John Hester, MCRP, AICP, Community Development and Planning Specialist
Mr. Hester has over 30 years of experience in planning and community development functions within local government, many as an executive. He was the Community Development Director and Redevelopment Agency Administrator for the City of Reno, Nevada. He later served as Assistant City Manager. During his tenure at Reno, he significantly streamlined processes in the Building, Planning, Engineering, and Code Enforcement Divisions. Prior to joining the City of Reno staff in 1998, Mr. Hester served Washoe County, Nevada, for over 17 years in various capacities, including Community Development Director, acting Water Resources Director, and Director of Comprehensive Planning. During his tenure with Washoe County, Mr. Hester was responsible for creation of the first Regional Open Space Plan for the County, as well as drafting and successful approval of State of Nevada open space funding legislation, which has now been utilized in additional Nevada counties. He was a founding member of the Nevada Land Trust Board of Trustees and still serves as an Advisory Board member.
Mr. Hester is currently the Chief Operating Officer for the bi-state Tahoe Regional Planning Agency. He has a strong track record of process improvement and delivering customer-centric outcomes. At the Agency, he removed an application review backlog of 150 applications and updated the 25-year-old Lake Tahoe Regional Plan, which won American Planning Association awards.
In 1995, he was named Planner of the Year by the Nevada Chapter of the American Planning Association and Public Administrator of the Year by the Sierra Nevada Chapter of the American Society for Public Administration. He has presented at various national conferences and been a guest speaker and lecturer at a number of universities, and he and his staff have received numerous awards, including an American Planning Association National Planning Award in 1990. He has served as a member of the Nevada Small Business Development Center State Advisory Board, the State Land Use Planning Advisory Council, and the State Advisory Board on Water Resource Planning and Development, as well as an officer for the Nevada Chapter of the American Planning Association.
Mr. Hester has a master’s degree in City and Regional Planning and a bachelor of science degree in Architecture from the University of Texas at Arlington. He is a member of the American Institute of Certified Planners.