Craig Lawson & Co., LLC
Land Use Consultants
3221 Hutchison Ave. #D
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

   Finkel, Lauren

   Hencier, Jessica

   Irvine, Alexander

   Lawson, Craig

   Meisner, Kerry

   Peters, Terry

   Ries, Jim

   Swerdlow, Shane

   Tripp, Donna













Craig Lawson - President

         Craig Lawson founded Craig Lawson & Co., LLC in 1999.  Over the last 16 years, Craig Lawson & Co., LLC has grown to be the largest independent land use consulting firm in Los Angeles. The firm, with 12 employees, has worked on zoning research, land use analysis, and entitlement processing for hundreds of residential, commercial, industrial and institutional projects, including the Metropolis mega-project in downtown Los Angeles, the Emerson College Los Angeles campus in Hollywood, the Vermont/Wilshire high rise project in Koreatown, and Il Villagio Toscano in the San Fernando Valley.  He is an active member of the Urban Land Institute, Los Angeles Chapter, and serves as an expert witness and frequent speaker on zoning and land use issues.

         Craig has over 35 years of experience in the 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 and almost 10 years (1977 to 1987) as urban planning, transportation policy and economic development advisor to former Los Angeles Mayor Tom Bradley.  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 30 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. In his 16 years at Craig Lawson & Co., LLC, Jim has managed the land use analysis and entitlement application processing for numerous complex development projects, including 8th & Grand (700 rental units with a Whole Foods Market), Toy Factory Lofts, Apex Mixed Use Project, Biscuit Company Lofts, 4th & Hill, Rossmore House Apartments, Venice Lofts, City Market Los Angeles, and the Pioneer Bakery project.

         Jim has developed an expertise in obtaining entitlements for affordable housing and density bonus projects, working with various non-profit developers including Abode Communities, Skid Row Housing Trust, and Mercy Housing. He is also an expert on projects in Downtown Los Angeles, the Downtown Arts District, and Central City West. From 2007 to 2015, Jim served as an appointed member of the Planning Commission for the City of Santa Monica, which coordinated the comprehensive update of the City's Land Use and Circulation Element (LUCE). He attended UCLA where he earned a B.A. Degree in Political Science and a Master's Degree in Urban Planning.

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 20 years of experience as an urban planner and designer, including over 13 years with Craig Lawson & Co., LLC specializing in urban infill projects and 7 years with Killefer Flammang Architects. She has Masters Degrees in Urban Planning and Architecture from UCLA and a B.A. in Economics from UC Irvine.  Andie has managed the land use analysis and entitlement process for numerous complex development projects, including the Metropolis mega-project in downtown Los Angeles (over 2 million square feet including a 350-room hotel, 1,560 condominium units, & 75,000 square feet of commercial in 4 towers), the Circa project (648 units and 48,000 square feet of commercial in two towers), Marriott Residence Inn & Courtyard by Marriott project (393 hotel rooms), LA Central project (2007 Figueroa Central approvals of 860 units, 222 hotel rooms, 223,801 square feet of commercial in two towers in over 1.4 million square feet), Glass Tower project (151 units), Highland Park Transit Village project (119 units on three sites adjacent to the Metro Gold Line), MacArthur Park Metro Station mixed-use project (172 units with 32,850 s.f. of retail), Taylor Yard Transit Village project (401 units and 29,400 square feet of commercial), 11th and Grand Live/Work project (417 units), the AMDA Los Angeles Campus, and the Bassett Furniture Site (Avenue 26) with over 500 residential units.  Andie has also been active in civic activities in downtown Los Angeles, as a member of the Central City Association and a volunteer at the Metro Charter Elementary School.

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.

Noah Adler - Associate Project Manager

         Noah joined Craig Lawson & Co., LLC in January of 2012.  Noah specializes in the research, preparation, processing and monitoring of land use entitlement applications for a wide variety of projects across the City of Los Angeles.  He is presently managing the entitlements for a complex mixed use development project that includes senior housing, retail, office, and social service uses.

         Prior to joining Craig Lawson & Co., LLC, Noah received his Bachelor’s degree (cum laude) from New York University where he double majored in Urban Design & Architecture Studies and Metropolitan Studies, and from which he graduated with honors for his thesis on community participation in the public review process in New York City.  While in New York, Noah worked in the zoning and land use entitlements field for two years and also interned with the Department of City Planning, the Skyscraper Museum, and Curbed.

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.

Jessica Hencier - Assistant Project Manager

         With experience in the private, public, and non-profit sectors, Jessica brings a holistic and dynamic approach to solving complex planning issues facing cities today. Jessica joined Craig Lawson & Co., LLC in August of 2014. Since joining the company, Jessica has conducted zoning and land use analyses, and prepared and managed the processing of discretionary entitlement requests for several projects.

         Prior to joining Craig Lawson & Co., LLC, Jessica was an Associate with Urban One where she provided a range of services for planning and development projects. For the Downtown L.A. Streetcar Project, she was responsible for coordination of the environmental review, which included working with consulting and engineering teams as well as all City departments to review technical documents and maintain the environmental clearance schedule. Before that, Jessica worked with the University of Southern California’s Real Estate and Asset Management Department. At USC Real Estate, Jessica was responsible for assisting in compliance with the mitigation measures of the USC Specific Plan and items of the Development Agreement, including matters related to Historic Preservation, Transportation and Circulation, and Urban Design. She has also worked with the City of Los Angeles Department of Transportation Bicycle and Pedestrian programs.

         Additionally, Jessica is actively involved in Los Angeles Councilmember Jose Huizar’s Bringing Back Broadway initiative, serving as the Chair of the 2015 “Night on Broadway” committee and sitting on the Planning and Land Use and Marketing and Economic Development committees. Jessica is also actively involved in the Urban Land Institute Los Angeles (ULI-LA) and is the Co-Chair of the Case Studies and Site Tours Programs Committee.

         Jessica earned her Master of Urban Planning degree at the University of Southern California, concentrating in both Transportation and the Preservation and Design of the Built Environment. She also holds a B.A. in Anthropology and Sociology from Whittier College.

Shane Swerdlow - Assistant Project Manager

         Shane joined Craig Lawson & Co., LLC in 2015.  He specializes in zoning research, land use analysis, and the preparation of entitlement applications for various projects.  Prior to joining Craig Lawson & Co., LLC, Shane was a Senior Associate at Chattel Inc., a well-known historic preservation consulting firm, where he worked with public and private sector clients on reviewing land use issues and obtaining project approvals through various jurisdictions.  During his 5 years at Chattel Inc., he worked closely with the L.A. City Planning Department staff and local community groups on historic resource preservation issues.

         Shane has a B.S. Degree in both Public Policy and Business Administration from the University of Southern California, where he graduated cum laude and received the Order of the Laurel and Palm (top 1% of his class).  He is the incoming president of the USC Price School of Public Policy Alumni Association. He presently serves on the Mid City West Community Council Board of Directors, a certified Neighborhood Council, as well as on the Planning and Land Use Committee of the Community Council.

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