Craig Lawson & Co., LLC
Land Use Consultants
8758 Venice Blvd. #200
Los Angeles, CA 90034
Phone: 310-838-2400
Fax: 310-838-2424

Staff Directory for
Craig Lawson & Co., LLC
310-838-2400 Phone
310-838-2424 Fax

Craig Lawson,, Ext. 104

   Staff Member

Email Address

Phone Extension

   Adame, Andie

   Adler, Noah

   Casey, Katherine

   Chun, Heather

   Finkel, Lauren

   Fiss, Ben

   Hencier, Jessica

   Irvine, Alexander

   Lawson, Craig

   Peters, Terry

   Ries, Jim

   Tripp, Donna













Craig Lawson - President

         Craig has over 30 years of experience in public and private sectors including 12 years (1987 to 1999) at C.W. Cook Co., Inc., a well-known Los Angeles land use planning, civil engineering and surveying firm (including the last 6 years as Vice President, Land Use Entitlements), and nearly 10 years (1977 to 1987) as urban planning, transportation policy and economic development advisor to former Los Angeles Mayor Tom Bradley. He has served as Mayor Bradley's liaison to the Los Angeles Olympic Organizing Committee (organizers of the 1984 Olympic Gams), and the Los Angeles County Transportation Commission, planners for the Metro Rail subway system. In 1989, he was appointed by Mayor Tom Bradley to serve on the Los Angeles Convention Center Authority (and re-appointed by Mayor Richard Riordan) where he participated in the management and financing of the $500 million L.A. Convention Center Expansion project. He served on the L.A. Convention Center Authority from 1989 to 2002 and serves on the Board of Directors of several local charities and non-profit entities including Alternative Living for the Aging (housing services for senior citizens). He has a B.A. Degree in Political Science and Business Economics from the University of California at Santa Barbara and did graduate work in local government and public policy at the USC School of Public Administration.

James Ries - Senior Vice President

         Jim has over 23 years of experience in architecture, development and land use entitlements, including 10 years at Bobrow Thomas Associates (BTA), 2 years at the Malibu Bay Company (owner of the key commercial land parcels in Malibu), and 1 year (1998-1999) at C.W. Cook Co., Inc. where he prepared the land use entitlement applications for the Hollywood Marketplace retail project. He attended UCLA where he earned a B.A. Degree in Political Science and a Master's Degree in Urban Planning.  In his 10 years at Craig Lawson & Co., LLC, Jim has managed the land use analysis and entitlement application preparation for numerous complex development projects, including the Toy Factory Lofts, Rossmore House Apartments, Venice Lofts, San Lucas Apartments, Villa Venetia Apartments, and the Pioneer Bakery project.

Donna Shen Tripp - Vice President

           Donna Tripp has more than 15 years of experience in community planning and development, and land use entitlements.  Since joining Craig Lawson & Co., LLC at the end of 2012, Donna has conducted zoning and land use analyses, prepared due diligence reports, and processed discretionary entitlement requests for projects ranging from large residential subdivisions to affordable housing projects, and from commercial towers to transit-oriented mixed-use projects throughout the greater Los Angeles area. 

         Prior to joining Craig Lawson & Co., LLC, Donna was the Regional Manager at Schmitz & Associates, Inc., specializing in Coastal and hillside projects throughout Los Angeles, Ventura and Orange County.   During her over 10 years at Schmitz & Associates, Donna not only managed all operational functions and staff at the company, she also prepared development feasibility analyses for hundreds of sites in the aforementioned communities, as well as successfully represented and secured discretionary approvals for dozens of complex, multi-jurisdictional development projects.  These projects ranged from high-end residential estate homes in the Santa Monica Mountains to agricultural and equestrian facilities, and from municipal park projects to urban commercial projects.  

         Donna also served as Special Assistant to the Assistant Secretary of Community Planning and Development (CPD) at the U.S. Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Department in the late-1990s.  While at HUD, Donna was very involved with CPD’s affordable housing, homeless assistance, community planning and economic development programs and grants. A member of the Urban Land Institute and American Planning Association, Donna obtained her Bachelor’s degree from Georgetown University, her Masters of Science degree in Public Policy and Management from Carnegie Mellon University, and her Juris Doctor from the University of San Diego.

Andie Adame - Senior Project Manager

         Andie has over 7 years of experience as an urban planner and architect with Killefer Flammang Architects, specializing in urban infill projects, and 7 years with Craig Lawson & Co., LLC. She has Master's Degrees in Urban Planning and Architecture from UCLA and a B.A. in Economics from UC Irvine. Andie has coordinated complex land use analyses and application packages for the 11th and Grand Live/Work project (417 units), the Fuller Lofts project, AMDA Los Angeles Campus, and the Bassett Furniture Site (Avenue 26) residential projects (over 500 units).

Katherine Casey - Project Manager

         Katherine has an extensive background in project management, sales and marketing and most recently was a housing production coordinator for Habitat for Humanity. She is skilled in coordinating detailed application packages and in working on complex projects involving title companies, owner's representatives, and design teams.

Alexander Irvine - Project Manager

         Alex joined Craig Lawson & Co., LLC in May of 2005.  He has more than 10 years of work experience, including an internship at the City of Los Angeles Planning Department and over eight years of land use consulting.  His internship experience, working directly under Zoning Administrator R. Nicolas Brown, included work in various subsections of the City Planning Department with a focus in the Office of Zoning Administration studying various land use cases and the Planning & Zoning section of the Los Angeles Municipal Code (LAMC). 

         While at Craig Lawson & Co., LLC, Alex has helped entitle some of our clients’ largest projects including over 4,000 residential units in both adaptive reuse and ground-up projects.  He has represented clients in stakeholder meetings, numerous public hearings, and is exceptional at managing multiple projects.  Some notable projects include, the Ventura Boulevard ‘Ralphs Sherman Oaks’ project, which included a series of controversial entitlement requests in the Ventura/Cahuenga Boulevard Corridor Specific Plan area; the Astani Enterprises ‘8th & Grand’ project (875 residential condo units and 11 commercial condo units in three towers), and the ‘Concerto’ project (629 condo units in two towers), the Holland Partners ‘Good Sam’ project (648 residential apartment units and 39,996 square feet of commercial) in the Central City West Specific Plan project area, the Adaptive Reuse of the 611 W. 6th Street building (432 JLWQ condo units and 135 commercial condos), the Abode Communities ‘Ivy Terrace’ project (52 low and very low income units), and various projects in the Downtown LA Industrial ‘Arts District’ area. Alex’s experience includes zoning research, feasibility analyses, entitlement application preparation and processing, government relations, mitigation monitoring, working closely with project architects, land use attorneys, civil/traffic engineers, and other consultants.

         Alex is a member of the American Planning Association (APA), where he currently serves on the Executive Board for the Los Angeles Chapter of the APA, and helped support the efforts of the Host Committee for the 2012 APA National Conference in Los Angeles.  Alex received his Bachelor’s degree in Urban Studies and Planning from California State University, Northridge.

Ben Fiss - Associate Project Manager

         Ben Fiss joined Craig Lawson & Co., LLC in December of 2008.  He has more than 16 years of public and private sector experience, including six years in local government and ten years in land use consulting.  His local government experience included work as a Chief Field Deputy to then-L.A. City Council President, and presently Mayor Eric Garcetti and as a Field Deputy to then-L.A. City Councilmember, and presently City Attorney Michael Feuer.  His land use consulting experience includes over four years as a Senior Planner at Psomas.
         While at Craig Lawson & Co., LLC, Ben has managed several key land use entitlement efforts including a 71-unit mixed use project at Beverly & Fairfax (with complex historic preservation issues), several code enforcement response matters, a condo conversion in Venice (including Coastal Development Permit), complicated signage entitlements, conditional use permits to permit the sale of alcoholic beverages, entitlements for low-income housing in Los Angeles County, shared parking to allow the repositioning of an existing shopping center, police permits for two parking garages, reduced parking requirements for two synagogues, a mixed-use residential above retail project in Downtown Los Angeles, and a 244-unit LEED Silver mixed use project at Lincoln & Maxella which recently opened.  

         Ben received both his Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and his Master’s in Public Administration from California State University, Northridge.  Ben was recently appointed as a member of the Board of Directors of the Valley Industry and Commerce Association (VICA) and he serves on the Land Use and Transportation Policy Committees at VICA.

Lauren Finkel - Assistant Project Manager

         Lauren joined Craig Lawson & Co., LLC in 2006.  She assists in the research and preparation of applications for entitlements on a wide range of projects.  Lauren also has a talent for creating visual presentations that best describe the characteristics and merits of projects to decision-makers and neighborhood groups.  Lauren received her Bachelor’s degree (magna cum laude) in Geography and Environmental Studies, and her Master’s degree in Urban Planning from the University of California, Los Angeles.

Terry Peters - Administrative Manager

         Terry has an extensive background in personnel management and benefits administration, having worked in higher education and in banking, most recently for California Federal Savings. She has a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Political Science and History from the University of California at Santa Barbara, and has completed graduate level courses at USC and UCLA