Best. Team. Ever.

We build trust.  Our clients entrust us with their most challenging, complex projects. We make stakeholders feel acknowledged, seen, and heard.  

We listen.  Our team is approachable and personable. We ask the right questions, listen respectfully, and gather feedback.   

We are bold and courageous.  When tempers flare or issues arise, we walk toward the conflict and provide a neutral outlet for every voice.  

We are nimble and adaptable. Our experienced team ramps up swiftly and seamlessly.             

We are peacemakers.  We are experts at moving divergent individuals and groups toward a place of acceptance and resolution.

Tanya Mooza Zwahlen, AICP

Principal and Owner

Tanya loves designing public meetings, thinking about new go-to-them strategies, and getting to know stakeholders throughout a project process. She discovered the field of city planning after reading Jane Jacob’s book, The Death and Life of Great American Cities. Tanya studied city and regional planning at Cornell University and spent eight years working toward the successful revitalization of her neighborhood in Rochester, NY. In 2007, she established Highland Planning so she could focus on effective public engagement and urban redevelopment projects. When she’s not working, she’s mothering her two amazing kids, cooking up a new recipe, or practicing jiu jitsu and Muay Thai kickboxing.

  • tanya@highland-planning.com
  • 585-315-1834

Susan Charland, AICP

Planning Director and COO

Sue is an experienced facilitator of large and small groups that want to discuss high stakes decisions. She loves working with her clients and partners to design and implement public engagement plans, and facilitate group discussions, especially those with challenging dynamics and controversial topics. She is an enthusiastic member of the International Association of Public Participation (IAP2) and provides training on public engagement. Sue is also passionate about playing music (piano, accordion, and ukulele), hiking with her dog, and pursuing outdoor adventures.

  • susan@highland-planning.com
  • 585-287-2755

Melissa Chanthalangsy

Director of Marketing and Business Development

Melissa manages the proposal response process and social engagement on digital platforms. She offers a strategic marketing perspective from her business school education along with policy experience from her previous roles in federal and local government. She earned her MBA from Simon Business School and her Bachelor’s in political science and environmental studies from the University of Chicago. Melissa is a first-generation Laotian-French-American, and she is passionate about increasing access to civic engagement. Outside of work, Melissa enjoys watching movies, writing and performing comedy, and ensuring she gets her monthly fix of phó.

  • melissa@highland-planning.com
  • 585-505-1541

Christopher Dunne  

Senior Planner

Christopher manages high profile public engagement processes for transit and transportation agencies. In 2019, he completed training with the International Association of Public Participation. Christopher earned his M.P.A. from UMass Boston where he received a John W. McCormack Scholarship and went on to work in the Massachusetts legislature for six years handling everything from constituent casework to legislation. When he’s not exploring the city on bike or by foot, he can be found doing a crossword or hunting for the perfect slice of vegan pizza.

  • christopher@highland-planning.com
  • 585-752-5806

Charvi Gupta

Senior Planner

Charvi is supporting our engagement work for trails, highways, housing, and downtown redevelopment projects. She was born and raised in India. She received her Bachelor in Physical Planning from the School of Planning and Architecture in Delhi, India, and graduated from Cornell University with a Masters in Regional Planning in 2019.

  • charvi@highland-planning.com
  • 585-747-5882

M. André Primus

Planner

André is passionate about public outreach, community-led mapping, and community-powered economics. As a Rochester native, he founded RocShare, the area’s leading alternative economics organization, and has spoken about alternative economics at TedXFlour City 2014, Greentopia Futures Summit 2015, and the Rochester Improvement Society. In his spare time, André dances with Rochester Dance Theater, trains at Rochester Parkour, and performs magic tricks wherever he can.

  • andre@highland-planning.com
  • 585-642-9007

Nancy Raca

Director of Engagement

Nancy is a communicator and a connector at heart, and she loves finding ways to bring people together. Having spent most of her career leading communications work for government and non-profit organizations on social and environmental issues, she knows how important it is to get input from the people most affected by an issue. Nancy received a Masters in Public Communication from American University and is a Certified Professional Coach. She also has received training from the International Association of Public Participation. In her free time, Nancy loves thrift shopping, reading, and hosting exchange students from around the world.

  • nancy@highland-planning.com
  • 585-532-8405

Jen Topa

Planner

Jen is a fundraising expert, an event planning guru, and a merchant organizer. She is the key to our success with our commercial district revitalization practice and has a knack for connecting people, projects, and funding. Jen has a Bachelor of Arts in Communications from the University of Dayton and has a professional background in sales, marketing, and event planning. She is a mother of three amazing kids and a proud resident of the Highland Park neighborhood of Rochester.

  • jen@highland-planning.com
  • 585-354-3214

Our Core Values

  • Honor People
  • Make it Sparkle
  • Go to Them
  • Listen

Let's see what we can create together.

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