Planning & Landscape Architecture Advisory Council (PLAAC)

The department alumni advisory body is the Planning & Landscape Architecture Advisory Council. This body helps faculty, staff, & students stay connected to our broad alumni base & the fields of planning & landscape architecture.

Meet the Members of PLAAC

Alex Allon

Alex is a recent alum, graduating from the URPL program in 2020. He currently serves as the Strategic Initiatives and Development Coordinator for the City of Watertown. Alex spearheads economic development programs for the City, fostering connections within the business community. He also serves as the Executive Director of Watertown’s Redevelopment Authority, facilitating infill and development projects throughout the community.

Ruben Anthony

Dr. Anthony has been the President and CEO of the Urban League of Greater Madison since March of 2015. In the time he has been with the Urban League of Greater Madison, they have increased their job placements by 39% and have made over 1400 placements to date. Over the past 30 years Ruben has been a senior manager in the public, private and not profit sectors. He is a subject matter expert (SME) in developing job placement strategies and in minority business development. The majority (19 years) of his career has been as a manager with the Wisconsin Department of Transportation where he started as a first line supervisor and eventually became the Deputy Secretary and the Chief Operations Officer from 2003 to 2010. As the Deputy Secretary he managed 3,600 FTEs and an annual budget of $3.25 billion dollars. He was also responsible for managing the day to day operations of the agency and overseeing the programming of all areas.  In 2017, he was awarded the Golden Champion Award by the National Association of Minority Contractors – Wisconsin Chapter, for leadership in minority business development in the Wisconsin Construction Industry.

Josh Clements

Josh Clements, AICP, is a 2009 MS URPL Grad and currently the Planning Director of the City of Sun Prairie. Josh is the Past-President of APA Wisconsin Chapter and currently serves on the AICP Commission. Josh is an outspoken advocate for integrating vision, values and ethics into planning and governance decisions. Josh equally enjoys exploring the world’s great cities and neighborhoods, parks and wilderness areas.

Mike Matthews

Mike Mathews is President of Economic Growth Advisors (EGA). EGA is an economic development consulting firm that works with public and private sector clients to provide customized solutions that facilitate business and economic growth. Mike has 30 years of business experience in economic and community development, strategic planning, business consulting, business development, community relations, marketing, and public and private finance.

Heidi Natura

Since 1990, Heidi Natura has been actively involved in promoting the wise use of natural resources through her planning and design work. It is her commitment as the creatively express the needs and wants of humanity on the land, balanced with understanding the needs and limitations of the earth and its many other inhabitants. Natura oversees all of Living Habitats’ operations and is actively involved in leading Living Habitats’ projects, working directly with clients and multi-disciplinary teams to lead collaborative planning and design solutions. Through her experience facilitating the realization of complex, multi-year projects, combined with a tenacious drive to stay true to design intentions that respect the natural world over the long life of her projects, Natura has demonstrated what is possible through her professional practice. She assists clients with work at all scales to realize increased functional integrity and environmental improvement via their decisions, investments, and actions. Natura is also known for combining natural and structural elements in artful ways, creating aesthetically pleasing and ecologically rich solutions that enhance both the beauty and meaning of the work generated.

Tim Peterson

Tim is a landscape architect who specializes in design control and construction phase services, working closely with the client and contractors from concept phase through final punch-list inspections. Over an influential 44-year professional career, Tim has made significant contributions to the design realm of built works in the United States and abroad. His body of work has garnered dozens of design awards from the ASLA and AIA and has elevated the quality of life throughout the Houston region by providing critical open space to diverse users in important civic spaces such as Buffalo Bayou Park, Hermann Park Reflection Pool and numerous award-winning master planned communities.

Dan Rolfs

Dan Rolfs graduated from UW-Madison with a BS in History (1997).  He then proceeded to obtain an MS in Urban and Regional Planning (2001).  During graduate school and immediately following graduation, he served as an intern in DeForest for nearly 3 years, helping to redevelop the downtown.  He then worked for a private planning firm for three years, completing comprehensive plans throughout Wisconsin and Illinois.  He then returned to the public sector to work for the City of Madison, starting in 2005.  Since then, Dan has been actively involved in a myriad of City projects, including assisting running the City’s Tax Increment Finance (TIF) program; land banking property; facilitating (re)development projects such as the Garver Feed Mill, the Truman Olson redevelopment project, South Madison development efforts, East Washington Avenue, Union Corners, and many others; and buying and selling property on behalf of the City.
Dan has worked in the City’s Office of Real Estate Services as the Community Development Project Manager since he started his career with the City.  Dan was born of Badger parents.  Dan is a Badger at heart.  Dan’s blood is red because it is filled with Badgers (and oxygen).  Dan is very thankful for the positive impact that the University of Wisconsin – Madison has had on his life.  In his free time, he is the President of the Board of the employee association the represents some of the public employees at the City, is a hockey dad, an amateur woodworker / lumberjack, and attends all of the UW Badger women’s hockey games he can (when they don’t interfere with his daughter’s hockey games).