About Highland Planning

At Highland Planning, our passion for social good drives us to transform communities and improve lives through creative public engagement, planning, and design strategies.

We implement these strategies through collaborative partnerships, working closely with clients and interested and impacted parties to understand their needs, develop tailored solutions, and deliver results. Open communication and strong relationships help us create a shared vision for success.

As a recognized planning + design studio, we are committed to community, innovation, and quality. Our skilled team brings diverse expertise to every project, pushing boundaries and seeking new ideas to achieve greater impact while delivering the highest service and value.

Our Core Values

Honor People

We treat others with respect, kindness, and empathy. We listen to and consider the thoughts and feelings of those around us and strive to create a supportive and inclusive environment. 

Make it Sparkle

We infuse passion and care into everything we do. We pay attention to the details and exceed expectations.  

Embrace Change

We are flexible in our approach to challenges and obstacles, welcoming new ideas and perspectives. We are always evolving. 
 

Tanya Mooza Zwahlen, AICP​

Principal + Owner

Liz Podowski King, PLA, AICP

Director of Planning + Design

Megan Morsch

Director of Marketing + Business Development & Public Engagement Lead

Julie Boasi

Public Engagement Project Manager

Heike Jacob, AICP

Senior Planner

Nora Culhane Friedel

Assistant Project Manager

Stephanie Hyde

Engagement Associate

Katrina Van Bortel Buckley

Office Manager

Elaine Camacho

Chief Operating Officer

Rose Zwahlen

Office Dog

Let’s see what we can create together.

Use the form below to get in touch.

Tanya Mooza Zwahlen, AICP

Principal + Owner

Tanya loves meeting design, brainstorming go-to-them strategies, and getting to know people  throughout the project process. She discovered the field of city planning after reading Jane Jacobs’ book, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, and studied city and regional planning at Cornell University. In 2007, she established Highland Planning to focus on effective public engagement and urban redevelopment projects. When she’s not working, she’s mothering, taking her dog for a walk, or reading an Andrea Gibson poem.

Liz Podowski King, PLA, AICP

Director of Planning + Design

Liz loves working on projects where she can weave together her experience in ecology, landscape architecture, planning, and community engagement. From her start as a deep-sea ecologist to her current role as a planner and landscape architect, Liz is passionate about exploring new places, listening to and learning from communities, and finding ways to creatively integrate nature into urban spaces. She thoughtfully approaches every project from an interdisciplinary perspective, valuing the unique characteristics and connections of a place. Liz received her masters degree in biology from Penn State University and her masters in landscape architecture from the University of Oregon. When she’s not working, she’s hanging out with her family, biking around Albany, or relaxing at Lake Champlain.

Megan Morsch

Director of Marketing and Business Development & Public Engagement Project Manager

Megan is passionate about using public engagement to build trust and collaboration. She has led complex projects, managed stakeholders, and delivered results in various industries. She believes in using innovative solutions to engage communities, from creative marketing communication campaigns to new technology. Megan is a proud St. Bonaventure University graduate and lives with her family in Rochester, NY. She enjoys playing soccer, golfing, running, and home renovation projects.

Julie Boasi

Public Engagement Project Manager

Julie strongly believes in involving members of the public in decisions that impact them. She is driven by a passion for improving our local community and giving a voice to the most vulnerable populations within it. Julie has experience in transit service planning, transit operations, GIS, and municipal government, and is skilled at collaboration, innovative thinking, communication, and operationalizing ideas.  She holds a BS degree from Cornell University and a Master of Public Administration from Syracuse University. Julie lives in Brockport, NY with her husband, two sons, and two dogs, and volunteers with Flower City Habitat for Humanity in her spare time.

Heike Jacob

Senior Planner

Heike is committed to using her skills and knowledge to create more livable, equitable, and sustainable places. She brings a wide array of experience to the Highland Planning team, including experience in local government, land use and zoning, clean energy permitting, NEPA and SEQR compliance, comprehensive planning, transportation planning, grant writing, and public engagement. Heike lives in Buffalo, NY, and in her free time, she loves to travel and explore new places near and far, hiking, reading, and listening to live music. 

Nora Culhane Friedel

Assistant Project Manager

Through her years of experience in neighborhood revitalization, economic development, and community engagement, Nora was drawn to the planning profession. She has assisted communities throughout New York State in undertaking a range of public and private sector projects/plans. She is passionate about equitable access and inclusive planning practices. Nora lives in the Capital Region with her husband, child, and their two dogs.

Stephanie Hyde

Engagement Associate

Stephanie has always been passionate about community, specifically about staying updated on the latest local news in Rochester. With a degree in journalism from the University at Albany, she learned the importance of listening to what people have to say and telling their story in an impactful way. She believes the best part of an interview is coming away with a new perspective that you might never have learned if you hadn’t talked to someone. Stephanie is excited to gain more public service experience interacting with different communities. When she is not working, Stephanie enjoys running, reading and DJing the most exhilarating wedding dance floor.

Katrina Van Bortel Buckley

Office Manager

Katrina’s diverse professional background. Her experience in hospitality, customer service, administration, and office management brings a unique perspective to the team. She is passionate about learning and helping others, striving to get this to every project she works on. Outside of the workplace, Katrina shares her home with three adorable cats and an equally adorable tortoise. She is a huge music fan, evidenced by her ever-growing record collection. 

Elaine Camacho

Chief Operating Officer

Elaine‘s dedication to facilitating various multifaceted needs to help Highland Planning reach its goals is admirable. She aims to achieve an open, harmonious, and efficient business model. Collaborating to create strategies and design new processes is not just a job for her; it’s a passion. Elaine‘s love for her work extends to her personal life, where she cherishes spending time at the dog park with her family.

Rose Zwahlen

Office Dog

Rose is a rescue from Texas who arrived in New York in May 2020. She enjoys looking out the window, treats, napping on the couch, greeting whoever is coming in the door, and going for walks at lunchtime.