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.

Prezmek Gardias
GARDIAS, Przemek
Przemek Gardias, an architect and business consultant has resided in California since 1993 and in Palo Alto since 2009.  As an architect, Przemek designed commercial and residential buildings, as well as Research and Development facilities.  His interest in city planning comes from his past work on general plans of municipalities in Poland, from his work in business process development and from re-engineering. 

He is guided with a definition of “a town as a place of high human interaction,” despite the challenges the virtual age brings to the physical space.  Przemek recognizes everybody's dream of living in a garden by a main street.  He realizes challenges and opportunities of municipal growth, and decided to serve on the Planning and Transportation Commission to cultivate that dream for current and incoming residents.

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.

Susan Monk
MONK, Susan

Susan Monk is an attorney and a high tech corporate communications professional. She currently serves as a Board Member for NARAL Pro-Choice California Privacy PAC, a political action committee for women’s reproductive health and justice; and is Chair of Education & Engagement for NARAL’s Peninsula Leadership Council. Susan appreciates the many opportunities for civic participation in our community as well as Palo Alto’s immense beauty and high quality of life.

Susan completed her undergraduate studies at UC Santa Cruz, earning a BA in Politics. More recently, she earned her Mediation Certification from UC Hastings.  She and her husband are renters in the University South neighborhood, and enjoy walking around downtown, shopping at the farmer’s market, and dining at local restaurants. They also love cruising around town on their electric bicycles.

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, and is the co-creator of—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.

SUMMA, Doria Biography not yet available.

Asher Waldfogel
Biography not yet available.