Chris Elisara, Ph.D. | Committee Chair
Founder, Center for Environmental Leadership
Co-Founder, WEA Creation Care Task Force & Urban Shalom Society
Dr. Chris Elisara is an educational pioneer in Christian higher education, an entrepreneur, an award-winning filmmaker, and an urbanist. After growing up in New Zealand Dr. Elisara moved to the United States where in 1996 he founded a Christian undergraduate environmental study abroad program with campuses in Belize and New Zealand. In 2010 he founded the Center for Environmental Leadership before being invited in 2012 to found the World Evangelical Alliance’s Creation Care Task Force. In his WEA role Dr. Elisara works with UN-Habitat, the World Economic Forum, and other international agencies. Dr. Elisara served on the board of the Congress for the New Urbanism (CNU) from 2013-2016 and has produced several award-winning films on urban topics.
Andrew Moore AIA, LEED AP, CDT | Secretary
Principal & Director of the Urban Architecture Studio, Glavé & Holmes Architecture
Andrew Moore has practiced architecture for over twenty years in Richmond, Virginia, exploring a wide variety of building types. Since 2009, Andrew has directed the Urban Architecture Studio at Glavé & Holmes Architecture, focusing on designing buildings, in both the private and public sectors, which enhance community life and the neighborhoods in which they are located. Andrew is active in various community and professional organizations at both local and national levels, including Partnership for Smarter Growth, Storefront for Community Design, Urban Land Institute and the Congress of the New Urbanism. When not working or spending time with his wife and three daughters, Andrew enjoys sketching as a way to slow down and see the world around him.
Sara Joy Proppe, M.CRP
Founder & Director, Proximity Project
Sara Joy Proppe, a native Texan, resides in Minnesota where she works for Schafer Richardson, a Minneapolis-based, private real estate firm. As Project Manager, she leads development projects, including historic rehab, market rate mixed-use, and affordable housing, through all aspects of the development process. Her vision for integrating her faith and work led her to found Proximity Project, an initiative to educate, activate, and collaborate with churches to be thoughtful stewards of their built environment. In this capacity, Sara Joy writes, speaks, and consults on the intersections of theology, urban design, and placemaking. She is a regular contributor to Strong Towns blog and has also written for Humane Pursuits, Comment Magazine, and Barna Group. Sara Joy co-chairs the Executive Committee of the Urban Land Institute’s MN chapter of the Young Leaders Group and sits on the District Council Advisory Board. She regularly teaches a Small Developers Training Workshop for the City of Minneapolis, and is an active member of Women in Real Estate Development & Urban Planning (WIRED-UP) and the Congress for New Urbanism. In her free time, she is a committed member of her neighborhood community garden and an avid bicyclist and cook.
Jay Hoekstra, AICP, CNU-A
Planner, Hoekstra Town Planning
Jay Hoekstra has been an urban planner in the public sector since 1979. He is a member of the American Institute of Certified Planners, a Congress of the New Urbanism Accredited Professional, has a Certificate from the Form Based Code Institute, has training in travel demand forecasting and is a Certified Charrette Planner. Has been trained and used GIS extensively. His degrees are Master of Urban Planning, and a Bachelor Degree in Philosophy, with a minor in landscape architecture. He has studied theology, biblical history and urban design for decades.
Work products include land use plans, zoning ordinances, bicycle and pedestrian plans, housing and demographic studies, employment center design guide, and others. He has managed a charrette for 200 acres, a brownfield studies, and a large scale, consensus based regional plan for the Grand Rapids metropolitan area.
He has served his church as elder, Sunday school teacher, worship committee member, food distribution volunteer, and choir member. He serves his community as a board member of the Michigan Chapter of CNU, a manager of an altruistic LLC, and advisory committee for Grand Rapids City Plan. He has made hundreds of presentations on new urbanism to church groups, communities and students.
He enjoys repairing and making things, reading biographies and big history, bicycling, golfing with friends, and some writing. He has written articles for Planning and Zoning News and Terrain emagazine, book reviews and news articles.
Principal, Strong Churches LLC
Principal, CityBuilding Partnership LLC
Nathan provides communities, developers and churches planning services, customized workshops, site tours and presentations. He does this for churches through Strong Churches LLC and for communities and developers though the CityBuilding Partnership LLC.
Previously, Nathan served as the CEO of the Lafayette Downtown Development Authority where he and his team spearheaded the development of the award-winning Downtown Action Plan and the Creativity Everywhere initiative; co-wrote and secured adoption of a groundbreaking form-based code that subsequently won the Driehaus Award; established the CityBuilding Exchange educational conference for community leaders; and initiated a major road diet on one of the two main thoroughfares, as well as the development of the Return on Infrastructure Investment Analysis Tool.
Previously, Nathan was the co-founder and Director of Implementation Advisory for the international urban design firm PlaceMakers, LLC. At PlaceMakers, Nathan worked with developers and municipalities to plan, entitle, develop and market neighborhoods, towns and cities. During this time Nathan started the annual Magical Mystery Tour series of intensive site tours of leading projects and places that continues on today as the CityBuilding Express.
He is a contributor to the Charter of the New Urbanism and the SmartCode Manual; the author of numerous planning articles including "Redesigning Church for the 21st Century" which documents the planning process of Century Church; a co-founder of the New Urban Guild; the primary author of the Smart Growth Schools Report Card; a certified instructor for the National Association of Realtors Smart Growth course; and the project manager for the Appraisal System which rates the merits of development from the perspective of Smart Growth principles. He is the recipient of the 2019 Barranco Award.
He regularly speaks across the country on how communities can leverage placemaking as an economic development tool. He received his undergraduate degree from the University of Virginia and his law degree from the University of Alabama.
Lee Hardy, Ph.D.
Professor Emeritus, Calvin University
Lee Hardy is a professor of philosophy at Calvin College in Grand Rapids, Michigan. A citizen activist and teacher of a course on urbanism for undergraduates, Lee has written and lectured on the English Garden City movement, urban design, and the cultural history of American cities. His most recent book is The Embrace of Buildings: A Second Look at Walkable City Neighborhoods.
Jeremy Sommer, AIA, CNU-A, LEED AP
Founding Principal, Sommer Design Studios
Mr. Sommer started Sommer Design Studios in January of 2009, after receiving his Master of Science in Classical Design from The Georgia Institute of Technology in association with the Institute of Classical Architecture and Classical America, to focus on traditional architecture and urbanism. He received his undergraduate degree from the University of Miami, School of Architecture.
In 2014, Mr. Sommer started as Town Architect for East Beach in Virginia, where he coordinates the Design Review process. He also is Town Architect for the Cavalier project, working extensively to choose home designs that would maintain the character for the surrounding grounds of the beautiful 1927 hotel. He has worked on a variety of projects in other new urbanist communities, such as Norton Commons, Alys Beach, Carlton Landing, Watercolor, and Watersound. In addition, Mr. Sommer also participated in many master planning projects ranging from an 8-acre infill project in Senoia, GA, the Red River Ranch in Utah, to a 1,600-acre Mountain Golf Community.
Mr. Sommer was formerly on the board of the Southeast Chapter of the Institute of Classical Architecture and Art, and held the position of Education Committee Chair. Since college, He has been actively involved in the Congress of New Urbanism, and in 2006, he was a founding member of the Atlanta Chapter. He also held the chair for Activities, and helped coordinate the tours for CNU 18 Atlanta. He was selected by his peers to become a member of the New Urban Guild in 2011. He is also an active member of the National Town Builders Association.
Mr. Sommer lives in Newport News, Virginia, and his design studio is located on Warwick Boulevard in Historic Hilton Village where he serves on the Architectural review board. He is an active member of his church where he serves as Eucharistic Minister, and with his wife homeschools his three children.