds of different communities throughout North America.

Dan has personally photographed and examined walking, bicycling, placemaking, and town centre conditions in over 2500 cities in the U.S. and abroad. He worked as a bicycle consultant in China for the United Nations in 1994, and he has been to Australia, New Zealand, Canada, and many European countries to photograph their great cities. His pictures have been published in the New York Times, National Geographic, Better Homes and Gardens, Sierra Club calendars, and Weekly Reader. Presentations are always richly illustrated with examples from near and far.

-Time Magazine recently listed Dan as “one of the six most important civic innovators in the world.”
-The Transportation Research Board (National Academy of Sciences) honoured Dan by making him their Distinguished Lecturer in 2001.
-In 2007 EPA’s New Partners for Smart Growth gave Dan its first “Lifetime Achievement Award.”
-In 2000, The Association of Pedestrian and Bicyclists Professionals (APBP) honoured Dan with its first “Lifetime Achievement Award.”
-The League of American Bicyclists lists Dan as “one of the 25 most significant leaders in bicycling for the past 100 years.”

Charan Sethi Biography
Charan Sethi is President of the Tien Sher Group of Companies, developer and builders of community sensitive and transit friendly new home construction projects.

A licensed Machinist in England, Charan continued his trade upon immigrating Canada in 1979. Charan began an award-winning career as a Realtor consistently ranking amongst the top 1% in the Greater Vancouver Real Estate Board. In 2001 he also started developing new single-family and multi-family communities. Since then, Charan has completed single-family and multi-family residential developments and subdivisions throughout Surrey, Richmond, and New Westminster totaling over 1,400 homes. Charan’s current goal is to develop 12 acres of land in Whalley – part of the new Surrey City Centre. When completed, this development will supply over 1,900 residential units and 35,000 sq.ft. of commercial/office space to Surrey’s growing population.

Charan is an active member of the Greater Vancouver Home Builders Association, the Urban Development Institute, the Greater Vancouver Home Builders Association, and Richmond Chamber of Commerce and a Director of Surrey Business improvement. As President of the Tien Sher Group of Companies, Charan believes in giving back to the community including his sponsorship of neighbourhood festivals and the Surrey Christmas House.

Ramin Seifi Biography
Currently serving in the position of Director of Community Development with the Township of Langley. Registered as a Professional Engineer with the Association of Professional Engineers and Geoscientists of BC; and a practicing Member of the Canadian Institute of Planners. Completed academic education in United Kingdom with a Bachelor’s Degree in Civil Engineering in 1985 and moved to Canada in 1990. Over 25 years of experience in municipal engineering and community planning work in the private and public sectors in Europe and Canada. Lead and manage a team of approximately 70 professional, technical and support staff in 7 distinct yet inter-related departments ranging from long range planning and economic development to permits, licenses and inspections. A member of the senior management team, responsible for providing recommendations and advice to Council related to establishing strategic direction, policies as well as disposition of individual development applications. Serve as co-chair of the Urban Development Institute’s Langley liaison committee and represent the municipality on other external and regional initiatives.

David Pollock Biography
David started his career in engineering as a construction engineer in the United Kingdom spending four years building roads and large diameter storm projects. Upon his arrival in Canada in 1989 he moved to the consulting sector and worked for a variety of companies both in the Lower Mainland and Vancouver Island focusing on the municipal sector. After ten years in consulting practice David moved into local Government working for Maple Ridge, White Rock and most recently the Township of Langley.

In addition to his work activities at Langley David is the incoming Chair of the Municipal Engineers Division of APEGBC and is on the Board of Directors for the Master Municipal Construction Documents Association (MMCD).

Shawn Bouchard Biography
A Serial Entrepreneur since 1994, Shawn has owned and run many businesses in different fields such as sales, finance, building trades, appraising, marketing and project management. Over the last 20 years Shawn has also been active in the community as a volunteer in three community organizations. All of these experiences have given Shawn a broad understanding of the needs of both business and community. Shawn is currently the principal of Capstone Group Holdings, vice president of Quadra Homes, serves on the board of the Pregnancy Options Centre (Surrey) and is a member on the Urban Development Institutes Langley Liaison Committee. Through Quadra Homes, Shawn is the project manager for Yorkson Creek, a 1628 unit master planned community in the Township of Langley, Cedar Downs, a 338 unit condominium project in Pitt Meadows, and West Harbour, a 220 unit single family project in West Bank.

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