Rick Geller - Chair
Our chair, Rick Geller, is board certified by The Florida Bar in City, County, and Local Government Law. A litigator in the areas of business and governmental law for 27 years, Rick is a partner with Fishback Dominick in Winter Park. He represents both Winter Park and Winter Garden, which have some of Florida’s best small town urbanism.
Rick’s advocacy on behalf of CNU Orlando and Bike/Walk Central Florida, of which he is vice chair, helped bring Central Florida its first cycle track, its second road diet, as well as a revision to the Orange County School Siting Ordinance making high schools embedded in neighborhoods legal again. He is CNU-Accredited.
Rick obtained a B.A. from Miami University in Oxford, Ohio and a J.D., cum laude, from Temple University in Philadelphia, where he was a law review associate editor.
Billy Hattaway, P.E. - Vice Chair
Our vice chair, Billy Hattaway, PE, is a Principal in Fehr & Peers’ Orlando office with over 40 years of professional transportation planning and engineering experience. During his career, he has held many roles, including key-leadership roles with the Florida Department of Transportation, consulting, and most recently as Director of Transportation for the City of Orlando. While leading FDOT District One, Billy also led the development and implementation of the Department’s Complete Streets policy, and Pedestrian Bicycle Safety initiatives focused on improving bicycle and pedestrian safety. Most recently while with the City of Orlando, Billy led the development of the Vision Zero Action Plan, and brought Orlando into membership status at NACTO, Complete Streets Coalition, Vision Zero Network, and the Congress for the New Urbanism. He also formed and leads the Vision Zero Emphasis Area at the FDOT Pedestrian/Bike Safety Coalition and is the Co-Chair for rewriting the Florida Greenbook to a Complete Streets approach.
In 2014, Billy received Governing magazine’s ‘Public Official of the Year’ award. In 2015, CNU Florida awarded him the John Nolen Award for his leadership on pedestrian and bicyclist safety initiatives.
Billy has a bachelor’s degree in Civil Engineering Technology from the Wentworth Institute of Technology in Boston and an MBA from Florida State University.
Artie White, AICP, CNU-A - Treasurer
Our treasurer, Artie White, AICP, CNU-A, is the Administrator of Comprehensive Planning at the Tallahassee-Leon County Planning Department, where he coordinates a team that includes the community’s urban forester, transportation planner, environmental and hazards planner, and policy planners.
Before joining the Tallahassee-Leon County Planning Department, Artie worked in the private sector as a consulting transportation planner, where he specialized in bicycle and pedestrian planning, aviation and spaceports, scenic byways, and comprehensive plans. Artie also worked at the Florida Division of Emergency Management as a hazardous materials planner and GIS professional. He also served on the Regional Domestic Task Force and Radiological Incident Control Team, where he was involved in NASA's New Horizons Pluto-Kuiper belt mission.
Artie is a member of the American Institute of Certified Planners and is CNU-Accredited. He has also served as the Secretary and the Professional Development Officer for the Capital Area Section of APA Florida and as an Urban Plan Committee member for ULI North Florida.
Artie has a bachelor’s degree in Environmental Studies and a master’s degree in Geography from Florida State University.
Debra Hempel - Director
Our board member, Debra Hempel, became active in the CNU while working with Duany Plater-Zyberk & Company. She attended her first national Congress in 2001. After joining HDR in 2006, Debra continued her involvement with the national organization, but began focusing more of her time at the state level with the CNU Florida chapter. She has served on the CNU Florida board since 2014.
Debra has worked in the architecture, engineering, and environmental field for more than 30 years. Her diverse background includes project management, planning, marketing, communications, and public engagement services on complex urban design, land development, transportation, and water projects across the country. She is a member of the American Institute of Certified Planners and a certified Charrette Planner through the National Charrette Institute. Debra has also served as the Professional Develop Officer for the American Planning Association Florida Chapter and the APA Sun Coast Section.
Debra received her B.A. in Geography from the University of South Florida.
Michelle Zehnder - Secretary
Our secretary, Michelle Zehnder, has actively participated with CNU since interning with CNU national in 2013. Michelle is an urban planner at HDR, Inc., where she focuses on transportation planning, land use, urban design, and public involvement. She has over 15 years of experience as a planner, graphic designer, and project manager.
Michelle earned her undergraduate degree in Graphic Design from the University of Florida and completed her Master of Urban Planning and Policy degree from the University of Illinois at Chicago.