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TEXAS (September 6, 2019) — The American Planning Association (APA) Texas Chapter - the third largest Chapter of APA serving approximately 2,600 members within nine regional sections, has announced the election of officers to serve on its Board of Directors. APA offers opportunities and resources for planners, students, commissioners, educators, engaged citizens, and allied professionals — everyone who is committed to creating communities that thrive and prosper.

Elected Officers

Each member serves as a volunteer and begins his or her term on November 8, 2019.

Chance Sparks

Chance Sparks, AICP — Incoming President
Chance Sparks is a project manager of the Urban Planning and Design group at Freese and Nichols. He is a certified planner and holds a master’s degree in public administration, urban and environmental planning and a bachelor’s degree in geography – urban and regional planning from Texas State University. Sparks has held several leadership positions within APA, including Texas APA - Texas Municipal League affiliate and legislative representative, treasurer, director-elect and director of the Central Section of the APA Texas Chapter. He will serve two years as president, and two years as immediate past president.

Heather Nick, AICP — President-Elect
Heather Nick is the managing director of Planning and Economic Development for the City of Tyler, Texas. She is a certified planner and holds a master’s degree in public administration and a bachelor’s degree in sociology from the University of Texas at Tyler. Nick has held several leadership positions within APA, including chapter communications coordinator, secretary of APA Texas as well as professional development officer and director of the East Section of the APA Texas Chapter. Nick will serve two years as president-elect, two years as president of the Chapter, and two years as immediate past president.

Gary Mitchell, AICP — Treasurer
Gary Mitchell is president of the Kendig Keast Collaborative. He is a certified planner and holds a master’s degree in urban planning from Texas A&M University and a bachelor’s degree in economics from University of Texas at Austin. Within APA, Mitchell has held several leadership roles, including treasurer of APA Texas, lead Texas delegate for the 2015 APA National Policy assembly and director of the Houston Section of the APA Texas Chapter and currently serves on the Board of Directors, as sections representative. He will serve two years as the Chapter Treasurer.

Christina Sebastian, AICP — Secretary
Christina Sebastian is the senior mobility planner for the City of Plano, Texas. She is a certified planner and holds a master’s in city and regional planning from the University of Texas at Arlington and a bachelor’s degree in computer science and software engineering from University of Texas at Dallas. Within APA, Sebastian has previously served on several APA Texas conference committees, Texas Emerging Planning Leaders and Mentorship Programs task force, and currently serves as secretary of APA Texas. Sebastian was reelected and will serve an additional two years as the Chapter Secretary.

Lee Battle, AICP — TML Representative
Lee Battle is the assistant director of community development/planning and development for the City of Allen, Texas. He is a certified planner and holds a master’s in urban planning and a bachelor’s degree in natural resources management from Texas A&M University. Within APA, Battle has held several leadership positions including treasurer of APA Texas, Texas lead delegate for the 2018 and 2019 APA National Policy assemblies, as chair of the Student Representatives Council and director of the Central and North Central Sections of the APA Texas Chapter. Battle will serve two years as the TML Representative.


The American Planning Association, a 45,000-member organization committed to creating great communities for all, is an independent, not-for-profit educational organization that provides vital leadership in creating great communities for all. APA and its professional institute, the American Institute of Certified Planners, are dedicated to advancing the profession of planning, offering better choices for where and how people work and live. APA members work in concert with community residents, civic leaders and business interests to create communities that enrich people's lives. The mission of APA Texas is to advocate the profession of planning, providing expertise and processes that empower citizens to be engaged in the development and sustainability of Great Communities in Texas.  Learn more at www.txplanning.org.


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