CAEP - OC - Event Information

Event Name:Tips and Tricks in a Post-COVID World
OC AEP Lunch Program – December 8, 2021

Tips and Tricks in a Post-COVID World
Speakers: Carrie Tai, Alisha Winterswyk, Ruta Thomas

Topic Overview: This panel of CEQA practitioners will discuss tips-and-tricks on CEQA and public meetings for ensuring a smooth, efficient, and successful environmental review process as we slowly navigate our way out of a pandemic. We will cover new perspectives on organizing remote public engagement meetings, effective noticing during challenging times, meaningful tribal-consultation, tackling VMT analysis, approaches to effective wildfire analysis, and much more! This will be an interactive discussion, so come share your trials, tribulations, and successes. While we all faced challenges, the work continued. We all learned many lessons, and hopefully more efficient, inclusive, and equitable methods for implementing the environmental review process. Let's discuss what the future will look like for our industry! 1.0 CM credits available.
WHEN: Wednesday, December 8, 2021
12:00 PM to 1:00 PM
WHERE Zoom Webinar
QUESTIONS: E-mail Frances Yau ( or Josephine Lim (, OCAEP Co-Vice President of Programs
About Our Speakers:
Carrie Tai, AICP, is the Director of Community Development for the City of Manhattan Beach. Her Department handles all development review and future planning for the City. Carrie was formerly Zoning Administrator for the City of Long Beach and also managed long-range planning for the Port of Long Beach. Carrie has been a local agency planner for nearly 20 years and provides a lead agency perspective on CEQA issues, balancing the needs of applicants, environmental and technical consultants, and legal professionals to ensure that the lead agency's independent judgment is reflected. Carrie is also well versed in the integration of the CEQA process into the development review process including consideration of CEQA issues during project design. Carrie holds a Masters of Urban Planning degree from Hunter College in New York City.
Alisha Winterswyk is a Partner in the Best Best & Krieger LLP’s Environmental Law & Natural Resources practice group and is a co-leader of the Firm’s CEQA/NEPA sub-practice group. Alisha regularly counsels clients on the substantive and procedural mandates of CEQA/NEPA. A trusted land use advisor, Alisha is regularly called upon to assist public and private clients with navigating the land entitlement process. With an eye toward environmentally responsible development, Alisha has advised public agency clients on myriad annexations, development agreements, general plan updates and amendments, specific plan adoption and amendments, coastal development permits, and various subdivisions. As a former assistant city attorney to several southern California cities, Alisha has extensive experience advising planning, engineering, and public works departments. She has also served as an adjunct law professor and a guest lecturer at several other Southern California universities on environmental and land use matters. Alisha frequently speaks on CEQA and land use issues at professional conferences, seminars and continuing legal education events.
Ruta Thomas is a Senior Vice President and Southern California Regional Director of Environmental Science Associates (ESA). She has 25 years of experience managing the preparation and coordination of highly complex, controversial, and visible environmental documents for urban and rural development and redevelopment projects throughout California. She is well-versed in all areas of CEQA and NEPA, including facilitating community outreach workshops and events to effectively address participants' concerns. Ruta successfully navigates her projects through complex regulatory requirements and oversight. She brings scientific rigor to the projects on which she works, and with demonstrated expertise in writing and negotiation, she effectively communicates and collaborates with agencies and colleagues to successfully achieve clients’ goals. She has instructed AEP’s CEQA Essentials course for new practitioners since 2007. Ruta holds a Masters degree in Environmental Studies from Brown University and a Bachelors degree in Biology and Economics from Lehigh University.
Event Date:12/8/2021 - 12/8/2021
Event Time:12:00 PM - 1:00 PM Pacific
Location:Zoom Webinar
Event Registration:
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12/8/2021 - 12/8/2021
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