Introducing a new class of leaders

HR&A is thrilled to announce a new class of leaders at our firm, including a new Chair of our Board and additions to our executive leadership team.

As a group, they exemplify our mission to ensure implementation of our clients’ aspirations. They are motivated by complex challenges, dedicated to clients, and fulfilled by making lasting impact. They come from a diversity of backgrounds, have a breadth of lived experience, and share a passion for cities.
This class, together with the rest of our Partners and employees, will continue working to create vital places, build more equitable and resilient communities, and improve people’s lives.
Happy New Year and stay tuned for more from HR&A in 2022.

Chair of the Board

Candace Damon has been a senior leader at the firm for over three decades, advancing from Director to Principal to Partner to Vice Chair and now, Chair of the Board of Directors.
Her career at HR&A has been dynamic: she has focused on effective public capital program management, downtown and waterfront redevelopment strategy, incentivization of investment in energy efficiency in commercial real estate, non-profit institutional growth, and the crafting of sustainable funding structures for parks and park systems. She has worked in virtually every major city in the U.S. and has consulted internationally.
Candace has shaped the firm’s trajectory and instilled a culture of excellence and mentorship across HR&A’s six offices. She serves and has served on multiple local and national non-profit boards and is an Honorary Member of the American Society of Landscape Architects.
As Chair, Candace will champion the firm’s growth in both traditional areas of strength and emerging practice areas, ensuring that we continue to create lasting impact in communities across the world.



Bret Collazzi / New York
Over eight years at HR&A, most recently as a principal, Bret has shaped ambitious urban investment strategies across New York and nationally, including more than $100 million of downtown investment in New York State, plans to transform Rikers Island into a green economy hub, and the development of NYC’s long-term plan, OneNYC. He recently led successful applications for the $1B Build Back Better Regional Challenge, a marquee Biden Administration program to transform regional economies and support equitable recovery across the country. Bret is a proud Bronx native with prior experience as a journalist and legislative aide. As a Partner at HR&A, he is excited to continue shaping the future of New York and beyond.
Jonathan Meyers / New York
Jon started his career at HR&A in 2001 in the New York Office and returned in 2016 after serving as the COO of the Trust of Governors Island. He’s provided unwavering value for a range of public and private sector clients, including the preliminary analysis of saving the High Line as a public open space. As a Partner, he will continue advising on the financing and implementation of complex real estate projects in the New York City metro, while also advancing a range of emerging policy issues, including equitable economic development, real estate and housing policy and open space governance and operations.
Jose Serrano-McClain / New York
Jose has been a leader in the HR&A Inclusive Cities and Urban Tech and Innovation practices since 2018. He is currently serving as the Co-Executive Director of NYC Speaks, a large-scale public engagement and government transformation initiative in NYC. As a Partner, Jose will advance a range of projects focusing on people-driven transformation of local government and economic planning for cities requiring strategies at the intersection of equity, innovation, and environmental justice. Jose is currently working on a comprehensive economic plan for Miami-Dade as it grapples with expanding opportunity in the green economy. Jose has worked in the NYC Mayor’s Office of Tech and Innovation, as a Community Organizer in Queens, and at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York.


Executive Management

Alex Lebow / Head of Growth
Alex most recently led a range of external sustainability initiatives at Nike and served as a senior aide to former New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu. He will launch the firm’s Growth team and evolve HR&A’s approach to business strategy and development, marketing and communications, and product development.
Joy A. Lo / Chief of Staff
Joy returns to the firm after most recently serving as the Director of Communications at the Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society at Harvard University and previously working for Microsoft and the Urban Green Council. She will lead HR&A’s focus on strengthening culture and systems, improving internal communications, and developing the firm’s executive leadership.
Niki Stanley / Head of People
Niki previously served as both the Director of Human Capital and first ever Chief Diversity Officer at the NYC Department of City Planning, following a nine-year career at the NYC Department of Education. She will launch the firm’s People team and evolve all talent, recruitment, human resources and professional development initiatives.


Managing Principal

Aaron Abelson / Dallas
Aaron will continue leading the HR&A Dallas office while also advising clients on public-private real estate development, open space planning, and equitable economic development. He provides analysis and strategic guidance to move large-scale visions from plan to implementation, including Rice University’s development of The Ion District in Houston and the City of Dallas Economic Development Policy.



Our Principals lead teams and clients through strategic analysis, strategy development, and implementation planning.
Nina Bennett / Dallas
Jane Carlson / Los Angeles
Jonathan Haragold / New York
Sarah Kirk / Raleigh
Ignacio Montojo Segura / New York
Kristina Pecorelli / New York



Our Directors lead analysis, research and project management across practices and the executive team.
Ada Peng / Los Angeles
Christiana Whitcomb / New York
Eri Furusawa / New York
Giacomo Bagarella / New York
John Morgan / New York
Kimberly Taylor / New York
Mary Jiang / Washington D.C.


Senior Analyst

Our Senior Analysts support a wide range of critical services across practices.
Syed Ali / New York
Mara Basich-Pease / Los Angeles
Keiley Gaston / Washington D.C.
Hannah Glosser / New York
Jenna Gray / Los Angeles
Landry Doyle-Wiese / Los Angeles
Mark Kubaczyk / Dallas
Ashley So / New York
Claire Summers / New York
Amelia Taylor-Hochberg / Los Angeles



Our Analysts supports research and analysis.
Ariel Dames-Podell / New York
Benjamin Cole / Los Angeles
Carl Hooks / New York
Ethan Paik / New York
Solomon Abrams / Washington D.C.