New Planner Expands R&M’s Planning Capabilities

February 6, 2020
Ben Coleman - Planner

Ben Coleman, AICP Candidate recently joined R&M as a Planner in the firm’s Planning Department. Ben will be responsible for supporting planning and community engagement involvement efforts for a variety of community plans, facilities and infrastructure projects.

“Ben brings integrity, experience and energy to our Planning team,” said Van Le, AICP, R&M’s Department Manager of Planning and Public Involvement. “This gives us increased capacity and expertise in transportation, land use, local and state government collaborations.”

A former Matanuska-Susitna Borough (MSB) planner, Ben has three years of experience in transportation and land use planning, plan and conditional use permit review, data analysis, feasibility studies, and stakeholder and agency coordination. During that time, Ben was involved in developing transportation plans, coordinating with the Alaska Department of Transportation & Public Facilities to develop a new Metropolitan Planning Organization in the MSB, and working with the MSB Transportation Advisory Board. He is also experienced in grant writing, plan and conditional use permit review, land use code and data analysis, feasibility studies, and stakeholder and agency coordination.

Since joining the firm, Ben has provided planning analysis and land use permitting services for the downtown 6th Avenue Multi-Use Redevelopment project and an expanded utility substation in Chugiak. He has also been involved with park master planning for the Municipality of Anchorage and will provide planning and stakeholder coordination for Dillingham’s Airport Master Plan Update.

“I was looking to jump into a fast-paced work environment that rewarded quality work and going the extra mile,” said Ben. “I was attracted to the agility that a smaller firm like R&M could provide for both its clients and employees. I’ve definitely enjoyed getting to know everyone since being here—R&M has a killer team, and I’m excited to be a part of it.”

Ben has a B.S. in Intercultural Studies from Crown College and a Masters of Regional Planning from Cornell University, and is an AICP Candidate. He is actively involved with the Alaska Chapter of the American Planning Association and on the Board of Directors for Valley Transit. Ben is a self-proclaimed nerd that plans his extracurricular activities around his weekly Dungeons & Dragons game. Since Game of Thrones is over, he has some time to fill and may attempt the outdoors as he’s heard good things about it. Ben also loves being around people so will probably say ‘yes’ to whatever crazy thing is going on.