Planning and Transportation Commission Biographies

Michael Alcheck

ALCHECK, Michael

Michael Alcheck was born in Santa Clara and grew up in the Bay Area.  He currently lives in the Duvenick/St. Francis neighborhood with his wife and children.  He is a real estate and land use attorney and has worked in the real estate groups of both Cooley LLP (2006-2007) and Goodwin Procter LLP (2008-2011).  Prior to that he completed a judicial externship for Justice Judith Ashmann-Gerst of the California Courts of Appeal in Los Angeles.  He currently works for a Bay Area based property management firm and has served on the Palo Alto Planning and Transportation Commission since 2012.

He earned his BA at Emory University and his MBA/JD at UC Davis.  In 2008, Michael and four fellow UC Davis graduate students proudly earned the Grand Prize in the Bank of America Affordable Housing Challenge, an annual graduate school level competition in which teams of students develop and present proposals for affordable housing development in their local community or region.  Michael is fluent in Hebrew and proficient in Spanish.  And when not working, he enjoys spending time with his family, listening to live music, and playing competitive tennis.

Bart Hechtman and his wife Carrie have been Palo Alto residents since 1994. Bart has been active in the local community as a site council member at Ohlone, a board member of the Crescent Park Neighborhood Association, an NJB assistant coach, an AYSO referee, and a board member of Congregation Etz Chayim, including two years as its president. 

He is an attorney specializing in land use and eminent domain with Matteoni, O’Laughlin & Hechtman in San Jose.  Much of his law practice has involved planning issues throughout Santa Clara County and neighboring jurisdictions.  His passion for and experience with this planning-related work, combined with an appreciation for the efforts of those past and present residents who made Palo Alto a great place for him to live and raise his family, drew Bart to seek appointment to the PTC in 2019.  He looks forward to applying his knowledge and background to be of service to the city.

Born in Kansas City, Bart also lived in Texas and Arizona before attending Cal (Go Bears!) and then Hastings College of the Law in San Francisco.  He loves to get outside, particularly to the beach, our foothills, and almost every weekend to the bayside trails in and around Byxbee Park with his dog.  He is a sports geek and enjoys many types of music, with a special fondness for improvisational “jam” bands.

Ed Lauing


Ed Lauing joins the Planning and Transportation Commission (PTC) after serving seven years on the Parks and Recreation Commission (PARC) dealing with a number of issues which are direct overlaps with important issues for the PTC. On PARC he served three times as Chair and once as Vice Chair. Prior to being appointed to the PARC, he was active in many community organizations – including serving as President of Palo Alto Babe Ruth for five years and as a Palo Alto Little League Manager for three years.

He previously served as Finance Chair on the board of Palo Alto Urban Ministry and helped facilitate their merger with InnVision for a greater community impact; he later joined the combined board of InnVision after the merger. He has had further community involvement at Congregation Beth Am where he was a board member for five years, Vice President, and Chair of the Social Action Committee.

Ed has been a Palo Alto resident for almost 30 years and lives in the Professorville neighborhood.  Professionally, he is now an executive recruiter and was previously CEO of three software companies. He has degrees from DePauw, Vanderbilt, and the University of Minnesota.

William Riggs

RIGGS, William

William (Billy) Riggs, Ph.D., AICP, LEED AP is an assistant professor at University of San Francisco and researcher, strategist and thought leader in the areas of transportation, housing, economics, and emerging technology. He has over 50 publications in these areas, and has had his work featured in multiple national media outlets—including the Wall Street Journal, Washington Post and the Atlantic.  He consults regularly for the firm, is a regular contributor on Planetizen, and is the co-creator of ReStreet—a tool for democratizing street design policy and process.

Prior to coming to University of San Francisco, Dr. Riggs held additional academic appointments in city planning, transportation, policy and management from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, San Jose State University and the University of Louisville. In addition to this academic experience, he worked as a land use and transportation planner, asset manager and economist for over 15 years.  Highlights include work as: Principal Planner and Parking and Transportation Program Manager for UC Berkeley; a Senior Planner for the consulting firm Arup where he worked on the environmental and land use planning of over 5,000 acres of former military land in Concord, CA and completed certification of two pilot LEED Neighborhood Design projects; a planner for the US Coast Guard conducting award winning physical design and mobility planning for Coast Guard bases domestically and abroad. 

Dr. Riggs holds his PhD from UC Berkeley’ s College of Environmental Design, where he was a National Science Foundation Fellow and a University of California, Transportation Center Fellow. He is also a member of the American Institute of Certified Planners (AICP), is LEED certified by the US Green Building Council (LEED AP).  From 2013-2017 he served on the City of San Luis Obispo, Planning Commission. In addition to his teaching and research role at University of San Francisco, he currently sits on the Transportation Research Board (TRB) Standing Committee on Transportation Economics, and provides contributions, strategy and consulting to multiple technology companies.

Giselle Roohparvar


Giselle Roohparvar is a land use and real estate attorney, bringing over a decade of expertise in the field to the Planning and Transportation Commission. She holds her law degree from Georgetown University and her bachelor’s degree in Political Science from UCLA.

In addition to her legal practice, Giselle also serves on the executive committee for the California Lawyers Association, as well as conducts admissions interviews for Georgetown University’s undergraduate program.

Giselle is a Bay Area native. She resides in the Palo Verde neighborhood with her husband and daughter. In her free time, she enjoys going to Mitchell Park Library and Ada’s Cafe with her family.

SUMMA, Doria
Biography not yet available.

Cari Templeton is a digital marketing and technology professional who advises local and statewide organizations on how best to deliver communications programs and analyze data. After over a decade working in high tech in Silicon Valley, Cari retired from technical program management in 2017 to complete her master’s degree at Stanford, after which she dedicated her time to public service. 

A 15-year resident of Palo Alto, Cari now lives in Barron Park with her husband and two children. Cari is an active member of the Ohlone and Fletcher school communities, as well as a community volunteer for local nonprofits and voter advocacy groups.

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