Megan O’Hara, AICP, LEED-AP is a principal and partner at Urban Design Associates. Megan leads projects that use design to restore equity and build resilience, particularly in places that have experienced disinvestment. She helps communities create consensus visions and works with regions, cities, counties, housing and transit authorities, foundations, and developers to implement those visions. Megan has worked with nine communities around the U.S. to secure $30-50M HUD Choice Neighborhoods Implementation Grants. She led resilience planning efforts in Paradise, California following the 2018 Camp Fire, along Lake Street in Minneapolis following the 2020 uprisings, and in Southwest Louisiana following Hurricanes Laura and Delta. Megan’s nearly 20 years of design experience leverages consensus building, innovative housing policies, incentives, and partnerships to solve persistent problems and implement community visions.
Megan earned a Master of Science in Sustainable Urban Development, with distinction, from the University of Oxford, and she serves on the Oxford Sustainable Development Advisory Board. She holds a Bachelor of Architecture from the University of Notre Dame.
Cynthia Jones Parks founded Jones Worley in 1990 and serves as the company’s president and CEO. A skilled, creative consensus-builder, Parks works directly with client decision-makers on strategic planning, marketing, corporate communications, branding, and experiential graphic design.
Under Parks’ leadership, Jones Worley has established a national reputation for branding and marketing communications for the transportation industry, especially transit smart cards, and transit and airport wayfinding and signage design. The firm has worked with 27 transit authorities and nearly 30 airports, including Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, which awarded Jones Worley with its first transportation project in 1992 and, in 2020, with a prestigious contract as the airport’s marketing agency of record. In addition, the firm is a leader in the branding and marketing of farepayment programs for transit systems. Parks has won several high-profile projects for her firm, including the naming, branding and launch of MARTA’s Breeze Card; being a part of the team creating the “look” of the Centennial Olympic Games; branding the City of Atlanta’s Streetcar; and branding of local voter initiatives for the City of Atlanta and DeKalb County. The firm has also developed creative solutions for global-reaching Fortune 500 brands such as Turner Broadcasting System, Coca-Cola Enterprises, Delta Airlines, ING Foundation (now Capital One), Chick-fil-A, Bank of the Ozarks, and The Coca-Cola Company. A popular speaker and panelist, Parks is a member of some of the leading professional organizations in her field, such as the American Public Transportation Association (APTA), the Conference of Minority Transportation Officials (COMTO), the Society of Marketing Professional Services (SMPS), and the American Institute of Graphic Arts (AIGA).
Parks formerly served on the Board of Advisors for the Metro Atlanta Chamber of Commerce, the Atlanta Chapter of COMTO, the Board of Directors for the Georgia State Alumni Association, and the Small Business, Agricultural and Labor Advisory Board for the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta. She was also a member of the 1997 class of Leadership Atlanta and has been recognized for her many achievements in numerous local, national, and international publications.
As a Design Director in Gensler’s New York office, EJ continually finds innovative and inspiring solutions that prioritize human connection. She brings her expertise to corporate and financial headquarters, commercial development, publishing, science, and health & wellness projects. Her approach is elegant and timeless, and provides long-lasting value to her clients, including Pfizer, Johnson & Johnson, L’Oreal, and The New York Times. EJ’s previous role as Adjunct Professor at Pratt Institute and her mentorship exemplifies her passion for shaping the next generation of designers. Her award-winning projects have been published in The New York Times, Metropolis, and Interior Design Magazine. EJ received a Bachelor’s in Interior Design from Ewha Womans University, and a Master’s of Science in Interior Design from the Pratt Institute.
Barbara Bestor, FAIA is the Principal and founder of Bestor Architecture. Her firm was established in 1995 and has a staff of 30 people. In recent years, she designed the internationally recognized Blackbirds, an innovative model for small lot housing, and a variety of custom residences and hospitality projects. The Floating Bungalow House in Venice, CA was featured in MOCA’s 2013 survey of contemporary LA architecture. In addition, she led the revitalization effort for John Lautner’s Silvertop, which received design awards from the LA Conservancy, DOCOMOMO and the AIA and was featured in the Wall Street Journal Magazine.
Bestor’s award-winning studio is recognized for consistently pursuing experimental architecture that engages the city through design, art, and urbanism. She explores the architectural form through experiments in spatial arrangements, graphics, and color. Her varied and progressive body of work connects with people on many levels, often outside the boundaries traditionally delineated for architecture. She believes that good design creates an engaged urban life and embraces the ‘strange beauty’ that enhances everyday life experience.
Recent projects by Barbara include Ashes & Diamonds Winery in Napa, multiple offices for Snap in Los Angeles, and the Scandinavian Design and the US, 1890-1980 exhibit at LACMA. In addition, Barbara led the effort for the first extensive exhibit on the work of environmental designer Deborah Sussman. Barbara Bestor is the author of Bohemian Modern, Living in Silver Lake (Harper Collins, 2006), a book dedicated to the suppressed narrative of informal and eccentric modernism found in Silver Lake’s rich domestic architectural history. Barbara received her undergraduate degree from Harvard University and her Master of Architecture from SCI-Arc. She is the Executive Director of Woodbury University’s Julius Shulman Institute.
Steve Johns is the Assistant Director of the Hamilton County Department of Planning + Development where he leads the Community Development, Community Planning, and Development Services Divisions. He is also Executive Secretary of the Hamilton County Regional Planning Commission (RPC). Steve has a Masters in Community and Regional Planning from the University of Texas at Austin and Civil Engineering and Economics degrees from Rice University.
Steve also served as the Sustainability Coordinator in the City of Cincinnati’s Office of Environmental & Sustainability (OES) and as the Executive Director of Citizens for Civic Renewal (CCR) – a non-profit dedicated to empowering citizens and serving as a catalyst for civic action in Greater Cincinnati.
During his career, he played lead roles in the development of the Green Cincinnati Plan, Agenda 360, and Community COMPASS – planning efforts that have helped shape the City of Cincinnati, Hamilton County and the Cincinnati region.
Steve currently is the Vice President of the East End Area Council and has served in other volunteer leadership positions with the Western Wildlife Corridor and the Mill Creek Alliance.